Research and Interpretation of the Parable of the Lost Sheep as Recorded in Luke 15:4-7

  • Conor McCormick Boston College
Keywords: Luke 15:4-7, Parable, Parable of the Lost Sheep, Interpretation, Zimmermann, Luke


This article will analyze the parable of the lost sheep in Luke 15:4-7. By employing Ruben Zimmerman’s definition of a parable, it will outline Luke 15:4-7 and show that by using literary, historical, and reader-oriented approaches, the parable (like all others) creates a field of meaning. This article engages with various parable scholars and argues for the need to include various perspectives in interpretation. After discussing the parable’s field of meaning, the final section of the analysis puts forth five possible interpretations of the parable. These interpretations include the author’s understanding of the parable, a systematic theological interpretation, a reader-oriented interpretation, a queer interpretation, and an anti-capitalist interpretation.