Siegfried Goebel sets out to define and explore the limits of parable in the Gospels. Arranging the parables by their content and meaning, he brings the reader to understand either their figurative narrative or their concrete, literal command. He treats each parable individually and demonstrates the qualities that prove each parable fall into one of his two categories: “figurative” or “typical” (literal).
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His book is written in an agreeable style, and betrays on every page learning, acuteness, soundness of judgment, and considerable exegetical tact. . . . It will, we conceive, be of service to the preacher, not in suggesting the materials or the arrangement of a discourse, but, which is far more important, in giving him that clear apprehension of the purport of a given parable. . . . It is always a pleasure to read his candid, scholarly, direct, and manly handling of the divine words.
—T. W. Chambers, The Presbyterian Review, vol. 2
The work has found considerable favor in Germany. . . . Notwithstanding all which has been written on the subject, there is still a place for this book, and it will be found valuable to ministers and others who wish to make a careful study of the parables of our Lord.
—New Englander and Yale Review, vol. 43
Another special excellence is the manner in which the parables are connected with the great periods in Christ’s ministry. Far more attention is given to the grouping of the parables than we find in Trench. The introduction is . . . sound and sensible. We ought to add, perhaps, that the book before us represents the highest Protestant orthodoxy. We can only express in conclusion our earnest hope that the book may be carefully studied by many of our own clergy.
—W. E. Addis, The Dublin Review
Siegfried Abraham Goebel (1844–1928) was born in Winningen, Germany, and served both as a pastor at Poznan, Germany, and as court chaplain in Halberstadt, Germany. He was also a professor of theology at Bonn University.
J. S. Banks was a professor of theology at Headingley College. He was fluent in German and Hebrew, was an ordained Wesleyan-Methodist minister, and had both a master’s degree and a doctorate of divinity.