I have read several books on the parables, but this is the most enlightening, most preachable and most interesting there is. When you have done a great deal of reading in an area, you begin to doubt how much even a good book is going to help you learn. This book is like someone provided you with a whole new insight in to meaning of the parables. Scholarly yet down to earth! The genuis of the book is that he combines over thirty years of Biblical scholarship and living among the culture of the Middle East. You learn what it meant to the people who Jesus was teaching 2,000 years ago. The only negative for me was the poetry portion of the book, which will probably excite poetry scholars, but was a mystery to me. If you are a Biblical scholar or learner or teacher, it is a must read.