Re: Wisdom of Solomon and Hebrews

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Fri Feb 09 1996 - 10:01:14 EST

On 2/8/96, Carl W. Conrad wrote:

> On 2/8/96, Kenneth Litwak wrote:
> > 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).
> I'm not so much concerned with influence of WS on Hebrews here but on a
> tangential issue Ken seems to raise:"where, if anywhere, WS was known or
> held as authoritative or useful in the 1st century CE Christian church ..."

>From answers on and off the list that I've had to my query regarding Romans
2, I gather that the evidence makes influence of WS plausible but not
unmistakable. I'm not really insistent on the influence of WS in particular
as with the Wisdom tradition's indubitable impact (phrasing too strong?
maybe, but I think not) on the development of the church's coming to terms
intellectually with the identity of Jesus as an incarnate "aspect" of some
sort of God the father--i.e., with the emergence of the concept of
incarnation. It played a role surely in the background of the prologue of
John's gospel and it played a role just as surely in Colossians 1:15-20. It
surely played a role as well in those oral traditions of dominical
sayings--particularly some in the "Q" material--that speak of Sophia.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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