Mark 4:30
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Again he said, "What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it?

New Living Translation
Jesus said, "How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it?

English Standard Version
And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it?

Berean Study Bible
Then He asked, "To what can we compare the kingdom of God? With what parable shall we present it?

Berean Literal Bible
And He was saying, "To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we present it?

New American Standard Bible
And He said, "How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it?

King James Bible
And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
And He said: "How can we illustrate the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use to describe it?

International Standard Version
He was also saying, "How can we show what the kingdom of God is like, or what parable can we use to describe it?

NET Bible
He also asked, "To what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use to present it?

New Heart English Bible
And he said, "To what will we liken the Kingdom of God? Or with what parable will we use for it?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And he said, “to what shall we compare the Kingdom of God and with what parable shall we illustrate it?”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Jesus asked, "How can we show what the kingdom of God is like? To what can we compare it?

New American Standard 1977
And He said, “How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it?

Jubilee Bible 2000
He also said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we compare it?

King James 2000 Bible
And he said, With what shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?

American King James Version
And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?

American Standard Version
And he said, How shall we liken the kingdom of God? or in what parable shall we set it forth?

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he said: To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? or to what parable shall we compare it?

Darby Bible Translation
And he said, How should we liken the kingdom of God, or with what comparison should we compare it?

English Revised Version
And he said, How shall we liken the kingdom of God? or in what parable shall we set it forth?

Webster's Bible Translation
And he said, To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?

Weymouth New Testament
Another saying of His was this: "How are we to picture the Kingdom of God? or by what figure of speech shall we represent it?

World English Bible
He said, "How will we liken the Kingdom of God? Or with what parable will we illustrate it?

Young's Literal Translation
And he said, 'To what may we liken the reign of God, or in what simile may we compare it?
Study Bible
The Parable of the Mustard Seed
29And as soon as the grain is ripe, he swings the sickle, because the harvest has come.” 30Then He asked, “To what can we compare the kingdom of God? With what parable shall we present it? 31It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds sown upon the earth.…
Cross References
Matthew 13:24
Jesus presented another parable to them: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.

Matthew 13:31
Jesus put before them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man planted in his field.

Matthew 13:32
Although it is the smallest of all seeds, yet it grows into the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches."

Mark 4:31
It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds sown upon the earth.

Luke 13:18
Then Jesus asked, "What is the kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it?

Luke 13:19
It is like a mustard seed that a man tossed into his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches."
Treasury of Scripture

And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?

Lamentations 2:13 What thing shall I take to witness for you? what thing shall I liken …

Matthew 11:16 But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like to children …

Luke 13:18,20,21 Then said he, To what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall …

(30) With what comparison shall we compare it?--Literally, By what parable shall we set it forth? The question which introduces the parable is in St. Mark and St. Luke, but not in St. Matthew. It gives us the impression of a question asked, in order to put the minds of the hearers on the stretch, so that they might welcome the answer.

Verses 30-32. - Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it! In the first clause of this verse the best authorities give πῶς for τίνι, How shall we liken the kingdom of God? and in the second clause, instead of the Greek of which the Authorized Version is the rendering, the best-approved reading is (τίνι αὐτὴν παραβολῇ θῶμεν), in what parable shall we set it forth? Our Lord thus stimulates the intellect of his hearers, by making them his associates, as it were, in the search for appropriate similitudes (see Dr. Morison, in loc.). The kingdom of God, that is, his Church on earth, is like a grain of mustard seed. By this image our Lord shows the great power, fertility, and extension of the Church; inasmuch as it started from a very small and apparently insignificant beginning, and spread itself over the whole world. It is not literally and absolutely true that the grain of mustard seed is less than all seeds. There are other seeds which are less than it. But the expression may readily be allowed when we compare the smallness of the seed with the greatness of the results produced by it. It is one of the least of all seeds. And so the preaching of the Gospel and the establishment of the Church was one of the smallest of beginnings. Perhaps the well-known pungency of the seed of the mustard plant may suggest the quickening, stimulating power of the Gospel when it takes root in the heart. The mustard plant shoots out large branches, which are used as fuel in some countries, quite large enough for shadow for the birds. A traveler in South America says that it grows to so large a tree upon the slopes of the mountains of Chili that he could ride under its branches. And he said,.... Still continuing his discourse on this subject, and in order to convey to the minds of his disciples clearer ideas of the Gospel dispensation, the success of the Gospel, and the usefulness of their ministration of it, for their encouragement, how unpromising soever things might then be:

whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God, or with what comparison shall we compare it? It was usual with the Jewish doctors, when about to illustrate anything in a parabolical way to begin with such like questions; as, , "to what is this thing like" (d)? when the answer is to such or such thing, as here.

(d) T. Hieros. Bava Bathra, fol. 16. 2. T. Bab. Zebachim, fol. 82. 1. & Sabbat, fol. 108. 1. & passim. 4:21-34 These declarations were intended to call the attention of the disciples to the word of Christ. By his thus instructing them, they were made able to instruct others; as candles are lighted, not to be covered, but to be placed on a candlestick, that they may give light to a room. This parable of the good seed, shows the manner in which the kingdom of God makes progress in the world. Let but the word of Christ have the place it ought to have in a soul, and it will show itself in a good conversation. It grows gradually: first the blade; then the ear; after that the full corn in the ear. When it is sprung up, it will go forward. The work of grace in the soul is, at first, but the day of small things; yet it has mighty products even now, while it is in its growth; but what will there be when it is perfected in heaven!
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