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The Parables of Jesus (Jesus Library) [Paperback]

David Wenham
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

28 Aug 1989 Jesus Library
Part of "The Jesus Library" series, this book is a non-technical explanation of all the parables of Jesus in their first century social and religious context. They are seen as pictures of the "revolution of God" or the Kingdom of God, to use a more familiar terminology. Jesus is seen as a revolutionary in the radical sense that challenged the ideas and ideologies of his own day and which still challenge us today. The book concludes with appendices on the authenticity, interpretation and purpose of parables. The author also wrote "The Rediscovery of Jesus' Eschatological Discourse" and "Studies in the History of Gospel Traditions". This is his first book aimed at a general readership.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: IVP USA (28 Aug 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830812865
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830812868
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.7 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 250,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A breath of fresh air among theology books 12 Aug 2013
By aph
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Lovely book, easy to read yet theologically deep enough to satisfy the preacher/teacher looking for an in depth view of the Parables. Highly recommended.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
58 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful. Scriptural. Readable. Enlightening. 5 Jun 2005
By Jeffrey E Ellis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I prepared a series of Bible studies on the parables of Jesus and wanted supplemental material to add to my understanding and class lectures. Specifically, I was interested in Jewish traditions and cultural insights that would add color and clarity to the stories.

I purchased three books, including David Wenham's "The Parable of Jesus." I am not a Bible scholar and not particularly interested in theological debates over allegorical loose ends and old disputes over linguisitc fine points that other books were consumed with.

This book provided me exactly what I needed - clear, concise insights into the culture, traditions and context of the times. For example, in the Prodigal Son, Wenham pointed out that by asking his father for his inheritance while the father was still living, in the meaning of the legal traditions, the prodigal was actually implying that he wished his father dead.

In the parable of the Good Samritan, he observes that the road from "Jericho to Jerusalem" drops 2,500 feet along a treacherous and winding path; ideal for robbers and thieves to hang out. Further, he points out that "two denari" was enough money to pay for twenty-four nights at the inn.

These details helped me to put meat on the bones of the story and bring to life these precious parables. These are not earth-shattering biblical truths, but they were very helpful to me in making the topic interesting and relevant. Just like Wenham's book.
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource for Bible Study 14 Sep 2005
By Paul A. Zaffiro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am using this book as the text for a group bible study on the Parables of Jesus. This book is an excellent resource for teachers and students of the Bible. It provides a thorough basis for exegesis of each of the parables, grouping them logically and explaining them accurately. Wenham lets the historical and literary context drive his interpretations, avoiding the twin pitfalls of assuming the parables are either allegory or single point. Overall, a must-have for anyone who plans to seriously study the parables.
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great commentary on the parables 17 Oct 2001
By Adolf Yew - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book offers a straight forward discussion of the major parables of Christ. It never strays off from the main theme and launches into irrelevant and long-winded 'sermons'. If it's precise, on-the-dot infomation you are seeking, look no further - this book fits the bill!
All the parables are discussed individually, so there's no need to read the book in sequential order. Just dip straight into the parable that interest you!
A great reference book for those who has a basic acquaintance with the Gospels. Beginners can benefit from it also.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you can only purchase one commentary on the parables... 23 April 2006
By Michelle Van Loon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
...this is it!

I have read most of the commentaries currently available as I've written two books about the parables from a Biblically-faithful and creative perspective(Parablelife: Living the stories Jesus told in real time published by FaithWalk and available on amazon.com). Wenham's volume was far and away the most useful. He used the metaphor of revolution throughout this well-written, readable volume to help explain Jesus' use of the words "the Kingdom of Heaven". The book is organized in a creative way - the parables are grouped and discussed as they pertain to the metaphor of revolution.

Wenham's strength is in application, demonstrating both how and why these stories of Jesus can shape our lives. He is an able scholar, and his love of God's Word shows in his careful discussion of each parable. There is a short discussion about various historical and contemporary methods of interpretation at the back of the volume, along with several indexes that make the book even more user-friendly.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Revolution - the Kingdom of God 10 Jun 2010
By Alex S - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book and two others to preach a series of sermons on the Parables of Jesus. I especially appreciated the way that this particular book categorized the different parables in the context of the Revolution of Jesus - or the growth of the Kingdom of God.

By creating the headings and groupings, Wenham has created meaning of the parables simply by placing them within the grouping. For example, he places the lamp and the measure after the sower (where it appears in Mark and Luke) and attempts to understand this parable in light of the parable of the sower.

This is a very valid way of attempting to interpret the parables in their context, and I found much of what he had to say very helpful.

My favorite book, which I used as my primary resources was The Parables: Understanding the Stories Jesus Told. I found that it created a solid foundation of understanding, and it included the parables as told in each Gospel - a handy thing to have at my fingertips. However, I moved between both texts and would highly recommend this one as a resource as well.
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