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

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 ...

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

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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.

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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."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062098337
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/6/2012
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 234,076
  • File size: 661 KB

Meet the Author

John Dominic Crossan,professor emeritus at DePaul University, iswidely regarded as the foremost historicalJesus scholar of our time. He currentlyserves as the president of the Society of BiblicalLiterature. He is the author of severalbestselling books, including The HistoricalJesus; Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography; and,most recently, The Greatest Prayer. Crossanlives in Minneola, Florida.

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Table of Contents

Prologue Story and Metaphor 1

Part I Parables Told by Jesus

1 Riddle Parables 13

So That They May Not Understand

2 Example Parables 29

Go and Do-or Don't Do-Likewise

3 Challenge Parables: Part I 45

Down from Jerusalem to Jericho

4 Challenge Parables: Part II 65

The Word Against the Word

5 Challenge Parables: Part III 89

Let Anyone with Ears to Hear Listen!

6 The Kingdom of God 113

The Challenge of Collaboration

The Lure of Parabolic History 141

Caesar at the Rubicon

Part II Parables Told about Jesus

7 A Hymn for the Nameless 157

The Parable Gospel according to Mark

8 Rhetorical Violence 177

The Parable Gospel according to Matthew

9 Rome as the New Jerusalem 197

The Parable Gospel according to Luke-Acts

10 The Visionary Dream of God 219

The Parable Gospel according to John

Epilogue History and Parable 243

Scripture Index 253

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 15, 2013

    Great Book by Leading Author

    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!

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  • Posted April 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I recommend any work by John Crossan. He is a lucid writer but h

    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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    Posted May 15, 2012

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    Posted April 25, 2012

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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