The Tree of Life: An Exploration of Biblical Wisdom Literature
The Tree of Life: An Exploration of Biblical Wisdom Literature

The Tree of Life: An Exploration of Biblical Wisdom Literature

by Roland E. Murphy

5 Rank Score: 5.1 from 1 reviews, 0 featured collections, and 0 user libraries
Pages 300
Publisher Eerdmans
Published 2002
ISBN-13 9780802839657
A noted Bible scholar describes the search for wisdom and its development throughout Israel's history by examining the wisdom books of Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, Ecclesiasticus, and Wisdom of Solomon.


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Murphy spent the majority of his academic career studying Israels wisdom literature. This is evident by the seventy books and articles that he authored over his career. In the field of wisdom literature he was to American studies what Gerhard von Rad was to German wisdom studies. As an academic luminary he had no equals in his particular field of study. It is therefore not surprising that he kept his readers abreast of wisdom studies by periodically updating this magnificent work. Murphy answered the basic question of why a third edition by simply noting the increase of scholarship in the subject. Speaking of the 1966 edition he stated, the addition ai med not so much at correcting the book, but adding insights from new publications that had appeared in the meantime. The supplement to the third addition was labeled the millennial supplement by Murphy. In this supplement he noted the increase in biblical scholarship especially in Proverbs and Qoheleth. Helpfully, Murphy detailed contributions of new commentaries and monographs on wisdom material. Murphy cogently designed the book around nine chapters together with an appendix and select bibliography. The student is well served by the introductory issues raised in the first chapter. Particularly helpful for my students was the front matter that asks the question of who the sages actually were in Israel. As would be expected, the student is well served by a terse survey on language and literary forms of wisdom literature. [Full Review]