digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

An icon depicting the Sower (Biserica Ortodoxă din Deal, Cluj-Napoca), Romania.

The Parable of the Sower (sometimes called the Parable of the Soils) is the one of the parables of Jesus found in three (often called the Synoptic Gospels)[1] out of the four Canonical gospels and in the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas.[2] In this story, a sower dropped seed on the path, on rocky ground and among thorns, and the seed was lost; but when seed fell on good earth it grew, yielding thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.

Parable Text from the Gospel of Mark (KJV)[edit]

Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the birds of the air came and devoured it up. And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. And some fell among thorns, the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. And other fell on good ground, did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, some an hundred. He said unto them, He that has ears to hear, let him hear.

Mark 4:3-9

The explanation given by Jesus:

And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

The sower soweth the word. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended. And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.

Mark 4:10-20

Comparisons Between Gospel of Thomas and Synoptic Gospels[edit]

Thomas, as usual, provides no narrative context whatsoever, nor any explanation, but the synoptics frame this parable as one of a group that were told by Jesus while he was standing on a boat in a lake. The parable tells of seeds that were erratically scattered, some falling on the road and consequently eaten by birds, some falling on rock and consequently unable to take root, and some falling on thorns which choked the seed and the birds ate them. It was, according to the parable, only the seeds that fell on good soil and were able to germinate, producing a crop thirty, sixty, or even a hundredfold, of what had been sown.

Though Thomas doesn't explain the parable at all, the synoptics state that the disciples failed to understand, and questioned Jesus why he was teaching by parables, but the synoptics state that Jesus waited until much later, until the crowds had left, before explaining the parables, stating to his disciples:

the secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to those on the outside, everything is said in parables so that they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding

The Parable of the Sower as illustrated in Hortus deliciarum compiled by Herrad of Landsberg at the Hohenburg Abbey in Alsace (12th century).

The synoptics go on to state that Jesus quoted the Book of Isaiah, stating that by hearing you shall hear but not understand, by seeing you shall see and not perceive, and that the people were hard of hearing, with closed eyes Isaiah 6:9-10. After this, the synoptics provide an explanation of the parable:

  • The sower sows the word
  • The seeds falling on the road represent those who hear the word but dismiss it straight away - the synoptics state that the wicked one (Matthew's wording)/Satan (Mark's wording) is what takes the word away
  • The seeds falling on the rocks represent those who hear the word, but only accept it shallowly - the synoptics state that these sorts of people reject the word as soon as it causes them affliction or persecution
  • The seeds falling on thorns represent those who hear the word, and take it to heart, but allow worldly concerns, such as money, to choke it.
  • The seeds falling on good soil represents those who hear the word, and truly understand it, causing it to bear fruit.

Interpretations[edit]

Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Landscape with the Parable of the Sower, 1557.

Most scholars think the parable was originally optimistic in outlook, in that despite failures eventually the "seed" will be successful, take root and produce a large "crop".[3] It is the first parable to occur in Mark, which according to the Q hypothesis was the first book it occurred in. Mark uses it to highlight the reaction Christ's previous teachings have had on people as well as the reaction the Christian message has had on the world over the three decades between Christ's ministry and the writing of the Gospel.[4]

Jesus says he is teaching in parables because he does not want everyone to understand him, only those who are his followers. Those outside the group are not meant to understand them. Thus one must already be committed to following Jesus to fully understand his message and that without that commitment one will never fully understand him or be helped by his message. If one does not correctly understand the parables, this is a sign that one is not a true disciple of Jesus.[5] He teaches in this way so that their sins will then not be forgiven. He quotes Isaiah 6:9-10, who also preached to Israel knowing that his message would go unheeded and not understood so that the Israelites' sins would not be forgiven and they would be punished by God for them.[4] Some debate whether this was Jesus' original meaning or whether Mark added this interpretation himself.[5] The full explanation of the meaning of the parable stresses that there will be difficulty in Jesus' message taking hold, perhaps an attempt by Mark to bolster his readers' faith, perhaps in the face of a persecution.[6] This parable seems to be essential for understanding all the rest of Jesus' parables, as it makes clear what is necessary to understand Jesus is a prior faith in him, and that Jesus will not enlighten those who refuse to believe, he will only confuse them.[7]

The parable has sometimes been taken to mean that there are (at least) three 'levels' of divine progress and salvation.[8]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ see Mark 4:1-20, Matthew 13:1-23, and Luke 8:1-15
  2. ^ Thomas 9
  3. ^ Kilgallen p.82
  4. ^ a b Kilgallen p.83
  5. ^ a b Kilgallen p.84
  6. ^ Kilgallen p.85
  7. ^ Kilgallen p.86
  8. ^ For example, Irenaeus writes, 'there is this distinction between the habitation of those who produce an hundred-fold, and that of those who produce sixty-fold, and that of those who produce thirty-fold: for the first will be taken up into the heavens, the second will dwell in paradise, the last will inhabit the city; and that was on this account the Lord declared, "In My Father's house are many mansions." Book V:36:1 (Against Heresies)

References[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_Sower — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

38 news items

 
The Tennessean
Wed, 10 Sep 2014 03:06:13 -0700

My father-in-law, we call him Granddaddy, has some house construction going on next door — they have just finished digging out the basement. The builder told Granddaddy he could have some of the topsoil they have dug from the site. Granddaddy needed ...
 
The Tennessean
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 02:56:15 -0700

The whole time I was on the mower, first pulling the aerator, then the spreader, I was thinking of the parable of the sower (Matthew 13). I pictured how, in the natural, the new seed coming up will help keep the weeds out of the yard. In the spirit, it ...
 
Chicago Tribune
Thu, 11 Sep 2014 06:41:50 -0700

Guadalupe Aquino and Lori Garibay, a reading couple from Rogers Park, were "star-struck" by Ana Castillo, whom they met at Printers Row Lit Fest in June. Guadalupe Aquino and Lori Garibay, a reading couple from Rogers Park, were "star-struck" by Ana ...

Hattiesburg American

Hattiesburg American
Wed, 10 Sep 2014 20:00:00 -0700

Editor's note: Because of the Labor Day holiday, the Bible Quiz for Sept. 5 was not submitted. The questions and answers follow: 1. The rebuilder of Jerusalem lost his two sons in the doing. 2. Jesus' first two disciples were Simon Peter and Andrew. 3 ...
 
News-Sun
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 05:00:00 -0700

In Matthew 13:18-23 He continued, “Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was ...
 
Ruidoso News
Mon, 08 Sep 2014 16:03:45 -0700

The parable of the sower is all about where the seed lands. If on a path, the birds get it. If on rocky soil, there is no chance. Even when the soil seems good the seed can get choked out by weeds. Of course this was a teaching to get the listener to ...
 
Huffington Post
Wed, 10 Sep 2014 14:33:45 -0700

We need to see, hear and understand -- it's the parable of the Sower. There are reasons ISIS exist. We may not like them, and we might not want to understand them, but a mature and wise person will seek to know. Ask the question "Why?" Why is there an ...
 
Huffington Post
Fri, 05 Sep 2014 11:18:28 -0700

Inspired by Longfellow's epic The Wayside Inn and the biblical parable of the sower, some of whose seeds fell by the wayside, Gurney's play may at first seem a simple nostalgic time-capsule. But as the stories spin out of his 10 wayfarers who find ...
Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Parable of the Sower

You can talk about Parable of the Sower with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!