Jesus was a skilled storyteller and perceptive teacher who used parables from everyday life to effectively convey his message and meaning. Life in first-century Palestine was very different from our world today, and many traditional interpretations of Jesus' stories ignore this disparity and have often allowed anti-Semitism and misogyny to color their perspectives.
In this wise, entertaining, and educational book, Amy-Jill Levine offers a fresh, timely reinterpretation of Jesus' narratives. In Short Stories by Jesus, she analyzes these "problems with parables", taking us back in time to understand how their original Jewish audience understood them. Levine reveals the parables' connections to first-century economic and agricultural life, social customs and morality, Jewish scriptures, and Roman culture. With this revitalized understanding, she interprets these moving stories for a contemporary listener, showing how the parables are not just about Jesus, but are also about us - and when understood rightly, still challenge and provoke us 2,000 years later.
"As the text enlightens, it also emboldens critical application of Jesus's ancient stories to modern hearts and minds." (Publishers Weekly starred review)
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