Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com

Difference between wisdom, knowledge and understanding

QUESTION:

I am unclear as to the difference between wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.  Specific bible examples or life ex. would be helpful.  That makes it easier to apply to my life.  Thanks

ANSWER:

Tom:

Thanks for dropping by. You ask a good question. The problem with defining words is that they can mean different things or the same thing depending on the context where they are found. There are three concepts related to your words, and these concepts can carry different labels or words. Let me separate the three concepts.<br><br>

The first concept I shall call wisdom. The Greek term that best fits concept is "sophia". In this context it means to have keen insight into the true nature of things. It is more on the theory side of knowing. Perhaps a good example is the ability to see through the sales pitch of a con artist, or a clever politician. Sophia also means skill, tact, or expertise in something. 

The second concept is understanding, and the Greek word I shall use is "phronesis". It refers to good judgment, or the skill to govern our life in a careful, successful manner. This can be in the practical realm of living life. It is to be able to figure out the best decisions that will lead to the best results for our life. 

An example might be the skill to develop a step by step plan to build a business, or solve a practical problem, or to handle a relationship.

The third concept is knowledge. Maybe the best Greek word is "gnosis". This concept involves the accumulation of information or facts about a certain object or thing. An example would be knowing a lot of facts about the doctrine of salvation, or maybe Marxism, or the Pittsburgh Steelers. The opposite of knowledge would be ignorance.

Again, I remind you that words have different shades of meaning depending on how they are used in a particular context. 

All the best, Tom - and, have you considered taking some courses in our Bible academy? 

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