insight for life: Proverbs for January


I want you to join me in a topical, slow-read of the book of Proverbs in 2014! We’ll call this project in Proverbs Insight for Life. Picture this: sixty seconds of daily reading with the whole day left to ponder the meaning. We’ll read from tomorrow (New Year’s Day) to Halloween and it’s a six-day-a-week plan with Sunday as the “off” day.

You’ve got questions? Let me answer a few:

Q. Who came up with this topical arrangement? A. That would be me. Or you can blame the scholars behind the multiple Bible translations with cross references I consulted along with the scholars behind the numerous commentaries I checked to come up with this schedule.

Q. Which Bible translation should I use? A. Whichever one works best for you. I’d encourage you to compare renderings in different translations. In Proverbs, I always like to compare the NRSV and the GNT. The links below make use of the Common English Bible (CEB).

Q. Why are we taking a whole year just to read one book of the Bible? A. Because Proverbs were meant to be pondered. Insight rarely comes quickly and wisdom takes its time (hey, that’s a proverbs right there!). So the whole idea is to put just a bit of distilled wisdom into our head so we can take the time necessary to truly consider it, chew on it, and savor it. We might live a fast-paced life in a fast tack world, but some things are only done well slow. That’s what BBQ and Proverbs have in common.

Q. Are there memory verses that go with this plan? A. If you want them to be. That is, why not memorize one proverb per day on your own?

Q. Why does the schedule only run the first ten months of the year? A. Two reasons. First, the topical breakdown of Proverbs naturally lends itself to such. Second, my experience has been that the months of November and December are so full for most folks due to end-of-year expectations, holidays, etc. that many a reading plan gets abandoned during those months.

Q. Do you plan to do any writing regarding any of these proverbs during the course of the year and if so, where? A. Yes. Often. Here.

Q. If I wanted to purchase a commentary or two on Proverbs for my own study, which one(s) would you recommend? A. Fortunately there is not a shortage of quality commentaries available today on Proverbs. For the average Joe or Suzy in the pew, I’d say you’d enjoy the work of Derek Kidner and/or Tremper Longman. If you really want to dig deep, pony up for Bruce Waltke‘s two- volume work. If you’re a teacher or preacher, you’ll definitely benefit from Ellen Davis and Paul Koptak.

And without any further ado, here’s the reading schedule for January. Enjoy!

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