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Theme of Ecclesiastes

Theme of Ecclesiastes

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Published by hisfootstep
This is my former research-paper. It is a discussion on the theme of the Book of Ecclesiastes. Assuming its role as an ancient Jewish sacred literature, the "fear of God" is read as the overarching theme of the Book in preference of all other claims such as "vanity", "enjoyment of life", etc.
This is my former research-paper. It is a discussion on the theme of the Book of Ecclesiastes. Assuming its role as an ancient Jewish sacred literature, the "fear of God" is read as the overarching theme of the Book in preference of all other claims such as "vanity", "enjoyment of life", etc.

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Published by: hisfootstep on Sep 24, 2009
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02/25/2011

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THE ‘FEAR OF GOD’ AND THE SEARCH OF MEANINGFUL LIFEIN THE BOOK OF ECCLESIASTESbyThangsan Mung (Box # 323)G.Th., Maranatha Bible College, 1992B.Th., Bethel Bible College, 1995M.Div., Torch Trinity Graduate School of Theology, 2005A RESEARCH PAPERSubmitted to Dr. Christian G. Ratain partial fulfillment of the requirementsfor the subject of ECCLESIASTESat Torch Trinity Graduate School of TheologySeoul, KoreaMay 2006
 
TABLE OF CONTENTChapters1.
 
INTRODUCTION ……………………………………………………………. 12.
 
THE FEAR OF GOD: THE ORIGINAL INTENDEDPURPOSE OF GOD………………………………………………………. 43.
 
THE FEAR OF GOD: BASIC PRINCIPLE FORENJOYMENT…………………………………………………………….. 6The Batter Practice of Life (5:7) ……………………………………… 6The Other Path of Life (7:18)…………………………………………. 8The Persistent Skill of Life (8:12-13) ………………………………… 104.
 
THE FEAR OF GOD: OBEDIENCE TO HISCOMMANDMENT ………………………………………………………. 135.
 
CONCLUSION ………………………………………………………………. 15SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY…………………………………………………… ii
 
INTRODUCTIONLong and intense have been debates over the unifying theme and purpose of theQoheleth on the desk of modern scholars; though sadly, none of their attempts can fullygive satisfactory answer yet. In fact, J. S. Wright is correct when he calls the book as “theblack sheep” of the Bible.
1
In general, there are two major camps of argument concerningthe issue. The group, known as critics, insisting to the said redaction theory, believes thepresent form of the Ecclesiastes to be final result of ongoing composition of small literarysegments throughout centuries
or 
at least is a composition of fragmented works of sagestherefore “many authors” behind the text. If then, very less possible is to find a
single
 unifying theme and central purpose of the book.
2
On another ground, traditional view strongly defenses the authenticity of the book strictly basing on Solomonic authorship; hence, the unity of the book is confirmed on theone hand and the unifying theme of the book becomes possible to find on the other hand.However, as pointed out by Longman, there are some problems to strict traditional view,such as internal ambiguity of such nickname “Qoheleth” and literary difficulties, such asapparent multi-genres within the book, distinct linguistic employment, and differenthistorical reflections as observed by scholars.
3
 
1
J. Stafford Wright, “The Interpretation of Ecclesiastes,”
 Evangelical Quarterly
18(January 1946): 18-34.
2
Concerning its composition, Crenshaw has further outlined four arguments that
though
maintain the unity of the book: one, the original author’s work with later editorialglosses; two, author’s single response to different traditional sayings; three, author’s
imaginative
or
real
dialogue with interlocutors; and, four, author’s gradual change of view over the years, J. L. Crenshaw,
 Ecclesiastes
(OTL; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:Westminster Press, 1987), 34-5.
3
For detail, please, read T. Longman III,
The Book of Ecclesiastes
(NICOT; GrandRapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1998), 4-8.1

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