Modern scholarship on the parables has long been preoccupied with asking what Jesus himself said and what he intended to accomplish with his parables. Ruben Zimmermann moves beyond that agenda to explore the dynamics of parabolic speech in all its rich complexity. Introductory chapters address the history of research and distinguish historical from literary and reader-oriented approaches, then set out a postmodern hermeneutic that analyzes narrative elements and context, maps the sociohistorical background, explores stock metaphors and symbols, and opens up contemporary horizons of interpretation. Subsequent chapters then focus on one parable from early Christian sources (Q, Mark, Matthew, Luke, John, and the Gospel of Thomas) to explore how parables function in each literary context. Over all reigns the principle that the meaning or theological "message" of a parable cannot be extracted from the parabolic form; thus the parables continue to invite hearers' and readers' involvement to the present day.
Methodische Neuansätze zum Verstehen urchristlicher Parabeltexte
Author: Ruben Zimmermann
Publisher: Mohr Siebrek Ek
English summary: Whereas previous methods of understanding Jesus' parables were strictly separated according to history, literature and the aesthetics of reception, the authors of this book attempt to look at the various approaches together from the perspective of hermeneutics. Although the individual contributors to the volume do represent different perspectives, the connection between the various approaches can be perceived in this collection of essays, which are based on papers presented while working on the Compendium of the Parables of Jesus (edited by R. Zimmermann, Gutersloh 2007) during the Conference on Parables in Bielefeld in October 2005 and February 2006. In their articles, the authors seek to establish a dialogue with American research on parables. German description: Gleichnisse sind Ratseltexte. Sie sind nicht klar und eindeutig, sondern setzen einen Prozess der Deutung in Gang, der je nach Perspektive unterschiedlich ausfallen kann. So gibt es nicht nur eine richtige Interpretation eines Gleichnisses, sondern vielmehr unterschiedliche Verstehensmoglichkeiten, die je und je neu gefunden werden mussen.In ihrer bewusst kalkulierten Deutungsoffenheit machen die Gleichnisse die Reflexion der Verstehensvoraussetzungen und -methoden unerlasslich, sie erfordern Hermeneutik. Der vorliegende Sammelband stellt sich dieser Herausforderung und dokumentiert dabei zugleich hermeneutische Weichenstellungen, die innerhalb des Kompendiums der Gleichnisse Jesu (hg. v. R. Zimmermann, 2007, Gutersloher Verlagshaus) leitend wurden.Im Einzelnen werden historische (z.B. sozialgeschichtliche), sprachwissenschaftliche (z.B. gattungstheoretische) sowie rezeptionsasthetische (z.B. semiotische) Ansatze der Gleichnisdeutung vorgestellt und diskutiert. Dabei wird immer wieder der Dialog mit der amerikanischen Gleichnisforschung gesucht. Neben der Divergenz der Verstehenswege sollen aber auch Schnittstellen und mogliche Verknupfungen unterschiedlicher Perspektiven im Horizont einer eintegrativen Gleichnishermeneutik' sichtbar werden.
Few New Testament topics have been discussed as often and as intensely as Q, the hypothesized second major source alongside the gospel of Mark for the gospels of Matthew and Luke, and the parables. And yet, no monograph to date has been devoted to considering the parables in Q. In addition to filling this gap in New Testament scholarship, Dieter T. Roth addresses the need to move scholarship on both Q and the parables forward along methodological and interpretive lines. Roth considers Q not as a text behind Matthew and Luke that needs to be reconstructed but rather as an intertext between Matthew and Luke that offered plots, characters, and images in parables that were taken up by Matthew and Luke and utilized in their own respective texts. In addition, Roth draws on recent parables research in his examination of the 27 parables in Q (two spoken by John the Baptist, one by the Centurion, and 24 by Jesus) in order to consider their purpose and function in this early Christian text.
Matthean Parables have often been read through the lens of their Synoptic parallels, which has, for instance, led to the claim that Matthew does not have a parable theory of its own. Peter Yaw Oppong-Kumi offers a careful and detailed analysis of the three parabolic compositions in the Gospel of Matthew. He presents a new approach to Matthew's parables and calls for a reading of the gospel that frees it from the dependency of its sources. Through meticulous study the author shows the interconnectedness of Matthew's parable compositions through their common theology and context. He offers some intriguing evidence of how certain theological thoughts of the Gospel influenced the composition of Matthean sets of parables and how, for instance, these theological thoughts explain the crucial change the author made to Mk 4:8 or the famous textual problem of the Parable of Two Sons. Peter Yaw Oppong-Kumi demonstrates how Matthew's parable compositions have been constructed as a narrative and rhetorical piece to respond to one important question of the gospel, namely who accepts or rejects the Gospel's protagonist and what are the ramifications of that.
In this book, which covers all of Jesus’ parables, award-winning author Gerhard Lohfink takes a closer look at the origins of each one—its shape, its realistic details, but most of all its original message and the situation into which it was once spoken. Jesus’ parables speak in bold images of the kingdom of God, making it present to us as they reveal something of the mystery of his own person. Lohfink also offers a review of some of the scholarship in this area—as this topic has sustained research on Jesus since the first telling of these stories—but not for the purposes of debate. His reflections interpret the forty parables and show how they speak of the coming of the reign of God, lead us to Jesus, and reveal the mystery of Jesus himself.
How did the Gospel of Mark come to exist? And how was the memory of Jesus shaped by the experiences of the earliest Christians? For centuries, biblical scholars examined texts as history, literature, theology, or even as story. Curiously absent, however, has been attention to processes of collective memory in the creation of biblical texts. Drawing on modern explorations of social memory, Sandra Huebenthal presents a model for reading biblical texts as collective memories. She demonstrates that the Gospel of Mark is a text evolving from collective narrative memory based on recollections of Jesus’s life and teachings. Huebenthal investigates the principles and structures of how groups remember and how their memory is structured and presented. In the case of Mark’s Gospel, this includes examining which image of Jesus, as well as which authorial self-image, this text as memory constructs. Reading Mark’s Gospel as a Text from Collective Memory serves less as a key to unlock questions about the historical Jesus and more as an examination of memory about him within a particular community, providing a new and important framework for interpreting the earliest canonical gospel in context.
Essays on the Study of Parables in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism
Author: Marcel Poorthuis
In Parables in Changing Contexts, new venues in the comparative study of parables are addressed by scholars of Judaism, New Testament, Buddhism and Islam. Essays cover parables in the synoptic Gospels, Rabbinic midrash, and parabolic tales and fables in the Babylonian Talmud.
Alan Kirk argues that memory theory, in its social, cultural, and cognitive dimensions, is able to provide a comprehensive account of the origins and history of the Jesus tradition, one capable of displacing the moribund form-critical model. He shows that memory research gives new leverage on a range of classic problems in gospels, historical Jesus, and Christian origins scholarship. This volume brings together 12 essays published between 2001 and 2016, newly revised for this edition and organized under the rubrics of: 'Memory and the Formation of the Jesus Tradition'; 'Memory and Manuscript'; 'Memory and Historical Jesus Research'; and 'Memory in 2nd Century Gospel Writing'. The introductory essay, written for this volume, argues that the old form critical model, in marginalizing memory, abandoned the one factor actually capable of accounting for the origins of the gospel tradition, its manifestation in oral and written media, and its historical trajectory.
In the cultural and social formations of the past, practices exist for the generation and integration of moments having and giving sense with the objective of strengthening the cultural and social cohesion. Such practices and processes have a constructive character, even if this is not always the intention of the actors themselves. As the production of sense is one of the central fields of action of cultural and political practice, the articles examine with an interdisciplinary perspective how, in different contexts, the construction of sense was organized and implemented as a cultural practice.
Formerly known by its subtitle “Internationale Zeitschriftenschau für Bibelwissenschaft und Grenzgebiete”, the International Review of Biblical Studies has served the scholarly community ever since its inception in the early 1950’s. Each annual volume includes approximately 2,000 abstracts and summaries of articles and books that deal with the Bible and related literature, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, Pseudepigrapha, Non-canonical gospels, and ancient Near Eastern writings. The abstracts – which may be in English, German, or French - are arranged thematically under headings such as e.g. “Genesis”, “Matthew”, “Greek language”, “text and textual criticism”, “exegetical methods and approaches”, “biblical theology”, “social and religious institutions”, “biblical personalities”, “history of Israel and early Judaism”, and so on. The articles and books that are abstracted and reviewed are collected annually by an international team of collaborators from over 300 of the most important periodicals and book series in the fields covered.
An Annotated Edition and Translation of the Parables in Mekhilta de Rabbi Yishmael and Mekhilta de Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai
Author: Lieve M. Teugels
Publisher: Mohr Siebeck
This edition of rabbinic parables (meshalim) in the two Mekhiltot, the tannaitic Midrashim to the book of Exodus (3rd century CE), has a double scholarly purpose. It offers a critical synoptic presentation and study of the textual witnesses of the parables, and a commentary on their meaning and function in their literary and historical context. Moreover, a new English translation of every parable will make the edition a useful tool for interested readers with less knowledge of Hebrew, or those merely looking for a quick reference. This edition, which intends to be the first in a series of editions of parables in all the tannaitic works, is an indispensable tool not only for scholars of Jewish texts, but also for students of the New Testament and early Christian literature, historians of religion in late Antiquity, and those interested in similar literary genres, such as fables.
In recent decades New Testament scholarship has developed an increasing interest in how the Gospel of John interacts with literary conventions of genre and form in the ancient Jewish and Greco-Roman context. The present volume brings together leading scholars in the field in order to discuss the status quaestionis and to identify new exegetical frontiers. In the Fourth Gospel, genres and forms serve as vehicles of ideological and theological meaning. The contributions to this volume aim at demonstrating how awareness of ancient and modern genre theories and practices advances our understanding of the Fourth Gospel, both in terms of the text as a whole (gospel, ancient biography, drama, romance, etc.) and in terms of the various literary tiles that contribute to the Gospel’s genre mosaic.
The annual Review of Biblical Literature presents a selection of reviews of the most recent books in biblical studies and related fields, including topical monographs, multi-author volumes, reference works, commentaries, and dictionaries. RBL reviews German, French, Italian, and English books and offers reviews in those languages. Features: Reviews of new books written by top scholars Topical divisions make research easy Indexes of authors and editors, reviewers, and publishers
A Commentary on the Gospel of Luke for the Liturgy, Catechism and Christian Spirituality
Author: Manfred Diefenbach
The practical commentary on Luke's Gospel is written for pastoral co-workers and for the faithful. It is a solid help for a better, deeper and more profound understanding of biblical teaching and it will help to preach the Good News more convincingly always and everywhere. The conception of this commentary follows the principle of "Lectio Divina" in five steps according to Pope Benedict XVI: to read the "Word of God", meditate/reflect on it, pray with it and internalize it, as well as live out the biblical message. In doing so, the Christian lifestyle will be inspired biblically. Der praxisorientierte Kommentar zum Lukasevangelium bietet Seelsorgern und engagierten Laien eine solide Handreichung für ein besseres, vertieftes Schriftverständnis und für eine glaubwürdige Verkündigung im Hier und Heute - in der Liturgie, Schule ... oder privat Zuhause. Der Aufbau des Kommentars folgt dem Prinzip der "Lectio Divina" in bewusster Anlehnung an ihre Ausformulierung durch Papst Benedikt XVI. So stützt die Abfolge von Lektüre, Meditation, Gebet und Verinnerlichung die Motivation, zu wirklich alltagsverändernden Handlungsweisen zu finden.
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.
Allegory in the parables of Jesus has never been addressed properly. By studying the allegorical features in parables and evaluating some former parable theories, current study hopes to bring insight to the hermeneutics of allegory in the parables of Jesus.
English summary: The seventh and final volume of Martin Hengel's Selected Essays contains 32 texts, among which two are hitherto unpublished. The first section includes the small monograph on Christ and Power, a new and programmatic essay on Heilsgeschichte (salvation history), as well as reflections on New Testament methodology. The second section is devoted to biographical sketches and investigations into the history of the discipline. The articles on Kurt Aland, Elias Bickerman, Henry Chadwick, Joseph Barber Lightfoot and Gunther Zuntz are particularly comprehensive. Some small contributions to the author's own scholarly vita conclude the essays. Jorg Frey continues the author's bibliography. An alphabetical listing of the essays contained in the seven volumes of the Selected Essays and extensive indexes on Volumes V to VII complete the volume. German description: Der siebte und letzte Band der eKleinen Schriften' umfasst 32 Texte, darunter zwei unveroffentlichte. Der erste, grossere Teil enthalt unter anderem die kleine Monographie Christus und die Macht, einen neuen, programmatischen Aufsatz zur Heilsgeschichte sowie Uberlegungen zur Methodik der neutestamentlichen Wissenschaft. Ein zweiter Teil ist biographischen und wissenschaftsgeschichtlichen Untersuchungen gewidmet; hervorzuheben sind hier umfangreiche Beitrage uber Kurt Aland, Elias Bickermann, Henry Chadwick, Joseph Barber Lightfoot und Gunther Zuntz. Einige kurze Beitrage zur eigenen wissenschaftlichen Vita des Autors runden die Aufsatzsammlung ab.Jorg Frey fuhrt die Bibliographie des Autors fort. Ein alphabetisches Verzeichnis der in den 'Kleinen Schriften' enthaltenen Aufsatze erleichtert die Orientierung, ausfuhrliche Indizes erschliessen die Bande V-VII.
This book is the first of two volumes arguing that kingdom ethics is the core substance of the message of the historical Jesus. Paul and Matthew were influential voices in formative Christianity. Some prominent exegetes have tended to contrast Jesus and Paul, as well as Paul and Matthew. This volume demonstrates that Jesus’ kingdom ethics—based on divine wisdom, mercy and justice—originated in Stoic philosophy, and that it became a popular ethos of the first-century Graeco-Roman world. This common transformative ethos of crossing conventional boundaries regarding patriarchy, gender injustice and bigotry based on class and sexuality was articulated differently by Jesus, Paul and Matthew. The book will appeal to specialists in the fields of New Testament scholarship and ancient Graeco-Roman and Hellenistic-Semitic literature.