Apostle Paul and Socrates

Those who are familiar with Plato’s writings and Ap Paul’s epistles, know about their similarities in ideas as well as at times their style of writing (e.g. Corinthians 13). But what about Plato’s teacher, Socrates? Does he say anything similar to Ap Paul or vice-versa?

I find the following utterances by the two individuals, terribly similar:

Ap Paul says:”The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know“. Socrates says:”I know one thing: that I know nothing”.

At first sight, the two utterances might seem strikingly similar, but are they?

Socrates states that he only knows one truth, namely that he knows nothing. Well he knows ‘something’ namely that he doesn’t know nothing, but that’s it.

Ap Paul says that the one who claims to know is a fool. So far so good. So far the two individuals agree. However, whereas Socrates thinks that we cannot discover anything certain, Paul thinks that we do. Paul thinks as I, that in Christ we know how we ought to know. Christ is the truth and so we can know the truth via revelation.

But of course, then Ap Paul’s phrase needs to be rephrased . Why do we need to rephrase it? Because if we leave it as it is, it can be confusing: it can run counter to Paul’s intent and make his own truth collapse. In other words, one can charge Paul with the following: if Paul thinks he knows something, how does he know that he knows as he ought to know?

Solution can sound something along these lines:”the man who thinks he knows the truth, and that truth is not Christ, does not yet know how he ought to know”.

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