Despite the welcome revival of scholarly interest in Biblical Wisdom, the Book of Proverbs remains neglected. It continues to be seen as a disorganised repository of traditional banalities, while Job and Qohelet are viewed as more exciting texts, in revolt against Proverbs' conventional wisdom. Contradiction in the Book of Proverbs argues that this misleading consensus owes more to scholarly presuppositions than to the content of Proverbs; it sees Proverbs as a challenging work, one that aims to provoke a critical appropriation of wisdom and in which diverse sources have been skilfully brought together by a creative final editor to form a complex unity. Many divergences from the Hebrew in the Greek witness to the translator's discomfort with his spikey, provocative original. Peter Hatton challenges many existing scholarly assumptions and calls for a re-evaluation of the role and significance of Proverbs in relation to the other biblical wisdom books and the whole canon.
’Reading this book has left me feeling somewhat chastened … much can be gained from this fascinating, lucid and cleverly argued book without accepting every last conclusion. It is long past time that the 'assured results' of historical-critical interpretation of the Book of Proverbs were seriously reconsidered, and I hope that this book will mark the turning of the tide.’ New Blackfriars ’This is a lively contribution to the field of Proverbs research, which challenges various set assumptions that appear in Biblical scholarship.’ Journal for the Study of the Old Testament ’The book is clear and well written… Hatton makes his case effectively.’ Vetus Testamentum ’A delightful book.’ International Review of Biblical Studies ’Hatton can be congratulated for offering a valuable study that should be considered by all serious students of Proverbs.’ Biblical Interpretation ’Peter offers, at last, a fresh evaluation of Proverbs in its own right and in relationship to the other Wisdom literature and opens up some other fascinating lines of enquiry.’ Heythrop Journal
Contents: Proverbs, an undervalued text; How Proverbs was marginalized; Unity and diversity in Proverbs; Provocative contradiction: the acts-consequence 'construct'; Provocative contradiction: the powerful in Qoholet and Proverbs; Provocative contradiction: gifts and bribes in Proverbs; The deep waters of counsel; Recent articles dealing with wisdom literature in JSOT, VT and ZAW; Bibliography. Index.