A masterful study of the relationship between ancient Jewish wisdom literature and the Jesus tradition. Examining meshalim, Ben Sira, the Wisdom of Solomon, and the Cynics, Witherington demonstrates how these texts influenced Christ's teaching and shaped the thought of James, Paul, the Gospel authors, and other New Testament writers. 436 pages, softcover from Augsburg/Fortress.
The path of wisdom from Solomon to Jesus and from Jesus to the churchIn 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.