Re: Wis of Solomon 7

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Thu Feb 01 1996 - 15:21:16 EST

On 2/1/96, Will Wagers wrote:

> Edgar M. Krentz writes:
> >(4) Was this writer "under the influence of some foreign substance"? You
> >bet! The substance was the heady stuff of Greek, especially Stoic,
> >philosophy. In 7:23 and 24, DIA PANTWN XWROUN PNEUMATWN, and DIHKEI DE KAI
> >XWREI DIA PANTWN DIA THN KAQAROTHTA, he is borrowing the language the Stoa
> >uses of the LOGOS that moves through everything in the universe. Wisdom
> >holds that it is not the Stoic LOGOS that is the revealer of God (the
> >language of 7:25), but the SOFIA TOY QEOU.
> How is that extra-biblical references to the Logos are readily
> acknowledged as coming from this or that Greek philosophical
> school, but the antecedent of Logos of John 1:1 is usually ignored
> or specifically disavowed?

I for one certainly wouldn't want to deny influences from Heraclitus and
the Stoa in John 1:1. The LOGOS doctrine as developed in John's proem would
seem to derive from a mixture of so many sources that no one can be
pinpointed as sole or primary. I think that the Hokhma/Sophia development
in Hellenistic Judaism--to which the Wisdom of Solomon clearly belongs--is
part of that general cross-fertilization of Greek, Hebraic and other
Mediterranean and Near Eastern cultures that thrives particularly at the
eastern end of the Mediterranean and nowhere more than in Alexandria. I
don't see how anyone can say definitively that the influence of Greek
thought has no part in the Logos doctrine; surely it does have a part; the
question is how much.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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