“Is Ecclesiastes a Misfit?”

Meu pedido de ajuda, na forma de sugestões, ideias, bibliografia acerca de Eclesiastes já começa a surtir efeito.

Uma das indicações que recebi (de meu amigo Enézio Eugênio de Almeida Filho) foi de um artigo, com o título acima, de Roy B. Zuck, Vice-president for Academic Affairs and Professor of Bible Exposition, Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, Texas, publicado em Bibliotheca Sacra 148 (January-March 1991) 46-56.

Tomo a liberdade de citar o início do artigo, porque ele coloca bem a problemática posta pelo conteúdo de Eclesiastes.

“Through the centuries many people have questioned whether the Book of Ecclesiastes belongs in the biblical canon, and especially in the wisdom corpus. Since it seems to underscore the futility and uselessness of work, the triumph of evil, the limitations of wisdom, and the impermanence of life, Ecclesiastes appears to be a misfit.

Because it apparently contradicts other portions of Scripture and presents a pessimistic outlook on life, in a mood of existential despair, many have viewed it as running counter to the rest of Scripture or have concluded that it presents only man’s reasoning apart from divine revelation.

Smith wrote, “There is no spiritual uplift embodied within these pages. … Ecclesiastes … accomplishes only one thing, confusion. Reason is elevated throughout the whole work as the tool with which man may seek and find truth.” [1]

Scott affirms that the author of Ecclesiastes “is a rationalist, a skeptic, a pessimist, and a fatalist. … In most respects his view runs counter to his religious fellow Jews.” [2]

Crenshaw speaks of the “oppressiveness” of Ecclesiastes, which conveys the view “that life is profitless; totally absurd.” [3] Since “virtue does not bring reward” and since God “stands distant, abandoning humanity to chance and death,” this book, Crenshaw asserts, contrasts “radically with earlier teachings expressed in the book of Proverbs.” [4]. “Qoheleth [the author] discerns no moral order at all,” [5] for “life amounts to nothing.” [6] 

NOTES

[1] L. Lowell Smith, “A Critical Evaluation of the Book of Ecclesiastes,” Journal of Bible and Religion, 21 (April 1953): 105.

[2] R. B. Y. Scott, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, The Anchor Bible (Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., 1965), p. 192.

[3] James L. Crenshaw, Ecclesiastes: A Commentary {Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1987), p. 23.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid., p. 34.

* This article is adapted from Roy B. Zuck, “A Biblical Theology of the Wisdom Books and The Song of Songs,” in Biblical Theology (Chicago: Moody Press, forthcoming [in 1991]).

Em 24 de Setembro de 2013

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