Wisdom and Folly in Early Jewish Wisdom Literature

Wisdom and Folly in Early Jewish Wisdom Literature

January 10, 2024
8:00 PM

Wednesday, January 10, 2024 | 8:00 PM | Open to the Public

Join Dr. Bradley Gregory of The Catholic University of America for an evening of biblical literature discussion. This presentation will highlight struggles to grapple with the pursuit of wisdom in early Jewish works such as the Dead Sea Scrolls and the second century BCE biblical books of Baruch, Daniel, and the Wisdom of Ben Sira, as well as the earlier Book of Job and the foundational Book of Proverbs.

The Book of Proverbs, for example, juxtaposes the personifications of “Woman Wisdom” and “Woman Folly” in order to show that while both figures appear to be good, only Woman Wisdom is truly good. Woman Folly, on the other hand, is portrayed as a counterfeit who is not what she seems.

This dynamic undergoes significant transformations during the Second Temple Period. Why was it that for some early Jewish sages, the ability even to find Wisdom seems to have receded from humanity?