What is the smallest seed?

Janice M. Glime jmglime at mtu.edu
Thu Sep 21 14:07:41 EST 2000


A mustard seed is neither the smallest seed, nor does it porduce the
largest bush.  However, one must consider the context of the Bible quote.  
It was made to illustrate a point to people with limited geographic
knowledge of plants.  It could very easily have been the smallest seed
known to the average person - afterall, there were no professional
botanists then and the understanding of plant reproduction (and even human
reproduction) was scanty.  I can't quite as easily explain the largest
bush, but one needs to look at the original Greek.  It is very likely that
our use of bush in that context is a broad translation, and as an
allegory, mental images are more important than precision.
Janice
***********************************
 Janice M. Glime, Professor  
 Department of Biological Sciences
 Michigan Technological University
 Houghton, MI 49931-1295
 jmglime at mtu.edu
 906-487-2546
 FAX 906-487-3167 
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