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Jacob & the Prodigal: How Jesus Retold Israel's Story
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Jacob & the Prodigal: How Jesus Retold Israel's Story

4.4 of 5 stars 4.40  ·  rating details  ·  35 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Israel, the community to which Jesus belonged, took its name from their patriarch Jacob. His story of exile and return was their story as well. In the well-known tale of the prodigal son, Jesus reshaped the story in his own way and for his own purposes. In this work, Kenneth E. Bailey compares the Old Testament saga and the New Testament parable. He unpacks similarities fr...more
Paperback, 225 pages
Published April 24th 2003 by IVP Academic
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The author brings his formidable knowledge of life in the Middle East at the time of Christ to bear on the story of the prodigal son. It turns out that those listening to the story from Jesus would have understood it very differently to the way it seems to us and Mr Bailey explains why. Reading this book made me realise how many false assumptions I made when reading the story.
I can't recommend this book highly enough. If you think you know the story of the prodigal son, read this and it will he...more
I took my time reading this book because I enjoyed it so. Every page demonstrated Dr. Bailey's erudition as a scholar and exegete. Several decades ago it became the fashion to examine Paul's Epistles in light of Greco-Roman rhetoric and social values, and this in turn came to be extended to the Gospels. Dr. Bailey, who lived in Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan for some forty years, and is an expert in Semitic languages, asked: Why not examine the Gospels in light of Semitic social values? And to that...more
Do you want to know how Jesus the theologian retold Israel's story in the light of God's grace? Read this book.
Thank you Dr Bailey!

Jon Sedlak
Bailey's take on the story of the Prodigal son is intriguing, and well worth the study. I thought the arrangement of the book was a little drawn out though. Once I finished the book, I thought he could have made his point much sooner, therefore leaving the book a bit shorter. After the first 50 pages, the book starts to get interesting. After 100 pages, it gets really interesting. And the book is only a couple hundred pages long.
Steven Wedgeworth
I read this book in seminary and thought it was fantastic. The pairing of the Prodigal Son with the Jacob and Esau reunion narrative was very compelling and very helpful. I've found myself going back to this book for sermon resources many times.
i love this book. it gives a completly different take on the story of the prodigal son, which i've learned is too often misinterpreted.
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After undergraduate and seminary studies, Dr. Bailey completed degrees in Arabic Language and Literature, Systematic Theology and a doctorate in New Testament. Ordained by the Presbyterian Church (USA), Dr. Bailey spent 40 years (1955-1995) living and teaching in seminaries and institutes in Egypt, Lebanon, Jerusalem and Cyprus.

For 20 of those years Dr. Bailey was Professor of New Testament and He...more
More about Kenneth E. Bailey...
Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels Poet & Peasant, and Through Peasant Eyes: A Literary-Cultural Approach to the Parables in Luke The Cross & the Prodigal: Luke 15 Through the Eyes of Middle Eastern Peasants Paul Through Mediterranean Eyes: Cultural Studies in 1 Corinthians Finding the Lost: Culture Keys to Luke 15 (Concordia Scholarship Today)

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