Learning Goal: I’m working on a religion writing question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.


Part B

Proverbs 29:18

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”


The book of Proverbs consists of short sayings of God’s wisdom, so this quote can stand on its own. However, it appears in a section of proverbs that has many sayings related to power and kings, and the rights of the poor. Being that the book of Proverbs is credited partialially to Solomon, it makes sense that these themes would appear in many of the sayings. Proverbs was written before the division of the kingdom of Israel, and wisdom was a large theme at the time under Solomon, and we can see this reflected in the proverbs as an important virtue. Many words are repeated in Proverbs to help people remember them, so the repetition of the words “vision”, “revelation”, “wisdom”, and “knowledge” (depending on the translation), show that knowledge is considered virtuous and should be remembered.


The NIV translated this quote “Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.” So this proverb is likely saying that when people don’t understand or “see” the truth or the facts of something, they won’t know to be careful and will be put in harm’s way.

Other References to Scripture

Repeated declaration of a New Covenant between the government and American citizens.


Covenants are agreements between God and his people. Old testament Covenants include the Noahic, Abrahamic, and Mosaic, and then later the Davidic. But the “New Covenant” of the Bible is the promise of a relationship with God when one declares their belief in Jesus Christ.


Since covenants are promises between God and his people, this compares the government to God and makes them seem “holy” or “righteous”. Also since God is always faithful and never breaks his covenants, using this word instead of promise or pledge, seems even more trustworthy. By describing it as a new covenant it connects to Prtestant Christian beliefs, which is the majority religion of American people.

Part C

Member of the Baptist church and has often cited his faith for his political beliefs and policies

Bill Clinton gave this speech at the 1992 Democratic National Convention after a highly contested primary.

While he was speaking to a room of Democratic party delegates, his intended audience went beyond the halls of Madison Square Garden

The American people were at their wits end and needed a positive vision for the country

Tired of a poor economy and politics as usual and were willing to look away from the traditional political parties

Clinton sought not only to bring his party together but to bring the American people together as well under the banner of a New Covenant through a powerful, positive vision.

Clinton may have also used his speech and repeated references to “vision” to offer a rebuttal to George H.W. Bush’s claim that Clinton’s hopeful view of the future is just a ‘vision thing.’

Vision is mentioned eleven times in the speech

Clinton challenges the American people to not lose faith in the importance of a vision and accuses Bush of believing that visions are meaningless and fantasy

Part D

Bill Clinton’s speech did not utilize the scripture text appropriately to an extent. However, it could be understandable why he would use that scripture. If one is not knowledgeable about God’s word it would be a perfect Bible verse to use as part of his political campaign. “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” It could be read as something we must each have a vision for our own lives either it be an academic dream or a business dream. Which is what Bill Clinton is emphasizing that he has a vision for America and that it is good to have one for the people. Although it is good to have a vision for a country that you are running for president, Bill Clinton cited erroneously to be more of a man centered verse; for Proverbs 29:18 is supposed to be a God centered verse. It is supposed to be a verse that is stating that we need God, we need His word in our life, we need HIS vision, because we need the word of God because without the word of God we will perish in this life. One can see the connection with Romans 6:23 as it states, “For the wages of Sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”.

Therefore, although Bill Clinton’s intentions were there and were noticed by the American people, the scripture was misused on a biblical interpretation level. Was he trying to gain the people’s vote? Yes. Was he trying to gain a community vote of believers? Yes. Did he use Proverbs 29:18 in the manner God intended it to? No. Therefore, we say Bill Clinton’s use of Proverbs 29:18 was used erroneously .

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