World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Parable of the barren fig tree

Article Id: WHEBN0005211707
Reproduction Date:

Title: Parable of the barren fig tree  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Parables of Jesus, Parable of the Budding Fig Tree, Cursing the fig tree, Parable of the Unjust Steward, Parable of the empty jar
Collection: Ficus, Gospel of Luke, Parables of Jesus, Trees in Mythology
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Parable of the barren fig tree

Jan Luyken etching of the parable, Bowyer Bible.

The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree (not to be confused with the parable of the budding fig tree) is a parable of Jesus which appears in one of the Canonical gospels of the New Testament. According to Luke 13:6-9 the parable is about a fig tree which does not produce fruit.


  • Narrative 1
  • Interpretation 2
  • Authenticity 3
  • Parallel in Matthew and Mark 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6


The parable is as follows:


In this parable, the owner is generally regarded as representing God, who had a fig tree (tree of knowledge) planted in his vineyard (the garden of Eden) and came seeking fruit (righteous works, which in part is a mystery). The gardener (vinedresser) is God and the vine is Jesus (tree of Life).[1] Fig trees were often planted in vineyards.[2]

The fig tree was a common symbol for Israel, and may also have that meaning here,[1] or the tree in the parable may refer to the religious leadership.[2] In either case, the parable reflects Jesus offering his hearers one last chance for repentance.[2] "These three years" logically refers to the period of Jesus' ministry. The parable has been connected to the miracle of cursing the fig tree. Richard Whately commented that this parable "is one which our Lord may be said to have put before his hearers twice; once in words, once in action."[3]

What the owner expected.


Although the parable is found only in Luke's gospel, there is no strong argument against authenticity, even a majority of the members of the Jesus Seminar voted it authentic.[2]

Parallel in Matthew and Mark

The Cursing the fig tree appears as an episode in the life of Jesus rather than as a parable, but it has very similar wording as the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree.

See also


  1. ^ a b Timothy Maurice Pianzin, Parables of Jesus: In the Light of Its Historical, Geographical & Socio-Cultural Setting, Tate Publishing, 2008, ISBN 1-60247-923-2, pp. 235-237.
  2. ^ a b c d Peter Rhea Jones, Studying the Parables of Jesus, Smyth & Helwys, 1999, ISBN 1-57312-167-3, pp. 123-133.
  3. ^ Richard Whately, Lectures on Some of the Scripture Parables, John W. Parker and Son, 1859, p. 153.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.