Moses by John August Swanson. Image from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, Tenn. Original source © 1983 by John August Swanson.
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Preaching Series on O.T. Wisdom and Poetry
Preaching Series on the Creeds
Proverbs 1:1-7; 3:1-8 Commentary
by Kathryn M. Schifferdecker
This four-week summer series highlights three biblical books -- Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon -- that garner little attention in the Revised Common Lectionary and in most mainline churches’ preaching.1
And it is easy to see why. Proverbs is not scintillating reading to most modern readers. Ecclesiastes seems a “downer” sort of a book. And Song of Solomon is, at first reading, erotic poetry that seems more suited to a steamy romance novel than to Holy Writ.
Nevertheless, these three books are indeed part of Scripture, and it is helpful to read them as a group. All three books are in the Writings, the part of the Hebrew Bible (after Torah and Prophets) that includes, in general, the latest and last-canonized of the biblical books. Two of the books -- Proverbs and Ecclesiastes -- are part of the Bible’s Wisdom literature. And all three books are traditionally ascribed to King Solomon. In a perceptive, if ahistorical interpretation, the rabbis said that Solomon wrote Song of Solomon in amorous youth, Proverbs in seasoned middle age, and Ecclesiastes in disillusioned old age.
The relative lack of attention to these books in the modern church does not reflect the attitude ...
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Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL183: Preaching Series on O.T. Wisdom and Poetry
July 12, 2015
Narrative Lectionary podcast on the 4-week preaching series on Old Testament Wisdom and Poetry (July 12 - Aug. 2, 2015).