The school tradition of the Old Testament
Author : Eric William Heaton
Publisher(year) : 1994
Number page : 224
The vigorous interest of recent Old Testament scholars in Israel's so-called 'Wisdom Tradition' has exposed much methodological confusion and achieved no agreed results. The 'wise' have not been located in any recognisable structure of Israelite society and the 'Tradition' has never been pinned down as a coherent historical phenomenon. The purpose of this book is to demonstrate that the debate was the characteristic product of the schools of ancient Israel, and that scholars who deny the existence of schools or ignore their influence are mistaken. Through a review of a representative sample of Old Testament writings, Dr Heaton examines the intellectual stance and literary style of the school tradition, and relates them to Egyptian prototypes. He argues that the school tradition, with its moral and rational stamina, cannot be dismissed as an eccentric development on the margin of Old Testament thought, but should be recognised as playing a fundamental role in the transmission and reinterpretation of the heritage of Israel.
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