How Fiction by Jesus Became Fiction about Jesus
The world’s foremost Jesus scholar John Dominic Crossan shows us how the New Testament parables not only reveal what Jesus wanted to teach but also provide the key for explaining how the Gospel writers sought to explain Jesus to the world. In this meaningful exploration of the stories told by Jesus and the Gospel writers, Crossan combines the biblical expertise of his The Greatest Prayer with an historical and social analysis that harkens closely to his Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, creating an illuminating and nuanced exploration of the Scripture. (From Google Books)
In 1969, I was teaching at two seminaries in the Chicago area. One of my courses was on the parables by Jesus and the other was on the resurrection stories about Jesus. I had observed that the parabolic stories by Jesus seemed remarkably similar to the resurrection stories about Jesus.
Were the latter intended as parables just as much as the former? Had we been reading parable, presuming history, and misunderstanding both?
—from The Power of Parable
So begins the quest of renowned Jesus scholar John Dominic Crossan as he unlocks the true meanings and purposes of parable in the Bible so that modern Christians can respond genuinely to Jesus’s call to fully participate in the kingdom of God. In The Power of Parable, Crossan examines Jesus’s parables and identifies what he calls the “challenge parable” as Jesus’s chosen teaching tool for gently urging his followers to probe, question, and debate the ideological absolutes of religious faith and the presuppositions of social, political, and economic traditions.
Moving from parables by Jesus to parables about Jesus, Crossan then presents the four gospels as “megaparables.” By revealing how the gospels are not reflections of the actual biography of Jesus but rather (mis)interpretations by the gospel writers themselves, Crossan reaffirms the power of parables to challenge and enable us to co-create with God a world of justice, love, and peace.