Short Stories by Jesus

The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi
Narrated by: Donna Postel
Length: 13 hrs and 33 mins
4.2 out of 5 stars (84 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Jesus was a skilled storyteller and perceptive teacher who used parables from everyday life to effectively convey his message and meaning. Life in first-century Palestine was very different from our world today, and many traditional interpretations of Jesus' stories ignore this disparity and have often allowed anti-Semitism and misogyny to color their perspectives.

In this wise, entertaining, and educational book, Amy-Jill Levine offers a fresh, timely reinterpretation of Jesus' narratives. In Short Stories by Jesus, she analyzes these "problems with parables", taking us back in time to understand how their original Jewish audience understood them. Levine reveals the parables' connections to first-century economic and agricultural life, social customs and morality, Jewish scriptures, and Roman culture. With this revitalized understanding, she interprets these moving stories for a contemporary listener, showing how the parables are not just about Jesus, but are also about us - and when understood rightly, still challenge and provoke us 2,000 years later.

©2014 Amy-Jill Levine (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"As the text enlightens, it also emboldens critical application of Jesus's ancient stories to modern hearts and minds." ( Publishers Weekly starred review)

What listeners say about Short Stories by Jesus

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eye opener

Amy really breaks Jesus word down and showed where his meaning was coming from, she does a great job at looking how we a 21st Century reader misses a lot of points Jesus was trying to make just by our different interpretations.

4 people found this helpful

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Thoughtful - not fully informed

While this was insightful and interesting, and I certainly appreciate the point of view (Jewish), it explains the conclusions. A Christ follower draws differently from parables based on the fact that Jesus was born Emmanuel (God with us) as the Messiah who died and rose again to save us from sin and Hell. His life and fulfillment of scripture as the ultimate Lamb, and of God sending him as our eternal hope; rescuing all his children from death, hell and the grave, informs the meaning of parables. Without Jesus as Savior the parables would fall flat and become stories and coffee talk, with Jesus as our Messiah every word of the Bible comes to life and if a picture of eternal hope. I do agree that the Jewish nation is criticized far to much and anti Semitic views in the world are viscous and sad. I pray every member of the Jewish would read this book and consider the messages of the parables with the option to believe that Jesus is Lord.

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Excellent background for the Gospel parables

The author is a noted scholar who offers supplemental and corrective information about Jesus's parables. This helps to properly interpret them

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A welcome change of perspective

Though a few of the chapters went a little more in-depth than I expected, over all the book was a refreshing reorientation of context in regard to the parables. Having grown up hearing the dumbed down interpretations, reawakening the challenging complexity of the stories was refreshing, especially since they run across religious lines in the sand...

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Fantastic, like all of Amy-Jill Levine's work.

I love stories and storytelling, and Amy-Jill Levine expounds on story, morality and interpretation, as well as their implications on how we live and act in the world. I hope you give it a listen.

The narrator was great, but I wish it were Amy-Jill reading. Just a personal preference.

2 people found this helpful

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Great perspective for reading the parables

I'll have to give it a second listen to fully grasp some of the concepts the author teaches, might be the preconception from years of reading the parables without ridding myself of that interpretation.

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Heroic

AJL is an amazing thinker! She is not an in-the-religious-box thinker. She doesn’t acquiesce to a couple millennia of religious thought on either side of the aisle.

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Decent for Bible Study

We used this book for a small group Bible study. I would say 1/2 of the parable discussion from the author was good, that it made you think in ways that haven't traditionally been part of the 15 minute church sermon. Two things did however stand out. In the other 1/2 of the chapters, the author seems to go too deep, just for the sake of going deep, despite the Bible author even laying out the meaning in 1 case. The other thing is the lecturing. It almost feels like every Christian is being accused of being antisemitic, on several occasions in this book, it was noticeable, and I didn't care for it. That being said, I still found the book and study very interesting for the most part.

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Informative, interesting, and enjoyable

The readers voice pleasant to the ears and the book causes one to pause and think.

1 person found this helpful