S4E2: The Parable of the Sower
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In this episode, we examine Jesus’ parable of the sower found in Matthew 13:3-9. We begin by reviewing popular contemporary interpretations of the parables. As a feature particularly important to all of them, we delve into the Jewish tradition of using agricultural metaphors in communication, with a focus on second-temple literature’s emphasis on the sowing and reaping motif in discipleship. Within that historical context, we explore how this understanding provides deeper insight into the parable of the sower.
- How the parable of the sower is typically read within Christian circles (6:37)
- The agricultural metaphor in the Tanakh – Psalm 37:1-2; Psalm 72:16-17; Psalm 90:3-6; Psalm 92:6-8; Psalm 103:13-16; Isaiah 5:21-24; Isaiah 40:6-9; Isaiah 51:11-13; Ezekiel 17:1-10; Malachi 2:17, 3:1-4,16 (15:51)
- The agricultural metaphor in Jewish apocalyptic literature – 4 Ezra 4:26-32; 4 Ezra 8:38-45; 4 Ezra 9:26-37 (33:27)
- How the parable ought to be understood – Matthew 13:18-23; Daniel 2; Berakhot 55a; Avot 5:2 (44:38)