[Editor’s note: for those who are not aware, Wisdom (also known as Wisdom of Solomon) is part of the Old Testament Apocrypha.  It can be found in the Jerusalem Bible or in any Catholic Bible]


 Since the Wisdom of Solomon chapter 2 contains many good MESSIANIC prophecies is there any evidence of its authenticity or at least that it was written before Christ?


I just read Wisdom chapter 2 and I do not see  messianic prophecies there.  Can you give me the verses you see to be messianic and give a quick explanation of why they are messianic?  I want to respond to your question, but I need the list of verses you see as messianic.

In any case, there are some good reasons to not include Wisdom in the Hebrew canon of scripture.  One of these is that this book of wisdom was not written in Hebrew.  The evidence is that it was written in Greek in the first century BC.  It is quite likely it was written BC (as opposed to AD) because it was used by the Christian Church in the third century AD, which would be unlikely if it was written after the time of Christ’s ministry.  However, scholarly opinion is that is was written in the first century BC, or at the absolute earliest the second century BC.

The canon of the Old Testament was closed by about the fourth century BC.  So, it is not surprising that Wisdom was not included.  Besides, there are some passages in this book whose consistency with biblical statements is questionable.  Right there in Wisdom 2:2 is questionable.  “By chance we came to birth, and after this life we shall be as if we had never been. The breath in our nostrils is a puff of smoke, reason a spark from our beating hearts.  This appears to reflect a Greek philosophy and to deny the resurrection.  In Wisdom 3:11 it says of the wives and children of the wicked that “their wives are reckless, their children depraved, their descendants accursed.  This is not something we would find in an inspired passage of scripture.

I would say that there are some quite wise sayings in Wisdom, but the book does not meet the minimum standard to be an inerrant, inspired scripture.

Please, though, if you will, share with me what verses in chapter two you feel are messianic so that I can respond to this.

John Oakes

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