The author, widely known New Testament scholar on the faculty of the University of Gottingen, sees the parables of Jesus as something entirely new and a primary source of historical material about Christ. No comparable literary stories come down from the rabbinic literature of the time. The parables are marked by a uniqueness of style, a clarity and simplicity, and such expert construction, that they point unmistakably to the personality of their creator. But a thick veil of interpretation has accumulated to obscure their original meaning. Dr. Jeremias points to the translation of the parables into Greek from the Aramaic, the change in audience from those who were with Jesus to the adherents of the Church, and the change in the church's situation, as among the factors contributing to this growing obscurity. He undertakes, therefore, to recover the original meaning of the parables as they were spoken within the setting of Jesus' own life. ""All of Jesus' parables compel his hearers to define their attitude towards his person and mission."" Although the treatment exhibits a high level of scholarly competence, the style and the development of ideas put this book within easy reach of any serious reader.