Current perspectives on Wisdom in Job 28

Park, Byeong Cheol (2007-12)

Thesis (MTh (Old and New Testament))--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.


The aim of this thesis is to discern the trends in current scholarship on the concept of wisdom in Job 28. The trends differ according to methodological perspectives (literary, historical, and theological), depending on the relationship among the concepts of wisdom as the fear of the Lord, transcendent wisdom and traditional wisdom. However, in each perspective one can find some different interpretations which are also found in other perspectives. Most current scholars from the literary perspective consider Job 28 as a wisdom poem or song, anticipating the speeches of Yahweh. For them, the theme of Job 28 criticises traditional wisdom which entails the doctrine of retribution and suggests transcendent wisdom, which is inaccessible to human being. The fear of the Lord is the practical conclusion of transcendent wisdom. For the scholars working from the historical perspective, there are various opinions about the authorship, the date, the location, and the purpose of Job 28. However, for many scholars the concept of wisdom in Job 28 reveals only transcendent wisdom, which contradicts traditional wisdom that entails the doctrine of retribution. The concept of the fear of the Lord also belongs to traditional wisdom. For many scholars who work from the theological perspective, the concept of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord in Job 28 is the repetition of the Prologue and anticipation of the speeches of Yahweh. The fear of the Lord is the practical conclusion of transcendent wisdom and can coexist with traditional wisdom.

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