Jewish Proverbs in the New Testament?
Most biblical proverbs can be found in the book so named for its content. However, many proverbs are sprinkled throughout the Scriptures, including the New Testament.
The following is a collection of Proverbs found throughout the New Testament. Can you find at least one that was previously stated in the Hebrew Scriptures?1 Do you know which one is a positive twist on an ancient rabbinical saying?2
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other . . . .”
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble”
“For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you”
(Matthew 7:2; cf Mark 4:24, Luke 6:38).
“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces”
” . . . . a tree is known by its fruit”
(Matthew 12: 33).
” . . . . And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch”
“And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”
“Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!”
“And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand”
(Mark 3:25; cf Matthew 12:25, Luke 11:17).
“But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house'”
“And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise”
” . . . . If God is for us, who can be against us?”
“You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain”
(1 Corinthians 9:9).
“A little leaven leavens the whole lump”
(Galatians 5:9; cf 1 Corinthians 5:6).
” . . . . whatever a man sows, that he will also reap”
” . . . . God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble”
(James 4:6; cf 1 Peter 5:5).
” . . . . love will cover a multitude of sins”
(1 Peter 4:8).
- Match the following: 1 Corinthians 9:9 and Deuteronomy 25:4; James 4:6 and Proverbs 3:34; 1 Peter 4:8 and Proverbs 10:12.
- The answer is Luke 6:31, the “golden rule.” The Jewish Sage Hillel said, “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.” — Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 31a, the “Great Principle”
This article was previously titled, “Proverbs in the New Testament.”