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Wisdom themes in Proverbs

Select one topic from the book of Proverbs (click here for list). Use this list of proverbs for the following steps of this activity.
(1) Introduction
Introduce topic briefly by highlighting the significance of the topic, for example, by giving an example from the student’s life that illustrates the need for these proverbs.
(2) Observation and Interpretation
Carefully study and take notes on all proverbs in the topic you selected from the list.

● Mention key observations you made on your proverbs that helped you understand what the proverbs mean. The student does not need to use every single proverb listed with your topic, but enough to give a complete picture of what Proverbs teaches on your topic.

● Explain what the proverbs mean (for some proverbs the meaning is straightforward and may not need much explanation, other times more explanation is necessary). Clarify anything in the proverbs that may not be familiar to us today.

● Summarize the biblical wisdom contained in your proverbs – and discuss, as necessary, where exactly you find these principles.  Some proverbs may contain similar teachings – these can be grouped together.

● Give examples of how you have seen these teachings worked out or not in order to demonstrate what the proverbs mean. The student may use a brief illustration (story) of someone (maybe the student) failing to heed the proverbs. Offering a positive example will also help.

● Optional: Briefly mention any teaching on the topic from elsewhere in the Bible crucial to the understanding of this topic. Suggest a modern-day proverb that captures some aspect of the teaching on this topic.

● Optional: The student is welcome to use two or three academic level commentaries or other academic level research.

(3) Implications
What are the implications of these proverbs? Use illustration(s) from your own life to show how you have failed to apply, have applied, or intend to apply these proverbs. Suggest concrete ways your peers do or could apply these proverbs.  Use examples from everyday life. 
Also see bibliography on wisdom.

Thank you to Brian Luther for this activity.

Copyright 2013

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