Proverbs: The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom

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Part 1 in a 7 part series. View series intro and index.

Socrates is credited by most to be one of the founders of Western philosophy.  Many consider him to be one of the wisest men who ever lived.  Interestingly enough, he is known only through the writings of his students, most extensively through Plato.

Modern-day philosophers look to men like Socrates and Plato, and other Greek philosophers (such as Euclid, Socrates, and Antisthenes) as primary sources to learn about morality, ethics, and virtue.  Anyone who has taken a university philosophy class knows that most teaching on wisdom and critical thought flows, at some level, from the Greeks (with much less attention given to Roman philosophers).

It is interesting to me, to say the least, that little attention (in academia, and in general) is paid to Solomon, King of Israel.  After all, he pre-dates Socrates, dying 462 years before Socrates was born (931 BC), and has many of the same insights on virtue and ethics as other Greek philosophers.  Of course, Solomon worshiped God, Socrates did not; and Solomon looked toward the coming Messiah, Jesus, and Socrates did not.  This seems to be the main reason tribute is not paid to him by modern-day philosophers.

Nevertheless, we have many more writings from Solomon (three biblical and other extra-biblical, as well as over a thousand songs/poems) than we do Socrates (zero).   The Bible would suggest that Solomon, perhaps, was the wisest man who ever lived (outside of Jesus), the richest man who ever lived, and the most honored man who ever lived.  Over the next few weeks, we’ll focus on the Proverbs of Solomon and his advice for wise, righteous, practical, and —  most importantly — godly living.

2 replies on “Proverbs: The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom”

Update: I just wanted to add that I’m no expert on philosophy. So, I’m pretty unqualified to argue finer points of Western and Greek thought. However, I know practical wisdom when I see/read it. So that’s what we (or at least I) will be discussing.

Feel free to comment, and if you disagree, as always, be intelligent and kind.


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