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.

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Read the rest at Redeemer City to City.

Scripture: Proverbs
Topics: Christianity & Culture
Church: Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City

About the Author

Dr. Timothy Keller is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, Chairman of Redeemer City to City, and author of numerous bestselling books.