Original Research

The concept of wisdom in the Hebrew Bible – A comparative-philosophical analysis

Jacobus W. Gericke
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 32, No 1 | a513 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v32i1.513 | © 2011 Jacobus W. Gericke | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 March 2011 | Published: 08 September 2011

About the author(s)

Jacobus W. Gericke, North-West University (Vaal Triangle Campus), South Africa


This article provides a brief comparative philosophical clarification of the concept of wisdom in the Hebrew Bible. Utilising the format of a presentation presented by Ryan (2008), four philosophical definitions of wisdom were compared with similar sentiments in ancient Israelite religion: (1) wisdom as epistemic humility, (2) wisdom as factual knowledge, (3) wisdom as useful knowledge, and (4) wisdom as successful living. Cumulatively the four criteria might approximate a functional list of individually necessary and jointly sufficient conditions for instantiating the property of being wise.


wisdom; conceptual analysis; comparative philosophy


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