Interpreting the Parables

Interpreting the Parables October 21, 2021

Interpreting the Parables is a book by Craig L. Blomberg.

IVP graciously sent me a copy to review.

Blomberg begins the book by discussing the previous scholarly consensus in interpreting the parables along with the sizeable minority report, newest developments, methods and controversies in interpretation, form criticism, redaction criticism, new literary and hermeneutical methods.

You know, all the arcane stuff that scholars like to talk about with one another when they’re not writing, reading, or watching television.

He then launches into a small batch of parables in the Gospels and riffs on various aspects of each. They are categorized under complex three point parables, simple three point parables, one and two point parables.

The book concludes with the theology of the parables.

This is a book for scholars, theologians, and academic readers. Those who teach on the parables and want to get an understanding of the academic side will benefit.

Here’s a description from the publisher followed by endorsements.

In the last century, more studies of the parables were produced than for any other section of comparable length in the Bible. The problem is that most Bible readers are unlikely ever to know of most of them. In this substantially new and expanded edition, Craig Blomberg surveys and evaluates contemporary critical approaches to the parables, challenging the prevailing consensus and making his own important new contribution to parable studies. Within proper definitions and boundaries, the author defends a limited allegorical approach. In support of this view of parable interpretation, Blomberg not only sets forth theoretical considerations but devotes attention to all the major parables, providing brief interpretations that highlight the insights to be gained from his distinctive method. Interpreting the Parables can be read with profit by scholars, students, pastors and educated laypeople.

“This book is highly recommended. . . . All serious teachers and expositors of the parables should profit from this book.”

— David L. Turner, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary

“This book is well written and meticulously researched, worth reading for its innumerable footnotes alone. It interacts with a wide range of literature of all shades.”

— David J. Graham, Glasgow Bible College

“It is good news when a good book on an important topic gets a new lease of life. Blomberg’s book is lucid, well-informed and reliable, and I warmly welcome this new updated edition.”

— David Wenham, Trinity College, Bristol

“This revised and expanded edition of Craig L. Blomberg?s Interpreting the Parables is more than an accessible and reliable guide to the history of parable interpretation and the exegetical methods that have been applied to the parables in recent research. Blomberg’s nuanced defense of allegory as a valid approach to parable interpretation is a worthwhile contribution to contemporary scholarship. His provocative contention that the parables of Jesus contain implicit Christological claims will be welcome to evangelical and other traditional Christian readers.”

— Mary Ann Beavis, Ph.D., professor of religion and culture, St. Thomas More College, Canada

“Craig Blomberg continues to swim strongly against the tide with his ‘minority position’ in parables studies. I think he makes as good a case as possible for his position that Jesus’ parables are allegories, and in the course of his exposition of the individual parables usually ensures that there are some new insights even for interpreters who disagree with him. His updated discussion of the history of parable research, and his attention to recent developments in parable theory, will be welcomed by everyone.”

— Stanley E. Porter, president, dean and professor of New Testament at McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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