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The Cross and the Prodigal: Luke 15 Through the Eyes of Middle Eastern Peasants Paperback – Aug 7 2005


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The Cross and the Prodigal: Luke 15 Through the Eyes of Middle Eastern Peasants + Poet and Peasant and Through Peasant Eyes: A Literary-Cultural Approach to the Parables in Luke + Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 151 pages
  • Publisher: Intervarsity Press; 2 Rev Exp edition (Aug. 7 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830832815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830832811
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #136,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Neil Paul on Aug. 2 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although I am not finished reading the book yet, so far it has proven very thought-provoking. It takes a doctrine such as repentance, and translates it into a fresh insight.... Thanks very much for this wonderful book.

Neil Paul
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By Carol-anne Foty on Sept. 8 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent reference and good teaching; useful for sermon or devotional preparation. Highly recommended for it's depth and clarification. I quite enjoyed it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 30 reviews
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Thoughts from a regular gal Dec 30 2008
By Yvonne Frender - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I'm just a regular gal - I'm not a biblical scholar, pastor, or friend of the author (although I wouldn't mind meeting him!). This is the 2nd Baily book that I've read (the other being 'Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes'). I throughly enjoy his works becuase they are insightful, colorful, scholarly (I don't often see academia and faith beautifully melding with one another) and plainly written. From this book I got a better sense of the pouring-out redemption of God toward mankind. I could write a million words and not do it justice. If you are interested in having a more complete understanding of this parable, I highly recommend that you read this book.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful, Cross-Cultural, Eye-opening Sept. 27 2006
By Paul Grant - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
One of Jesus' most astonishing stories, a story that has resonated down through the ages, is commonly known in English as The Prodigal Son. In this book, Kenneth Bailey retells this familiar story through the eyes of Middle Eastern peasants.

Bailey is a longtime missionary, a man who has spent his life among the peasants of the Middle East. Bailey really knows village life. And that makes all the difference in understanding Jesus' story.

But this book is much more than another commentary. Bailey (along with IVP) has made a beautiful book. There are several plates decorated with Arab calligraphy, and half the book is a four-scene drama - a retelling of the story in a small village, complete with the score to one of the characters' songs. This is an exemplary work, engaging heart and mind at once.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
meticulous and eye opening July 8 2006
By Scott W. Peterson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Ken Bailey is the best New Testament scholar around today because he brings deep insight and experience from the Middle Eastern culture combined with attention to form criticism. The result is an eye opening and inspiring work on the Prodigal. You will not be disappointed in this book or any of his work.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Insightful and a must reader for all April 3 2014
By robert ku - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Kenneth Bailey adds insight upon insight to a story familiar to Christians and non-Christians alike. Bailey explains the various nuances of this parable that are easy to understand, and reminds us that the prodigal son parable is not just about the younger son, or about the older son, but about how Christians are called to be like the Father, and at great cost to the Father (hence, "the Cross" in the title).
Another smash hit Sept. 9 2013
By J. Mccormack - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoy Bailey's style, and this book was a bit less technical than some of his others, making it even more easy to read and grasp. He takes a relatively short story and expands on the underlying concepts and cultural understandings that the original hearers would have grasped when they heard it. He adds so much background story to it, that it really comes to life more.

My only complaint, and it is a relatively slight one in light of the whole story, is that Bailey kind of misses the mark in identifying the parties of the story. In identifying the prodigal son as just mankind, he misses the covenant significance behind it. The father figure is indeed representative of Yahweh as he points out, but the older son would be representative of the two southern tribes that were technically still within the covenant with the Father, with the prodigal son representing the ten Northern tribes who were not. Like the prodigal son, those tribes were cast out, dispersed throughout the nations, but they were promised (as seen in Isaiah, Hosea and Ezekiel 37, and elsewhere) that one day they were to be brought back into the fold. As we see this beginning to happen under the ministry of Paul, we see the building frustration of the Pharisees who were dealing unkindly to the idea, just as the older son in the story did.

But as I said, while this is a technical issue of sorts, it doesn't really alter the thrust of this book's underlying story, that of the Father's love even for the people who despised him beforehand, but were now returning to the fold. I just think that bringing in that identification would add a slightly deeper meaning to the story, as well as bringing in the connection and tying together the promises from the OT that were about to take place.

Even without that though, he brings out the extent of the Father's love, which bends over backwards in the face of cultural mandates, and acts in a way that is so contrary to the actions required of someone in the father's position, that it should bring the readers to a greater appreciation of what Yahweh has done for His people.


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