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Verbum et Ecclesia

On-line version ISSN 1609-9982

Verbum Eccles. (Online) vol.30 n.1 Pretoria  2009

 

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

 

Wisdom and Ethics - The contribution of sapiential ethics for Old Testament ethics

 

 

G Baumann1; Universität Marburg

University of Pretoria

 

 


ABSTRACT

Old Testament sapiential literature is often described as "ethical literature", however, when concepts on Old Testament ethics are formulated, this literature is often overlooked. Furthermore, there are almost no monographs on the ethics of Old Testament wisdom. Could this perhaps be due to not only the claim that Old Testament wisdom thinking lacks divine revelation or reference to other Old Testament traditions (cf Nel 2002:435), but also to the opinion that there are no "ethics", but only "ethos" in this kind of literature? This article tries to show that "ethics" by definition can be found in Old Testament wisdom literature. Two recent German articles are introduced to the reader: Kaiser (1997) and Zimmermann (2002) reflect on the implicit and explicit ethics of Old Testament wisdom. These articles and other observations underscore the fact that the sapiential literature of the Old Testament contribute significantly to Old Testament ethics - and therein continues the efforts of authors like Nel (2002).


 

 

Full text available only in PDF format.

 

 

Consulted literature

Baumann, G 1996a. Die Weisheitsgestalt in Proverbien 1-9. Traditionsgeschichtliche und theologische Studien. Tübingen: Mohr.         [ Links ]

-, 1996b. "Zukunft feministischer Spiritualität" oder "Werbefigur des Patriarchats"? Die Bedeutung der Weisheitsgestalt in Prov 1-9 für die feministisch-theologische Diskussion, in Schottroff, L & Wacker, M-Th (Hg), Von der Wurzel getragen. Christlich-feministische Exegese in Auseinandersetzung mit Antijudaismus. Leiden: Brill, 135-152.         [ Links ]

-, 1998. A Figure with many Facets: The Literary and Theological Functions of Personified Wisdom in Proverbs 1-9, in Brenner A. & Fontaine C R (eds), A Feminist Companion to the Bible, Second Series: Wisdom and Psalms, vol 2. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 44-78.         [ Links ]

Birch, B C & Rasmussen, L L 1989. Bible and Ethics in Christian Life, Minneapolis: Augsburg.         [ Links ]

Delkurt, H 1993. Ethische Einsichten in der alttestamentlichen Spruchweisheit. Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener.         [ Links ]

Diettrich, G 1908. Die theoretische Weisheit der Einleitung zum Buch der Sprüche, ihr spezifischer Inhalt und ihre Entstehung in ThStKr 81, 475-512.         [ Links ]

Fohrer, G 1971. σοφία, σοφά?, σοφίζω (OT) in TDNTVII, 473-496.         [ Links ]

Janzen, W 1994. Old Testament Ethics: A Paradigmatic Approach, Louisville: Westminster John Knox.         [ Links ]

Kaiser, O 1997. Einfache Sittlichkeit und theonome Ethik in der alttestamentlichen Weisheit in NZSThR 39, 115-139.         [ Links ]

Marböck, J 1976. Gesetz und Weisheit. Zum Verständnis des Gesetzes bei Jesus Ben Sira in BZ 20, 1-21.         [ Links ]

-, 1999. Weisheit im Wandel. Untersuchungen zur Weisheitstheologie bei Ben Sira. Berlin: de Gruyter.         [ Links ]

Nel, P J 2002. The rhetorics of Wisdom's ethics in OTE 15, 435-452.         [ Links ]

Otto, E 1991a. Ethik (AT) in NBL 1, 608-610.         [ Links ]

-, 1991b. Forschungsgeschichte der Entwürfe einer Ethik im Alten Testament in VuF 36, 3-37.         [ Links ]

-, 1999. Ethik (AT) in RGG 2 (4th ed), 1603-1606.         [ Links ]

-, Theologische Ethik des Alten Testaments. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer.         [ Links ]

Schimanowski, G 1985. Weisheit und Messias. Die jüdischen Voraussetzungen der urchristlichen Präexistenzchristologie. Tübingen: Mohr.         [ Links ]

Smend, R 1982. Ethik (AT) in TRE X, 423-435.         [ Links ]

Zimmermann, R 2002. Theologisierung der Ethik: Relikt oder Richtmaß? Die implizite Ethik der alttestamentlichen Weisheit und ihre Impulse für die gegenwärtige Diskussion in BThZ 19, 99-124.         [ Links ]

 

 

1 Dr Baumann is a Research Associate of the Department of Old Testament Studies at the University of Pretoria.

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