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Platonism

Source:
A Dictionary of the Bible What is This? Contains accessibly written entries for topics covering the religious, historical, and social aspects of the Bible.

    Platonism

    After the death of Plato (347 BCE), his philosophical teachings were continued into the Hellenistic era by his followers and were an influence on Judaism in the Book of Wisdom. Mankind is given immortality because human beings are made in the ‘image’ of God's own eternal self (Wisd. 2: 23).

    In the NT there is a possible influence of Platonism (through Philo) on the epistle to the Hebrews. In 8: 5 the author uses the idea of a heavenly temple having its earthly, imperfect, counterpart. The Levitical priests minister in what is only a copy or shadow of the heavenly places, where Jesus exercises his priesthood. It is thought that these concepts of this epistle show awareness of Plato's theory that the ‘forms’ or ‘ideas’ laid up in heaven are the perfect realities of which there are imperfect reflections on earth.

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