David Stern shows how the parable or mashal—the most distinctive type of narrative in midrash—was composed, how its symbolism works, and how it serves to convey the ideological convictions of the rabbis. He describes its relation to similar tales in other literatures, including the parables of Jesus in the New Testament and kabbalistic parables. Through its innovative approach to midrash, this study reaches beyond its particular subject, and will appeal to all readers interested in narrative and religion.
Parables in Midrash is one of the most sophisticated and mature works on rabbinic literature in this century… All readers will find the book an extremely valuable synthesis of cutting-edge methodologies, thorough knowledge of textual traditions, and the best exegesis of traditional literature the academy has to offer.
Well-written, comprehensible to the nonexpert and thorough in its description of material and in its use of modern literary criticism.
Stern argues persuasively that…the mashal’s narrative becomes in itself a distinctly rabbinic form of scriptural exegesis. Stern’s comparative discussions of parables ascribed to Jesus and the use of the mashal in later Hebrew literature make this book of great interest to students of New Testament, rabbinics, and literary theory.
- 364 pages
- 6 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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