(φιλόσοφος). Of the Greek sects of philosophers existing in the time of the apostles, the Stoics and Epicureans are mentioned in Ac 17:18, some of whom disputed with Paul at Athens. In Col 2:8 a warning is given against philosophy itself, as a departure from the knowledge of Christ; and it has been noticed that Paul, who had been a Pharisee, acted in this respect in harmony with the sect in which he had been educated (Grossmann, De Pharisaismo Judceor. Alex. 1:8). At least the rabbins set the divine law above all human wisdom; yet they do not appear to have given the name of philosophy to their expositions of the law (see Josephus, Ap. 2; 4; 1 Macc. 1 and 5). Paul is the passage alluded to oftheosophic speculations, which had found an entrance among Christians (5:16 sq.), and on which Rheinwald (De pseudo doctor. Colos. Bonn, 1834), Neander (Gesch. d. Pflanz. 1:438 sq.), and others have made investigations (see, in brief. De Wette, Br. a. d. Kolos. page 1 sq.). It is plain from Paul's letters that he denied all worth to human wisdom and philosophy in comparison with that eternal salvation which is only to be obtained through the divine revelation in the Gospel; but it is not necessary to suppose that he was a despiser of sober philosophic investigation, either on the ground of his pharisaic training or of his apostolic principles. For monographs, see Volbeding, Index Programmatuum, page 89 sq. SEE PHILOSOPHY.

Bible concordance for PHILOSOPHY.

Definition of philosopher

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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