Proverbs 8:22-23 (LXX) says

The Lord made me the beginning of his ways for his works. He established me before time in the beginning, before he made the earth

How can that be Jesus if Jesus was not made but eternally begotten.

Secondly Colossians 1:19 (NKJV):

For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.

Proverbs 8:26-29 would seem to denote that it was the Father who created, but Proverbs 8:30 seems to say that wisdom participated along with the father in creation (I wanted confirmation on this.)


5 Answers 5


If you look at the many Bible translations, they vary between saying created, brought forth, possessed, acquired and the like. Some of these renderings afford the possibility of an eternal relationship revealed through the act of creation, not the start of something new.

Consider this possible meaning. There is an abstract, divine wisdom that is distinct from any particular universe that God may someday create. Then there is the instantiation of that wisdom in the context of an actual created world. In such a situation, before God created the universe we now live in, He had to decide in what forms righteousness, holiness, love, faith, and all the rest should be realized in the context of that world and its creatures. Not every possible universe is capable of representing all those spiritual qualities.

That is the mystery. The very instantiation of divine concepts of wisdom in preparation for the creation of the world is itself divine! That was the true beginning of the incarnation. The particular wisdom prepared for this world is Jesus. He is both the eternal, universal, uncreated wisdom and the particular wisdom that has a beginning immediately prior to the creation of the material world.

  • 1
    Unique pov in that last paragraph. What denomination teaches this?
    – 007
    Commented Jan 15 at 19:18
  • Not a denomination. This is an extrapolation from something I read by Kant years ago, colored by my experience as a software engineer. Commented Jan 17 at 0:04

There is no indication that Paul is using that Proverb to apply to the Messiah. Even if he did, he could modify it, since in the Hebrew midrashic interpretation one can subjectively allude and interpret anything according to wish. There is no objective form, thus, no right or wrong. If you want to use that Proverb to Jesus, you can, subjectively. Paul is rather echoing the contemporary Jewish view of the Messiah, describing him to be the highest rank of all, as God or the word of God.

"All the prophets prophesied only of the days of the Messiah." [Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 99a]

"A king shall come forth from the sons of Jesse, and the Messiah shall grow up from his sons’ sons." [Targum to Yesha'yahu 11:1 in the Tanakh]

"Thus says the L~rd of Hosts, saying, ‘Behold the Man whose name is the Messiah who shall be revealed.’" [Targum to Z'kharyah 6:12 in the Tanakh]

"Behold the days come says the L~rd that I will raise up unto David a righteous Messiah and he shall reign as King and understand." [Targum to Yirmeyahu 23:5 in the Tanakh]

"The world was created but only for the Messiah." [Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 98b]


There are, indeed, some denominations that seek to use Proverbs 8:22-36 to support their view that the Word of God had a starting point in time, being "brought forth" by God as the first creature created (aeons before becoming the man, Jesus.)

However, it remains true that this passage does, indeed, lend some support to the glory of Jesus Christ. Reformed theologians have always maintained this. They just stick to the Hebrew in showing this, which means that there is no room to even suggest that the pre-incarnate Christ was created! In an article on Proverbs 8:22-31 William Kelly wrote,

"In these verses we have the plainest and the brightest testimony of this book to Christ's glory. Who can fail to discern that he is here viewed as the Wisdom of God?

"The personality of his Wisdom is as marked here as of the Life in 1 John 1. This suits God if it does not man... The remarkable truth here signalised is the Wisdom portrayed with Jehovah before creation, and not merely in that display of almighty power guided by wisdom and goodness.

'Jehovah possessed me in the beginning of His way'. There was Wisdom, not simply in him but with him, as is said of the Word in John 1:1, '...the Word was God' He was no creature of God, but was in being before his works.'

"In addition, we have the following lovely composition of William Cowper (a hymn addressed to the Lord Jesus based on Proverbs 8): 'Ere God had built the mountains, or raised the fruitful hills; Before He filled the fountains, that feed the running rills; In Thee, from everlasting, the Wonderful I Am Found pleasures never wasting, and Wisdom is Thy Name'." [Article in The Bible Treasury January 1900]

That is the sense in which Proverbs 8:22-36 can be about Jesus, as your question asks.

Could there ever be a time when Jehovah was without his Wisdom? Likewise, could there ever be a time when Jehovah was without his Holy Spirit? Do those saying Wisdom is a creation not realise that, by trying to personify Wisdom whilst - at the same time - saying this Wisdom was created - they are saying Jehovah was without Wisdom until he created Wisdom? That is akin to saying that Jehovah was without His Word until He created the Word! Further, if this 'Wisdom' is Christ, who is 'Prudence' (with whom Wisdom dwells - 8:12)? The Holy Spirit?

Just as 'the Word of God' is a title that tells us a truth about Christ, so does 'the Wisdom of God'. But we cannot personify 'Word' any more than we can personify 'Wisdom'! The person had to exist first, before attributes could be ascribed to him!

Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater here; Proverbs 8 teaches us a glorious truth about the inseparable natures of Jehovah and the Word of God.


I wisdom dwell with prudence

I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, before ever the land was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth, before there were any fountains abounding with water. Proverbs 8:12, 23-24

So wisdom was set up very first.

Very first, God made a wise plan, a plan for His Son to be physically born and die on behalf of His creation, and rise from death. All creation comes from His thoughts. And His first thought was that of the wise plan of Himself in Christ taking on death on behalf of His creation, and so there, in His first thoughts, was the physical man Christ.


Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God (John 1:14; 3:16).

He was therefore created in a sense similar to the way we are all "created" or formed of the dust, our spirits being put into our bodies, but God is the Father of His flesh.

Therefore there is no contradiction between Jesus Christ being the Only Begotten Son of the Father in the flesh, and also existing before that time, including being the chief Creator under the direction of the Father.

This is an inherent weakness of the way we have been trained to use the word "create". What was put into what, or what was formed from what? There is no such thing as an exnihilated being.


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