“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death...Death is swallowed up in victory.” – 1 Corinthians 15:26, 54
"The greater the sin, the greater the mercy, the deeper the death and the brighter the rebirth.” - C. S. Lewis
"This story...has the very taste of primary truth." - J. R. R. Tolkien

Friday, July 17, 2009

Socrates on “Foolish Wisdom” in Plato’s Apology

…Interestingly, one encounters similar language (wisdom, foolishness, knowledge) and ideas in the recording of Socrates’ trial in Plato’s Apology. Socrates is recorded as saying:

“I found that the men most in repute were all but the most foolish; and that others less esteemed were really wiser and better.”

“God only is wise…he intends to show that the wisdom of men is worth little or
nothing.”

“I am better off than he [who] knows nothing, and thinks that he knows; I neither know nor think that I know.”
In Socrates’/Plato’s view, true wisdom is found in acknowledging with humility that our human knowledge and wisdom is severely limited. One wonders whether Paul, who was a highly educated Jewish scholar, was acquainted with this writing since he uses such similar language in writing to the Corinthians, especially 1 Corinthians 1. Socrates is also recorded as saying “I say that to die is gain” (cf. Philippians 1:21, “to live is Christ and to die is gain”).

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