This volume surveys recent developments in the study of Old Testament wisdom; discusses issues that have arisen in Proverbs, Job and Ecclesiastes; examines the Song of Songs, Ruth and some Psalms as wisdom texts; and explores wisdom and biblical theology, the concept of retribution, and the issue of divine absence.
“Modernity—speaking generally—rejected tradition and religion as ways to truth and espoused autonomous reason as the path there. Postmodernism no longer believes that autonomous reason can get us to the truth about the world but resists recovering tradition and orthodox religion.” (Pages 28–29)
“God’s absence has been asserted in Ecclesiastes in the locative sense as well as in the deficient sense, due to Qoheleth’s emphasis on God’s transcendence, paucity of references to God, and lack of reference to God as YHWH.” (Pages 207–208)
“The extent of the Old Testament wisdom corpus is debated. Clearly it includes Proverbs, Job and Ecclesiastes, but some also include Song of Songs, and the Catholic canon includes other wisdom books such as Sirach and the Wisdom of Solomon. Old Testament introductions tend to confine Old Testament wisdom to the three major books of Proverbs, Job and Ecclesiastes, and we will do likewise.” (Page 6)
“The exploration of wisdom in the Psalter should not, therefore, be concerned with identification of specific psalms as ‘wisdom psalms’, but needs to identify the places where the influence of wisdom poetry is most evident, whether in a whole psalm or only a part.” (Page 195)
“Wisdom motifs, for example, play a larger role in Jesus’ ministry than is often recognized. For example, he concludes the Sermon on the Mount with the story of two houses (Matt. 7:24–27) with imagery that appears to come directly from Proverbs (9; 12:7; 24:3–4).” (Pages 26–27)