Even a cursory reading of the book of Proverbs reveals that it is dominated by the subject of education, or personal formation. The voice of the teacher addressing his pupils resounds from its pages. A wide array of topics is presented, and frequent exhortations challenge the learner to hear and heed the teacher's instruction. This material, however, comes for the most part without recognizable order or sequence. Much of Proverbs consists of apparently random collections of maxims. As readers, we see many individual pieces, but the puzzle as a whole remains unclear.
In this New Studies in Biblical Theology volume, Daniel J. Estes synthesizes the teachings of the first nine chapters of Proverbs into a systematic statement of the theory of education and personal formation that lies behind the text. Working from the Hebrew text and building upon an extensive analysis of exegetical works, Estes organizes his study of Proverbs 1–9 into seven categories typical of pedagogical discussion: worldview, values for education, goals for education, curriculum for education, the process of instruction, the role of the teacher and the role of the learner.
His work agrees with but also transcends the original purpose of the text by revealing the foundational theory of intellectual and moral formation embedded in this important section of Scripure. It also has valuable things to say about constructing a bibilically informed philosophy of education today.
Addressing key issues in biblical theology, the works comprising New Studies in Biblical Theology are creative attempts to help Christians better understand their Bibles. The NSBT series is edited by D. A. Carson, aiming to simultaneously instruct and to edify, to interact with current scholarship and to point the way ahead.
Description of the study
Rationale for the study
1. The worldview of Proverbs 1-9
Creation: The universe is Yahweh's creation
Order: Yahweh is sovereignly controlling the world
Rationality: Yahweh's world is knowable, but also mysterious
Fear of Yahweh: Humans must revere Yahweh in their lives
2. Values for education
3. Goals for education
Knowledge of God
4. Curriculum for education
5. Process of instruction
Condition with command
Command with reasons
Command with reasons and illustrations
Command with consequences
Command with rhetorical questions
6. Role of the teacher
The teacher as an expert authority
The teacher as a facilitator
The teacher as a guide
7. Role of the learner
The learner must receive wisdom
The learner must respond to wisdom
The learner must value wisdom
The learner must assimilate wisdom
Index of Scripture references
Index of authors