Biblical Tropes, Symbols, and Themes in the New Testament
1. Lost lambs
2. Prodigal son (grace & forgiveness) “rescued from hopelessness”
3. Hands & feet
4. Clay in His Hands
6. Forgiveness & grace
7. Death to self
8. Parable of Talents
9. Washing feet
10. Material owns us (loosely–ie mammon as well as dust to dust)
11. Walk out in faith
12. Spiritual core of life
13. Leaders serve
14. Loving neighbors
15. Loving the poor. Serving the poor.
16. Compassion & empathy.
17. Trust Him.
18. God the Father.
19. Where is our real home?
20. Camel through the eye of a needle
21. Path (Journey/Story/Direction/Marching orders)
22. Vision/Revealing (Saul/Paul moment) (Perspective?)
23. White/Dark metaphors
24. Upward (Earth vs. heavens)
25. Pushing forward/Progress
26. Scales on their eyes (misperception)
27. David & Goliath
29. The experience of age.
30. The eyes of children
31. He’s big and we’re small (infinite God)
33. Role of time
37. Joy vs. Happiness (need more research)
38. Death of inaction & the middle ground (fence sitting)
39. History marches to His beat
40. Emotional life & inner struggle
41. Our DNA/Our modus operondi
42. The word
44. Freedom & responsibility
46. Fruits of the spirit. Love.
47. Word vs. deed
48. Energy (??? contagious emotions)
50. Identity (see also mind)
51. dreams (???)
52. Sin leads to death
54. emotional yearning
58. reality vs. illusion (deception)
59. without wax (indirect reference)
60. Galatians opening (diversity, justice…)
65. Least of these/most disadvantages (caring for)
66. spiritual disciplines/silence/soliutude
67. financial management/stewardship
69. Father, Author, Creator
71. Limits of Human Control
73. patience (but action isn’t antithetical to patience)
75. Soul, sacredness, & holy.
76. seeking & finding.
77. Open hearts
79. God as a multiplier (economy of God–not scarcity). Loves & fishes.
80. Boat as a metaphor for life (I think so)
81. Clean/purity (sanctity)
83. Character, Conviction, & Commitment
84. Healthy eating/living
86. Interdependence of our inner life
87. New seasons (ie raise the bar or Robert Frost poem)
88. Indict of legalism & pharisees. (washing the outside, but not the inside)
89. Working together/being part of a team
90. Hope/not abandoned & not alone
91. Dignity of work
92. Farming, planting, & tree metaphors
93. Purpose in everything including pain & suffering.
94. changing the world or making a difference (what that means…)
95. Gratitude (appreciation)
97. Joy of Giving (blessings to others)
98. Good samaritan
99. His Light. Letting His light shine.
100. Spreading the light. Spreading the message. (missions here and abroad. Daily life as mission)
101. Greatest gift. (I don’t think directly–this is more an amalgam)
102. Habits & Patterns
105. Cycle of life
106. God working through us
107. Our hearts (as a vessel & conduit)
108. What it means to live. What it means to live a meaningful life. (Life in all its fullness)
109. Life vs. death. (although risk may be more appropriate for commitment, determination, diligence, suffering, etc..)
111. Eternal life/Life saving transformation/life changing
112. In his name. His ambassadors
113. Inspiration/Heros (kind of a repeat)
114. Scarcity of time. Life & death.
115. volunteering. taking care of others. (only thing they receive….filled with love). through you. [this one is a bit scrambled, I borrowed it from Samaritans Purse]
116. Church songs (themes, quotes, etc..)
117. Psalms & proverbs
118. Not fearing.
120. Even in the midst of storm.
121. And you will know them by their…
122. Dessert vs. oasis (?) water & fountain
124. Strength & weakness
125. Anything through Christ who strengthens me.
126. What real treasure is.
127. Lifting up…
128. Intervening in the midst of darkness
129. Breaking the chains/Freedom from sin (“release a child from poverty” CI)
130. In Jesus name…
131. God is bigger than our problems & sins.
132. Opportunity vs. Dead end (loosely)
133. Jesus’ role & relationship with the Father (as communication conduit & advocate)
134. Jesus as a radical/upside down kingdom/movement leader
• Typical story elements: conflict, desire,
• Poetic & rhetorically powerful
• Nested narrative
* Clearly I’ve mixed up tropes and themes…..some fall in both categories and some only fall in one.
** It would be interesting to do a quantitative study of the tropes & themes used.