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A Brief Biblical Theology of Wisdom (Goldsworthy)

June 29, 2009

Goldsworthy notes how the wisdom tradition begins in Genesis:

Sinful thinking is ‘snake-think’, the kind of noetic rebellion proposed by the serpent in Eden. It is diametrically opposed to the mind renewed by the gospel […] At this point we can say that the godless presuppositions underlying the temptation and fall in Genesis 3 include the following:

– if God is there, he does not communicate the truth.

– We do not need God to reveal the rational framework for understanding reality.

– Human reason is autonomous, and the ultimate arbiter of truth and falsity, right and wrong.

Goldworthy then turns to the New Testament’s reading of the Old’s regarding wisdom: 

Two reality-views are clearly contrasted in Paul’s treatment of wisdom in 1 Corinthians 1-2. There is little doubt that Paul, along with Jesus and the Gospel writers, moves in the framework that includes the Old Testament wisdom. Christ is designated ‘the wisdom of God’ (1:24) and also ‘our wisdom’ (1:30). He is the difference between the world’s wisdom, which in reality is foolishness, and the wisdom of God, which the world perversely assesses as foolishness. The epistemological framework that corresponds with reality is the gospel itself. What Paul states in 1 Corinthians is in line with epistemology of the Old Testament wisdom, and specifically that of Proverbs 1:7 and 9:10 where the fear of the Lord as the basis of rational understanding is a faith response to God’s revelation.

from Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics by Graeme Goldsworthy (pg. 61)

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