Article or Book Suggestions Welcomed and Greatly Appreciated!

Hello everyone,

I just got clearance to take an guided independent research course this semester with Dr. Niehaus.  We will be exploring the theories behind metaphor, imagery and symbolism, and then specifically connecting these theories to Proverbs 1-9.

Below are a list of sources that I have so far (I would really like more books on theory):

Habel, Norman C. “Symbolism of Wisdom in Proverbs 1-9.” Interpretation 26, no. 2 (April 1972): 131-157. 

Camp, Claudia V. “Metaphor in Feminist Biblical Interpretation: Theoretical Perspectives.” Semeia (1993): 3-36. 

Weeks, Stuart. Instruction and Imagery in Proverbs 1-9. New York, NY.: Oxford University Press, 2007. 

Fontaine, Carole R. “Visual Metaphors and Proverbs 5:15-20: Some Archaeological Reflections on Gendered Iconography.” Pages 185-202 in Seeking out the Wisdom of the Ancients: Essays Offered to Honor Michael V. Fox on the Occasion of his Sixty-Fifth Birthday. Edited by Ronald L. Troxel, Kevin G. Friebel, , and Dennis R. Magary. Winoana Lake, IN.: Eisenbrauns, 2005. 

Paul, Ian. “Metaphor and Exegesis.” Pages 387-402 in After Pentecost: Language & Biblical Interpretation. Edited by Craig Bartholomew, Colin J. D. Greene, and Karl Moller. Scripture & Hermeneutics Series. Grand Rapids, MI.: Paternoster Press ; Zondervan, 2001.

Strawn, Brent. “Imagery.” Pages 306-314 in Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings. Edited by Tremper Longman III. and Peter Enns. Downers Grove, IL.: InterVarsity Press, 2008.

Stallman, Robert C. “Divine Hospitality and Wisdom’s Banquet in Proverbs 9:1-6.” Pages 117-133 in The Way of Wisdom: Essays in Honor of Bruce K. Waltke. Edited by J.I. Packer and Sven K. Soderlund. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2000. 

Please feel free to add suggestions.  I want to make this an amazing class, and better sources will help towards that end.


9 comments to Article or Book Suggestions Welcomed and Greatly Appreciated!

  • Adam, I have an article at home dealing specifically with metaphors in Proverbs. I may have it as a PDF or you might be able to get it through JSTOR. I’ll look up the reference when I get home later today. For some reason I can’t log in to JSTOR right now.

  • Adam Couturier


    That would be fantastic. Thank you so much!

  • George Lakoff, Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things & Metaphors We Live By.

    The first of those has a strange stuff that assumes (and then criticises) some naive objectivism, but other than that, the book is excellent in terms of metaphor & semantics – that’s where Lakoff is at his strongest.

    The final chapter (which is on metaphor) of William Lycan’s Philosophy of Language is a good intro to metaphor in linguistics & philosophy with helpful pointers on other important resources & seminal work.

    The other name the pops into my mind is Langacker & anyone writing within Cognitive Grammar.

  • Adam Couturier

    Thanks, Mike! I look forward, esp. to tackling Lakoff’s work. I justed added your suggestion to my syllabus.

  • Adam, the article I have is Brown, William, “The Didactic Power of Metaphor in the Aphoristic Sayings of Proverbs” JSOT 29.2 (2004): 133-154. I have a PDF if you want it.

  • Jay

    I just sent you a syllabus/bibliography on metaphor as a linguistic/philosophical concept. Browse through the readings on the schedule as well as in the bib. … I can get you most of those.

  • Adam Couturier

    Doug, I actually have that article, and have added it to my bibliography. Thanks for the heads up.

  • lylelife

    As metaphor, imagery and symbolism are all poetical techniques of style I believe that Alonso Shokel’s books, “A Manual of Hebrew Poetics,” would be of great use to you. He has several chapters on these different subjects (a very large one for imagery). Anyways, I think you should check it out.

    Also, Bruce Waltke has a great commentary set on Proverbs that might be helpful. He probably talks about imagery, metaphor, etc. in the beginning of his set.


  • Adam Couturier

    Thanks Kris,

    Sadly, the trajectory of the course has all ready taken shape. I will post the syllabus sometime in the near future. However, I will see if I can check out Shokel’s book regardless.

    I have Waltke’s commentaries on Proverbs; however, there isn’t much in there regarding metaphor. My hope was to look at various theories of metaphor, and apply them specifically to the book of Proverbs.

    Thanks for the tip!

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