Wisdom Christians Essay

928 words - 4 pages

After the death of Jesus Christ, many different people were touched by his teachings and regarded him as the Messiah, the deliverer of human sin. These people became known as the earliest groups of Christians, however not all of them were in agreement of the meaning of Christ’s message and the way that he wanted them to live. Some of these disagreements are shown in Paul’s letter to Corinth in 1 Corinthians in the Early Christian reader. Paul believes that his euangelion or good news is what all Christians should follow and the philosophy of other groups including the Wisdom Christians should be disregarded. In Paul’s eyes there is a completely negative view of the Wisdom Christians but their view of wisdom can be examined by looking at Plato’s Apology as translated by Mark Kremer. Plato and Paul may have been alive in different time periods but both had distinct and sometimes similar views on the topics of the meaning, the use and the credibility of wisdom.
One of the most prominent ideas that Socrates states and has been emulated Plato’s philosophy is the indication that there are truths in not knowing as indicated here: “… the one of you, human beings, is wisest, who, just like Socrates, realizes that in truth, he is worth nothing in regard to wisdom” (Apology, 23b1-3). These Greek philosophers are able to admit that there are a lot of things in the world that are still unknown and they believe that this is what makes them wise. They do not try to find a quick explanation for things that occur yet they ponder possibilities and question norms of society and the legal systems in place. From this the Wisdom Christians seem to use Plato’s critical eye and instead of blindly accepting everything Paul has to say they question him. Paul follows a different philosophy where his belief is governed solely by faith as seen here: For since, I the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided … to save those who believe” (Early Christian Reader, 1 Cor. 1.21). The two philosophies can be compared in the sense that Paul also admits that he does not know everything but instead of pursuing knowledge he is willing to accept things as they are simply by the will of God.
Plato and Paul both have the idea that wisdom can be progressed and agree that an aspect of wisdom is being enlightened. First Plato shows this through Socrates when he goes to look for men that are wiser than him here: “And by the dog, Athenian men … the ones with the best reputations appeared to me to be nearly the most deficient … whereas others with paltrier reputations appeared to be men more suited to having prudence” (Apology, 22a1-6)....

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