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Bible Dictionaries

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary


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A celebrated sect of ancient philosophers. They were materialists, and virtually atheists-believing that the atoms of nature existed from eternity, and that from their incidental union all things are formed, both visible and invisible. They denied a divine Providence and man's immortality, and believed there was no after-judgment, and no soul but what was material, like the body and perishable with it at death. Their rule of life was self-gratification-the pursuit of pleasure, properly regulated and governed. Vicious indulgences were condemned only inasmuch as they on the whole lessen one's happiness. The philosopher Epicurus, their founder, was a learned and moral man, who lived in exemplary harmony with his principles, and died at Athens, B. C. 271, at the age of seventy-three. His followers, however, easily disregarded the limitations he imposed, and pursued pleasure without restraint. At Paul's time they had become exceedingly corrupt, and of course their philosophy and their life both led them to oppose with violence his great truths concerning God, the resurrection, and the judgment ever lasting, Acts 17:16 - 34 .

Copyright Statement
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 'Epicureans'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. 1859.

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