Proverbs (Everyday Bible Commentary Series) Review

Book Review: 

Irving L. Jensen taught Bible and chaired the Bible department at Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee. This book is a reprint of Jensen’s 1982 commentary on the biblical Book of Proverbs.

Positives:

—-Jensen interprets wisdom in Proverbs 8 in a manner that is faithful to its probable original meaning (wisdom is being personified), while smoothly integrating into his discussion the ancient Christian interpretation of wisdom as the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ, through whom God created the cosmos. According to Jensen, what is said about wisdom in Proverbs 8 is consistent with the ancient Christian interpretation.

—-Jensen does well to address the question of whether Proverbs is simply a bunch of scattered meanderings, or if the proverbs instead are grouped together as they are for a specific reason.

—-Jensen offers a compelling picture of wisdom inviting people into a relationship.

—-Jensen argues that the Book of Proverbs was largely written by Solomon and that some of the proverbs reflect the lives of David and Solomon. This may be speculative, but Jensen argues artfully.

Negatives:

—-The commentary is not particularly meaty. Overall, it proceeds rapidly from one subject to another rather than dwelling on things in depth. A significant amount of the book consists of charts rather than narrative.

—-Jensen argues for a tee-totaler interpretation of Proverbs 23:30-35. He fails to engage Proverbs 31:6-7, in which the author seems to encourage the poor and despairing to drink alcohol.

This commentary has some merit, but better ones are out there.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My review is honest.