by Jay E. Adams
1997 / 231 pages
I grew up with a set of Calvin’s Commentaries at my disposal for my Young People’s essays and while Calvin’s thoughts were reliable and insightful, they weren’t all that readable. For the longest time I thought that was just the way commentaries were – formal, and formidable.
It was only when I came across Jay Adams’ “Christian Counselor’s Commentary” series that I learned otherwise. Adams is solidly Reformed, his insights reliable, and his commentary so enjoyably readable it could be used for personal devotions. The full text of Proverbs is included, which allows readers to take just the one book with them if they want to do a little study at the local coffee shop or park. This portability is a nice bonus.
Adams is best known as the “father of biblical counseling.” Forty-five years ago he reminded the church that looking after our spiritually weak and wounded is our job, and not simply to be off-loaded to secular psychologists and psychiatrists. Proverbs is a book of particular value to this work; it is in some ways the “owner’s manual” for mankind. Adams ably shows how much wisdom – how much love – God has packed into each one of these proverbs. Help can be found here, and helpers equipped.
While this is a wonderful resource for elders, and really anyone who wants a readable, reliable, Reformed commentary, it could be of particular use for fathers. I’ve been using this at the dinner table off and on for a few years now. We usually tackle three or four verses at a time because any more and they all just blur into each other, and the individual lessons are lost. But before I start reading, and as my kids are finishing up their last bites, I can quickly scan the commentary at the bottom of the page, and that’s enough to help me lead a discussion with the kids. Adams’ insights aren’t long and they don’t need to be – Proverbs isn’t a hard book to understand – but they are insightful and have really helped me in my fatherly teaching role.
This is available as a purchase in Logos Bible software, and is just newly back in print.