African Parables and Proverbs and the Bible.

African Parables and Proverbs and the Bible.

Author by Prof. Afolarin Olutunde Ojewole

Journal/Publisher: Biblical Parables: Essays In Honor Of Robert M. Johnston, Ed. Thomas R. Shepherd And Ranko Stefanovic, 284-297. New Testament Department, Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, Andrews University. Berrien Springs, Mi: Andrews University

Volume/Edition: 1

Language: English

Pages: 284 - 297


A proverb is a short enigmatic wise saying or adage, used to express well-known truth or common fact, ascertained by long human experiences and observations. Parables uses stories, comparisons, metaphors, similes to enhance people’s understanding and simplify complexities of life. Africans often resolve knotty issues with parables and proverbs, distilled from ancient wisdom of the people. They were commonly used in diplomacy, interpersonal relationships, leadership, business, and religious and cultural education. To what extent are they useful in the teaching and acculturation of the gospel in evangelizing Africans? This paper examines three general areas of life, namely: Love, Relationships, and Unity in Community; Education for life; and the Dilemma of Human Pain. It juxtaposes African proverbs and parables with relevant biblical verses and passages to demonstrate their efficacy in communicating the gospel effectively, using the traditional maxims of the people. This paper helps to incarnate and acculturate the gospel for Africa. It argues for a resurgence and rediscovery of African proverbs and parables as part of the curricula in African institutions of learning and as generous resource for all African communicators. Proverbs and parables may be part of the most efficacious export commodities from Africa to the rest of the world.

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