Discerning Wisdom

The Sapiential Literature of the Dead Sea Scrolls


Before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Ben Sira was the only Hebrew wisdom text from the late Second Temple period. The Qumran scrolls provide an abundance of previously unknown Hebrew sapiential material. Discerning Wisdom provides a systematic overview of all the Qumran texts that are commonly identified as wisdom compositions. This literature raises issues such as the incorporation of apocalypticism and Torah piety into the sapiential tradition. The Dead Sea Scrolls offer crucial evidence for understanding the wisdom of the late Second Temple period and the reception of traditional wisdom in Early Judaism.
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Biographical Note

Matthew J. Goff, Ph.D. (2002) in Hebrew Bible, University of Chicago, is Assistant Professor of Religion at Florida State University. He is the author of The Worldly and Heavenly Wisdom of 4QInstruction (Brill, 2003).


All those interested in the Dead Sea Scrolls, wisdom literature, Second Temple Judaism, the Hebrew Bible, and Ben Sira.