14 votes
Accepted

Why does the sower not know how the seed grows in Mark 4:27?

We should first note that Jesus is telling a parable. A parable is a form of comparison to help us understand something that is difficult or abstract. The word parable means "to cast alongside.&...
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  • 1,710
13 votes

Is the story of the magi in Matthew’s Gospel a parable?

I personally know New Testament scholars who believe this account was not a parable--so at the very least, I can confirm that such people exist. Verifiability One of the most useful metrics for ...
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12 votes

In Matthew 25:8-9 what does the oil in the ten virgins parable represent?

It can be somewhat dangerous exegetically to try to force too much meaning into a specific word or phrase from a parable. Parables are meant to be evocative illustrations (not encrypted cyphers), so ...
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12 votes
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Understanding the Parable of the Weeds (Matthew 13:24-30)

The Greek ζιζάνια for tares/weeds has often been understood as a reference to darnel (a type of ryegrass, see here). If so, the meaning is clarified. Wheat & darnel look essentially the same in ...
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11 votes

What is the significance of both the priest and the Levite in the Good Samaritan parable?

Setting to the scene The parable of the Good Samaritan is told by Jesus shortly after an expert of the law summarizes the law into 1) Love God and 2) Love your neighbor. This scene occurs in the town ...
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10 votes
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In the parable of the ten bridesmaids, why wouldn't those who had oil share with those who had none?

An important concept in biblical hermeneutics regarding parables is this: Do not make a parable say something it does not intend to say. The central message of the parable in the beginning of Matthew ...
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9 votes

What is signified by the man without wedding clothes in Matthew 22:11-13?

The marriage was of the Son of God (the Messiah / Christ) to His assembly (church) of His saints (Rev. 21:2). He is the husband of the church (Eph. 5:25). All of the guests at the wedding feast in ...
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  • 8,594
9 votes
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Did the 5 foolish virgins lose their salvation or were they never saved to begin with?

In answering this question, we MUST remember that it is a PARABLE!! It is not necessarily literally true but teaches an important spiritual lesson. However, we observe several things about the ...
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8 votes

Is the younger son’s inheritance restored in Luke 15:31?

An article in Jewish Encyclopedia sheds a little light on this topic. My summary of the information combined with information from the parable is: The father can do what he wishes with his property ...
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8 votes

Is there a contradiction in being told by disciples the hidden (disciple only) meaning behind parables for the masses, even though we are the masses?

At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry he taught by using analogies that would be readily understood by everyone – salt, bread, sheep – and the meaning would be clear within the context of his teaching. ...
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8 votes

Is the story of the magi in Matthew’s Gospel a parable?

If that is the "universal assumption of people he [Spong] knows", then Spong has a very limited set of friends - I also know many NT scholars that believe Matt 2 is history. Biblical ...
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8 votes

Is the story of the magi in Matthew’s Gospel a parable?

The flaw in Sprong's and Crossan's approach to hermeneutics is three-fold. First, they recognize Matthew is making a valid point, but they assume he simply made up the details to illustrate that point....
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7 votes

In Matthew 25:8-9 what does the oil in the ten virgins parable represent?

I agree with the gist of several comments and previous answers that the oil does not need to have an specific symbolic meaning for the parable to make sense. That said, meaning can still be tied to ...
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7 votes
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The Parable of the Ten Virgins - proportion 5 to 5 - meaning

This attempt to answer the question "Why 5:5?" falls into four parts: (1) number symbolism; (2) the Matthean context; (3) why ten?; and (4) why 5:5? Number symbolism in Judaism (OP) I know that ...
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6 votes
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Who are the Sheep and the Goats in Matthew 25?

The parables’ interpretation hinges on the identity of Jesus’ brothers. While it is true that at least some of these “brothers” are in need, their need does not define them. The need simply ...
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6 votes

How can the kingdom of heaven be like a man?

The Kingdom is not like the man but like the man who sowed seed (Luke 13:24). We are then given an explanation about the parable's symbols: The sower is the Son of Man (v37) The field is the world [...
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6 votes
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What does the produce of the vineyard represent in the Parable of the Vine-growers?

What an interesting question, one that gave me pause to stop and think. It is obvious that the produce from a vineyard is grapes, but what do “grapes” represent in this parable? The context in which ...
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6 votes

Who is my neighbor?

The answer to that question is given by the lawyer / legal expert in Luke 10:37 And he said, “The one who showed compassion to him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.” So instead of ...
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5 votes

What is the significance of both the priest and the Levite in the Good Samaritan parable?

Keep in mind that the parable is given in the context of a lawyer who knows the commandments and seeks to justify himself by defining who should be considered his neighbor. Priests and Levites were ...
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5 votes

Do the specific gifts the father gives to the prodigal son have any special significance?

The robe, ring & sandals help show the father’s high level of love, honor and authority for the son. The robe and the ring are symbolic of how well the father will be treating his son (i.e. ...
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5 votes

In Matthew 25:8-9 what does the oil in the ten virgins parable represent?

Oil symbolises something without which it is impossible to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Moreover, this something is that which does not depend solely on the merit of God, for otherwise all virgins, i....
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5 votes

Do the birds who perch in the mustard tree have allegorical meaning?

But recently I heard it suggested there might be a connection to the birds in the Parable of the Sower just a little before this passage The way the parable is phrased doesn't lend itself to any ...
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5 votes

Luke 16:19-31 Lazarus and the rich man - literal, allegorical or a mixture of both?

Positive Argument (Negative arguments in a separate post for readability) The setting of the parable This question is insightful because "Is the parable of the rich man and Lazarus a true story&...
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5 votes
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Why did the father of the prodigal son put his best robe on his son? Luke 15:22

According to the OT this is true, in part. I’m sure that centuries later it might have been modified, where if a father rejects his son the community would purge the son from their midst without the ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Meaning of Matthew 21:44

This passage is the conclusion of a string of events attested to in this chapter, and so we must take these events together to understand the broader context. Parables about Obedience and Judgement ...
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5 votes

What does the produce of the vineyard represent in the Parable of the Vine-growers?

Excellent question? In fact I was thinking about this parable today and then I spotted your question. One of the main points of the parable is the fact that The Son Jesus Christ preexisted His ...
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5 votes

Who is my neighbor?

Jesus does indeed reverse the perspective by showing someone receiving neighbourly kindness and asking "Who was a neighbour to him?" instead of answering "Who is my neighbour?" But ...
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5 votes

Who is my neighbor?

And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:25) [ESV] καὶ ἰδοὺ νομικός τις ἀνέστη ἐκπειράζων αὐτὸν λέγων διδάσκαλε τί ...
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5 votes

3. In The Parable of the Pearl, Mat13:45-46 how does one reconcile the phrase, “and bought it” with the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

I’d like to offer a different perspective to cut your pastor some slack. Not because I believe the answers here are all wrong, but because this site functions at its best when multiple perspectives ...
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5 votes

Understanding the Parable of the Weeds (Matthew 13:24-30)

@HoldToTheRod did an excellent job of explaining the agricultural references being made. I would just point out that the OT background for this parable includes: [Jer 31:27 NASB20] 27 "Behold, ...
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