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The Challenge of Jesus' Parables (McMaster New Testament Series) Paperback – March 3, 2000


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Product Details

  • Series: McMaster New Testament Studies
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; 1St Edition edition (March 3, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802846386
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802846389
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,311,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By InHisHand on October 11, 2012
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This is a compiled book of essays. To what should we liken Longenecker's volume? It is comparable to a weekend church seminar featuring thirteen learned New Testament scholars explaining the parables just to you. That is the feel of this book.

Per the title there are four challenges tackled: 1) to understand Jesus' original purpose, 2) to grasp the gospel writer's intent, 3) to learn the meaning of the parable, and 4) to wrestle with an appropriate response to the parable once it is understood.

Longenecker has divided the parables into four working categories for the purpose of organizing the essays. He asserts that Jesus had no predefined set of categories imposed on His parables, but for the purpose of study such divisions prove useful, if not artificial.

At the beginning of the book there are essays that explain the historical understanding of how to interpret parables and the cultural settings behind them. All the remaining sections go into some depth exploring individual parables and sets of parables with the goal of meeting the four challenges presented earlier.

In one excellent essay Longenecker explored whether today's preacher can generate new inventive parables and plot lines similar in nature to what Jesus did. His conclusion is highly instructive. He observed that a preacher can be a creative writer, but he cannot produce new Scripture and must always be willing to exposit what Jesus has previously presented. Moreover, Longenecker stated that to expand a story beyond its biblical text might be a valid literary task, "But it is no longer a study of Jesus' parable."

Perhaps the second best essay in the book was that of Richard France, "On Being Ready (Matthew 25:1-46).
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Excellent series of articles by first-class scholars. Covers all aspects of Jesus' parables. Wonderful intro to study of parables. Recommended highly!
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