Exploring the Wisdom Literature of the Old testament and Apocrypha
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Thursday January 20, 2022
Lead by Rev. Daniel Graves
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WINTER COURSE 2022
Wisdom is Justified by her Children.
Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Job, Ecclesiasticus (Sirach), and the Wisdom of Solomon are all Jewish texts that present the concept of “Wisdom” (or “sophia”) as a means to holy and ethical living and as a way of understanding God (or explaining our inability to understand the ways of God). However, they are not all of a piece in their understanding of the concept and figure of “wisdom”.
Wisdom is sometimes seen as an attribute of the divine, a means to holy living, or a way of holy understanding. In addition, in Jewish Wisdom literature we can detect the influences of Egyptian, Near Eastern, and Greek thought. In some cases, Wisdom literature offered and alternative religious framework to that of the priestly Temple cult, and in some cases, it supported it. Examples of Wisdom literature are also found amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls and undergird many of the teachings of Jesus. Amongst the questions we will exploring are:
• to what degree does Wisdom Literature stand in contrast to the Apocalyptic tradition, also prevalent during this time period?
• what is the influence of the Wisdom Tradition in the teachings of Jesus?
• in what way does the Wisdom tradition speak to the church and world today?
We will read selections (not the entire works) from Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, Ecclesiasticus (Sirach), the Wisdom of Solomon, the Gospels, and a few Dead Sea Scrolls fragments.
All readings will come from the Bible and Apocrypha (RSV or NRSV), as well as a few brief selections from the Dead Sea Scrolls, and will also be posted online to a Google classroom.
The course will be offered online via Zoom over four Thursdays in late January and early February 2022 (Jan 20, 27, Feb 3, 10)
Time: 10:00 am or 7:30 pm
To register please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Session 1: Proverbs and Lady Wisdom
Read: Prov 1, 7-9. (Lady Wisdom, Lady Folly)
Session 2: Skeptical Wisdom: Job and Ecclesiastes
Read: Selections Job, Qoheleth (Ecclesiastes)
Session 3: Hellenistic Influences: Ben Sira (Ecclesiasticus), Wisdom of Solomon
Session 4: Wisdom at the time of Jesus: The Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament