Thursday, February 13, 2014

JM: Out of Mouths of Greek Babes

Continuing to polemicize against the Greek gurus, Justin spins an account that is totally awesome even if it is mixed in with some legend.

The Greek Pharaoh Ptolemy built the library of Alexandria with all its Greek books.  However, he did not know what to do with all his Hebrew texts.  He got 70 Jewish guys, and they all translated the Hebrew Bible into Greek.  All 70 manuscripts were identical and had no discrepancy from the others.

Now, I'm pretty sure it is legend that all 70 guys translated apart from each other and all got identical copies.  What is true, however, is that the Old Testament was translated into Greek.  This is the Septuagint or LXX (named for the 70).  And Plato and his friends were alive at this time and would have gone to Egypt to see this.  Soon after this time, they began to write about their doctrines things contrary to the pluralism they espoused before.  Namely, a monotheistic revolution began.  Here is what many of them wrote.

Orpheus: "There is one Zeus, alone, one sun, one hell, one Bacchus, and in all things but one God."
Here, he still champions for the multiple gods, but they all come together under one God.  It's like he came up with the Hindu religion, where all the gods were just avatars of one big God.  Still, oneness surfaced.

"I adjure thee by the Father's voice, which he uttered when he stablished the whole world by his counsel."
Who is this Father?  And is it his voice or counsel that Orpheus mentions, or is it God's Word.  It looks like Jesus surfaces along with the idea of only one God.

Sibyl: "There is one only begotten God, omnipotent, invisible, most high, all-seeing, but Himself seen by no flesh."
Am I hearing the words of Walter Smith or some celebrity oracle in Greece who lived an immoral life?

"But we have strayed from the Immortal's ways and worship with a dull and senseless mind-- idols, the workmanship of our own hands, and images and figures of dead men."
Did Sibyl become a child of Abraham?  I feel like I did when I read about Judah's most wicked king, Manasseh, finally repenting in the book of 2 Chronicles.  Only God knows.

Homer: He noticed Orpheus's change of tune.  He didn't really give in, but he had written poems about the wrath of Demeter, etc.  He changed those names from gods and goddesses to ancient figures such as Achilles.  He also had Ulysses say to some rulers: "The rule of many is not good; let there be one ruler."

Sophocles: Let's not get him confused with Socrates like I always do.  Socrates was the philosopher who taught Plato and was executed for becoming an "atheist."  Socrates is the playwright who wrote Oedipus Rex

Sophocles wrote, "There is one God, in truth there is but one, who made the heavens and the broad earth beneath."  This God is one and has enough personality to create the heavens and earth.  It seems he's adopted the Hinduistic version of God like Orpheus has, but still an improvement to the blatant polytheism.

Pythagoras, the guy who worshiped math: "God is one,,,and he does not exist outside the world."  This is more pantheistic than the last two Hindu converts, but still impressive.

Plato: My favorite and the most dear.  Like I said, his teacher Socrates somehow rejected the idea of multiple gods.  Ergo, the Greeks called him an atheist as he no longer believed in the many gods.  That was not true.  He did believe in God, just no the plurality.  They executed him by making him drink hemlock.

Plato went to Egypt and seems to have accepted the doctrine of the LXX.  However, he feared the same fate as his teacher, and so he contrived an elaborate and ambiguous discourse concerning the gods.  "God of gods, of whom I am the creator."  He read enough to catch God's name, and his religion looked more like pantheism in the end, but he cared the most for seeking the true God, whoever he was.  Hence, C.S. Lewis's semi-universalism was born.  There are mini-gods, but one ruling God who made them all.  And this God makes himself known on all worlds.

No comments:

Post a Comment