What do Christians think about philosophers before Christ, like Plato and Aristotle?

What do Christians think about philosophers before Christ, like Plato and Aristotle? It's a genuine question, I just started reading philosophy, and got curious, as I would consider the teaching of Christ as sort of a philosophy too.

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  1. 5 months ago
    Anonymous

    Christians historically have loved those guys. Saint Thomas Aquinas so respected Aristotle he called him “The Philosopher” in his works. Christians saw those guys as teaching the right thing but incomplete without Christ’s doctrine.

    • 5 months ago
      Anonymous

      good post

    • 5 months ago
      Anonymous

      This is a good summary. There's obviously arguments over this stemming from different ideological perspectives, but there is a good quote that "as the Second Temple israelites circumcised Greek philosophy through their tradition, the first Christians baptized it through their faith in Christ".

      The early church fathers were men who were educated in both Hellenistic philosophy and the Torah. The language of greek philosophy was very well equipped in the environment of the 1st century, even if you were israeli, to elucidate the concepts of Christianity. This is still a living legacy of church writing.

  2. 5 months ago
    Anonymous

    Christ undoubtedly learned from them. Remember his ministry started in his young 30s and lived in the hellenistic world. Reading the Bible you can only conclude that the hellenisation of the area was a precursor to Christ's ministry.

  3. 5 months ago
    Anonymous

    Jesus didn't have a philosophy.

    • 5 months ago
      Anonymous

      But Christ is philosophy
      In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God.

      • 5 months ago
        Anonymous

        What is the philosophy? You just sound schizophrenic.

        • 5 months ago
          Anonymous

          read the book and find out

          • 5 months ago
            Anonymous

            The Bible is not one book, it's a conglomeration of many from various times and places, and I have read many of them including the entire NT. Jesus does not have a coherent philosophy.

          • 5 months ago
            Anonymous

            not that guy. I have some quoteables I made a while back precisely for this occasion. feel free to use.

          • 5 months ago
            Anonymous

            Don't you have hospitals to napalm?

          • 5 months ago
            Anonymous

            >Peter
            Such a name is unfitting for a person, and I hesitate to use that designation, which looks like a cartoon character and probably acts like one irl

  4. 5 months ago
    Anonymous

    Christians respect greek philosophers more so than pagan larpers

    • 5 months ago
      Anonymous

      Christians have no concept of respect.

      • 5 months ago
        Anonymous

        And your average atheist does?

    • 5 months ago
      Anonymous

      This. Why does it seem like all the “pagan” philosophers just admit that pantheon stuff is a trick for the plebs and embrace monotheism?

      • 5 months ago
        Anonymous

        >t. Never read any of them

        • 5 months ago
          Anonymous

          Like Plato or Aristotle?

          • 5 months ago
            Anonymous

            Yes, and I’m referring to Plato primarily. If you actually read him you would know that your are misrepresenting him severely. Nothing he said indicates an embrace of “monotheism”, he was a polytheistic monist. The reason he seems this way to you is because the early Christians ripped him off so much that it seems they hardly had anything original of their own.

          • 5 months ago
            Anonymous

            >if you actually read him you would have the same exact view as I do
            You didn’t read hard enough

          • 5 months ago
            Anonymous

            Belief in the Demiurge (Creator) is not monotheism, which by definition entails an exclusion of all gods except for the chief one. It's easier to argue that Christians are polytheists than that Plato and Aristotle were monotheists.

          • 5 months ago
            Anonymous

            >I'm being a heretic and no-one can stop me!

          • 5 months ago
            Anonymous

            correct, dead orthodoxy with no enforcement or respect for said enforcement

          • 5 months ago
            Anonymous

            Again, you didn’t read hard enough. Plato is designed to filter those who cannot understand.

  5. 5 months ago
    Anonymous

    A: Christ is not a philosopher
    B: Plato and Aristotle plaid massive roles in the development of Christian theology and education from ancient times straight through to the modern day. Of course there's nothing in their philosophy that will actually lead you to Salvation but understanding the world God made for us and its mechanics is a good thing (fundies and such types are poor Christians, love born of ignorance and fear is not love. God understands and loves us completely; we should aspire in all things to be like Him).

    • 5 months ago
      Anonymous

      >Christ is not a philosopher
      Maybe not in the strict sense, but if you approach the Bible the way you would a dialogue, then clearly there's a lot of philosophical content there.

      • 5 months ago
        Anonymous

        Yeah if you make up shit any book can be about whatever you want.
        You moronic bud?

        • 5 months ago
          Anonymous

          The only moronic person is the one who is unable to see beyond categorization. How is Christ any less philosophical than any other figure who taught metaphysical principles and ethics?

          • 5 months ago
            Anonymous

            Inspired knowledge is not the same thing as knowledge achieved by logical reasoning. To think otherwise would imply that you could philosophize your way to Salvation without ever having recieved the Gospel. The difference between Christ's Wisdom (Sophia) and the reasoning of philosophers is the difference between experience and theory as Aristotle talks about in his Metaphysics.

      • 5 months ago
        Anonymous

        Christ was more of a visionary artist than a philosopher. Speaks in parables and uses images to teach, which are the units of art.

  6. 5 months ago
    Anonymous

    Catholicism is still in love with Aristotle and respect Plato, both were seen as virtuous pagans, but I've seen some recent Evangelical types reject them or use them to argue medieval Christians were heretical or whatever. Evangelicals are weird.

  7. 5 months ago
    Anonymous

    Plato's Republic in particular heavily inspired early Christian theology with its emphasis on developing the soul and striving for the Good even when contemporary law opposes it. Augustine drew heavily from it in his works. Werner Jaeger gives a good summary in Paideia.
    Christianity did not arise in a vacuum.

  8. 5 months ago
    Anonymous

    Star Wars Jesus

  9. 5 months ago
    Anonymous

    At first it was viewed as competing with Christianity, though in the Bible itself St Paul had already infused some Greek philosophy into doctrine. St Augustine fully integrated Plato and St Thomas of Aquinas integrated Aristotle once his works re-emerged in the West. Some Protestants wanted a purer form of Christianity not influenced by external philosophy. That's the story.

  10. 5 months ago
    Anonymous

    reading them opened my mind to more abstract concepts beyond materialism which led to me more openly exploring Christianity, so i appreciate that

  11. 5 months ago
    Anonymous

    I don’t understand what possesses people to make threads like this when they already know the answer

    • 5 months ago
      Anonymous

      OP here, I genuinely do not know the answer. I've never read the Bible, and literally started reading Plato yesterday. I'm clueless and uneducated on this topic, but I'm trying to learn. I was just interested in the way Christians perceived philosophers predating them and wanted to know how do they fit into the Christian canon. It might be obvious for the well read Oyishizen, but I'm just an Oyish tourist, I'm very far from that and have a lot of dumb questions.
      Thanks anons for the answers.

      • 5 months ago
        Anonymous

        I must be the most well read person here then

      • 5 months ago
        Anonymous

        The people who wrote the new testament were educated in the works of plato and aristotle. As the bible was being compiled in the early stages of christianity, all of the contributors who worked on it would also have been educated in the works of aristotle and plato. This is also true of other major greek authours that were popular at the time. Beyond this, "platonism" itself underwent many transformations over the course of the 600+ until christianity largely solidified at the end of the roman empire

  12. 5 months ago
    Anonymous

    They "inspired" any tangible philosophical foundation for that religion.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudo-Orpheus

  13. 5 months ago
    Anonymous

    They have generally honored them. Some, like Abelard, went as far as to use Romans 1 to justify their having been saved by their faith.

    The influence is bidirectional as well. Philo (israeli Platonism) and Origen (Christian Platonism) come before Plotinius, from the same city, and almost certainly shaped his thoughts, Proclus, Porphery, etc. Neoplatonism is in ways a Pagan response to the success of Christianity, which powerfully expanded on middle Platonism. People generally say the Gnostics were "inspired by Platonism," but the Gnostics actually start doing their thing before late Platonism and the influence is bidirectional since they overlap. You see a similar influence into Manichism.

    Wallace's "Philosophical Mysticism in Plato and Hegel," is a fantastic book that shows how Plato is often misunderstood and it includes some coverage on how the ideas core to Plato are in Saint Paul and Saint John (and thus in the Bible) as well as in later writers like Augustine.

    Nevertheless, I think Wallace is actually reading a lot of later Christian developments in Platonism into Plato. Additionally, the fusions of Plato with ideas from Aristotle, the Stoics, and the inclusion of an ontological dialectical, which we see in Eriugena, Eckhart, Boheme, and Hegel (recall, Hegel was a theology student originally).

    IDK why this is. Partly, it seems like in the modern era that the great minds of late antiquity and the medieval period have become "tainted" via association with Christianity. Thus, self help and practical philosophy draw on Dogen or Rumi, who are safe, but not Bonaventure or Eckhart for mystical inputs. So, it seems to me like a way of popularizing later Christian Platonic fusion instead of fully doing Plato. I don't see the Christian focus on freedom, on the way Logos resurrects us to personhood in this life by freeing us from the chains of desire, circumstance, and instinct (sin/separation) in the original in the same way.

    But a big reversal from Platonism is in denying that God can be known as God. God is a true infinite, without limit, and thus "within everything but contained in nothing." (Augustine, Aquinas). Pseudo Dionysus and the whole apophatic tradition does something new with identifying God with nothing, and this is where the dialectical comes to replace emanation.

  14. 5 months ago
    Anonymous

    Christians believe that the fullness of truth was revealed with Jesus Christ so the people before him could have said and done truthful things but were without the fullness of the truth. In other words, they could’ve been mostly correct but missing the most critical thing. Historically, Christian theology has made heavy use of Greek and Roman theology and even Greek and Roman poetry to a degree (Virgil’s 4th Eclogue).

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