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Proverbs (The NIV Application Commentary) Hardcover – November 3, 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

What is wisdom? Does occupying the top of life's heap mean you have it? Does being near the bottom mean you don't? Wisdom can certainly help you acquire wealth, influence people, or succeed at your career, yet it involves more than knowledge alone. It's also a matter of understanding God's perspectives in applying what you know and having the character to act accordingly. That is why true wisdom---the kind that begins with fear of the Lord---frequently runs counter to what our culture values and applauds. This is the wisdom the book of Proverbs teaches. Proverbs deals with the relationship between heaven and earth on a practical level that covers the broad swath of human activity. We could all use more wisdom in our lives; the book of Proverbs was designed to guide us into it. Proverbs is far from monolithic. It has multiple authors and employs diverse styles. But its goal remains simple: to equip us for living in a way that succeeds first and foremost in God's eyes. Exploring the links between the Bible and our own times, Paul Koptak shares perspectives on Proverbs that reveal ageless truths for our twenty-first-century lives. Most Bible commentaries take us on a one-way trip from our world to the world of the Bible. But they leave us there, assuming that we can somehow make the return journey on our own. They focus on the original meaning of the passage but don't discuss its contemporary application. The information they offer is valuable---but the job is only half done! The NIV Application Commentary Series helps bring both halves of the interpretive task together. This unique, award-winning series shows readers how to bring an ancient message into our present-day context. It explains not only what the Bible meant but also how it speaks powerfully today.

About the Author

Paul E. Koptak (PhD, Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary/Northwestern University) is Paul and Bernice Brandel Professor of Communication and Biblical Interpretation at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois.
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Product Details

  • Series: The NIV Application Commentary
  • Hardcover: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; 1 edition (November 3, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310218527
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310218524
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #523,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John Carlini on November 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The NIV Application Commentary series is written in a unique format and Dr. Koptak is a unique author. The commentary brings us step by step from the original context to our contemporary setting. Proverbs seems to be a book of disjointed short pithy sayings. Many commentaries simply take a topical approach to the subject matter. What is unique about Dr. Koptak's approach is the method he employs in his chapter-by-chapter approach. He takes us from earth to heaven then back to earth again. In the "Original Meaning" section, Dr. Koptak's poetic nature shows through as he helps us identify the main theme of each chapter by identifying clusters (repeated words or themes). He then explains what the passage meant in the cultural and religious context it was written in. Next, in the "Bridging Contexts" section, he draws out the universal principle from the passage. The universal principle is that moral principle that is applicable to all people at all times, throughout all of human history. And finally, in the "Contemporary Significance" section, he assists us in applying this universal principle to our everyday situations. This commentary is a must read for pastors, teachers, and all serious Bible students. I highly recommend this commentary.
Dr. John Carlini
Senior Pastor, Devon Church
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Format: Hardcover
In the recent decades there is a trend to read the Book of Proverbs in terms of its literary structure instead of a collection of random sayings without any order, and this commentary is following this trend. This is most obvious when Koptak interprets Proverbs 10-22. In addition to reading these "sentence Proverbs" one by one, Koptak also attempts to identify the repeating keywords or themes and propose an underlying literary structure. This attempt significantly enriches the meaning of the text beyond individual sayings, and it leads the reader to discern the editorial intention behind the collection of individual proverbs. In my view this is far better than cutting the Book of Proverbs into pieces and re-organize them into "themes" according to the commentators' own tastes.

While I like this commentary I found it somehow repeats itself in certain topics when discussing on the "Bridging Contexts" and the "Contemporary Signficance" sections. I don't think this is Paul Koptak's fault because the overall structure is already prescribed in the NIV Application Commentary series, and that's why I give this book four stars.
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Format: Hardcover
I purchased 3 separate helps books on Proverbs and this was the one that has been the most help. It takes the text verse by verse, then pulls all of the information together at the the end of each chapter. If you are a serious student, I would highly recommend this book.
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Format: Hardcover
The NIV Application Commentary on Proverbs by Paul Koptak
The NIV Application Commentary (NIVAC) is a unique commentary that seeks to give the reader both the meaning of a passage of Scripture in its original context and a practical application for today's life.

The NIVAC on Proverbs begins with an introduction chapter that discusses how to study the book of Proverbs, what a proverb is, how to understand the book and its authorship. The introductions to most commentaries prove to be useful because they give much more information that a typical study bible would, but it is still short enough to be read through in one sitting. The author provides an outline of the book which helps to see the flow of the book. The Bibliography is an excellent resource since, at least personally, it is hard to find good material on Proverbs.

The Text and Commentary section of this book will divide each passage of Scripture into three sections:
Original Meaning - This is the section where the author will explain the meaning of the text in its original context. Having read several of the commentaries in this series I was eager to see how the author would handle the book of Proverbs. I was very pleased with how he lays out this section. In the chapters that are more individual proverbs, he treats them verse by verse, giving treatment to them separately, but them adding some comments about the overall flow and connection within the chapter. In chapters where the proverbs group together well the author will treat them as a group.
Bridging Context - In this section the author gets us from the original context to the contemporary context by a "bridge".
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I really like the 3 parts to each exposition. The past written context, the meaning to the Jewish people, the current reading of what it means to us now. Packed with information and use it still as a reference book. Its also just a great read.
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The NIV Application Commentary is a good resource for those teaching a class or study group. I use it in preparation for adult Sunday School at Grace Fellowship Church of Unionville, PA. You are welcome to join us!
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I found this book to be a wonderful resource for both study and teaching. The author provides great insight as to the apparent and deeper meaning of the "bible's book on education". The application commentary sets this book apart from other Proverb commentaries.
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