Preaching the Parables

From Responsible Interpretation to Powerful Proclamation

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"The strengths of this volume are multiple. Among them is its sheer clarity of expression. The sample sermons are thoughtfully chosen and intentionally arranged. . . . I warmly commend this book to everyone who preaches the parables."--Greg R. Scharf, Trinity Journal

Written with the rigor and precision of a New Testament specialist, Preaching the Parables provides a responsible introduction to understanding and proclaiming the parables that pastors, church leaders, and seminary students will appreciate.

Craig Blomberg demonstrates how the structure of a parable is key to its interpretation and thus to its exposition. He shows how a parable, when properly contemporized, can be a powerful rhetorical device, and that recognizing the elements of the parable that were atypical to everyday life leads to important surprises that will be of significance to contemporary parishioners. Each of the fifteen exemplary sermons is accompanied by an analysis that points out key interpretive decisions.


Endorsements

Alternate Haddon Robinson endorsement (endorser provided two): "The parables are not simple tales that are easy to understand and preach. Preachers considering them would be wise to let Blomberg help them preach the parables effectively."--Haddon Robinson, Harold J. Ockenga Distinguished Professor of Preaching, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
"Preaching from the parables resembles playing the saxophone: it's easy to do poorly. Preachers who need guidance in understanding the stories of Jesus in order to preach them well will gain much from what Blomberg has written."--Haddon Robinson, Harold J. Ockenga Distinguished Professor of Preaching, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

"Craig Blomberg is a superb teacher and expert on the parables. Here he effectively combines both gifts. This book discusses how to preach the parables and gives a wonderful sample of sermons with explanations about how to proceed. I can't imagine a more helpful pastoral and homiletical guide to the perplexing world of parables. Highly recommended."--Darrell Bock, Dallas Theological Seminary

"Jesus' parables are endlessly intriguing. But pastors don't find them easy-going--far too often we get mired in clichés and moralisms. Blomberg's venture into these classic texts is a welcome antidote to pulpit fatigue. His sermons themselves are fresh and personal; his accompanying commentary on how he came to preach them the way he does is on-the-job training for making honest gospel sermons from the stories Jesus told."--Eugene H. Peterson, professor emeritus of spiritual theology, Regent College

"After years of writing on parables, Blomberg now shows how to preach the parables and how to use story in preaching. From his sensitivity to the gospel of Jesus, to the world, and to the preaching task, he shows both how he preached these parables and the thought process that led him to preach as he did. This is a helpful lab for anyone preaching the parables."--Klyne Snodgrass, Paul W. Brandel Professor of New Testament Studies, North Park Theological Seminary


The Author

  1. Craig L. Blomberg

    Craig L. Blomberg

    Craig L. Blomberg (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is distinguished professor emeritus of New Testament at Denver Seminary in Littleton, Colorado, where he has taught for more than thirty years. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Can...

    Continue reading about Craig L. Blomberg

Reviews

"I regularly tell my students, 'If you can only afford one volume on the parables, buy Blomberg's Interpreting the Parables.' Now I am afraid I will have to add this second work to that very short list. . . . In this helpful resource [Blomberg] offers 15 sermon examples from Matthew and Luke. Each of those sermons includes superb commentary on his interpretation and solid sermonic insights. He also offers a concise and beneficial introduction to the history of interpreting parables. The reader does not have to start at the beginning of the book to benefit from the sermons and their explanations. . . . I give this resource a very hearty recommendation."--J. K. Jones Jr., Christian Standard

"[An] excellent new book. . . . This will be a valuable book for preachers to see how a gifted New Testament scholar and expositor handles these biblical texts."--preaching.com

"Blomberg's book is filled with helpful exegesis and a healthy hermeneutic. This does not mean, however, that he withdraws from expounding the difficult passages. . . . Craig Blomberg is not an every-week preacher who has been trained in homiletics. He should be commended for his willingness to transfer his exegesis and methodology as a biblical scholar into sample sermons on the parables. His commitment to bring the findings and hermeneutics of exegetical method into the practical exercise of sermon writing is exemplary."--Dean Deppe, Calvin Theological Journal

"The introduction alone is worth the price of the volume, especially for the busy pastor who wants a distillation of how to interpret the parables without abusing them. . . . The strengths of this volume are multiple. Among them is its sheer clarity of expression. The sample sermons are thoughtfully chosen and intentionally arranged with respect both to the structure of the parables expounded and the treatment of them sermonically. The thinking underlying these choices is carefully spelled out in the introduction and in the commentary following each exposition. The result is a pleasing combination of variety and progression that leaves the reader feeling satisfied with the comprehensiveness of the undertaking. I appreciated the personal glimpses of the author as preacher that give the messages an intentionally human face. Every exposition not only teaches the content of the text, but also provides insights about the genre that would help every alert listener to be a better reader of the biblical text. Dr. Blomberg is strong on application, and his challenges to his listeners are corporate as well as individual. . . . He tailors the density of his remarks to the time available in light of the length of the chosen pericope. He addresses important theological issues raised by the parable as well as the lifestyle changes they call for. . . . I warmly commend this book to everyone who preaches the parables."--Greg R. Scharf, Trinity Journal

"This will be a valuable book for preachers to see how a gifted New Testament scholar and expositor handles these biblical texts."--Michael Duduit, Preaching

"An intriguing study. . . . The strength of Blomberg's sermonic method is in its extensive and sustained application. . . . I do recommend that preachers read his sermons, along with his commentary about them, in order to inform their own work and to awaken ideas concerning how the parables of Jesus find application in the lives of Christians today. May more biblical scholars be as bold as Blomberg, to actually write a book of this type, venturing to bring biblical scholarship to a homiletic payoff."--J. Mark Beach, Mid-America Journal of Theology

"As Blomberg contemporizes the parables in his sermons, he tackles some very difficult and controversial issues. . . . I find this commendable, even if some of my own positions would vary from his. Blomberg includes perspectives from the two-thirds world and his plea to attend to wider social justice concerns than those usually associated with evangelicals is laudable. . . . There is much to be gained from his book."--Barbara E. Reid, Interpretation

"Any contribution from Blomberg is welcome, but this particular contribution is a marvelous example of how exegesis becomes exposition. . . . The volume is unique in that it elucidates some of the hermeneutical principles for interpreting parables as well as providing examples of sermons on the parables. . . . The messages are densely packed with genuine scholarly and practical insights that will provoke the preacher to create his own message. . . . Do not be tempted to skip Blomberg's commentary on each sermon. They are a course on homiletics in themselves. . . . This volume will be of great value to those preachers who wish to mine the extremely fruitful biblical genre of the parable."--J. Michael Shannon, Stone-Campbell Journal

"This volume makes a significant contribution to the rather large body of literature that deals with interpreting and preaching Jesus' parables. It will be of interest to preachers and to teachers of homiletics especially, as well as other students of the Gospels. . . . This is a helpful book with thought-provoking interpretations of fifteen of Jesus' parables, broad outlines, and technical structures of these parables, examples of how to apply principles of interpretation when studying the parables, and how to make them contemporary and apply them in one's preaching."--Thomas L. Constable, Bibliotheca Sacra