"Explain in your system the lengthy, clear prophecy of Christ's persecution by the Jews in Wisdom 2 in your inspiration theory, which all admit was written prior to His Advent."
Why don’t we begin by quoting some scholarly observations by the author of the standard modern commentary on this particular book of the OT apocrypha:
“Thus the author of Wisd is quite capable of constructing sentences in true period style (12:27; 13:11-15), and his fondness for compound words is almost Aeschylean. His manner at times has the light tough of Greek lyric poetry (17:17-19; 2:6-9; 5:9-13), and occasionally his words fall into an iambic or hexameter rhythm. He employs…Greek philosophical terminology,” D. Winston, the Wisdom of Solomon: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (Doubleday 1979), 15-16.
“These characteristics, in addition to the author’s many favorite ‘theme words and expressions which recur throughout the work, argue for unity of authorship, and make the hypothesis that Wisd is a translation of a Hebrew original virtually untenable,” ibid. 16-17.
Now the book clearly intimates Solomonic authorship. But I don’t think one can seriously contend that Solomon wrote in Greek—especially the kind of Greek we encounter in Wisdom.
So that would make the work of forgery. My theory of inspiration does not extend to inspired forgeries. But Dyer may beg to differ.
“No consensus has thus far emerged regarding the date of Wisd, and various scholars have place it anywhere between 220 BCE and 50 CE,” ibid 20.
“There are further considerations, however, which point to the reign of Gaius ‘Caligula’ (37:41 CE) as the likeliest setting for Wisd,” ibid. 23.
1.But didn’t Dyer assure us that “all admit” it was written prior to the first advent of Christ?
Either he hasn’t consulted the standard commentary on Wisdom, where the commentator not only offers his own date for the work, but reviews the dating scheme of other scholars—dates which sometimes postdate birth and death of Christ, or else he has read this commentary, and is dissembling about a scholarly consensus on the pre-adventual date of the book.
I suppose a third option is that he read it, but is too forgetful to remember what he read.
The most plausible and charitable explanation is that Dyer is an ignoramus—and a pretty hypocritical ignoramus at that. He berates the Protestants for their failure to include the OT apocrypha in their canon while he himself is too lazy to acquaint himself with the standard exegetical literature on a book which he himself puts forward as a test-case for the inspiration and canonicity of the OT apocrypha.
2.While we’re on the subject, does Dyer think that Solomon was a contemporary of Caligula? That would require a rather creative reconstruction of standard chronology.
Or is Dyer of the opinion that Solomon outlived Jesus? That would be pretty impressive for a man who was born around 971 BC. It’s even more impressive considering the fact that the OT records the death of Solomon.
Of course, Dyer is at liberty to challenge Winston’s dating scheme. If so, then we look forward to his erudite interaction with Winston’s evidence.
“For the Greek Church, the Synod of Jerusalem in 1672 introduced Wisd and other Deuterocanonical books to a place in Holy Scripture. ‘There appears to be no unanimity, however, on the subject of the canon in the Greek Orthodox Church today. Catechisms directly at variance with each other on this subject have received the Imprimatur of the Greek Ecclesiastical authorities and the Greek clergy may hold and teach what they please about it (Metzger: 195),” ibid. 67.
Oh, dear! And here I was led to believe that the Orthodox church is a beachhead of religious certainty amidst the shifting sands of Protestant scholarship. I’m so disillusioned.
“The author’s treatment of the suffering and vindication of the child of God [2:13ff] is a homily based chiefly on the fourth Servant Song in Isa 52:12 with some help from earlier and later passages in that book,” ibid. 119-20.
So even assuming that we credit Dyer’s Messianic interpretation of this chapter, that would be derivative of OT prophecy, on which Wisdom is literarily dependent.
I could quote other examples from Winston’s commentary on this passage to underscore the same point.
Dyer presumably cited Wisdom 2 because he believes that this chapter of this book furnishes an especially impressive case for the inspiration and canonicity of the OT apocrypha. If that’s the best he can offer, then it’s downhill from there.