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The Power of Parable: How Fiction by Jesus Became Fiction about Jesus [Paperback]

John Dominic Crossan
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 Feb 2013
In this perceptive and provocative new look at the Gospels, John Dominic Crossan begins by observing that the parabolic stories told by Jesus seem remarkably similar to the resurrection stories about Jesus. 'Were the latter intended as parables just as much as the former' he asks. Could it be that we have been reading parables, presuming them to be history, and misunderstanding both? In other words, could Jesus' use of parables have inspired the Gospel writers to create meaningful, metaphorical stories about Jesus to help them explain who he really was? 'A remarkable and important book for Christians and for all who seek to understand the Bible better. . .Crossan combines his customary literary and historical brilliance with fresh insights that illuminate not only the parables of Jesus but much of the Bible as a whole' Marcus J. Borg, author of Speaking Christian
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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The Power of Parable: How Fiction by Jesus Became Fiction about Jesus + The Greatest Prayer: Rediscovering the Revolutionary Message of the Lord's Prayer + Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography
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Product details

  • Paperback: 259 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Reprint edition (5 Feb 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061875708
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061875700
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.7 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 980,547 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Offers valuable and accessible insights into the intentions of the evangelists and the revolutionary content of the gospels.' --Publishers Weekly

'John Dominic Crossan has done it again . . . His innovative presentation of how Jesus told stories about God s kingdom and how the Gospel authors told stories about Jesus offers a brilliant new way of looking at parable and metaphor in the Gospels and in the life of Jesus of Nazareth.' --Marvin W. Meyer, Professor of Bible and Christian Studies

'A remarkable and important book for Christians and for all who seek to understand the Bible better . . . Crossan combines his customary literary and historical brilliance with fresh insights that illuminate not only the parables of Jesus but much of the Bible as a whole.' --Marcus J. Borg, Canon Theologian at Trinity Cathedral --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

John Dominic Crossan is Professor Emeritus at De Paul University. He is the author of several bestselling books, including The Historical Jesus (T&T Clark 1992) and The Greatest Prayer (SPCK 2011). --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book deserves Six Stars! 2 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book after seeing John Dominic Crossan in the television documentary, Saint Paul, with David Suchet. He was friendly and compelling and I needed to know more about his 'teaching'. I found this book on Amazon, and now within ten days of viewing the programme I am writing my very first book review - I simply cannot stress strongly enough how accessible Crossan is. He speaks our language, he gently and reassuringly brings the reader to a strong, safe refuge. I wish I had encountered him before now. Life is often unnecessarily problematic, but with a life guide to hand like Crossan, it all really seems not quite so difficult or so serious. Reading The Power of Parables is truly compelling and is written as if your very best friend or favourite elderly relative is eager to impart a message which at once instructs and also heals.

Thank you, John Dominic Crossan, for being such an inspiration, thank you for making me see the world in a much more positive light, and thank you for making me say Thank You about a dozen times a day since seeing your documentary.

I lost my faith around the age of about sixteen, now forty years later it has re-emerged, just as strong and as promising as it ever was, and it is totally down to Crossan's guidance and approachable personality. I cannot wait to read his other writings and have already ordered them.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Biblical Insight 25 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback
If you are one of those folks who feel that the Bible is the unmitigated word of God that is to be taken literally or else you're headed to hell, then read this review no further; this book will be of no interest to you. On the other hand, if you are seeking true insight into the Bible, and really want to learn about where it is culturally, historically, and theologically embedded, Crossan's book (along with his others) is simply fantastic. In this book specifically, the reader will gain perhaps unprecedented insight into an essential element of Jesus' ministry: his teaching via parable.
It's refreshing and fascinating to learn from Crossan's writing: He's done his homework, and just about all of his thinking springs from the text of the Bible itself. The reader gains important insight from a passionate believer in God, without the added baggage of a religious or personal agenda. I challenge any run-of-the-mill evangelical to do it better.
Those readers interested in similar Biblical scholarship and insight will also want to check out Marcus J. Borg's excellent writing. I'm so thankful to have found books like this; they are such an important departure from the brain-dead "Get saved!" and "Get right with God!" Read authors like Crossan and Borg. Learn, enjoy, and come to know God and the Bible in a truly better, deeper way!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 25 Jun 2013
By xrseyre
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is the best example I've seen in the field of scholarship laid out clearly, step by step, admitting any possible counterarguments and arriving at inescapable conclusions. Readable, accessible, compelling.
I'd give it six stars if another were available.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Worth persevering with. 9 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are some interesting ideas in the latter half of the book when Crossan is suggesting ways of understanding the stories about Jesus as parables. However the early part of the book discussing parables in general is more like a series of notes for a lecture than a fully developed argument. I certainly found it hard to read, but I am glad that I persevered.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The power of parable, by John Crossan 7 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having heard a great deal about John Crossan, I was pleased that this was chosen as the next title in our theological reading group. I have as yet only read the first half of this book. However I have found it rather repetitive and although there are interesting ideas about Old Testament and New Testament challenge parables, it has not moved me on in my thinking. I have been a trifle disappointed.
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