If we define it by lexical etymology, then philosophy is simply the affection for or love of wisdom. Consequently, how we define wisdom will go a long way in helping us get to the heart of what philosophy really is. In Proverbs Solomon uses the term nearly fifty times, some of which are particularly helpful in explaining the meaning and significance of wisdom:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction (1:7).

wisdomFor the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding (2:6).

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding (9:10).

The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom…(15:33).

How much better it is to get wisdom than gold, and to get understanding is to be chosen above silver (16:16).

There is no wisdom and no understanding and no counsel against the Lord (21:30).

The fear of the Lord (which I would describe as the proper perspective of God) is the first step in gaining wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Wisdom, knowledge, and understanding comes from His word, and is a gift from Him. Wisdom is obviously something highly worthwhile to pursue, and there is no true wisdom that can counter His wisdom.

James later illustrates that wisdom is closely connected to actions:

Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom (Jam 1:13).

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace (3:17-18).

Perhaps most remarkable in James’ discussion of wisdom is his assertion that if any of us lack wisdom in trials, we can ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him (1:5).

 There is, of course, much more said about wisdom in the Scriptures, but these verses in particular point us to the Lord as the source and provider of wisdom. They help us to understand that if we are to do Biblically accurate philosophy, it starts with the recognition that if we don’t understand who He is, we really don’t understand anything at all.

cc

 

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