P-R/ parable - Reformation



“comparison”, in Greek. It is a narrative aiming at teaching a lesson through a story and its characters. Jesus very often speaks in parables. See The Prodigal Son, the Good Samaritan, Poor Lazarus.




Born in Tarsus, a Greek city in Asia Minor; he was a Jew, hence his Hebrew name of Saul, but he is a Roman citizen, hence his Roman name Paul. He is known by the Acts of the Apostles of his friend Luke and by the letters or Epistles he sent to the Christian communities. At first a persecutor of the Christians, he is present at Stephen’s martyrdom. But he is overthrown by a vision and becomes a convert on the way to Damascus. Then he keeps only the name of Paul and becomes the one who opens the gates of the early Church to the pagans. He is always associated with Peter.




The Latin translation of Aramaic képha “stone, rock”. It is the nickname given by Jesus to Simon.

Simon and his brother Andrew were fishermen on Lake Tiberias; they were the first men to follow Jesus. It is in his barque that Jesus stills the storm, and it is his catch of fish that is miraculous. Simon soon appears as the first of the apostles, hence the name Peter that Jesus gives to him. It is he who tries to walk on the water like his master; they are his feet that Jesus washes first. Peter tries to defend Jesus during his arrest but he abandons him at his trial. He plays a secondary role at the resurrection but has the leading part at the Pentecost. Peter and Paul are the main actors of the Church.




Roman procurator in Judea from 26 to 36 AD. He had his official residence in Caesare and went up to Jerusalem only on major feasts. He is one of the judges at Christ’s trial; he has him flogged and authorizes his execution by crucifixion.





“ewe”, in Hebrew. A shepherdess loved by Jacob, she has to leave her place to her sister Leah and wait a long time until she is in a position to marry him. The mother of several sons, she dies when giving birth to Benjamin.




“cow”, in Hebrew, which is not at all pejorative. A girl from the area and a relative of Abraham, she is designated by God to be Isaac’s wife during her encounter with Eliezer, Abraham’s servant (See her representation in The Samaritan Woman).

Isaac’s wife, she is the mother of twins, Esau and Jacob; she prefers the latter and favours him. (Jacob’s Blessing)

  « vache » en hébreu. ce qui n'est pas du tout péjoratif.   Jeune fille du pays et de la parenté d’Abraham, elle est désignée par Dieu pour être la  femme d’Isaac lors de sa rencontre avec Eliezer, le serviteur d’Abraham  (voir sa représentation dans La Samaritaine)



The Reformation (Protestant and Catholic)

The Protestant Reformation was led by Protestants such as Luther and Calvin at the beginning of the 16th century. The Protestants refuse all that is not explicitly written in the Bible and generally refuse any representation. In the Protestant Bible, images are therefore less frequent though a certain number of artists such as Cranach or Rembrandt do not hesitate to make some.


The Catholic Reformation is also called Counter-Reformation for it opposes the Protestant Church. It is the result of the Council of Trent (1545-1563). As far as images are concerned, religious art is put to the service of faith: suppression of legends and all that is judged indecorous, but development of religious representations.



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