Date of Award

2003

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Religion, New Testament PhD

First Advisor

W. Larry Richards

Second Advisor

P. Richard Choi

Third Advisor

J.H. Denis Fortin

Abstract

Problem . Although Paul's use of wisdom literature has been widely acknowledged, the relationship between the apostle and wisdom literature has not been thoroughly investigated. Scholars have tended to deal mainly with the function of wisdom traditions in general in Paul's argument. Furthermore, no one has compared his use of canonical and noncanonical wisdom literature. This present study sought to determine the nature of Paul's use of wisdom literature by comparing his use of canonical wisdom books (Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes) with his use of noncanonical ones (Sirach and the Wisdom of Solomon) in Romans, and 1 and 2 Corinthians.

Method . The present study adopted the intertextual approach, which detects components of the wisdom books in Paul's letters and examines the significance of the use in the Pauline context. In order to make objective judgments, after numerous criteria were suggested and examined, the appropriate criteria were applied to Paul's texts.

Results . This study found eighteen most likely or probable cases of Paul's use of the wisdom literature and seven significant parallels between Paul's texts and the wisdom-book passages. Numerous similarities are shared between Paul's use of canonical and noncanonical wisdom literature. This suggests that Paul did not have any bias toward canonical or against noncanonical wisdom literature.

Conclusion . This study demonstrated that Paul considered both canonical and noncanonical wisdom literature as authoritative sources for his ministry, and that this literature deeply influenced Paul's thoughts and composition.

Subject Area

Bible. Romans -- Relation to the Old Testament, Bible. Corinthians -- Relation to the Old Testament, Bible. Old Testament -- Use

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