The difference between wisdom and knowledge, according to A.A. Hodge

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In his Outlines of Theology, Archibald Alexander Hodge asks the question:

36. How does wisdom differ from knowledge, and wherein does the wisdom of God consist?

His answer to the first part of the question is of great benefit to those for whom it might appear that wisdom and knowledge are but synonyms.

Knowledge is a simple act of the understanding, apprehending that a thing is, and comprehending its nature and relations, or how it is.

Wisdom presupposes knowledge, and is the practical use which the understanding, determined by the will, makes of the material of knowledge.

It may be recalled that the great-great-grandfather of A.A. Hodge, on his mother’s side, was the remarkable founding father Benjamin Franklin, a man filled with great knowledge, but — despite the bits of wisdom to be gleaned from Poor Richard’s Almanack — sorely lacking in Biblical wisdom. Hodge, on the other hand, understood that the Christ of the Scriptures is the source of true wisdom. Another quote attributed to A.A. Hodge is this: “He is wise who knows the sources of knowledge — who knows who has written, and where it is to be found.” May the Lord grant to us not only sound knowledge, but the practical application of it — that is, wisdom — which we may employ in all things to the glory of God!