Rabbi Looks At Jesus' Parables

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Intended to appeal to both Christians and Jews,A Rabbi Looks at Jesus' Parables is an introduction to the teachings of Jesus, and compares the similarities and differences in Jesus' thinking to other Jewish sources from first-century Palestine. Each chapter uncovers hidden messages within each of Jesus' parables, and discusses each parable within its first-century religious and historical context. The book attempts to build bridges of understanding between Christians and Jews by exploring the notion that we share a common history.

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Editorial Reviews

Stern (California State Univ., Fullerton) offers a worthy introduction to the study of Christianity from its beginnings as a Jewish-Christian sect. A rabbinic scholar, he illustrates the Jewish precedents underlying the parables by references to and quotations from the Hebrew prophets (e.g., Micah, Isaiah), the Hebrew Bible (e.g., Deuteronomy and Leviticus), and renowned rabbis such as Hillel and Eliezer. The author presents a parable, suggests the secret knowledge the parable conveys to believers, discusses how Jesus built on Jewish images, and considers how this plays out in each of the synoptic gospels. In somewhat more detail he looks at the primary figure (e.g., the Pharisee), the primary concept (e.g., the imminence of God's Kingdom), and the primary image (e.g., the fig tree). In each case he illustrates their role in the Jewish tradition. Throughout, Stern indicates the problems in the later Greek translation of the parables, which had been spoken by Jesus in Aramaic with Hebrew references at least a generation earlier. Ultimately, the outstanding issue that separated Jesus from the earlier prophets and his Jewish contemporaries was his teaching that access to God, and thereby salvation, was possible only through Jesus himself. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and general readers.
— M. F. Nefsky, emerita, University of Lethbridge
Journal of Ecumenial Studies
Stern's book is an excellent primer on the Jewishness of the parables. . . . This small volume is a helpful introdcution to topics that may confuse or confound non-Jews. Its simple style would lend itself for use in youth studies centered on comparative religious explorations.
Stone-Campbell Journal
The volume does provide a worthwhile resource as to the Jewish background of the parables and at times a Jewish hearing of the parables.
— Michael Moss
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742542716
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 302
  • Product dimensions: 0.63 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Frank Stern is an ordained rabbi and the Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Religion in American Life at California State University-Fullerton. He also lectures widely on Judaism, Comparative Religion, and Jewish-Christian Relations.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 The Search for Paradise Chapter 3 Jesus Teaches in his Hometown Synagogue Chapter 4 The Parable of the Sower Chapter 5 Jesus Teaches of the Wheat and the Weeds Chapter 6 Other Parables About The Kingdom of God Chapter 7 More Parables About the Kingdom of God Chapter 8 Parables About Servants and Workers Chapter 9 Parables About Lamps, Lights, Salt and Cities Chapter 10 Parables About Vineyards, Orchards and Fields Chapter 11 Parables Dealing with Sheep and Money Chapter 12 The Parable of a Rich Man Who Decided to Enjoy Himself Chapter 13 Parables About Dinners and Banquets Chapter 14 Parables About Fathers and Sons Chapter 15 Special People Chapter 16 The Parable of the Priest, The Levite, and the Samaritan Chapter 17 The Rich Man, the Beggar, and the Unclean Spirit Chapter 18 Two Parables in John Chapter 19 The Last Parables Chapter 20 Conclusions Chapter 21 The Secrets Jesus Taught Chapter 22 Bibliography Chapter 23 Index Chapter 24 About the Author

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