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Jehovah’s Witnesses


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The Bible in Living English

Mark 4:1-41

4  And again he began to teach by the seaside; and a very great crowd gathered to him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and all the crowd were close to the sea on the land; 2  and he taught them much in parables, and said to them in his teaching 3  “Listen: once upon a time a sower went out to sow. 4  And in the sowing one seed fell on the roadside, and the birds came and ate it up; 5  and another fell on the rocky ground where it had not much soil, and came up at once because of not having any depth of soil, 6  and was scorched when the sun rose, and dried up because of not having roots; 7  and another fell in among the thorns, and the thorns grew up and stifled it, and it yielded no crop; 8  and others fell into the good soil and yielded a crop, shooting up and growing, and bore at the rate of thirty and sixty and a hundred.” 9  And he said “Let him who has ears to hear, hear!” 10  And when he was in private his companions, with the Twelve, asked him about the parables; 11  and he said to them “To you is given the secret of the Reign of God, but for those outsiders everything is in parables, 12  that when they see they may see without perceiving, and when they hear they may hear without understanding, for fear they should turn back and be forgiven.” 13  And he said to them “You do not know this parable? and how are you to make out all parables? 14  The sower is sowing the word; 15  and these are the ones by the road, where the word is sowed, and when they hear, at once Satan comes and takes away the word that was sowed in them. 16  And in the same way these are the ones that are sowed on the rocky ground: they who, when they hear the word, at once receive it with joy, 17  and do not have any roots in them but are temporary, and then, when there comes distress or persecution because of the word, are staggered at once. 18  And others are the ones that are sowed in among the thorns; these are they who hear the word, 19  and temporal anxieties and the deceits of wealth, and desires as to other things, step in and stifle the word and it becomes unfruitful. 20  And those are the ones that are sowed on the good soil who hear the word and accept it, and bear their crop at the rate of thirty and sixty and a hundred.” 21  And he said to them “Does the lamp come that it may be put under the peck measure or under the couch? does it not go on the stand? 22  For there is nothing that is secret except with a view to its being disclosed, nor has anything been concealed except with a view to its being brought to light. 23  Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear!” 24  And he said to them “Look out what you hear. The measure that you give shall be given to you, and you shall have more added to it. 25  For to him who has, more shall be given; and from him who has not, even what he has shall be taken away.” 26  And he said “This is the way the Reign of God is: as a man scatters the seed on the ground 27  and sleeps and wakes night and day, and the seed sprouts and stretches up, he does not know how; 28  the ground bears its crops of itself, first blades, then ears, then full grain in the ears. 29  But when the crop permits he sends in the sickle at once, because the harvest is here.” 30  And he said “How shall we illustrate the Reign of God, or by what parable shall we set it forth? 31  Like a grain of mustard, which, though when it is sowed in the ground it is the smallest of all the seeds in the ground, 32  yet, when it is sowed, grows up and becomes the largest of all the plants and makes great branches, so that the birds of the air can perch under its shadow.” 33  And with many such parables he spoke the word to them, in a way that they could take in, 34  and did not speak to them without parable; but to his disciples, when they were by themselves, he explained everything. 35  And he said to them that day when evening came “Let us go over to the other side”; 36  and they left the crowd and took him with them in the boat as he was. And there were other boats with him. 37  And there came a great squall of wind, and the waves were breaking over the side of the boat, so that the boat was getting full; 38  and he was in the stern asleep on the cushion. And they waked him and said to him “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39  And when he woke up he rebuked the wind and said to the sea “Hush! break off!” and the wind lulled, and there came a great calm. 40  And he said to them “Why are you so timorous? do you not yet have faith?” 41  And they were greatly frightened, and said to each other “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”