Stories with Intent: A Comprehensive Guide to the Parables of Jesus

Stories with Intent: A Comprehensive Guide to the Parables of Jesus

Stories with Intent: A Comprehensive Guide to the Parables of Jesus

Stories with Intent: A Comprehensive Guide to the Parables of Jesus


Stories with Intent offers pastors and students an accessible and comprehensive guide to Jesus' parables. Klyne Snodgrass explores in vivid detail the context in which these stories were told, the purpose they had in Jesus' message, and the ways they have been interpreted by the church and modern scholarship. While holding a consciously evangelical approach, Snodgrass deals throughout with a broad spectrum of opinions and interpretations.

He begins by surveying the primary issues in parables interpretation. Offering both a new, more functional classification system for Jesus' parables and guidelines for interpreting them, he provides an overview of other parables -- often neglected in the discussion -- from the Old Testament, Jewish writings, and the Greco-Roman world. The remaining chapters group the longer and more important parables of Jesus thematically and give a comprehensive treatment of each, including background and significance for today.


This is unapologetically and quite consciously a selfishly motivated book. This is what I want when preparing to teach or preach on the parables. Hopefully others will find useful what I have collected. This is not a devotional book or a book to be read through at one sitting. It is a resource book for the parables.

Are parables so complex that they require a comprehensive guide? I do believe that Jesus’ parables can be understood by average readers and without special helps and instructions. They are not jigsaw puzzles. Some are enigmatic — like the Unjust Steward — but many are clear and compelling or they would not have been loved as much as they are. At the same time, the parables were told in a complex context, one enlightened by numerous parallel texts, and they assume familiarity with an ancient culture. They involve questions dealing with a variety of subjects: ancient agricultural assumptions, wedding customs, relations of slaves and masters, and Judaism and its history, to name only the most obvious. the parables have been placed in a context of scrutiny by scholarship, again involving an array of subjects. Anyone who desires to understand the light offered by the first-century context and to follow the scholarly discussions needs a guidebook like this. Anyone who is going to preach or teach the parables should be fully informed about the world of the parables, the intent of their teller, and the discussions about them in modern literature. I have tried to convey the complexity of discussions by nt scholars because I feel people should be as fully informed as possible and because such discussions become a platform for reflection. I am well aware how easy it is to misrepresent someone, and if I have done so, I apologize in advance.

We live in a day when bibliographies can be electronically produced and updated easily, so I have chosen to list resources in the notes and to include a . . .

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