The parable of the sower is frequently heard and therefore quite difficult to hear in a fresh way. Perhaps this much might help.
Firstly, it is not quite certain that the parable goes back to the historical Jesus (it lacks multiple attestation). Nevertheless, the existence of a “church” interpretation suggests that by the time Mark included it in his Gospel it was already old. It is more or less certain that the explanation attached is an allegorical reading produced by a later generation.
As a result, we have two readings, both useful. The allegorical explanation invites self-examination. The original parable offers astonishing
2. Online Gospel lectures (complete list)
3. Some further reading
For a much wider reading of the parable, you could try this article.
Kieran O’Mahony OSA
Dr Kieran J. O’Mahony OSA
Biblical Studies Coordinator