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2 Reading the World Rationally from End to Beginning: Wisdom 1–6

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Chapter Summary

The author of Wisdom of Solomon takes his place within this theological trajectory as a reader, both of texts and of the world. An attentive tracing of the contours and idiosyncrasies of Wisdom's reading of the workings and temporal completion of the world and of the history contained within Israel's sacred texts create the methodological space within which it will be possible to work backwards from the 'effects' to the 'cause'. The principle of 'scripture normativity' certainly exerts a constraining function on Wisdom's theologising. The diversity of content and style which characterises Wisdom's three major sections has occasioned a litany of source-critical hypotheses. At the close of Wisdom's imaginary drama, the ungodly murderers of the righteous are confronted with 'the paradox of salvation'. Their unsound reasoning blinded them to the 'mysteries of God', leading to the cynical conclusions that death is final, pleasure is proper and might is right.

Keywords: Israel's sacred texts; source-critical hypotheses; Wisdom of Solomon; World



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