The Tao & Wisdom of the Bible

Lao Tzu, author of a book of Chinese wisdom 2,500+ years ago, appears to have produced a volume almost idea for idea the same as Biblical wisdom literature, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, with some additional ideas from Psalms. And they were both written B.C.E. as were so many great works of philosophical thought.

Consider the word Wisdom. Proverbs speaks of Wisdom as a person, consequently theologians identify this with the Holy Spirit, the internalized person of God who guides and leads our path in life if we choose to go His way.

The ideogram TAO is made up of several different characters: 1, the character of a leader, 2, feet running and 3, then stopping, with the meaning to advance. A sage allows his higher mind to control whether he moves or stops. Through wisdom he knows how to make good decisions and he advances and so do his followers. The learner is to seek the Tao giving him the power to live profitably.

In Proverbs Wisdom is considered the be-all and end-all necessary for Man’s pursuit of a good life. From Proverbs 3:

13 Happy is the man that finds wisdom, and the man that gets understanding.
14 For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
16 Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honor.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retains her.
19 The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.
20 By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.

Wisdom is also female gender, whose function is to be the ideal support in the shadows, guiding, self-effacing, and supportive which is the standard view of women in both Old and New Testaments and also of Holy Spirit.

Because the meaning of all the ideograms together implies the proper method or path, Tao is also called the Way, or more precisely “the Way the universe works.” And a person with Tao becomes the Sage. In the New Testament Jesus identifies Himself as the Way and the gift of Wisdom (I Corinthians 12:8) is the ability to understand how God works, His gift. There appears to be no difference in substance with the sole exception throughout of the dominance of a single personal deity.

Oddly enough the term Lao Tzu is Chinese for Teacher. The writer of books of Wisdom in the Bible is also identified as the Prophet or the Teacher. Frequently major works have general “authors” who may or may not be identified personally. Lao Tzu may be an individual or perhaps simply a title for a type. Thus the two books match in many ways.

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