Item description for The Tree of Life: An Exploration of Biblical Wisdom Literature by Roland E. Murphy...
Overview Since 1990 Roland Murphy's The Tree of Life has been a standard introduction to the wisdom literature of the Bible. Now The Tree of Life is available in a third edition, complete with a new preface by the author and a special supplement that surveys the latest developments in wisdom research. This superb study devotes a chapter to each of the wisdom writings of scripture, interpreting each work in a way that clearly lays out the development of Israel's search for wisdom throughout its tumultuous history.
Publishers Description Since 1990 Roland Murphy's Tree of Life has been a standard introduction to the wisdom literature of the Bible. Now The Tree of Life is available in a third edition, complete with a new preface by the author and a special supplement that surveys the latest developments in wisdom research.This superb study thoroughly explores the wisdom writings of the Bible, interpreting this literature in a way that illumines the development of Israel's search for wisdom throughout its tumultuous history. Murphy looks at each wisdom book individually -- Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, Ecclesiasticus, and Wisdom of Solomon -- and adds to them a discussion of wisdom from other parts of the Old Testament. His careful investigations expose the various guises that wisdom adopts -- the "fear of the Lord," moral formation, the universality of human experience, the mysteries of creation, and others.
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Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.04" Width: 6.1" Height: 0.69" Weight: 0.95 lbs.
Release Date Jan 28, 2002
Publisher Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN 0802839657 ISBN13 9780802839657
Availability 0 units.
More About Roland E. Murphy
Roland E. Murphy, O. Carm., (deceased 2002) was George Washington Ivey Emeritus Professor of Biblical Studies of Duke University and adjunct at the Washington Theological Union. He was coeditor of the "New Jerome Biblical Commentary, " and wrote numerous articles, books, and commentaries.
Roland E. Murphy currently resides in the state of North Carolina. Roland E. Murphy has an academic affiliation as follows - Emeritus, The Divinity School, Duke University, Durham, NC Duke Univer.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Tree of Life: An Exploration of Biblical Wisdom Literature?
Prosaic Introduction to Biblical Wisdom Apr 19, 2007
Roland Murphy is an acclaimed scholar of biblical wisdom literature, but this introductory book is quite plodding and uninsightful. He's overly cautious throughout, and refrains from saying anything particularly pointed or definite. A lot of the time, he'll write, "theory 'A' is intriguing and there are evidences for and against," but not really say anything one way or another. His latter chapters on Wisdom's Echoes, Wisdom Literature and Theology, Lady Wisdom are especially insipid.
But I do give him credit for his chapters on Proverbs and Job. His explanation of the ending coda on the worthy wife was helpful, though I thought he could have gone further and made the obvious connection to Jesus. (That's another thing: he makes no Christological or New Testament connections. I guess it's to make the book as ecumenical [read: bland] as possible.) His analysis of Job as a corrective to a simplistic theology of retribution that one might get from a superficial reading of Proverbs was great. His chapter on Ecclesiastes (Qoheleth) was so-so. And I fell asleep several times reading his summaries of the two Apocraphal wisdom books.
His introductory chapter was also helpful. I found his sagely advice on pg. 10-11 especially good - "A proverb presents only a narrow slice of reality; much depends upon its context...What is needed is the proper context in which they are pertinent...The saying is not an absolute; it is relative." You basically can't read a proverb in isolation and apply it uncritically to all situations; this is the mistake Job's three friends made.
But all of this does not overcome how completely uninteresting his latter chapters were. I'm quite disappointed that for such a poetic topic, Murphy wrote a sleep-inducing prosaic textbook. This is a side note, but kudos for the book cover.