The Biblical wisdom books of Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs are some of the hardest parts of scripture to interpret and preach on. Due to this, unfortunately many pastors and teachers shy away from these integral pieces of scripture. Thankfully Edward M. Curtis has answered pastors and teachers cry for exegetical help in his new work, Interpreting the wisdom books: an exegetical handbook. This is one of the newer works in the series handbooks for Old Testament exegesis. Each work in this series has been magnificent. Unsurprisingly interpreting the wisdom books, Rises to the occasion producing a small, just over 200 pages, work that packs a sizable punch.
Curtis looks at four different aspects of interpreting wisdom literature, in six chapters. In these chapters he discusses the themes that are found in each wisdom book as well as the wisdom books as a unit. He also discusses how to interpret each wisdom book as well as the unit and General guidelines for deeper exegetical interpretation. His last chapter in this work not only sums up the entire book but is of the most help to the preacher. For just like a book on exegetical analysis, chapter 6, putting it all together colon from text to sermon, lays out for steps on how to preach a sermon in any of the wisdom books.
These four steps are a tried-and-true method, which can be found in other literature, but packed with the previous chapters understanding and other helpful to bits this chapter goes above and beyond most exegetical handbooks. The only downside to this work is its length. Before I praised its ability to be short and yet still impactful , yet there is rum for a deeper and wider study of some of the exegetical topics addressed in the wisdom books. Yet even with this small issue , the size will help a busy pastor to work through the text in a shorter amount of time . Therefore I recommend this text to preachers and teachers who wish to dive further into the text who have a basic understanding of the Hebrew language, and who desire to teach and preach exegeticaly. You will not be disappointed with this purchase.
This book was provided to me free of charge from Kregel Publishing in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.