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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Parables Unplugged: Reading the Lukan Parables in Their Rhetorical Context
Thurén, Lauri

Minneapolis: Fortress, 2014 pp. viii + 422. $39.00


Description: For far too long, Lauri Thurén argues, the parables of Jesus have been read either as allegories encoding Christian theology—including the theological message of one or another Gospel writer—or as tantalizing clues to the authentic voice of Jesus. Thurén proposes instead to read the parables "unplugged" from any assumptions beyond those given in the narrative situation in the text, on the common-sense premise that the very form of the parable works to propose a (sometimes startling) resolution to a particular problem. Thurén applies his method to the parables in Luke with some surprising results involving the Evangelist’s overall narrative purposes and the discrete purposes of individual parables in supporting the authority of Jesus, proclaiming God's love, exhorting steadfastness, and so on. Eschatological and allegorical readings are equally unlikely, according to Thurén's results. This study is sure to spark learned discussion among scholars, preachers, and students for years to come.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Synoptic Gospels, Luke, Literature, Methods, Other Methods

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Review by Susana de Sola Funsten
Published 1/18/2018
Citation: Susana de Sola Funsten, review of Lauri Thurén, Parables Unplugged: Reading the Lukan Parables in Their Rhetorical Context, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2018).


Review by Dieter T. Roth
Published 1/26/2017
Citation: Dieter T. Roth, review of Lauri Thurén, Parables Unplugged: Reading the Lukan Parables in Their Rhetorical Context, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2017).


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