The Parable of the Talents is one of Jesus' best-known teachings: an admonishment to apply and increase our abilities--whatever they are--in the service of God. Undeniably, 'The Talents' has been influential in shaping Christian attitudes toward money, individuality and personal achievement. Yet how well does any of us truly understand this oft-quoted and apparently straightforward lesson? And what does this lesson tell us of the teacher, Jesus? In this fresh new look at the Parable of the Talents, Doris E. Miller traces its Biblical origins, discusses the history of its interpretation, and offers significant new insight into how Jesus may have spent the "silent years" between his childhood and the beginning of his ministry. Written in a clear narrative voice, the author provides a wealth of scholarship, factual information and literary detective work along with thoughtful reflections on Jesus' life and teachings.