In a series of lecture videos on The Gospel of John, Ben Witherington III proposes to treat the gospel along the lines of wisdom literature. He says:
It’s my view that one of the things that makes this a very distinctive presentation of the life of Jesus of Nazareth is that what the author has decided to do is tell the story of Jesus through the lens of early Jewish Wisdom literature. When I say early Jewish Wisdom literature, what I mean is not merely Proverbs and Job and Ecclesiastes—the OT books of Wisdom literature—but also intertestamental Jewish literature that’s of a wisdom nature. That would include the Wisdom of Solomon and the Wisdom of Ben Sira, or Sirach.
One of the things conspicuously absent from the fourth gospel, however, is the word "wisdom" (sophia). The word appears quite commonly in Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Sirach, and The Wisdom of Solomon, but is completely absent from John.
Does this place Witherington's treatment in doubt? Or are there reasons to think this is purposeful on the part of the author while remaining self-conciously within the Wisdom tradition?