A Further Problem for the Hellenization Thesis: Plato’s Familiarity with Moses?

The more I study the origins of Christian theology in its Jewish roots, the less I become convinced that either side of the argument is entirely correct. One the one hand, it is hard to deny the development of Christian theology in Greek philosophical categories, but on the other hand an idea of “pure” Hebraic thought—which is exclusive of all of the supposedly “Greek” categories—is hard to defend as well. Recently, I have been reading Clement of Alexandria, who makes the seemingly absurd claim that the Greeks “stole” many ideas from the Hebrews. I have rarely seen scholars take this claim seriously, but I know of at least one—Margaret Barker—who gives reasons to suspect that the early Christian apologists were not necessarily fudging. Read the rest of this entry »