Education in Ancient Israel
In this groundbreaking new book, distinguished biblical scholar James L. Crenshaw investigates both the pragmatic hows and the philosophical whys of education in ancient Israel and its surroundings. Asking questions as basic as "Who were the teachers and students and...
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In this groundbreaking new book, distinguished biblical scholar James L. Crenshaw investigates both the pragmatic hows and the philosophical whys of education in ancient Israel and its surroundings. Asking questions as basic as "Who were the teachers and students and from what segment of Israelite society did they come?" and "How did instructors interest young people in the things they had to say?" Crenshaw explores the institutions and practices of education in ancient Israel. The results are often surprising and more complicated than one would expect.
Education, for the people who lived in the biblical world, was more than a simple matter of memorizing information and taking tests. It was a search for the hidden plan and presence of God. Knowledge was gained, according to biblical texts such as Ecclesiastes and Proverbs, not only by means of patient observation and listening, but through communication with Wisdom, the feminine incarnation of the Divine. Drawing upon a broad range of ancient sources, Crenshaw examines this religious dimension of education in ancient Israel, demonstrating how the practice of teaching and learning was transformed into the supreme act of worship.
James L. Crenshaw (Ph.D., Vanderbilt University; D.D., Furman University) is Robert L. Flowers Professor of Old Testament at Duke University Divinity School, Durhan, NC. His Old Testament Wisdom has introduced thousands of students to biblical wisdom, as have his two collections of essays, Urgent Advice and Probing Questions and Prophets, Sages, & Poets.
He has written commentaries on Ecclesiastes, Job, Sirach, and Joel, as well as monographs Education in Ancient Israel, Defending God: Biblical Responses to the Problem of Evil, Prophetic Conflict, and A Whirlpool of Torment.
Presently, he is writing books on Job and Qoheleth, as well as an analysis of twentieth-century research on wisdom literature for Brill.