On-line version ISSN 2309-9089
DEBEL, H.. The book of Qohelet: a surprising and challenging voice in the Bible. Acta theol. [online]. 2010, vol.30, n.1, pp. 39-51. ISSN 2309-9089.
As historical-critical exegesis has demonstrated that the bible does not provide a readymade and unified answer to each and every actual question, the present study aims at highlighting the particular contribution of the book of Qohelet to the 'library' of biblical books. Against the background of the church fathers' christological interpretation of the book (1), emphasis is put on the need to situate and interpret the book in its original historical context (2), which has been identified - on account of its Late Biblical Hebrew linguistic profile - as the fourth or third century BCE. After some critical remarks on the traditional ascription of the book of Qohelet to king Salomon, its thematic statement that everything is 'vanity' () is presented and analysed (3). Finally, a plea is made for reading the book of Qohelet in the present, post-modern context as it expresses authentic existential doubt and, within this context, the need to enjoy the earthly life (4).
Keywords : Qohelet; Biblical Wisdom; Vanity (hebel); Patristic exegesis of Qoholet.