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The Old Testament books of wisdom and poetry carry themselves differently from those of the Pentateuch, the histories, or the prophets. The divine voice does not peal from Sinai, there are no narratives carried along by prophetic interpretation, nor are oracles declaimed by a prophet. Here Scripture often speaks in the words of human response to God and God’s world. The hymns, laments, and thanksgivings of Israel, the dirge of Lamentations, the questionings of Qohelet, the love poetry of the Song of Songs, the bold drama of Job, and the proverbial wisdom of Israel all offer their textures to this great body of biblical literature. Then too, there are the finely crafted stories of Ruth and Esther that narrate the silent providence of God in the course of Israelite and Jewish lives.

This third Old Testament volume in InterVarsity Press’ celebrated “Black Dictionary” series offers nearly 150 articles covering all the important aspects of Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Psalms, Song of Songs, Lamentations, Ruth, and Esther. Over 90 contributors, many of them experts in this literature, have contributed to the Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry, and Writings. This volume maintains the quality of scholarship that students, scholars, and pastors have come to expect from this series.

Coverage of each biblical book includes an introduction to the book itself as well as separate articles on its ancient Near Eastern background and its history of interpretation. Additional articles amply explore the literary dimensions of Hebrew poetry and prose, including acrostic, ellipsis, inclusio, intertextuality, parallelism, and rhyme. And there are well-rounded treatments of Israelite wisdom and wisdom literature, including wisdom poems, sources, and theology. In addition, a wide range of interpretive approaches are canvassed in articles on hermeneutics, feminist interpretation, form criticism, historical criticism, rhetorical criticism, and social-scientific approaches.

The Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry, and Writings is sure to command shelf space within arm’s reach of any student, teacher, or preacher working in this portion of biblical literature.

Author Bios

Tremper Longman

Tremper Longman

Tremper Longman III is the Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies at Westmont College. He has written over 25 books, including commentaries on Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Daniel, and Nahum. His books have been translated into 17 different languages. In addition, as a Hebrew scholar, he is one of the main translators of the popular New Living Translation, and has served as a consultant on other popular Bible translations, including The Message, the New Century Version, the Holman Standard Bible, and the Common Bible. He has also edited and contributed to a number of study Bibles and Bible dictionaries, most recently The Baker Illustrated Bible Dictionary.

He earned his BA from Ohio Wesleyan University, his MDiv from Westminster Theological Seminary, and both his MPhil and PhD from Yale University. Dr. Longman and his wife, Alice, have three sons and two granddaughters.

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Peter Enns

Peter Enns is an American Old Testament scholar and was professor of Old Testament and biblical hermeneutics at Westminster Theological Seminary (WTS), Philadelphia until 2008. He has a BA from Messiah College (1982), an MDiv from Westminster Theological Seminary (1989), and MA (1993) and PhD (1994) from Harvard University where he also served as a Teaching Fellow from 1990–1994. Enns was the editor of the Westminster Theological Journal from 2000–2005. WTS suspended Enns following the end of the Spring semester, 2008 due to the theological issues raised in his book Inspiration and Incarnation. Enns decided to leave WTS after 14 years and did so on mutually agreeable terms with the WTS administration.

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