The Fear of the Lord Is Wisdom

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ISBN: 9780801027116



Wisdom plays an important role in the Old Testament, particularly in Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes. This major work from renowned scholar Tremper Longman III examines wisdom in the Old Testament and explores its theological influence on the intertestamental books, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and especially the New Testament.

Longman notes that wisdom is a practical category (the skill of living), an ethical category (a wise person is a virtuous person), and most foundationally a theological category (the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom). The author discusses Israelite wisdom in the context of the broader ancient Near East, treats the connection between wisdom in the New Testament and in the Old Testament, and deals with a number of contested issues, such as the relationship of wisdom to prophecy, history, and law.


Part 1: The Heart of Wisdom: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job
1. Proverbs: The Fear of the Lord Is the Beginning of Wisdom
2. Ecclesiastes: Fear God, Obey the Commandments, and Live in Light of the Coming Judgment
3. The Book of Job: “Behold the Fear of the Lord Is Wisdom” (Job 28:28)
Part 2: Wisdom Elsewhere in the Old Testament
4. Other Sources of Wisdom: Deuteronomy, Psalms, Song of Songs, and Prophecy
5. Joseph and Daniel: Paragons of Wisdom
6. Adam and Solomon: From the Heights of Wisdom to the Depths of Folly
Part 3: Israel’s Wisdom: Cosmopolitan or Unique?
7. Sources of Wisdom: Experience, Observation, Tradition, Correction, and Ultimately Revelation
8. Wisdom, Creation, and (Dis)order
9. Israelite Wisdom in Its Ancient Near Eastern Setting
10. Wisdom, Covenant, and Law
Part 4: Further Refining Our Understanding of Wisdom
11. The Consequences of Wise and Foolish Behavior: The Issue of Retribution Theology
12. The Social Setting of Wisdom
13. Wisdom and Gender
Part 5: The Afterlife of Israel’s Wisdom
14. Intertestamental Wisdom from the Apocrypha to the Dead Sea Scrolls
15. New Testament Wisdom
Appendix 1: Wisdom in the Twenty-First Century
Appendix 2: Is Wisdom Literature a Genre?

About the Author:

Tremper Longman III

Tremper Longman III (PhD, Yale University) is Distinguished Scholar of Biblical Studies at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. Before coming to Westmont, he taught at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia for eighteen years.

Additional information

Weight 700 g
Dimensions 231 × 160 × 30 mm

Longman, Tremper Iii, (Author)

Publication Summary

Baker Academic, Div of Baker Publishing Group (2017), 336 pages

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