Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Wisdom and Love: An untraditional, Biblical perspective

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools [a] despise wisdom and discipline."
From the biblical book of Proverbs
A lot of people interpret this to mean religion is the core of knowledge. I don't think this is the case. Religion is a means to an end - God - not the end itself.
Here is my "translation" of the above verse:
"Respect for love is the beginning of knowledge,
But morally deficient people despise wisdom and discipline."
The note you see there, "a," was put there by the people at BibleGateway.com.
I think it's important to understand what Biblical writers mean when they mention "fools" and "fear." A "fool," as the notes says, is a morally deficient person, and "fear" means "respect." A "fool" is not someone with a low IQ, and "fear" doesn't mean "I do what they say because I have to."
One major problem I have with some people's understanding of the Bible is that they don't realize the words were translated from Hebrew. Or rather, they act as if their version of the Bible is the only one that is good, and as if synonyms can't be used.
But when you translate from a foreign language, that's what happens.
As for my substitution of "Love" for "LORD"... here is my rationale for that.
"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."
1 John 4:8
And what is love?
" Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
1 Corinthians 13:4
So many forget this simple, beautiful passage. The question "what is love" has been asked in pop music, in literature, and in churches. The answer is right there.
"He who seeks good finds goodwill,
but evil comes to him who searches for it."
Proverbs 11:27