Finding Wisdom through Literature
Wisdom can be found through many sources. In literature, wisdom can be seen, interpreted, and used in every day society. Wisdom literature explains situations in the lives of ancient and even modern society. Through wisdom literature, people can learn a lot about how to handle situations and apply the wisdom to their lives. It can affect everyone. Wisdom is present in almost every type of literature. Wisdom is most often present in the Bible and ancient writings, but it can apply to all situations of people of all races. Wisdom uses the knowledge of life to apply it to all conditions. Although one can argue that knowledge and wisdom are similar, they have been proven to be very different. Knowledge and wisdom cannot be considered similar or else a person might have a bad outlook on life. “Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps [a person] make a living; the other helps [a person] make a life,” said Sandra Carey. Knowledge is nothing but facts that can help a person to know what to do in their life, but wisdom is how a person uses that knowledge to benefit oneself and others (Steup). There are many different definitions of wisdom although they all relate to each other in a way. Wisdom is the knowledge and understanding of the ultimate goals and values of life and how to reach these ultimate goals in the best way possible for all. Wisdom is the knowledge of how to live well. Many believe that knowledge is required to have wisdom, whereas some say that even the most knowledgeable people are not wise (Ryan). It is possible to distinguish knowledge and wisdom through learning and then using that knowledge to apply it to experience. Wisdom literature can be very vague, but it is a type of literature that applies its teachings to life. Wisdom literature takes a different perspective on life. Wisdom is an approach to life, a way to looking at the world, and a way of living. Wisdom literature is mostly seen in types of religions and religious writings (Bratcher). Not all wisdom is morally related though (Curtis 216). Wisdom can also be defined as the ability to succeed; it is the ability to form a plan that helps one achieve the desired goal (Curtis 214). Wisdom is found through religious writings and through the teachings of those particular religions. Some argue that wisdom is secular and that it has nothing to do with theology at all, but it is so easy to find a reference to religion in almost every type of wisdom literature (Perdue 3). Together, the books of wisdom from the Bible can to be an ultimate source of wisdom for all those seeking it (“The Pursuit of Wisdom”). Through reading the Bible, one can learn a lot from just one quote, such as, “Trust in the Lord with all [one’s] heart, and do not rely on [one’s] own insight” (Proverbs 3:5). Through this religious quote, it clearly states that people should not put their trust so much in themselves as they should put it in someone greater. Even though this is not necessarily considered wisdom literature, understanding the morals behind the written wisdom is important to the act of interpreting it. Heart in terms of Hebrew culture refers to the mind. Insight translates to the Hebrew word binah, a synonym for the word chochmah, meaning wisdom (Troxel). Another quote that is found in the Bible helps believers find insight about wisdom, stating, “But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Mortals do not know the way to it, and it is not found in the land of the living. God understands the way to it, and he knows its place. For he looks to the ends of the earth, and sees everything under the heavens” (Job 28:22-24). This passage suggests that wisdom is found through God and to accomplish wisdom, it is necessary to follow Him. The pursuit of wisdom is not simply observation of what works, but obedience to the Torah (Troxel). Much of wisdom literature is found through religion, especially in the Bible. Wisdom is...
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