Proverbs 8:23-36

23 I was formed long ages ago,
   at the very beginning, when the world came to be.
24 When there were no watery depths, I was given birth,
   when there were no springs overflowing with water;
25 before the mountains were settled in place,
   before the hills, I was given birth,
26 before he made the world or its fields
   or any of the dust of the earth.
27 I was there when he set the heavens in place,
   when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
28 when he established the clouds above
   and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
29 when he gave the sea its boundary
   so the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
 30 Then I was constantly[e] at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
   rejoicing always in his presence,
31 rejoicing in his whole world
   and delighting in mankind.

 32 “Now then, my children, listen to me;
   blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Listen to my instruction and be wise;
   do not disregard it.
34 Blessed are those who listen to me,
   watching daily at my doors,
   waiting at my doorway.
35 For those who find me find life
   and receive favor from the LORD.
36 But those who fail to find me harm themselves;
   all who hate me love death.”

Sacred Feminine

Books like the da Vinci Code think that the feminine is undervalued in Christian tradition.  They even think that Christians have changed the text and hidden passages to make sure that women stay in their place.  The facts do not agree with this theory, but still some passages in the Bible are a problem.  For example the second half of Proverbs 8 has a woman, in Greek Sophia is her name.  She stands with God and works with him in the creation of the world.  Woman Wisdom, then is seen by some to be evidence of the Sacred Feminine goddess who is co-equal with Yahweh and is even his consort.  Together, it is said that they create the world.  She is then seen as the Logos and in a few circles hymns have been altered to sing to her as well as Yahweh and so balance out the masculine and the feminine.

The problem with using this text in that way is that Wisdom is not equal with God in this passage.  The language is poetic and Sophia is an invented character to show the principles of wisdom and their foundational importance in the fabric of creation.  Certainly this passage has informed passages in the New Testament, but the New Testament did not obliterate a goddess Sophia and then weave her attributes into Christ.

Questions

  1. How would you describe Sophia/Wisdom’s role in Creation?
  2. Do you think such a role is literal or figurative?
  3. How does Wisdom resemble Christ?
  4. How are American laws founded on the wisdom that is created in the fabric of the world?
  5. Why are American laws becoming less wise by biblical standards?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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