I notice the fourth revision of the question "Why is the Trinity a Trinity?" changed this paragraph:

However, while talking with a friend earlier about Wisdom (from Proverbs), I mentioned that Wisdom could almost be considered a fourth Person. This suddenly made me wonder why there are exactly three Persons.


However, while talking with a friend earlier about the Trinity, I began to wonder why there are exactly three Persons.

The revision history notes:

Edited out the point about Wisdom, since it is not an issue for this question and is causing a small bit of confusion. (see comment)

Several points:

  1. I can't actually see the comment. (Was it deleted?)
  2. I don't really see any evidence that there was confusion on this point. (I recall some comments linking to "Who is Wisdom in Proverbs?", but I can't find them anymore. Were they deleted too?)
  3. The paragraph is really superfluous now and the question has lost some of its charm. Worse, in my opinion, it amounts to a change in the author's intended meaning. According to the earlier revisions, the conversation with the friend was about Proverbs with the Trinity being a side point, but the current revision says it was about the Trinity.
  4. The question is now a duplicate of "Do we know there are only three persons in the “Trinity”?" Even before the edit, the questions were borderline duplicates. The thing that distinguished them was the suggestion of an actual candidate for another Person. I would have prefered an edit that made more suggestions, if anything.
  5. The edit was followed up with an edit to an answer that removed the following paragraph:

    Wisdom is Son. This is how it is understood by Holy Fathers. Also this is how it is used in e.g. Liturgy of Saint John the Chrysostome.

    Again, the revision history indicated confusion, but the only evidence that remains is a comment:

    <Obsolete comments removed.> – El'endia Starman♦

  6. Perhaps I'm biased, but I object to this change because it reduces the relevance of my answer to the question. I spent a good deal of time researching and thinking about my answer and it's frustrating to have the question changed out from under it. I have a separate answer to the (now) duplicate question, but I'm not interested in working on it if the other question is going to be altered as well.

Did the question require an edit?

4 Answers 4


In a mixed Protestant / Catholic environment, using the capitalized proper name Wisdom is a little confusing because each group habitually recognizes a different usage in this. That being said, I believe the edit took a backwards tack in removing stuff that was relevant to the question and better explained where the OP was coming from.

I think it should be reverted. It didn't cause any apparent confusion among the majority of responses and the confusion that did crop up was centered over the wording of an answer, not necessarily the question. If a clarification about the usage of "Wisdom" is necessary either for the original OP or other people reviewing the question then the answer space would be the best place to make a clarification.

The points raised here in meta about the question now being a light weight duplicate instead of an interesting issue that needed a unique thoughtful answer make sense. Changing a question that late in the game is not generally a good idea unless time and discussion have revealed an issue that would otherwise cause the question to be closed.


I think the edit removes the author's intent. Although not explicitly stated it is clear to me that the OP wants Wisdom to be addressed.

Since the edit was made by someone who has also answered we should lend more scrutiny to it.

We should bring in the OP and the editor to explain what they think.


Yeah, it's a little confusing to capitalize "Wisdom" when referring to the Bible and mean Lady Wisdom or Wisdom as a person.

Most people* who hear Wisdom in conjunction with the Bible think of the Book of Wisdom. I only knew what he was talking about because I read his other question.

In any event, I think they were chatting about this

  • Ah. That's a good point I had not considered. However, would not the appropriate edit be to quote the relevant Proverb(s)? Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 18:58
  • yeah, I don't think the edit helped clarify things
    – Peter Turner Mod
    Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 19:03
  • 2
    In Protestant circles its quite common to capitalize Wisdom in this context, but I did recognize the issue when I first saw the edit. The edit however was a poor fix for the issue: it could have been clarified what was being referred to without taking all the spices out of the recipe.
    – Caleb
    Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 20:57

The edit had nothing to do with your answer.

The deleted comments were that the inclusion of that phrase was causing an off-topic argument in the comments of this answer. I had no problem with the use of "Wisdom" that Caleb and Peter mention. However, the assertion that Wisdom was a fourth person was inviting unnecessary correction. In another comment, El'endia Starman agreed that his assertion about Wisdom was causing needless argument, and supported the edit.

The questions are not duplicates. "Do we know there are only three persons in the Trinity?" is asking for proof that there are only three Persons in the Trinity. This question is asking why there are three persons. It's barely constructive, and the fact that it encourages additional speculation, this time about Wisdom, does not help.

There is no connection between the number of votes your answer received and the edit. I posted my answer at 29, and received two upvotes 5 and 8 minutes later (at 34 and 37). You had posted your answer 4 hours earlier, received one upvote, and received no other upvotes until you drew attention to your answer here on meta. That seems a bit unfair, since I too "spent a good deal of time researching and thinking about my answer".

  • 3
    The original question did not cause any confusion in August 2012 and none of the first six answers raised any issues. The first time an issue came up it was in regard to your answer and the deleted comments were directed at the wording of your answer not that of the original question. If something needs clarifying, I think it would be better to clarify inside the context of your answer. If you think the questioner or the readers are or might be confused on an issue, clarify it in an answer. In the mean time the other answerers have already engaged the question on its original terms.
    – Caleb
    Commented Apr 18, 2013 at 12:08
  • @Caleb What you are saying is not true. Bring up the comments. None of them had anything to do with the wording of my answer.
    – Alypius
    Commented Apr 18, 2013 at 16:24
  • I did bring up the comments and composed my remarks in light of them. The thread starts out with El questioning the bit you now removed from your answer, and starts off "If Wisdom is the Son, then what about […]". The thread goes on from there. This was about the wording of your answer, not that of the question.
    – Caleb
    Commented Apr 18, 2013 at 22:39
  • @Caleb "I did bring up the comments and composed my remarks in light of them. The thread starts out with El questioning the bit you now removed from your answer," -- Except that wasn't my answer. It was zefciu's answer. My answer was never edited, and had nothing to do with Wisdom.
    – Alypius
    Commented Apr 18, 2013 at 22:46
  • 2
    I stand corrected on the date/author issue, and sorry for the confusion. However I stand behind the basic principles my response was grounded on. Only one answer felt the need to clarify that issue and the half dozen others did not. If you think the question can be well answered without clarifying that, do as you did in your answer and let it alone. In the mean time you would have done better to not mess with the substance of other people's questions or answers. The question was not in danger of being closed, and what answerers see that needs clarification should be their own judgement call.
    – Caleb
    Commented Apr 22, 2013 at 8:58
  • You assumed I edited because of "the capitalized proper name Wisdom", and were "confused" about my motivations (they had nothing to do with my answer or Jon's answer). You "composed your remarks in light of" these errors. I corrected them without disagreeing with you (honestly, this question isn't worth meta, Jon should have just reverted instead of assuming it was something personal, which you bought into without bothering to check), and instead of replying "oh, I get it", you framed your response like I was arguing against you or proposing something that I wasn't (not the first time).
    – Alypius
    Commented Apr 28, 2013 at 18:32
  • 3
    You make it sound like I'm out to get you or something. It really doesn't matter one way or another what your motivations were nor does my answer to this meta issue even mention them. I commented on the the actions that were taken, how in my opinion they were not the best course to take, and suggested how the situation could have been handled. I didn't "buy into" anything being personal in the first place but in any event bringing potentially controversial actions to meta is the right thing to do.
    – Caleb
    Commented Apr 30, 2013 at 11:09
  • You thought and said the edit had something to do with the answer I gave and the capitalization of wisdom. That's called motivation. Are you blind to the fact that anyone reading your post will assume I edited to fit my answer at the cost of Jon's? I cleared my edit with El, who is both the author and a moderator♦. You came along after the fact, didn't care to check the other side of the story with El or I, gave your own testimony and got just about all the facts wrong, and then you offered your judgement (which you "stand behind", obviously). As I said, not the first time. It adds up.
    – Alypius
    Commented Apr 30, 2013 at 19:16

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