This article explores the problems posed by language due to its imprecision, the disparity between what one says (or means to say) and what is interpreted. Ben Sira warns his readers of the dangers posed by the changing contexts of an utterance. Sensitivity to context reflects other aspects of Ben Sira's teaching, such as his awareness of people's differing perspectives. In addition, Ben Sira is concerned that his readers be aware of the multiple meanings behind words due to the polysemous nature of the words themselves, their morphology, and/or how they are used.
In Q 12,22b-31, a kingdom-saying functions as the climax to a sapiential collection, but it is not self-evident that this message is sapiential. Q 12,31 uses traditional wisdom structures and forms to advance what appears to be an «eschatological» message. In this study, I re-examine the nature of the wisdom in Q 12,22b-31 and argue that the theme of God’s providence can be understood in relation to eschatological ideals of the restoration of creation and a «Son of God»/Adamic christology.
Paul employs both in 1 Cor 11,33 and in Rm 2,10 the metaphor of 'depth' (bathos) associated with the theme of knowledge. In the two units (1 Corinthians 1–4; Romans 9–11), this metaphor is related to other terms: 'mystery', 'wisdom', 'mind of the Lord' (Is 40,13 in 1 Cor 2,16 and Rm 11,34). After outlining the semantic nuances of the metaphor, we study its inventio (why does Paul use it?), and then reflect on how the two passages combine the limitation of human knowledge, the greatness of divine revelation, and the promise of eschatological salvation.