« Home | The Cultural Mandate » | Alabamian Delicacies » | Wonderful Week » | A Very Quick Post Without Pictures or Anything Int... » | An Extremely Perceptive Baptist » | True Story » | Science and Scripture » | Household Baptisms » | Modern Apostles » | There's a First Time for Everything »

New Testament Wisdom

Should we consider the sayings and the parables of Jesus in the gospels as the Wisdom Literature of the New Testament? How are those two categories different?

Labels: ,

I don't think they should be. The current category of Wisdom Lit (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs) are different in style and content from the "sayings and parables" of Jesus. Certainly they all impart wisdom, but I don't think that is what is differentiating the categories. The current standing books of WL are poetic, didactic, and moral. While you can find similarities between the two, I would say the Beatitudes are the best candidate for this.

Also, the category of WL is limited to the OT. Jesus' sayings and parables are included in their own category of the Gospels and it would be odd if not at the very least confusing to separate out the "sayings and parables" from the rest of the Gospels, and then tack them on to a distinguishably different category.

And furthermore, while this point is not exactly a primary reason, the Hebrew language (as you well know, Jacob) employs all sorts of poetic distinctions within the Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Songs, though I don't know about Ecclesiastes and am not positive on Job. These don't really translate to English, and as far as I know within my Greek studies, there are no similar grammatical themes within Jesus' parables.

I'm actually more interested in function than format. So, you mention "poetic, didactic, and moral" as qualifications--if we leave out the poetic (being a format issue), that leaves "didactic and moral," which, I think, the Jesus' teachings clearly accomplish.

Also, I'm not really trying to separate anything out--this isn't "form criticism," but an attempt to see if the wisdom literature of the OT has a correspondence in the NT. I'm merely suggesting that what Jesus teaches accomplishes that.

So, to move away from purely stylistic considerations and the technicalities of genre, I would perhaps rephrase what I had asked this way: How does what Jesus teaches function as wisdom literature? How is what he teaches different from the Wisdom Literature of the OT?

Post a Comment