How Many Parables Are in the Bible?
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How Many Parables Are in the Bible?


As Evangelical Christians, we know that the Bible is a treasure trove of wisdom and guidance that we can rely on to navigate our lives. Among the various forms of literature found in the Bible are the parables.

These short, often memorable stories with a moral or spiritual lesson have been passed down through the generations and continue to inspire us today. But just how many parables are in the Bible? In this post, we’ll explore the answer to this question, as well as the significance of parables in our faith.

How many parables are in the bible?

What Is a Parable?

Before we dive into the number of parables in the Bible, let’s define what a parable is. A parable is a story that uses symbolism or allegory to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson. Jesus often used parables to teach his followers about the kingdom of God and how to live in accordance with God’s will.

Parables can be found throughout the Bible, but they are most commonly associated with the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels.

Parables can be found in other parts of the Bible as well. In the Old Testament, the prophet Nathan used a parable to convict King David of his sin with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12:1-15). The Book of Proverbs also contains many parables, such as the Parable of the Ant and the Sluggard (Proverbs 6:6-11).

Even the Book of Revelation can be seen as a series of parables, as it uses vivid imagery and allegory to describe the ultimate triumph of God over evil.

How Many Parables Are in the Bible?

Now that we have a basic understanding of what a parable is, let’s turn to the question at hand: how many parables are in the Bible? The answer to this question depends on which version of the Bible you are using, as different translations may include or exclude certain stories.

According to the New King James Version (NKJV) of the Bible, there are approximately 46 parables in the New Testament alone. Some of the most well-known parables include the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), and the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-23).

It is worth noting that not all of Jesus’ teachings in the Gospels are parables. Some passages are more straightforward teachings, while others are stories that use metaphorical language without necessarily meeting the definition of a parable.

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Nevertheless, the parables remain a powerful tool for understanding the nature of God’s kingdom and how we should live as his followers.

The Significance of Parables in Our Faith

Parables are more than just entertaining stories or clever teaching devices. They have a deep spiritual significance that can help us grow in our faith and relationship with God. One of the main reasons that Jesus used parables was to illustrate complex spiritual concepts in a way that was accessible to his followers.

The stories he told often featured everyday objects and situations that would have been familiar to his listeners, making the lessons easier to understand and remember.

In addition, parables can challenge us to see the world and our lives in a new way. They often subvert our expectations and turn our assumptions upside down, forcing us to confront uncomfortable truths or examine our own prejudices and biases.

By grappling with the lessons of the parables, we can deepen our understanding of ourselves and our relationship with God.

Finally, parables can inspire us to action. Many of Jesus’ parables focus on the importance of love, compassion, and service to others. By embodying these values in our own lives, we can become the hands and feet of Jesus in the world, spreading his message of hope and redemption to those around us.

Another significant aspect of parables is that they help us to connect with God’s love and grace. Parables often convey the idea that God’s love and forgiveness are available to all, regardless of their status or background.

For example, the Parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15:1-7) teaches that God is willing to go to great lengths to find and restore those who are lost, no matter how insignificant they may seem.

By understanding and internalizing the message of these parables, we can deepen our relationship with God and experience his love in a more profound way.

Understanding Parables in Context

To fully appreciate the significance of parables in our faith, it is important to understand them in their proper context. When we read a parable, we should consider the audience to whom it was originally addressed, the historical and cultural background of the story, and the broader message that it conveys.

By doing so, we can gain a deeper understanding of the lessons that the parable is trying to teach us.

For example, the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) is often interpreted as a call to love our neighbors as ourselves, regardless of their race or background.

However, when we consider the historical and cultural context of the story, we can see that it also challenges the religious leaders of Jesus’ time to reexamine their priorities and values.

The Samaritans were despised by the Jewish religious establishment, yet it was a Samaritan who showed compassion to the injured man in the parable. By highlighting the actions of the Samaritan, Jesus was challenging his listeners to rethink their assumptions about who was worthy of God’s love and grace.

Applying Parables to Our Lives

Ultimately, the true value of parables lies in how we apply their lessons to our own lives. When we encounter a parable in the Bible, we should ask ourselves what it can teach us about God’s character and how we should live as his followers.

We can reflect on the story and consider how its message applies to our own experiences and challenges.

For example, the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) teaches us about the importance of using our gifts and abilities to serve God and others. We can apply this lesson to our own lives by asking ourselves how we can use our skills and resources to make a positive difference in the world.

We can also reflect on the ways in which fear and self-doubt can hold us back from fully using our talents, and ask God to help us overcome these obstacles.

In addition, parables can help us to develop a deeper sense of empathy and compassion for others. When we read about the struggles and challenges faced by the characters in the parables, we can see glimpses of our own struggles and challenges reflected back at us.

By identifying with the characters in the story, we can cultivate a greater sense of compassion and understanding for those around us who may be going through similar experiences.


In conclusion, the Bible contains numerous parables that can teach us valuable lessons about God’s kingdom and how we should live as his followers.

While the exact number of parables in the Bible may vary depending on the translation, we can be sure that each one has a unique message that can help us grow in our faith.

By studying and reflecting on these stories, we can deepen our understanding of God’s will and become more effective witnesses to his love and grace in the world. Let us, therefore, read and reflect on the parables with an open heart and mind, and allow their message to transform us from within.

Pastor duke taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.