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Interpreting the Parables Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 334 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic (January 24, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830812717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830812714
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #404,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Interpreting the Parables will appeal to theological students as what will, I suspect, become the standard evangelical textbook on the subject . . . much superior to its rivals." (I. Howard Marshall, University of Aberdeen)

More About the Author

Craig L. Blomberg is distinguished professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He is the author, co-author or co-editor of fifteen books and more than eighty articles in journals or multi-author works. A recurring topic of interest in his writings is the historical reliability of the Scriptures. Craig and his wife Fran have two daughters and reside in Centennial, Colorado.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a must read if you ever want to dig deep into the parables in scripture. Although it may have been written for students in theology, I find the reading to be challenging and fruitful as I get immersed in its intensive analyses and extensive citations from other bible scholars. I consider this one of several classic references in preparation for a Sunday School lecture series on "Parables for the People". After you digest this book slowly, you will be assured that teaching and understanding the parables can be a profound experience in pleasing God.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By David C. Leaumont on June 11, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The title of this book would suggest that the focus was a direct study of the parables. That is true for the last 155 of 327 pages (a little less than half.) The first half of the book discusses hermeneutics.

Considering the implication of the title, I will begin with Blomberg's direct study of the parables of Christ. Dr. Blomberg discusses 40 parables directly in his discussion. Of these, he splits them into 4 categories: Simple 3-Point Parables, Complex 3-Point Parables, Two-Point Parables and One-Point Parables, with the last two being discussed together in one chapter. His view is different from most modern conservative theologians who teach the parable is a metaphorical story intended to teach one precept. He argues that even the most conservative scholars cannot avoid some amount of allegorizing of the parables, and study should include a very limited amount of allegory. His discussion of each parable is interesting, and not allegorical to the point of eisegesis. He does not adhere strictly to the rule that allegorical meaning must be implied in the text from other Scripture, but he does not go overboard in his figurative interpretations. Some of his categorical evidence for multiple-point parables is simply a restating of a previously mentioned precept. Each section describing the parable has an italicized section that summarizes his interpreted teaching points that are to be gleaned from the Scriptural passage.

Over half of the book is a discussion of hermeneutics (study of the methods of interpreting Scripture.) His method is not liberal, but is less conservative than most modern evangelicals are. He begins with a discussion over the debate between two competing ways of interpreting parables in: Parable vs. Allegory and Parable as Allegory.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Gunia VINE VOICE on June 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
Craig Blomberg is a professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary and has authored other books on the Gospels including "The Historical Reliability of the Gospels" and "Preaching the Parables." This book, "Interpreting the Parables" is an attempt to a) first trace the history of parable interpretation through the centuries and b) then provide an analysis of several New Testament parables. The book closes with a chapter examining the theology of the parables. Like a sandwich, the meat of this book is in the middle; the best part (by far) is the parable analysis while the less appetizing parts are the interpretive history and the chapter on the parables' theology.

The first half of "Interpreting the Parables" examines how others have interpreted the parables; it examines the various competing hermeneutical approaches to these highly debated sections of Scripture. Beginning with the Church Fathers' allegorization attempts (where every little detail has some theological significance), Blomberg examines Form Criticism (which looks for oral sources behind the text as we have it), Redaction Criticism (which assumes that an editor wove together various independent works and seeks to determine how he did it), and other lesser, still-emerging hermeneutical methods. For each, Blomberg gives a brief history of the interpretive method and points out some of its strengths and weaknesses. This reader didn't find this first part of the book very helpful. While it does point out contribution each interpretive method has made to New Testament scholarship as well as fallacies associated with each method, these discussion did not increase my overall understanding of the parables.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kaydie Dell on November 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
I borrowed this book. It is thoughtful, makes the material interesting. Seems meant for undergraduate or even graduate level study. First half of study could be skipped if you are not into the theoretical. Go straight to the second half if you want to focus on the parable commentary.

I am buying my own copy because this is a valuable study resource.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jason Chamberlain VINE VOICE on January 9, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In a scholarly world infected with so much liberalism, Blomberg is a bonafide evangelical trying to help Christians understand the parables. I had to read part one and chapter nine of this for a class on the parables. I appreciated his way of bringing forth the issues surrounding proper handling of the parables. However, I'm not sure that this is the best reference for understanding the issues surrounding form and redaction criticism.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steve Jackson on September 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
In 1899, the German scholar Adolf Julicher published his two volume work on the parables entitled DIE GLEICHNISREDEN JESU. In this work, which has never been translated into English, Julicher set the stage for subsequent interpretation of Jesus' parables. First, parables are not allegories. Second, a parable makes one and only one main point.

Part of Julicher's rationale was to reject the allegorizing of the past, in which every character in a parable represented something else. Julicher was also a theological liberal who wanted to portray Jesus as a simple Jewish teacher whose message was in line with the teaching of his day.

Noted evangelical New Testament scholar Craig Blomberg rightly takes aim at the two presuppositions of Julicher's method. While conceding that the wild allegorizing of the past must be rejected, Blomberg persuasively shows that parables often make more than one point. Indeed, Jesus himself portrayed his parables at times as allegories, for example the Parable of the Sower in Mark 4.

This book discusses all the parables of Jesus, reviews the history of interpretation, and surveys contemporary literary theory as it applies to the parables.
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