Monday, July 05, 2010

Proverbs Commentary

When Concordia Publishing House introduced me to their new Proverbs commentary, by Andrew E. Steinmann, I knew I wanted to give it a whirl. I had been reading through Proverbs with a friend of mine and I thought the added commentary would prove interesting for discussion and would expand my understanding of this wisdom book. Now, I've never reviewed a commentary before and am likely to do a pathetic job of it. I'm not a seminary student, nor do I intend to be one. I'm not a pastor and I've no intentions in that direction either. But do you really need to be a "professional" studier and dispenser of Biblical truth and doctrine in order to consult a commentary? No, I don't think so. If you claim to be a Christian then you are called to know Who God is and He gave us the Bible to help us learn who that is. It should be the desire of every Christian to want to wrestle with scriptural truths and to learn more of, not only who God is, but who we are expected to be in Him. Hence, I really wanted to read through this commentary. Why? Because I want to make sure that I am not interpreting scripture incorrectly or creating anything "new" based on my own personal thoughts on the scriptures I've read. I want to consult those who are learned and wiser than I in reading and teaching scriptures. (That's a post in and of itself, really.)

At the same time, I wanted to read Voyage of the Dawn Treader and I did so early on before this Chronicles of Narnia Reading challenge began. One of the things I've been gleaning from Proverbs this time reading through is who we are to seek fellowship with as Christians. As I read through Voyage I was struck by Lewis' tale of personalities colliding and striving against and with each other. I saw so many lessons from Proverbs sprinkled throughout the Voyage's ultimate quest and journey through the various Islands and I decided I'd kinda of like to use this commentary in conjunction with the Narnia Reading Challenge. That's the plan at any rate.

Things I'll note about it:

It is published by Concordia Publishing House so right off the bat I know it's Lutheran.
It is written by Andrew E. Steinmann who is currently the Professor of Theology and Hebrew at Concordia University Chicago.

I know I'm not going to agree with him in every particular, but we're going to share a lot of similarities.

As for what this particular commentary has to offer:

  • Explanation of authorship of Book of Proverbs and date
  • Wisdom in Proverbs (related words, i.e., "good sense", "insight", etc.)
  • Fools in Proverbs (related words, i.e., "gullible person", "Fool" etc.)
  • Types of sayings in Proverbs (i.e., complete sentence, numerical sayings, etc.)
  • Understanding and Applying Proverbs
  • Law and Gospel in Proverbs
  • Reading and Understanding Proverbs
  • Text of Proverbs
  • Commentary on passages and verses

The author explains in his preface that writing a commentary is an enormous task and that he is not sure that he wrote the best quality. He explains, "Attempting to comment on the wisdom of Proverbs is a humbling work for anyone who takes the Word of God seriously. Never does one feel quite up to the task." I kind of feel that way and I'm only writing a book blogger's review!

So I'm going to say this: I'm a housewife, a mom, a Christian who wants to know her God better. I'm one who wants to learn to walk in wisdom and grace. My goal in utilizing this commentary is to grow in faith and understanding. I pray that will happen.

I'll be referencing this Proverbs commentary throughout the month in a series of posts I have planned for my trek with Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Why this book and why this jointed study? Because I cannot grow in my faith without being fed the solid, undefiled Word of God. And I learn best through stories. For me, I'd like to take a month out of the summer to enjoy a good story alongside some instruction on the wisdom of God.

So here goes - for better or worse. I'm just kind of stumbling my way along and am exposing myself during the journey. I can't really say that I'm relishing this because this is my first attempt to do anything like this at all. I'm likely to fall flat on my face and don't really trust my abilities. But I'm going to try. Why? Because I want to learn. And while I do tend to learn by and from reading stories - sometimes I also learning by trying and failing.


Stephanie Kay said...

I can't wait to read what you learn through this experiment! Great idea!

ibeeeg said...

This is a fabulous idea! I would love to take this journey someday.

Cassandra said...

I'm really excited to hear what you have to say about this Proverbs commentary! It sounds really interesting. Proverbs is a fascinating book.

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