The search for order and the maintenance of mystery in Old Testament wisdom literature

Park, Byeong-Cheol (2010-12)

Thesis (DTh (Old and New Testament))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The aim of this dissertation is to investigate the concept of ‘wisdom’ in the Old Testament Wisdom Literature. This dissertation argues that the concept of ‘wisdom’ is both the search for order and the maintenance of mystery. The coexistence of order and mystery is suggested as a coherent theme of Wisdom Literature, and the various relationships between the two themes are explained as the particular voices in Wisdom Literature. Proverbs 16, Job 28, Ecclesiastes 3, and Sirach 24 exhibit the coexistent relationship between the two themes. While Proverbs 16 reveals an order prevailing coexistence, Ecclesiastes 3 exhibits a mystery prevailing coexistence. While Job 28 shows a dialogical coexistence, Sirach 24 illustrates a mysterious integrated coexistence between order and mystery. This coexistence of order and mystery is investigated by means of socio-rhetorical criticism. The voices of various textures such as inner texture, intertexture, social and cultural texture, and ideological and theological texture in Wisdom Literature reveal the coexistence and various types of coexistent relationships between the search for order and the maintenance of mystery. Inner texture analysis the literal and rhetorical nature of each text, revealing the themes such as the potential and the limitation of human beings and the fear of the Lord. Intertexture elaborates the themes as the search for order and the maintenance of mystery. Social and cultural texture explains the social and cultural setting of the theme, depending on the social topics such as the manipulationist and thaumaturgical response and the cultural categories such as dominant culture and contraculture. Based on this social cultural milieu, the sages or the authors of Wisdom Literature formulate a creation theology comprising of the search for order and the maintenance of mystery, criticising various ideologies such as royal ideology and the doctrine of retribution, and dominant cultures such as Hellenism and Judaism in each period.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van hierdie dissertasie is om die konsep ‘Wysheid’ in die Ou Testamentiese Wysheidsliteratuur te ondersoek. Hierdie dissertasie voer aan dat die begrip ‘Wysheid’ sowel die soeke is na orde as na die behoud van misterie. Die saambestaan van orde en misterie word voorgehou as ‘n tema wat alle Wysheidsliteratuur saamvat. Die verhoudings tussen die twee temas word verduidelik as die verskillende stemme van elke vorm van Wysheidsliteratuur. Spreuke 16, Job 28, Prediker 3 en Sirach 24 toon die samehangende verhouding tussen die twee temas. Terwyl Spreuke 16 ‘n vervlegtheid toon waarin orde oorheersend is, toon Prediker ‘n saambestaan waarin misterie oorheersend is. Waar Job 28 ‘n samehang van dialoog toon, toon Sirach 24 ‘n misterie-geïntegreerde saambestaan van orde en misterie. Hierdie vervlegtheid van orde en misterie word ondersoek deur middel van sosio-retoriese kritiek. Die stemme van verskillende teksture soos binne-tekstuur, intertekstuur, sosiale en kulturele tekstuur asook ideologiese en teologiese teksture in die Wysheidsliteratuur wys op die saambestaan van verskillende tipes verhoudings tussen die soeke na orde en die behoud van misterie. Binnetekstuur ontleed die letterlike en retoriese aard van elke teks, en toon temas soos die potensiaal en die beperktheid van die mens asook die vrees van God. Intertekstuur brei die temas uit as die soeke na orde en die behoud van misterie. Sosiale en kulturele tekstuur van die tema word toegelig deur die sosiale en kulturele tekstuur, afhangende van die sosiale temas soos die manipulerende en thaumaturgiese response en van die kulturele kategorieë soos dominante- en kontrakulture. Gebaseer op hierdie sosiale en kulturele milieu druk die outeurs van die Wysheidsliteratuur die skeppingsteologie uit as die soeke na orde en behoud van misterie en kritiseer verskeie ideologieë soos die ideologie van konings, die vergeldingsleer, asook Hellenisme en Judaïsme in elke periode.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/5180
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