The last four decades have seen a substantial progress in the study of the Book of Ben Sira (Ecclesiasticus) on the literary, historical, theological, and sociological level. The discovery of the Hebrew Ben Sira Scroll at Masada in 1964 and the find of Hebrew Ben Sira fragments among the Dead Sea Scrolls were crucial landmarks to encourage serious investigation into this deuterocanonical document. Nowadays the Book of Ben Sira, which originates from the early second Century B.C.E., is recognized more and more as being an outstanding document of Jewish wisdom literature and an important link between the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. Following a general introduction into the major topics of recent Ben Sira research, this volume offers a detailed study of several passages that are crucial to the book's history, its content and structure. Important theological issues, such as 'canon and scripture', 'prophets and prophecy', 'theodicee', and 'God's mercy', are discussed as well. This study concludes with some essays relating to the Hebrew text(s) of the Book of Ben Sira.