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Ecclesiastes, Book of

(904 words)

Author(s): Crenshaw, James L.
1. Name The Hebrew name of the Book of Ecclesiastes, Qoheleth, derives from qhl (call, assemble). The feminine ending suggests an office, according to which the author would have been responsible for an assembly of persons or a collection of sayings. The Greek form Ekklēsiastēs (assembly leader) led to “the preacher.” The name “Qoheleth” was influenced by the Solomonic legend, according to which the king assembled the people for the dedication of the temple. The author adopted the literary fiction of Solomonic authorship, albeit only fo…


(208 words)

Author(s): Crenshaw, James L.
“Megilloth” (Heb. mĕgillôt, “rolls, scrolls”) is a technical term referring to the five scrolls that were brought together from the 6th century a.d., each being read in the synagogue during a festival (or fast). From the 12th century the sequence was Song of Songs, for Passover; Ruth, for the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost); Lamentations, for the fast on the ninth of Av, commemorating the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians and later by the Romans; Ecclesiastes, for the Feast of Booths (Tabernacles); and Esther, for Purim (Jewish Practices 2). The unusual content of three scr…


(7,608 words)

Author(s): Elsas, Christoph | Crenshaw, James L. | Horn, Friedrich Wilhelm | Editors, The | Frey, Christofer
1. In the History of Religion 1.1. Perspectives on Creation Philosophy and natural science trace the origin of the world and humanity back to impersonal, law-governed causes. Religion, however, finds a suprahuman plan behind life and its foundations. In addition to the elementary language of confession (Confession of Faith), reflection on creation also can draw on philosophical and scientific argumentation, which makes use of elements and general concepts familiar from the world around us. It may also use the language of myth, which presents creation ¶ in the story of a one-time,…