Study of the wisdom literature in the Hebrew Bible and the contemporary cultures in the ancient Near Eastern world is evolving rapidly as old definitions and assumptions are questioned. Scholars are now interrogating the role of oral culture, the rhetoric of teaching and didacticism, the understanding of genre, and the relationship of these factors to the corpus of writings. The scribal culture in which wisdom literature arose is also under investigation, alongside questions of social context and character formation. This Companion serves as an essential guide to wisdom texts, a body of biblical literature with ancient origins that continue to have universal and timeless appeal. Reflecting new interpretive approaches, including virtue ethics and intertextuality, the volume includes essays by an international team of leading scholars. They engage with the texts, provide authoritative summaries of the state of the field, and open up to readers the exciting world of biblical wisdom.
Table of Contents
Part I. The Context of Wisdom Literature: 1. Introduction the editors; 2. The scope of wisdom literature Tremper Longman III; 3. The multiple genres of wisdom Suzanna Millar; 4. The literary context(s) and development of wisdom literature in ancient Israel Knut Heim; 5. The scribal world Mark Sneed; 6. Theological themes in the 'wisdom literature': proverbs, job and ecclesiastes Katharine J. Dell; 7. The solomonic connection David Firth; Part II. Wisdom Literature in the Hebrew Bible: 8. Proverbs Christopher B. Ansberry; 9. Job Will Kynes; 10. Ecclesiastes/Qoheleth Mette Bundvad; 11. The song of songs J. L. Andruska; 12. Wisdom psalms Simon Chi-chung Cheung; 13. Wisdom's wider resonance Michael C. Legaspi; Part III. Wisdom Literature Beyond the Hebrew Bible: 14. Ben Sira/Sirach Seth A. Bledsoe; 15. Wisdom of Solomon Joachim Schaper; 16. Wisdom at Qumran David A. Skelton; 17. Egyptian wisdom Michael V. Fox and Suzanna Millar; 18. Syro-Palestinian wisdom Noga Ayali-Darshan; 19. Mesopotamian wisdom Paul Alain Beaulieu; Part IV. Themes in the Wisdom Literature: 20. Creation in the wisdom literature Zoltán Schwáb; 21. Reward and retribution Peter T. H. Hatton; 22. From rebuke to testimony to proverb: wisdom's many pedagogies William P. Brown; 23. The wisdom literature and virtue ethics Arthur Jan Keefer; Bibliography; Index of Subjects.