reply to post by TheCelestialHuman
Why is it that no one seems to think the below parallel is significant?
Mark 4:10 When he (Jesus) was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables.
11 He told them, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables
12 so that, "'they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!'"
Compare this remark to a remark attributed to Socrates in Plato's Theaetetus
"In the name of the Graces, what an almighty wise man Protagoras must have been! He spoke these things in a parable to the common herd, like you and
me, but told the truth, his Truth, in secret to his own disciples."
Protagoras reportedly lived in the 5th century BCE and belonged to the philosophic group known as "Sophists". In Protagoras
"Now the art of the Sophist is, as I believe, of great antiquity; but in ancient times those who practiced it, fearing this odium, veiled and
disguised themselves under various names, some under that of poets, as Homer, Hesiod, and Simonides, some, of hierophants and prophets, as Orpheus and
Musaeus, and some, as I observe, even under the name of gymnastic-masters, like Iccus of Tarentum, or the more recently celebrated Herodicus, now of
Selymbria and formerly of Megara, who is a first-rate Sophist. Your own Agathocles pretended to be a musician, but was really an eminent Sophist; also
Pythocleides the Cean; and there were many others; and all of them, as I was saying, adopted these arts as veils or disguises because they were afraid
of the odium which they would incur."
Since Homer and Hesiod produced significant writings associated with Greek Mythology it does not seem at all unreasonable to suspect that the Sophists
were involved in the promotion of other myths. Furthermore, Christ’s efforts to hide his true identity (referred to as the “Messianic Mystery”)
also fits into the Sophist pattern.
In his dialogue Sophist
Plato opens with the following remarks:
Theodorus: Here we are, Socrates, true to our agreement of
yesterday; and we bring with us a stranger from Elea, who is a
disciple of Parmenides and Zeno, and a true philosopher.
Socrates: Is he not rather a god, Theodorus, who comes to us in
the disguise of a stranger? For Homer says that all the gods, and
especially the god of strangers, are companions of the meek and
just, and visit the good and evil among men. And may not your
companion be one of those higher powers, a cross-examining deity,
who has come to spy out our weakness in argument, and to cross-examine
Theod.: Nay, Socrates, he is not one of the disputatious sort-he is
too good for that. And, in my opinion, he is not a god at all; but
divine he certainly is, for this is a title which I should give to all
Soc.: Capital, my friend! and I may add that they are almost as
hard to be discerned as the gods. For the true philosophers, and
such as are not merely made up for the occasion, appear in various
forms unrecognized by the ignorance of men, and they "hover about
cities," as Homer declares, looking from above upon human life; and
some think nothing of them, and others can never think enough; and
sometimes they appear as statesmen, and sometimes as sophists; and
then, again, to many they seem to be no better than madmen.
So what is wrong with the idea that Christ was just another Sophist or the creation of a Sophist?
edit on 2-6-2012 by swordwords because: