Rating: 5 out of 5
I've always loved Jesus' parables, but throughout church history, not everyone has been in agreement with how they should be interpreted. In recent years, many theologians have rejected the idea of the parables as allegories, and instead argued for one main point for each parable. The rejection of allegory is understandable in light of many abuses by theologians of the past who have spiritualized every single element of a parable, pulling in ideas that are foreign to the plain reading of the text.
INTERPRETING THE PARABLES by Craig Blomberg explores the parables in detail, including the history of their interpretation and arguing for a return to recognizing the clear allegorical elements of the parables. In contrast to the one-point view of interpreting the parables, Blomberg makes the interesting suggestion that each of the characters in Jesus' parables represent a point Jesus is trying to make with the parable.
Part 1 is a lengthy exploration of the history interpretation and the approaches taken in interpreting the parables. Part 2 is the most valuable part of the book because Blomberg looks at the individual parables, drawing out their meaning according to the approach he argues for in Part 1. The final section looks at the Christological element of the parables.
The parables are my favorite genre of Scripture to study, and I enjoyed Blomberg's exploration of them. At 450 pages, INTERPRETING THE PARABLES is a thorough resource for anyone wanting to look deeper into the parables of Jesus.
I received this book for free for review from Intervarsity Press, and the opinions contained in this review are completely my own