Finding Favour in the Sight of God: A Theology of Wisdom Literature (New Studies In Biblical Theology Series)
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About "Finding Favour in the Sight of God: A Theology of Wisdom Literature (New Studies In Biblical Theology Series)"
There has been an explosion of interest in wisdom literature, and many studies are now available. There is every opportunity for people to 'get wisdom, get insight' (Prov. 4:5). However, in today's world it seems that the practical sensibilities that come from wisdom are found in very few places. Wisdom literature is needed now more than ever. By walking in the way of wisdom we will 'find favour and good success in the sight of God and man' (Prov. 3:4). Richard Belcher's valuable study begins with a survey of the problem of wisdom literature in Old Testament theology. Subsequent chapters focus on the message and theology of the books of Proverbs, Job and Ecclesiastes. These books point forward to the need for Christ and the gospel. Belcher concludes by exploring the relationship of Christ to wisdom in terms of his person, work and teaching ministry.
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While this book is framed as a biblical theology of wisdom, most of it is an examination of three books of the Bible usually classified as wisdom literature. It begins with a discussion on the wisdom genre as a whole (chapter 1), before spending three chapters each on investigations into the key themes of Proverbs (chapters 2-4), Job (chapters 5-7), and Ecclesiastes (chapters 8-10). The book concludes comparing the teaching, person, and work of Christ with the teaching of the wisdom literature (chapter 11). Chapters 2-10 are excellent discussions of the theologies of particular books of the Bible, giving a useful picture of the structure and purpose of each book. But this book gives little space to what might be expected of a biblical theology of wisdom. The discussion of the features of wisdom literature is brief, and the reader might have been helped by a comparison of how the Jewish understanding of wisdom developed across history. The commentaries on Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes, with only some comparison between the three books, seem to only partially serve this end. Nevertheless, the reader who wants to understand the overall argument of each of these books, as well as how Christ fulfills the life of wisdom described therein, will find the reasonably in-depth discussion helpful. The book assumes (with a brief argument) a particular view on the authorship and composition of each book.