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Parable of the barren fig tree

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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
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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.

Contents

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

Narrative

The parable is as follows:

Interpretation

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.

Authenticity

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

References

  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.
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