The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Wisdom, Book of

Edition of 1879. See also Book of Wisdom on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

WISDOM, Book of, one of the so-called apocryphal books of the Old Testament. In the Septuagint the book bears the title Wisdom of Solomon, and many of the early church fathers regarded Solomon as its author. This opinion still prevails in the Roman Catholic church, by which the book is held as canonical. It is regarded by almost all Protestant theologians as the work of an unknown Alexandrian Jew, compiled in Greek, between 145 and 80 B. C. It consists of three parts: in the first (ch. i. to v.) the author enjoins wisdom to the rulers of the earth, and praises it as a guide to immortality; in the second (ch. vi. to ix.) he shows by what means wisdom may be obtained, and dwells on its essence and blessings; in the third (ch. x. to xix.) he reviews the effects of wisdom in the history of Israel. A few theologians have ascribed these three different parts to three different authors. There are numerous special commentaries on the book, among others by Bauermeister (Göttingen, 1828) and Grimm (Leipsic, 1837). The best edition of it is in Fritsche's Libri Apocryphici Veteris Testamenti (Leipsic, 1871).