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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary
a fiction destitute of truth. St. Paul exhorts Timothy and Titus to shun profane and Jewish fables, 1 Timothy 4:7; Titus 1:14; as having a tendency to seduce men from the truth. By these fables some understand the reveries of the Gnostics; but the fathers generally, and after them most of the modern commentators, interpret them of the vain traditions of the Jews; especially concerning meats, and other things, to be abstained from as unclean, which our Lord also styles "the doctrines of men,"
Matthew 15:9 . This sense of the passages is confirmed by their contexts. In another sense, the word is taken to signify an apologue, or instructive tale, intended to convey truth under the concealment of fiction; as Jotham's fable of the trees, Judges 9:7-15 , no doubt by far the oldest fable extant.
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Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Fable'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/wtd/f/fable.html. 1831-2.