Matthew 13:33 - What is the parable saying?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by annsni, Apr 14, 2007.

  1. annsni

    annsni
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    I'm studying a book right now and there are so many things wrong with it and I just want to make sure I'm reading this right. I asked my husband last night and he agreed with me - and I was wondering if anyone else maybe had some more insight into this.

    The passage is Matthew 13:33 - Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

    The book states: "Nearly all spiritualists, past and present, are women. Women are the palm readers, crystal ball gazers, fortune tellers, and tarot card readers. Witches' covens are headed by women. Most mediums (those contacting the dead) are women, as was the witch of Endor whom King Saul consulted concerning long dead Samuel. When Jesus spoke a parable about the kingdom becoming corrupted with false doctrine, he illustrated it with a woman bringing in the corruption (Matt. 13:33)." (Created to Be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl; page 110)

    Now, in reading the Scripture, I don't see how she got the idea of that parable being about the kingdom of God becoming corrupted with false doctrine! I looked up Matthew Henry's and Jaimeson, Fausset and Brown's commentaries and neither one reads this passage as being about corruption but about how the Gospel penetrates and changes everything around it!

    So, what is YOUR take? This is just one of the issues I have with this book (I'm going through it because I'm finding a lot of women rave about it and many Christian women recommend it - and I feel that I need to understand why I don't like it - and to be able to explain some of the glaring errors in it.) Thanks!
     
  2. donnA

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    The best thing for you to do is to study the verses in question till you have a good, firm understanding of them, discuss what you think you've learned with a trusted bible teacher, such as your pastor. Then you can discuss with women what the verses really mean. And why what the author said is wrong, scripturally.
    People have been reading and studying scripture for 2000 years, they aren't going to come up with something new, some previously untaught doctrines. If they do, theres something wrong.
     
  3. annsni

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    Donna - I DID speak to my pastor about it. Hubby! ROTFL!! We just had more of a good discussion about it (he keeps saying to stop reading this book but when I explain again why I'm doing it, he gives his full blessing). I looked at the Scripture in context, read some of the commentaries and just did not see anything that would point to the conclusion they came to. I was just wondering if anyone else heard of this same interpretation. Thanks for your input! :D
     
  4. Baptist Believer

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    That's because you won't can't get that idea from reading the scripture. Since Jesus clearly states that the leaven is what is being compared to the kingdom of God, you can be sure that the interpretation you quoted is very wrong.

    I think the problem here is that too many preachers who do not study the scripture for themselves repeat what they've heard other preachers say. One of the things I've heard over and over throughout the years was that leaven in the scriptures, always represents corruption. But that's just not true. So when someone comes to this parable of Jesus, instead of carefully reading what Jesus said, they see leaven and automatically think "corruption."

    And I believe they are absolutely correct, especially since that is the straightforward interpretation of that passage, and it perfectly fits the context of Jesus' teaching.

    Be careful with that book. Don't accept anything she has to say until you carefully and prayerfully check it out for yourself. And if you have questions be sure to ask others you trust (or even the BaptistBoard).
     
  5. annsni

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    LOL - NO worries about me! I'm reading it as evidence. I'm on another board where there are women who think this is the greatest book since the Bible - and I personally can't stand the Pearls and ANY of their books (I worked through their To Train Up a Child like I'm doing with this one and it is looking like the rainbow study Bible :laugh: ) As a pastor's wife, AND a global moderator on the other board, I think it's important to not only know that this book is not good - but to have the why's of it too. I've marked down a number of glaring errors in the book (love the idea that the wife provides for her husband's complete sanctification and deliverance from temptation), and continue to study it carefully with Scripture in hand. The Matthew verse was where I got to last night while getting ready for bed - and it was SO wrong in it's writing that I had to check into it more.

    So, don't worry about me with the CTBHHM! LOL - I actually just found a book that has the good stuff of this book (there ARE A couple - but not enough to warrant a recommendation) without the major errors and issues. I'm studying it now too and it looks really good. It's a little book called Daughters of Sarah. Reading it along side this book is like a drink of fresh water after drinking mud! LOL!
     
  6. TaterTot

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    There is nothing in the parable that implies that he is bringing in corruption. Parables are not allegories. They usually have one point. Jesus wasnt talking about corruption, but what He is doing. Jesus is advancing the kingdom and it is working like yeast does, small amounts affecting larger amounts.

    If we allegorize this parable, we could make that woman stand for anything lol. And so could the yeast. We just dont read the Bible for what it s worth.

    BTW, I must apologize, ANN. When I saw the OP I started getting all bowed up lol. I was so glad to see that you weren't reading this book in affirmation. I have read some of the Pearl's work and its pretty much compost. :saint:
     
  7. annsni

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    No problem! I just didn't make myself clear in my OP. I agree with you about their stuff - but they have such a huge following! As I said, there are a number of women on another board who think they're great - and challenged me to find anything wrong in the book - and it was easy to do so (fortunately the owner of the board is against them too and has banned their site and any recommendations about them from the board). And then there are other pastor's wives who I've met who also love the book - and use it in counseling. I feel it's important for me to be able to tell WHY I'm against it and to have some solid proof from the books. I find CTBHHM very manipulative, very focused on ME and not God. That's what I love about the other book - she keeps talking about keeping focused on God - NOT our husbands. THAT is the kind of book I'll recommend to women. OH, and the fact that the Pearls, on their site, have their daughter dancing a sensuous dance at her wedding getting her husband all worked up (and I'm sure others were too) and their advice to a wife who's husband has sexually abused the kids is just ludicrous! NOT anything I'd recommend to anyone, ya know?
     
  8. skypair

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    Hi Ann :wavey: This may take a little while to explain but please bear with me cause you won't have heard this before though it is true.

    Mt 13:33 is the 6th parable in a sequence that describe the "kingdom of heaven" which is this earth from creation to Christ's return. Mt 13:33 regards the tribulation when the "woman" (AC false religion, the harlot of Rev 17 and Rev 2:22, etal.) mixes in her false doctrine (3 measures account for false religion, false polity, false economy) into the "meal" (barley and flour mixed represent Gentiles and Jews) and it pollutes the whole world! It is really interesting to see the development of these parables but I sense that is not the issue, right?

    As you can see, Mt 13:33 is a very "tricky" parable for some because there is the side that says Mt 13:33 is the church -- which is wrong too. The church does not spread "corruption" throughout the whole barrel/world either. (Perhaps I should have asked if you believe in dispensations cause that can make a lot of difference in your ability to see what I am saying.)

    Briefly -- the former 5 parables are dispensations and the next 4 combined -- the parable of the gathering of wheat and tares, the hidden treasure, the pearl, and the fishes -- represent that last dispensation, the dispensation of Christ's kingdom on earth at His return!

    So to a limited extent, the author was on the right track. The "woman" represents religious Babylon in whatever forms originalting way back a Babel manifested in its last form.

    However, when you look at the "kingdom of heaven" parables in Matthew, always know that Christ is cryptically describing some aspect of the earthly kingdom which the "uninitiated" lost are not allowed to know (which may explain your "gut" spiritual rejection of the author's analysis. Maybe she is NOT one who knows, right? And the Spirit is telling you that.).

    If you have any other questions, please ask.

    skypair
     
    #8 skypair, Apr 14, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2007
  9. TaterTot

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    I know lol.. By the way, I've been trying to find that on their site and cant, but theres a lot to sort thru. Can you help me find it?
     
  10. johnp.

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    You're not kidding are you. :)

    john.
     
  11. annsni

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    The dance of their daughter is at their site - topics/marriage and family/silver lining/the wedding (I think that's the way I got to it) or the link is http://www.nogreaterjoy.org/index.php?id=80&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=186&tx_ttnews[backPid]=67&cHash=9b432abbf8
    Don't neglect to read the final note from Michael Pearl!

    The other issue which sickens me is at marriage and family/abusive husband/page 6 - part way down the page or the link is http://www.nogreaterjoy.org/index.php?id=75&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=81&tx_ttnews[backPid]=71&tx_ttnews[sViewPointer]=5&cHash=83d53eb1eb

    Here's what she says "But if your husband has sexually molested the children, you should approach him with it. If he is truly repentant (not just exposed) and is willing to seek counseling, you may feel comfortable giving him an opportunity to prove himself, as long as you know the children are safe. If there is any thought that they are not safe, or if he is not repentant and willing to seek help, then go to the law and have him arrested. Stick by him, but testify against him in court. Have him do about 10 to 20 years, and by the time he gets out, you will have raised the kids, and you can be waiting for him with open arms of forgiveness and restitution. Will this glorify God? Forever. You ask, "What if he doesn’t repent even then?" Then you will be rewarded in heaven equal to the martyrs, and God will have something to rub in the Devil’s face. God hates divorce—always, forever, regardless, without exception."

    What man gets 10-20 years for molesting his children? How many men actually go to jail for that?? I feel for those poor kids!
     
  12. TaterTot

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    Gracious. I had already seen the stuff about not rejecting a husbands advances no matter what (whatever! But dont get me started lol) but I had not seen the other stuff. Thanks for posting the link.

    So all his kids are common law "married" lol. O...k....
     
  13. TaterTot

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    this is what I meant about allegorizing. Goodness :rolleyes:
     
  14. PastorSBC1303

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    A good rule of thumb, if you have to add this line to your interpretation, you are probably WAY off! :wavey:
     
  15. HankD

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    "Leaven" (both literally and symbolic) has a bad reputation in the Scripture...

    Matthew 16
    11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?
    12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

    Mark 8:15
    And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.​

    Luke 12:1 In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

    1 Corinthians 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
    Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:​

    1 Corinthians 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.​

    The overall point of the parables of Matthew 13 seems to be the attempt of satan to corrupt and hinder the growth of the "kingdom of heaven"...​

    Matthew 13
    18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
    19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.​

    ...​

    38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
    39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
    40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.​

    So, it is a definite possibility that the leaven of Matthew 13:33 refers to those evil elements cited in the Scripture above.​

    Taking note of the spiritual state of the majority of professing Christendom so-called it would certainly seem to be the case.​

    HankD​
     
    #15 HankD, Apr 15, 2007
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2007
  16. skypair

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    Tater ---- It's a PARABLE for heaven's sake! What? You're gonna interpret it
    literally
    ?

    skypair
     
  17. skypair

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    Thanks for the warning but I had thought to explain the whole 11 parables until I looked at what her question was about. I believe the interpretation stands and will gladly post it if you don't have a short attention span (as many here do :laugh:)

    skypair
     
  18. skypair

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    Thanks, Hank. I think we are reading from the same "book." :D

    skypair
     
  19. tinytim

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    It is impossible to say that everytime leaven is mentioned in the Bible it is referring to evil. Here it is used to symbolize expansion...

    The kingdom of Heaven will expand by God using common means.
    Women were considered second class citizens... to spread the kingdom by the use of women would be unusual in the wisdom of the world

    Three measures of meal. The usual amount for one baking,
    Look at Gen 18:6.

    What Jesus is saying is God will expand his kingdom not by the wisdom of the world, but by using common people with common means.

    To associate the Kingdom of God with evil is just wrong. Why would Jesus do that?
     
  20. skypair

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    It oughtn't be ---- else how can we say that any symbol represents anything??

    Many hold to this, Tim. But consider HankD's post again. Find us where scripture uses "leaven" in your way and we can talk about real instances rather than theory.

    It would be wrong if it was describing heaven. It is not wrong if it is describing the kingdom here below. Be honest, Tim. There is sin down here.

    Make a survey of the other KoH parables in Matthew. You'll see.

    skypair
     

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