We concluded our series on the book of Ecclesiastes tonight. This is a PDF of the Keynote I did to finish us off. I’m personally really going to miss the book. We’ve been in this series for four months now and Qohelet’s voice has been pretty constant companion. I learned not only a great deal about Ecclesiastes, I learned a great deal how his message is received by God’s people. To that end I was very impressed and blessed with our communities questions and responses to this part of Scripture.
One of the constant interpretive commitments we’ve made throughout this series is that there are two voices in the book of Ecclesiastes: the Frame Narrator’s voice and Qohelet’s. And that in typical Wisdom Literature fashion both of these voices counsel will bring a level of pain and wrestling to us as we try and live in light of their wisdom. Wisdom by its very nature isn’t tailored in support of how our culture functions today. In fact it calls our culture of instant gratification, self-entitlement, and high gains with low costs into question; and painfully goads us to walk in a different direction (particularly in the closing epilogue of the book).
Another very consistent hermeneutical commitment of our series was to commit ourselves to look at Ecclesiastes in light of the New Testament’s use of it, particularly in light of Christ relationship to it. To that end Peter Enns & Tremper Longmans commentaries were very helpful and stood out among all the other sources we used.