The Wisdom of Proverbs, Job & Ecclesiastes
About this book
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." In the Wisdom literature of the Bible we first hear the cool voice of a teacher calling us to think--to think hard and humbly. "How long will fools hate knowledge?" cries Wisdom in the book of Proverbs. Then in Job comes the anguished voice of the questioner, earnest enough to seek answers, honest enough to doubt easy ones. In Ecclesiastes the chastened tone of the Preacher warns of the vanity of all life under the sun. Sensitive to both literary form and theological content, Derek Kidner introduces Proverbs, Job and Ecclesiastes, explaining their basic character and internal structure. He also summarizes and evaluates the wealth of modern criticism focused on each book. Looking at all three books together, Kidner shows how their many voices compare, contrast and ultimately give a unified view of life. Kidner extends his analysis to include Ecclesiasticus and The Wisdom of Solomon from the Apocrapha, and he reprints excerpts from non-Israelite works that parallel the three major books treated.
Kidner is a wonderful exegete that must be consulted. He is a pleasure to read and you will be left wanting more of his insights.
I'd never say anything bad about Kidner, but this is kind of a mixed bag. His views on Ecclesiastes are simplistic, but his other book-views are superb, helpful and succinct. Since he does a chapter comparing and contrast (his) views of the three books, that's another sketchy chapter. But its worth it for his Proverbs and Job stuff.
Good overview. Quotes a lot of other biblical scholars and gives you their basic view. Wasn't completely satisfying. You can hardly imagine a 150pg book making everything clear on Wisdom literature, I guess... :-)Could have been much better if he hadn't been so eager to use such a wide vocabulary...really slowed the book down and obscured what he was actually saying. (This wasn't just a nice variety..."anon" was employed combined with copious members of it's kin.;-)
Really helpful, especially in understanding Ecclesiastes and the interplay of the wisdom books of the Old Testament. Also, very concise, which is a breath of fresh air in the world of theology.