Golka revisits three traditional ideas which have dominated current Old Testament scholarship: the claim that there were schools in ancient Israel; that in these schools a professional class of “wise men” taught; and that their teaching consisted of the moral standards of the civil service. Professor Golka disputes the claim of Old Testament scholarship that biblical proverbs were literary works of art, much of it influenced by the civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia. By comparing biblical proverbs to those of foreign tribal societies, he concludes that the proverbs of the Hebrew Bible derive from a tribal society of the Israel existing within the period of the Judges. In this ground-breaking work, Golka reveals the extent to which the sources and results of social anthropology can be used in Old Testament scholarship to make significant new findings.
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