What Is σπειρω (SOW) And How Does It Works?

As per visitors asked for the information about the word σπειρω. So first I use Google translator the result shows “SOW” but as per internet source it is The Greek word “σπειρω” (speiro) means to sow or scatter.

The Greek word “σπειρω” (speiro) is an important concept in the Bible that refers to the act of sowing or scattering seeds. It symbolizes ideas of planting, germination, growth, and following natural laws. This article will explore the meaning, origin, and biblical usage of σπειρω, examining how it represents meaningful ideas in Scripture.

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In ancient Greek, the word σπειρω (speiro) simply means “to sow” or “to scatter” in reference to sowing seeds or scattering grains or objects. It is derived from the Proto-Indo-European root “sper-” meaning “to strew”. In the Bible, this word occurs 21 times in the New Testament and is particularly notable for its usage in the Parable of the Sower, where it refers to the sowing of seeds that represent the Word of God. Beyond just the physical scattering of seeds, σπειρω came to represent deeper ideas related to spreading the faith, germination, growth, and following natural order.

Origins and Meanings

The word σπειρω traces back thousands of years to its Proto-Indo-European root “sper-” which meant “to strew”. Over time in Greek culture it developed into “speiro” meaning specifically to sow or scatter seeds. The word contains intimations of careful, methodical scattering and holds ideas of planning, cultivation, method, and purpose. Ancient Greek societies were highly agricultural, so the action of sowing seeds would have been a common image and familiar concept.

In addition to its most literal sense of physically scattering or sowing seeds in a field, σπειρω also suggests the process of germination and growth within nature’s cycles and seasons. It is related to following patterns and laws ingrained in the natural world – ideas that took on extended metaphorical meanings.

Usages in The Bible

The word σπειρω occurs 21 times across the New Testament, playing an important role across multiple passages. Most significantly, it emerges in the Parable of the Sower, told by Jesus across several Gospels. Here a sower scatters seed which falls across different types of soil, representing how people hear and respond differently to the Word of God. Σπειρω is integrally connected to this metaphor.

Additionally, in several epistles the term is linked to “sowing” righteousness, wise words, peace, or generosity. It deals with sowing intangible virtues or ideas as abundantly as a sower scatters seeds. There is a patient, faithful element to σπειρω’s usage here regarding careful cultivation leading to ultimate germination according to natural laws.

Key Associations and Symbolism

Through its biblical treatments, the word σπειρω takes on interrelated symbolic associations that expand meaning beyond literal sowing:

Planting and scattering – Core connection the methodical broadcasting of something (physical seeds or abstract concepts) with purpose and care

Germination – Idea that what is sown incubates for a period before emerging and manifesting

Growth and development – Concept that seeds sown follow innate natural order toward flourishing, enabled by patience

Spreading/propagation – Notion of actively increasing abundance and distribution through ongoing, careful sowing

Faith and perseverance – Idea that full harvests come only after persistent, faithful sowing without immediate evidence.

These concepts coalesce to give σπειρω layered connotations about methodology, natural processes, cultivation, proliferation and patience bound up in an essential agricultural image. The word operates as a compelling vehicle for metaphors and meaning in Scripture.

Symbolic Connections in Scripture

Drawing on agricultural and natural imagery, σπειρω symbolically conveyed ideas germane to the early spread of Christianity within its historical-cultural context. Sowing seeds spoke to:

  • Methodical, incremental spread of the Word
  • Organic germination periods before evidence
  • Innate replicating power of the Word taking root
  • Patient faith in natural growth cycles
  • Virtues sown among people multiplying organically

These interlaced symbolic dimensions capture early Christian sentiments of gradual, posthumous increases in believers and doctrine as inevitable and natural, but dependent on persistent spiritual sowing in the interim.

The Parable of the Sower

The Parable of the Sower is Christ’s key teaching about σπειρω and remains the classic biblical treatment on the sowing concept. Though interpretations vary somewhat across accounts in Matthew, Mark and Luke, they commonly recount a sower sowing seed among various types of soil symbolizing differences in human receptiveness to the divine Word.

The imagery depends on agrarian σπειρω understandings – careful, broad scattering so seed may organically propagate according to natural mechanisms regardless of terrain. This manifests differently in each soil yet still increases overall yield. Through such potent symbolism, notions of patient cultivation, innate proliferation and ultimate germination convey early Christian self-conceptions.


In summation, σπειρω is a linguistically simple yet symbolically profound word in the New Testament lexicon. Drawing on agrarian sowing imagery, it developed extended biblical meanings and associations with spreading the Word, germination of ideas, patience through cultivation cycles, proliferation of virtues, and the inevitability of growth through nature’s patterns.

Deeply embedded in the Parable of the Sower, σπειρω’s layered connotations around agriculture and natural processes contributed to early Christian language, metaphors and vital self-conceptions in the first-century landscape. Though ostensibly denoting physical sowing, rich substrata of philosophical and theological symbolism established σπειρω as a semantically evocative term in the biblical tradition.

Key Passages Mentioning σπειρω

Matthew 13:1-23Parable of the SowerGermination, natural growth
Mark 4:1-20Parable of the SowerDevelopment, patience
Luke 8:4-15Parable of the SowerSpreading, receptiveness
John 4:36Sowing and reapingReward, propagation
2 Corinthians 9:6Sowing generouslyVirtue, abundance
Galatians 6:7Sowing and reapingResponsibility, justice
James 3:18Sowing righteousnessPeace, wisdom

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