Philosophy vs. Wisdom

“Beware lest anyone captivate you through philosophy and vain deceit, in the tradition of men and the elementary principles of the world, and not after Christ.”

— Colossians 2:8

The word philosophy comes from the Greek and literally means “the love of wisdom.” The Hebrews received God’s revelation, which was greater than human philosophy. The ancient Greeks had no such advantage, and though wise in their way, they were like blind men searching for light in a darkened room, whereas the Hebrews were in a room which was brilliantly illuminated. For them all that was possible was to approach unto the light and try to penetrate into it more deeply and understand it more thoroughly. This was called by the Hebrews not philosophy, but wisdom, and there is a great difference between that “vain philosophy” as it is called in the New Testament and the wisdom of God.

When the Bible speaks about wisdom, it is talking about an understanding of the revelation of God. It is talking about a heart that seeks to know and to understand, and that seeking to know and understand is aimed particularly at an understanding and knowledge of God. Over and against this are set all of those who have no desire to learn. The person who does not desire to learn is repeatedly set forth in the Scriptures as a fool—as a man or woman of folly whose end is destruction.

It is tragic that many people today reject God’s wisdom because they falsely assume it has somehow been discredited by philosophy. Such “philosophers” are described by Paul: “Claiming to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22).

God of wisdom and might, thank You for revealing Yourself to us mortal beings. Help us to become wise by studying Your Word and knowing You. Thank You that with You, there is wisdom and understanding…