Conflicted Boundaries in Wisdom And Apocalypticism by Benjamin G. Wright, Lawrence M. Wills

By Benjamin G. Wright, Lawrence M. Wills

The suggestion that knowledge and apocalypticism characterize essentially various and collectively specific different types of style and worldview in early Jewish and Christian literature persists in present scholarship. The essays during this quantity, the paintings of the knowledge and Apocalypticism crew of the Society of Biblical Literature, problem that in most cases held view as they discover the social destinations and scholarly structures of those literatures and observe an historical truth of extra porous different types and intricate interrelationships. the amount attracts on a huge variety of Jewish and Christian texts, together with 1 Enoch, Sirach, 4QInstruction, Psalms of Solomon, James, Revelation, and Barnabas.

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Part of the bind that scholarship has gotten itself into is the result of dealing with texts and our abstract descriptions of them apart from the real worlds that created the texts. In fact, texts are historical artifacts. 44 In short, the problem may not be in the texts, but in the categories and methods that we have used to describe and interpret them. 44. In my paper, “Tobit and Enoch,” I struggled with the similarities between a sapiential and an apocalyptic text. For further discussion since the original publication of the present paper, see George W.

According to the prologue (7–13), Ben Sira read and studied the Torah, the Prophets, and the other books of the fathers and then wrote his book for the purpose of instruction and wisdom (paideiva and sofiva). The third-person singular self-description in 39:1–11 also refers to the study of “the Torah of the Most High,” “the wisdom of the ancients,” which includes proverbs and parables, and “prophecy” (vv. 1–3). The use of “ponder” (dianoevomai) with reference to the Torah, “occupy oneself with” (ajscolevw) of the prophets, and “seek out” (ejkzhtevw, twice) of wisdom indicates a thorough, ongoing scholarly process, one that excludes the possibility of another occupation (38:24).

Nonetheless, they appear to be different species of the same genus. . 26 23. Nickelsburg, “Wisdom and Apocalypticism,” 30. 24. , 34–35. This hypothesis, as George acknowledged, is risky. In my view it raises the complexities involved in moving from literary texts and figures to institutions and social settings. Similarly, I do not find the terminology, “wisdom circles,” to be helpful—it is too general and too poorly defined. 25. , 35. 26. , 34–36. In fact, his call for setting up tables or grids to plot “text, titles or selfdesignations, functions, and settings” would be useful for bringing precision to our descriptions of the scribes who produced these writings.

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