Good News Proverbs


Category Bible
This blog post was published on Tuesday 31 March 2009.

By this I don’t mean Proverbs that necessarily are Good News, but the translation of the Proverbs in the Good News translation of the Bible.   One or two have actually made me laugh out loud, because the language is so blunt and in-your-face.   Here are some examples, in the Good News and ESV:

10.13

Intelligent people talk sense, but stupid people need to be punished. (GNB)
On the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks sense. (ESV)

10.21

A good person’s words will benefit many people, but you can kill yourself with stupidity. (GNB)
The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of sense. (ESV)

11.26

People curse someone who hoards gran, waiting for a higher price, but they praise the one who puts it up for sale. (GNB)
The people curse him who holds back grain, but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it. (ESV)

12.8

If you are intelligent, you will be praised; if you are stupid, people will look down on you. (GNB)
A man is commended according to his good sense, but one of twisted mind is despised. (ESV)

12.15

Stupid people always think they are right.   Wise people listen to advice. (GNB)
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice. (ESV)

12.25

Worry can rob you of happiness, but kind words will cheer you up. (GNB)
Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad. (ESV)

13.16

Sensible people always think before they act, but stupid people advertise their ignorance. (GNB)
In everything the prudent acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts his folly. (ESV)

14.13

Laughter may hide sadness.   When happiness is gone, sorry is always there. (GNB)
Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief. (ESV)

14.29 (one for me)

If you stay calm, you are wise, but if you have a hot temper, you only show how stupid you are. (GNB)
Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly. (ESV)

15.4

Kind words bring life, but cruel words crush your spirit. (GNB)
A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. (ESV)

15.13

When people are happy, they smile, but when they are sad, they look depressed. (GNB)
A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed. (ESV)

15.17

Better to eat vegetables with people you love than to eat the finest meat where there is hate. (GNB)
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it. (ESV)

15.19

If you are lazy, you will meet difficulty everywhere, but if you are honest, you will have no trouble. (GNB)
The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway. (ESV)

16.22

Wisdom is a fountain of life to the wise, but trying to educate stupid people is a waste of time. (GNB)
Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it, but the instruction of fools is folly. (ESV)

16.24

Kind words are like honey – sweet to the taste and good for your health. (GNB)
Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. (ESV)

17.10

An intelligent person learns more from one rebuke than a fool learns from being beaten a hundred times. (GNB)
A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool. (ESV)

17.12

It is better to meet a mother bear with her robbed of her cubs than to meet some fool busy with a stupid project. (GNB)
Let a man meet a she-bear robbed of her cubs rather than a fool in his folly. (ESV)

17.22

Being cheerful keeps you healthy.   It is slow death to be gloomy all the time. (GNB)
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (ESV)

18.2

A fool does not care whether he understands a thing or not; all he wants to do is to show how clever he is. (GNB)
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. (ESV)

18.13

Listen before you answer.   If you don’t you are being stupid and insulting. (GNB)
If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame. (ESV)

18.20-21

You will have to live with the consequences of everything you say.   What you say can preseve life or destroy it; so you must accept the consequences of your words. (GNB)
From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied; he is satisfied by the yield of his lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. (ESV)

That’s enough for now - as you can see a lot of the ones I’ve chosen revolve around the word ‘stupid’.   But it does highlight the difference in translation philosophies - the ESV is ‘essentially literal’, whereas the GNB is ‘dynamically equivalent’.   In other words, the ESV simply tries to translate word-for-word, whereas the GNB tries to explain some of the Hebrew / Greek idioms in plain English.

I have to say reading the GNB this year is very refreshing, after reading the ESV last year.   I’m especially enjoying the Proverbs - no doubt more will follow!