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James Fischer's new book explores the power of paradox, irony and humor in the biblical treatment of human existence as seen in all the major Wisdom books of the Bible.
He introduces the basic techniques and the keys to wisdom literary expression, and then investigates the shape and message of the Book of Proverbs as the key to wisdom expression. This is demonstrated through the wisdom books of the Old Testament: Job, Quoheleth, Jonah, Sirach and the Wisdom of Solomon, as well as in New Testament Wisdom.
It is the author's hope that by taking a different approach to the wisdom books, readers, whether students, theologians or interested laypersons, will gain a deeper insight into Old Testament thinking.
According to the author: "[This book] attempts to treat the wisdom of the common people in the Bible as their way of survival in a challenging and difficult world of faith. Behind all the revisions and sophisticated polishings of later editors the common sense of the people which originated from clan wisdom and from street smarts still peeks out. This is the language of the people drawn from experience but often so picturesque in its street images, its metaphors and symbols. It leaps from daily life to the most extraordinary visions of the hidden presence of God. Beyond logic they can express reality with poetry, paradox, irony, even tongue in cheek humor and willingness to risk. Such is true of most proverbial wisdom of all cultures. Finding the hidden God who lurks behind proverbial wisdom makes the Bible unique. These passages and commentary on daily life remain part of the faith of Christians as they constantly face new developments and challenges in their faith."
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