This paper deals with the various expressions of the concept of reward in the Book of Proverbs. The two conceptual paradigms that shape this concept — i.e., divine retribution and the 'deed-consequence nexus' — were often taken by scholars of Proverbs as providing additional evidence for conceptual stratification in the book. According to this school of thought, the older stratum promotes empirical wisdom and pragmatic thinking and is thus akin to the 'deed-consequence nexus'. The later stratum exemplifies a secondary theological elaboration of the old secular wisdom, in line with the quest for the fear of God and His reward. As opposed to a diachronic approach, I opt for a synchronic approach that recognizes the existence of the divergent paradigms of thinking at one and the same time within the didactic framework of Proverbs, that is, a religious-moralistic (theocentric) view, and a didactic view that grants humans the responsibility for their fate (anthropocentric). One should view the didactic personality of the teacher in Proverbs as reflective of a multi-faceted outlook which is both pragmatic and dogmatic.
|Translated title of the contribution||The Concept of Reward in Proverbs: Divergent Paradigms of Thinking?|
|State||Published - 2008|