Friday, April 3, 2015 4:17 AM

What Did the Pagans Know

Friday, April 3, 2015 4:17 AM
Friday, April 3, 2015 4:17 AM

F.F. Bruce shows by this quote that man seeking Truth with the Word of God will find the Truth, and can do so surround by an unbelieving world. 

Tatian was a pagan in the second century that looked for the truth. He tried philosophy and law, and then he stumbled upon the Bible which he calls barbaric (non-Greek) writings. There he found the truth.

A good example is provided by Tatian in an autobiographical section of his Address to the Greeks (c ad 170). After unsatisfying experiences of Greek philosophical and legal literature and of mystery religions, he says:

I withdrew myself and sought best how to discover the truth. While I was earnestly employed in this matter, I happened to light upon certain ‘barbaric’ [i.e. non-Greek] writings, too old to be compared with the opinions of the Greeks and too divine to be compared with their error. I found myself convinced by these writings, because of the unpretentious cast of the language, the unstudied character of the writers, the ready comprehension of the making of the universe, the foreknowledge of things to come, the excellence of the precepts and the placing of all things under the rule of one principle. My soul being thus taught by God, I understood that the pagan writings led to condemnation, whereas these put an end to the slavery that is in the world, rescuing us from many rulers, yes, from ten thousand tyrants. These writings do not indeed give us something which we had not received before but rather something which we had indeed received but were prevented by error from making our own.[1]



[1] Bruce, F. F. (1988). The canon of scripture (p. 63). Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

« back