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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Does "Wisdom" at Prov. 8:22-30 refer to the Messiah, and does it say that he was created?

The understanding that "Wisdom" in Prov. 8:22-30 is, in reality, figurative of Jesus in his pre-human existence has always existed in the majority of churches that call themselves Christian. It was commonly noted in the writings of the Church Fathers of the first centuries of Christianity (including such noted scholars as Origen, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, etc.) Many Bible scholars (trinitarians included) have even said that this connection was made in the New Testament at 1 Cor. 1:24. For a list of quotes from trinitarian scholars admitting this, see:

So, if one was to accept the view of the majority of those in "traditional" Christendom throughout the Christian era, you will accept the understanding that "Wisdom" at Prov. 8:22-30 refers to the Messiah.

And if you accept that, then it is clear that the Messiah was created (at least there was a time when he was brought into existence by the Father, Jehovah) before the rest of creation. Note the following TRINITARIAN translations of Prov. 8:22:

1. "The LORD [Jehovah] CREATED me at the beginning of his work" - RSV, and NRSV. (Footnote in NRSV says "Or [created] me as the beginning [of his work].").

2."The LORD MADE me..." - MLB

3."The Lord FORMED me..." - Living Bible.

4. "I was MADE in the very beginning." - Good News Bible.

5."Yahweh [Jehovah] CREATED me..." - Jerusalem Bible and NJB.

6."The LORD CREATED me..." - New English Bible and REB.

7."Jehovah FRAMED me first" - Byington.

8."The LORD CREATED me..." - The Reader's Digest Bible, 1982.

9."I was the first thing MADE, long ago in the beginning." - Holy Bible: Easy-to-Read Version, World Bible Translation Center, 1992.

10."The Eternal [Jehovah] FORMED me first of his creation" - Moffatt.

11."The Lord MADE me the beginning [arkhe] of his ways for his works" - The Septuagint, Zondervan, 1976.

12."The LORD CREATED me as the first of his creations" - Holy Bible From the Ancient Eastern Text

It may be that figures of speech and personification sometimes appear to be carried too far for our tastes today. But if this scripture only shows a quality personified, but not actually a person (as some anti-Watchtower publications claim), how can we explain that "Wisdom" (at Prov. 8:22-30) came into existence before the rest of creation?

The scriptures show that Jehovah God (and only Jehovah God) has always existed (Ps. 90:2). Since he is from eternity and has obviously always been wise, then Jehovah's own personal wisdom has always existed; it never was created or produced. And since wisdom cannot exist apart from a personality who is capable of using it, and, since the "Wisdom" of Prov. 8:22-30 came into existence before the rest of creation, it cannot represent the wisdom of any other creature (whether angels or men) but a "firstborn Son". (John 1:18; Rev. 3:14; Col. 1:15)

For more, see:
BWF - 'Beginning,' 'Wisdom,' and 'Firstborn'

Prov. 8:22-30 "Wisdom" and Christ

Trinity Scripture Index

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