This is the fourth book in Met. Hilarion Alfeyev's Jesus Christ: His Life and Teaching. In this volume, Met. Hilarion explores the most distinct aspect of Jesus' teaching ministry: his parables. The parables are explored from multiple angles, giving due consideration both to modern biblical scholarship and the insights it can give, as well as the ancient tradition of the Church and the extensive commentaries of the Church Fathers.
In this volume, Metropolitan Hilarion examines the parables of Jesus, arguably the most difficult and challenging form of his teaching. Even the disciples in Matthew’s Gospel, who are portrayed as exemplary students, require explanations from Jesus. If the dominant form of interpretation throughout most of history has been to allegorize the parables, the approach of modern scholars, beginning in the twentieth century with C. H. Dodd and Joachim Jeremias, has been to treat the parables as extended similes and metaphors. Metropolitan Hilarion’s contribution will likely be that he adeptly holds together modern and patristic interpretations, introducing those who are familiar only with critical scholarship to the tradition of the Church, while those who have been trained to read parables allegorically should welcome his engagement with modern criticism.
In this fourth volume of Jesus Christ: His Life and Teaching, Metropolitan Hilarion exegetes the parables that comprise the greater body of Christ’s teachings in the Synoptic Gospels. His Eminence brings to bear not only the patristic and modern Orthodox Christian witness to the interpretation and application of the parables, but also the best of modern biblical scholarship from across a broad range of Christian and even Jewish traditions. This study is detailed and thorough, while still remaining accessible to readers. This volume is a must-have resource for the preachers and teachers of Christ’s Church, as well as anyone ready and willing to be taught by the Master himself.