RIP Kenneth Bailey

RIP Kenneth Bailey May 24, 2016

Via Joel Watts on Facebook, I learned of the passing away of Kenneth Bailey. Bailey grew up in the Middle East and then taught New Testament there, and learned a great deal from his students, insights which he shared with others in his writing and speaking. His work on the parables in Luke, as well as the Lukan infancy narrative, were particularly influential on me. His insights will be missed.

See my review of one of his books, my post on his contribution to our understanding of the parable of the two lost sons, my post about his Christmas play that he wrote, and my post on his impact on recent discussion of oral tradition and the Gospels, for more on his work and legacy right here on this blog.


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  • arcseconds

    The way he canvasses the opinions of other scholars even sounds a bit Talmud-like 🙂

    Is the interpretation that the prodigal son is wishing his father’s death generally accepted by scholars? I have heard this before, but I don’t have the familiarity with 1st-century parenting and inheritance practices to be able to judge, and when I heard it, it was just someone online repeating the claim without attribution, so for all I knew it was a piece of amateur speculation…

    • I think it has become quite widely accepted. And it certainly seems compelling to me on the basis of what we know of inheritance and families in Mediterranean cultures more generally.