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Bible Dictionaries

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary

Philosophy

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Love of Wisdom, in the New Testament means the vain and pernicious speculations of human reason; the wisdom of this world, and "science falsely so called," 1 Corinthians 1:18-27 1 Timothy 6:20 , in opposition to gospel truth. Paul cautioned the Colossians lest any man should spoil or plunder them through "philosophy," Colossians 2:8 ; and it is one of the most melancholy proofs of the depravity of the human heart, that it has been able so to pervert that noble faculty, the reason. The loftiest human intellects have often been the blindest as to religious truth; and the range and vigor of men's reasoning powers have been the measure, not of their knowledge and love of God, but of their pride, rebellion, and folly, Matthew 11:25 1 Corinthians 2:14 3:18-20 . In Athens, the Epicurean, and Stoic philosophers made a jest of Paul's discourse; and in many places of his epistles, he opposes the false wisdom of he age, that is, the pagan philosophy, to the wisdom of Jesus Christ, and the true religion, which to the philosophers and sophists seemed to be mere folly, because it was built neither on the eloquence nor the subtlety of those who preached it, but on the power of God, and on the operations of the Holy Ghost in the hearts and minds of believers; and because it did not amuse and flatter man, but probed him a guilty rebel against God, in perishing need of a Savior.

As there arose, under the influence of philosophy, several sects among the Greeks, as the Academics, the Peripatetics, and the Stoics, so also there arose among the Jews several sects, as the Essenes, the Pharisees, and the Sadducees. The Pharisees had some resemblance to the Stoics, the Sadducees to the Epicureans, the Essenes to the Academics. The Pharisees were proud, vain, and boasting, like the Stoics; the Sadducees, who denied the immortality of the soul, and the existence of spirits, freed themselves at once, like the Epicureans, from all solicitude about futurity: the Essenes were more moderate, more simple and religious, and therefore approached nearer to the Academics.

The danger against which Paul warned the church in his day still exists. Pride of intellect naturally allies itself with the atheism and impenitence of the heart, refuses to yield to the claims of revelation, and rejects whatever displeases its taste or rises above its comprehension. True wisdom, on the contrary, is humble and docile. "Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, shall in no wise enter therein."


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Philosophy'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/ats/p/philosophy.html. 1859.

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Wednesday, January 29th, 2020
the Third Week after Epiphany
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