S4E2: The Parable of the Sower

Download this episode

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.

Show notes

  • 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)