Is the voice of Wisdom the Voice of Jesus Christ?


You say that in Proverbs 8 the voice of wisdom is speaking, but you missed the real point, because that voice of wisdom is Jesus Christ.


Proverbs 8 is written as giving a human voice to the wisdom of God. The effect is that of a person speaking. “Does not wisdom cry out, And understanding lift up her voice? She takes her stand on the top of the high hill, Beside the way, where the paths meet. She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city, At the entrance of the doors: ‘To you, O men, I call, And my voice is to the sons of men’” (Prov 8:1-4). Wisdom is given the ability to speak as a person, a literary device known as personification. “Listen, for I will speak of excellent things, And from the opening of my lips will come right things; For my mouth will speak truth; Wickedness is an abomination to my lips” (Prov 8:6-7).

Throughout the chapter, the voice of wisdom continues, but nothing in the chapter alludes to Christ or states that the voice of wisdom is the voice of Christ.

Wisdom is represented as giving counsel, leading in righteousness, appointing kings and judges, and dispensing riches and honor. All these are clear functions of the wisdom of God, or God working by His wisdom. The chapter even associates the work of creation with the wisdom of God.

“The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old. I have been established from everlasting, From the beginning, before there was ever an earth….. Before the mountains were settled, Before the hills, I was brought forth; While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, Or the primeval dust of the world. …. Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him (Prov. 8:22-3, 26, 30).

Proverbs 3 also makes this link: “The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; By understanding He established the heavens; By His knowledge the depths were broken up.” (Prov. 3:19-20). The Lord is said to work according to His wisdom, His knowledge.

How then is Christ related to the wisdom of God?

The apostle Paul made the connection several times. In 1 Cor. 1:24 he writes that “Christ [is] the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” And at the end of the chapter he says, “But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God–and righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (verse 30).

How was Jesus Christ the “wisdom of God”? As He personified it in His life, as He allowed His life to be directed by it. But we are also told that Jesus had to acquire this wisdom, that it was not His by nature. This fact was prophesied of Him: “Curds and honey he shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good” (Isa. 7:15).

Paul explained how Jesus was the wisdom of God in this way: “In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3). He was called the wisdom of God because He possessed it. If we were to take literally the statement that Jesus Christ was the wisdom of God, we would also have to say that Jesus’ disciples were literally the “light of the world” because Jesus said, “You are the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14). The two illustrations are parallel. Jesus was the “wisdom of God” in the same sense that His disciples were “the light of the world.”

The Bible tells us that Jesus was the Son of God, and as such He had no existence until He was born of the virgin Mary. He was “made of a woman, made under the law” (Gal. 4:4), and when He was a youth it is said that He “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man”–He had to acquire wisdom, He was not born with all wisdom (Luke 2:52).

When Jesus was called the “word” or “wisdom” of God it was because He exemplified its character and meaning in His own life, because He lived it perfectly and completely (John 1:10). On His lips the Word of God came alive.

This fact leads to another Scriptural singularity: The term “Christ” is sometimes used to personify the Word of life, the wisdom of God and the teachings He embodied. This spiritual Christ, the Word of truth, is what Paul was speaking of when he wrote, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith which we preach)” (Rom. 10:6-8). In this passage the apostle is speaking of Christ as being the “word of faith,” the gospel.

For further discussion of this subject, see our booklet, “Trinity or Unity?”