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Hellenistic Influence on the Book of Wisdom and its Consequences

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di James M. Reese

Analecta Biblica 41

1970, pp. 208

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Although all commentators on the Book of Wisdom recognize Hellenistic influence upon the work, no systematic attempt to show the extent and specific areas of this influence has been undertaken.

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di James M. Reese

Analecta Biblica 41

1970, pp. 208

Disponibile su richiesta in PDF

Although all commentators on the Book of Wisdom recognize Hellenistic influence upon the work, no systematic attempt to show the extent and specific areas of this influence has been undertaken. The starting point for such a studies must be a comparison of the book’s vocabulary and style with the Septuagint Bible (LXX). Divergencies  from the LXX must then be studied in the light of extant pagan Greek writings. Many of the words that appear in the Old Testament only in Wis are from the vocabulary used in the religious, philosophical, ethical, and poetical literature known during the Hellenistic period. That the inspired author knew this terminology and saw fit to employ it at times in preference to LXX phraseology shows an acquaintance with Hellenistic culture. The modern reader interested in knowing to what extent his book “represents an effort to place at the service of revelation the philosophies of the time”.  This study is an attempt to show both the extent (Chapter I) and the intensity (Chapter II) of Hellenistic influence upon the unknown Sage who wrote Wis. The conclusions of these first two chapters will then be utilized to investigate the literary genre that he employed (Chapter III). The conclusions will be tested by showing that the book is a unifield work addressed to a particular audience (Chapter IV).

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