An Introduction to Reading Biblical Wisdom Texts is designed for undergraduate students and laypersons who are studying in confessional contexts that a rm the inspired and authoritative nature of Scripture. By way of introduction, Part One poses fundamental and universal questions that are addressed by the genre of wisdom literature, explores definitions of wisdom and folly from the biblical perspective, describes the characteristics and forms of wisdom poetry, and places Israel's wisdom tradition in a wider historical-cultural context. Part Two addresses the practical wisdom associated with Proverbs, treating both the contents and the academic questions that arise. Parts Three and Four focus on Ecclesiastes and Job, respectively, and on the interpretive challenges they raise. Finally, Part Five recognizes the place of Song of Songs in the wisdom tradition. Two brief appendices address Ecclesiasticus and the Wisdom of Solomon.
This highly accessible and engagingly written introduction to the Bible's wisdom literature is built on a strong scholarly foundation but also aims to nurture the reader's love for God, the source of wisdom and truth, and to help the reader wrestle in the context of his or her own faith journey with the love, fear, doubt, joy, anger, and ecstasy expressed by the biblical writers.