Wisdom in the Synoptic Gospels

John Reed

Research output: ThesisMasters Thesis

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The intention of this thesis is to examine the ways in which the Synoptic Gospels understand and portray the connection between Jesus and wisdom.
This study will first examine the nature of wisdom in general. It will then survey the place and nature of wisdom in the Hebrew scriptures and in Second Temple Judaism. Consideration will be given to the theological grounding of the wisdom material, and its relationship with the theology of the broader Hebrew scriptures, including its connection to both law and covenant.
Attention will then move on to a brief analysis of the place of wisdom in the New Testament as a whole, before turning to a detailed examination of presentation of wisdom in the Synoptic Gospels.
This examination of the Synoptic Gospels will begin with a lexical survey and analysis of the vocabulary of wisdom: where it is found and how it is used in the Synoptic writers’ presentation of Jesus. This will be followed by consideration of other ways in which there may be echoes of and allusions to Jewish wisdom material in the Synoptics, and how they are presented. Finally, consideration will turn to material in the Synoptics that, although not directly referencing or echoing OT wisdom, has the pattern or shape of wisdom material, with a view to assessing in what ways this displays both continuity and discontinuity with the Hebrew wisdom tradition.
Drawing the results of this research together, conclusions will be drawn concerning the ways in which the Synoptic writers understand and portray the connection between Jesus and wisdom. Consideration will be given to the similarities and differences between the different writers’ presentations. Further observations will be made concerning the nature of wisdom in the Synoptics, and whether Jesus is portrayed as a teacher of wisdom, an agent of wisdom, or Wisdom personified. This will lead to discussion of the ways in which the connection between Jesus and wisdom relates to the other ways in which he is presented; which has implications for understanding the theological connection between wisdom, law, and the kingdom of God in the Synoptics.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationMaster of Theology (Honours)
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
  • Aernie, Jeffrey, Principal Supervisor
Award date01 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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