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Impact of Hellenism on Christianity Essay

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Updated: Jun 22nd, 2022

A combination of different perspectives, ideologies, or philosophies has long been known to allow a more complex and integrated understanding of a certain idea. The concept of the Christian God is not an exception as it gained culture-specific features in various societies. In particular, Hellenistic philosophy had a noticeable influence on Christianity, resulting in an appearance of a more sophisticated view of the divine nature.

The impression of the excerpt from the Bible is that the God is simply a supervisor vested with extreme power. He exercises the unlimited dominion over his creations, including human beings, the way an outstandingly bossy person would do. Even raising His Son from the dead is purely another manifestation of His power. The God is similar to humans in character and behavior but exaggerated.

Meanwhile, the writing by Gregory of Nyssa involves the metaphysics Christianity adopted from Greek philosophical religions. The main conclusion from it is that the nature of the God is incognizable. Simply put, it is possible to characterize Him and describe His actions but not define exactly what He is. What I find particularly perplexed is the explanation of how the Trinity works because it complicates the comprehension rather than simplifies. However, this nuance is aligned with the idea of unapprehensiveness of the God.

To summarize, the influence of Hellenism made the Christian philosophy substantially more transcendent as compared to the version present in the scriptures. The two excerpts illustrate how the God, who probably used to be seen as a one of a human-like nature, turned into an unconditioned entity. Due to this, Gregory’s letter does not clarify the basic concepts of the religion, furthermore, triggers additional questions.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Impact of Hellenism on Christianity." June 22, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/impact-of-hellenism-on-christianity/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Impact of Hellenism on Christianity'. 22 June.

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