This volume presents a fresh look at the meaning of Jesus' parables for Christian living today through a collection of essays by some of the top contemporary biblical scholars.
The parables recorded in the Gospels are central for an understanding of Jesus and his ministry. Yet the parables are more than simple stories; they present a number of obstacles to contemporary readers hoping to fully grasp their meaning. In this volume, thirteen New Testament scholars provide the background necessary to understand the original context and meaning of Jesus’ parables as well as their modern applications, all in a manner easily accessible to general readers.
Contributions to this volume include:
“parables are intended to provoke, to challenge, and to elicit a concrete response to Jesus’ invitation to discipleship.” (Page 286)
“The message is not that God is a ‘rapacious capitalist’ (F. W. Beare, Matthew, 486), but that he is not satisfied with inaction. To play it safe and keep one’s slate clean is not enough. God looks for more than ‘a religion concerned only with not doing anything wrong’ (E. Schweizer, Matthew, 473). Discipleship in the kingdom of heaven is not a matter of safety but of risk, of losing life in order to gain it (cf. Matt 10:39; 16:25–26).” (Page 186)
“What the new approach has clearly observed about the parabolic genre is its affective dimension. Parables not only communicate information, they also disarm and persuade.” (Page 48)
“Now we move from the realm of animals and property as ways of talking about right priorities in the life of the kingdom to talk about people.” (Page 209)
“There are approximately ten parables in the Old Testament that loosely resemble those spoken by Jesus” (Page 54)
Clearly written, stimulating and challenging. The volume as a whole is to be strongly recommended and gives new insights into these fascinating stories. . . A welcome addition to the recent literature on the parables.
—The Expository Times