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Modern Parables - Living in the Kingdom of God

Modern Parables is an original film-based Bible study series on Jesus’ parables. It uses short films combined with teaching by pastors and in-depth study materials to create an entirely new learning experience.

  • Formats: DVD, Download, Streaming
  • Lessons: 12
  • Addl Mtls: Study Book, Teacher's Guide
  • Age: 10 to Adult
  • Teacher: Various

Availability: In stock


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Modern Parables seeks to re-create the emotional immediacy that Jesus’ 1st-century audience felt when hearing the parables. It does this by using some of the best parable scholarship and exploring it through creative filmmaking. The gut-level understanding made possible by the films is intended to drive listeners into a deeper understanding of the Bible.

Designed for Family or Group use, the set includes:

  • 6 parable films and 6 application videos for 12 complete lessons. Parables included: Hidden Treasure, Samaritan, The Shrewd Manager, The Widow & Judge, The Sower, and Prodigal Sons.
  • 6 director's commentaries that can be used with material in the Leader's Guide to teach 6 additional lessons on Cinematic Theology.
  • Leader's Guide with two introductory chapters on the parables, twelve detailed teacher's notes for teaching each class, and six lessons on Cinematic Theology. 
  • Study Book with twelve in-depth chapters on the Biblical content of the parables. 
  • Spanish Subtitles

The films are not just loosely based on the parables, but very accurately follow the original text. The goal of the films is to re-create the emotional, intellectual, and spiritual impact of the original parables. It is high integrity to the Word of God in all its parts that makes the study so effective.

By modernizing the parables, they become more accessible to a contemporary audience. People can immediately relate to what the films are saying as well as to what the pastors are teaching. The pastoral application videos show how the parables relate to our daily lives, as well as how we each fit into the broader scope of the Kingdom of God.


19Reviews For Modern Parables

  1. Small Group Leader, First United Methodist

    We were overwhelmed with the professionalism of the DVD. Not only was it of “Hollywood quality”; more importantly it presented in a very modern style the clear gospel message in a manner that it can be easily understood by children through senior adults. It is a MUST teaching program for every church to have available for its members.

  2. Teacher, First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ

    The Modern Parables studies give a new perspective by seeing them in a modern day setting. They help the student to be able to apply the concepts to their daily lives and understand Jesus’ teachings much better.

  3. Pastor, First Baptist Church

    Quality and the application captured the heart of the Biblical text in our world. For example- an Arab or man of Middle Eastern background as the Samaritan was perfect!

  4. Pastor, The Well

    The teaching accompanying material is better than anything else out there in my opinion. I think it’s pretty awesome. The music in the prodigal sons and a couple others was great. Adding the emotion to some of these stories I think is what triggers the personal reflection and really puts you in the story.

  5. Pastor, Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church

    Modern Parables is a very biblical use of modern forms of media to convey the truth of Scripture in a way which captivates the mind and the heart of the viewer/student.

  6. Pastor, ChristChurch Presbyterian

    My wife and I sat down last night and were so moved (some of them brought both of us to tears) and affected by these parables – they are just excellent. I usually do not purchase video resources because all of them are either: cheesy, stupid, poorly made or just plain boring. Every one of these “modern parables” defy all of these categories. PLEASE make more of these!

  7. Singles Pastor, Denton Bible Church

    The excellence with which the films were done, the accuracy of the film to the text, and the emotional connection with how 1st-century hearers would have felt are the three big benefits of this study. This series is a great way to show the undeniable relevance of the Bible to the video culture we live in today.

  8. Pastor, Canada Water Church, London, England

    Real world parable, where the critical ‘Christ moment’ in the parable is made to stand out in the film. I found it easy to speak after the films because you’ve made the exegesis visible in the films.

  9. Pastor, First Presbyterian Church

    An 80 year old member of my congregation who attends church and bible study every week said, “I’ve never understood that parable until now.” That’s a big deal!

  10. Youth Leader, Southfield Christian Fellowship

    Modern Parables has been an awesome instructional tool for our young people. They’re very high quality movies and really bring the story alive for the kids. I love a youth study that involves substance over entertainment — but Modern Parables manages to provide both. I would highly recommend this series and am looking forward to future parables!

  11. Pastor, Trinity Evangelical Presbyterian Church

    As a teaching pastor and a dad, I’ve been thrilled with Modern Parables. The films capture both the essence AND the impact of Jesus’ parables. Their modern storytelling has helped me re-engage adults who’ve heard the parables before, as well as make the stories come alive at home with my three children. With great films, outstanding support material, and theological depth – these guys have hit a home run!

  12. John Frame, Ph.D., Prof of Systematic Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary

    I thought the two lessons were great communications of the gospel. I love the focus on the kingdom. The one on hidden treasure was fun. The main character was sort of goofy, and that bothered me for a while, until I realized that that is exactly the way Christians appear to the world—fools for the King. The Samaritan video seemed to me to have a lot more seriousness, even gravitas. And it was dramatically powerful. I was just deeply moved by it, and thought it was a powerful presentation of the parable.

  13. Doug Powell, Author of The Holman Quicksource Guide to Apologetics

    Modern Parables is more than just a fresh recasting of Jesus’ parables into a contemporary context. And it is more than a way to reach a culture that has come to think visually. Modern Parables has done something far too rare in the current Christian climate – it has created art with excellence. And that excellence complements the rich content of the teaching and enables it to touch hearts and change lives profoundly through storytelling.

  14. Simon Kistemaker, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Reformed Theological Seminary, author of The Parables of Jesus

    Thank you for the work you have done with Modern Parables. I have watched the videos and find them remarkably accurate in regard to putting the Parables of Jesus in a modern setting. I have nothing but praise for the videos.

  15. Joel Belz, founder of World Magazine

    We at World magazine love to see any story told with fresh power. Modern Parables conveys God’s truth with unusual vigor and creativity.

  16. Arland Hultgren, Ph.D., Asher O. and Carrie Nasby Professor of New Testament, Luther Seminary, Author of The Parables of Jesus

    Modern Parables makes use of cinematic art to capture the art of the parables of Jesus. The treatment of the parables is responsible, and it is engaging in a triple sense. The biblical texts are engaged, the viewer becomes engaged, and an engaging conversation can emerge in a group discussion.

  17. Dr. Niel Nielson, former President, Covenant College

    The films are really quite fine, both in content and technically. It is my opinion that each parable was intended to teach primarily one thing, and that many preachers and teachers often go astray when they try to do too much with the plot or the characters or the setting or the details. You have managed to capture the “one thing” extremely well, with two principal benefits: you avoid hermeneutical rabbit trails, and you provide the teacher or leader with a resource to bring that one central point home without confusion or compromise.

  18. Craig S. Blomberg, Ph.D., Author of Interpreting the Parables and Preaching the Parables

    Have you ever wondered how Jesus might have told his parables in twenty-first century America? How would the characters have been portrayed? What modern cultural elements would have proved central? Compass Cinema’s portrayals are by far the most clear, riveting, superbly acted and biblically faithful contemporizations of Jesus’ parables that I have ever seen. The DVD comes complete with excellent written materials for individual or group study. I highly recommend this work.

  19. Robert Lewis, D.Min., Founder of Men’s Fraternity

    Today’s culture has become known as ‘the screen generation.’ Learning comes primarily through seeing. That’s why I am so excited about Modern Parables. It offers the truth of God visually in a way that speaks to our modern world. What a great new tool for the church! I highly recommend it.

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Lessons 1 & 2: Hidden Treasure

A light comedy about an unsuccessful real estate agent who finds oil in a field and must convince his wife they should sell all they own to buy it. Application video taught by Dr. Daniel. Based on the film style of Frank Capra.

Lessons 3 & 4: Samaritan

A drama about a teenage boy who watches his father and youth leader pass by a hurt man, only to see the man helped by someone he didn’t expect to help him. Application video taught by Jeff Schulte. Based on the film style of Ingmar Bergman.

Lessons 5 & 6: The Shrewd Manager

An ironic comedy about a dishonest farm manager who is fired and so must think quickly to figure out a way into his next job. Application video taught by Dr. Gene Mims. Based on the film style of Woody Allen.

Lessons 7 & 8: The Widow & Judge

A moving drama about a poor widow who struggles against a corrupt judge in her pursuit of justice. Application video taught by Dr. George Grant. Based on the film To Kill a Mockingbird.

Lessons 9 & 10: The Sower

A documentary about an 80-year-old wheat farmer who grows his crop from planting to harvest. Application video taught by Dr. Frank Lewis.

Lessons 11 & 12: Prodigal Sons

A drama about two sons trying to manipulate their father to achieve their own selfish ends. Application video taught by Scotty Smith. Based on the film style of Orson Welles.

6 Bonus Lessons: Cinematic Theology

Each film is accompanied with a director’s commentary which explains the ideas behind the making of the film. A list of small group questions are also available for these lessons.



After viewing the film, take a look at the study book that is included with each Modern Parable.

Click the button the bottom right to view the book in fullscreen.



Modern Parables was designed to be a "modular" study whose parts could be adjusted to meet a variety of teaching and ministry needs.


The two links below are PDFs that explore the background theology of the parables and Biblical application. These two chapters can also be found in the front of the Leaders's Guide in the Group Study DVD Set.


Teaching Sequences

Linked below are specific sequences you might be interested in checking out. These files are editable with Word or another word processor so that you can make adjustments within the class template to meet your particular needs.


Movie Posters

You may be inclined to promote Modern Parables at your church or online.  The link below will give you a zipped file of hi-res movie posters you can print and use however you see fit. MP1  Move Posters