Daniel Estes, a fine scholar on the poetry of the Old Testament, contributes this volume in the celebrated New Studies in Biblical Theology (NSBT) series by IVP and edited by D. A. Carson. This monograph considers Proverbs 1-9 for what it tells us about teaching and learning.
He feels that the obvious pursuit in Proverbs is one of education or instruction. The teacher speaks to the student throughout. Though there appears to be a random order in our collection of Proverbs, he see seven pedagogical categories that holds them together. These seven are worldview, values, goals, curriculum, instruction, teacher, and learner.
He encourages us to notice “hear my son”. He covers a few more broad issues in the introduction. In chapter 1 he uncovers the worldview of Proverbs 1-9 and explains the assumptions of it. He says it’s evident that it “implies a prior faith commitment.” Further, in biblical wisdom there’s no differentiation between the sacred and the profane. From there, Mr. Estes traces out the theological points at work.
The book hits its stride in chapters 2 and 3 when the values and goals for education are explained. It was in these two chapters that I learned the most and felt he made the strongest case for his premise. Chapters 4-7 cover his other pedagogical categories in turn. Along the way many key words and verses are brought to light.
Though it only covers 9 chapters, this book is an excellent resource for studying Proverbs. It certainly lives up to the lofty status of this series.
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