Re: Mark 4-3- a sower/the s

From: Lance Crimm (
Date: Wed Jun 18 1997 - 09:22:44 EDT

Mail*Link(r) Remote RE>>Mark 4-3- a sower/the s
I think it is simple and some are complicating matters.
An article is used and the verse says, "The sower went out to sow.."
The fuller context of the chapter more completely ushers in the
idea that this was a parable of Jesus (esp. verse 2, 34).
"The sower" was simply a character out of one of Jesus' many
 stories. It was not a story for story sake, but it had a
spiritually impacting significance as all His stories do.
He details the meaning of this one for all humanity by
spelling out all the details to them. Verse 26 makes it
abundantly manifest that this could be any man.
Let's not confuse matters and realize that 1) it is a
story of a fictional person who sows seed and this fictional
character is called the sower, and 2) the story could be applied
to any of us among humanity. Let us focus on applying this
and the many other teachings and parables of our mighty Lord
and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

In Chirst's love,

Date: 6/18/97 2:04 AM
To: Lance Crimm
From: Micheal Palmer
I wrote regarding the use of the article with SPEIRWN in Mark 4:3:

>>The presence of the article in this context may be a literary device used
>>to bring about a desired effect. Using the article on the first mention of
>>the sower would give the impression that Jesus was starting in the middle
>>of the story. This could be a very useful implication for drawing interest
>>(either at the time the parable was told, if Jesus told it in Greek, or at
>>the time it was read in the early church). If I remember right, it's a
>>device used in several of the parables.

And Carlton Winbery responded:
>I would say that the article is used here to distinguish one group from
>another, eg., Lk.10:7 "A laborer (hO ERGATHS) is worthy of his hire." The
>article denotes a group. In this situation, it is not always necessary to
>use the indefinite article in English, eg. Mt. 18:17 "Let him be to you
>like Gentiles (hO ETHNIKOS [sg]) and tax collectors (hO TELWNHS [sg]). The
>two groups are indicated even by the singular article.

Good point, Carlton. For those of you less familiar with studies of the
Greek article, this use of the article is sometimes referred to as the
'generic' article (i.e. the article indicates that the particular character
mentioned in Mark 4:3 is representative of sowers in general).

Micheal W. Palmer
Religion & Philosophy
Meredith College

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Subject: Re: Mark 4-3- a sower/the s

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