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Wisdom Literature (Eerdmans Comentaries on the Dead Sea Scrolls) Paperback – March 16, 2011
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The Amazon Book Review
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― Emanuel Tov
Hebrew University, Jerusalem
“This volume provides an accessible collection of ten of the major wisdom documents found at Qumran. Based on his many years of work on this genre, Kampen has judiciously chosen key issues to focus on in the introductions to each work and in the commentaries. Concisely, yet with depth, he demonstrates what these wisdom texts can contribute to our understanding of Second Temple Judaism and the New Testament, and he alerts us to many questions that await further study and reflection.”
― Eileen Schuller
“John Kampen, celebrated for his focus on wisdom in the Dead Sea Scrolls, has written, in an exciting and lucid manner, the first focused commentary on the Qumran wisdom texts. While the Cave 1 manuscripts rarely concern ‘wisdom,’ the scrolls Kampen translates are devoted to it. Studying a corpus of texts and not a definition is the beginning of wisdom. I find Kampen’s book exciting and perspicacious.”
― James H. Charlesworth
“The Qumran wisdom texts, most of which only became known in the last wave of access to the Dead Sea Scrolls in the 1990s, are of enormous significance for our understanding of the Jewish wisdom tradition. . . . Kampen effortlessly opens up this new treasure trove of texts and puts their study on a firm footing. Essential reading.”
― Charlotte Hempel
University of Birmingham
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Top Customer Reviews
Each of the ten primary chapters, some broken into many sub-chapters, offers an introduction, translation, line by line notes, extensive footnotes, commentary and bibliography. This is more of a reference books. Some readers might want to tackle it from beginning to end, but I'd guess most would focus on a particular area of interest.
There is an index of Bible verses, Old and New Testament to the relevant pages in the text and I suspect that for many people who are interested in better understanding the meaning of any passage in a contemporary translation, this will be the most useful way to access the text. There are not references for all verses and in some cases, such as the New Testament book of John, there are no references. In this context it is useful to remember that this book is one in an Eerdmans (publisher) series.
There are a lot of frustrations reading this, because the original material is so fragmented. At the same time it really is interesting, challenging and makes you wonder what kind of life and times produces this literature.