Original Research - Special Collection: Biblical Theological investigations into the attribute of Gods wisdom

Lived experiences of the ‘Wisdom of God’ according to 1 Corinthians 2

Dirk G. Van der Merwe
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 58, No 1 | a3041 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v58i1.3041 | © 2024 Dirk G. van der Merwe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 November 2023 | Published: 29 February 2024

About the author(s)

Dirk G. Van der Merwe, Department of New Testament, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa; and Department of Christian Spirituality, School of Humanities, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


This article investigates the theological concept Wisdom of God, which could appear vague to many Christians. Paul refers 17 times to the concept wisdom in the first epistle to the Corinthians. The first four chapters include 16 references to wisdom, and then again in 12:8, where Paul uses it with reference to a spiritual gift. The nine occurrences of wisdom in chapter one exposes a dialectical approach in which the ‘Wisdom of God’ is opposed to the ‘wisdom of the world’. In the second chapter Paul compares the content and character of these two types of wisdom. This article predominantly focuses on chapter 2 by pursuing different perspectives for the concept of the wisdom of God. The investigation starts with a brief overview of the Corinthian circumstances to contextualise the reasoning of the research, followed by a discourse analysis of the Greek text to determine corresponding semantic networks. These networks provide headings for the research. Thirdly, Paul is assessed as protagonist of, and intermediary for, communicating this wisdom. Fourthly, the focus falls on the reception of the ‘wisdom of God’. Fifthly, the article outlines the ‘role’ and ‘function’ of the Spirit in the revelation of the ‘wisdom of God’. Sixthly, the focus is on how wisdom is received. Finally, the research examines features used by Paul to communicate the ‘wisdom of God’ as lived experiences.

Contribution: The concept, activity, and lived experience of the ‘wisdom of God’, is understood to be the epistemology to Christian existence, living and experience of God. This article investigates and highlights the ‘presence of God’ living in Christ as righteousness, redemption, and holiness (sanctification).


Corinthian circumstances; Paul; wisdom of God; Holy Spirit; mind of Christ; lived experiences

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