Richard Trench Picture

Archbishop Richard Chenevix Trench


Notes on the Parables of our Lord

Anglican Theologian, Dean of Westminster Abbey, Archbishop of Dublin

Why Read This Book




Richard Trench is recognized as an outstanding New Testament scholar and writer. He held several prestigious positions, including Dean of Westminster Abbey and Archbishop of Dublin.

He was also a noted philologist, and in 1857 presented a paper before the Philological Society, "On Some Deficiencies in our English Dictionaries," that was instrumental in launching the project that produced the great Oxford English Dictionary, to this day the definitive dictionary of the English language.

Perhaps his two best known works for biblical and theological studies are Synonyms of the New Testament (Greek synonyms, that is) and Notes on the Parables of Our Lord.

Do you find some of the parables perplexing? How is one to understand the apparent unfairness of the wages in the parable of the laborers in the vineyard? Does God truly consider us, his children, unprofitable servants? Archbishop Trench has provided much insight on these and other questions in his Notes on the Parables of our Lord.

You may also be interested in looking at several selected chapters from Trench's book, Studies in the Gospels.

The original Notes on the Parables of Our Lord by Richard Trench first published in 1852 was roughly 500 pages long, depending on the edition and publisher. However, in 1948 Baker Book House issued a "Popular Edition" that is just barely 200 pages in length and which has been modified in several ways, removing much material that we believe is essential to a thorough study of these parables. Therefore, the selected parables here were taken verbatim from the 15th edition of Trench's original work (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, & Co., 1886).


"The Wheat and the Tares"


"The Seed Growing Secretly"


"The Laborers in the Vineyard"

Edward Kirk has a good sermon on this parable. In our devotional you will find another by Alfred Edersheim. You can also read one by John Calvin (scroll down to the Matt. 20 entry), and a fourth exposition is by Francis Bourdillon.


"The Barren Fig Tree"

You might also want to read the sermon on this parable by Neil McKinnon.


"The Unprofitable Servants"

Edward Kirk includes his comments on this parable in his sermon on the Laborers in the Vineyard.


"The Great Supper"


"The Unjust Steward"

For three additional expositions of this parable see Matthew Henry, Matthew Poole, and Richard Church.

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