|ICON of Sophia, the Wisdom of God of Kiev.|
IN THE BIBLE, Wisdom refers variously to smart decision-making, wise teaching, a body of literature, one particular book, a remarkable woman, and the person of Jesus. But let’s start at the beginning. Wisdom is originally presented as a divine attribute: an aspect of God to be imitated by those made in God’s likeness. Like other divine characteristics—love, justice, mercy, truth—God desires to share wisdom with us. Solomon is right to pray for it. The Holy Spirit imparts seven gifts to those fully initiated into the church; wisdom is at the top of the list, followed by understanding, knowledge, counsel, courage, reverence, and wonder in God’s presence. Wisdom comes first as the grace that assists in the practice of all other virtues.
The Bible explores this important aspect in many ways. In Hebrew the word refers