“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing”
If you have read anything of the Gnostic religion, you have probably come across Sophia, the Aeon who is the incarnation of the creator’s wisdom. In some gnostic cosmologies, she is credited with creating the physical realm in a cosmic accident. Does the bible have anything to say about this enigmatic divine being? You may be surprised to learn that the answer is yes:
Does Sophia not cry out, raising her voice in understanding? She stands at the pinnacle of the high places, and in the places where paths cross. She cries at the gates of the city, and stands outside the open doors.
“I call to you, people; I raise my voice to all mankind. You who are simple, gain wisdom. You who are foolish, have an understanding heart. Listen, for I will speak of wondrous things, and my lips shall speak the truth, for wickedness is an abomination to them. All the words that come out of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing deceitful or perverse in them. They are plain to one who has understanding, and self evident to those who have knowledge. Receive my instruction rather than silver, and choose knowledge before gold. For wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing that you desire can compare to it.
I, Sophia, live with prudence, and seek out knowledge by wit and innovation. To respect the Lord is to hate evil. I abhor pride, arrogance, evil, and deception. Counsel and sound judgement are mine to give. I have understanding and strength. With my help, kings reign and princes issue just decrees. Princes, nobles, and all the judges of the earth, govern by me. I love those who love me, and those who seek me before they need me shall find me. Riches and honor come from me, and enduring wealth and righteousness. My fruit is better than pure gold, and my yield surpasses choice silver. I will show you the way of righteousness, and the path of justice, bestowing a rich inheritance on those that love me and filling their treasuries.
The Lord brought me forth as his first creation, before his deeds at the dawn of time. I was born from the eternal in the beginning, before the earth was created. Before there were oceans, I was born, when there were no springs overflowing with water. Before the mountains were pushed up, before the hills, I was birthed, when he had yet to make the earth, the fields, or any of its substance. I was there when he created the heavens, and set a compass upon the face of the depths; when he established the clouds above, and strengthened the fountains of the deep; when he gave the sea its boundaries, and marked out the the foundations of the earth. I was constantly at his side, raised by him, and I was filled with wonder day after day, always rejoicing in his presence. I exulted over the entire earth, and delighted in mankind.
Now, therefore, listen to me, my children. Those who keep my ways shall be blessed. Listen to my teaching, and be wise; do not ignore it. Blessed is the man that hears me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at my door. For whoever finds me finds life, and shall win favor from the Lord. But he that sins against me wrongs his own soul, and all who hate me love death.”
— Proverbs 8
For more on Sophia in the bible, see: The Invitation of Sophia