The Early Christian Church and Greek Culture

Early Christian figures like Minucius Felix, contrary to popular thought, did not reject the idea of incorporating Greek classics into Christianity. Their view was that these Greeks were making their way towards the ultimate goal: the teachings of Jesus. These early leaders of the Church viewed Christianity as the culmination of the early Greek writings and philosophers.

Some Christians advocated for the removal of all Greek writings from the “modern” scope. They, ironically, were the most prone to heresies. While they did contribute substantially to early Christian theology and make-up, they did not embrace the idea of incorporating the Greek philosophy and writings into the Christian Church.

Most early Christian Apologists thought that the Greeks were, in fact, hinting at what Jesus had taught. Plato, for instance, had stated clearly in his Orations that there was another absolute world and that there were absolute values that we had to abide by. Although his teachings did had errors and misconceptions, they shared a lot in common with the sacred Christian texts.

Greek thought and word was adopted by the majority of early Christians, despite efforts of some influential figures to reverse the growing tide of respect and admiration for Homer, Socrates and Pythagoras. Christians like St. Basil the Great not only accepted Greek thought as part of their religion and culture, but thoroughly recommended it, suggesting that it would help to understand the Bible. Continue reading “The Early Christian Church and Greek Culture”