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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Qohelethís Hope: The Message of Ecclesiastes in a Broken World
Peterson, Brian Neil

Lanham, MD: Lexington/Fortress Academic, 2020 pp. xiii + 201. $90.00

Description: Pessimist! Hedonist! Skeptic! Fatalist! Scholars have used these and a variety of other pejoratives to describe Qoheleth, the author of the book of Ecclesiastes. But are these monikers fair assessments of this formative book of the Hebrew wisdom tradition? Brian Neil Peterson challenges this dominant scholarly perspective by arguing that Qohelethís message is more optimistic than it appears. He insists that Qohelethóa realist who recognizes that the world is broken due to the Fall in Genesis 3óis instructing his readers to live life to the fullest in the fear of God despite the presence of injustice, oppression, and futility experienced on a daily basis. Due to the fleeting nature of life, Qoheleth offers hope to his readers and urges them to put God first and enjoy Godís good gifts, not as a destination in life, but rather as part of oneís earthly journey.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Wisdom Literature, Ecclesiastes/Qoheleth, Literature, Methods, Literary Approaches, Ideological Critique, Theological Approaches

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Review by Katharine Dell
Published 10/1/2020
Citation: Katharine Dell, review of Brian Neil Peterson, Qohelethís Hope: The Message of Ecclesiastes in a Broken World, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2020).


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