Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi

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Harper Collins, Sep 9, 2014 - Religion - 352 pages

The renowned biblical scholar, author of The Misunderstood Jew, and general editor for The Jewish Annotated New Testament interweaves history and spiritual analysis to explore Jesus’ most popular teaching parables, exposing their misinterpretations and making them lively and relevant for modern readers.

Jesus was a skilled storyteller and perceptive teacher who used parables from everyday life to effectively convey his message and meaning. Life in first-century Palestine was very different from our world today, and many traditional interpretations of Jesus’ stories ignore this disparity and have often allowed anti-Semitism and misogyny to color their perspectives.

In this wise, entertaining, and educational book, Amy-Jill Levine offers a fresh, timely reinterpretation of Jesus’ narratives. In Short Stories by Jesus, she analyzes these “problems with parables,” taking readers back in time to understand how their original Jewish audience understood them. Levine reveals the parables’ connections to first-century economic and agricultural life, social customs and morality, Jewish scriptures and Roman culture. With this revitalized understanding, she interprets these moving stories for the contemporary reader, showing how the parables are not just about Jesus, but are also about us—and when read rightly, still challenge and provoke us two thousand years later.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - HippieLunatic - LibraryThing

Helpful exploration of original audience interpretations and combatting stereotypical and harmful assumptions of a Jewish audience. Writing style is VERY conversational at times and distracted this reader from what was read for scholarly review. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Al-G - LibraryThing

Fair warning that this is not light reading - the writing is more academic in its approach. Dr. Levine is professor of Jewish Studies and professor of New Testament Studies at Vanderbilt Divinity ... Read full review

Contents

Dedication
The Power of Disturbing Stories
Acknowledgments

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About the author (2014)

AMY-JILL LEVINE is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies and Mary Jane Werthan Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School and Department of Jewish Studies. She has also taught at Swarthmore College, Cambridge University, and the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. She is the author of many books, including The Misunderstood Jew and Short Stories by Jesus, and she is the co-editor of the Jewish Annotated New Testament. 

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