Talk:Parable of the Mustard Seed

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Older discussion[edit]

The Canonical parable of the mustard seed would be a correct title to this page, unless you want to admit the gospel of Thomas — Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.172.120.29 (talk) 02:22, 9 September 2011 (UTC)


I've also heard this passage interpreted differently. Supposedly a mustard seed grows into a shrub, not a tree, and it's a very modest shrub at that. This parable was said to mean that the kingdom of heaven was actually not as grand as some people believed. MMX 05:29, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Do you know who holds that interpretation (i.e. which religious group)?Clinkophonist 22:25, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

Should it be mentioned that the mustard seed is in fact, not the smallest of all seeds?--Andrew c 13:32, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
Luke doesn't say it's the smallest [1]. Mark and Matthew say it is "least" among seeds [2], [3] in the literal translation, although some versions translate it as smallest in the world. Thomas says it is the smallest [4]. It was certainly the smallest seed anyone in the area at the time knew about [5]. Roy Brumback 10:49, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
Excellent info. Should it be included in the article?--Andrew c 20:04, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

Crossan on Parables:

Jesus is most famous, I think, for parables and aphorisms. And both of them are really ways of teaching ordinary people. Now, if you read them in the New Testament, it might take a minute to read; I imagine them as maybe an hour long interaction between Jesus and an audience, who are probably talking back to him, and interrupting him and debating with him and disagreeing with him and fighting with him. And the parable is a way, really, of getting them to think. It's a way of provoking people to think for themselves....

[For example], Jesus tells a parable about somebody who takes a mustard seed, plants it in the ground, and it grows up to be a great tree, or a bush at least, a weed, though, in plain language. Now, imagine an audience reacting to that. Presumably the Kingdom is like this, and you have to figure out, "What's it like? You mean, the Kingdom is big? But you just said it's a big weed. So why don't you say a big cedar of Lebanon? Why a big weed? And besides, this mustard, we're not sure we like this mustard. It's very dangerous in our fields. We try to control it. We try to contain it. Why do you mean the Kingdom is something that the people try to control and contain?" Every reaction in the audience ... the audience fighting with themselves, as it were, answering back to Jesus is doing exactly what he wants. It's making them think, not about mustard, of course, but about the Kingdom. But the trap is that this is a very provocative, even a weird, image for the Kingdom. To say the Kingdom is like a cedar of Lebanon, everyone would yawn, say, "Of course." It's like a mustard seed ... "What's going on here?"

Is this [style of teaching] unique to Jesus???????

The parables are unique only in a very limited sense, in that the primary teaching of Jesus is not taking texts out of the Hebrew scriptures and explaining them, blasting them, commenting on them. What he is doing is telling a perfectly ordinary story. And using that as the major teaching. "The Kingdom of God is like this." Now you have to think, well, I hear the story, but how on earth is the Kingdom of God like that? That's your job as the hearer. So it's open to anyone. And that's, I think, the point of the parable.

So right from the start his teaching depends on interpretation?

If you teach in parables, you give yourself to interpretation. If you really want to tell people what to think you preach them a sermon. If you tell them a parable then you're leaving yourself open, inevitably, to interpretation.

Use of Thomas[edit]

In reference to the repeated deletion of the fact that the parable appears in Thomas too, please quit. It's true that the Gospel is not accepted as canonical by most Christians (I don't accept it as canonical), but scholars do use it in historical Jesus research. This page does not endorse it or promote it but simply says is appears in that document as well. It simply states this fact in a NPOV manner. Roy Brumback 20:12, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Qur'anic similarity[edit]

I just thought that this ayah of the Qur'an seemed to be quite similar to that of the Bible:

048.029
YUSUFALI: Muhammad is the messenger of Allah; and those who are with him are strong against Unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other. Thou wilt see them bow and prostrate themselves (in prayer), seeking Grace from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure. On their faces are their marks, (being) the traces of their prostration. This is their similitude in the Taurat; and their similitude in the Gospel is: like a seed which sends forth its blade, then makes it strong; it then becomes thick, and it stands on its own stem, (filling) the sowers with wonder and delight. As a result, it fills the Unbelievers with rage at them. Allah has promised those among them who believe and do righteous deeds forgiveness, and a great Reward.
PICKTHAL: Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves. Thou (O Muhammad) seest them bowing and falling prostrate (in worship), seeking bounty from Allah and (His) acceptance. The mark of them is on their foreheads from the traces of prostration. Such is their likeness in the Torah and their likeness in the Gospel - like as sown corn that sendeth forth its shoot and strengtheneth it and riseth firm upon its stalk, delighting the sowers - that He may enrage the disbelievers with (the sight of) them. Allah hath promised, unto such of them as believe and do good works, forgiveness and immense reward.
SHAKIR: Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those with him are firm of heart against the unbelievers, compassionate among themselves; you will see them bowing down, prostrating themselves, seeking grace from Allah and pleasure; their marks are in their faces because of the effect of prostration; that is their description in the Taurat and their description in the Injeel; like as seed-produce that puts forth its sprout, then strengthens it, so it becomes stout and stands firmly on its stem, delighting the sowers that He may enrage the unbelievers on account of them; Allah has promised those among them who believe and do good, forgiveness and a great reward.

Moiz Amjad cites the Parable of the Mustard Seed when explaining the verse of the Qur'an.[6] 195.229.236.216 10:07, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Original research removed[edit]

Original research is banned on Wikipedia, and its important to properly reference to reliable books and journals, with page numbers. I've just reverted a paragraph which was mostly original research. There was indeed a reference for one claim (the birds are evil), but an anonymous study Bible isn't really a reliable reference. However, since the birds being evil does seem to be a legitimate minority view, I've added a book reference on it. -- Radagast3 (talk) 01:26, 11 July 2010 (UTC)