Jesus The Sage Paper Edition

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More About This Textbook


The path of wisdom from Solomon to Jesus and from Jesus to the church

In the early Jesus movement, wisdom in the person of Jesus was believed to have returned to heaven, exalted to the right hand of God, and to reign from there. But Jesus as wisdom had left both his legacy and his influence behind. The sayings of Jesus recorded in the Gospels reflect not only the influence of the Israelite wisdom traditions, but also the tradition of the personification of wisdom.

In this provocative volume newly available in paperback, Ben Witherington provides both an introduction to Israel's wisdom traditions and insight into how Jesus and his sayings fit in that tradition. Beyond this, he demonstrates the on-going significance and influence of these traditions on other New Testament writings. He concludes that Jesus may be viewed primarily as a prophetic sage emphasizing instruction, insight, and humor in a vein counter to the dominant culture.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780800632410
  • Publisher: Augsburg Fortress, Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/1/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 452
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Beginning the Journey: Drinking from the Fount 3
Background and Foreground 4
The Book of Meshalim: The Fountainhead 19
Ecclesiastes: A Public Malaise 52
2 Wisdom at a Turning Point: From Ben Sira to the Wisdom of Solomon 75
Wisdom Gains a Name: The Contributions of Ben Sira 76
Spirit of Wisdom/Wisdom as Spirit: The Wisdom of Solomon 99
3 Hokmah Meets Sophia: Jesus the Cynic? 117
The Legacy of Alexander in the Holy Land 118
Non-Cynical Conclusions 141
4 Wisdom in Person: Jesus the Sage 147
The Narrative Meshalim and a Theory of Language 147
Figures of Speech: Jesus' Parables and Aphorisms 155
Jesus: The Wisdom of God 201
5 Wisdom's Legacy: From Q to James 211
Right on Q: Doubting Thomas 211
Table 2: The Sapiential Agenda of Q 219
James and Traditional Wisdom 236
6 Singing Wisdom's Praise 249
Tuning Up 249
The Servant Song: Philippians 2:6-11 257
Ode to the Cosmic Christ: Colossians 1:15-20 266
The Vindication Verse: 1 Timothy 3:16 272
The Radiance Reprise: Hebrews 1:2b-4 275
The Logos Hymn: John 1 282
7 Paul the Apostle: Sage or Sophist? 295
When Thought Worlds Converge: Eschatological Wisdom 296
Wisdom on the Cross and the Wise Master-Builder: 1 Corinthians 1-4 299
The Christian Shema and the Christ of the Exodus: 1 Corinthians 8:10 and 2 Corinthians 3-4 314
With Faithfulness and Justice for All: Romans 1-2; 9-11 320
8 The Gospels of Wisdom: Matthew and John 335
Matthew and John: Different Sons of the Same Mother 336
Matthew: A Word to the Wise 341
John: The First and Last Word 368
9 Final Reflections on Wisdom's Journey 381
Bibliography 389
Scripture Index 410
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