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Transcript of Hellenistic Influence
Hellenistic InfluenceOn Hebrew and Christian ScriptureHellenistic Eradates about from the death of Alexander 323 BCE for about 500 years to the early centuries CE overlapped Roman expansionEmpire of Alexander the Great
Jewish and Christian literature
During this period, the last books of the Hebrew Bible were written, along with the entire New Testament, and a large body of noncanonical Jewish and Christian literature
Pre-existing ideas influence Christian scriptureGreek-speaking converts interpreted Jesus significance in parallel ways to some pre-existing Greek ideas and traditionskoinGreek, the common international language of the eraHebrew Bible translated into koin in 250 BCE
SeptuagintGreek edition of the Hebrew Bible used by Diaspora Jews and by early Christian movementThe New Testament was produced in koin (Greek)
Philosophyphilosophy means love of wisdomNew Testament writers combine Jewish heritage + Greek philosophical conceptsSocratesAthens, circa 469-399 BCEregarded human life as an ongoing quest for truth, a pilgrimage toward the unseen world of eternal spirit
parallels with JesusUsing humor, Socrates cross examined artisans, teachers, and politicians, irritating many He had some devoted followersHe was executedfor criticizing the ethical inadequacy of his opponents policies and practicesNeither left anything in writing; message depended on disciples
Plato, disciple of Socratescirca 427-347 BCE, made his teacher the hero of a series of philosophical dialogues in which a saintly and humorous Socrates always out-argues and outwits his opponentsSeparating Platos ideas from those of Socrates is difficult; (same with Jesus, and what his disciples wrote)
DualismFor Plato, the duality of the physical, imperfect world and a perfect world of eternal ideasStoicismemphasizes the order and moral purpose of the universe. Reason is the divine principle that gives coherence and meaning to our complex world.
Paul as example of stoicismStoic teaching urges the individual to listen to the divine element within, to discipline both body and mind to attain a state of harmony with nature and the universe. . . . noble indifference to both pleasure and pain. . . .endure personal gain or loss with equal serenity . . .Paul echos Stoic values Pauls self discipline and ability to endure want or plenty, echo Stoic values commonplace in Greco-Roman society I have learned the secret of being content in any situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Phil. 4:11-13)
Logosmeans word, A cosmic intelligence that unifies the world and makes it intelligible to the human intellect. Human souls are sparks of the divine Logos.
Jesus as logosIn the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . . . the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us . . . John 1:1,14EpicureanismAsserts that everything is completely physical, including the soul, which after death dissolves into nothingness; gods may exist, but have no contact or interest in humanityRoman Empire 30 BCE-14 CE
Herods territory circa 4 CE