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A comparison of Socrates and Christ

This is exactly what the title states. I am going to attempt to show that while Socrates was a good man, Christ outshone him in all aspects. I am going to do this in the same way as an ancient Greek writing exercise, so please bear with me. As always, please feel free to tell me things that you think I have missed.

I am going to first show their family histories. Socrates was born into a middle class Greek family in Athens. Christ, however, was born to poor parents in a feeding trough for the oxen and donkeys. At first glance, it appears that Socrates got the better end of the deal. But we must remember that Christ was born into God’s chosen nation, and was descended from a king on both sides of his lineage. This is the way it can often be, one person seeming to be better, while slipping behind the whole way.

Their educations were certainly very different. Socrates received what would now be considered a good education in all respects. Jesus, though, received the only education he could afford: that of a carpenter and of the Scriptures. This last part is much better than Socrates’, as all your worldly knowledge does not help you one iota in the afterlife. Besides, Jesus was God in a man’s flesh. He had more knowledge than Socrates ever did or will have.

Their deeds were the most important of all. Socrates was a wise man, but unlike Solomon, he just sat around and talked about it, hoping his innate wisdom would carry him through this life and the next. Jesus was much wiser than Socrates, even if it is possible to ignore the fact that he was God in the flesh. Jesus used what he had to help his fellow men, instead of arguing with them. Jesus was so good at this that he went to the cross so that he could save all of mankind with one action.

I hope that I have shown that Jesus was, and is, better than Socrates had the ability to be. Before I go, I want to leave you with this thought from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount: “Therefore be perfect, just as your father in heaven is perfect.”(Matthew 5:48)

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3 thoughts on “A comparison of Socrates and Christ

  1. A good post, Malcolm. The most important thing which you sorta “slid” in there was “as all your worldly knowledge does not help you one iota in the afterlife. Besides, Jesus was God in a man’s flesh. He had more knowledge than Socrates ever did or will have.” This, of course, is the crucial dividing line for obvious reasons. He who is the creator has the understanding of the creator.

    And certainly, Jesus did argue with his fellow man, much like Socrates. Those who are without “knowledge” can rarely mount an effective defense against an argument from one who is learned, as admittedly both of these men were. He did not argue violently nor did he try to persuade rhetorically. His arguments were truth and his persuasion was His actions (which you alluded to).

    The question that Jesus had to answer was two-fold: Are you the Messiah, who is to come with the New Kingdom? Can you prove you are the Messiah? And He literally spent His life to answer both questions.

  2. Erin Claire Sproul on said:

    I was wondering if you took Omnibus 1 a while back because you said these essays were for something you did in school and I took Omnibus 1 and had to write Essays on the same thing. So I guessed that’s why you wrote them 🙂

  3. András László on said:

    “I am going to attempt to show that while Socrates was a good man, Christ outshone him in all aspects.” So YOU DID NOT EVEN TRY TO BE OBJECTIVE….

    Again… what kind of “arguments” are these?? Lazy arguments… without any references from both sides. And without ANY definition, or concept of what “being a good man” means objectively.

    A) Family histories have nothing to do with the goodness of a person. You used THIS same argument in the very opposite direction in the comparison with Salamon. It is not just intellectually dishonest, but also…. WTF????

    B) “Jesus was God in a man’s flesh. He had more knowledge than Socrates ever did or will have.” what is your proof? Because it is very far from any objective measure of knowledge.

    C) Socrates was too a martyr with the same opportunity to flee from death. So that “argument” is not an argument at all…

    D) Jesus helped with miracles, because He was the son of God [not because he earned the capability to mend or cure the sick (as medics or therapists do with decades of hard WORK…). He born with his capabilities, so he should get little to no credit for healing someone with magic…]
    While Socrates was a hoplite for decades, and risked his life mainly in defensive wars. He had NO magic power. He cured what he could, so taught people to reason well, and to use logic instead of blind faith. He is closer to a Psycho-Therapist than Jesus is to a Medical Doctor.

    Your only “argument” is that Jesus(or Salamon) was better person because he was born into God’s Chosen NATION. This argument is nut just purely RACIST, but insulting to anyone who is not from this “holy” nation.

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