From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Fri Mar 13 1998 - 16:07:11 EST

>David W. Odell-Scott wrote:
>> Of course the celebrated rhetorical question put forth by Tertullian "What
>> have Athens and Jerusalem to do with each other?" expresses something of the
>> problem.
>Would not the rhetorical [uncelebrated] answer to that question have
>to be "Alexander." ? :) :)
>The general problem, however, must have to do with very divergent
>streams that proceed from fundamentally differing matrices of
>culture: The 'Chosen of God' vs 'hOI ANEROI'. How that breaks down
>in specific passages would seem to be less important ~ eg which
>philosophers did Paul mean, etc... ~ than the fact that Paul was
>bridging into a man centered culture with a rejected [by Jurusalem]
>evangel. That qualifies as fecundity in my 'book'...

I'm not altogether sure what is meant by this comment, but I would suggest
that the original inquiry here was on the question how the two words,
FILOSOFIA and FILOSOFOS should be understood in particular NT passages,
whether in disparagement or without any judgment implicit on the endeavor
to gain wisdom. I think it would be a mistake to get drawn into a more
general discussion and/or argument here over the cultural interaction of
Hellenism and Judaism; aside from the fact that the interpenetration of the
two cultures has been going on for more than three centuries by the
beginning of the Christian era and that it is hardly an insignificant fact
that the New Testament is fundamentally a corpus of GREEK documents, the
subject and its wide-ranging ramifications are immense and subject to
considerably controversy. It's the sort of discussion that properly belong
to IOUDAIOS-L and/or ELENCHUS (if ELENCHUS still exists); we do better here
in this forum to stick pretty closely to questions that bear more directly
upon what the text of the GNT itself may say or mean by virtue of its
formulation in Greek.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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