Law and Wisdom in Biblical Scholarship

Bernard S. Jackson

in Wisdom-Laws

Published in print March 2006 | ISBN: 9780198269311
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683596 | DOI:
Law and Wisdom in Biblical Scholarship

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The claim of a connection between law and wisdom in the Hebrew Bible is not new, though it has largely been concentrated on Deuteronomy and the post-exilic period. One of the functions of wisdom is to provide practical guidance in daily matters. More specifically, Joseph Blenkinsopp, who sees law and wisdom as two increasingly confluent streams, argues for a form of traditional, wisdom-based adjudication even in the early period, and compares the use of proverbs in dispute resolution among the Ibo of Nigeria. Norms for conduct, he maintains, were determined by appeal to the wisdom of the group accumulated over centuries, and adjudicated by the elders, as the depositories of such tribal wisdom. Blenkinsopp also sees apodictic law as bearing a striking resemblance to wisdom instructions.

Keywords: law; wisdom; Hebrew Bible; Deuteronomy; Joseph Blenkinsopp; proverbs; Ibo; Nigeria

Chapter.  20580 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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