Relation of Latin to Greek


Active Member
In particular, Paul's concept that "salvation" from eternal torment is to be achieved by having correct belief (unaccompanied by anything else) was, I think, something absolutely novel and in the first century, and greatly innovative as a religious paradigm. Though the Upanishads may have represented an evolution from Vedic thought within Hinduism, the western religions developed independently of their Eastern counterparts, with no apparent influence in either direction. The Pauline religious paradigm cannot be thought to have been influenced by Eastern thought. I say that Paul's paradigm was only fully realized during the Reformation, because it is only in the less traditional Protestant churches (the further from Catholicism the more this is true) where in the assertion is made that one is "saved by faith (belief) and not by works (practice)".

I would not consider Plato to have been active as a religious innovator. Your suggestion of the Buddha is prescient, but entails an essential difference from the Pauline model: for the Buddhist, correct thinking (close enough to correct belief) is a means to human liberation from suffering in this life, but (and I do not speak authoritatively here) as a means to eternal salvation, is it?
I wasn't suggesting that Paul was influenced by the Upanishads, but that there is a general vague similarity between Upanishadic thinking (internal religious experience is as good as, if not better than, ritual sacrifice) and Buddhism (the right mindset leads to liberation) and Pauline Christianity (faith produces salvation), in that they all privilege the internal spiritual experience over public religious rituals, at least in theory. They also differ from earlier religions in what they propose as a goal: salvation, as opposed to a good harvest, protection from earthquakes, success in battle, etc. The focus is on the life to come (or in the case of Buddhism, the lack of a life to come).

The Buddhist equivalent to salvation is release from the endless cycle of rebirth, not simply relief from suffering in this life.


Active Member
I say that Paul's paradigm was only fully realized during the Reformation, because it is only in the less traditional Protestant churches (the further from Catholicism the more this is true) where in the assertion is made that one is "saved by faith (belief) and not by works (practice)".
Most Protestants would certainly agree with this statement, but I doubt very much that Luther and those who came after him understood what Paul said in the same way that Paul's contemporaries might have. Luther took the words of Paul in light of his anxieties about contemporary Catholic practice, and it would be quite easy to contrast justification by faith alone with the complicated apparatus of late Medieval Catholic practice, but Paul didn't have that in mind when he wrote, because it didn't exist. Paul was more concerned with drawing a line between the Mosaic Law and faith in Christ. Was Paul making a general statement about faith versus works? Or was he specifically contrasting faith in Christ with adhering to the Jewish law? A lot of contemporary scholarship has shown that parts of the New Testament were directed at specific controversies of early Christianity, but subsequent generations (of whatever denomination) have taken them to be universal truths separate from their original context. (This is true of the Hebrew scriptures as well, but we're speaking of Paul).


Cívis Illústris
Your Latin is great, man! I wish I could do that; it would take me ten minutes just to express "In my view," properly. I am quite impressed. (BTW, mi is an unusual dative form here?)
grātiās! sed magnum nōn est; exercendō (et facilius loquitur dē philosophiā, quia nōn tam multīs dīversīsque verbīs opus est...)
ita, fortasse eō locō "mihi vidētur" melius est. sed invenīmus apud Cicerōnem "discessit ā mē, ut mī vidēbātur, īrātior" (Ep. Fam. 7.24)

Platōnī certē rēcta scientia super omnia valet. quantum sciō (et fateor mē nōn multum scīre dē rēbus Christiānīs), Christiānae opīniōnēs plūrimae veniēbant ex doctrīnā Platonicā sīve Neoplatonicā. nec dubitō quīn fuisset aliquod vinculum inter Buddhismum et philosophiam Graecam, etsī sānē rēs nōn tam simplex erat.

... ἐπειδὴ γὰρ συγκεχωρήκαμεν ἡμῖν αὐτοῖς εἶναι μὲν τὸν οὐρανὸν πολλῶν μεστὸν ἀγαθῶν, εἶναι δὲ καὶ τῶν ἐναντίων, πλειόνων δὲ τῶν μή, μάχη δή, φαμέν, ἀθάνατός ἐσθ᾽ ἡ τοιαύτη καὶ φυλακῆς θαυμαστῆς δεομένη, σύμμαχοι δὲ ἡμῖν θεοί τε ἅμα καὶ δαίμονες, ἡμεῖς δ᾽ αὖ κτῆμα θεῶν καὶ δαιμόνων: φθείρει δὲ ἡμᾶς ἀδικία καὶ ὕβρις μετὰ ἀφροσύνης, σῴζει δὲ δικαιοσύνη καὶ σωφροσύνη μετὰ φρονήσεως, ἐν ταῖς τῶν θεῶν ἐμψύχοις οἰκοῦσαι δυνάμεσιν, βραχὺ δέ τι καὶ τῇδε ἄν τις τῶν τοιούτων ἐνοικοῦν ἡμῖν σαφὲς ἴδοι. ψυχαὶ δέ τινες ἐπὶ γῆς οἰκοῦσαι καὶ ἄδικον λῆμμα κεκτημέναι δῆλον ὅτι θηριώδεις, πρὸς τὰς τῶν φυλάκων ψυχὰς ἄρα κυνῶν ἢ τὰς τῶν νομέων ἢ πρὸς τὰς τῶν παντάπασιν ἀκροτάτων δεσποτῶν προσπίπτουσαι, πείθουσιν θωπείαις λόγων καὶ ἐν εὐκταίαις τισὶν ἐπῳδαῖς, ὡς αἱ φῆμαί φασιν αἱ τῶν κακῶν, ἐξεῖναι πλεονεκτοῦσιν σφίσιν ἐν ἀνθρώποις πάσχειν μηδὲν χαλεπόν: φαμὲν δ᾽ εἶναί που τὸ νῦν ὀνομαζόμενον ἁμάρτημα, τὴν πλεονεξίαν, ἐν μὲν σαρκίνοις σώμασι νόσημα καλούμενον, ἐν δὲ ὥραις ἐτῶν καὶ ἐνιαυτοῖς λοιμόν, ἐν δὲ πόλεσι καὶ πολιτείαις τοῦτο αὐτό, ῥήματι μετεσχηματισμένον, ἀδικίαν.

παντάπασι μὲν οὖν.

τοῦτον δὴ τὸν λόγον ἀναγκαῖον λέγειν τὸν λέγοντα ὡς εἰσὶν συγγνώμονες ἀεὶ θεοὶ τοῖς τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἀδίκοις καὶ ἀδικοῦσιν, ἂν αὐτοῖς τῶν ἀδικημάτων τις ἀπονέμῃ: καθάπερ κυσὶν λύκοι τῶν ἁρπασμάτων σμικρὰ ἀπονέμοιεν, οἱ δὲ ἡμερούμενοι τοῖς δώροις συγχωροῖεν τὰ ποίμνια διαρπάζειν. ἆρ᾽ οὐχ οὗτος ὁ λόγος ὁ τῶν φασκόντων παραιτητοὺς εἶναι θεούς;
- Platōnis dē lēgibus 906 (vide