God’s Wisdom, the Law, and the Good News (Romans 10:4-10)

This essay on Romans 10:4-10 was originally intended to be included in my book Wisdom Christology but was dropped due to the publisher’s space limitations.  I am posting a slightly revised version of it here as a pdf file via this link.

In Romans 10:6-8 Paul appropriates and interprets Deut 30:12-14 in a way that may sound strange to our modern ears. If we proceed carefully, however, Paul’s exposition will give us insight into God’s wisdom in Christ.

I had also drafted an essay on Gal 4:1-7 which I intend to post here in the future.

The original book, without the Romans and Galatians chapters, is available on Amazon.

The first chapter of Wisdom Christology is available as a pdf file at the Westminster Theological Seminary bookstore site.  You can find it here.  Click on “sample pages.”

Which Jesus and Which Wisdom?

Many recognize that  “wisdom” (the Greek word is sophia) can be a rich resource for contemporary life. Recently, it has become a popular motif for:

However, there are hidden dangers, and a tendency to drift away from what the New Testament documents actually teach about wisdom.  The movement known as gnosticism showed the greatest interest in “Sophia” or Lady Wisdom in the post-New Testament period.  Recently some streams of theology have been enamored with the gnostic “Gospel of Thomas.”

Because it is such a needed virtue, and because a metaphor like “Lady Wisdom” is so powerful, it is critical that biblical wisdom be interpreted faithfully. One of the best selling books on the theme of Jesus and wisdom, reinterprets Jesus as a “wisdom teacher” in a broad and sweeping tradition of ancient wisdom (sophia perrenis).   The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind–A New Perspective on Christ and His Message by Cynthia Bourgeault provides a novel focus on Jesus as Wisdom.   Wisdom JesusThis book and the ideas behind it have become increasingly popular.   This very different approach to Jesus and wisdom highlights the importance of a careful reading of the New Testament, and the relationship between Sophia (wisdom) and the gospel (1 Cor 1:24, 1 Cor 1:30). For those who have read Bourgeault’s book, or who want a New Testament framework for thinking about “Sophia,” see Wisdom Christology, How Jesus Becomes God’s Wisdom for Us (Explorations in Biblical Theology)
Comparing the two books should stimulate an important conversation about the nature of the wisdom Jesus brings to us.