Tuesday, 5 February 2013
Westbrow Press, Bloomington IN, 2011
How should we read Proverbs? Unfortunately, this book doesn't help. It divorces Proverbs from its context, historically, culturally and canonically. It provides a model of how not to read Proverbs. Essentially it lists all the Proverbs under separate headings such as Abomination, Adultery, Adversity, Advocate, Anger, Answer, Anxiety, Age, Animal, Ant, Apple, Argue, Associations, Atonement, Authority - to list just the A categories. The proverbs are then sorted into these categories under good or bad sections. Such a cut and paste approach may appeal to some; but not to me. It makes Proverbs into a set of cookie promises.
Fortunately, I didn't have to spend money to get this book - I was provided with an electronic review copy. Don't waste your money buying this. If you want to know how to read Proverbs you'd be much better buying Craig Bartholomew's booklet Reading Proverbs with Integrity (Grove Books, 2001). Sadly, it is integrity that this book lacks.