This book introduces Christian readers of the Bible to the otherworldly way in which the rabbis of ancient times interpreted sacred texts. You will discover how the rabbis sought to keep their congregations engaged by telling tales, parables about the Bible. Sometimes they made up whole new background stories that do not appear in Scripture but shed light on it. They were gifted storytellers, and sometimes--almost like Doc in Back to the Future--crazy but brilliant inventers. And like Marty McFly, we can climb into this literary DeLorean and speed back to a time when sages saw things in Scripture that we could never see. Their interpretive insights were based upon immense knowledge of what we call the Old Testament. This knowledge they employed to keep the congregations engaged and informed. They may end up doing the same for us if we listen to what they have to teach us. ""Joel Allen presents rabbinical midrash as a resource that will shake Protestants out of our tendencies toward biblical literalism and help us again embrace Old Testament texts as beautifully textured stories of dynamic encounters between God and God's people."" --Cindy Wesley, University of Cambridge ""Allen has judiciously selected rabbinic passages that would be of interest to his target audience. He has translated and interpreted the material, and most importantly he has laid out the implications of these passages for the Christian reader. Whether for personal study or for the college or seminary classroom, this book is highly suited. It opens the world of rabbinic thought to those Christians who may not have had prior exposure."" --Edward Goldman, Hebrew Union College ""Allen masterfully illustrates how certain rabbis used stories to unearth deeper meanings from the words of Scripture. This scholarly, witty work illustrates that the desire to go deeper into the meaning of the sacred text unavoidably spawned creative and sometimes contradictory rabbinic interpretations. Clearly, Allen's book will inspire an appreciation for the apologetic and pedagogical minds of those who first embraced monotheism and their attempt to justify the goodness and providence of God."" --L. Manning Garrett III, University of Memphis Joel S. Allen is the Chair of the Religion and Philosophy Department at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota. Joel completed a PhD at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he studied Rabbinic Literature. Along with several articles, he is author of The Despoliation of Egypt in Pre-Rabbinic, Rabbinic, and Patristic Traditions (2008).