The Book of Proverbs




Old Testament


The meaning of Proverbs in a modern society


A New Translation of the Book of Proverbs: Commentary

The meaning of Proverbs in a modern society


In our age it is no longer typical to be interested in wisdom.The key word in the 21 st  century is "information".Yet what do we do when we gain the information?Is the application of knowledge automatically, ethically right?This is where we need wisdom.It is the answer to the question "How?"


The Book of Proverbs is the teaching of a father--and a mother-- to his/her son,on how to live.Taking specific examples from everyday life,it gives principles for sucessful living;not in the glib,superficial sense of "Making frieds and influencing people",but rather from the more reliable standpoint of:


"God is here.He knows everything.Under His leadership we will succeed."

In this sense this book which is thousands of years old,is also timeless.And as wisdom is a key to both understanding and application,it is also significant that the new translation of the OT is beginning to take shape with a book that stresses the importance of learning and understanding.


If marxism taught an earlier generation of Czechs the importance of study, but failed to show the right path,how much more should the contemporary Czech believer,seeker and thinker seek where the answers can be found: in a book of words of truth.

John A. MacFarlane M.A.(Cantab)

A New Translation of the Book of Proverbs: Commentary


Kniha Prislovi as a translation, avoids the twin shortcomings of 


1) downgrading to popular appeal through becoming a paraphrase,and  

    thereby neglecting the basic rule of translation; As accurate as possible, as  free as necessary. 

2) appealing to a merely academic reading-public, thereby becoming pedantic 

    in attention to detail, but too far-removed from the theologically unschooled. 


It combines linguistic and theological knowledge with a sensitivity to the Spirit who first inspired these words. 


For instance, in the first chapter, the reader not familiar with the language of 1613 (The year in which the Kralicky translation appeared, the most highly treasured of Czech bible translations), will not feel comfortable with the following:


„Poslouchej,synu muj,cviceni otce sveho.“


Word-order as well as word-usage convey on the one hand poetic fluency, but the archaic text keeps its reader at a distance. 


On the other hand: 


„Muj synu,slys nauceni sveho otce


loses none of the poetry, but gives the text the needed contemporary ring to it. 


To assist serious students seeking more background knowledge, there are copious notes explaining the Heb/Gk texts, while avoiding the temptation to become a commentary. 

John A. MacFarlane M.A.(Cantab)

September 20, 2002