Lubbock Christian University Bible professor, Dr. Mark Sneed, is celebrating the publishing of his second book, “The Social World of the Sages: An Introduction to Israelite and Jewish Wisdom Literature.”
Dr. Sneed explained that he had the idea for his book in the back of his mind since 1999 and finally decided to bring it to life. The book was accepted in 2013 by Fortress Press, one of the top five publishers in the field of Biblical studies, with the writing and research of the content taking two and a half years to complete.
“The Social World of the Sages” covers the facets of Wisdom Literature (Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes). Dr. Sneed explains that while the Wisdom Literature is not usually addressed to God, it is primarily meant to teach morals and how to be successful in life. The literature itself contains very little narrative, with much of it being in a poetic form, and is philosophical in nature.
What makes Dr. Sneed’s book unique is that he wrote it in an effort to create a wisdom literature textbook with an approach more suitable for undergraduates, unlike the existing textbooks written with seminary and postgraduate students in mind. He uses various pictures, graphs, and sidebars (all illustrated by his daughter Lauren Sneed) along with text to bring the content to life.
“I think [undergraduates] will find it very interesting because it’s a dimension that most people in the congregations don’t get. I call it transforming the Bible from 2D to 3D because it shows that the scriptures are inspired by God, but written by humans, to help humans, like scribes, with their daily existence, survival, and [attempts] to be successful,” Dr. Sneed said.