The Power of Parable: How Fiction by Jesus Became Fiction about Jesusby John Dominic Crossan
In 1969, I was teaching at two seminaries in the Chicago area. One of my courses was on the parables by Jesus and the other was on the resurrection stories about Jesus. I had observed that the parabolic stories by Jesus seemed remarkably similar to the resurrection stories about Jesus. Were the latter intended as parables just as much as the former? Had we been
In 1969, I was teaching at two seminaries in the Chicago area. One of my courses was on the parables by Jesus and the other was on the resurrection stories about Jesus. I had observed that the parabolic stories by Jesus seemed remarkably similar to the resurrection stories about Jesus. Were the latter intended as parables just as much as the former? Had we been reading parable, presuming history, and misunderstanding both?
from The Power of Parable
So begins the quest of renowned Jesus scholar John Dominic Crossan as he unlocks the true meanings and purposes of parable in the Bible so that modern Christians can respond genuinely to Jesus's call to fully participate in the kingdom of God. In The Power of Parable, Crossan examines Jesus's parables and identifies what he calls the "challenge parable" as Jesus's chosen teaching tool for gently urging his followers to probe, question, and debate the ideological absolutes of religious faith and the presuppositions of social, political, and economic traditions.
Moving from parables by Jesus to parables about Jesus, Crossan then presents the four gospels as "megaparables." By revealing how the gospels are not reflections of the actual biography of Jesus but rather (mis)interpretations by the gospel writers themselves, Crossan reaffirms the power of parables to challenge and enable us to co-create with God a world of justice, love, and peace.
- HarperCollins Publishers
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Meet the Author
John Dominic Crossan, professor emeritus at DePaul University, is widely regarded as the foremost historical Jesus scholar of our time. He is the author of several bestselling books, including The Historical Jesus and Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography. He lives in Minneola, Florida.
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Dominic Crossan is one of the leading authors in the Historical Jesus movement. He knows his subject well and presents it in a lively fashion. This book will give you a fresh understanding of the Parables of Jesus that you studied as a child. A great book!
I recommend any work by John Crossan. He is a lucid writer but he is also subtle. I find rereading his books slowly after a quick review is helpful. This work leaves some questions open for me—I am never quite certain what Dr. Crossan means but he does turn focus from some quite outdated thought such as existential readings of the New Testament to fertile new ground that was first introduced in Germany about a 100 years ago. This is a rewarding book.