The Message of Wisdom: Learning and Living the Way of the Lord
School or Department
Biblical and Theological Studies
‘For the LORD gives wisdom…he stores up sound wisdom for the upright… The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom’ (Proverbs 2:6, 7; 9:10). The Old Testament books of Proverbs, Job and Ecclesiastes are often referred to as the wisdom books of the Bible. The theme of wisdom, however, is not limited to these books: it actually pervades much of the Bible. Dan Estes explores wisdom in key passages in Scripture. In Part 1, he investigates the concept of wisdom in the book of Proverbs: what wisdom is and how it calls out to humans to follow its path. In Part 2, he considers how wisdom is presented in various contexts in the Old Testament, in passages from the law (Deuteronomy 30), history (1 Kings 3-4), prophecy (Jeremiah 8-9) and Psalm 112. Part 3 focuses on Proverbs to learn how wisdom affects our conduct in our work, our speech, our decisions and our righteous living. There is complexity in the biblical message of wisdom. Part 4 shows how the prominent theme of retribution in Proverbs is balanced and qualified in the books of Job and Ecclesiastes. In Part 5, Estes examines the culmination of wisdom in the New Testament, as we see that Jesus is the master teacher of wisdom and the source of all wisdom, and that we are challenged to live by God’s wisdom rather than falling into folly. Throughout the Bible, we are constantly challenged to learn God’s wisdom, to live God’s wisdom, and to love God’s wisdom.
Biblical studies, Old Testament, Psalms
Biblical Studies | Religion
About the Author
Dr. Dan Estes serves as Distinguished Professor of Old Testament and Director of the Center for Biblical Integration. He teaches courses in Spiritual Formation and Christian Worldview Integration in the general education Bible minor. His areas of research and writing include the Psalms and Old Testament Wisdom Literature. His most recent book, a commentary on Song of Songs for the Apollos Old Testament Commentary series, was released in 2009. Dr. Estes received his B.A. in preseminary Bible and English from Cedarville (1974), his Th.M. in Old Testament exegesis from Dallas Theological Seminary (1978), and his Ph.D. in biblical exegesis from Cambridge University (1988). He was elected to a life membership in Clare Hall, Cambridge, in 2005. Dr. Estes and his wife, Carol, live in Worthington, where Dan is choir director at Linworth Baptist Church, a church in which he served as an assistant pastor for 10 years.
Visit Dr. Estes' SelectedWorks page.
Estes, Daniel J., "The Message of Wisdom: Learning and Living the Way of the Lord" (2020). Faculty Books. 248.