Question: Who was the greatest: Jesus or Solomon?
This verse says Solomon was greater:
1 Kg. 3:12 - "I have given thee [Solomon] a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee."
But these verses say Jesus was greater:
Mt. 12:42 - "The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here."
Lk. 11:31 - "The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here."
Col. 2:2-3 - "Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
How can this not be construde as an apparent contradiction?
Response: There is no contradiction. Jesus and Solomon are very different. Jesus is fully God and fully man. Solomon is fully man and nothing more. Therefore, Jesus is greater and Solomon is lesser.
Also, 1 Kings 3:12 says that Solomon would be unique in that there would never be anyone else like him, but it does not say that Solomon would be the greatest. Nowhere, in any of the English translations that I have seen, are the words "great," "greater," or "greatest," ever used in 1 Kings 3:12. And I checked the following translations: NIV, NASB, NLT, KJV, NKJV, RSV, KJ21, YLT, DARBY.
1 Kings 3:12 says that there would never be anyone "like" Solomon. And what was Solomon like? Solomon was a great king who was given, by God, incredible wisdom, incredible powers of discernment, and incredible wealth. And despite these gifts, Solomon turned away from God. Jesus, on the other hand, also had incredible wisdom and incredible discernment, but He did not turn away from God. And that, too, makes Jesus greater than Solomon.