I’ve decided to begin pursuing this project. At this juncture this involves several elements:
1. It involves prayer. While it has been on my heart to undertake this project for several years, I am seeking to search out the Lord’s will. I am not one who hears the Lord voice clearly, so I begin with some trepidation.
2. It will start with Proverbs. I know, this may seem a strange starting point but I have chosen Proverbs for several reasons:
– Due to the recommendations of a Sunday School teacher (Mr. Brisson) during my teenage years I read Proverbs repeatedly chapter by chapter each month over a period of years, so it is a book I have significant familiarity with.
– Proverbs, while containing real and deep wisdom, is a fairly straightforward book. Thus, it is a great book for teenagers and will (hopefully) not present me with significant difficulties in interpretation.
– Proverbs is a relatively non-controversial work when it comes to interpreting and applying its teachings and will thus be a relatively straightforward book to write a orthodox commentary on.
– N.T. Wright has begun a series in the tradition of William Barclay and is currently working through the New Testament. Bill Doolittle has lent me Wright’s volumes on Romans (Paul for Everyone Romans Parts One and Two) for review to see if they might fulfill my need in the New Testament arena. Since there may be an alternative available, I do not see use at this juncture in duplicating that work.
I’ve already begun my work. On Thursday I spent a few moments in Philadelphia Biblical University‘s library and borrowed a number of volumes – on wisdom literature in general as well as commentaries on Proverbs in specific. Unfortunately, both Waltke and Trenchman’s commentaries on Proverbs were checked out, but PBU does have the volumes available on reference so I intend to spend some time in the library in the near future taking advantage of these references. I also borrowed The Expositor’s Bible Commentary on Proverbs from Rev. David Lebo.
Thus far I have begun by reading the introductions to Proverbs in Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, and Old Testament Wisdom an Introduction by Crenshaw. I also borrowed from PBU the English translation of the Aramaic Targum on Proverbs and began reading this as well. While I am going to read through the Aramaic translation, it appears that the Targum contains little commentary on the book and will serve as a cross-reference rather than primary reference for me.
I’ve also begun taking copious notes from all these references – 3 pages in 10pt font thus far.
I appreciate your prayers and thoughts as I undertake this endeavor.