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Fausset's Bible Dictionary

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Greek - philosophy

The Greek manifold gropings after truth (Acts 17:27) and the failure of even the divine law of Moses to appease conscience and give peace were the appointed preparation for the Christian scheme, which secures both to the believer. Holiness toward God, righteousness toward man, and the control of the passions, rest on love, not merely to an abstract dogma, but to the person of Him who first loved us and bought us at the cost of His own blood. Though "foolishness to the Greek, Christ crucified is the wisdom of God" (1 Corinthians 1; 2). Nothing but divine interposition could have given a nation, cradled amidst the superstitions of Egypt and surrounded in maturity by the Canaanite idolaters, and in no way noted for learning and culture, a pure monotheistic religion, bringing man into holy fellowship with the personal loving God and Father.

Moses' ritual trained them for the spiritual religion which was its end. What Greek philosophy in vain tried to effect through the intellect, to know God, one's self, and our duty to God, man, and ourselves, and to do from the heart what we know, God by His Spirit revealing His Son Jesus Christ in the heart thoroughly effects by the motive of love (2 Corinthians 10:4-5; Colossians 2:3). After Nebuchadnezzar's capture of Jerusalem, Thales traveled into Egypt and introduced philosophy thence into his native land, Greece. His theory that water was the first principle of all things, and that God was the Spirit who formed all things out of water, is evidently derived from primitive tradition (Genesis 1:2). "the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."

Thales brought also from Egypt the doctrine of the immortality of the soul. Brucker (Hist. Philos.) infers from the unconnected dogma-like form of the utterances of the seven sages of Greece that their wisdom was the fruit of tradition rather than independent reasonings. It is striking that the higher we trace the religions of the old world the more pure and uncorrupted they are found. The nearer we approach to the sources of Eastern tradition the more conspicuous appears the radiance of the heavenly light of original revelation; we find no mortals yet exalted to divinities, no images in their temples, no impure or cruel rites (Juvenal, Sat. 13:46; Romans 1:21); in the great pyramid on idolatrous symbol appears.

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from Fausset Bible Dictionary, 1949. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. "Entry for 'Philosophy'". "Fausset Bible Dictionary".
<>. 1949.


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