Original Research

Creation retold: Use of Scripture and tradition in Sirach 16:24–17:14

Hulisani Ramantswana
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 38, No 1 | a1631 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v38i1.1631 | © 2017 Hulisani Ramantswana | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 May 2016 | Published: 28 April 2017


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Abstract

This article examines the use of Scripture and tradition in Sirach 16:24–17:14, which is a retelling of the creation stories. Ben Sira as an interpreter of Scripture utilised interpretive traditions or exegetical motifs that were in circulation during his time to provide instruction for his generation. His indebtedness to Scripture is evident from the quotations from Scripture and his use of scriptural language. In his retelling of the creation stories, he made use of the exegetical motifs that were in circulation, adapting them within the wisdom interpretive framework. He also rejected the tendency to blame evil on external agencies such as fallen angels and downplayed the gap between the creation process and the giving of the law at Sinai.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The article is an exegetical inquiry of the extra-biblical text of Ben Sira in dialogue with Scripture and with other exegetical traditions which were in circulation in the Second Temple period. The article highlights the indebtedness of Ben Sira to both Scripture and tradition, and also noting Ben Sira’s own creativity in the use of Scripture and tradition in his retelling of creation story


Keywords

creation; retelling; scripture; tradition; Sirach

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