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10 - Ecclesiastes

from Part II - Wisdom Literature in the Hebrew Bible

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 July 2022

Katherine J. Dell
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
Suzanna R. Millar
Affiliation:
University of Edinburgh
Arthur Jan Keefer
Affiliation:
Eton College
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Summary

Mette Bundvad considers Ecclesiastes as a book of contradictions and one that has a peculiar narrator and special thematic concerns. Instead of giving a catalogue of possible or plausible contradictions in the book, Bundvad surveys the ways in which scholars have reckoned with the book’s evident tensions. The question that emerges, then, is whether these contradictions are a feature of the book or a ‘bug’ of sorts. Ecclesiastes’ portrayal of its narrator falls under the rubric of these very tensions, exhibiting a man, or men, who wears various guises and no one persona. Bundvad concludes with reflections about the book’s treatment of time, a theme that does not resolve every tension but does open up new questions and possible structures.

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Chapter
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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References

Further Reading

Bolin, Thomas M. Ecclesiastes and the Riddle of Authorship. New York: 2017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bundvad, Mette. Time in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Oxford Theology and Religion Monographs. Oxford: 2015.Google Scholar
Burkes, Shannon. Death in Qoheleth and Egyptian Biographies of the Late Period. SBLDS 170. Atlanta: 1999.Google Scholar
Christianson, Eric A. A Time to Tell: Narrative Strategies in Ecclesiastes. JSOTSup 280. Sheffield: 1998.Google Scholar
Crenshaw, James L. Ecclesiastes. OTL. Grand Rapids: 1987.Google Scholar
Fox, Michael V. A Time to Tear Down and a Time to Build Up: A Re-reading of Ecclesiastes. Grand Rapids: 1999.Google Scholar
Ingram, Doug. Ambiguity in Ecclesiastes. LHBOTS 431. New York; London: 2006.Google Scholar
Machinist, Peter. ‘Fate, miqreh, and Reason: Some Reflections on Qohelet and Biblical Thought’. Pages 259275 in Solving Riddles and Untying Knots: Biblical, Epigraphic, and Semitic Studies in Honor of Jonas C. Greenfield. Edited by Zevit, Ziony, Gitin, Seymour and Sokoloff, Michael. Winona Lake: 2005.Google Scholar
Miller, Douglas. ‘Qoheleth’s symbolic use of הבל’. JBL 117 (1998): 437454.Google Scholar
Newsom, Carol A.Job and Ecclesiastes’. Pages 177194 in Old Testament Interpretation: Past, Present, and Future (Essays in Honor of Gene M. Tucker). Edited by Mays, James Luther, Petersen, David L. and Richards, Kent Harold. Nashville: 1995.Google Scholar
Seow, Choon-Leong. Ecclesiastes: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary. AB 18. New Haven; London: 2008.Google Scholar

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