This Unit will undertake a study of Wisdom Literature. Specific texts will be studied from historical, critical and literary perspectives. The unit studies two books from Wisdom Literature: Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes (Qoholeth), Daniel, Sirach, and Wisdom.

Unit code: BA9012Y

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Old Testament

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning outcomes


demonstrate a critical understanding of the structure and composition of the chosen books


analyse and explain the significance of literary forms


identify distinctive theological themes that emerge


evaluate the similarities and differences in the way that wisdom is depicted


critically discuss the issue of the continuing relevance of wisdom literature


demonstrate advanced skills in critical biblical interpretation

Unit sequence

Prerequisite: BA8000Y or equivalent and a second level Old Testament Unit.


Weekly class: Lecture, group work. Students engage with the biblical text in terms of its context and their own experience/context.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Estes, Daniel J. Handbook on the Wisdom Books and Psalms: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2005. Hunter, Alistair G. *Wisdom Literature. London: SCM, 2006.


  • Bartholomew, C.G. Ecclesiastes. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2009.

  • Duncan, Julie A. Ecclesiastes. Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries. Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 2017.

  • Fox, Michael V. Ecclesiastes: The Traditional Hebrew Text with the New JPS Translation. The JPS Bible Commentary. Philadelphia, PA: Jewish Publication Society, 2004.

  • JOB

  • Gordis, Robert. The Book of Job: Commentary, New Translation, and Special Studies. New York, NY: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1978.

  • Habel, Norman C. The Book of Job: A Commentary. Old Testament Library. London: SCM, 1985.

  • Whybray, Norman. Job. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998.

  • Wolde, Ellen J. van, ed. Job’s God. Concilium. London: SCM Press, 2004.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Exegesis 3000 35.0
Essay 4500 65.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 11 Sep, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:50 +1000