Details for Wisdom Literature

What is wisdom? How does a wise person live? What is the biblical foundation to wisdom? This unit will explore the Wisdom Literature of the OT through these lenses. It specifically will study the proverbial tradition as highlighted within the book of Proverbs but also the speculative wisdom tradition found within the books of Ecclesiastes and Job. Other examples of wisdom found in the Psalms, Song of Songs and the Apocryphal books will also be discussed. All in all, it will be discovered that for ancient Israel wisdom has many different facets – but it all begins with the Fear of the LORD.

Quick Info

  • Currently offered by Alphacrucis: Yes
  • Course code: BIB211
  • Credit points: 10
  • Subject coordinator: Emma Austin


The following courses are prerequisites or corequisites:

Awards offering Wisdom Literature

This unit is offered as a part of the following awards:

Unit Content

Curriculum Objective

This course unit examines the wisdom literature of the OT by redefining ‘wisdom’ itself in the light of the scribal, cultic and cultural practices of Israel and its ‘neighbours,’ but also in the light of the more formal qualities of the texts themselves.


  1. Demonstrate a knowledge of the content and message of the OT Wisdom Books (Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes), plus wider wisdom traditions (wisdom psalms, Sirach, Wisdom of Solomon)
  2. Identify the literary and social context of ‘wisdom’ within Israel as well as the ancient Near Eastern wisdom traditions
  3. Analyse and critically engage the genres, structures, themes and ideologies of the books studied
  4. Exegete critically passages from wisdom literature, which will evidence comparative and close readings of texts
  5. Demonstrate critical engagement with both the primary biblical materials and secondary literature from a range of perspectives
  6. Explain the place of Wisdom Literature within the context of the contemporary church

Subject Content

  • Wisdom in context: ANE and ancient Israel
  • Poetry in the Old Testament
  • Proverbs
  • Ecclesiastes
  • Job
  • Wisdom in Apocrypha
  • Wisdom Psalms and Song of Songs
  • Wisdom, the New Testament and Today

This course may be offered in the following formats

  • Face to Face (onsite)
  • Distance/E-learning (online)
  • Intensive (One week: 7 hours per day for 5 days = 35 class hours + approx 85 hours out of class time for research, writing, exam preparation and execution, ancillary activities associated with completion of assigned tasks)

Please consult your course prospectus or enquire about how and when this course will be offered next at Alphacrucis University College.

Assessment Methods

  • Reading Responses (20%) 
  • Contemporary Presentation (30%) 
  • Major Exegesis (50%)