Question:

I have read that Jesus is called the "wisdom of God" in I Corinthians. Is he also the wisdom in Proverbs 8? If not, please do show me what or who the wisdom is in Proverbs 8. Thank you sir.

Answer:

"For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God" (I Corinthians 1:22-24).

I can see where the confusion arises, so I quoted the passage in its context. Notice that Paul is talking about preaching Christ, that is the Gospel. The Jews were looking for a sign (that is, power) and the Greeks were looking for wisdom, but what both groups missed is that the Gospel of Christ was both.

The message of the Christ, the Gospel, is the power of God. That is something Paul said elsewhere, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek" (Romans 1:16). And, "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" (I Corinthians 1:18).

The message of the Christ demonstrates the wisdom of God. "For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:1-3). And, "However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory" (I Corinthians 2:6-8).

In Proverbs 8, the wisdom of God -- God's word or God's teachings -- is personified. This is a literary technique to make the topic stand out in our minds. "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:" (Proverbs 8:1-3). The wisdom being spoke about is still an inanimate object. It is a concept and not an actual person. Jesus uses this same style when he said, "Therefore the wisdom of God also said, 'I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute'" (Luke 11:49). When people reject God's teaching, then Jeremiah asks if they have any wisdom, "The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken. Behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD; so what wisdom do they have?" (Jeremiah 8:9).