The Book of Wisdom on the Cosmos and Maybe Even “Cosmos”

My Lenten readings this weekend took me to the Old Testament Book of Wisdom. I wasn’t looking for anything related to the philosophy of science; I was actually following some cross-references related to the mention of political authority in the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans, which led back to Wisdom 6.

Then, reading ahead to the 7th Chapter brought me to the following passage, beginning at verse 15…

Now God grant I speak suitably
and value these endowments at their worth

For he is the guide of Wisdom
and the director of the wise

For both we and our words are in his hand,
as well as all prudence and knowledge of crafts.

For he gave me sound knowledge of what exists,
that I might know the structure of the universe and the force of its elements,

The beginning and the end and the midpoint of times,
the changes in the sun’s course and the variations of the seasons,

Cycles of years, positions of stars,
natures of living things, tempers of beasts,

Powers of the winds and thoughts of human beings,
uses of plants and virtues of roots—

Whatever is hidden or plain I learned,
for Wisdom, the artisan of all, taught me.

Once again, despite what you may have been told, examining fundamental sources reveals that there’s no problem between science and religion — unless people want there to be one.

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