Document: Frans Van Deursen, Opening the Scriptures: Proverbs, trans. by Nelson D. Kloosterman (Jordan Station, ON.: Reformational Digital Library, 2019).


This book is appearing fifty years after Rev. C. Vonk, the founder and principal author of this series, began his labor in the ministry of the Word. By God’s grace, throughout that half century he was permitted to become a teacher in the Holy Scriptures for many, including me. For that reason, it is a privilege for me—now his colleague—to dedicate this thirteenth volume of Opening the Scriptures to him as proof of my gratitude.

In addition, I myself have received incalculable support for my work from my wife. Whoever finds such a co-worker has, according to Solomon, found a good thing, and has received favor from the Lord (Prov. 18:22). And when one observes how it belongs to her womanly wisdom to build the house (Prov. 14:1), and how her sacrificial attitude has created opportunity for this work, then according to the sages, she has deserved praise: “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her” (Prov. 31:28).

Wisdom seems at the moment not to be the gift in which God’s church excels. Despite the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ has become wisdom for us (2 Cor. 1:30). Despite that reality, his church is in many respects wandering about here on earth like a blind person uncertain of his footing. Sometimes busy and clever from a theoretical and theological perspective, but by no means always wise-in-Christ, wise-with-the-Word. More serious yet, as disciples of Jesus we have in many respects fallen prey to various forms of folly and stupidity. To make matters worse, these are often brought to the (ordinary) people as the highest wisdom, indeed, as up to date Bible scholarship.

But is this course of events as startling as it appears? What has Christianity—what have we—done with the wisdom of Solomon? Though Proverbs is not among the least familiar Bible books, it is surely one of the least preached and discussed portions of Scripture. In this way, a sea of wisdom is first misunderstood, only thereby to be largely unknown.

May the Sunrise from on high (Luke 1:78) use this commentary series to cause his Book to be what it is: a lamp for our footsteps. And may he bless this volume for the opening of many eyes, especially those of young people, to the wisdom that comes from above (James 3:15, 17). So they may be immune to the folly that sows death and decay—even though it sounds so scientific and scholarly—and they may nurture growing love for the life-fortifying, healthy, and health-giving wisdom that he grants us in the book of Proverbs.

Apeldoorn, 17 February 1979
F. Van Deursen

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Opening the Scriptures: Proverbs – F. Van Deursen.pdf