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An Obituary for "Wisdom Literature"The Birth, Death, and Intertextual Reintegration of a Biblical Corpus$
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Will Kynes

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198777373

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198777373.001.0001

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The Rise and Impending Demise of Wisdom Literature

The Rise and Impending Demise of Wisdom Literature

The Modern Scholarly Wisdom Tradition and the Threat of Pan-Sapientialism

(p.25) 1 The Rise and Impending Demise of Wisdom Literature
An Obituary for "Wisdom Literature"

Will Kynes

Oxford University Press

After summarizing the growing doubts about the Wisdom category, this chapter traces the development of Wisdom scholarship in the twentieth century, focusing on the question of the category’s limits. Despite efforts to limit its spread, in recent scholarship Wisdom has extended both across the Hebrew Bible and to the “heart of the Israelite experience of God.” As in the similar expansion of Wisdom in the Psalter, Dead Sea Scrolls, and ancient Near East (analogous to the spread of Deuteronomistic texts), attempts to define Wisdom resort eventually to the scholarly consensus concerning which biblical texts make up the category’s core. This factor carries all the weight in the current debates about Wisdom, and yet little research has been put into how this consensus developed or how it affects interpretation.

Keywords:   ancient Near East, Dead Sea Scrolls, Qumran, Deuteronomism, wisdom influence, wisdom movement, definition, consensus

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