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New Book: Solomon: Israel’s Ironic Icon of Human Achievement by Walter Brueggemann


Decatur, GA.—Walter Brueggemann, Old Testament professor emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary, is the author of Solomon: Israel’s Ironic Icon of Human Achievement. Recently released by University of South Carolina Press, this is the latest book in their Studies of Personalities of the Old Testament series. The book explores various ways in which King Solomon is presented in the Old Testament historical and wisdom literature as well as his place in the New Testament. It also considers traditions that are derivative from the Solomon text, even the modern movement of the Masons. Brueggemann says, “My study made me freshly aware of two things--how complex is the biblical text that does not admit of our simplistic treatment, and how incredibly contemporary the text turns out to be. I came to see that while Solomon is remembered as wise, powerful, and wealthy, there are subtle hints all through the text that he was in fact a fool who knew no limits to his own ambitions. It takes little imagination to see that the foolishness of limitless power and wealth is as pertinent in contemporary time as in ancient time.” Series editor James L. Crenshaw says of the book that Brueggemann examines anew traditional assertions about the meaning of the accomplishments of Solomon’s kingship and finds that “an irony permeates the tradition” surrounding his reign. “Through [Brueggemann’s] close attention to nuances of the biblical text, he exposes the competing interpretive voices that claim to offer a reliable rendering of Solomon.” The result is an exegetical exercise in “sorting out the reality of human power in the matrix of covenantal faith.” Solomon is available through the seminary bookstore, or 404-687-4550. Columbia Theological Seminary, located in Decatur, Georgia, was established in 1828 and is one of 10 theological institutions of the Presbyterian Church (USA). 

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