Fortress Press

The Gospel in Parable: Metaphor, Narrative, and Theology in the Synoptic Gospels

The Gospel in Parable

Metaphor, Narrative, and Theology in the Synoptic Gospels

John R. Donahue, S.J. (Author)


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Professor Donahue here argues that "the parables of Jesus" offer a Gospel in miniature, while at the same time giving shape, direction, and meaning to the Gospels in which they appear. "To study the parables of the Gospels is to study the gospel in parable." After surveying recent discussions of parable, metaphor, and narrative, Donahue examines and interprets the parables of Mark, Matthew, and Luke as texts in the context of the theology of each of these Gospels. Finally, he outlines what "The Gospel in Parable" looks like and offers suggestions for the proclamation of parables today.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800624804
  • Dimensions 5.3 x 8.5
  • Pages 256
  • Publication Date April 1, 1988


"Rarely does one find a book of equal interest to scholar and preacher. This is one. Scholar and preacher will be interested in a book that in exceptionally clear prose adroitly balances current methods of parable interpretation in order to understand the parables in their various contexts that they may be proclaimed again in our context."
— Sallie McFague, The Divinity School, Vanderbilt University

"Among the many fine books on the New Testament parables in recent years, Donahue's work stands out for its concentration on the meaning of the parables in their Gospel contexts. His clear and orderly interpretations are based on a thorough mastery of contemporary scholarship. Students and scholars alike can learn much about the parables and the Synoptic Gospels from this mature study."
— Daniel J. Harrington, S.J., Weston School of Theology