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The Parable of the Sower.

GodSands
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4/16/2011 7:32:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Matthew 13:1-23

"[1] The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.
[2] And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
[3] And he spoke many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
[4] And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
[5] Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
[6] And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
[7] And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
[8] But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixty fold, some thirty fold.
[9] Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
[10] And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
[11] He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
[12] For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
[13] Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
[14] And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
[15] For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
[16] But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
[17] For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
[18] Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
[19] When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
[20] But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
[21] Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
[22] He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
[23] But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."


What do you guys think this parable means? What does it really mean? Not just in a Christian sense, what does it mean to you as an atheist. The parable isn't for Christians, so much it is more for those who are lost. A a supposed lost person, what does this mean to you in relation to Christianity?
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,284
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4/16/2011 8:59:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/16/2011 7:32:32 PM, GodSands wrote:
Matthew 13:1-23

"[1] The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.
[2] And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
[3] And he spoke many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
[4] And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
[5] Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
[6] And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
[7] And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
[8] But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixty fold, some thirty fold.
[9] Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
[10] And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
[11] He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
[12] For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
[13] Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
[14] And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
[15] For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
[16] But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
[17] For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
[18] Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
[19] When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
[20] But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
[21] Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
[22] He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
[23] But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."


What do you guys think this parable means? What does it really mean? Not just in a Christian sense, what does it mean to you as an atheist. The parable isn't for Christians, so much it is more for those who are lost. A a supposed lost person, what does this mean to you in relation to Christianity?

He is rebuking the pretentiousness of organized religion.
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
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4/16/2011 10:02:27 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/16/2011 7:32:32 PM, GodSands wrote:
What do you guys think this parable means? What does it really mean? Not just in a Christian sense, what does it mean to you as an atheist. The parable isn't for Christians, so much it is more for those who are lost. A a supposed lost person, what does this mean to you in relation to Christianity?

Parables are like coded messages. They are meant to be understood by those who already have understanding. Those who lack understanding are going to find themselves lost. Those who are incapable of grasping a metaphor are really going to be lost.

Jesus explains this. Jesus goes on to explain the parable after he speaks it.

Matthew 13:1-23

"[1] The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.
[2] And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
[3] And he spoke many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
[4] And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
[5] Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
[6] And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
[7] And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
[8] But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixty fold, some thirty fold.
[9] Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

^
This up here is the parable. Below is the discussion afterwards, which includes an explanation.

[10] And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
[11] He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

Jesus is speaking to those who will understand him. That is why he speaks in parables.

[12] For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

Those who have understanding will gain more understanding. Those who do not have understanding will not gain anything, and will potentially lose what little understanding they have.

[13] Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

Jesus speaks to people in parables because he is aware of how badly his words will be misinterpreted by those who don't understand what he means. By speaking in riddles, those who have an understanding will gain from what he says, while those who lack understanding will scratch their heads. He is purposely speaking in a way so that his words do not become like doctrine to the people.

[14] And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
[15] For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

A prophet is a translator of God. A prophecy fulfilled is not necessarily a prediction of the future like so many people think, but an assessment of reality. Jesus is saying that Isiah's assessment of human stupidity is accurate.

[16] But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
[17] For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

Jesus is saying that his disciples already have a greater understanding than many prophets and righteous men have had in the past.

[18] Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
[19] When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

This is someone who hears the truth, and does not understand the meaning of what is being said. They dismiss their misunderstanding of the truth as BS, make no attempt to try to figure it out.

[20] But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
[21] Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

This is someone who hears truth, and rejoices.. But doesn't actually have any real faith or courage, and easily falls away when pressure is put on them.

[22] He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

This is someone who hears the truth, yet lets life worries and luxuries distract him from applying the knowledge.

[23] But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."


Those who hear the truth, and truly understand it reap the benefits of their understanding.

The rest of Matthew 13 is pretty good, and is all very relevant to this particular parable.

Matthew is gospel that is thick with teaching, which is why I like it.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Greyparrot
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4/17/2011 1:04:48 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/16/2011 7:32:32 PM, GodSands wrote:
[18] Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
[19] When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
[20] But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
[21] Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

Note he says root in himself.

[22] He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

I think he is implying that the Pharisees, Sadducees, and organized religion in general are the thorns.

[23] But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."

Of course this part is easy to understand.

I think he used riddles at the time to avoid directly offending the very strict hierarchy at the time. This is just my opinion.
CosmicAlfonzo
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4/17/2011 1:12:51 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
It is a jab at organized religion.

Organized religion is but a means to corral the ignorant who are either too lazy to put the work in necessary to find understanding, or are still working on getting understanding. There is a reason they are called sheep.

You do not need to have a church to have a religion either. Religion is simply a system of beliefs.

We are all religious to some extent. Organized religion often does more to stultify one's mind than anything positive.

It doesn't even do a good job at keeping fools in line... Well, sometimes it does..
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
jharry
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4/17/2011 1:19:19 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/17/2011 1:12:51 AM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
It is a jab at organized religion.

Organized religion is but a means to corral the ignorant who are either too lazy to put the work in necessary to find understanding, or are still working on getting understanding. There is a reason they are called sheep.

Could you give some examples of this. It's not that I disagree exactly, I am curious.
You do not need to have a church to have a religion either. Religion is simply a system of beliefs.

We are all religious to some extent. Organized religion often does more to stultify one's mind than anything positive.

It doesn't even do a good job at keeping fools in line... Well, sometimes it does..
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
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4/17/2011 1:34:49 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/17/2011 1:19:19 AM, jharry wrote:
At 4/17/2011 1:12:51 AM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
It is a jab at organized religion.

Organized religion is but a means to corral the ignorant who are either too lazy to put the work in necessary to find understanding, or are still working on getting understanding. There is a reason they are called sheep.

Could you give some examples of this. It's not that I disagree exactly, I am curious.

Whether or not this is intended or not, that is the result.

Actually, the Catholic Church is actually a fine example. Throughout history, the Catholic Church has taught through imagery, art, and other subtle symbolic things.

The more you read the bible, the more the Catholic Church gets you scratching your head. It almost seems like they are intentionally doing everything wrong as a means to repel people from the institution.

Ironically enough, one of the best bibles I ever had was translated and annotated by Catholic scholars. The annotations casted a lot of doubt into the text, which I found to be startling in its honesty.

For some reason, I get the idea that the Catholic Church knows what it is doing, even if I'm not necessarily sure it is effective in what it is doing.

I'm not even sure if most of the clergy is in on it completely.. Though, I did talk to a Catholic Priest once in private, and he seemed to know exactly what I was talking about.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
jharry
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4/17/2011 1:41:22 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/17/2011 1:34:49 AM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
At 4/17/2011 1:19:19 AM, jharry wrote:
At 4/17/2011 1:12:51 AM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
It is a jab at organized religion.

Organized religion is but a means to corral the ignorant who are either too lazy to put the work in necessary to find understanding, or are still working on getting understanding. There is a reason they are called sheep.

Could you give some examples of this. It's not that I disagree exactly, I am curious.

Whether or not this is intended or not, that is the result.

Actually, the Catholic Church is actually a fine example. Throughout history, the Catholic Church has taught through imagery, art, and other subtle symbolic things.

The more you read the bible, the more the Catholic Church gets you scratching your head. It almost seems like they are intentionally doing everything wrong as a means to repel people from the institution.

Ironically enough, one of the best bibles I ever had was translated and annotated by Catholic scholars. The annotations casted a lot of doubt into the text, which I found to be startling in its honesty.

For some reason, I get the idea that the Catholic Church knows what it is doing, even if I'm not necessarily sure it is effective in what it is doing.

I'm not even sure if most of the clergy is in on it completely.. Though, I did talk to a Catholic Priest once in private, and he seemed to know exactly what I was talking about.

Examples?

I'm glad you chose to look at the Catholic Church. I was afraid you would pick the easy ones like suicide bombers.

Some examples would be nice. Present day or at least the last 10 years or so. I've only been Catholic for about two.
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,284
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4/17/2011 1:43:44 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I agree, the Catholic Church has some extremely bright and critical minds that cast amazing amounts of doubt that easily can be shifted to their own dogma. I am not sure this is a conspiracy like Alfie thinks though.
CosmicAlfonzo
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4/17/2011 1:57:38 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/17/2011 1:41:22 AM, jharry wrote:
At 4/17/2011 1:34:49 AM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
At 4/17/2011 1:19:19 AM, jharry wrote:
At 4/17/2011 1:12:51 AM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
It is a jab at organized religion.

Organized religion is but a means to corral the ignorant who are either too lazy to put the work in necessary to find understanding, or are still working on getting understanding. There is a reason they are called sheep.

Could you give some examples of this. It's not that I disagree exactly, I am curious.

Whether or not this is intended or not, that is the result.

Actually, the Catholic Church is actually a fine example. Throughout history, the Catholic Church has taught through imagery, art, and other subtle symbolic things.

The more you read the bible, the more the Catholic Church gets you scratching your head. It almost seems like they are intentionally doing everything wrong as a means to repel people from the institution.

Ironically enough, one of the best bibles I ever had was translated and annotated by Catholic scholars. The annotations casted a lot of doubt into the text, which I found to be startling in its honesty.

For some reason, I get the idea that the Catholic Church knows what it is doing, even if I'm not necessarily sure it is effective in what it is doing.

I'm not even sure if most of the clergy is in on it completely.. Though, I did talk to a Catholic Priest once in private, and he seemed to know exactly what I was talking about.

Examples?

I'm glad you chose to look at the Catholic Church. I was afraid you would pick the easy ones like suicide bombers.

Some examples would be nice. Present day or at least the last 10 years or so. I've only been Catholic for about two.

I'm not sure what you mean by giving examples.

I'm talking about Organized religion in general. Religion is a very personal thing, and understanding can not be taught. Information can be taught, but understanding is something that can only be brought about from deep contemplation.

Question every belief and assumption you have, be mindful and analytical of your thoughts. Seek truth, and you will find it. It can't be taught. The most anything outside of yourself can do is point you in the right direction.

Often times the things we take most for granted are the things we understand the least.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
CosmicAlfonzo
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4/17/2011 2:01:33 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/17/2011 1:43:44 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
I agree, the Catholic Church has some extremely bright and critical minds that cast amazing amounts of doubt that easily can be shifted to their own dogma. I am not sure this is a conspiracy like Alfie thinks though.

I'm not entirely sure. I think a conspiracy is possible, but I'm more apt to pin it down on human stupidity.

Anytime I'm confronted with a situation that seems conspiratorial , I think to myself.. "Hey wait, does human nature explain this?". Usually something that seems like a conspiracy can easily be explained away as just being a result of collective human stupidity.

Never underestimate the power of human stupidity. It's our defining characteristic.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Greyparrot
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4/17/2011 2:03:31 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/17/2011 2:01:33 AM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
At 4/17/2011 1:43:44 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
I agree, the Catholic Church has some extremely bright and critical minds that cast amazing amounts of doubt that easily can be shifted to their own dogma. I am not sure this is a conspiracy like Alfie thinks though.

I'm not entirely sure. I think a conspiracy is possible, but I'm more apt to pin it down on human stupidity.

Anytime I'm confronted with a situation that seems conspiratorial , I think to myself.. "Hey wait, does human nature explain this?". Usually something that seems like a conspiracy can easily be explained away as just being a result of collective human stupidity.

Never underestimate the power of human stupidity. It's our defining characteristic.

I agree
jharry
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4/17/2011 2:05:55 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/17/2011 1:57:38 AM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
At 4/17/2011 1:41:22 AM, jharry wrote:
At 4/17/2011 1:34:49 AM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
At 4/17/2011 1:19:19 AM, jharry wrote:
At 4/17/2011 1:12:51 AM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
It is a jab at organized religion.

Organized religion is but a means to corral the ignorant who are either too lazy to put the work in necessary to find understanding, or are still working on getting understanding. There is a reason they are called sheep.

Could you give some examples of this. It's not that I disagree exactly, I am curious.

Whether or not this is intended or not, that is the result.

Actually, the Catholic Church is actually a fine example. Throughout history, the Catholic Church has taught through imagery, art, and other subtle symbolic things.

The more you read the bible, the more the Catholic Church gets you scratching your head. It almost seems like they are intentionally doing everything wrong as a means to repel people from the institution.

Ironically enough, one of the best bibles I ever had was translated and annotated by Catholic scholars. The annotations casted a lot of doubt into the text, which I found to be startling in its honesty.

For some reason, I get the idea that the Catholic Church knows what it is doing, even if I'm not necessarily sure it is effective in what it is doing.

I'm not even sure if most of the clergy is in on it completely.. Though, I did talk to a Catholic Priest once in private, and he seemed to know exactly what I was talking about.

Examples?

I'm glad you chose to look at the Catholic Church. I was afraid you would pick the easy ones like suicide bombers.

Some examples would be nice. Present day or at least the last 10 years or so. I've only been Catholic for about two.

I'm not sure what you mean by giving examples.

I'm talking about Organized religion in general. Religion is a very personal thing, and understanding can not be taught. Information can be taught, but understanding is something that can only be brought about from deep contemplation.

Question every belief and assumption you have, be mindful and analytical of your thoughts. Seek truth, and you will find it. It can't be taught. The most anything outside of yourself can do is point you in the right direction.

Often times the things we take most for granted are the things we understand the least.

I believe I have. That is why I reconciled to the Church.

Oh, you made the statement that organized religion was a means of corraling the ignorant or lazy. I thought you might have something to back that assertion.
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen