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Wisdom Literature

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Chapter Summary

The Book of Wisdom takes Solomon explicitly as its patron and three chapters, chs. 7-9, are inspired by the older tradition concerning him. The meeting of Judaism with Greek culture was to enrich wisdom even more. Wisdom, as defined in Greek philosophy, had an influence on Hellenistic Judaism, mainly seen in the Wisdom of Solomon and in Philo's reflections on wisdom. The Wisdom of Ben Sira was accepted by Palestinian Judaism by the first century B.C.E. The rhythmic prose of the Wisdom of Solomon (or: Book of Wisdom, as it was called in the Latin tradition) seems to have been well preserved in the great uncials. The Fourth Book of Maccabees, written in Greek, and not strictly speaking of the Wisdom type, is nevertheless akin to it in some ways. It treats the mastery which reason should exercise over the passions.

Keywords: 4 Maccabees; Book of Wisdom; Hellenistic Judaism; Palestinian Judaism; Wisdom of Ben Sira



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