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Apr 28, 2008


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David Ker

Did he say anything about Luke 16? That shrewd manager parable is a beast.


IMHO, Bailey is doing--from the perspective of ancient arabic culture-- what what other scholars have been doing from the perspective of Hebraic culture and second temple Judaism...and that is restoring the Middle Eastern and Jewish context of Jesus' teaching that has been largely ignored since Christian/Jewish split centuries ago. His cultural insights are often extremely enriching and illuminating. His exposition of the story of the Prodigal is a prime example of what a good background in Middle Eastern culture can do to reveal the depth and power of Jesus' teaching. Both Bailey and the authors affiliated with the Jerusalem School should be on the reading list of anyone wanting a more accurate, less Westernized view of Jesus and his teachings.

Bruce Reyes-Chow

Thanks for the review. I think this would be a great book for our book group at church. I'll add it to the list. Take care!


I love Kenneth Bailey's work, but I didn't realize that he had a new book out. I'm going to have to scrounge together some change to get it.
I think you're spot on about Bailey's critics. We seem to have a real problem in seeing the ways in which our cultural assumptions color our reading of scriptures. Often, the best way to begin to break out of that is to see what the same thing looks like from someone else's perspective. Bailey helps us to do that so well.
Thanks for the review!

Michael W. Kruse


Funny you should mention that parable. Bailey calls it the "knuckle buster of them all." I thinking of doing a two or three part post (which always means four or five) on that parable.


I'm with you. Whether Bailey has got it all just right I think his voice, and those doing this kind of work, needs to be heard.


Bailey is very readable. I think most church groups could handle him.


I think the purchase will be well worth it. In defense of Bailey's critics, Bailey himself admits he is being speculative in places. I think his work has mostly been more about restoring an ignored set of lenses and opening up new avenues for consideration.


Michael, thank you for this review. I lived in Bethlehem for 6 1/2 years and found that much of the rural village life of friends did add a depth of meaning and understanding to scripture. Also I lived quite close to Tantur and had friends there. Blessings.


This looks fascinating! Thanks for the heads-up.

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