Understanding the Parables of Jesus Christ

by Jay A. Parry, Donald W. Parry

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Parables formed a significant part of Jesus' teaching ministry during his mortal life. And on the surface, parables appear to be simple stories, drawn from the flow of ordinary life in ancient Palestine, but if we are to understand more fully the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is essential that we understand the principles the Savior taught in his parables.

Authors Jay A. Parry and Donald W. Parry have selected thirty of Jesus' parables for close examination. Drawing upon latter-day scriptures and the teachings of modern prophets and apostles, as well as insights from other biblical scholars, the authors provide helpful commentaries about the content and layers of meaning to be drawn from these well-loved stories. With each parable they also include and insightful discussion on how we can apply the parable's teaching to ourselves.

What becomes apparent is that a casual reading of the parable is not sufficient to discover the deeper meanings embedded in them. "Just as parables conceal truth from the spiritually unprepared, parables also disclose truth to those who are spiritually able to receive it," the authors point out, as they invite us to prayerfully study the Savior's own declaration of how it is that we find "that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal" (D&C 42:61).

  1. The Sower and the Soils
  2. The Seed Growing by Itself
  3. The Wheat and the Tares
  4. The Mustard Seed
  5. The Leaven
  6. The Hidden Treasure
  7. The Pearl of Great Price
  8. The Gospel Net
  9. The Lost Sheep
  10. The Lost Coin
  11. The Prodigal Son
  12. The Unmerciful Servant
  13. The Good Samaritan
  14. The Friend at Midnight
  15. The Foolish Rich Man
  16. The Barren Fig Tree
  17. The Great Supper
  18. The Unrighteous Steward
  19. Lazarus and the Rich Man
  20. The Unprofitable Servant
  21. The Importunate Widow and Unjust Judge
  22. The Pharisee and the Publican
  23. The Laborers in the Vineyard
  24. The Pounds
  25. The Two Sons
  26. The Wicked Husbandmen
  27. The Royal Marriage Feast
  28. The Fig Tree
  29. The Ten Virgins
  30. The Talents
  31. Notes
    Sources Consulted

About the Authors

Jay A. Parry

In addition to co-authoring several books, Jay A. Parry has published numerous articles on Church-related subjects. He has also presented a series of classes at BYU Education Week on the subject of daily miracles. He and his wife, Vicki, live in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Donald W. Parry

Donald W. Parry, a professor of the Hebrew Bible at Brigham Young University holds the Abraham O. Smoot Professorship. For nearly twenty years he has served as a member of the prestigious international team of translators of the Dead Sea Scrolls and is the author or coauthor of more than thirty books and numerous articles on the Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls. He has coauthored with his brother, Jay A. Parry, several books for Latter-day Saints, including Understanding Isaiah, Understanding the Signs of the Times, and most recently, Symbols and Shadows: Unlocking a Deeper Understanding of the Atonement. Brother Parry, who has served in the Church as a bishop, a temple worker, and high councilor, is a popular speaker at BYU Education Week. He and his wife, Camille Parry, are the parents of six children.

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(based upon 2 reviews)

Understanding the Parables of Jesus Christ
By , Submitted on 2016-06-27

A significant writing on Jesus' parables. I appreciated the insights, the easy-to-read style, and the scholarship of the authors!

A great companion to scripture study!
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

I found this to be a fantastic companion to my New Testament study. It really brought a deeper meaning to each parable as I read them. I really enjoyed the "Personal Application" section of each chapter. The insights of modern-day prophets is truly inspirational.

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