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Interpreting the Parables (Second Edition)
by Craig L Blomberg
Publisher:Apollos imprint of IVP
Blomberg's book, Interpreting The Parables, is a learned yet accessible work of great value to the serious scholar and of interest to anyone curious about the teaching of Jesus. He has no hesitation in saying that he thinks it likely that the parables go back to the original words of Jesus which were passed on almost verbatim and points out that as well as being allegories these stories related to incidents in everyday life which might escape the twenty-first century reader because of different culture and traditions. He studies each parable in depth and by a series of diagrams as well as clear prose tells his readers how to access the full meanings of mercy, forgiveness and love of God which is shown clearly in the parables. He explains that we cannot grasp the horror, as the original listeners would do, when we read that the younger brother, in the parable of the prodigal son, asks for his inheritance, because to us it is a pragmatic request, to the original listeners he was wishing his father dead.
Blomberg does not flaunt his considerable scholarship and learning before his readers but gently teases out hidden meanings explaining in everyday language how easy it is for real meaning to be lost over time. He illustrates this quite startlingly by the use of a comparatively modern story, The Wizard of Oz. I wonder how many of us fully understand the meaning behind that simple story? Do we realise that it is a comment on social conditions in America at the beginning of the 20th century? If you want to know how to understand that story and the parables of Jesus you can do no better than buy Blomberg's book.
Reviewer: Wendy Lloyd (18/06/13)