Life & Teachings of Jesus
Azusa Pacific University
Dr. Kathryn Smith
February 19, 2002
"Jesus & the Wisdom Tradition"

I.   Terms to know
A.   Aphorism - a wise saying that disrupts the status quo
1.   a declaration or saying
2.   involves a personal insight (either in human nature or how god works, etc &)
3.   disrupts the status quo
4.   something a cynic is going to say
B.   Proverb
1.   wise saying
2.   supports traditional values (or status quo)
3.   something a priest or a king is going to say
C.   Narrative meschalim (sing. mashal)
1.   parable
2.   extended metaphor or simile
3.   Very formulaic (the kingdom of heaven is like &)
D.   Sage - practitioner of wisdom
II.   Jesus as a Sage
A.   Used Wisdom genre (70% of sayings)
1.   aphorisms
2.   parables
3.   proverbs
4.   pronouncement stories
B.   Does not use prophetic formulas (thus sayeth the Lord &)
1.   Yet often called a prophet
2.   Foretells eschatological events
3.   "Sage" or "Prophetic Sage"
III.   The Wisdom Genre
A.   Usually uphold status quo
1.   Contrast Jesus' sayings
2.   Create an idealized cultural order
B.   Must be applied properly - Application is just as important as the wisdom behind it
C.   Form, content, and context all important
D.   Often jar or disrupt the reader or hearer with unexpected elements
IV.   Types of Wisdom Sayings
A.   Narrative meshalim (parables)
1.   Not used to interpret the OT Bible - unlike most people who used Parables
2.   Topic is always on the reign of God
B.   Proverbs
1.   Used very few Proverbs - He wasn't about maintaining the status quo
2.   Traditional patriarchal
3.   Proverbs 5:20 Why should you be intoxicated, my son, by another woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?
C.   Aphorisms
1.   Upset the status quo
2.   Mark 10:31 "But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first."
3.   Mark 2:27 Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the Sabbath."
V.   Jesus as Sage
A.   "A sage from below"
B.   non-elite, folk wisdom
C.   Audience - the poor and disenfranchised