The book King Solomon’s Advice, authored by Walter L. Porter, is a detailed study of the wisdom and advice of Solomon. The author sets forth to present the advice of Solomon, by interjecting his own thoughts and then backing what he states with the words of Solomon, or another Biblical author. The author states that he does not desire to speak much on the subjects, but rather allow the Bible to speak, with only a few comments from himself. He [the author] states that he hopes the information contained in his book will be worthwhile and usable for others. Thus, the author’s main focus is to present a detailed book illustrating the advice of Solomon in an understandable and east use format.
While the authors focus and intent are good, there are several things that this writer feels should be pointed out. The author stated that he desired the Bible to speak for itself with little input by him; however, there are several points made by the author of the book that are hard to understand and are contrary to the word of God.
One such criticism is found on page four of the book. The author states, “Solomon’s legacy consists of three books in the Bible: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. In the opening words of each book Solomon is mentioned as its author.” It is true that Solomon is mentioned in the beginning of Proverbs and Song of Solomon, but he is not mentioned at the beginning of Ecclesiastes. In fact his name is not mentioned anywhere in the book of Ecclesiastes. While this writer believes that Solomon authored the book of Ecclesiastes caution must be exercised when making statements such as the one made by this author.
The second textual criticism is found on pages six and seven. Here the author speaks about the Bible and that all of the original documents have been lost. He then speaks about having the knowledge of God in “earthen vessels.” It is this readers understanding that the author is saying that the earthen vessels are copies of the original documents which are imperfect. This writer disagrees with the authors understanding. The “earthen vessels” that the apostle Paul was speaking of was not documents, but was the physical earthly bodies of those to whom the word of God had been given.
The third and somewhat minor criticism is the translation that the author used in his study. It is stated on page eight of the book that the translation being used is “A Conservative Version.” The problem with this conservative version is that it seems that the translators took some major liberties in some of their translating. For example, on page nine of the book, the author quotes at length from Ecclesiastes 2:1, 3-10. In this context specifically in verse 8, most translations translate the last part of the verse “and musical instruments of all kinds.” In the version being used in this study the version translates the later part of the verse “and a wife and wives.” While it could be possible to mean this, the most conservative...