QUESTION: Do JW's believe that the story of the faithful and discreet slave is a parable?
ANSWER: Jesus only taught using parables or the correct term is illustrations
(Matthew 13:34) . . .All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds by illustrations. Indeed, without an illustration he would not speak to them;. . .
34 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:
Young's Literal Translation (YLT#
34 All these things spake Jesus in similes
Greek is literally parabole was his means of teaching or communicating an idea, a method of explaining by placing it beside another similar thing.
King James render it anglicized parable but as aq poor translation it fails to convey the full meaning in every instance.
For example, at Hebrews:
#Hebrews 9:9# . . .This very [tent] is an [illustration ]for the appointed time that is now here, and in keeping with it both gifts and sacrifices are offered. However, these are not able to make the [man] doing sacred service perfect as respects his conscience,
#Hebrews 11:19# . . .But he reckoned that God was able to raise him up even from the dead; and from there he did receive him also in an [illustrative] way.
Most translations find it necessary to resort to expressions other than “parable.
The very poor KJV:
Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
The reader comes away with FIGURE instead of illustration ]
Young's Literal Translation #YLT#
9 which [is] a simile
” In the first of these texts the tabernacle, or tent, used by Israel in the wilderness, is called by the apostle Paul “an illustration for the appointed time.” In the second text Abraham is described by the apostle as having received Isaac back from the dead “in an illustrative way”
1. a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth
So we see Jesus taught this way to see if people would ask him later what he meant,then he would explain the truth he was speaking about
34 But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.
Holman Christian Standard Bible #HCSB)
34 And He did not speak to them without a parable. Privately, however, He would explain everything to His own disciples.
#Mark 4:34) . . .Indeed, without an illustration he would not speak to them, but privately to his disciples he would explain all things.
So to answer your question :
"Do JW's believe that the story of the faithful and discreet slave is a parable? "
That is how he taught but the faithful and discreet slave was not said to the crowds but he was responding to his followers.
Christendoms believers hope that this is just a fictitious story with no meaning ,that there is no real slave ,that this meant nothing because they hope to be raptured to heaven,if this is a story with a real lesson and there is a real slave then obviously there is no rapture and the believers in a rapture will be destroyed forever and not be saved.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thanks, are you saying that when Jesus addressed just his disciples, exclusive of the crowd, that he did not speak parables?
No it was just an observation,but this one was in response to the end times.Its true some were fictitious like the Rich man who in hell wanted just a tip of water but all of them had a meaning to them.
As a shepard he wanted to make sure his sheep were fed when he was on earth he told Peter to feed his sheep how much more since he is in heaven would he be concerned of a feeding of his followers,this parable deals with a spiritual chef being worthy to feed meat to his followers.