Re: Wisdom of Solomon and Hebrews

From: Kenneth Litwak (
Date: Thu Feb 08 1996 - 01:02:52 EST

  Okay, okay, Oiy. I hereby repent me of mentioning Priscilla as the author
of Hebrews if it permits going back to the issue that I'm much more interested
in, namely the possible relationship between Hebrews 1:104 and the Wisdom of
Solomon. To reiterate my questions about Edgar Krentz's fine post on this,
let me note
1. I don't see a very close connection in vocabulary. The author of WS 7
talks about Wisdom being fine, distinct, clear, unharming, etc. I don't seeany of that sort of language in Heb 1 at all. Instead, I see references to God's
substantial nature. Wisdom brings insight into the way the everyday world
works, with little of theological significance, except for the passing
reference that wisdom makes one want to be friends with God. Heb 1
states that the Son is the final/last days revelation of God'snature, after
God had spoken through the prophets. Nothing about normal, earthly affairs is
2. As the discussion currently raging on Ioudaios indicates, it's difficult to
say whether WS would have been among the scrolls that the author of Hebrews
would have felt it appropriate to use to use in framing this text, not
to mention to use as the basis for the theology of Hebrews. More
specifically, I can't determine, where, if anywhere, WS was known or held
as authoritative or useful in the 1st cent. CE Christian church, not to mention
whatever group the author of Hebrews belongs to (since we don't know the
author, we surely can't argue meaningfully about the author's congregation --
that is the congregation the author of Hebrews is a member of, as opposed to
the real readers of the document).
3. Since I don't know about 2, I want to consider whether the author of
Hebrews may have been influenced by WS, or by Prov 8 as understood by 1st
cent. Jews (some Jews, anyway), or by general synchretistic ideas floating
around in 1st cent. Judaism (some flavor of it, anyway) or what.
I don't pe se have a religious stake in the possible influence. One of my
favorite theologians, Gregory of Naziansus was heavily influenced by Platonism,
but I like his writings in spite of that. After all, who can help but to write
from their culture?

    Sorry for all the qualificiations, but I gather they are necessary. The only
place I know of to get firm consensus in biblical studies is at the Jesus
Seminar or a Hal Lindsey seminar (actually I suppose I shouldn't call the
latter biblical studies proper).

     This is not meant as an attack on Edgar Krentz in any way, shape or form,
whose postings I appreciate very much. However, having suffered through
translating WS 7, and not feeling anhybetter for having done so, I really
want to know if it had any value at all. I can't say that I learned more Greek
from it. Not trained in Classical Greek, I would have to rate the author's
writing low, using an accusiative noun where there should have been a whole
clause, and the like.

Ken Litwak
Bezerkley, CA

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