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BIBL 102 (Sp '15) T29 - OT Wisdom

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Hartmut Scherer

on 27 April 2015

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Transcript of BIBL 102 (Sp '15) T29 - OT Wisdom

“Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.”
Ecclesiastes 12:12b
Adapted from Zondervan Academic Resources for
Grasping God's Word
OT Wisdom
You have persevered to the end of this book!
Song of Songs
Purpose of the Wisdom Books
Law, narrative, and prophets stress “Believe!” and “Obey!” while
wisdom stresses “Think!”
Call us to listen, look, think, and reflect
Offers practical insights for living
is to develop a wise and
godly character
for life in the real world
The Big Picture
Four wisdom books balance each other theologically.
Read each one in context of all four.
Rational norms of life (what normally happens).
Does not present universals (what will always happen).
The righteous and wise suffer in ways that mere humans cannot understand.
Failure of the rational, ordered approach to provide ultimate meaning to life.
Meaning only comes through a relationship with God.
Irrationality of romantic love between husband and wife.
Song of Songs
Wisdom as Poetry
Wisdom books use parallelism as their standard structural feature.
The more emotional the tone, the more the book will use figurative language:
Less emotionally charged
Less picture language
More emotionally charged
More picture language
Song of Songs
A large portion of wisdom literature is poetry.
All four Wisdom books balance each other theologically.
Most of the Proverbs are not universal promises.
Be careful in Job and Ecclesiastes about pulling verses out of context.
God gives advice for godly living through the Wisdom books.
Song of Songs
Grasping the Wisdom Books
Proverbs – short, concise sayings that
teach practical wisdom
about life.
Individual proverbs reflect general nuggets of wisdom about what
happens in life (e.g., “Don’t be lazy! Work hard!”).
Proverbs are
to be taken as
universal promises.
Proverbs does
not deal
with the
to the normal rules.
Since each proverb presents a general principle, the river of differences is usually quite narrow and shallow.
But be
how you
define “blessing.”
Chapter Outline:
1-2 Job is afflicted
2-37 Job searches unsuccessfully for a rational answer
38-42 God answers Job’s accusations
42 Job’s friends are rebuked and Job is restored
Job does all that Proverbs commands, but he receives dead children, financial ruin, physical pain, and criticism
Job is a story (in contrast to Proverbs) and we must take the literary context of a narrative seriously:
At the end of the book, the Teacher comes to his conclusion: “Fear God and keep his commandments.”
Apart from God, not even wisdom can give life meaning.
River normally shallow in Ecclesiastes except for a limited concept of death and the afterlife.
Differences between the ancient audience and us are not great.
Lessons from Job:
- God expects us to trust his character
Ecclesiastes (like Job) must be interpreted as a whole with the ultimate answer coming at the very end.
NT presents suffering as a normal feature of a godly life.
Don’t misuse biblical truth.
It is not wrong to cry out to God in anger and frustration
In grief focus on God and his character.
Comforting friends is different from having all the answers.
The book is full of satire, sarcasm, and cynicism.
A strictly rational search for meaning is “meaningless.”
- God is sovereign and we are not
- God knows all and we know precious little
- God is always just, but does not always disclose his reasons
The NT adds that apart from a relationship with Jesus Christ, life is meaningless.
Apart from a relationship with Christ, not even a college degree can make life meaningful!
Wisdom goes for character change.
Shocking book because it speaks openly and joyfully about human sexuality (read 7:7-8).
The book is organized into three sequential units:
1-3 Courtship
3-5 Wedding
5-8 Life of Love
Highly emotional and full of picture language as the man and woman describe their love for each other
Scholars today reject the allegorical interpretation
A model of the joy and irrationality of a married couple madly in love.
Wise and godly people should express their marital love in strong, emotional terms.
Class exercise
Take one of the following Proverbs through the five steps of the Interpretive Journey.
Hatred stirs up strife,
but love covers all offenses. (Prov. 10:12 ESV)
Desire without knowledge is not good,
and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.
(Prov. 19:2 ESV)
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