For you newbies, welcome to the site. And every once in a while I do a post
called “What’s on the Shelf,” which is just sharing something I’ve been
reading. So here we go…

The Cross and the Prodigal” by Kenneth Bailey

God has been blessing me with some great resources lately. I received this
book as a gift and it is incredible. Kenneth Bailey is a Presbyterian
author and lecturer in Middle Eastern New Testament Studies. In other
words, he learns about what New Testament scholarship is and has been done
in the middle eastern cultures. He follows the Arabic and Syriac
translations and commentaries on the Bible which are basically untapped in
our western culture. He also studies the culture of the part of the world
where the events in the Bible occurred. For the majority of this book, he
deals with the story of the Prodigal Son, placing it back in the cultural
frame where it occurred. It was amazingly eye-opening to me.

My understanding of this picture of a father, humiliating himself, running
through the town to reach his son is so greatly increased once I understood
in that culture, the town would have rallied against the son, mocking him
all the way to his former house. But the father took the embarrassment

There are so many insights like this in the book. I am anxiously looking
forward to reading more from him as soon as I can get them ordered. And
finish the 522 page book that came in the mail yesterday. Which, so far, is

I’d love to hear about what you’re reading right now and how it’s impacting