Wednesday 15 February 2012

Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 15, 3 (2011) on Ecclesiastes

The most recent edition of the Southern Baptist Journal of Theology is now online, this one devoted to Ecclesiastes.

In addition to the Editorial (‘Recovering the Message of Ecclesiastes for the Church Today’) by Stephen Wellum, and the Book Reviews, one article by Graeme Goldsworthy is available as a sample: ‘Wisdom and its Literature in Biblical-Theological Context’.

A flavour of the approach of the volume is indicated in Wellum’s editorial when he comments on the translation of the notoriously nebulous word, hebel (‘meaninglessness’, ‘vanity’, etc.):

‘[A] better translation is that of “vapor” which conveys a number of nuances depending upon the context, but it is clear that hebel does not teach that the author views life as mere vanity and futility. In the use of hebel, the Teacher is not affirming the meaninglessness of life; instead he is affirming that life lived under God’s providential rule in a fallen, sin-cursed world is rarely understandable to us and hence incredibly elusive and often enigmatic, hence the need to trust the Lord and to walk before him obediently... Parecisely because we are creatures and not the Creator, and we live in this sin-cursed world reserved for judgment, life is often inscrutable to us’ (3).

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