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Poet and Peasant and Through Peasant Eyes: A Literary-Cultural Approach to the Parables in Luke (Combined edition) Paperback – May 9, 1983


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Poet and Peasant and Through Peasant Eyes: A Literary-Cultural Approach to the Parables in Luke (Combined edition) + Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels + Paul Through Mediterranean Eyes: Cultural Studies in 1 Corinthians
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 447 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; Combined edition (May 9, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802819478
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802819475
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Author and Lecturer in Middle Eastern New Testament Studies in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. Canon Theologian of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.

More About the Author

Kenneth E. Bailey is an author and lecturer in Middle Eastern New Testament studies. An ordained Presbyterian minister, he also serves as Canon Theologian of the Diocese of Pittsburgh of the Episcopal Church, USA. He holds graduate degrees in Arabic language and literature, and in systematic theology; his Th.D. is in New Testament. He spent forty years living and teaching New Testament in Egypt, Lebanon, Jerusalem and Cyprus, still holding the title of research professor (emeritus) of Middle Eastern New Testament studies at the Ecumenical Institute (Tantur), Jerusalem. Bailey has written many books in English and in Arabic, including The Cross and the Prodigal, Poet & Peasant, Through Peasant Eyes, Jacob & the Prodigal and Finding the Lost: Cultural Keys to Luke 15. He has also published many articles in The Princeton Seminary Bulletin, The Presbyterian Outlook, Asia Journal of Theology, Christianity Today, Expository Studies, Irish Biblical Studies, Novem Momentum, Theology Review and Temelios.

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book for informed bible students.
Anthony J. Smith
This is one of Dr. Ken Bailey's most accessible works in which he makes the wealth of his Biblical and cultural insights available for wide study.
John Watson
If you find the first book hard going, then read the second book first.
Jim Morcombe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 65 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
I have read several books on the parables, but this is the most enlightening, most preachable and most interesting there is. When you have done a great deal of reading in an area, you begin to doubt how much even a good book is going to help you learn. This book is like someone provided you with a whole new insight in to meaning of the parables. Scholarly yet down to earth! The genuis of the book is that he combines over thirty years of Biblical scholarship and living among the culture of the Middle East. You learn what it meant to the people who Jesus was teaching 2,000 years ago. The only negative for me was the poetry portion of the book, which will probably excite poetry scholars, but was a mystery to me. If you are a Biblical scholar or learner or teacher, it is a must read.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
Bailey shares cultural information from the Middle East to illuminate the parables of Luke. I read this book as a text for a course in Hermeneutics and am fully impressed with his understanding of the more "obscure" parables. Bailey also uses ancient translations of the New Testament as well as Western scholarship in his search for the true meaning of the texts. There are indeed two chices for understanding the Parables, one is to come at them from a Western mindset. The more logical approach is to observe the modern Middle East and assume that much remains largely unchanged from the first century. Bailey's observations allow one to think in a much different way, not only in regard to the parables, but to the entire bible.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By John Nordin on October 11, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bailey's unique contribution is that he sat down with a number of trusted Palestinian nomads and listened carefully to their take on the cultural issues behind various parables. He contends, with some justice, that this group of people have something in contact with the original culture that these parables arose in, and thus can help us understand the unstated assumptions and cultural implications of the texts. He invested many years in this and did it with care and precision. On top of that, he has explored the early translations of the New Testament into Syrac and related languages. The result is nothing short of stunning. His analysis of the puzzling parable of the unjust steward (Luke 16:1-13) is worth the price of admission alone, and even on the well-trod parable of the Good Samaritan, he has much valuable insight to share.

Bailey has also written other works including "Finding the Lost: Cultural Keys to Luke 15" that focus on the lost sheep, lost coin, lost son, parables of that chapter. All of his works I especially recommended.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Anthony J. Smith on March 3, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
* Bailey does an absolutely outstanding job of identifying thought patterns within the parables and paradigms for parable interpretation in the first book. For those familiar with Blomburg's work on Parables, Bailey is excellent complement. He recognizes a clearly allegorical element in the parables, but advises caution and responsibility (as does Blomburg). In the second, he highlights wonderful cultural clues for interpreting Lucan parables. Many of the social patterns he identifies are applicable to the rest of the NT as well. I do have a few criticisms though. 1) He borders on anachronism throughout the book by importing modern near-eastern cultural paradigms into the NT sitz im leben. Similarly, he gives excessive weight to rabbinical literature (see Horsely's Prophets, Bandits and Messiahs for a forthright critique of this methodology). 2) In my opinion, he falls under the trap of over estimating the import of social anthropology, at the expense of plain biblical evidence. As I write this review, no particular example is coming to mind, so feel free to disregard it. However, this is one thought that occurred to me throughout my reading of the book. An example of this type of mistake would be assuming that, because many Jewish sects practiced self-baptism, so did John and Jesus. This, while possible according to cultural evidence, fails to accord with the biblical evidence of men 'coming to John' to be baptized 'by him.' This is a small criticism, and criteria thinking will alert the reader to its arrival. I highly recommend this book for informed bible students.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By UNHAPPY BUYER on February 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
This text was recommended by my homiletics professor for preparation of parable text sermons. It clearly explains the cultural hermeneutic necessary to fully understand the meaning of the parables. I worked with the Parable of the 99 sheep and learned the importance of things like why he carried the sheep, the importance of joy restoring the sheep. Did he actually leave 99 sheep unprotected? Is the number of sheep important? It was extremely insightful on just this one parable and there are many, many more similar exegetical explanations for other parables. This is a MUST for any pastor's library.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jim Morcombe on May 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
One of the other reviews described this book as "The best and the worst". His main complaint was that the language was dry.
This is two books included in one volume. The first book is described by Bailey himself as being "more technical".
If you find the first book hard going, then read the second book first. By the time you have finished reading the second book you will have the motivation to read the first book - and it will mean more to you.
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