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Wisdom and Knowledge
Cowper wrote, “Wisdom and knowledge far from being one, have ofttimes no connection.”
And Knowledge Shall Be Increased
Daniel’s prophecy has been fulfilled (Daniel 12:4). Never have so many people known so much. Everyone is far more informed on a wide range of topics than their forefathers were. Most people, in the western world at any rate, receive an education. A large percentage receive higher education. Before the Industrial Revolution a child would work at a very early age and be an old man by thirty. Opportunity for personal advancement was almost nil. Technology has placed in the hands of modern man great stores of wealth in return for intellectual achievement.
The Importance of Knowledge
Another of the priestly responsibilities was to teach the knowledge of God – yet the priests who taught for hire neglected in this duty also:
I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; that in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge,... so that ye come behind in no gift. (1 Corinthians 1:4-7)
Facts Without Love
Facts are by definition not “vicious,” however, when a dispute arises between two persons, facts can become vicious. For example, it would be factual to describe me as short, fat, not particularly pretty and uneducated. However there would be something vicious in that description even though factual. In deeply profound factual discussions, one can easily lost patience with one’s opponent!
New Testament Synonyms: Wisdom, knowledge
σοφία, φρόνησις, γνῶσις, ἐπίγνωσις.
Is All This Academic Work Really Necessary?
John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”
nō, nol ́ej (in Hebrew chiefly ידע, yādha‛, noun דּעת, da‛ath; in Greek γινώσκω, ginṓskō, οῖδα, oída; “to know fully,” ἐπιγινώσκω, epiginṓskō, noun γνώσις, gnṓsis ἐπίγνωσις, epignōsis): Knowledge strictly is the apprehension by the mind of some fact or truth in accordance with its real nature; in a personal relation the intellectual act is necessarily conjoined with the element of affection and will (choice, love, favor, or, conversely, repugnance, dislike, etc.). Knowledge is distinguished from “opinion” by its greater certainty. The mind is constituted with the capacity for knowledge, and the desire to possess and increase it. The character of knowledge varies with its object. The senses give knowledge of outward appearances; the intellect connects and reasons about these appearances, and arrives at general laws or truths; moral truth is apprehended through the power inherently possessed by men of distinguishing right and wrong in the light of moral principles; spiritual qualities require for their apprehension spiritual sympathy (“They are spiritually judged,” 1 Corinthians 2:14). The highest knowledge possible to man is the knowledge of God, and while there is that in God’s infinity which transcends man’s power of comprehension (Job 11:7, 9), God is knowable in the measure in which He has revealed Himself in creation (Romans 1:19-20, “that which is known of God,” etc.), and supremely in Jesus Christ, who alone perfectly knows the Father, and reveals Him to man (Matthew 11:27). This knowledge of God in Jesus Christ is “life eternal” (John 17:3). Knowledge is affirmed of both God and man, but with the wide contrast that God’s knowledge is absolute, unerring, complete, intuitive, embracing all things, past, present, and future, and searching the inmost thoughts of the heart (Psalms 139:1, 23); whereas man’s is partial, imperfect, relative, gradually acquired, and largely mixed with error (“Now we see in a mirror darkly ... in part,” 1 Corinthians 13:12). All these points about knowledge are amply brought out in the Scripture usage of the terms. A large part of the usage necessarily relates to natural knowledge (sometimes with a carnal connotation, as Genesis 4:1, 17), but the greatest stress also is laid on the possession of moral and spiritual knowledge (e.g. Psalms 119:66; Proverbs 1:4, 7, 22, 29; 8:10, etc.; Luke 1:77; Romans 15:14; 2 Peter 1:5-6). The highest knowledge, as said, is the knowledge of God and Christ, and of God’s will (Hosea 6:6; Romans 11:33; Ephesians 1:17; 4:13; Philippians 1:9; 3:8; Colossians 1:9-10, etc.). The moral conditions of spiritual knowledge are continually insisted on (“If any man willeth to do his will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God,” John 7:17). On the. other hand, the pride of intellectual knowledge is condemned; it must be joined with love (“Knowledge puffeth up, 1 Corinthians 8:1). The stronger term epignōsis is used to denote the full and more perfect knowledge which is possessed in Christ, the conditions of which are humility and love. Of knowledge as connoting favor, choice, on the part of God, there are many examples (Psalms 1:6, Yahweh knoweth the way of the righteous”; Galatians 4:9, “know God, or rather to be known by God”; compare Romans 8:29, “whom he fore-knew”). See FOREKNOWLEDGE.
By this, according to Sir William Hamilton,” is understood the mere possession of truths,” and the possession of those truths about which our faculties have been previously employed, rather than any separate power of the understanding by which truth is perceived.” I know no authority,” says Dr. Reid, “besides that of Mr. Locke. for calling knowledge a faculty, any more than for calling opinion a faculty.” Knowledge is of two kinds, viz. historical or empirical, and philosophical, or scientific or rational. Historical is the knowledge that the thing is, philosophical is the knowledge why or how it is. The first is called historical, because in this knowledge we know only the fact — only that that phenomenon is; for history is properly only the narration of a consecutive series of phenomena in time, or the description of a co-existent series of phenomena in space; the second philosophical, to imply that there is a way of knowing things more completely than they are known through simple experiences mechanically accumulated in memory or heaped up in cyclopaedias. It seeks for wide and deep truths, as distinguished from the multitudinous detailed truths which the surface of things and actions presents, and therefore a knowledge of the highest degree of generality.” The truth of philosophy,” says Herbert Spencer, bears the same relation to the highest scientific truths that each of these bears to lower scientific truths. As each widest generalization of science comprehends and consolidates the narrower generalizations of its own division, so the generalizations of philosophy comprehend and consolidate the widest generalizations of science. It is therefore a knowledge the extreme opposite in kind to that which experience first accumulates. It is the final product of that process which begins with a mere colligation of crude observations, goes on establishing propositions that are broader and more separated from particular cases, and ends in universal propositions. Or, to bring the definition to its simplest and clearest form, knowledge of the lowest kind is ununified knowledge; science is partially unified knowledge; philosophy is completely unified knowledge.” This term, however, is associated with the greatest problems and controversies of philosophy, all of which are involved in the discussion of what is meant by knowledge. The different problems, therefore, of the philosophy of mind will be found discussed under those names that severally suggest them. — Watts, On the Mind; Dr. John Edwards, Uncertainty, Deficiency, and Corruption of Human Knowledge; Reid, Intellectual Powers of Man; Stennett, Sermon on Acts t 16:24, 25: Upham, Intellectual Philosophy; Douglas, On the Advancement of Society; Robert Hall, Works; Amer. Library of Useful Knowledge. SEE FAITH AND REASON; SEE IDEALISM; SEE JUDGMENT; SEE MORAL PHILOSOPHY; SEE RELIGIOUS PHILOSOPHY.
Grace and Knowledge
Gnosticism (from Ancient Greek: γνωστικός gnostikos, “having knowledge,” from γνῶσις gnōsis, knowledge) is a modern term categorizing a collection of ancient religions whose adherents shunned the material world – which they viewed as created by the demiurge – and embraced the spiritual world. Gnostic ideas influenced many ancient religions that teach that gnosis (variously interpreted as knowledge, enlightenment, salvation, emancipation or ‘oneness with God’) may be reached by practicing philanthropy to the point of personal poverty, sexual abstinence (as far as possible for hearers, entirely for initiates) and diligently searching for wisdom by helping others. However, practices varied among those who were Gnostic.