This single volume gathers Robert Farrar Capon’s widely praised trilogy on Jesus’ parables—The Parables of the Kingdom, The Parables of Grace, and The Parables of Judgment. These studies offer a fresh look at all of Jesus’ parables, treated according to their major themes. Capon admirably bridges the gap between the biblical world and the modern-day world, making clear both the original meaning of the parables and their continuing relevance today.
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Want similar titles? Check out Eerdmans Gospel Studies Collection (19 vols.) for more!
“The idea of the catholicity of the kingdom—the insistence that it is at work everywhere, always, and for all, rather than in some places, at some times, and for some people—is an integral part of Jesus’ teaching from start to finish.” (Page 64)
“‘Well,’ he seems to say, ‘since they’ve pretty well misunderstood me so far, maybe I should capitalize on that. Maybe I should start thinking up examples of how profoundly the true messianic kingdom differs from their expectations. They think the kingdom will be a parochial, visible proposition—a militarily established theocratic state that will simply be handed to them at some future date. Hm. What if I were to stand every one of those ideas on its head? What if I were to come up with some parables that said the kingdom was catholic, mysterious, already present in their midst, and aggressively demanding their response? Let me see.…’” (Page 56)
“With Jesus, however, the device of parabolic utterance is used not to explain things to people’s satisfaction but to call attention to the unsatisfactoriness of all their previous explanations and understandings.” (Page 5)
“Haven’t we conducted far too many missions on the assumption that we were ‘bringing Jesus’ to the heathen, when in fact all we had to bring was the Good News of what the Word—who was already there—had done for them?” (Page 61)
“Not only is God going to take a dim view of all their high scores in the behaving and believing competition; he is, in fact, going to bestow the gold medal on an out-and-out crook who just waltzes into the temple, stares at his shoelaces, and does nothing more than admit as much.” (Page 6)
If you think that you have seen and heard everything there is to see and hear in Jesus’ parables of judgment, then you haven’t looked or listened with Capon. Anyone who cares about Scripture will be edified through his interpretative work.
—William Willimon, professor of the practice of Christian ministry, Duke Divinity School
Capon releases the parables out of their right-handed prison and frees them into the land of left-handed mystery where they belong. He reminds us that these parables are not theological propositions calling for analysis or requiring systems of thought. They are pictures, images, poetry—left-handed communication calling for faith and demanding obedience. Capon’s writing is of enormous importance for those who dare to journey into faith as mystery and trust.
—Robert Webber, former president, The Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies
Capon’s attempt to reframe the parables, and to move the reader away from the familiar ways of hearing them, offers much food for thought and reflection, and opens the reader to seeing Jesus’ message and work from a new perspective . . . Gripping and entertaining.
—The Living Church