The Book of Proverbs

The Book of Proverbs

Proverbs 3:1-12

Excerpt

‎The twentieth book of the Old Testament according to the Christian canon and third of the poetical books (Job, Psalms, Proverbs) in the Hebrew canon included among the Writings. The book of Proverbs is a collection of largely proverbial Wisdom Literature traditionally associated with Solomon, the Israelite king famed for his divine gift of wisdom (1 Kgs. 3–4); the Hebrew title for the book (Heb. mišlê; Prov. 1:1) reflects this association. It is clear from literary analyses and internal evidence that the contents of the book must be attributed to a variety of authors over an extended period of time. At least three authors are named in headings (Solomon, 1:1; 10:1; 25:1; Agur, 30:1; Lemuel, 31:1), and other segments are attributed anonymously to “the wise” (22:17; 24:23). The designation of the whole collection as “proverbs” (LXX Gk. Paroimiai; Vulg. Lat. Liber Proverbiorum) is not entirely apt since large portions of the contents (primarily the discourse material of chs. 1–9) do not fit this description. Many scholars contend the present introductory verse (1:1) originally stood as the heading of the Solomonic [Proverbs] at 10:1–22:16, before chs. 1–9 were placed in their present position, and was only later moved to serve as the title of the composite book.

Myers, Allen C. The Eerdmans Bible dictionary 1987 : 855. Print.


Temptations

Temptations 

James 1:13-18

Excerpt

‎The pull toward evil we feel when tested—a pull toward anger, striking out, or surrender to passion—does not “come from” God. That is, temptation is not located in the test but in our sin nature’s response to the test. If we realize God intends the test as a “good and perfect gift,” our perspective changes. Rather than view tests as temptation and give in, we can welcome tests as blessings intended to help us grow. James reminds us that God has given us a new birth (v. 18). That new life is the source of an inner power that will enable us to triumph not only over the circumstances but our sinful tendencies as well.

Richards, Lawrence O. The Bible Reader’s Companion. electronic ed. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1991. Print.

Jesus Knows their Hostile Thoughts

Jesus Knows their Hostile Thoughts

Excerpt

‎ Immediately (euthys; cf. 1:10) Jesus perceived in His spirit (inwardly; cf. 14:38) their hostile thoughts and He confronted them directly with pointed counter questions (a rhetorical device in Rabbinic debate; cf. 3:4; 11:30; 12:37).
‎The scribes expected a physical healing, but Jesus pronounced the man’s sins … forgiven. They probably thought that a pronouncement of forgiveness was easier than one of healing because healing was visible and immediately verifiable
.
Grassmick, John D. Mark.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 112. Print.

A Little Leaven

A Little Leaven

Excerpt

‎“A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” And thus this slight error, he says, if not corrected, will have power (as the leaven has with the lump) to lead you into complete Judaism.

John Chrysostom. “Commentary of St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, on the Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Galatians.” Saint Chrysostom: Homilies on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, Timothy, Titus, and Philemon. Ed. Philip Schaff. Trans. Gross Alexander with Anonymous. Vol. 13. New York: Christian Literature Company, 1889

He Brought Us Forth

He Brought Us Forth

James 1:18

Excerpt

‎The pronoun us in he brought us forth is inclusive. This clause, rendered as “gave us birth” by NRSV, can be understood in three different ways:
(1) First, it is sometimes taken to mean the birth of Israel as God’s special Son (Hos 11.1) and as having a special place over other nations (Deut 7.6).

‎(2) The second interpretation takes it as a reference to the creation of the human race in general. The references in verse 17 and the use of the term “creatures” (meaning the whole creation) in this verse lend support to this understanding. However, there are some problems with this view. For one thing it is most unlikely that the Divine will is simply to create human beings. This would be too self-evident to be meaningful. The will of God is to bring about salvation of believers. Secondly and more importantly, the verb used here, “to give birth,” is never used for creation.

(3) The majority of scholars therefore prefer a third interpretation, understanding “brought us forth” to mean the new birth of Christians (compare. John 3:3–8; Titus 3:5; 1 Pet 1:23). The verb “to give birth” is normally used of a mother giving birth to a child. It is interesting to observe that here God takes on a feminine role by giving new birth to Christians. The verb here is the same as the one used in verse 15 and is meant to contrast with that use: there sin gives birth to death, and here God gives birth to spiritual life for Christians. This interpretation receives further support from the two phrases that follow, the word of truth and first fruits. Other ways to render he brought us forth may be he caused us to be born anew” or he caused us to have new life.”

The word of truth is the means by which God brought about the new birth. Those supporting the second interpretation above naturally take the word of truth to mean the creative word of God in Genesis 1. However, it is more likely that the phrase refers to the gospel, as this is the common New Testament usage (Eph 1:13; Col 1:5; 2 Tim 2:15). If this is so, in many languages it will be helpful to render word of truth as “the true message” (CEV) or his true message.”


Loh, I-Jin, and Howard Hatton. A Handbook on the Letter from James. New York: United Bible Societies, 1997. Print. UBS Handbook Series.

Be Ready for Action


1 Peter 1:13

Excerpt

‎Have your minds ready for action is literally “gird up the loins of your mind.” To “gird the loin” was an appropriate metaphor for people in the Middle East at that time. These people normally wore long gowns, and when someone prepared for any strenuous activity, he “girded” his robe, that is, he tied his robe securely (by using a belt, for example), to make sure that his robe would not be in the way. The metaphor therefore came to mean “be ready for action.” The area of readiness in this verse is the mind, and the full meaning of the metaphor is therefore to prepare oneself mentally...

Arichea, Daniel C., and Eugene Albert Nida. A Handbook on the First Letter from Peter. New York: United Bible Societies, 1980. Print. UBS Handbook Series.

Today's Verse of the Day


Today's Verse of the Day is From Mark 9:50
KJV Translation:
Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

NKJV Translation:
Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltiness, with which will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

© Copyright Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Logos Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional



May 12

The Bible in the Developed World

Ruth 1:1–2:23; 1 Timothy 1:1–11; Psalm 73:1–10


In our developed world, we don’t consider famines very often. If there were a famine in our lands, we could navigate through it because of our importing infrastructure. This isn’t the case for the developing world: famines mean walking miles to find food and water, and often dying or suffering terrible violence just to stay alive. (Currently there are two major famines in Africa bringing these desperate situations to life.) When I used to read about famines in the Bible, I thought of hunger, but I didn’t necessarily think of pain and persecution. Now that I’m more aware of what’s happening in the world, stories of famine in the Bible are very vivid for me.

Consider Naomi, whose husband died during a famine, and the pain she must have felt over that loss and the loss of her two sons (Ruth 1:1–7). She was left with her daughters-in-law. As widows, they were completely desolate. Women were considered a lower class at the time; they could not own property and could not provide for themselves in an agriculturally based society. When I see photos of hurting women in the Horn of Africa, I’m reminded of Ruth and Naomi.

I think this is what the Bible is meant to do. We’re called to read it historically and culturally. But we’re also called to read the Bible with a sense of urgency about what’s happening in our world today. We know there is no end to extreme global poverty and unnecessary pain. We can’t rightfully imagine that those of us who have resources and who can help will have stepped up to eradicate these issues. But we can make the biblical story our story. We can feel their pain and think as they think. And we can act. Imagine God showing providence in your life like He did Ruth’s and Naomi’s, and then help those who need you.

What can you do to today make a difference in the life of a person living in extreme poverty?

JOHN D. BARRY


Barry, John D., and Rebecca Kruyswijk. Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012. Print.