Sunday, April 14, 2013

Reflections on Proverbs, Introduction

How It Began

I am currently taking a Disciple 4 Bible study with our pastor, and last week we read the second half of Proverbs. When the discussion started, I said, "I think Proverbs would best be read one proverb per day to give you time to digest each one. Reading a lot at once is overwhelming. It would be a good iPhone app to have."

Pastor replied, "Well, you do have a blog."


So here I am, starting a series of posts on the book of Proverbs. The wisdom books, I think, particularly benefit from contemplation and balanced reasoning. Is that not, after all, part of their intent?

What We'll Do

I've always appreciated pithy aphorisms, and as I read Proverbs, I found myself nodding or shaking my head, seeing holes in the reasoning and seeing how some were more universally true than others. Some are specific to the times in which they were written; others are as true today as then. Some are useful and wise in certain situations, but it is easy to see other situations in which they wouldn't apply well at all.

Let's explore them together!

The plan is to move around the book as the spirit moves me, focusing on a single proverb or a cluster of related proverbs in each post. I will quote a proverb from the Revised Standard Version translation, and then reflect on what it might mean to us today.

An Invitation to Share

I strongly encourage you to share your own feelings on each proverb in the comments of this blog.* Being heavily steeped in the Methodist tradition, I'm a big believer in the importance of using one's Christian community to gain deeper understanding of Scripture. I hope you learn from what I have to say, but I'm no expert or Bible scholar. We can learn so much from each other, no matter what denomination we belong to or how long or short a time we've been Christians.  Everyone brings a valuable--and different--perspective to the conversation! 

Even if you are a complete newcomer to Bible study, you have much of value to share. You never know when your basic question or observation might spark someone with years of study to deepen in insight. And by reading the comments of those who have studied in depth, you will learn as well.

I hope you will join us on a proverbial adventure.

May God richly bless those who study His Word!

*A word of peace: I will delete any comments that do not follow a spirit of mutual respect and lovingkindness. Hateful speech, insults, partisan politics, or rudeness will not be tolerated. Differences of opinion, when respectfully expressed, are very much appreciated, as are expressions of denominational differences.

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