개혁주의생명신학의 "생명"이란 용어는 개혁주의 칼뱅과 함께 예수그리스도의 생명이 빠진 학문적 노력은 껍데기뿐인 죽은 신앙에 지나지 않음을 강조한다면, 본 연구는 삶과 죽음에 관한 성경적 가치관을 제시하는데 목적이 있다. 이를 위해 성경의 지혜문학중 하나인 잠언서와 지역과 시대를 공유하고 있는 고대근동 문학과의 비교를 통해 전자의 특성을 부각 시키는데 의미를 두고 있다. 본 논문은 고대근동지방에서 삶과 죽음이 단순히 육체적인 부분을 의미하는 절대적 의미를 넘어서 정신적 부분을 포함하는 질적인 영역까지 확대되어 총체적으로 이해되고 있었다는 사실을 밝히는 것이다. 또한 그와 같은 개념들의 근거를 이루고 있는 세계관을 연구하는 것이다. 이와 같은 이해를 통하여 삶과 죽음이 단순히 영원한 삶 혹은 무덤 너머의 삶으로 국한 시킬 수 있는 종말론적인 의미가 아니라, 육체적 건강과 장수, 물질적 풍요, 감정적 기쁨과 행복, 그리고 신의 보호를 기초로 한 안전등을 포함하는 실용적 세계관을 발견하고 제시하는 것이다.
The term, "life" in the Reformed Life Theology enharces that the academic pursuit without the life of Jesus Christ cannot but be a husk with the dead faith, Modern man has never been more preoccupied with any topic than he has been with life and death This was also true in the ancient Near East, but these subjects were understood much more broadly than mere existence and the lack of physical vitality. The early Egyptians and Mesopotamians considered life to include physical health and longevity, material sufficiency, emotional joy and happiness, and security based on divine protection, but they disagreed on the means of attaining it. Conformity to the impersonal divine order, Maat, was essential in order to be rewarded with life in Egypt, while the Mesopotamians had to please the arbitrary desires of the gods. The latter did this by attaining the good favor of his personal god who in turn would intercede for him before the great council of the gods. Israel``s neighbors, therefore, believed that the good life was available to man and attainable if he lived correctly. Death, on the other hand, was the expected lot for mankind which could be manifested in the forms of premature mortality or sickness. Ancient Israel shared the absolute and qualitative aspects of life and death, but disagreed on the means by which one attained them. Just as life almost always included qualitative aspects which make it equivalent to fulness of life, death was known as a whole realm in conflict with life. In the absolute sense this meant biological cessation, but qualitatively it could represent events, circumstances, and even Perceptions which detract from one``s ability to enjoy the riches of a life in communion with God. The authors of Proverbs mention absolute biological death only as premature, unhappy end of existence; that on would die of old age is accepted. It is imperative for the twentieth century believer to understand the full concepts of life and death as ancient Israelite would, so that he might realize the temporal rewards which flow from God``s good pleasure upon those who live righteously, and so that he might recognize the curse of death upon the wicked which manifests itself long before breath ceases.