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Philosophy
Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
Literally means “the love of wisdom.”Philosophy takes on a very broad range of meanings and connotations throughout history and in various traditions. In modern parlance, the noun may refer to one’s worldview, while verbal forms (e.g., “philosophize”) refer to discourse about life’s biggest questions. Philosophy is not a main theme of the Bible, but it is relevant as God’s people try to be faithful to Him in their particular context.
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Philosophy
Philosophy (φιλοσοφία, philosophia). Literally means “the love of wisdom.”Philosophy takes on a very broad range of meanings and connotations throughout history and in various traditions. In modern parlance, the noun may refer to one’s worldview, while verbal forms (e.g., “philosophize”) refer to discourse
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
Philosophy
PHILOSOPHY [Gk philosophia (φιλοσοφια)]. Referring most obviously to the classical Greek schools of thought and their investigation of nature and truth, “philosophy” could denote the study and scientific treatment of, or speculation about, diverse subjects. Besides the intellectual disciplines, it could
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Philosophy
Philosophy. Logically disciplined, self-critical inquiry into the basic questions of life. “Philosophy” itself means “love of wisdom.” This “love” treasures pursuing, discovering, and analyzing and justifying wisdom. Although the word “philosophy” appears only once in the Bible, both Judaism and Christianity
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
Philosophy
PHILOSOPHY Logically disciplined, self-critical inquiry into the basic questions of life. “Philosophy” itself means “love of wisdom.” This “love” treasures pursuing, discovering, analyzing, and justifying wisdom. Although the word “philosophy” appears only once in the Bible, both Judaism and Christianity
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
Philosophy
PHILOSOPHY. The Gr. word philosophia, “love of wisdom,” covered search for all kinds of wisdom. In Col 2:8 it designates the teaching of certain Jewish ascetics who busied themselves in speculations concerning the angels (Col 2:18) and taught a ritualism even stricter than the law of Moses (Col 2:20–23).
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
Philosophy
PhilosophyA word used negatively in the Bible to refer to human understanding in contrast with divinely revealed knowledge. In Classical Greek, philosophy (Gk. philosophɩ́a) could refer to the systematic investigation of a subject or to a distinct body of knowledge. By the 1st century, the term became
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
Philosophy
Philosophy (Gk. philosophía).* In Classical Greek “philosophy” could refer either to the pursuit of wisdom and scientific knowledge or such knowledge itself. In the Hellenistic age the term took on a more generalized meaning, encompassing moral philosophy, religious speculation, and even magic.
Dictionary of Paul and His Letters
Philosophy
PhilosophyThere were four main philosophies that held the intellectual field in the first century A.D.: the Middle Platonists, the (Later) Stoa, the Peripatetics and the Epicureans. In addition there were Cynics who begged for a living and mixed with the people, offering moral advice on a popular level.
Dictionary of New Testament Background
Philosophy
PHILOSOPHYThe subject matter of philosophy, as it emerges in Greece from the beginning of the sixth century, with Thales of Miletus (fl. c. 585 b.c.), is grouped around three basic questions: What is there?—that is to say, what is the world made of, what is its origin and what is its end, if any? What
Smith’s Bible Dictionary
Philosophy
Philosophy. It is the object of the following article to give some account (I) of that development of thought among the Jews which answered to the philosophy of the West; (II) of the systematic progress of Greek philosophy as forming a complete whole; and (III) of the contact of Christianity with philosophy.
The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary
Philosophy
PHILOSOPHY (Gk. philosophia, “love of wisdom”). This term is used in Gk. writings of either zeal for, or skill in, any art or science or other branch of knowledge. It occurs only once in the NT to describe the theology of certain Jewish Christian ascetics who busied themselves with refined and speculative
Key passages
Ec 7:25

I set my mind to try to seek wisdom and the plan, and to know that wickedness is foolishness and that folly is delusion.

Ac 17:18–23

And even some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him, and some were saying, “What does this babbler want to say?” But others said, “He appears to be a proclaimer of foreign deities,” because he was proclaiming the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. And they took …

Col 2:8–10

Beware lest anyone take you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world and not according to Christ, because in him all the fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you are filled in him, who is the head over every …

2 Ti 3:6–7

For from these are those who slip into houses and captivate foolish women loaded down with sins, led by various kinds of desires, always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.

See also
Topics & Themes