John MacArthur, well-known pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, as well as recognized Christian author and radio Bible teacher, has written a book called Parables: The Mysteries of God’s Kingdom Revealed Through The Stories Jesus Told. In it, MacArthur expounds on different parables from Jesus Ministry.
Underlying MacArthur’s teaching on the parables is a concern from their proper interpretation. MacArthur is particularly disturbed by some post-modernist re-interpretations of the parables and the influence of what he calls an extreme narrative theology upon the interpretation of the Bible.
The first chapter explains the reasons for Jesus’ teaching in parables. After that chapter, MacArthur takes one chapter to explain several parables. Chapter two focuses upon the Parable of the Sower. Chapter three deals with the Treasure Hidden in a Field and The Pearl of Great Price. Chapter four explains the parable of Landowner and Hired Hands. Chapter five expounds on The Good Samaritan. Chapter six deals with the parable about the pharisee and tax collector praying in the temple. Chapter seven regards parables that focus on faithfulness–the parables of The Two Servants, The Ten Bridesmaids, and The Talents. Chapter eight regards the confusing Parable of the Unjust Steward. Chapter nine teaches on the Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man. Chapter ten discusses the parable about the persistent widow and the unjust judge.
Like all of MacArthur’s books that expound the Scriptures, this book is rich in background information and word studies that bring the truth to light. I learned a great deal that I did not already know. While I never recommend that anyone rely on one commentary or book for understanding the Scripture, this book is a good one to have while studying the parables that it covers. Bible study teachers will find a wealth of information and understanding.
(Full disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. I was under no obligation to write a positive review.)