Wisdom in dialogue with greek civilization

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This article surveys attempts to explore the relation of the so-called Wisdom Literature of the Hebrew Bible-the books of Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes-to figures and texts within Greek civilization. “Classical” and “biblical” texts have furnished a two-sided wisdom discourse within Western culture throughout the late antique, medieval, and early modern periods. Nevertheless, focused, comparative examinations of Wisdom texts in the two streams of tradition have not featured prominently in modern critical treatments of Wisdom in the Hebrew Bible. This article provides a brief review of essential backgrounds: the old dialectic between “Athens” and “Jerusalem” as well as modern attempts to distinguish “Hebrew thought” from “Greek thought.” The final section of the article turns to more recent examinations of specific parallels between the book of Ecclesiastes and Greek skepticism, the book of Job and Greek tragedy, and the book of Proverbs and virtue ethics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Wisdom and the Bible
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780190661267
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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