Proverbs, Community, and the Culture
Some years ago I preached through the book of Proverbs, and I learned two things I hadn’t known about it.
First, the Proverbs only give up their meaning cumulatively. No one proverb gives you the whole picture. If one proverb says, “the morally good always have a good life” and a later proverb says, “sometimes the morally good suffer” we think it’s a contradiction. That’s because we think of each proverb as an individual stand-alone promise. But they are not. All the proverbs on a given subject are meant to be taken together, each one modifying the others like the parallel clauses do. One gives you information about a topic; then subsequent ones come along and answer questions raised by the first one, or they condition and nuance a more blanket statement made earlier.
Topics: Christianity & Culture
Church: Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City