Herm wisom

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Based on the textbook, Grasping God's Word, these PPT slides review the chapter on wisdom literature and how to interpret it.

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Herm wisom

  1. 1. OT WISDOM LITERATUREProverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs
  2. 2. OT – WISDOM Introduction  You have persevered the end of this book! “Of making may books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.” –Ecclesiastes 12:12b
  3. 3.  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  Offer practical insights for living  Goal is to develop wise and godly character for life in the real world
  4. 4.  The big picture  Four wisdom books balance each other theologically. Read each one in context of all four. ProverbsRational norms of life (what normally happens). Doesnot present universals (what will always happen). Job Righteous Ecclesiastes and wise Song of Songs Failure of the suffer in Irrationality of rational, ordered ways that romantic love approach to mere between husband provide ultimate humans and wife. meaning to life. cannot Meaning only understan comes through a d. relationship with God.
  5. 5.  Wisdom as poetry  A large portion of wisdom literature is 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, More Emotionally Charged, Less Picture Language More Picture Language Proverbs Ecclesiastes Job Song of Songs
  6. 6.  Grasping the wisdom books  Proverbs  Proverbs – short, pithy sayings that teach practical wisdom about life  Individual proverbs reflect general nuggets of wisdom about what normally happens in life (e.g., “Don’t be lazy! Work hard!”).  Proverbs are never to be taken as universal promises.  The book of Proverbs does not deal with the exceptions to the normal rules.  Since each proverb presents a general principle, the river of differences is usually quite narrow and shallow.  But be careful how you define “blessing.”
  7. 7. GRASPING THE WISDOM BOOKS Proverbs Step 1: Grasp the text in their town.  Explore the literary context.  Note the structure and basic units of the book.
  8. 8. GRASPING THE WISDOM BOOKS Proverbs Step 2: Measure the width of the river to cross.  Note the agrarian context.  Note references to kings.
  9. 9. GRASPING THE WISDOM BOOKS Proverbs Step 3: Cross the principlizing bridge.  Typically the Proverb is already a general principle.  Remember these are not universal promises.
  10. 10. GRASPING THE WISDOM BOOKS Proverbs Step 4: Consult the biblical map.  Many themes of Proverbs are affirmed in the New Testament.  However, the theme of wealth as a blessing from God does undergo an alteration.
  11. 11.  Job  Job does all that Proverbs commands, but he receives dead children, financial ruin, physical pain, and criticism from his friends.  Job is a story (in contrast to Proverbs) and we must take the literary context of narrative seriously: 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  The differences between the ancient audience and us are not great.  Lessons from Job: 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 God expects us to trust his character
  12. 12.  NT presents suffering as a normal feature of a godly life. Don’t repeat the mistake of Job’s friends and misuse biblical truth. Book of Job teaches us that it is not wrong to cry out to God in anger and frustration when unexplained tragedy strikes. Our focus in grief should not be on “why” but rather on God and his character. Comforting friends is different from having all the answers.
  13. 13. GRASPING THE WISDOM BOOKS Job Step 1: Grasp the text in their town.  Identify literary context.  Central lessons not seen until 38:1-42:17.  Job’s friends are negative characters not to be emulated.
  14. 14. GRASPING THE WISDOM BOOKS Job Step 2: Measure the width of the river to cross.  Cannot assume all tragedy is connected to satanic involvement.
  15. 15. GRASPING THE WISDOM BOOKS Job Step 4: Consult the biblical map.  New Testament does not repeat the picture of peace and prosperity as a result of righteous living.
  16. 16. GRASPING THE WISDOM BOOKS Job Step 4: Consult the biblical map.  New Testament does not repeat the picture of peace and prosperity as a result of righteous living.
  17. 17.  Ecclesiastes  Ecclesiastes (like Job) must be interpreted as a whole with the ultimate answer coming at the very end.  The book is full of satire, sarcasm, and cynicism.  The “Teacher” or “Preacher” declares that a strictly rational search for meaning is “meaningless.”  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.  The NT adds that apart from a relationship with Jesus Christ, life is meaningless; victorious after life  Apart from a relationship with Christ, not even a college degree can make life meaningful!
  18. 18. GRASPING THE WISDOM BOOKS Song of Songs A collection of love poems between a young man and a young woman.
  19. 19.  Song of Songs  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 (mushy?) terms.  We suggest a little updating of the figurative language (hair like a flock of goats?)
  20. 20. GRASPING THE WISDOM BOOKS Song of Songs Step 1: Grasp the text in their town.  Likely read or sung at weddings.  A conversation between husband and wife.
  21. 21. GRASPING THE WISDOM BOOKS Song of Songs Step 2: Measure the width of the river to cross.  Much of the imagery doesn’t communicate to the modern reader.
  22. 22. GRASPING THE WISDOM BOOKS Song of Songs Step 3: Cross the principlizing bridge.  The person seeking to live a wise, godly life should be madly in love with her husband or his wife and should express this love in strong, emotional terms.
  23. 23. GRASPING THE WISDOM BOOKS Song of Songs Step 4: Consult the biblical map.  The New Testament affirms this principle.
  24. 24. GRASPING THE WISDOM BOOKS Song of Songs Step 5: Grasp the text in their town.  Married couples can apply it verbally expressing their love to their spouse with romantic gestures.

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