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The Power of Parable: How Fiction by Jesus Became Fiction about Jesus
     

The Power of Parable: How Fiction by Jesus Became Fiction about Jesus

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by John Dominic Crossan
 

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In 1969, I was teaching at two seminaries inthe Chicago area. One of my courses wason the parables by Jesus and the other wason the resurrection stories about Jesus. I hadobserved that the parabolic stories by Jesusseemed remarkably similar to the resurrectionstories about Jesus. Were the latter intended asparables just as much as the former? Had webeen reading

Overview

In 1969, I was teaching at two seminaries inthe Chicago area. One of my courses wason the parables by Jesus and the other wason the resurrection stories about Jesus. I hadobserved that the parabolic stories by Jesusseemed remarkably similar to the resurrectionstories about Jesus. Were the latter intended asparables just as much as the former? Had webeen reading parable, presuming history, andmisunderstanding both?
—from The Power of Parable

So begins the quest of renowned Jesus scholarJohn Dominic Crossan as he unlocks the truemeanings and purposes of parable in the Bible sothat modern Christians can respond genuinely toJesus's call to fully participate in the kingdom ofGod. In The Power of Parable, Crossan examinesJesus's parables and identifies what he calls the"challenge parable" as Jesus's chosen teaching toolfor gently urging his followers to probe, question,and debate the ideological absolutes of religiousfaith and the presuppositions of social, political,and economic traditions.

Moving from parables by Jesus to parables aboutJesus, Crossan then presents the four gospels as"megaparables." By revealing how the gospels arenot reflections of the actual biography of Jesus butrather (mis)interpretations by the gospel writersthemselves, Crossan reaffirms the power of parablesto challenge and enable us to co-create withGod a world of justice, love, and peace.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
"Crossan’s exceptional clarity and methodical presentation combine to make this one of the best, most enthralling Bible-study courses many readers will ever take."
John Shelby Spong
“A refreshing and stunningly insightful treatment of the gospels as parables. In this book John Dominic Crossan has solidified his reputation as the greatest New Testament scholar of our generation.”
Marvin Meyer
“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.”
Amy-Jill Levine
“Moving from the parables of Israel’s Scriptures to the parables told by Jesus of Nazareth to the parables of his life recorded in the ancient Gospels, Crossan combines acute historical investigation with challenging theological observation. In so doing, he recovers the profundity, and the provocation, of the biblical tradition.”
Rev. David Felten & Rev. Jeff Procter-Murphy
“This book is like unto a virus, which a crafty leprechaun took, and infected our preferred operating systems with a Jesus O/S, that is incompatible with previous versions. Verily I say unto ye, Fortunate is the church if a little Crossan goes viral. It may leaveneth the whole lump.”
Marcus J. Borg
“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.”
Booklist (starred review)
“Crossan’s exceptional clarity and methodical presentation combine to make this one of the best, most enthralling Bible-study courses many readers will ever take.”
Reverend - David Felten & Jeff Procter-Murphy
"This book is like unto a virus, which a crafty leprechaun took, and infected our preferred operating systems with a Jesus O/S, that is incompatible with previous versions. Verily I say unto ye, Fortunate is the church if a little Crossan goes viral. It may leaveneth the whole lump."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062098337
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/06/2012
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
232,434
File size:
688 KB

What People are Saying About This

Amy-Jill Levine
“Moving from the parables of Israel’s Scriptures to the parables told by Jesus of Nazareth to the parables of his life recorded in the ancient Gospels, Crossan combines acute historical investigation with challenging theological observation. In so doing, he recovers the profundity, and the provocation, of the biblical tradition.”
Marcus J. Borg
“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.”
John Shelby Spong
“A refreshing and stunningly insightful treatment of the gospels as parables. In this book John Dominic Crossan has solidified his reputation as the greatest New Testament scholar of our generation.”
Marvin Meyer
“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.”
David Felten & Jeff Procter-Murphy
“This book is like unto a virus, which a crafty leprechaun took, and infected our preferred operating systems with a Jesus O/S, that is incompatible with previous versions. Verily I say unto ye, Fortunate is the church if a little Crossan goes viral. It may leaveneth the whole lump.”

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, How to Read the Bible and Still Be a Christian, God and Empire, Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, The Greatest Prayer, The Last Week, and The Power of Parable. He lives in Minneola, Florida.

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The Power of Parable: How Fiction by Jesus Became Fiction about Jesus 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
rtink More than 1 year ago
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!
TedMorgan More than 1 year ago
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.
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