(From: MARK #6 - 4:1-34)
J. 4:1-34 PRINCIPLES OF BIBLE STUDY THROUGH KINGDOM PARABLES
1. 4:1-9 PARABLE OF THE FOUR SOILS
a. 4:1a And again he began to teach by the sea.
Kai PAlin ERxa-to diDAskein paRA ten THAlas-san.
b. 4:1b THE ATTRACTIVENESS OF JESUS' TEACHING
kai suNAge-tai  pros auTON OCHlos PLEIstos ,
And a great crowd is gathered unto him,
HOste auTON eis PLOIon emBANta, kaTHESthai en te thaLASse;
so that he entered into a boat, andsat in the sea;
kai pas ho OCHlos pros ten THAlas-san ePI tes ges Esan.
and all the crowd were close by the sea on the land.
c. 4:2-4 THE SOWER'S SEED BY THE WAY SIDE
kai eDIda-sken auTOUS en pa-ra-boLAIS  polLA, kai Ele-gen auTOIS en te di-daCHE auTOU,
And he taught them many thingsin parables, and said to them in his :teaching,
A-KOUe-te: I-DOU, eXELthen ho SPEIron  SPEIrai:
3Listen: Lo, the sower went forth to sow:
kai eGEne-to, en to SPEIrein, ho men Epe-sen  paRA ten hoDON,
4and it came to pass, as he sowed, some seedfell by the way side,
kai ELthen ta pe-teiNA  kai kaTEpha-gen  auTO.
and the birds came and devoured it.
d. 4:5-6 THE RESULTS OF SEED IN SHALLOW SOIL
kai ALlo Epe-sen ePI to peTROdes , kai HOpou ouk EIchen gen polLEN;
And other fell on the rocky ground, and where it had not much earth;
kai euTHUS e-xaNEtei-len , diA to me Echein BAthos  ges:
and straightway it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
kai HOte aNEtei-len  ho HEli-os, e-kau-maTISthe ;
6and when the sun was risen, it was scorched;
kai diA to meEchein 'RIzan , e-xeRANthe.
and because it had no root, withered away.
e. 4:7 THORNS IN THE SOIL CHOKE OUT FRUITFULNESS
kai ALlo Epe-sen eis tas aKANthas , kai aNEbe-san  hai Akan-thai,
And other fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up,
kai suNEPni-xan  auTO, kai karPON ouk Edo-ken.
and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
f. 4:8 THE FRUITFULNESS OF SEED IN GOOD GROUND
kai ALla Epe-sen eis ten gen ten kaLEN,
And others fell into the good :ground,
kai eDIdou karPON a-naBAInon-ta  kai au-xaNOme-na ; kai Ephe-ren 
and yielded fruit growing up and increasing; and brought forth
[eis] triAkon-ta kai [en] heXEkon-ta kai [en] he-kaTON.
[unto] thirty and [in] sixty and [in] hundred.
g. 4:9 And he said, Who has ears to hear, let him hear.
kai Ele-gen, Hos Echei Ota aKOUein, a-kouEto.
2. 4:10-20 THE KEYPARABLE AND ITS INTERPRETATION
a. 4:10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parables.
Kai HOte eGEne-to kaTA MOnas, eROton auTON hoi peRI auTON sun tois DOde-ka tas pa-ra-boLAS.
b. 4:11-12 PARABLES EITHER REVEAL OR CONCEAL
kai Ele-gen auTOIS, HuMIN to muSTEri-on DEdo-tai tes ba-siLEIas tou TheOU:
And he said to them, To you is given the mystery of the kingdom of :God:
eKEInois de tois Exo, en pa-ra-boLAIS ta PANta GIne-tai:
but to those without, :all things are done in parables:
HIna BLEpon-tes BLEpo-si, kai me Ido-sin , kai aKOUon-tes aKOUo-si, kai me su-niOsin ;
12that looking they may look, and not see, and hearing they may hear, and not understand;
ME po-te e-piSTREpso-sin , kai a-pheTHE  auTOIS.
lest haply they should turn again, and it be forgiven them.
c. 4:13 And he says to them, Do you not know this :parable? and how shall you know all the parables?
kai LEgei auTOIS, Ouk OIda-te ten pa-ra-boLEN  TAUten? kai pos PAsas tas pa-ra-boLAS GNOses-the?
d. 4:14 The sower sows the word. ho SPEIron ton LOgon SPEIrei.
e. 4:15 SEED BY THE WAY SIDE IS TAKEN AWAY
HOUtoi DE ei-sin hoi paRA ten hoDON, HOpou SPEIre-tai  ho LOgos;
And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown;
kai HOtan aKOUso-sin, euTHUS ERche-tai ho Sa-taNAS ,
and when they should hear, straightway comes :Satan,
kai AIrei ton LOgon ton e-sparMEnon eis auTOUS.
and takes away the word :sown in them.
f. 4:16-17 THE TEMPORARY NATURE OF SHALLOW AND ROOTLESS BELIEVERS
kai HOU-TOI ei-sin hoMOIos hoi ePI ta peTROde  speiROme-noi, hoi,
And these likewise are they sown upon the rocky places, who,
HOtan aKOUso-sin ton LOgon, euTHUS meTA chaRAS  lamBAnou-sin  auTON;
when they should hear the word, straightway receive it with joy;
kai ouk Echou-sin 'RIzan  en auTOIS, alLA PROskaiROI  ei-sin;
17 and have no root in themselves, but endure a while;
EIta ge-noMEnes THLIpse-os  e di-ogMOU  diA ton LOgon, euTHUS skan-daLIzon-tai .
then when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, straightway they stumble.
g. 4:18-19 UNFRUITFULNESS: THE RESULT OF CHOKING THROUGH THORNS
kai ALloi eiSIN hoi eis tas aKANthas  speiROme-noi ;
And others are they sown among the thorns;
HOU-TOI ei-sin hoi ton LOgon aKOUsan-tes, kai hai MErim-nai  tou aiOnos,
these are they that have heard the word, 19 and the cares of the age,
kai he aPAte  tou PLOUtou, kai hai peRI ta loiPA e-pi-thuMIai 
and the deceitfulness of :riches, and the lusts of :other things
ei-spo-reuOme-nai, sunPNIgou-sin  ton LOgon, kai Akar-pos  GIne-tai.
entering in, choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
h. 4:20 FRUITFULNESS: THE RESULT OF SEED IN GOOD GROUND
kai eKEI-NOI ei-sin hoi ePI ten gen ten kaLEN spaRENtes;
And those are they that were sown upon the good :ground;
HOIti-nes aKOUou-sin ton LOgon, kai pa-raDEchon-tai ,
such as hear the word, and receive it,
kai kar-po-phoROUsin  [en] triAkon-ta kai [en] heXEkon-ta kai [en] he-kaTON.
and bear fruit [in] thirty and [in] sixty and [in] hundred.
3. 4:21-23 WITH UNDERSTANDING COMES RESPONSIBILITY
a. 4:21 LIGHT IS TO LIGHTEN - NOT BE HID!
Kai Ele-gen auTOIS [HOti], MEti ERche-tai ho LUCHnos  HIna huPO ton MOdi-on  teTHE,
And he said to them [that], Is the lamp brought to be put under the bushel,
ehuPO ten KLInen , ouch HIna ePI ten luchNIan teTHE?
or under the bed, and not to be put on the stand?
b. 4:22 TRUTH IS TO BE SHARED: TO BE MADE KNOWN!
ou gar EStin krupTON , eAN me HIna pha-ne-roTHE ;
For nothing is hid, save that it be manifested;
ouDE eGEne-to aPOkru-phon , all' HIna ELthe eis pha-neRON .
neither was anything made secret, but that it come to light.
c. 4:23 If any has ears to hear, let him hear. EI tis Echei Ota aKOUein, a-kouEto.
4. 4:24-25 WARNING: TRUTH EXPANDS WHEN HEEDEDAND VICE VERSA
a. 4:24 PRINCIPLE: TO SHARE IS TO RECEIVE MORE
Kai Ele-gen auTOIS, BLEpe-te ti aKOUe-te:
And he said to them, Look to what you hear:
en ho MEtro  meTREIte me-treTHEse-tai huMIN; kai pro-steTHEse-tai  huMIN.
with what measure you measure it shall be measured to you; and shall be added to you.
b. 4:25 For who has, to him shall be given: and who has not, from him shall be taken away even what he has.
hos gar Echei, doTHEse-tai  auTO: kai hos ouk Echei, kai ho Echei arTHEse-tai  ap' auTOU.
5. 4:26-29 FIFTH PARABLE: MYSTERY OF NORMAL GROWTH
a. 4:26-27 SECRET OF GROWTH IS HIDDEN FROM MAN
Kai Ele-gen, HOUtos esTIN he ba-siLEIa  tou TheOU, hos ANthro-pos BAle ton SPOron ePI tes ges;
And he said, So is the kingdom of :God, as if a man cast :seed upon the earth;
kai kaTHEUde  kai eGEIre-tai  NUKta kai heMEran,
27 and sleep and rise night and day,
kai ho SPOros blaSTA  kai meKUne-tai , hos ouk OIden auTOS.
and the seed spring up and grow, himself knows not how.
b. 4:28 The earth bears fruit of herself; first a blade, then an ear, then full grain in the ear.
au-toMAte he ge kar-po-phoREI; PROton CHORton, EIten STAchun, EIten PLEre SIton  en to STAchu-i.
c. 4:29 But when the fruit is ripe, straightway he puts forth the sickle, because the harvest is come.
HOtan de pa-raDOI ho karPOS, euTHUS a-poSTELlei to DREpa-non, HOti paREste-ken ho THEri-smos.
6. 4:30-32 SIXTH PARABLE: ABNORMAL GROWTH OF KINGDOM
a. 4:20 JESUS SEARCHES FOR A PARABLE TO EXPRESS THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Kai Ele-gen, Pos ho-moiOso-men  ten ba-siLEIan  tou TheOU?
And he said, How shall we liken the kingdom of :God?
een TIni auTEN pa-ra-boLE THOmen?
or in what parable shall we set it forth?
b. 4:31-32 THE AMAZING GROWTH OF MUSTARD SEED ILLUSTRATES IT
hos KOKko  siNApe-os , hos, HOtan spaRE ePI tes ges,
Like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown upon the earth,
miKROte-ron  hon PANton ton sperMAton  ton ePI tes ges,
though it is a lesser among all the seeds of those on the earth,
kai HOtan spaRE , a-naBAInei , kai GIne-tai MEIzon 
32yet when it is sown, grows up, and becomes greater
PANton ton laCHAnon , kai poiEI KLAdous  meGAlous ; HOste DUnas-thai
than all the herbs, and puts out great branches; so that the birds
huPO ten skiAN  auTOU ta pe-teiNA  tou ou-raNOU ka-ta-skeNOIN .
of the heaven can lodge under its :shadow.
7. 4:33-34 PARABLES HELP CLARIFY KINGDOM TRUTH
Kai toiAUtais pa-ra-boLAIS  polLAIS eLAlei auTOIS ton LOgon,
And with many such parables he spoke the word to them,
kaTHOS eDUnan-to  aKOUein; choRIS de pa-ra-boLES ouk eLAlei auTOIS:
as they were able to hear it; 34 and without parable he did not speak to them:
kat' iDIan de tois iDIois ma-theTAIS ePElu-en  PANta.
but privately to his private :disciples he expounded all things.
NOTE: In 1946 I was attending the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, and rooming with a naval veteran from Prince Edward Island. He attended a church service with a guest missionary speaker from India, George Tasker. I met him too, and we invited him to speak at the IVCF (Intervarsity Christian Fellowship), where he spoke on the parables of Mark 4, majoring on the parable of the 4 soils. It was excellent. He pointed out the words of Jesus, revealing that He saw this as the key parable to unlock the fuller meaning of all other parables. You could tell that Mr. Tasker had a close walk with God, and great wisdom and love the way he expounded the Scriptures.
He pointed out that the parable of the unusual growth seen in the mustard seed, is often misinterpreted in our Western culture. We tend to see such things from the Greek “Lineal” perspective. So we seek to find the significance of each branch of the mustard tree, and the meaning of each bird lodging in its branches.
But Jewish and Near East Bible interpreters can hardly believe such a method of interpretation. They use instead of the Greek method, the Hebraic method of “Block” thinking versus the Lineal. So they seek the one, centraltruth of each parable, not the allegorical method of each detail. They see that this parable illustrates the truth Jesus was bringing across - illustrating the extraordinary growth of the Kingdom of God as seen in the “mustard seed”.
Notice too, that for unbelievers and unfocused people - Jesus alwaysspoke in parables. Because of this, strong teaching would not hurt them, and those not as His elect by God's foreknowledge, would not be bothered. But for disciples, the full meaning of all such parables would be explained to them in private. J.A.W.