Wisdom in Intertextual Perspective


This unit seeks to provide a forum for the exploration of the emerging methodologies of intertextuality in the study of wisdom literature and beyond. The primary focus is on wisdom compositions - Proverbs, Job, Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes, and the Wisdom Psalms and Deutero-Canonical works such as Ben Sira and the Wisdom of Solomon, including comparative sources and cognate cultures from the ancient Near East. The intertextual method takes interest outside simply wisdom material to include connections and interrelationships with other genres of material.


Intertextuality, Biblical Wisdom, Deutero-canonical wisdom, ancient Near East, Scribes


Katharine Dell
University of Cambridge

Tova Forti
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev 

Sofia 2024 Call for Papers

1. The methodology of intertextuality as used in relation to wisdom literature

The study of intertextuality is a flourishing one but there is also ambiguity in defining it and its parameters. There are also related concepts of inner-biblical exegesis or allusion and mimesis and so the clarity of the method can be obscured. The suggested criteria are lexical similarities such as a shared vocabulary and phraseology but also important are parallels based on content or motif and formal and structural similarities between texts. This unit will attempt to elucidate the criteria scholars utilize, eg citation, echoes, allusion and memorization. In this first year of the unit, we are interested in issues of methodology particularly in relation to intertexts between the wisdom books of the canon and deutero-canon.

2. Wisdom books and Deuteronomy

Deuteronomic links are often pointed to in the wisdom material (following M Weinfeld’s influential book, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School, 1972) notably in Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, in certain wisdom psalms and in Ben Sira. This unit seeks to draw out intertexts with Deuteronomy and the wider Deuteronomic material and also seeks to explore intertextual links of this nature between different wisdom books.