Breaking the parables of Jesus into four primary groups, Thomas Richey analyzes Jesus’ ministry in light of the qualities that define each group. Inspired by similar studies by Siegfried Goebel and Alexander B. Bruce, Richey’s study of Jesus’ parables recorded in the Gospel of Matthew takes nothing for granted and analyzes every word, understanding that Jesus spoke by purposefully and intentionally in choosing them. Richey discusses each parable of the Gospel of Matthew at length, exploring the parable’s audience, location, and timing in Jesus’ ministry in order to fully realize the Kingdom of Heaven Matthew enthusiastically records.
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Dr. Richey’s work is not a hasty compilation, merely made up of other men’s thoughts and sayings. It is full of quotations from beginning to end, showing that, in the profound study of many years he has swept over the whole field—patristic, mediaeval, and modern. . . . We unhesitatingly commend this work of Dr. Richey’s as clearly the best yet issues on the special subject of ‘The Parables of our blessed Lord.’ It contains the quintessence of all the leading writers who have previously treated the same marvelous theme.
—J. H. Hopkins, The Church Review, vol. 52
His standpoint and fundamental position is a sound one, that the Parables must be studied as they stand in their connections. . . . The author may be commended for the carefulness of his exegesis as well as for his freedom from dogmatic presuppositions. Perhaps the highest point of excellence is reached in the homiletical element which pervades the work. The expositions and applications are clear and spirited.
—The Old & New Testament Student, vol. 9
Thomas Richey (1833–1905) held doctorates in sacred theology and divinity. He was president of St. Stephen’s College (now Bard College) from 1861 to 1863, and later taught ecclesiastical history at St. Mary’s Hall and Shattuck School in 1869. He would finally teach at the General Theological Seminary (now the Episcopal Theological Seminary) in New York from 1879 to 1903. He was an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church.