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Approaching Proverbs: Modulating Power with Wisdom and Compassion 《箴言》研讀入門 Barbara Leung Lai SCBC Adult Sunday School April 10, 2011 “The Lord’s Blessing.

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Presentation on theme: "Approaching Proverbs: Modulating Power with Wisdom and Compassion 《箴言》研讀入門 Barbara Leung Lai SCBC Adult Sunday School April 10, 2011 “The Lord’s Blessing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Approaching Proverbs: Modulating Power with Wisdom and Compassion 《箴言》研讀入門 Barbara Leung Lai SCBC Adult Sunday School April 10, 2011 “The Lord’s Blessing is upon the House of the Righteous, and His Cursing is upon the House of the Wicked” (3:33)—A huge Gap between the ‘Then’ and ‘Now’? 溶滙體現 : 經文與現實生活之間是 否面對一个大洪溝 ?

2 I. Approaching Proverbs: 7 key Interpretive Orientations 七個詮釋关鍵 (A) Outstanding ‘Dialogue’ within the Wisdom books: The Serenity of Proverbs & the skepticism of Eccles. (Murphy); theocentric ( 神本 ) (Prov) Vs. Anthropocentric ( 人本 )(Job & Eccles.);‘dialectic’ (paradoxical- 反 合 )of anthropology and cosmology (Brown, Characters in Crisis). (B) The Nature of the Book: ‘A Collection of the Collections of wisdom materials’ (i.e. the ‘introduction’/purpose of the collection and its ‘conclusion’ must be ‘intentional’ (1:1-7; 30:10-31).

3 (C) Appreciation of the transmission of the ‘Sayings’  ‘Proverbs’ (A thin slice of reality) (D) Intentional contrast between chs. 1-9 (long instructions/admonitions) & chs (short proverbial sayings)—chs. 1-9 as a hermeneutical key for chs (E) Role of ‘personified’ wisdom 智慧人格化 (chs.8; 31:10-31—double emphatic (Imperative & piel jussive in the context of acrostic Ps. 「 字母詩」 ) (F) Crossing Boundaries: Proverbs and the Postmodern world (bridging contexts and appropriation)—Character Formation 「 品 格 的 索 造」 as a current approach.

4 Trajectories: 研讀《 箴言》 一些新「 進路」 (1) Formation – deformation – Reformation of character 帶來品格的蛻變 (2) Orientation – disorientation – reorientation of (e.g., Attitude towards life; direction in life, etc.) 生命的重組 (G) Initial purpose of the Book 箴言主要目標 (1) Designed initially for use by young men of Israel’s society who were being groomed for positions of leadership (Hubbard) Vs (2)The real intent is to train a person (male & female; young & old), to shape character, to show what life is like and how best to cope with it (Murphy).

5 II. Interpretive Issues & Guidelines: (A)Recognize the various forms of literature and their functions of which Proverbs is composed (e.g., long instructions [chs. 1-9]— the purpose is to persuade, to tease the readers into a way of life rather than ‘to command’, short proverbial sayings [chs ], are obscure, open-ended, brief but assertive, the point is ‘to say the maximum of meaning/things in a minimum of words’. ‘The reader is left to qualify it by other contexts, by exceptions, by experiences that run contrary to it… It provides insight, not only by what it is said, but by the process---

6 The reader can be startled, and thus invited to Go beyond the proverbs itself… The proverb often registers a reversal of one’s expectation And provokes surprise’ (Murphy). (B) Interpret the Book in its own right and on its own terms. Prov. has its own way of looking at life. ‘It sees experience as God’s means of revelation; creation as the basis of order. Words like ‘walk’, ‘way’, ‘stumble’, ‘fall’ has their own connotations in wisdom literature as patterns of life, deeply ingrained habits, and our failure to follow

7 God’s way; the perspective of Prov. Is life ‘here’ and ‘now’ (Parsons). (C) The initial purpose of the book (1:1-7) is the hermeneutical key for interpretation. (D) Some Proverbs are unconditionally true (16:2,12, 33). (E)The ‘polar’ structure of the book: e.g. wise & fool; the way of the righteous & the way of the wicked; wealth & poverty; diligence & laziness; righteous & evil; humility & pride ( 但一般信仰問題的處理都是在「 灰色地帶」 !) (F) Wisdom speeches & personification (1:20-33; 8:1-36; 9:1-6, 13-18) 默示性或是純智慧 文學之運用 ?

8 III. Appropriation: Bridging the ‘then’ and ‘now’ (Any value for memorizing Prov.?) (A)Seek to validate the appropriation through the whole context of the Bible—don’t dogmatize (everything is black & white, no grey area) (B) Seek existential understanding of the perspective of Proverbs: it sees experience as a means of God’s revelation. ( 日光下生活經歷為 神默示的媒介 ) (C) Explore the creative use of proverbial characters (imagination, persuasion, sense of humour, graduated numerical formula, rhetorical questions, sample stories (i.e. modulation of charisma, kerygma, & power). ( 智慧文學体栽於宣講事奉的应用 )


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