A PARABLE is a short tale that illustrates universal truth, one of the simplest narratives. It sketches a setting, describes an action, and shows the results. It often involves a character facing a moral dilemma, or making a questionable decision and then suffering the consequences.
Though the meaning of a parable is often explicitly stated, the meaning is not usually intended to be hidden or secret but on the contrary quite straightforward and obvious.
Parables differ from a fable in that fables use animals, plants, inanimate objects and forces of nature as characters, while parables generally feature human characters. It is a type of analogy.
Some scholars of the Canonical gospels and the New Testament apply the term "parable" only to the parables of Jesus, though that is not a common restriction of the term. Parables such as "The Prodigal Son" are central to Jesus' teaching method in both the canonical narratives and the apocrypha.
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