Schedule

Honors Theology: Wisdom Literature

Todd R. Hanneken, Ph.D.

Spring 2021

Jump to Date:

January

 
20
 

25
27
 

February

1
3
5

8
10
 

15
17
 

22
24
26

March

1
3
5

8
10
12

15
17
19

22
24
26

29
31
 

April

1

5
7
 

12
14
 

19
21
23

26
28
30

Jump to Unit:

  1. Introductions, Context, Proverbs
  2. Job
  3. Ecclesiastes/Qoheleth
  4. Sirach
  5. Wisdom of Solomon
  6. Dead Sea Scrolls

Unit 1: Introductions, Context, Proverbs

January 20, 2021 – Introductions

January 25, 2021 – Small group discussion: Terminology

Read/review Syllabus

Review Theology 1: Read/review Theological Questions

Handout: Background Key Terminology

January 27, 2021 – Small Group Discussion: Wisdom in the Ancient Near East and short segments in the Hebrew Bible

Murphy 1–13; 151–175; skim 97–108

Survey of wisdom and wise ones in the Hebrew Bible outside the wisdom books.

(No class meeting February 1)

February 3, 2021 – Small Group Discussion: Reading Proverbs multiple ways for gender and class

Read Murphy 15–29 (Proverbs); skim 111–126 (Wisdom and Theology)

Read Proverbs 1–9, 31 (carefully); work through as much of Proverbs 10–30 as is profitable for you

Video lecture: The influence of Proverbs on Christology

Unit 1 quiz February 3-5 (asynchronous, due by 4:00pm February 5)

Unit 2: Job

February 8, 2021 – breakout group discussion: groups of 3-4 will be assigned a chapter to understand and translate into a contemporary argument (Job 1–2; 9; 13; 15; 22; 23; 34; 40).

Murphy 33–46

Plenary class meeting 3:15-4:30 February 10, 2021 – the argument updated: each group will have 5-8 minutes to recreate the argument from the given chapter

Carol A. Newsom, “Job” in Women’s Bible Commentary, ed. Carol A. Newsom and Sharon H. Ringe, 138–144. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1998. (PDF)

Read through the Book of Job at the level of detail possible

Passages related to Job on the theme of contending with God (LINK)

Writing assignment 1: Five-paragraph essay on the topic of who has the most persuasive argument in the Book of Job due before class February 17 22.

February 15, 2021 – No class meeting (Spring Refresh)

February 17, 2021 – CANCELLED (Winter Storm Blackouts)

February 22, 2021 – writing pairs: editing the writing of others

Plan for the day

Writing assignment 2: editorial review of someone else’s five-paragraph essay due no later than February 19 March 5.

February 24, 2021 – Small Group Discussion: Reading the end and epilogue of Job multiple ways

Handout on Job 42:6 (HTML)

Unit 2 quiz February 24-26 (asynchronous, due by 4:00pm February 26)

Unit 3: Ecclesiastes/Qoheleth

March 1, 2021 – Small Group Discussion: Ambivalence, ambiguity, and multi-vocality in Ecclesiastes

Read Murphy 49–60

Read the Book of Ecclesiastes

March 3, 2021 – Small Group Discussion: scholarly tools of biblical study

Barton, John. “An Example: Eccclesiastes.” In Reading the Old Testament: Method in Biblical Study, 61–76. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1984. (PDF)

Handout (LINK)

March 8, 2021 – No class meeting (spring refresh)

March 10, 2021 – Small Group Discussion: Ecclesiastes at intellectual and historical crossroads

Collins, Jewish Wisdom in the Hellenistic Age 1–20

Polish, Daniel F. “The Buddha as a Lens for Reading Koheleth/Ecclesiastes.” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 43, no. 3 (2008): 370–382. (PDF)

Unit 3 quiz March 10-12 (asynchronous, due by 4:00pm March 12)

Unit 4: Sirach

March 15, 2021 – Social context, theodicy, and the afterlife

Murphy 65–79

Collins, Jewish Wisdom 23–61

Sirach Foreword; 1–2; 24; 39–41; 50–51

March 17, 2021 – Wives and daughters

Pamela M. Eisenbaum, “Sirach.” In Women’s Bible Commentary, ed. Carol A. Newsom and Sharon H. Ringe, 298–304. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1998. (PDF)

Sirach, especially 25–26; 42. Also 9:1–9; 22:3–6; 23:22–27; 36:21–27.

Writing assignment 3 due March 19, 4:00pm. Do Ben Sira’s attitudes toward women persist today?

March 22, 2021 – Lady Wisdom: interpretation and influence

Murphy 133–147 (Lady Wisdom)

Collins, Jewish Wisdom 62–111

March 24, 2021 – Where is Wisdom found? Universalism and particularism

Wright, Benjamin G. “1 Enoch and Ben Sira: Wisdom and Apocalypticism in Relationship.” In The Early Enoch Literature, edited by Gabriele Boccaccini and John J. Collins, 159–176. Leiden: Brill, 2007. (PDF)

Writing assignment 4 due March 26, 4:00pm. Edit the writing of others.

March 29, 2021 – How is Wisdom gained? Studied and revealed wisdom

Sirach 3:21–28; 32:15–17; 34:1–8; 39:1–5 using Argall’s translations (LINK)

Daniel 1–2; 7–9; 12

Epistle of Enoch Introduction and Apocalypse of Weeks (PDF)

Collins, Jewish Wisdom 222–232

March 31, 2021 – Canon consciousness

Unit 4 quiz March 31 - April 1 (asynchronous, due by 4:00pm April 1)

Unit 5: Philo of Alexandria and Wisdom of Solomon

April 5, 2021 – Philo of Alexandria, Afterlife

Y. Amir and M. Niehoff, “Philo Judaeus.” In Encyclopedia Judaica, Second Edition, 2007. (PDF)

Brief samples of the writings of Philo (LINK)

April 7, 2021 – Wisdom of Solomon, Afterlife

Murphy, 83–94

The Wisdom of Solomon, especially chapters 1–10

April 12, 2021 – Theodicy

Collins, Jewish Wisdom 135–157

Handout (LINK)

The Wisdom of Solomon, especially chapters 10–19

April 14, 2021 – Natural law and universalism

Collins, Jewish Wisdom 178–195

Handout (LINK)

April 19, 2021 – Biblical interpretation

Collins, Jewish Wisdom 196–221

Unit 5 quiz April 19-23 (asynchronous, due by 4:00pm April 23)

Unit 6: Dead Sea Scrolls

Note that the numbers of Qumran texts are uniform, but the names are not. In particular, two imporant texts are referred to with different names in the readings.

April 21, 2021 – DSS 1 of 3

Harrington, Daniel J. “Wisdom Texts.” In Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls, edited by Lawrence H. Schiffman and James C. VanderKam, 976–980. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. (PDF)

April 26, 2021 – DSS 2 of 3

Vermès, Géza. “Wisdom Literature,” and “Mysteries.” In The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, 395–425; 389–390. New York: Allen Lane/Penguin, 1997. (PDF)

April 28, 2021 – DSS 3 of 3

Collins, Jewish Wisdom 112–131

Goff, Matthew J. “Contents,” “Introduction,” and “Conclusion.” In Discerning Wisdom: The Sapiential Literature of the Dead Sea Scrolls, VTSup 116, vii–8; 287–308. Leiden: Brill, 2007. (PDF)

Unit 6 quiz April 28-30 (asynchronous, due by 4:00pm April 30)