A passage sometimes used by those who would deny the divinity of Jesus begins with Proverbs 8:22 Jehovah possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. The RSV version of the Bible has an alternative rendering here and uses the word ‘created’ instead of ‘possessed’.
This and previous chapters present wisdom as personified, or speaking of wisdom as if it was a person.
It is claimed that Jesus is actually referred to when wisdom is spoken of here, and the argument then used that the expression created is therefore evidence that Jesus is a created being.
What truth is there in this claim?
The theory comes into direct conflict with Scripture as a whole, which clearly shows His divinity.
This alone makes the claim a ‘non starter’ from the beginning, and is further confirmed by a closer examination of the immediate context, as follows.
1) If Jesus as God’s wisdom was created then God must have been without wisdom before this supposed event.
2) The claim requires us to believe that the Scriptures have stopped speaking about wisdom as an attribute of God, as clearly shown in previous chapters, and that here in this passage wisdom has now become the person of Jesus.
3) God the creator is spoken of here in addition to Wisdom. Jesus therefore could not be Wisdom as the Scriptures make it clear that He was the Creator (John 1:3, Colossians 1:16).
4) The Hebrew word used for wisdom chokmah here is feminine in gender and wisdom is personified as a woman. This leaves the theory in some incongruity when applied to Jesus.
5) The Scriptures specifically confirm the eternal existence of Jesus – that is to say, as God He had no beginning. (Isaiah 9:6, Micah 5:2, John 1:1, Heb. 7:3, Isaiah 48:12 with Rev. 22:13).
For further Scripture relating to the divinity of Jesus, see the posting dated December 28th 2011 ‘The Divinity of Jesus’ on this website.