The Parables of Jesus the Galilean
Who do we meet in the stories Jesus told? In The Parables of Jesus the Galilean: Stories of a Social Prophet, a selection of the parables of Jesus is read using a social-scientific approach. The interest of the author is not the parables in their literary contexts, but rather the parables as Jesus told them in a first-century Jewish Galilean sociopolitical, religious, and economic setting. Therefore, this volume is part of the material turn in parable research and offers a reading of the parables that pays special attention to Mediterranean anthropology by stressing key first-century Mediterranean values. Where applicable, available papyri that may be relevant in understanding the parables of Jesus from a fresh perspective are used to assemble solid ancient comparanda for the practices and social realities that the parables presuppose. The picture of Jesus that emerges from these readings is that of a social prophet. The parables of Jesus, as symbols of social transformation, envisioned a transformed and alternative world. This world, for Jesus, was the kingdom of God. ""Despite a century and more of decrying allegorical interpretation of the parables, the practice is still pervasive in New Testament scholarship. But by taking seriously the cultural distance between our world and that of Jesus, and then mining the ancient papyri for the actual realities of people's lives, van Eck has produced a compelling, fresh, and truly realistic reading of the parables of Jesus."" --Richard Rohrbaugh, Paul S. Wright Professor Emeritus of Christian Studies, Lewis and Clark College; Author of 9 books, including Social Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels (co-authored with Bruce J. Malina), and The New Testament in Cross-Cultural Perspective ""In this collection of essays, the van Eck project--a social scientifically informed 'realistic reading' of the parables--is on full display. It represents a worthy and timely contribution to the long-standing and sometimes stagnant history of parable research."" --Zeba Crook, Professor of Religion, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada Ernest van Eck is Professor of New Testament Studies in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. He is the author of Galilee and Jerusalem in Mark's Story of Jesus (1995). In addition, he has published more than fifty academic articles and written contributions to several multivolume works.