Proverbial Wisdom & Common Sense: A Messianic Jewish Approach to Today's Issues from the Proverbs
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From the Publisher
This work, by Derek Leman, solves this problem. It enables the reader to grasp the meaning of the various proverbs, while organizing them in a way that provides a summary of key thoughts on a variety of different topics. It is unique in both style and scope.
Proverbial Wisdom & Common Sense is a relatively complete, though not verse-by-verse, commentary on the Book of Mishlei (Hebrew for Proverbs). It is written in a devotional style and topical format.
The writing is devotional in that it is divided into short, easily digestible chapters (or sub-chapters) suitable for daily reading. A person can read and understand the topic for that day and start applying it to his or her life. In this day, when godly wisdom is increasingly critical, not just for success, but for survival, this is a tremendous resource.
The writing is topical, too. Proverbs 1029 are divided into topics and sub-topics, and exposited in this section of the book. Discourses from King Solomon and various foreign kings (Proverbs 19 and 30 and 31) are addressed in separate chapters. They make an excellent study in-and-of themselves.
This commentary is a virtual encyclopedia of practical advice from the Scriptures. Subjects covered include family relationships, sexual immorality, finance, poverty and wealth, reputation and gossip, laziness and diligence, honesty and justice, love and kindness, humility and pride, anger and violence, controlling the tongue and practicing discipline. Which of these does not need to be addressed in our day and age?
As the publisher of Lederer/Messianic Jewish Publishers, I generally dont write forewords to books we publish. This could become a "default" practice; that is, I could write forewords for all our books and not need to find others to do so. Moreover, I could write laudatory forewords for the books, which could become self-serving.
In the case of Proverbial Wisdom & Common Sense, though, I am pleased to write the foreword. For many years now, I have maintained that people involved with Messianic Judaism have something unique to offer.
We bring to the Christian world the wealth of material previously researched and written by Jewish (albeit, non-Messianic) scholars. Moreover, we bring to the Jewish world the thinking and writing of Yeshua the Messiah and his followersthe New Testamentso often ignored.
Proverbial Wisdom & Common Sense is an example of this, and, therefore, makes a significant contribution to studies on the Book of Proverbs, that pithy, practical compilation of sayings and aphorisms of the nation of Israel.
About the Author
- Item Weight : 10.7 ounces
- Paperback : 235 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1880226782
- ISBN-13 : 978-1880226780
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.75 x 8.25 inches
- Publisher : Lederer Messianic Publications (July 1, 1999)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,605,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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When someone talks on a subject on which I have limited knowledge, I listen to their references to things I do know and see how accurate they are on those points. That gives me some evidence of their credibility. When this author errs when referencing things I do know, and/or are common knowledge, I become suspect of the things he says on which I have limited or no expertise. For the first half of the book, I let my guard down until, little by little, the errors demanded my attention.
For example, on page 91, he references "factual knowledge" on how airplanes fly - how their airfoils create lift - to illustrate a point he wishes to make. The problem is he has this "factual knowledge" totally backwards. As a private pilot and licensed FAA instructor, this is a topic on which I have some expertise. Granted, he is not writing a text book on aerodynamics, but what bothers me is the evidence that he did not check out his facts and presented a gross error as factual truth. Anyone believing him would be embarrassed if they repeated his "factual knowledge."
On page 95, he asserts that Adam "felt an emptiness, so God created Eve." No way!. Read Genesis chapter 2 for yourself. No mention, or suggestion, is made that Adam was lonely or felt empty. If he did, what an insult that would be of God, that having an intimate relationship with God was insufficient. This results from poor reading skills when people read in Genesis 2 that God said "it is not good that (Adam) should be "alone." There is a huge difference between "being alone," and "being lonely." The Bible goes on to tell us why it was not good for Adam to be alone and why Eve was created to complete God's purpose. It has nothing to do with loneliness or "emptiness" and I would expect the author of a book on Proverbs to know that.
On page 116, he asserts that the apostle Paul teaches that you are "to put others' needs ahead of your own." He cites Phil. 2:4 as his authority for this assertion. Read it for yourself. That is not what it says. It says to take care "not only of your needs," but also the needs of others. We see this carried out whenever we fly commercially. The stewardess is careful to instruct parents to put on their own oxygen mask first, then the child's. This same teaching is further fleshed out in Paul's letter to the Galatians, chapter 6, in which he points out that everyone is to carry their own burden (day pack, in Greek), and help others to carry their burden (crushing load, in Greek).
Then on page 176, he asserts that one of the men crucified with Jesus was a weapons smuggler and that is why he was being crucified. Really? That is not in the Bible. I was able to find a reference on that topic and it cited, what it called, an unreliable extra-biblical source for this false teaching. If weapons were illegal, why did Jesus tell his disciples to buy swords (Luke 22:36), and why wasn't Peter arrested along with Jesus for possession of the sword he used to cut off a man's ear? I have to wonder how many other of the author's assertions are based on unreliable sources.
Finally, on page 229 discussing Proverbs 31, he states that this chapter should not be read as a role for women because it would be impossible for a woman to do all the things attributed to the wife in Proverbs 31. That might be true if a wife tried to do all of those tasks every day, which is ludicrous. Realistically, she would do some of the tasks one week, and others at another time. Did the author consider that?
By the time I finished reading the book, I had cause to doubt so many of his assertions that I no longer trusted him in the areas in which I had limited or no knowledge. My only recourse is to research all of his questionable teachings to ascertain which are trustworthy so that I can better understand Proverbs. But wait - Isn't that why I bought his book? As for his chapter endings, encouraging us to become better persons, YES, that is "common sense."