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Wisdom

books manifested god testament

The term wisdom appears throughout the Old and New Testaments in a number of significant contexts. It is both an attribute and a near-personification of God in the Old Testament, manifested in *Creation, and the presumed “mind” behind world governance and justice as well as the source of certain human actions. Human wisdom is a gift from God, manifested in those who live according to God’s will, those who are successful in moral and intellectual decision making. In the ancient Near East, wisdom was related to education, technology, and skill; wise men and women (counsellors) offered advice on practical and theoretical matters. Wisdom also refers to a set of biblical books (e.g., Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus) which contain short sayings and advice for successful living or longer monologues or dialogues dealing with spiritual matters, for example, existence and the relationship of God and humans. In the New Testament, Wisdom is manifested in *Christ (the incarnate Word, or Logos ). Essential for church leaders and all believers, wisdom is one of the *Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit.


A subject of continued discussion for early Christian and medieval theologians, in pictorial form Wisdom may be symbolized by King *Solomon, the Virgin *Mary (as Sedes sapientiae , the “Throne of Wisdom”), the angelic Saint (Hagia) Sophia with her three daughters, Faith, Hope, and Charity, by the figure of * Ecclesia (church), and by images of Christ enthroned, often holding a book and accompanied by figures representing the *virtues. In medieval illustrations of the Old Testament Wisdom books, the image of Wisdom may also appear as an enthroned and crowned female figure, holding or surrounded by books. An architectural setting may be indicated, symbolizing the house or Temple of Wisdom (from Proverbs 9:1-2).

Wise and Foolish Virgins [next] [back] Wischnitzer, Rachel Bernstein (1885–1989) - Jewish Architectural History

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