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Of Pigs, Pearls, and Prodigals: A Fresh Look At the Parables of Jesus

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  201 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
"This book would be a wonderful way to study the New Testament in conjunction with the Sunday School lessons. I can see families doing a different parable each week for Family Home Evening, for example."
-The Association for Mormon Letters

Listen to an interview with John Bytheway from The Cricket and Seagull Fireside Chat. article about Of Pigs, Pearls, and
Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Published (first published December 6th 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Apr 19, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was drawn to this book by its subject matter, its author and its jacket art. Being very familiar with the author through his video presentations, I had no doubts that I would come away from this reading experience with a greater understanding of the subject matter and an improved insight into the teachings of the Savior. I was not disappointed in this investment of time and attention.

I really like the format of this presentation. Each of the 32 chapters deals with one parable in detail.
He give
Feb 16, 2016 Rachel rated it it was amazing
I read one parable a night and learned something each time. The format was easy to read and John Bytheway's commentary sucked me in.
Nov 26, 2016 Amy rated it it was amazing
I purchased this book after hearing John Bytheway speak at Time Out for Women (AZ). I've never been one to like these sort of books, but I felt like I got a lot more out of than I would have expected. It helped my understanding of the parables. It really broke it down in a way that I not only understood, but was able to able to my life. It was definitely be one of those books that I lend out to anyone who may want to use it for a lesson, a talk, or just person study.
Mar 12, 2015 Dlora rated it really liked it
Author John Bytheway said he had three goals for writing this book. First,to be complete. He covered 32 parables but I think there were some he skipped over, like the parable of old wine in new bottles in Luke 5 or the parable of the unclean servant in Matthew 12. Still, he covered the main ones. Second, he wanted to be concise: "I won't wax eloquent or try to dazzle you with brilliance--since I have none." (A good example of his light touch with humor throughout). The book was very readable and ...more
Mar 24, 2015 Michele rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
I found this very helpful. It will be a great aid for gospel doctrine lessons.

212:Gordon B. Hinckley: It is not enough just to live, just to survive. It is incumbent on each of us to equip ourselves to do something worthwhile in society-to acquire more and more light, so that our personal light can help illuminate a darkened world. And this is made possible through learning, through educating ourselves, through progressing and growing in both mind and spirit. (Standing for Something)

221: Parable
Oct 25, 2011 Larsen rated it liked it
Reviews of the parables are presented in the same sequence in which they appear in the New Testament preceeded by brief statements about who, where, and why. But the in-depth story giving rise to each parable is not included. There is a sense of repetition rather than connection in skipping from one parable to the next. More complete explanation of the setting for each parable would help with understanding, interpretation, and appreciation.
But there is much to learn always from the Savior's teac
Sep 24, 2012 Monica rated it really liked it
Of Pigs, Pearls & Prodigals is a concise guide to studying the parables presented in the New Testament. The book is organized into thirty-two chapters with each chapter focusing on a specific parable. John Bytheway lines out the circumstances of why the parable was presented, to whom it was told, and the physical location it was given at. Additional trivia is provided to help the reader better understand the cultural context. A variety of other sources are also quoted throughout to provide ...more
Kacey Kendrick Wagner
May 01, 2011 Kacey Kendrick Wagner rated it really liked it
My mother-in-law (who is not LDS) likes to buy me LDS books as gifts...which I find amusing, especially since I don't buy a ton of LDS publications myself. (I'm picky.) She sent me this book in a group with several others and I was pleasantly surprised. I loved the way Bytheway broke down each parable and included so much research and insight, but in a very readable way. There were even a few parables that I had never learned about before. I gained a greater appreciation and understanding of the ...more
Jun 09, 2012 Emily rated it really liked it
It was easy to read this book a bit at a time, since each short chapter discusses one parable. I read it over the course of a year or so when I was caught up on scripture reading and conference talks. Bytheway doesn't claim to be a great scholar, but he does a great job of including just enough cultural and scholarly information and quotes from prophets to make each parable more meaningful. I learned a lot and increased my love for the parables without feeling weighed down by too much ...more
Oct 25, 2011 Keri-Lynn rated it really liked it
A delightful, new take on the parables of the New Testament. It's not a scholarly exploration, but rather a good "family read", something that can engage all ages. Using a bit of history, geography, cultural tidbits, and thoughtful pondering, John Bytheway has delivered a read worthy of the subject. Though much of the information is available elsewhere, I loved how he brought it all together in one convenient package and gave the reader fresh ideas to ponder. Great companion to a study of the ...more
Feb 02, 2015 Cami rated it it was amazing
Shelves: church-book
I don't think I realized how many parables Jesus taught until I read this book. John Bytheway quotes each parable, explains the setting and who's involved, and gives a brief explanation and application. He has amazing insights, and I found myself taking notes throughout the book. It is simple to understand yet profound in its implications, just like the parables themselves. This is one I want for my bookshelf, especially to reference when we study the parables in Sunday School. Well done.
Jul 16, 2016 Erin rated it really liked it
Written by a well loved author and speaker. He targets this for the youth; however, anyone reading this would gain new insight and understanding. Jesus Christ used parables as a way to help people understand what he was trying to teach them. He used what was in the people's lives at the time. John Bytheway relates what Jesus taught the people of his time to our time. Easy read. Would own this and loan it out to my children and grandchildren.

Apr 06, 2011 Tara rated it really liked it
I have never read a John Bytheway book that I went away thinking "wow, this guy is so incredible and has to be inspired by how and what he writes" I can never get tired or bored by reading his books. He always know just what to say to make everything much more personal and relates things to my life. I like that he can "dumb" things down for me to understand them better. This book is nonetheless of such words and more. :)
Oct 11, 2011 Cailean rated it it was amazing
As near to perfect a book on the parables **for teaching your family** as there could be written. Usually when teaching children from an "adult book," you have to paraphrase or summarize...but not so with this book. It's actually possible to read practically word for word without losing your children's attention (elementary age and older). Fascinating, easy and quick to read and skim, with a lot of fun insights into the parables.
Ruth Ann
Jun 08, 2011 Ruth Ann rated it it was amazing
THis is a must have for understanding the Parables. I don't think I've really understood the parables and their application to my life till using this book at Easter time. My friend invited me to participate in her passover celebration week before Easter and we spent the week talking about the parables. I used this book to understand them. It is so easy to read, I think John writes things so that people can understand...even applicable to teenagers.
I read a third of this and got a little bored with it actually. It seemed a little bit like a Sunday school lesson and didn't delve into anything very deep or apply it to life. It was like a basic overview of the parables. It was alright but didn't draw any deep thinking. I might try it again later and see if I change my mind.
Feb 06, 2013 Tenille rated it really liked it
Shelves: lds-books
This is great when you are wanting to learn more about the parables, and how to apply them to our lives in these latter days. I loved how the book was set up with each parable, who it was spoken too, where they were when it was given, why it was given and how we can apply it. Great, easy to read and understand.
Jul 18, 2011 Rachelle rated it it was amazing
I learned so much about what Jesus taught and how to use it in my every day life. It also helped me to re-evaluate some of my priorities. I loved being able to read the parable and then the commentary that helped to bring it to my level in a way that I could not only understand some of the parables better but also learn how they can make me a better person.
Sandra Strange
May 03, 2015 Sandra Strange rated it liked it
Shelves: christian-lds
Readable review of each of Christ's parables, introducing each with a quote or with background material, giving relevant facts about the context of the parable and to whom it was addressed, quoting each parable from the Gospels, giving interpretations (with quotations from authorities) and applications for our lives.
Susan Hatch
May 09, 2011 Susan Hatch rated it it was ok
I realize Bytheway is the speaker for youth and I have enjoyed hearing him twice. I've enjoy others of his books but not this one. He took a trip to the Holy Lands and gleaned greater insights. He says he's sharing these and I think that they are truly meant for the a young reader. My rating is based on an adult's view, not on a youths.
Apr 05, 2011 Anne rated it really liked it
Very enjoyable in-depth look at the New Testament parables of Jesus. John Bytheway analyzes each parable by telling who Christ was talking to, where they were, and what question prompted the parable. Then he analyzes it, gives helpful background, and suggests how we might apply the teaching in our own lives.
Erika B. (SOS BOOKS)
Sep 25, 2011 Erika B. (SOS BOOKS) rated it really liked it
Shelves: spir-tual, moauthor
I chose to read this book because I wanted a more simplified look at the parables found in the New Testament. I read a chapter a night and loved it! It was fun to learn the background or deeper meaning of the parables and made me understand them a little better!
Jul 20, 2011 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent insights into the parables of Christ in the New Testament. Very credible commentary from LDS and non-LDS Bible scholars, LDS prophets, and Bro. Bytheway's own insights or application. This helped me to "study" the scriptures rather than just "read." I highly recommend it!
Jun 06, 2011 Carri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011
I've read other books on the parables of Christ that were excellent, but this one had a John Bytheway humor to it that made it fun to read while being very informative. I'm sure I'll read this one again.
May 24, 2011 Rachel rated it really liked it
An uncharacteristically serious John Bytheway breaks down Christ's parables in this book. He conveniently provides a 'who, where, and why' for each parable, as well as insightful historical information and a 'how can I apply this to my own life' section. I liked its organization and learned a lot.
Apr 26, 2011 Nikki rated it really liked it
Shelves: church-books
I love everything by John Bytheway. His commentary on the parables of Jesus was easy to read, enlightening,and inspiring. This will get your mind thinking about the Savior's earthly ministry and some of the mysteries of the kingdom.
Jul 05, 2015 Gratefulscottie rated it really liked it
This was John Bytheway style all the way through. I enjoyed his insight into some of the parables. I enjoyed his collection of comments from General Authories that matched up with the scripture being talked about. Over all a nice easy read
Apr 28, 2011 Taffy rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
This is a great book to go along with the New Testament study. Your whole family will learn something from each parable as John Bytheway breaks them down and teaches from different angles like historical etc.

Rating: Family
Mary L.
Apr 11, 2015 Mary L. rated it it was amazing
I love the way John Bytheway an make you think and laugh at the same time. Since I am now studying the New Testament this book was a great addition to my way of thinking. If you thought that you knew all of the parables you might be surprised.
Mar 01, 2011 Jamie rated it liked it
This was good, don't get me wrong. I only wish that it was more in-depth on fewer parables, rather than a broader look at all of the parables. It would make a really good reference book for a talk. I did like the historical insights provided in the chapter introductions.
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John Bytheway (born October 1962) is an American author and academic, who is well known as a comic motivational speaker for youth within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Born in Salt Lake City, Bytheway attended the University of Utah and Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah, receiving a Master's Degree in Religious Education. He also served as a missionary for the LDS ...more
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