An analysis of epistemology in the book of Proverbs in relationship to the sources of knowledge used in evangelical Sunday School curriculum
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SubjectBible.--O.T.--Proverbs--Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Knowledge, Theory of--Biblical teaching.
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One central concern motivated this study, the need for a biblical epistemology to discern and develop a biblical curriculum. Directly related to curriculum development are the areas of philosophy known as metaphysics, epistemology and axiology. Most research focused on the areas of metaphysics and axiology while very little study concentrated on epistemology, leaving a gap of knowledge in curriculum development. By the term epistemology, the study looked at only one question from the study of knowledge, "How does a person acquire knowledge?" Research revealed that the manner in which a writer of curriculum views how a person learns determines to a large extent how he/she will develop the curriculum. Thus, the purpose of this research was to examine the sources of knowledge used in the book of Proverbs and compare them to the sources of knowledge used in evangelical Sunday School curriculum. Proverbs was selected for the biblical guideline because of its educational content and specific use of the sources of knowledge to teach biblical Wisdom. The sources of knowledge used for the study were the traditional categories of senses, reasoning, authority, revelation and intuition. Data for this study was gathered in three steps. First, an analysis was run on the book of Proverbs for the numerical patterns of the sources of knowledge. Second, a similar analysis occurred with three evangelical curriculum samples. The third step was to determine the differences, the similarities and the various relationships that existed between the two. Analysis revealed Proverbs' distinct pattern from the sources of knowledge in three areas: frequency pattern, a balanced complementary nature, and the exclusion of intuition. Though none matched exactly, there were curriculum samples that matched more closely than others. Finally, the pattern of the sources found in Proverbs was compared to various curriculum theories to determine the differences, similarities and relationship between Proverbs and the theories. The pattern of the sources of knowledge answered four of Robert Pazmiño's seven essential questions for Christian curriculum development. In addition, data shows a complementary nature in the use of the sources of knowledge can fulfill Herbart Kliebard's three metaphors goals.