Puzzles of Wisdom and Afterlife: Two Lectures Exploring the Old Testament

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On Friday 23rd November, Jessie Rogers was invited to give a lecture at the Biblical Studies Postgraduate Autumn Seminar, held at Belfast Bible College. Her topic was “Translation Technique and Theology in the Old Greek Version of Job 28.” This lecture is part of an international project on the theology of the Greek Old Testament, in which Jessie is involved. Within the great poem on the search for wisdom in Job chapter 28, Jessie demonstrated that while some adaptations in the Greek translation from Hebrew may be theologically motivated, some of the omissions in the Greek may simply be due to the translator’s preference for shortening the text.

On Tuesday 27thNovember, Jeremy Corley was invited to deliver the 2018 Bedell-Boyle lecture for the National Bible Society of Ireland, held at Trinity College, Dublin. His theme was “Afterlife Hope before the New Testament: A Descriptive Survey.” He sought to explain the change in Jewish belief about the afterlife in the centuries immediately before Christ. Whereas earlier texts in the Old Testament envisaged a shadowy existence for the dead in the underworld, the final two centuries before Christ saw belief in the resurrection take hold among many Jews. The turning point was the martyrdom of numerous devout Jews by King Antiochus Epiphanes during the Maccabean crisis. If the virtuous did not receive blessings in the present life, God would reward them in the resurrection, when God would recreate his faithful people.