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Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings (The IVP Bible Dictionary Series)

Longman III, Tremper; and Peter Enns (editors)

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Listen to lectures from Tremper Longman III on the Psalms. (Requires a free account at Westminster Theological Seminary).


The Old Testament books of wisdom and poetry carry themselves differently from those of the Pentateuch, the histories or the prophets. The divine voice does not peal from Sinai, there are no narratives carried along by prophetic interpretation nor are oracles declaimed by a prophet. Here Scripture often speaks in the words of human response to God and God's world. The hymns, laments and thanksgivings of Israel, the dirge of Lamentations, the questionings of Qohelet, the love poetry of the Song of Songs, the bold drama of Job and the proverbial wisdom of Israel all offer their textures to this great body of biblical literature. Then too there are the finely crafted stories of Ruth and Esther that narrate the silent providence of God in the course of Israelite and Jewish lives.

This third Old Testament volume in InterVarsity Press's celebrated "Black Dictionary" series offers nearly 150 articles covering all the important aspects of Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Psalms, Song of Songs, Lamentations, Ruth and Esther. Over ninety contributors, many of them experts in this literature, have contributed to the Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings. This volume maintains the quality of scholarship that students, scholars and pastors have come to expect from this series.

Coverage of each biblical book includes an introduction to the book itself as well as separate articles on its ancient Near Eastern background and its history of interpretation. Additional articles amply explore the literary dimensions of Hebrew poetry and prose, including acrostic, ellipsis, inclusio, intertextuality, parallelism and rhyme. And there are well-rounded treatments of Israelite wisdom and wisdom literature, including wisdom poems, sources and theology. In addition, a wide range of interpretive approaches is canvassed in articles on hermeneutics, feminist interpretation, form criticism, historical criticism, rhetorical criticism and social-scientific approaches.

The Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings is sure to command shelf space within arm's reach of any student, teacher or preacher working in this portion of biblical literature.

Tremper Longman III and Peter E. Enns edit this collection of 148 articles by 90 contributors on Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Lamentations, Ruth and Esther.

1000 pages
Published June 2008

About the Editors:
Tremper Longman III (Ph.D., Yale University) is Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. He is also Visiting Professor of Old Testament at Mars Hill Graduate School, Visiting Professor of Old Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary and adjunct of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. He lectures regularly at Mars Hill, Regent College in Vancouver and the Canadian Theological Seminary in Calgary.

Peter Enns holds a Ph.D. in Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Literature from Harvard and has taught in both university and seminary classrooms for over fifteen years. He and his wife Susan live in Pennsylvania and are the parents of three children.

About this Series: Unique among reference books on the Bible, the volumes of the IVP Bible Dictionary Series bridge the gap between scholars and those pastors, teachers, students and lay people desiring in-depth treatment of select topics in an accessible and summary format.

Articles cover traditional and contemporary topics, including cross-sectional themes, methods of interpretation, significant historical or cultural background, and each Old and New Testament book as a whole.

In part and in whole, the IVP Bible Dictionary Series presents the fruit of evangelical biblical scholarship at the intersection of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries--committed to the authority of Scripture, utilizing the best of critical methods, and maintaining dialog with contemporary research and challenges facing the church.

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