Click here to get the answers to the most commonly asked RBL questions.

Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Interpreting Ecclesiastes: Readers Old and New
Dell, Katharine J.

Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2013 pp. vii + 107. $24.95

Series Information
Critical Studies in the Hebrew Bible, 3
Edited by Anselm C. Hagedorn, Nathan MacDonald, and Stuart Weeks

Description: Readers of texts come from all generations, from different contexts and with different agendas. This book gives a sample of what both ancient and contemporary readers have brought to the book of Ecclesiastes in the quest for illumination of the text and for their own enlightenment, often furnishing their own agenda. Debates over meaning are formed, shaped, and illuminated by the interpreters themselves. Part One looks at ancient interpreters and at their methods of approaching the text. Jewish and Christian interpreters alike sought to find meaning amongst some of the key puzzles of the book: why does the author call himself 'the son of David' and appear to be Solomon when his pen name also seems to be Qoheleth? Why the contradictions in content? How did such an unorthodox book come to be canonized? How did the dualistic contemptus mundi interpretation of the vanity theme perpetuated by Jerome and others come to hold the field for so long? And how did Luther and the reformers seek to rectify that approach? These questions and others are addressed in this book, looking through the lens of past interpretation. Part Two acknowledges our increasing self-awareness of the importance of method in approaching biblical texts and turns to a sample of modern interpretations from familiar reading groups such as the ecologist, the animal theologian, the liberationist, the post-colonialist, and the feminist. It will be seen that different modern approaches often enlighten the interpretation of specific verses within Ecclesiastes and hence that no one method is a wholesale 'solution' to interpretive concerns.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Wisdom Literature, Ecclesiastes/Qoheleth, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Literary Approaches, Social-Scientific Approaches, Ideological Critique, Theological Approaches, History of Interpretation

Login to Read the Review(s)

You must be a member of SBL to read the review(s). Enter your SBL Member ID and click the "Log in" button. Your use of this site indicates your acceptance of RBLís Terms of Use.

I donít remember my SBL Member ID.

Join SBL or renew your membership to read the review(s).



SBL Membership Id:  


Review by Mark Sneed
Published 3/7/2015
Citation: Mark Sneed, review of Katharine J. Dell, Interpreting Ecclesiastes: Readers Old and New, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2015).


Adobe Acrobat Reader
All RBL reviews are published in PDF format. To view these reviews, you must have downloaded and installed the FREE version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have the Reader or you have an older version of the Reader, you can download the most recent version now.

 

 
Privacy PolicyTerms of UseContact Us
Site development by kenwells.com: graphic design