Good Shepherd
Kenneth E. Bailey

Book cover image

Narrated By: Stephen R. Thorne

Duration: 10 hours and 5 minutes

What to expect

"The Lord is my shepherd."

Thus begins the most beloved of all Psalms—and thus begins a thousand-year journey through the Bible. Prophets, apostles, and Jesus himself took up this image from David, reshaping it, developing it, and applying it to their own situations and needs. Kenneth Bailey uses his celebrated insights into Middle Eastern culture, especially his familiarity with Middle Eastern shepherding customs, to bring new light and life to our understanding of this central image of the Christian faith. With each of nine major Old and New Testament passages, Bailey reveals the literary artistry of the biblical writers and summarizes their key theological features. His work is also enriched by his unique access to very early Middle Eastern commentaries on these passages, bringing fresh understanding from within the mind-set of these ancient worlds. The Good Shepherd invites us to experience a rich, biblical feast of ethical, theological, and artistic delights.


Criticism and exegesis of sacred texts, New Testaments, Criticism and exegesis of sacred texts, Old Testaments, Jewish texts: Tanakh, Torah, Nevi’im, Ketuvim, Criticism and exegesis of sacred texts, Old Testaments, Jewish texts: Tanakh, Torah, Nevi’im, Ketuvim, Middle Eastern history

Listen to a sample

“Kenneth Bailey refreshes the souls of readers with deep textual insights and helpful contextual background to safely shepherd readers through the thousand-year story of Psalm 23. He makes several stops along the way in the Prophets before settling into the Gospels, where he deftly introduces us to a fresh understanding of the Good Shepherd. Anyone who loves the Twenty-Third Psalm will love this book.”

David Lamb, associate professor of Old Testament, Biblical Theological Seminary; author of God Behaving Badly

“What a feast Ken Bailey has prepared for us in this book, and what an overflowing cupful of insights and illumination. If you ever thought there was nothing more you could ever learn or preach about the biblical image of the good shepherd, this book has an abundance of surprises…This is a book that simultaneously brings the Bible to life and exalts the Lord Jesus Christ by deeply enriching our understanding of his mission and claims as the Good Shepherd.”

Christopher J. H. Wright, international ministries director, Langham Partnership

“Jesus’ declaration that he is ‘the good shepherd’ has comforted Christians for centuries. Using his impressive knowledge of scripture and his experience living for many years in the Middle East, Bailey deepens and enriches our understanding of what it means to be members of God’s flock.”

Tremper Longman, Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College

“Ken Bailey is the consummate expert on the cultural context of first-century life. And here he applies these skills to one motif—the shepherd—illustrating how it is employed in a variety of biblical stories and parables. His interpretations use a variety of tools unknown to many of us…Always insightful, always fresh, consistently surprising, Bailey has produced yet another book that will get many of us rethinking beloved passages of Scripture in completely new ways.”