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By Katharine J. Dell

Readers of texts come from all generations, from diversified contexts and with various agendas. This booklet offers a pattern of what either old and modern readers have dropped at the e-book of Ecclesiastes within the quest for illumination of the textual content and for his or her personal enlightenment, usually furnishing their very own schedule. Debates over that means are shaped, formed, and illuminated via the interpreters themselves. half One seems at historic interpreters and at their equipment of forthcoming the textual content. Jewish and Christian interpreters alike sought to discover that means among many of the key puzzles of the ebook why does the writer name himself the son of David and seem to be Solomon while his pen identify additionally seems Qoheleth? Why the contradictions in content material? How did such an unorthodox ebook emerge as canonized? How did the dualistic contemptus mundi interpretation of the self-esteem subject perpetuated by means of Jerome and others come to carry the sector for therefore lengthy? and the way did Luther and the reformers search to rectify that strategy? those questions and others are addressed during this e-book, searching through the lens of earlier interpretation. half recognizes our expanding self-awareness of the significance of approach in impending biblical texts and turns to a pattern of recent interpretations from accepted examining teams reminiscent of the ecologist, the animal theologian, the liberationist, the post-colonialist, and the feminist. will probably be noticeable that assorted smooth ways frequently enlighten the translation of particular verses inside Ecclesiastes and for that reason that nobody strategy is a wholesale approach to interpretive issues

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Interpreting Ecclesiastes : readers old and new

Readers of texts come from all generations, from assorted contexts and with varied agendas. This ebook offers a pattern of what either historical and modern readers have dropped at the booklet of Ecclesiastes within the quest for illumination of the textual content and for his or her personal enlightenment, usually furnishing their very own time table.

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Example text

They said Should Solomon have uttered the following: What profit hath man of all his labour? This might imply, might it not, that labour in the study of the Torah was also included? On the other hand, they argued, if he had said “of all labour” and left it at that, we might have thought that he meant to include also labour in the study of the Torah. However he does not say this, but “of all his labour” implying that it is in his own labour that man finds no profit but that he does find profit in the labour of studying Torah.

The book is thus interpreted in a way that Jerome believed made it thoroughly in line with church teaching and so useful for teaching. Jerome therefore establishes the place of Ecclesiastes in the exegetical tradition of the ancient church. Against his contemporary, Theodore of Mopsuestia,19 who questions the authority of Ecclesiastes and argues that it does not deserve a place in the biblical canon, Jerome maintains its authority. 20 But Jerome translates the text to make it more accessible to his contemporaries, and then through his exegetical method brings Ecclesiastes into the fourth century.

Medieval exegetes did not question Solomonic authorship. ”68 Ginsburg notes that Lyra divides the book into two parts: 68. Nicholas of Lyra, “Commentarius” (Scripturae Sacrae Cursus Completus 17; ed. Jacques-Paul Migne; Paris: Gabalda, 1839), 31–150.  7:1–12:14), which has two sections, he treats upon true happiness, shewing that it consists objectively in God alone; formally (formaliter) in the clear vision and enjoyment of God in meritorious works; to which Solomon urges us, on to the end of chap.

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