Original Research - Special Collection: Foundation subjects - Old and New Testament Studies

The harvest and the kingdom: An interpretation of the Sower (Mk 4:3b–8) as a parable of Jesus the Galilean

Ernest van Eck
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 70, No 1 | a2715 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2715 | © 2014 Ernest van Eck | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 May 2014 | Published: 20 November 2014

About the author(s)

Ernest van Eck, Department of New Testament Studies, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa, South Africa


This article attempts to read the parable of the Sower (Mk 4:3b–8) as a parable of the historical Jesus. In this reading, the focus is different from almost all previous interpretations of the parable. It is proposed that the Sower should not be understood in terms of realistic agricultural practices in 1st century Palestine, but in terms of the realism of the political, social and economic world in which the parable is told by Jesus. The conclusion reached is that the parable asks its first hearers to align themselves with the kingdom of God, and describes what the results of this decision can be. In a world with little choice, the parable gives a vision on how to cope in an exploitative world.


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Crossref Citations

1. Die gelykenisse van Jesus: Allegorieë of simbole van sosiale transformasie?
Ernest Van Eck
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies  vol: 71  issue: 3  year: 2015  
doi: 10.4102/hts.v71i3.3030