“The Parable of the Sower” or Why Parables?


The Parable of the Sower is noteworthy not just for its description of the different kinds of faith, but for Jesus’ explanation of why He teaches in parables. This post deals exclusively with the latter.

Most Bibles (and commentators) read the text as expressing the view that the secrets of the Kingdom of God are to be restricted only to those that follow Jesus.  Another set commentators advance a similar understanding, namely, that a prior faith in Jesus is required to understand His other parables and that, moreover, Jesus will not enlighten those who refuse to believe. Indeed, to such people the parables are designed to confuse.

I will argue in this post, that this view seriously misunderstands Jesus’s teachings and the biblical text upon which they are based. Here’s the money shot: Jesus uses parables to make simple the complexities of the Kingdom of God. Those without the specialized training given to His apprentices (His talmidim, in Hebrew) are best taught using the figurative language of the mashal (Hebrew for parable, discourse, proverb, simile, etc.).

A detailed explanation can (and should) be read here.

Now, go and study


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