Luke 8:11 Now the parable is this:

KJV : 

Luke 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

Listeners Heard: 

It is, however, itself this analogy: the seed is the concept of the Divine. 

Lost in Translation: 

The Greek word translated as "now" joins phrases in an adversarial way and is usually translated as "but". Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. 

"The parable" is Greek for "analogy", "comparison," and "illustration." It doesn't mean simply "educational story" as it has come to mean in English.  This word appears at the end of the sentence. 

The sentence begins with the "is". When the verb "to be" appears early in the sentence before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are." 

The word translated as "this" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English, but it has a few shades of meaning our pronouns do not have. The word technically means "the same," and when used as a pronoun can mean "the true self" as opposed to appearances.

The word "seed" means both "sowing" and "seeds". This specific word, however, is used to mean the "seed" and another from the same root to refer to sowing. It is Jesus's symbol for the beginning or kernel of knowledge.

The verb "is" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition.

"Word" is translated from a Greek word that means "calculation," or "reasoning." It is the source of our word "logic" and is the root word for all the English words that end in "-ology." Most biblical translations translated it as "word" for somewhat poetic reasons. More about this word in this article.

The word translated as "God" means "God" and "deity." It is introduced with an article, so "the God." Jesus often uses it this way perhaps to indicate the one God as opposed to the pagan gods.


ἔστιν (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Is" is eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." (The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.")

δὲ (conj/adv) "Now" is de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if"). 

αὕτη (adj sg fem nom) "This" is autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord."

παραβολή. (noun sg fem nom) "Parable" is from parabole, which means "comparison", "illustration," and "analogy." It is most often translated in the NT as "parable" but occasionally as "comparison."

σπόρος (noun sg masc nom) "Seed" is sporos, which means "sowing", "seed-time", "seed", "harvest", "crop", and "offspring". 

ἐστὶν (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Is" is eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.")

λόγος (noun sg masc nom) "Word" is logos, which means "word", "computation", "relation", "explanation", "law", "rule of conduct", "continuous statement", "tradition", "discussion," "reckoning," and "value." 

τοῦ θεοῦ. (noun sg masc gen) "God" is theos, which means "God," "divine," and "Deity."

Related Verses: 

Front Page Date: 

Nov 24 2017