828 King's Highway, Suffolk VA 23432

757 255-4168 stjohns1755@verizon.net Worship Service: Sundays at 10:30am
Welcome to St. John's community. We are honored to serve Christ, and to open our doors to all. Please feel free to join us for worship. St. John's can trace its history to the founding of Jamestown. The parish is over 350 years old, and the church building itself has stood for 2 and a half centuries. St. John's saw the American Revolution and served as a camp ground for troops during the Civil War. Through it all, St. John's has been a place of worship and a home for those seeking communion with Christ. St. John's has a rich and abiding history. Today, it is as it was... a place to find and be found by Christ.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Christian Formation for Sunday September 9 - Proverbs 22:1-23; The Gifts of Wisdom

September 9, 2012, 15 Pentecost
Proverbs 22:1-23
The Gifts of Wisdom
Background: Proverbs, like Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon is attributed to Solomon. It is likely that Solomon was not the author but because the verses describe wisdom they are associated with the archetype of wisdom in the Old Testament. Principal in the book of Proverbs is the combination of received tradition with new insights.

Theme: This passage presents a portion of the verses that describe the gifts of wisdom. As with most of the remainder of Proverbs, the theme of this passage is teaching the acquisition of wisdom and the avoidance of folly. It is likely this passage was intended for the intellectual elite of Israelite society; a point which might influence the interpretation of the passage

Questions to Ponder

* Please read the entire section Proverbs 22:1-23.

* If this passage is developed to teach the acquisition of wisdom and the avoidance of folly; what might the writers define as wisdom and folly?

* Do you think this text was written to address the practical or esoteric level of thinking? Would the level of address alter the intent of the passages?

* What motive might be behind these proverbs being collected and shared with the Israelites?

* To whom might the book of Proverbs be addressed?

* Why might the commentators believe the book of Proverbs is addressed to the elite as opposed to the common citizen in Israel?” Do you think these proverbs apply just to the educated or to all people?

* What impact do you think the coupling of a positive effect with a negative effect has on the reader?

* What do you think the writer meant when they reminded the reader that “the rich and the poor have this in common: the Lord is the maker of them all.”? How might this proverb help direct society into orthodoxy (right doctrine) and orthopraxis (right practice)?

* What do you think the writer meant when they said “A good name is more desirable than great riches and high esteem, than gold and silver.”?

* As there are many proverbs about training children, how might this section be useful for training children in the way of the Lord?

* What might the reference to a “loose” woman be in verse 14? The original Hebrew was translated “strange”, how might the word strange change the meaning of the proverb?

* Why might there be a significant attribution of wisdom to the feminine human? What might the significance be of the reference to the “loose woman” in verse 14 and the foolish woman in an earlier chapter (Proverbs 9:13-18)?

* Considering the advancements in society, do you think these proverbs are relevant for Christians and others today? Do you think a connection with God is essential to facilitate observing these proverbs?
* What applications can we gather from this text for our life and ministry today? Do you think these proverbs are relevant to our plight in 21st century Southern Virginia?

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