Why You're Missing Half the Story in Jesus' Parables
Many of us heard our first parables of Jesus when we were young, and learned only the simplest interpretations. 

  • "God forgives" - The Prodigal Son
  • "Help others" - The Good Samaritan
  • "Keep praying" - The Persistent Widow

But Jesus’ parables are not comfortable stories designed for children. They are provocative and profound; they both delight and discomfort. 

And even for those of us who revisited the parables as adults, we often interpret them through the blurred perspective of our 21st-century mindset, missing out on the rich historical and cultural context that would reveal their full meaning.

Hearing the parables in their proper historical context—as Jewish stories—corrects their frequent antisemitic interpretations even as it recovers the meaning and richness of Jesus' teachings, including insights into the social roles and dynamics of first-century Jewish women, deeper economic and ethical implications, and even his humor.

Experience the Parables Like Never Before in Our New Online Course!
Join world-renowned New Testament and Jewish Studies scholar, Dr. Amy-Jill Levine for a new, 4-lecture series.
Purchase this course today and enjoy the special bundled price for  lifetime access to all course materials including Q & A

Course Overview

Discover What You've Been Missing!

In our new course, Dr. Amy-Jill Levine, an acclaimed scholar in New Testament and Jewish Studies, will guide you through the parables as they were likely understood by Jesus' original audience.

Dr. Levine's background brings a unique perspective that you won't find elsewhere. With her deep knowledge of Jewish traditions and first-century history, Dr. Levine will reveal insights into the deeper meanings and ethical challenges embedded in the parables.  

From Pearls to Prodigals, from Widows and Judges to Pharisees and Tax collectors, from the Samaritan who helps an injured man to a landowner who offers equal pay for unequal work, Dr. Levine uncovers the bedrock of Gospel interpretation that surprises, that indicts, and that prompts ethical responses.

key questions explored in this course

  • How might the first hearers of the parables, who lacked knowledge of Jesus’s death, have understood them?

  • How do the Evangelists interpret the parables initially, and what are the implications of their interpretations?

  • How did antisemitic interpretations of parables evolve, and what measures can be taken to rectify them?

  • While many perceive the parables to focus on salvation or Christology, what insights do they offer regarding economics, ethics, insiders and outsiders, and the dynamics between the enslaved and enslavers?

  • How do parables contribute to our understanding of the social roles of first-century Jewish women?

  LESSON Outline

  • Lesson 1: Pearls and Prodigals: How to Hear a Parable
  • Lesson 2: Samaritans, Priests, and Levites: How History impacts Parable Interpretation

  • Lesson 3: Laborers and Management in the Vineyard: How to Assess Kingdom Economics
  • Lesson 4: Persevering Widow and Unjust Judge: How Parables Promote and Demote Women
  • Two 30 minute Q&A sessions

Don't miss out on this opportunity to encounter the parables in a strikingly new way. Whether you're a seasoned scholar or a curious seeker, this course promises to ignite your imagination and deepen your understanding of the Gospel narratives. 

Distinguished professor

Amy Jill Levine ("AJ") is Rabbi Stanley M. Kessler Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Hartford International University for Religion and Peace and University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies Emerita at Vanderbilt. Her publications include The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus, Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi, and, with Marc Brettler, The Bible With and Without Jesus. With Brettler, she also co-edited The Jewish Annotated New Testament. She is the first Jew to teach the New Testament at Rome's Pontifical Biblical Institute and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. AJ identifies as an unorthodox member of an Orthodox synagogue and a Yankee Jewish feminist who challenges exclusionary biblical interpretations.


Our regular price for four individual lectures would typically be $59.80*.  However, you can enjoy the "Parables of Jesus" online course including lifetime access to ALL four lectures, Q&A, and bonus materials for the special BUNDLED price of $39.95.

(*$14.95 each)


As a special bonus for our Parables course, enjoy two 20-minute talks featuring Dr. Amy-Jill Levine and Bart Ehrman delving deeper into AJ's lectures, sharing additional insights and engaging in dynamic discussions. Witness these renowned scholars explore the material together, offering unique perspectives and thought-provoking dialogue. Don't miss this exclusive opportunity, available only with this course.


As an extra bonus when you buy this course you'll also enjoy free access to Dr. Amy-Jill Levine's highly rated talk from New Insights into the New Testament - 2023, "Jesus and Women: Distinguishing History from Apologetic"! In this presentation, Amy-Jill debunks the myth of Jesus as a first-century feminist within repressive Jewish practices. Using the Gospels, literary, and archaeological sources, she uncovers the true roles of first-century Jewish women and offers a historically grounded understanding of gender and sexuality.


Registration Includes Lifetime Access to the 4-Lesson Online Course complete with:

  • 4 x  50 minute lectures & 2 Q & A sessions by Dr. Amy-Jill Levine
  • PDF lesson guides
  • FAQ's
  • Additional reading list to dive deeper
  • Audio downloads for listening on the go

($159.60 Value)

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You will not be charged for this purchase, but if you choose to make an optional purchase later, this card info will be used to complete that transaction!

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  • Is this a LIVE course?
    This course was recorded live on July 20th - 21st, 2024.
    If you purchase this course after July 21st, you'll enjoy lifetime access to the recorded course and Q&A sessions.
  • What is the Special Bundle Price?
    Our normal price for four individual lectures with Dr. Amy-Jill Levine is $59.80 (14.95 per course). However, you can enjoy the "Parables of Jesus" online course including lifetime access to ALL four lectures, Q&As, and bonus materials for the special bundle price of $39.95!
  • Are any other discounts available?
    Yes! Viewers of Dr. Ehrman's "Misquoting Jesus" show on YouTube or listeners of the podcast can discover exclusive discount codes. Additionally, paid members of his blog at ehrmanblog.org are eligible for special discounts.
  • Do you offer a money-back guarantee?
    Absolutely! If you don't love the seminar, send us an email and we will refund 100% of your investment. You will have 30 days from the date of the seminar.
  • Total payment
  • 1xThe Parables of Jesus: Jewish Insights into Gospel Ethics, Humor, and Provocation$39.95

All prices in USD