Troublesome Topic: Types of Problematic Proverbs

The examples to follow are placed in the following categories:

1)  Proverbs that sound like they are absolute statements but are not

2)  Proverbs that appear to contradict other proverbs, or other teachings of Scripture

3)  Proverbs that presuppose a unique context because their content is so specific

4)  Proverbs that in essence state, “What is, is,” or “That’s the way life is.”

Category number one has many, many examples. Category two is relatively rare. Category number three is for proverbs that show more obviously the presence of a unique context. Although many proverbs could apply to many situations, I believe all of the short proverbs had a unique context; some of them require a specific context. (There is some overlap between these with some proverbs possibly fitting in more than one category). The implication of category four is that one cannot change everything in society that we do not like so we should just deal with it. Grumbling and complaining won’t help.

The next lesson is: Why Do Some Proverbs Makes Sense and Some Do Not?