Knowledge is defined as, “the fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association.” A synonym for knowledge is cognizance. In generations past the level of knowledge in the world would double every several thousand years. Now it is estimated that knowledge doubles every 1½ to 2 years and that period decreases with every generation.
There are major differences between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is attained and deals primarily with the physical and is acquired through the senses. Wisdom on the other hand is a more holistic view that considers the very reasons for existence itself. Wisdom is a gift granted from God that provides an additional dimension, i.e., spiritual awareness. Overall, the pursuit of knowledge generally precedes the desire for, or even the recognition of, wisdom. I mentored a young man once, a physicist who was steeped in knowledge but did not have the desire for nor see the need for wisdom. He was totally engulfed in the physical which focused on observable facts and relationships. He was a tremendous practitioner.
Not everyone desires to acquire wisdom, yet nearly everyone desires to increase their knowledge. Our public educational systems are geared to impart knowledge. It is interesting to note that the most widely read book in the world, while written primarily to impart wisdom, is also the best source book to gain knowledge. Of course this book is the Bible.
So for those that are seeking to increase their level of knowledge, the Bible is the premier sourcebook. Consider that the first man Adam was given much knowledge.
“So God created man in His own image…Then God blessed them, and said to them, ‘…fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’” Genesis 1:27-28
Not all knowledge is good for man, especially if it is sought and gained for selfish purposes.
“Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’” Genesis 2:14-17
And we certainly know the consequences of gaining that knowledge out of time and for the wrong purposes. Adam and Eve gained the knowledge of good and evil and immediately began to die.
Consider for example that man gained the knowledge to exploit the atom and that specific knowledge is the reason most of the world are so concerned about Iran and North Korea now.
While those with wisdom accept the contents of the Bible by faith, those with knowledge accept the contents of the Bible based on observable facts. Therefore, some knowledge seekers will place much confidence in the Bible because one of the Bible’s major and unique features is its ability to establish history and record it before it happens. By the way, this is the only book in the world that can claim this feature.
The introduction of the man named John the Baptist was given nearly 700 years before he was born. Then of course there is the foretelling of the Jewish Messiah. Many specific details were written about Him hundreds of years before His birth. The details included the circumstances surrounding His birth and history has confirmed each detail.
History in advance in the Bible is not limited to the Jews. The rise and fall of mighty world empires such as the Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Grecian, and Roman were all foretold and then verified through history.
Much prophecy had addressed the tiny nation of Israel. The Bible had said Israel would never cease to exist. That nation was completely dispersed from their land in 70 AD by the Romans but was reestablished in their original land in 1948 and it is told that they will remain there forever.
So then, the Bible has proven beyond question to be a credible source book for knowledge. The Bible contains literally hundreds of prophecies that are yet to happen and its readers can have the same level of confidence in those events coming to pass as those prophecies that have already been fulfilled.
The Bible contains numerous prophecies relating to such major contemporary issues as the future of Israel and other foreign policy matters, the future of democracy, the future of world trade and capitalism, the future of all religions including Christianity and Islam, and a host of other pressing issues that make the G-20 look like child’s play.
So we have the opportunity to decrease the time it takes to double our knowledge from 1½ years to something less by studying the contents of the Bible.
By the way, when that physicist that was mentioned earlier subsequently held his first newborn child in his arms he realized that knowledge was a wonderful thing but it couldn’t explain the miracle of life that he was holding and beholding. He confessed that he was ready to ask for wisdom.
“…and God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding…” I Kings 4:29
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God…and it will be given to him.” James 1:5
And notice, by the way, that wisdom is free.