Item description for Proverbs (Believers Church Bible Commentary) by John W. Miller...
Overview The nineteenth volume in the Believers Church Bible Commentary series is unique for its detailed uncovering of evidence for two editions of Proverbs, a first in the time of Solomon and a second in support of King Hezekiah's historic religious reforms. In this light heretofore puzzling features of the book's design, purpose and message are clarified and the book's relevance for its time and ours is greatly enhanced. This readable commentary is for all who seek more fully to understand the original message of Scripture and its meaning for today - Sunday school teachers, members of Bible study groups, students, pastors, and other seekers.
Publishers Description The uniqueness of this commentary is its detailed, first-time uncovering of evidence that there were two editions of Proverbs, the first in the time of Solomon and the second created by the men of Hezekiah in support of King Hezekiah's historic religious reforms. Up to this time the puzzling features of the book's design, purpose, and message are clarified in this light and the book's relevance for its time and ours greatly enhanced.
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Studio: Herald Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.7" Width: 6.54" Height: 0.78" Weight: 1.1 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 2004
Publisher Herald Press
Series Believer's Church Bible Commentary
Series Number 19
ISBN 0836192923 ISBN13 9780836192926
Availability 0 units.
More About John W. Miller
Miller holds a Th.D. from the University of Basel and is professor emeritus of religious studies at Conrad Grebel College, University of Waterloo, Ontario.
Reviews - What do customers think about Proverbs (Believers Church Bible Commentary)?
A Practical Handbook on a Neglected Biblical Book Jun 6, 2005
When was the last time you heard--or preached--a sermon on the book of Proverbs? When preparing sermons, Anabaptist pastors tend to gather in droves around Gospel texts, so a book like Proverbs rarely gets exposure on Sunday mornings. Part of the reason for this neglect has to do with Proverbs lacking a narrative structure. It is instead a collection of sayings that often are not connected to one another from verse to verse.
An initial browsing of this commentary produced a few first impressions. The first is that the author holds impressive scholarly credentials along with practical ministry experiences, and a second impression is that several title headings in the book might make for an intriguing sermon series: "Jesus on the Subject of Whispering", "Conflicted and Transformed Hearts," and "A Journey Into Immediacy With God" are just a few. Something else that caught my attention is the fact that Miller has chosen to base the commentary on the New International Version, in part because the NIV preserves gender-specific references (son and sons). He explains that to appreciate the original meaning of the book of Proverbs--without disregarding its application to all who read it--the book should be understood as a manual for young men, while including advice about loving one's wife and creating a home that honors her, and other such women-affirming material.
The realistic goal in studying Proverbs is not to memorize its multitude of wisdom sayings and then immediately attempt to replace negative thoughts and influences with right thinking. Miller quotes another author, Daniel J. Estes, who explains the purpose of the book of Proverbs: "In Proverbs, the juxtaposition of the routine details of daily life with reminders of Yahweh's evaluation of these activities reveals that all of life is regarded as a seamless fabric." Miller does not leave the reader engulfed in a sea of words of enlightenment, but instead builds a bridge between spiritual truth and everyday practical advice.
Many commentaries are so detailed and academic that personal or contemporary application by the preacher or teacher must be developed separately. A refreshing feature of Miller's work is a recurring section titled, "The Text in the Life of the Church." And indeed, Miller deals with relevant issues. He addresses the problem of absent or noninvolved fathers and the increased number of young people living together outside of marriage. He discusses law enforcement and the United Nations. For churches desiring conflict transformation and repellents for harmful gossip, this book is also a resource. With Proverbs presenting boundless moral counsel within its 31 chapters, it is good to have a commentary that brings all that heavenly counsel down to earth. Yet, Miller is more suggestive than dogmatic in highlighting these issues and concerns.
I was fascinated by the author's innovation in handling the poetry of Proverbs. He encourages the use of one's fingers in recalling its many precepts. "Fingers played a role in memorization, it seems, as indicated in a poem in the introductory part of the book, where a father asks his son to bind his words on his fingers and write them on the tablet of his heart." Guess I never thought of using my fingers as biblical learning tools, and I give the author credit for indulging in such pragmatism.
Modern scholarship questions the presumed authorship of many of the biblical books, and this commentary follows suit by attributing the editing of much of the contents of Proverbs to a group of Levites who lived during the time of Hezekiah, and who expanded upon the words of Solomon. While the arguments for multi-authorship are interesting and well documented in Miller's work, the average church member likely has little interest in such discussion. Be prepared for ongoing references to the "Hezekiah Edition" in the table of contents.
What we have here is a practical handbook guiding us through the wise sayings of Proverbs--not too technically yet not too succinctly-- but with the creative scholarship of a Mennonite sage. I am quite pleased to add this edition to my library.