This volume, which follows the pattern of the highly successful Navarre Bible New Testament, consists of the Revised Standard Version and the New Vulgate with a Commentary by members of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Navarre, Spain.
Whereas the first five books of the Old Testament – the Pentateuch – record the Law of Moses in the form of commandments, the Wisdom Books propound that teaching in the form of counsels and proverbs. They also reveal the close connection between knowledge that comes through faith, and knowledge acquired through human reasoning.
The book of Job takes the form of a narrative – the story of an upright man who experiences misfortune after misfortune; to a degree, it lifts the veil that shrouds the mystery of suffering. The book of Ecclesiastes (“All is vanity…”) helps the believer to appreciate the value of heavenly things. Proverbs consists of seven collections of wise sayings from the ancient East. The Wisdom of Solomon, which probably originated in the Jewish community of Alexandria (Egypt), interfaces with the world of Greek culture. Sirach, written by someone steeped in the wisdom tradition of Israel, was much used by the early Fathers of the Church.
Reading and reflecting on the Wisdom Books helps to prepare the human mind and spirit to receive the Lord and to understand his teaching.