Jan 10, 2013

Reading Qohelet

I love teaching the book of Ecclesiastes but it can be real a challenge.  Michael Fox describes part of the challenge well in the following comment.
“I try and read Qohelet without “solving” the problems raised by the contradictions in his perceptions of toil, wisdom, and justice. I am not sure I have entirely succeeded because there is tremendous interpretive pressure to raise the valleys and lower the hills, to make the way straight and level before the reader. But a reading faithful to this book, at least, should try to describe the territory with all its bumps and clefts, for they are not merely flaws, but the essence of the landscape.”

Michael V. Fox, Qohelet and His Contradictions, Bible and Literature Series18, ed David M. Gunn (Sheffield: Almond, 1989), 28.

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