Old Testament

Wisdom Literature

Ecclesiastes – Discussion Questions

Interpretation Questions:

  1. What is the religious value of the sort of skepticism we find in Ecclesiastes?
  2. Because Ecclesiastes seems so often to be directly at odds with Proverbs, which are we to believe, and follow? How should we approach these sorts of contradictory scriptural texts?
  3. How has the message of Ecclesiastes been taken up in contemporary religious contexts, if at all? How should it be?

Application Questions:

  1. Why do you think people associated Solomon as the author of Ecclesiastes for so long? What does the figure of King Solomon add to the book? Does it change your reading of the text to think of it one way or the other? 
  2. Many pieces of the book seem to be contradictory. Can you identify any consistent underlying themes? How can those themes inform us as we move through the world? 
  3. Dr. Baden and Collins identify Qohelet as a response or rebuttal to Proverbs. Do you find this take on biblical wisdom to be more or less applicable to the modern world? 
Yale Bible Study