Creation to New Creation: Psalms and the Wisdom Books
At the heart of our course offerings is a book-by-book journey through the entire Bible, from Creation to New Creation—Genesis to Revelation. This signature stream of courses is designed to familiarize students with the overarching structure and message of the whole Bible and with the part each book plays in the unfolding drama. This present course will feature seven books at the heart of the Old Testament.
The Psalms and Wisdom books describe the path of life for God’s people, enabling them to live as members of the covenant in anticipation of the fulfillment of God’s Kingdom plans and purposes. They provide songs and prayers and guidance for life “on the way,” including its high mountaintops of praise, its low valleys of pain, and its perplexing mysteries in the daily realities of every kind.
Within this collection, the Psalter stands apart as the book of prayer and praise for God’s people. This peerless gift continues to shape profoundly the ecclesial and personal devotional practices of the citizens of the Kingdom.
Perhaps less familiar, the Wisdom books respond to a variety of questions raised in life and in the preceding canonical books: Where can God’s wisdom be found? Which action is wisest in a given situation? What happens to the community of God’s people when they and their leaders follow—or refuse to follow—the path of wisdom? Most famously, the story of Job’s great personal suffering raises another question: Is it wisdom to worship God when he does not seem to be concerned with making an unjust situation right? Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom of Solomon, and Sirach follow, each with its distinctive contribution to the Bible’s vision of what God’s people are called to be and how they are best to live in God’s sometimes mysterious world.
This course presents an opportunity to ponder the manifold riches contained in this exquisite portion of Sacred Scripture, including the ways in which they direct our gaze toward the One whose heavenly influence shapes their vision of a promised Davidic Son-King, and his own eventual incarnation as the man of perfect wisdom.
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