The parables of Jesus are without a doubt the most intriguing and challenging teaching in the history of education. Over the past two thousand years they have elicited myriad upon myriad of written and spoken material. A basic Google search on the term “Parables of Jesus” returns over 1.1 millions results. Parables of Jesus (without quotes) returns over ten million. And, of course, countless monographs have been written on the parables, specifically and within the context of New Testament commentary.
So, an obvious question would be “Why another one?” The answer: Everyone who investigates the parables does so with a slightly different perspective. Such is the case with Douglas D. Webster’s The Parables: Jesus’s Friendly Subversive Speech. Webster holds a PhD, has had pastoral experience and currently is a professor of pastoral theology and preaching at Beeson Divinity School. This combined experience does afford him a singular perspective which he shares with his readers. The book is published by Kregel Academic.
Webster examines twenty-two of Jesus’s parables taken from Matthew and Luke. Each of his discussions presents some fresh material and unique thinking. Within each parable his conclusions are based on Matthew’s and Luke’s context not just the parable as a singular unit. One may or may not agree with everything that he has to say, however, your thought processes will be stimulated.
The major disappointment is the lack of a bibliography. One would like to know which scholars might be worth investigating in private study. (It is possible to gain a selected bibliography through the footnotes provided.) He reacts and relies frequently with Klyne R. Snodgrass and Robert Capon.
This volume is highly suited for preachers, teachers and students of the Bible. And a note for using this book: Read the parable first in a couple of translations, then dive into Webster’s analysis. The Parables is well worth having on the bookshelf.
Disclaimer: This volume was provided to me by Kregel Academic for a fair and honest review.