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

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HarperCollins, Mar 6, 2012 - Religion - 272 pages
5 Reviews

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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Sullywriter - LibraryThing

The renowned biblical scholar offers a literary and historical reconsideration of the parables of Jesus and considers the gospels as parables about Jesus. Fascinating, thoughtful, insightful, and provocative scholarship. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nbmars - LibraryThing

John Dominic Crossan, a former Catholic priest and perhaps the most respected living scholar of early Christianity, has written at least nine books about Jesus from the perspective of an historian ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

John Dominic Crossan, professor emeritus at DePaul University, is widely regarded as the foremost historical Jesus scholar of our time. He currently serves as the president of the Society of Biblical Literature. He is the author of several bestselling books, including The Historical Jesus; Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography; and, most recently, The Greatest Prayer. Crossan lives in Minneola, Florida.

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