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By Peter Byrne, Leslie Houlden, Rev Prof Leslie Houlden

This special new reference is a complete advisor to fashionable theological suggestion. In forty eight self-contained articles, a world group of theologians and practitioners of the Christian and Jewish faiths examine and view facets of theology. The attempt to be sensible, yet now not partisan as they discover the functions of recent theology within the gentle of Christianity's position within the glossy international. The better half Encyclopedia of Theology is split into six components. the 1st 3 care for significant foundational elements of Western theological mirrored image: the Hebrew and Christian Bible, the culture, and the contribution of Philosophy. the second one half the spouse is anxious with purposes when it comes to spirituality, modern ethics, and problems with present-day theological building. The forty eight essays are descriptive, informative, and analytical. They conceal quite a lot of modern themes together with Feminism within the Philosophy of faith, the assumption of

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30:15), questions (Prov. 30:4), and paradoxes (Prov. 30:24–8). Scholars have long debated the extent to which Hebrew wisdom is religious. In the sentence collections proverbs referring to God mingle freely with those that do not mention him, as is the case also in Egyptian wisdom. Sometimes it is argued that Israel’s wisdom was distinctive from the very beginning, and always rested on the experience of Israel’s special God, even where he is not mentioned (von Rad 1972). Others think, perhaps more plausibly, that teachers of wisdom, though indeed they were hardly atheists, did not take God and his ways in the world as their primary topic of interest (McKane 1970:10– 22).

9–10 above was placed in its ‘correct’ historical context. The Book of the Covenant and the Holiness Code were presented as part of the divine revelation given to Moses at Sinai, the Deuteronomic law as part of his final address to the Israelites in the plains of Moab, just before they were to cross the Jordan into the Promised Land. This had the effect of integrating law and narrative in a way that has been critically important for Judaism ever since. The finished Pentateuch itself came to be called the Torah or Law, as though all of it-not just the legal portions—had the function of ‘law’ (or guidance) for Jewish life.

What is agreed by all, including defenders of the ‘folk wisdom’ theory, is that wisdom teachers were not religious officials, and did not draw on national traditions about what the national God had done or said; and this is equally true of the parallels in other ancient Near Eastern cultures. Poetry Almost all extant Hebrew poetry is religious, and most is probably liturgical (see above). Some fragmentary poems in the Hebrew Bible, however, look as though they originally had a secular setting: take, for example, Numbers 21:14, 15, 17–18, 27–30.

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