Dramatization Approach and How it is Reflected in the New Testament
Herbert Fletcher University
MCAL-614 Ib: Church Growth and Church Planting
The dramatization and object lesson witnessing approach was extremely dominant in the Old Testament. This witnessing approach that was present in the ministry of Hosea, Jeremiah, Elisha and especially Ezekiel the priest-prophet did not vanish with the passing of the Old Testament era.
According to Braudis (2012) Object lessons use something familiar and known to introduce something less familiar or unknown or to further reinforce something that is already familiar. Using simple illustrations and object lessons will increase people understanding of Bible truths better than a factual word explanation would.
In the New Testament dispensation, the dramatization and Object lesson witnessing approach is demonstrated through the use of parables and allegories. It has been said that a parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Blank, ( 2001) states, parable is derived from the Greek word pronounced parabole, meaning a likeness or comparison. A parable is a method of teaching using a comparison between two things.
Parables were a heavily utilized form of teaching and instruction in the Jewish economy. In His ministry, Jesus commonly employed the use of parables to illustrate and illuminate profound truths. SDA Commentary 1980, points out, the parables of our Lord were usually based on common experiences of everyday life familiar to His hearers, and often on specific incidents that had recently occurred. On parable on a recently occurred incident was that of the Good Samaritan. (White, n.d.) says, this was no imaginary scene, but an actual occurrence, which was known to be exactly as represented.
SDA Commentary, (1980) indicates that in using parables Jesus; (1) aroused interest, attention, and inquiry, (2) imparted unwanted truth without arousing prejudice, (3) evaded the spies who pursued Him relentlessly, (4) created in the minds of His hearers lasting impressions that would be renewed and intensified when the scene presented in the parables again came to mind or to view, (5) restored nature as an avenue for knowing God.
On the other hand, the dictionary describes an allegory as the representation of abstract ideas or principles by characters, figures, or events in narrative, dramatic, or pictorial form (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition).
The apostle Paul using an allegory states, Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers… (II Cor. 6:14) Walters, (1957) says, in this case the yoke represents unhappy unions of those who are saved with those who are unsaved in any service or work. Additionally, the Church is called the "body" of Christ in (I Cor. 12:27) and the New Jerusalem is compared to a bride. (Rev. 21:2).
(Stedman , 2009) advances the following interpretive principles can we draw from this biblical example of allegory; (1) Allegory is a bona-fide figure of speech used in the Bible. (2) It employs comparison and correspondence of words and ideas. (3) It is illustrative and explanatory of a specific line of truth. (4) It cannot be divorced from its local context or the historical narrative from which it is drawn. (5) It is comprised of a number of metaphorical expressions in which the meaning of one word is invested in another. (6) None of the figurative expressions are so obscure as to leave us guessing as to their import. (7) We can expect to learn something from their use that will be of profit applicable to life. Amidst the myriad of witnessing approaches, it is our settled conviction that dramatization and object lessons as presented in the New Testament can be a very effective model of witnessing in a contemporary setting.
Blank, W. (2001). Why Did Jesus Use Parables? Retrieved August 15, 2012 from
Braudis, B. (2010). Teaching Truth With Simplicity. Retrieved July 29, 2012 from http://www.busministry.com/teaching-simplicity-with-truth.html
Nichol, F. et al (1980). The Seventh-Day Adventist Bible Commentary. Washington: Review and Herald Publishing Association
Stedman, R. (2009). Allegories and Types: Basics of Bible Interpretation. Retrieved August 14,
2012 from http://www.raystedman.org/leadership/smith/ch9.html
Walters, W. (1957). Dictionary of Bible Types. Retrieved August 15, 2012 from http://www.raystedman.org/leadership/smith/ch9.html
White, E. G. (n.d.). The Desire of Ages: The Good Samaritan. Retrieved August 15, 2012 from http://www.whiteestate.org/books/da/da54.html
Why did Jesus teach in parables? Retrieved August 15, 2012 from http://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-parables.html