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Speech in Ben Sira with special reference to 5,9-6,1


John I. Okoye

The aim of this study is to organize the speech ideology of Ben Sira, a wisdom teacher and the first of the category of the scribes. To achieve this, both the analytical and synthetic methods are employed. The study reveals Ben Sira's emphasis on the dianoetic and dynamic aspects of speech. It highlights the recommendation of silence in wait for Kairos(propitious time) for effective speech. Ben Sira's indication that God is the architect of man's speech faculty forms the basis of a theological dimension of human speech. God's continued role in human speech affirms the possibility of Wisdom Theology of which the theology of human speech is an aspect.
Contents: The content of the work includes an overview of speech in the OT and in Ben Sira - The analytical and synthetic study of some speech pericopes - The anthropological presuppositions of Ben Sira's speech ideology - The qualities of the ideal language user - The harm of evil or wrong use of speech can bring upon the user or his victims - Silence as an antidote to evil use of speech and also a motive for more effective use of speech - God's major role in human speech - Teaching on speech a possible aspect of wisdom theology.