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by Arland J. Hultgren

eBook The Parables of Jesus: A Commentary (The Bible in Its World) download ISBN: 0802844758
Author: Arland J. Hultgren
Publisher: Eerdmans Pub Co; First Edition edition (July 1, 2000)
Language: English
Pages: 522
ePub: 1266 kb
Fb2: 1799 kb
Rating: 4.2
Other formats: lit mbr mobi lrf
Category: Christian Books
Subcategory: Bible Study and Reference

At the beginning of his introductory chapter, Hultgren wrote, & things are generally known about Jesus of Nazareth that are beyond historical doubt, and they are known around the world by Christians and non-Christians alike. The one is that Jesus was crucified in the first century of the Common Era.

At the beginning of his introductory chapter, Hultgren wrote, & things are generally known about Jesus of Nazareth that are beyond historical doubt, and they are known around the world by Christians and non-Christians alike.

The parables of Jesus make up a crucial part of the Bible. A parable is a tale about a simple, common subject to illustrate a deeper, valuable moral lesson. The source definition of the word parable means a placement side by side for the purpose of comparison.

Deuteronomy 24:14-15 Revised English Bible. This parable stresses God's unmerited grace, rather than any sense of "earning" God's favour. In this way it resembles the Parable of the Prodigal So. .The parable has often been interpreted to mean that even those who are converted late in life earn equal rewards along with those converted early. Ruskin does not discuss the religious meaning of the parable but rather its social and economic implications. Life of Jesus in the New Testament.

Arland J. Hultgren is Asher O. and Carrie Nasby Professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota

Arland J. Paul, Minnesota.

What others are saying. Christian Mythology: Revelations of Pagan Origins: Reveals how Christian mythology has more to do with long-standing pagan traditions than the Bible BR BR. Discover ideas about Parables Of Jesus.

This inaugural volume in the Bible in Its World series offers a comprehensive commentary on the parables of Jesus. Arland Hultgren’s outstanding work features fresh translations of the parables in the Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of Thomas, followed by interpretive notes and commentary on the theological meaning and significance of each parable for readers today.

After an introductory chapter on the nature of parables and their interpretation, Hultgren studies the thirty-eight parables of Jesus thematically, exploring in turn “parables of the revelation of God,” “parables of exemplary behavior,” “parables of wisdom,” “parables of life before God,” “parables of final judgment,” “allegorical parables,” and “parables of the kingdom.” He also discusses how the three evangelists used the parables within the literary framework and theological interests of their Gospels. The book ends with a close look at the parables of Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas.

Distinctive in the field for its scope of coverage and its goal of addressing the widest possible audience, this volume will be a valuable study resource for classrooms, churches, and general readers.

Comments: (7)
Hutlgren is not only an observant and thoughtful scholar, but has great insight about the Greek, the historical context, and the original intent. The context of the parables within the specific Gospel witness is not lost on him either, as he keeps in mind the agenda of each evangelist. It is an amazing resource for sermons, theological papers, and even your own edification. I highly recommend this!
Brick my own
Hultgren's work on the parables is nothing short of flawed genius. Fortunately, much of his brilliant exegesis and exposition of the content of the parables is far superior to and overshadows the flawed dark side of some of his assumptions about the errant nature of the original biblical texts.

Two of Hultgren's outstanding contributions to the process of the interpretation of Jesus' parables are: 1) his argumentation that most of the parables are not allegorical except where self-defined as allegories by Jesus, and 2) when Jesus said "this thing is like the man who..." He did not mean to compare the thing to the single male character in the story but to the entire story as a whole and everything it taught. Taken as a pair, these two insights can prove to be revolutionary to anyone hoping to unwrap the meaning of the parables. Genius.

Dividing up the parables into six categories he treats them almost as genres. He even applies different rules of interpretation to them based on how he classifies them. These categories appear a bit confining on the parables, however, particularly to the group he refers to as "Parables of Exemplary Behavior." In fact, when one examines the parables with Hultgren's bias (that such parables are mere morality tales) one is likely to miss the real meaning of the parable. Such is the case with the Good Samaritan. Jesus told that parable to answer the question, "What must I do to inherit eternal life," and to illustrate why the inquirer was not going to Paradise, not to provide the world with a clever morality tale. Hultgren's bias helps him miss that point.

The dark side of Hultgren's work is his persistent assumption that some of the inspired gospel writers not only misunderstood Jesus' parables but also invented new ones and falsely claimed they came from Jesus (see pages 180, 213, and 301 for examples). Going further Hultgren even strips away and redacts biblical text to unearth what he feels is the original story of Simon's house visit to produce a new more "coherent story" than the one Luke told (see page 213). Finally, he feels that some of the Gnostic gospels reveal older versions of the parables than survive in the present New Testament. Such a view of an errant Scripture is not merely unhelpful and is predicated on assumption and guesswork, but breeds a lack of confidence in the reliability of Scripture.

All that said, when Hultgren simply focuses on actually interpreting the content of the parables (instead of presumptively trying to reassemble an alleged older Bible) his insights and conclusions are generally stellar and enlightening. There is great value in exploring Hultgren's expositions in this book. That said, instead of Hultgren I would more readily favor Blomberg's "Interpreting the Parables" or Longenecker's compilation "The Challenge of Jesus' Parables" with a special emphasis on France's essay.
Fairly good book; refers to the original Greek at times which is always useful. Some injected views peculiar to the author's personal beliefs which do not bear up under scrutiny by scripture alone.
This book is well written and includes most of the N.T. parables. It is great for interpretation and quick exegesis. Each parable is evaluated in its context, important Greek usages are given, and important text variants are discussed.
This is a fabulous book! It has been a great resource for this liturgical season where the gospel readings are FULL of parables!
a new read for me. excellent.
This book turned out to be too dry for me. I was looking for a more personal approach and ended up donating to my local library.
Arland Hultgren's book, `The Parables of Jesus: A Commentary', provides an interesting look at one of the key methods of the ministry of Jesus. At the beginning of his introductory chapter, Hultgren wrote, `Two things are generally known about Jesus of Nazareth that are beyond historical doubt, and they are known around the world by Christians and non-Christians alike. The one is that Jesus was crucified in the first century of the Common Era. The other is that he taught in parables.'
Parables are not unique to Jesus, or to Christianity, Hultgren concedes. However, there are key components of Jesus' parables that make them unique and long-lasting. Starting with a working definition of parables as `a figure of speech in which a comparison is made between God's kingdom, actions, or expectations and something in this world, real or imaginary', Hultgren then looks at the numbers and types of parables. There are two types of parables: narrative stories, and similitudes, parables that act as analogies in a more direct fashion.
Hultgren examines scholarly arguments for and against the uniqueness of Jesus' parables, concluding that the parables are distinctive on six bases:
1. Directness of address to their intended audience is present in all parables.
2. The parables are message-bearers in and of themselves - they don't rest on outside interpretations or tag-line morals
3. The parables are not used for argumentation and stand alone, presupposing little if any specific background knowledge.
4. They describe God in relationship and action, not in substance and attribute.
5. Many have a `surprise ending', or an unexpected twist.
6. Jesus' parables combine elements of wisdom tradition and eschatology elements, otherwise often seen as being at odds with each other.
Hultgren then examines the scholarship behind looking at the universal and the particular in parables. Despite the universal appeal and application parables are wont to have, Hultgren argues strongly that their particular placement in history as the composition of a Jewish man (Jesus) preserved by the Christian church over time has a central importance.
In Hultgren's examine of the interpretation of parables, he argues (via Adolf Julicher) that parables cannot be interpreted as pure allegories. He cites Cadoux, Dodd and Jeremias as looking at historical settings and seeking to go `behind the text' of parables, recognising the difficulties inherent in such an approach. Also referencing Jesus Seminar scholars and the likes of Kingsbury, Donahue, and Drury, Hultgren explores briefly the literary and contextual aspects of parable interpretation. Hultgren ultimately chooses a method of interpretation from within a decidedly Christian context, within the canon of scripture.
One minor point here - this approach is rather faulty at times, given that Hultgren draws in the references from the gospel of Thomas, not part of the official canon of scripture of the Church, at every point where there is overlap.
Following up from this discussion, the bulk of the text addresses the parables themselves. These are broken into the following categories:
- Parables of the Revelation of God
- Parables of Exemplary Behaviour
- Parables of Wisdom
- Parables of Life Before God
- Parables of Final Judgement
- Allegorical Parables
- Parables of the Kingdom
Each of these chapters draws in the appropriate parables, some familiar and some obscure. Some topics, such as parables of Exemplary Behaviour, only occur in the canonical gospel of Luke, as well as Thomas. Most categories, however, have representation in several if not all the synoptic gospels plus Thomas. The gospel of John has no parables.
The books concludes with three interesting sections. In looking at the Evangelists as interpreters, Hultgren examines the different aspects in each of Matthew, Mark and Luke in attitude, content and purpose. Each of the gospelers crafted the parables to fit the larger purposes of their gospels, and yet the parables remain somewhat immune to being forced into particular meanings and schemes.
Chapter Ten looks at the four parables unique to the gospel of Thomas. The gospel of Thomas has fourteen parables, ten of which have parallels in at least one synoptic gospel. The other four have no such parallels. Hultgren does a brief textual study of the gospel as a whole and its place in early Christian history, as well as modern controversies in its dating and composition. Hultgren points out that all four of the parables unique to Thomas have gnostic significance, as do many of the parallel parables.
Hultgren includes appendices, including the interesting study of what the gospellers themselves wrote as purposes of the parables, and a study of the Greek word `doulos' which could mean `servant' or `slave'. The blessing of any book, this book has a generous bibliography for further study, and several indexes.
Overall, Hultgren's analysis is comprehensive, and will serve the student or the pastor well in examining parables in a context of Christian community. Rich in scholarly references, this text is meant to be a part of a study, rather than the entirety of the study. Hultgren himself acknowledges that his primary method of interpretation and analysis is not the only possible one, nor the only appropriate one. However, it is a most useful one for purposes of preaching, teaching, personal devotion and study.