Read Gonzalez pp 68 – 71
Athens and Jerusalem
Read “Did Plato read Moses?” pp 6-8 by Peter Leithart
This paper can be ordered from Biblical Horizons (http://www.hornes.org/biblicalhorizons/) from their catalog.
Quoted from Wikipedia
Neoplatonism (also Neo-Platonism) is an ancient school of philosophy beginning in the 3rd century A.D. It was based on the teachings of Plato and Platonists; but it interpreted Plato in many new ways, such that Neoplatonism was quite different from what Plato taught, though many Neoplatonists would not admit the distinction.
Neoplatonism began with the philosopher Plotinus, though Plotinus claimed to have received his teachings from Ammonius Saccas, an illiterate dock-worker in Alexandria. His most important work was the Six Enneads, in which he explains his philosophy.
Plotinus taught the existence of an indescribable One, which emanated the rest of the universe as a sequence of lesser beings. Later Neoplatonic philosophers, especially Iamblichus, added hundreds of intermediate gods and beings as emanations between the One and humanity; but Plotinus' system was much simpler in comparison.
Later neoplatonic philosophers included Porphyry, Proclus, Iamblichus and Hypatia of Alexandria.
Neoplatonism was frequently used as a philosophical foundation for paganism, and as a means of defending paganism against Christianity; but many Christians were also influenced by Neoplatonism. In Christian versions of Neoplatonism, the One is identified as God. Most important of these was Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, whose work was very influential in the Middle Ages. Augustine of Hippo converted to Christianity under the influence of Plotinus, leading most scholars to label Augustine a frank Neoplatonist; although, they note that Augustine's subordination of philosophy to scripture leads to striking differences from the non-Christian philosophy. Some scholars have shown that Neoplatonism was also influenced by Christian theology, notably through the belief systems known as Gnosticism.
Clement of Alexandria
Excerpts taken from Wikipedia
Most of the following taken from Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.org)
The trilogy into which Clement's principal remains are connected by their purpose and mode of treatment is composed of the
Addressed to the unconverted.
The Protrepticus forms an introduction inviting the reader to listen, not to the mythical legends of the gods, but to the "new song" of the Logos, the beginning of all things and creator of the world. He demonstrates the folly of idolatry and the pagan mysteries, the horrors of pagan sacrifice, and shows that the Greek philosophers and poets only guessed at the truth, while the prophets set forth a direct way to salvation; and now the divine Logos speaks in his own person, to awaken all that is good in the soul of man and to lead it to immortality.
Addressed to the new convert.
Having thus laid a foundation in the knowledge of divine truth, he goes on in the Paedagogus to develop a Christian ethic.
Appeals to the mature believer.
As with Epictetus, true virtue shows itself with him in its external evidences by a natural, simple, and moderate way of living. The Stromata goes further and aims at the perfection of the Christian life by initiation into complete knowledge. It attempts, on the basis of Scripture and tradition, to give such an account of the Christian faith as shall answer all the demands of learned men, and conduct the student into the innermost realities of his belief. Clement entitled this work Stromateis, which means "patchwork," because it dealt with such a variety of matters.
From The 'Noddy' guide to Tertullian (http://www.tertullian.org/readfirst.htm)
Tertullian lived in the ancient city of Carthage in what is now Tunisia, sometime around 200AD. Very little is known about his life - that little comes either from writers two centuries later, or from the scanty personal notes in his works. Much of it has been asserted to be untrue anyway by some modern writers .
He was born a member of the educated classes, and clearly gained a good education. Life in his times wasn't very different in some ways to the modern day - he indulged his passions as he saw fit, including sex, and like everyone else attended the games where gladiators killed each other and criminals were eaten alive, for the enjoyment of the spectators.
But among the sights he saw, was that of Christians being executed this way. He was struck with the courage with which stupid and contemptible slave men and little slave girls faced a hideous death, against all nature; and after investigating, became a Christian himself, and turned his budding talents to writing in defense of this despised and victimized group.
Tertullian was the first Christian writer to write in Latin, and was described three centuries later as writing 'first, and best, and incomparably', of all the writers to do so. (by the unknown author of 'Praedestinatus'). His writing is aggressive, sarcastic and brilliant, and at points very funny even after 2000 years. He was deeply conscious of his own failings, and had a burning desire for truth and integrity. He was described by Jerome as celebrated in all the churches as a speaker; and his works bear the marks of the need to keep an audience awake! His erudition was immense. Much of what he read is lost, but what remains gives a picture of wide reading, which was celebrated even in antiquity.
He wrote a great number of works - how many is unknown. Thirty-one are extant; lists of known lost works are elsewhere on this site; but we have no reason to suppose this to be anything like an exhaustive list. Most of those extant have come down to us by the slenderest of threads, and the very nature of Tertullian's terse and ironic style, means that copyists made many errors, and in some cases his text is beyond certain restoration. Not all of his works were ever completed.
His most important work is the Apologeticum, in defense of the Christians. Running it close must be Adversus Praxean, in which the doctrine of the Trinity comes into clear focus for the first time, in response to a heretic who was twisting the biblical balance between the persons of the Godhead. In this work, he created most of the terminology with which this doctrine was to be referred (and is still), such as Trinitas, etc. His discussion of how heretical arguments are in general to be handled in De praescriptio haereticorum also deserves wider recognition.
Tertullian wrote no systematic theology; all of his works are brought forth by a local event, a persecution, or a heretic.
In his time, the church finally decided to reject a movement calling itself 'The New Prophecy', and known later as Montanism. The New Prophecy made no doctrinal innovations, but said that the Holy Spirit was calling Christians to a more ascetic position. But obeying the prophets inevitably meant a problem, if the bishop did not recognize their authority.
Tertullian had grown angry at what looked like compromise creeping into the church - unwillingness to be martyred, willingness to forgive more serious public sins - and aligned himself with the Montanists. It is unclear whether this involved actually leaving the church, but his later works are avowedly Montanist, and one or two explicitly attack the mainstream church on these points. As such he was not recognized as a Saint, despite his orthodoxy, and his works were all marked as condemned in the 6th Century Decretum Gelasianum.
His later life is unknown, and we do not know if he was martyred or died of old age as Jerome says.
Churchmen have not liked him - he is not easy reading for those who prefer compromise and ambiguity to truth, and of ecclesiasticism there is no trace in his works. The rhetoric that impressed his contemporaries has been often laid hold of and twisted in misquotations by enemies of the Church20. He is often misquoted - and as a subtle and ironical writer, is easy to misquote.
He has been called the first Protestant, as the first Christian writer of impeccable orthodoxy to enunciate the unpalatable truth, that the church was not a conclave of bishops, but the people of the Holy Spirit.
But his legacy was the very shape of Latin Christianity. St Cyprian never went a day without reading him, and called him 'the master'. He gave Christians the means with which to meet paganism on its own ground and defeat it. And whenever the errors against which he wrote resurface, as they do from time to time, what Tertullian had to say about them will again be readable; who wrote 'first and best and incomparably' against them.
Quote from Apologeticum
 O glory legitimate, because it is human, for whose sake it is counted neither reckless foolhardiness, nor desperate obstinacy, to despise death itself and all sorts of savage treatment; for whose sake you may for your native place, for the empire, for friendship, endure all you are forbidden to do for God!  And you cast statues in honour of persons such as these, and you put inscriptions upon images, and cut out epitaphs on tombs, that their names may never perish. In so far you can by your monuments, you yourselves afford a son of resurrection to the dead. Yet he who expects the true resurrection from God, is insane, if for God he suffers!
 But go zealously on, good presidents, you will stand higher with the people if you sacrifice the Christians at their wish, kill us, torture us, condemn us, grind us to dust; your injustice is the proof that we are innocent. Therefore God suffers that we thus suffer; for but very lately, in condemning a Christian woman to the leno rather than to the leo you made confession that a taint on our purity is considered among us something more terrible than any punishment and any death.76  Nor does your cruelty, however exquisite, avail you; it is rather a temptation to us. The oftener we are mown down by you, the more in number we grow; the blood of Christians is seed.77  Many of your writers exhort to the courageous bearing of pain and death, as Cicero in the Tusculans, as Seneca in his Chances, as Diogenes, Pyrrhus, Callinicus; and yet their words do not find so many disciples as Christians do, teachers not by words, but by their deeds.  That very obstinacy you rail against is the preceptress. For who that contemplates it, is not excited to inquire what is at the bottom of it? who, after inquiry, does not embrace our doctrines? and when he has embraced them, desires not to suffer that he may become partaker of the fullness of God's grace, that he may obtain from God complete forgiveness, by giving in exchange his blood?  For that secures the remission of all offences. On this account it is that we return thanks on the very spot for your sentences. As the divine and human are ever opposed to each other, when we are condemned by you, we are acquitted by the Highest.
Excerpts from Wikipedia
His full name was apparently Origenes Adamantius. He was educated by his father, Leonides, on the Bible and in elementary studies. But in 202 Origen's father was killed in the outbreak of the persecution during the reign of Septimius Severus. Origen wished to follow in martyrdom, but was prevented only by a ruse of his mother. The death of Leonides left the family of nine impoverished when their property was confiscated. Origen, however, was taken under the protection of a woman of wealth and standing; but as her household already included a heretic named Paul, the strictly orthodox Origen seems to have remained with her only a short time.
Since his father's teaching enabled him also to give elementary instruction, he revived, in 203, the catechetical school at Alexandria, whose last teacher, Clement of Alexandria, was apparently driven out by the persecution. But the persecution still raged, and the young teacher unceasingly visited the prisoners, attended the courts, and comforted the condemned, himself preserved from harm as if by a miracle. His fame and the number of his pupils increased rapidly, so that Demetrius, bishop of Alexandria, made him restrict himself to instruction in Christian doctrine alone.
Origen, to be entirely independent, sold his library for a sum which netted him a daily income of 4 obols (about twelve cents) on which he lived by exercising the utmost frugality. Teaching throughout the day, he devoted the greater part of the night to the study of the Bible and lived a life of rigid asceticism. This he carried to such an extent that, fearing that his position as a teacher of women as well as men might give ground for scandal to the heathen, he followed literally Matthew 19:12 and castrated himself, partly influenced, too, by his belief that the Christian must follow the words of his Master without reserve. Later in life, however, he saw reason to judge differently concerning his extreme act.
During the reign of emperor Caracalla, about 211-212, Origen paid a brief visit to Rome, but the relative laxity during the pontificate of Zephyrinus seems to have disillusioned him, and on his return to Alexandria he resumed his teaching with zeal increased by the contrast. But the school had far outgrown the strength of a single man; the catechumens pressed eagerly for elementary instruction, and the baptized sought for interpretation of the Bible. Under these circumstances, Origen entrusted the teaching of the catechumens to Heraclas, the brother of the martyr Plutarch, his first pupil.
His own interests became more and more centered in exegesis, and he accordingly studied Hebrew, though there is no certain knowledge concerning his instructor in that language. From about this period (212-213) dates Origen's acquaintance with Ambrose of Alexandria, whom he was instrumental in converting from Valentianism to orthodoxy. Later (about 218) Ambrose, a man of wealth, made a formal agreement with Origen to promulgate his writings, and all the subsequent works of Origen (except his sermons, which were not expressly prepared for publication) were dedicated to Ambrose.
In 213 or 214, Origen visited Arabia at the request of the prefect, who wished to have an interview with him; and Origen accordingly spent a brief time in Petra, after which he returned to Alexandria. In the following year, a popular uprising at Alexandria caused Caracalla to let his soldiers plunder the city, shut the schools, and expel all foreigners. The latter measure caused Ambrose to take refuge in Caesarea, where he seems to have made his permanent home; and Origen, who felt that the turmoil hindered his activity as a teacher and imperilled his safety, left Egypt, apparently going with Ambrose to Caesarea, where he spent some time. Here, in conformity with local usage based on Jewish custom, Origen, though not ordained, preached and interpreted the Scriptures at the request of the bishops Alexander of Jerusalem and Theoctistus of Caesarea. When, however, the confusion in Alexandria subsided, Demetrius recalled Origen, probably in 216.
Of Origen's activity during the next decade little is known, but it was obviously devoted to teaching and writing. The latter was rendered the more easy for him by Ambrose, who provided him with more than seven stenographers to take dictation in relays, as many scribes to prepare long-hand copies, and a number of girls to multiply the copies. At the request of Ambrose, he now began a huge commentary on the Bible, beginning with John, and continuing with Genesis, Psalms 1-25, and Lamentations, besides brief exegeses of selected texts (forming the ten books of his Stromateis), two books on the resurrection, and the work "On First Principles."
1. Exegetical Writings
According to Epiphanius (Haer., lxiv.63) Origen wrote about 6,000 works (i.e., rolls or chapters). A list was given by Eusebius in his lost life of Pamphilus (Hist. eccl., VI., xxxii. 3; Eng. transl., NPNF, 2 ser., i. 277), which was apparently known to Jerome (Epist. ad Paulam, NPNF, vi. 46). These fall into four classes: text criticism; exegesis; systematic, practical, and apologetic theology; and letters; besides certain spurious works.
By far the most important work of Origen on textual criticism was the Hexapla, a comparison study of various translations of the Old Testament.
The full text of the Hexapla is no longer extant. Some portions were discovered in Milan indicating that at least some individual parts existed much longer than was previously thought. The Hexapla has been referred to by later manuscripts and authors.
The Tetrapla was an abbreviation of the Hexapla in which Origen placed only the translations (Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion, and the Septuagint) in parallels.
He was likewise keenly conscious of the textual difficulties in the manuscripts of the New Testament, although he never wrote definitely on this subject. In his exegetical writings he frequently alludes to the variant readings, but his habit of making rough citations in his dictation, the verification being left to the scribes, renders it impossible to deduce his text from his commentaries.
The exegetical writings of Origen fall into three classes:
scholia, or brief summaries of the meaning of difficult passages
homilies "books," or commentaries in the strict sense of the term.
Jerome states that there were scholia on Leviticus, Psalms i.-xv., Ecclesiastes, Isaiah, and part of John. The Stromateis were of a similar character, and the margin of Codex Athous, Laura, 184, contains citations from this work on Rom. 9:23; I Cor. 6:14, 7:31, 34, 9:20-21, 10:9, besides a few other fragments.
Homilies on almost the entire Bible were prepared by Origen, these being taken down after his sixtieth year as he preached. It is not improbable that Origen gave no attention to supervising the publication of his homilies, for only by such a hypothesis can the numerous evidences of carelessness in diction be explained. The exegesis of the homilies was simpler than that of the scientific commentaries, but nevertheless demanded no mean degree of intelligence from the auditor. Origen's chief aim was the practical exposition of the text, verse by verse; and while in such barren books as Leviticus and Numbers he sought to allegorize, the wealth of material in the prophets seldom rendered it necessary for him to seek meanings deeper than the surface afforded. Whether the sermons were delivered in series, or the homilies on a single book were collected from various series, is unknown. The homilies preserved are on Genesis (17), Exodus (13), Leviticus (18), Numbers (28), Joshua (16), Judges (9), I Sam. (2), Psalms xxxvi.- xxviii. (9), Canticles (2), Isaiah (9), Jeremiah (7 Greek, 2 Latin, 12 Greek and Latin), Ezekiel (14), and Luke (39).
Origen, trained in the school of Clement and by his father, was essentially a Platonist with occasional traces of Stoic philosophy. He was thus a pronounced idealist, regarding all things temporal and material as insignificant and indifferent, the only real and eternal things being comprised in the idea. He therefore regards as the purely ideal center of this spiritual and eternal world, God, the pure reason, whose creative powers call into being the world with matter as the necessary substratum.
Likewise Platonic is the doctrine that those spirits capable of knowing supreme reason, but imprisoned in the body in this world, will rise after death to divinity, being purified by fire. In his attempt to amalgamate the system evolved by Greek thought with Christianity, Origen found his predecessors in the Platonizing Philo of Alexandria and even in the Gnostics. His exegesis does not differ generally from that of Heracleon, but in the canon of the New Testament and in the tradition of the Church, Origen possessed a check which kept him from the excesses of Gnostic exegesis.
He was, indeed, a rigid adherent of the Bible, making no statement without adducing some Scriptural basis. To him the Bible was divinely inspired, as was proved both by the fulfilment of prophecy and by the immediate impression which the Scriptures made on him who read them. Since the divine Logos spoke in the Scriptures, they were an organic whole and on every occasion he combatted the Gnostic tenet of the inferiority of the Old Testament. He was aware of the discrepancies between the Old and New Testaments and the contradictory accounts, of the Gospels; but he considered these only as inconsistencies that lend themselves to an unspiritual historical exegesis according to the letter.