Christ-Centered Preaching

Helpful Resources for Preaching Christ from Proverbs

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I was privileged to do my doctoral dissertation on the book of Proverbs, and I have also written two books on preaching Christ from Proverbs (Preaching Christ from Proverbs and Exalting Jesus in Proverbs). There has been a lot of good work done on Proverbs, but for preachers, I think there are some resources more helpful than others. So, in this post, I will try to list some that have been most helpful to me.

Christ-Centered Approach

To me, it seems there are two basic approaches to preaching Christ from Proverbs. These two approaches can be stated in one of two ways.

Option A

  1. Jesus is the “son” in Proverbs (he is the one who grows in the wisdom of the book and fulfills it).

  2. Jesus is “Wisdom” in Proverbs (he is the person of wisdom one must embrace to become wise).

Option B

  1. How Proverbs presents the Messiah (he is the one who chooses Wisdom as his bride by the books’ end and thus fulfills the book).

  2. How the New Testament interprets wisdom (he is the Wisdom of God for us).

The 1’s correspond to each other and the 2’s as well. These are essentially the same approaches but named differently. The best resource on preaching Christ from Proverbs for the 1’s is by Gwilym Davies entitled “Preaching and Teaching Christ from Proverbs Part 1” and “Preaching and Teaching Christ from Proverbs Part 2.” I tackle the 2’s in Preaching Christ from Proverbs.


Here are some of the commentaries that helped me the most:

  • Bruce Waltke’s 2 volume in NICOT– This is the best and most comprehensive work on Proverbs out there. It is a very scholarly but accessible, and a pastoral work.

  • Tremper Longman – This is the best commentary for preaching Proverbs because it combines scholarly, theological, and pastoral insights in a relatively concise volume. Also, it has a topical appendix at the back that breaks down some of the main subjects in Proverbs. This appendix provides a summary of that particular subject in the book as well as a list of verses that touch on it. This is very helpful for thematic preaching of Proverbs.

  • Graeme Goldsworthy – This commentary is difficult to get your hands on, and if you want a thorough treatment of every verse in Proverbs, then this is not the commentary for you. But, if you are looking for a commentary that gives you tools for a Christ-centered approach to Proverbs, then this is the best commentary for you.

  • Duane Garrett in NAC – This commentary is very helpful and readable.

  • Roland Murphy in NIBC – This one is shorter, cheaper, and more accessible than the Word commentary.

  • Derek Kidner in Tyndale

  • Steinmann in Concordia – This work is large and expensive, but it also attempts to address Proverbs in a Christ-centered manner.


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Jonathan Akin

Jonathan Akin is the Director of Young Leader Engagement for the North American Mission Board and holds a PhD in Old Testament from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He served as the head pastor of Fairview Church in Lebanon, Tennessee prior to joining the NAMB staff. Jonathan is married to Ashley, and they have two daughters, Maddy and Emma Grace, and one son, Judson.

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