The Bible on Wisdom

Where to Begin?
The Bible is so VAST in what it says about wisdom, it is hard to know where to start. But Proverbs 1:7 is surely a starting point contender!

If you want to study what the Bible has to say about wisdom, here are a few suggestions.

Read through the Book of Proverbs and underline every verse that mentions wisdom. Look at the context as well. Jot down your most significant impressions. Proverbs uses the word wisdom 55 times and word wise another 56 times.

Then read through Ecclesiastes. It uses the word wisdom 25 times and wise 23 times.

There is a reason these books are part of the Wisdom Literature of the Hebrews. Doing a careful study and some lectio divina reflection on these books will be invaluable for learning about wisdom.

Then turn to 1 Corinthians. It is the New Testament book that discusses wisdom most profoundly. There are 16 occurrences of the word in this one letter of Paul. His other letters combined talk of wisdom ten times. In 1 Corinthians, Paul builds a case against the wisdom of the world. Paul, who is well versed in the wisdom literature of the Greeks and Romans shows that the wisdom of God is a qualitatively different and better "way of wisdom." In Ephesians and Colossians, Paul gives a positive word about the wisdom of Christ and how to become wise.

Now, this is only a start, for the Bible also uses many other good words that are worth considering. Knowledge, truth, understanding, enlightened are all positively used. And words like error, foolishness, deception, falsehood are all severely described as dire conditions.

Ultimately, wisdom is the reordering of one's entire life around the will and way of the Lord God Almighty. Those who call on the name of Christ are to be about the pursuit of Christ, who is the wisdom of God revealed to us in a Person. Christ is truth incarnate, truth embodied, truth on display to see, hear, taste, touch and follow.

I have always liked the old Benedictine way. The love of learning and the desire for God. The pursuit of wisdom and the pursuit of God were not distinct pursuits for them. To love God with all their mind meant to study and think well, to reflect deeply, and to reorder accordingly.

I will close with another good word from Proverbs.

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International

You can do a Google search for any of these images by typing the Biblical reference in the search box, select image and go searching. When you find the image, just visit the website that is the original source. In most cases, these images appear multiple times.