Short Stories by Jesus

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9780061561030: Short Stories by Jesus

Renowned biblical scholar at Vanderbilt Divinity School, author of The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus, and general editor for The Jewish Annotated New Testament, Amy-Jill Levine reveals the "live and uncut" version of Jesus' most popular teaching tool, the parable, exposing their misinterpretations and making them come alive for today's reader. Jesus was a great storyteller, and his most effective teachings were communicated in parables. They were so effective because the parables were taken from everyday life. But everyday life in first-century Palestine was very different from today, and this has led to some unfortunate misunderstandings of the parables, involving anti-Semitism, misogyny, Christian triumphalism, or just plain bad thinking. After exposing these "problems with parables," Amy-Jill Levine takes the reader back in time to understand how the first (Jewish) hearers of the parables understood them: from their connection to first-century economy and agriculture, to their social customs and morality, to Jewish scriptures and Roman culture. With this revitalized understanding, Levine then interprets these moving stories for the contemporary reader, showing how the parables are not just about Jesus, but are also about us--and still as provocative and challenging as they were two thousand years ago.

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A professor of New Testament studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School, Levine has spent a lifetime exploring the profound connections and equally profound divisions between Christianity and Judaism and, perhaps more important, between Christians and Jews. --New York Times

About the Author:

Amy-Jill Levine is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies, and Professor of Jewish Studies at the Divinity School, College of Arts and Science, Graduate Department of Religion, and Program in Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN; she is also Affiliated Professor, Woolf Institute, Centre for the Study of Jewish-Christian Relations, Cambridge UK. Holding a B.A. from Smith College, M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University, and honorary doctorates from the University of Richmond, the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest, the University of South Carolina-Upstate, Drury University, and Christian Theological Seminary. Professor Levine has been awarded grants from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies.

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