Wisdom in Israel
This classic text, the last major work by the great Hebrew Bible scholar Gerhard von Rad, has long been unavailable in North America. It is now being reissued in paperback from to satisfy the continuing demand for copies of the book. In brief, the subject of von Rad's study of Hebrew wisdom is Israel's willingness to ground faith in encounter with the world as the creation of God. Those familiar with the author's Old Testament Theology will recall how he identified two great watersheds in the history of Israel's thought. The first was the rise of the prophetic movement, which occasioned a radical reinterpretation of Israel's religious traditions as expressed in the earliest creedal formulations found in the Pentateuch. The second watershed, which preceded the prophetic movement and was a basically different assessment of Israel's relation to Yahweh, was achieved by wisdom teachers at the start of the monarchy. This book studies this first and somewhat novel break with Israel's older sacral traditions. Von Rad bases the study on a wide range of literary materials principally concerned with the books of Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, and the Wisdom of Ben Sirach. No finer introduction to the fundamental theological questions raised by the wisdom literature of Israel is available. Theology Today Gerhard von Rad was for many years Professor of Old Testament at the University of Heidelberg.
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