1. Standard memberSwissGambit
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    01 May '14 02:49
    Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.
    Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest ye become like him.
    (The paradox lifts this [IMO] beyond the usual 'fool' quotes in Proverbs. There are quite a few forum feuds at the moment where person X goes on about how foolish/confused person Y is, yet cannot help but reengage them over and over again. If they win, of what merit is the victory? And if they lose, they have been beaten by playing on the other guy's turf.)

    You have not, because you ask not.
    (This is especially applicable at work. Lots of people complain about not having the right tools, supplies, etc. but never go talk to anyone or make any effort to get what they need.)

    It is right for me to be angry, even unto death!
    (The one I think of when I am stuck in traffic.)
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    01 May '14 03:12
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.
    Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest ye become like him.
    (The paradox lifts this [IMO] beyond the usual 'fool' quotes in Proverbs. There are quite a few forum feuds at the moment where person X goes on about how foolish/confused person Y is, yet cannot help ...[text shortened]... ght for me to be angry, even unto death![/quote](The one I think of when I am stuck in traffic.)
    Can you provide chapters and verses?
  3. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    01 May '14 03:291 edit
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.
    Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest ye become like him.
    (The paradox lifts this [IMO] beyond the usual 'fool' quotes in Proverbs. There are quite a few forum feuds at the moment where person X goes on about how foolish/confused person Y is, yet cannot help bu ...[text shortened]... s right for me to be angry, even unto death![/quote](The one I think of when I am stuck in traffic.)
    "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled" Matt. 5:6

    "Answers to Your Questions: "Isn't there a contradiction in Proverbs 26:4&5, where we are told to answer a fool in one verse and not answer a fool in the next verse?"

    Answer: "Thanks for this question. Questions like this help me to learn also. I have learned that when we see an "apparent contradiction" in the scriptures, a little study will show that it is really a great truth.

    Prov. 26:4 in the KJV "Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him".

    Prov. 26:5 in the KJV "Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceipt".

    The best answer I found to explain the apparent contradiction in Proverbs 26:4&5 is from Dr. E.W. Bullinger, who spent half his life in the late 1800's studying "figures of speech" in the Bible. He identified over 200 different types in his book "Figures of Speech Used in the Bible", published in England in 1898. We use many figures of speech today without realizing it, and I believe the Bible writers used the ones that were common in their day also.

    Dr. Bullinger states that the proverb in Prov. 26 verses 3 - 5 contains a figure of speech called an "ELLIPSIS". An ellipsis is when the writer leaves something out to grab the readers attention and amplify the meaning.

    Dr. Bullinger reminds us that each "proverb" is one or more connected sentences, and that the proverb in Chap 26:4&5 starts in verse 3.

    --- If you look at verse 3, the proverb starts out stating that you cannot reason with a fool any more than you can reason with a horse or a donkey.
    --- Verses 4&5 are not commands in the Hebrew, as they seem to be in the English, but are statements of factual "cause and result", with the "AND" between verses 4 & 5 left out. In this "figure of speech", both verses 4 & 5 continue to amplify the futility of trying to reason with a fool, that is stated in verse 3.

    --- Verse 4 Is stating "DON'T ANSWER a fool according to his folly - because he'll think you are a fool like him".

    --- Verse 5, Again amplifies the fact stated in verse 3, and states: "ANSWER a fool according to his folly - and he'll think he has said something wise and assume that you agree with him". You're stuck! - it's not worth trying, either way.

    I think that just looking in the Concordance at the word "fool" in the Book of Proverbs shows the futility of trying to reason with a fool and convinces me that that Bullinger's interpretation is correct:

    --- Prov 12:15, "The fool is right in his own eyes". (It's useless to reason with to one.)

    --- Prov 23:9, "Speak not in the ears of a fool". (Don't even waste your time.)

    --- Prov 16:22, "It is folly to try to instruct a fool". (It's "foolish" to try.)

    --- Prov 9:6, "Forsake the fool and live". (Stay away from them.)

    --- Prov 17:12, "Better to meet an angry bear than to meet a fool".

    You can look up "fool" in the Bible and see this over and over, and I think the fool's problem starts in Psa 14:1 - "The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God".

    I love Proverbs Chapter one, and especially verse 7, which says that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge".

    We Christians must choose our friends and associations wisely. The fool needs to hear and believe the gospel, and until he does believe, it is futile for us to try to reason with, or argue with them about spiritual things.

    There is a very practical aspect here that applies to our witnessing for Christ also. We are often tempted to argue about the Bible, or about Christian teachings with unbelievers, but a person who cannot hear the "good news" about Jesus, cannot believe any other spiritual truths either.

    I believe Jesus is stating this same "futility" in Matt. 7:6, when He stated not to give that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine. Stated another way, give them the "good news", then let our actions do the rest of the witnessing." http://www.biblefood.com/foolques.html

    "Parts of the Bible I like" -SwissGambit

    Enlightening thread, SG. Thank you. -Bob
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    01 May '14 03:49
    Here is a good verse to hang in your child's room.

    Proverbs 30:17 "The eye that mocks at his father, and despises to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it."
  5. Standard memberSwissGambit
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    01 May '14 04:49
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled" Matt. 5:6

    [b]"Answers to Your Questions:
    "Isn't there a contradiction in Proverbs 26:4&5, where we are told to answer a fool in one verse and not answer a fool in the next verse?"

    Answer: "Thanks for this question. Questions like this hel ...[text shortened]... l

    "Parts of the Bible I like" -SwissGambit

    Enlightening thread, SG. Thank you. -Bob[/b]
    I don't see the Proverbs verses as a problematic contradiction. Perhaps the same word was used deliberately, as a rhetorical device; or, the words were different in the original Hebrew, and became the same in certain English translations.

    It's kind of like other satirical jabs illustrating the frustration of difficult situations. Sort of like, "there are two theories to arguing with a woman; neither one works." (Sexist, I know; but the frustration is real. 😛)
  6. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    01 May '14 06:551 edit
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    I don't see the Proverbs verses as a problematic contradiction. Perhaps the same word was used deliberately, as a rhetorical device; or, the words were different in the original Hebrew, and became the same in certain English translations.

    It's kind of like other satirical jabs illustrating the frustration of difficult situations. Sort of like, "there ...[text shortened]... s to arguing with a woman; neither one works." (Sexist, I know; but the frustration is real. 😛)
    "--- Verses 4&5 are not commands in the Hebrew, as they seem to be in the English, but are statements of factual "cause and result", with the "AND" between verses 4 & 5 left out. In this "figure of speech", both verses 4 & 5 continue to amplify the futility of trying to reason with a fool, that is stated in verse 3." (my bold added to the quote)

    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    I don't see the Proverbs verses as a problematic contradiction...

    Appears that you and the author agree: one "cause" and one "result". As to "arguing with a woman", however long it is, life together with her is too short. Reminds me of the title of an autobiographer's memoirs: "I Should Have Kissed Her More".

    Edit: Alexander King (1962) http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6457200-i-should-have-kissed-her-more
  7. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    01 May '14 07:191 edit
    Originally posted by whodey
    Here is a good verse to hang in your child's room.

    Proverbs 30:17 "The eye that mocks at his father, and despises to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it."
    From memory, whodey, I think the initial meaning here is that a child who persists in rejecting parental authority proceeds to live a self destructive life; meaning of the graphic "the ravens of the valley shall pick it out..." I'm unable to remember.
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    01 May '14 07:31
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.
    Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest ye become like him.
    (The paradox lifts this [IMO] beyond the usual 'fool' quotes in Proverbs. There are quite a few forum feuds at the moment where person X goes on about how foolish/confused person Y is, yet cannot help ...[text shortened]... ght for me to be angry, even unto death![/quote](The one I think of when I am stuck in traffic.)
    My favourite parts are all OT and mostly based around David or Elijah. David in particular I identify with, not because of his courage but because of his loneliness and his weaknesses. His ability to disobey, lie, cheat, lust, murder and yet still be seen as man God saw as being "after his own heart" is an astonishing reminder to me of God's ability to look beyond whatever we have done, are doing and will do, to the person he designed us to be.
  9. Standard memberKellyJay
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    01 May '14 13:24
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    I don't see the Proverbs verses as a problematic contradiction. Perhaps the same word was used deliberately, as a rhetorical device; or, the words were different in the original Hebrew, and became the same in certain English translations.

    It's kind of like other satirical jabs illustrating the frustration of difficult situations. Sort of like, "there ...[text shortened]... s to arguing with a woman; neither one works." (Sexist, I know; but the frustration is real. 😛)
    I don't see those Proverbs as a contradiction, what I see is a very clear
    picture that it doesn't matter what you do to a fool, they will remain one.
    Kelly
  10. SubscriberFMF
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    01 May '14 13:37
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    ...it doesn't matter what you do to a fool, they will remain one.
    Really? Even if you teach them? Even if you guide them? Even if you show them? Even if you lead them? "They will remain one?"
  11. Standard memberRajk999
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    01 May '14 13:56
    Originally posted by FMF
    Really? Even if you teach them? Even if you guide them? Even if you show them? Even if you lead them? "They will remain one?"
    Proverbs says if you hang around with the wise you will become wise. So Kelly j is not correct.
  12. Standard memberKellyJay
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    01 May '14 14:04
    Originally posted by FMF
    Really? Even if you teach them? Even if you guide them? Even if you show them? Even if you lead them? "They will remain one?"
    Correct, it will not matter! You have been here long enough to see people
    confronted with truth and walk away unchanged. We may not agree on what
    truth is, but it is there.
    Kelly
  13. Standard memberRajk999
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    01 May '14 14:12
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    Correct, it will not matter! You have been here long enough to see people
    confronted with truth and walk away unchanged. We may not agree on what
    truth is, but it is there.
    Kelly
    Your opinion of people on this site carry greater weight in your mind, than the wisdom of Solomon ? Thats incredible.
  14. Standard memberKellyJay
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    01 May '14 14:22
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    Your opinion of people on this site carry greater weight in your mind, than the wisdom of Solomon ? Thats incredible.
    You again putting words in my mouth that are not true. You should limit
    your conversation to truthful statements, I believe exactly what I said
    about the scripture in question, which is that you can answer a fool or not
    the effect will be no different.

    Proverbs 26:
    4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, Lest thou also be like unto him.
    5 Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own conceit.

    You did not see me reference Solomon, that was you. If you want to bring
    up other scripture, than please do, quote it. Do not lie again, do not twist
    the truth and make claims about me as you just did since I didn't talk about
    Solomon!
    Kelly
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    01 May '14 14:293 edits
    Congratulations to anyone beginning to enjoy reading the bible.

    I myself particularly enjoy the part from Genesis 1:1 through to Revelation 22:21
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