Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Very briefly noted: Proverbs, by Andrew E. Steinmann

Probably every nonfiction author has been bitten this way: you work hard to consult the best and most current works you can get your hands on, you try to send off your manuscript as up-to-date as you can... and immediately afterwards, some pertinent book is either published or discovered.

That's the case with me and Andrew E. Steinmann's Concordia Commentary entry on the book of Proverbs.  The book is a 719-page tour-de-force, written from the perspective of believing Lutheranism. I wish I had had it in preparing my book of Proverbs studies. In writing that book, I had opportunity to refer to some valuable research by Steinmann in journal articles... but only after the manuscript was completed did I discover this volume.

It is a pity, too. The book was already in print (2009), but Steinmann's confessional Lutheranism and "my" circles often don't overlap. So I never even saw a hint of this book until it was too late. I contacted Concordia and was sent a review copy, which I've been using for several months now.

I haven't read most of the book, but I did want to let you know about it. Steinmann's approach to authorship is not my own, but it is another conservative and faithful view. He believes in the text as the Word of God, and closely examines the Hebrew text. Each section receives his own translation, a section of notes on the Hebrew wording, and then a commentary. The commentary is readable, practical, and warmly Christ-centered and Gospel-centered.

In years past I read H. C. Leupold's volumes on Genesis and Daniel with profit, but always wished he'd done Proverbs. This is similar to that — but I think better than anything Leupold could have done. My impression is that Steinmann has produced a volume which will serve Christ's church for a great many years, as have works by other Biblically-faithful Lutherans such as Keil, Delitzsch, Hengstenburg and others. Steinmann deserves to be numbered with them, from what I have seen.

When I have read the whole book I plan to give a full review. But I can already recommend it to anyone wanting a close, detailed commentary on the entire book.


Charlie Frederico said...

I just received your book on Proverbs. I am working through it currently. I am not done yet, but I do have some particular questions, of course on your section on 22:6. Would this be the right place to ask more technical questions, or somewhere else? Overall, what I have read has been tremendously encouraging and enriching. Thank you for your work.

DJP said...

No, I don't guess there'll be a post about it. Just email me.

And really: thanks for getting it and reading it. I hope it's a help and a blessing to you!