Knowledge & Understanding Of Ignorance In A Bible

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The Republic contrasts forms, which is knowledge, form opinion, represented by appearances and its benefits in leadership. Knowledge, from a biblical basis is acquired through the Holy Spirit as a gift. In Theological-Political Treatise, knowledge is the basis of understanding the role of a state and interaction with religion, whose golden rule is love and charity to others. The Republic is a collection of philosophical works by Plato on various issues in the ancient Greek setting and utilizes characters such as Socrates. The Bible is the Holy book for Christians written by multiple authors such as Paul and addresses the relationship between Christian believers and God, and interrelationship amongst the believers, concerning everyday life. The Theological-Political Treatise, written by Benedict Spinoza, is a philosophical book, majorly relating Christianity and politics in the contextual society. The following essay is an analysis based on my interpretation of the selected texts from The Plato Republic, The Bible and the Theological-Political Treatise within their respective original and contemporary contexts.

Differentiating forms, true knowledge, form appearances, which represent pseudo-knowledge, is significant to any society. For Socrates world is divided in form and appearances. Forms of good are divine, unchanging, being, soul, one ruler and finite. Hence appearances are human, changing birth and decay, becoming body, many ruled and infinite. Socrates says that anything good can only be understood, known if good is understood or known (Republic Plato, 505). There is a need for knowledge in the city and what philosophy is and its usefulness to the city. The text differentiates true and false philosophers, referred to as lovers of beauty. The passage indicates that, in order to know what is just, one has to possess the knowledge and not opinion. Justice has moral foundation and the protection of every person’s neglects in todays date. Socrates claims that justice is virtue. True knowledge understands the things that are eternal and unchanging such as God, The Equal and The Beautiful. “.the existence of abstract ideas, such as justice, beauty, good, evil, which are severally one. Those who recognize these realities are philosopher…” (Republic Plato 62). True knowledge of understanding things that are complete in existence and their degree does not change with time. On the other hand, false philosophy only relies on opinions and on things that change. For example, pseudo-philosophers only explain the things that are seen and heard. The concepts that are held by false philosophers are opinions and change. For example, the taste of fruit is based on the sense of an individual’s opinion against certain standards. “… The class hears sounds and see colors, and understand their use in the arts, but cannot attain to the true or waking vision of absolute justice or beauty or truth; they have not the light of knowledge, but opinion, and what they see is a dream only…” ( Republic Plato 62). According to the passage, the world is divided between the true knowledge and knowledge of what is seen and perspectives in the contemporary environment. Socrates asserts that rulers are not philosophers and therefore lack the understanding of what is justice in the city. Power is embedded in both opinion and knowledge. Opinions are based on things that are within the environment and other abstract things that also exist, constitute the power in opinion. Similarly, true knowledge that is based on the completeness of things is losing power. The difference between the power of opinions and knowledge is ignorance. “Opinion and knowledge, then, having distinct objects, must also be distinct faculties…as opinion and knowledge differ, since the one is liable to err, but the other is unerring and is the mightiest of all our faculties…”( Plato 62). Overall, form is true knowledge, the ability to discern, and does not change and is divine. On the contrary, an appearance inform on what can be perceived within the environment and therefore changes as the objects in the surrounding change.

According to my understanding, the intellectuals are justified to be the rulers. Based on the passage, philosophers know and love the truth. Philosophy is based on what is true and eternal, without an element of false hood. Philosophy is based on facts, unlike false philosophy that is based on what is observed. The text argues that it is only philosophers who can rule the city and manifest justice in their leadership. Hence Plato has a strong bias in the superiority of the rational mind. He insists that philosophers are best suited to rule because reason is dominant in their soul. The most important part of it is the myth that God has created man of three kinds the best made of gold, and the remaining two of silver and bronze respectively. Those made of gold are best fit to be rulers, and those made of silver and bronze to be soldiers and workers respectively. Philosophers are virtuous since they are fast to learn and courageous. Further, people with knowledge are interested in the truth, knowledge, and virtue. “…Original image of the philosopher? Did we not say of him just now, that he loved truth and hated falsehood, and that he could not rest in the multiplicity of phenomena, but was led by sympathy in his nature to the contemplation of the absolute…”(Plato, 65). Philosophers alone have knowledge of what really is e.g. just good and fine and this makes them better at ruling.

Justice is a virtue that is inborn. Based on the argument, philosophers divert their time and energy and devotion to the truth, knowledge and what is just. Therefore, the true philosophers, who should be rulers in the city, do not have time to lie or steal in order to gain power, honor or money. Soul is superior to many it’s a ruler/ rule relationship meaning one must rule and one is superior to many. This is contradictory to the common self-proclaimed intellectuals who are corrupted by their families and relatives to use tricky methods to gain power. Eventually, the place in the society for the true leaders is occupied by people who are not knowledgeable. Based on the passage, leadership is a process that requires skills. The skills to leadership are best demonstrated by people who love the truth and wisdom, the philosophers. The intellectuals are best suited to rule the city because they can constrain their desires for money, honor, and pleasure. Further, a wise person, based on the understanding, knows the needs of the city and its people. Usually, humanity does not appreciate the existence and the importance of knowledge. However, knowledge is more important than the status of leadership since knowledge helps the leaders understand the needs of the society in order to offer excellent leadership.

The allegory of the Cave describes the making of a leader. The dark cave represents humanity in its state of ignorance. The external light represents the knowledge that is gained only by a few intellectuals from the whole human society. The text explains the transformation from ignorance. According to The Republic, humanity is generally characterized by ignorance of the truth. People in contemporary society are not aware of the facts about what is right. Individuals are not exposed to the unknown and unending facts about virtues, honesty and all that is good for humanity. Instead, people only concentrate on what they see around them. Limited ideas restrict the thoughts of all individuals. All members of society are members of this category of individuals. Only a few members of the society, who have the knowledge and are distinguishable from the rest of the society on their ability to learn the truth. The intellectuals usually cannot be comprehended by the other members of the society because of their levels of understanding are different. Other members of society only perceive what they can sense while the wise understand truths that do not change and are eternal. Socrates states that the people who have the true understanding should educate the others. Socrates predicts that the other people will resist the truth told by the wise. However, he insists that philosophers, since they are best suited to leaders, should enlighten others. 

The society, therefore, should not resist knowledge taught by those with true understanding of life, humanity and the world, but rather listen and obey. “We must choose out, therefore, the natures who are most likely to ascend to the light and knowledge of the good, but we must not allow them to remain in the region of light; they must be forced down again among the captives in the den to partake of their labors and honors…”(Republic Plato 79). Leaders are either lead by rational thinking or irrational decision-making. Everyone is faced by bodily desires for pleasure. People who are rational resist their desires. On the other hand, irrational people do not control their desires. Leaders who are irrational become tyrants and oppress their subjects. Irritations people spend lavishly and soon run out of resources. “…This monster love takes possession of him and puts an end to every true or modest though to wish. Love, like drunkenness and madness, is tyranny; and the tyrannical man, whether made by nature or habit, is just a drinking, lusting, furious sort of animal. Eventually, irrational people live in fear because of the crimes they have committed…” (Republic Plato,105). Irrational leaders oppress their subjects to gain the money they need to fulfill desires. ‘’…He waxes strong in all violence and lawlessness and is ready for any deed of daring that will supply the wants of his rabble-rout…“(Republic Plato 106).

The context of The Republic text differs from the contextual settings of the Bible and Theological-Political Treatise. The passage addresses inborn knowledge from a contemporary society’s point of view. The text shows how individuals with inborn different levels of knowledge reason differently. The Bible and Theological-Political Treatise talk about knowledge from a spiritual perspective and explain knowledge as a gift from God and not as inborn.

The Bible passage differentiates spiritual from philosophical wisdom. The two spirits, which are, mentioned one with a capital “S” and the other with a small “s”. We know that the one with capital letter is the Holy Spirit and the one with the small letter refers to our human spirit. The spiritual wisdom reveals God’s plan to us and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Spiritual wisdom is a revelation by the Spirit whereas intellectual wisdom is gained through the scientific process on humanity. “…Not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God… not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual…” (1Corintians 2:13). The Spirit reveals God’s truth and dictates teaching to fellow Christian believers. Religious leaders should not write and teach by their wisdom, but by Godly knowledge that is revealed by the Holy Spirit. Further, the same Holy Spirit reveals the truth to all the people who believe in Christ. Revelation from God is not only imparted to the preachers but also to the Christians through. The Bible passage insists that the people who do not have a spiritual connection cannot access the truth. Since the preachers and writes of the Bible are inspired by the Spirit about the facts, therefore, the word of the Bible is true. The Bible distinguishes people who have the right spiritual knowledge. “…But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit search all things, yea, the deep things of God …” (1Corintians 2:10). 

The Holy Spirit searches to understand God’s plans and purposes for those who believe in Christ and his place for them in the future. Therefore, the intelligent search for Godly knowledge is performed by the Holy Spirit, who is one in God’s Trinity. The knowledge gained by the Holy Spirit is imparted onto people. The passage further differentiates the spiritual knowledge and the philosophical knowledge that people search daily. The knowledge revealed by the Holy Spirit is the knowledge about gifts such as life after death, and forgiveness of sin. On the other hand, worldly knowledge or philosophy is sought by people who understand texts from a literary point of view, as it applies to contemporary society. “…Now we have received, not the Spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God…” (1Corintians 2:12). The Bible passage explains the differences in literal writings between the Greek and Bible texts. The contemporary Greek texts are written in a figurative language, which is hard to understand. On the contrary, the Biblical the text is written in clear and appropriate language, which is easily understood by the Christians who have the Holy Spirit.

The Bible highlights the connection between good versus evil. Good and evil are concepts discussed in connection to the story of creation. Images are properly divided in human to know good and evil, being transformed to moral sense. God gave us choice to choose between good and evil and all choice occurs with in the knowledge of good and evil, between the infinite and finite. God is omnipotent and infinite powers, despite the fact that human being are finite, we know and understand as He has revealed himself to us. Human beings men and women’s are created in the image of God and nothing is crucified. Spirit is not separate from body and life. In fact Spirit is enriched from knowledge, which is distinct between love and knowledge. The man became capable of committing evil. However, the association between God and man indicates that man has the option of choosing between evil and good. Human beings, in their nature are limited in their knowledge about what is good and evil. However, initially, human beings were created by the image of God, and thus can understand knowledge given by God through the Holy Spirit. The knowledge given by the Holy Spirit encourages actions manifesting love and charity to others. To discern the good from the evil, there is the need to acquire supernatural intellect. The intellect that is required to understand good and evil is part of the wisdom imparted by God through Jesus Christ. “…That was the true Light, which lighted every man that cometh into the world…” (1Corintians 2:9). Life is one chooses, ability to understand, choose between good and evil. Once the tranquility ideas are in your life, you can then deepen the sense of consciousness. The light can come to the world only if it’s in the world. Hence in that light we live, light is coming in the world is a sign of God success and failure, we are free to choose the light or against the light.

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The Bible metaphorically compares the discerning wisdom to the natural light from the sun. Since creation, God had the knowledge of the good and evil… ” And God said, Let there be Light; and there was light (Genesis 1:3.). The Bible describes Jesus Christ as the Light of the world. Therefore, the knowledge otherwise referred to as light, comes from Jesus Christ. Just like the natural sun light that shines the world all over, the knowledge to understand the good and the evil is available to everyone. The knowledge enables those who believe to understand the evil and its consequences and righteousness and its consequences as well. Therefore, to receive the knowledge and intellect brought by Jesus Christ, one must be ready to become like Christ in terms of knowledge. The fact that the Bible asserts the light, the knowledge came to the world, means that people have the freedom to choose between good and evil.

The power of knowledge is evident in the Biblical text. According to the teaching of the Bible, the knowledge and thus the faith in Christ grow, to greatness. Creation is your response to existence, you either choose to how you treat to choose other. The consciousness of good and evil cannot be corrupted. Bible passages underline the significance of any knowledge, however small it may look like. The knowledge about biblical teaching enables us to choose between good and evil. The knowledge grows, even if the world and whatever is around corrupts the knowledge imparted. Further, the knowledge brought about by differentiating between the truth and the evil grows. Just like the mustard seed, the knowledge expands in size. Other people around those who possess the knowledge benefit from the acquired through knowledge and wisdom. For example, the mustard seed grows not a tree that the birds feed on and find shelter. “…Another parable put the forth unto them, saying. The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field…” (Matthew 3.2).

The Bible teaches on the existence of God kingdom on earth. The heavenly Kingdom exists on earth since Jesus, who imparts knowledge about good and evil, has come to the world. The people who believe in Christ are the members of the Kingdom. Therefore, the believers have a role to play. The heavenly kingdom is characterized by holiness and righteousness. Therefore, in order to maintain righteousness, believers should have hope. To conform to the nature of the Heavenly kingdom, one requires concentration and focus and commitment.

The Bible passage differentiates true knowledge and dedication to God by obedience. The Bible teaches that the spiritual worship that is truthful and pleases God is the obedience, humility, and service to parents. On the contrary, the Pharisees contested that all the Jews must follow the morals and customs of the Mosaic laws. However, Jesus condemns theme that there is no more spiritual worship that then worships through obedience to the world in the Bible. The Bible also teaches about love and service to others. Jesus performed a miracle and fed five thousand people from three loaves and two fish. The miracle reflected that Christians, that should have pity and love for one another. “…When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.” (Matthew 3.2). Jesus was moved by feelings of compassion and pity for the people who followed him. In fact, Jesus had gone out to a lovely place when the crowd followed Him. Jesus manifests love, through His actions. Jesus carries about the physics health and the well being of the Spirit and the soul. The Bible passage loss reveals Jesus’ nature as divine at the same time mortal nature since He expresses humanly emotions such as pity and compassion. Overall, the passage by Paul talks about love, charity and justice, which are more superior to worldly knowledge. Love, charity and justice can only be understood by acquiring God’s knowledge through the Holy Spirit. Jesus teaches about charity and love through action and parables.

There is a difference between true intellect and lack of knowledge. Spinoza writes to differentiate between the common knowledge and intellect among all the people and the moral teaching of the Bible. The author claims that philosophy, knowledge, and intellect, is common to all people. However, the lessons taught in the Bible surpass the literal context of the Bible.

“…Two differences between natural knowledge and knowledge that everyone calls ‘divine’: extends beyond the limits of, and the laws of human nature, considered in themselves, can’t be the cause of they are of. Philosophy does not teach love for one another but the Bible teaches mortality…” (Spinoza 2). To understand the true teaching of the Bible, people should read the Bible to establish the relationships between man and God. The Scripture and Philosophy are different spheres of life. Therefore, none should dominate the other. People should read the Bible and understand its moral teaching. At the same time, people should reason independently and talk independently. The understanding of the independence between intellect and the biblical teaching of love as a morality promotes peace and harmoniously in society. Disputes occur when people have differences in opinion, and yet they do not have the freedom to express themselves. The passage addresses the relationship between a leader, leadership and the people who are led.

“…is that freedom of opinion and worship is not harmful to the piety and peace of the State but essential for them. Our mind contains a representation of the nature of God, and itself shares in that nature…” (Spinoza 5). God gave the golden rule to a man who is to love others. Man should exercise love and charity within the state, where the laws of the land exists and thus should differentiate God’s golden of love rule from laws of the state. The knowledge that is available to all people, which is inborn is same the intellect that is manifested by prophets. The natural and common understanding is based on imagination. The prophecy is only religious on the revelation from God but founded on common knowledge and understanding, which is possessed by every human being. “…Everyone has this natural knowledge because the basis for it is a nature that all men have; When they speak of ‘prophetic knowledge,’ they mean this as excluding natural knowledge. But natural knowledge has as much right to be called ‘divine’ as any other knowledge…” (Spinoza 9). Human beings are fundamental, both have roots in God’s decree, natural knowledge can be called prophecy and it is common to all. The aim of this reaching is to encourage people, especially the Christians in using their intellect to discern messages taught by religious leaders. Spinoza earlier cautions the believers about the religious leaders’ or prophets ability and tendency to exploit the emotions of the believers. “…And when times are bad, men don’t know where to turn; they ask advice from everyone, and they follow it, however stupid and clumsy it may be …” (Spinoza 2).

Further, the passage explains the Christian teachings versus the law of legal system in contemporary society. The Christian teaching requires knowledge about God’s love and the action that is required to attain such status. “…So the sum-total of the divine law and its highest command is to love God as the [61] highest good, the idea of God dictates this: that God is our highest good, i.e., that the love of God is the ultimate end toward which all our actions are to be directed. On the contrary, the ceremonial law is written guidance on customary and dietary practices meant to the use of the Jews at that time. Law is nothing but a way of living that man prescribes to himself and others for some purpose…” (Spinoza 36). Likewise, current customary restrictions in religion texts guide the behavior of the people. Thus, believers should possess the understanding of the difference between divine law, which is the golden law of loving others verses, the customary law that exists to ensure prosperity and existence of a society. Common good, faith reason allows uniqueness notion of common ownership, which protect the uniqueness of human being. Everyone has freedom to interpret bible, law, and sovereign providing doing so constraints justice, charity and love. Everyone is entitled to freedom of interpreting religion the law and persuasion of self-interests in the society. However, each person should undertake everything with the notion of the common good for all and without violating the laws of the state, and God’s commandment for love and charity to others. 

Finally, Spinoza passage explains the relationships between intellect, personal freedom, and the state. The natural law in which every individual lives to achieve his or her self-interests by all men is detrimental to the society. Therefore, a system of laws that administers power is necessary. In the democratic system, it should be understood that the government is given power by the people. Therefore, the government administers the law to the same citizens. The law administered by the government should however not restrict personal opinion or infringe on freedom of speech. “… However much the sovereign authorities are believed to have a right over everything and to be the interpreters of right and piety, they’ll never be able to stop men from forming their own opinions about everything on the basis of their state of mind…” (Spinoza 157). However, uncontrolled freedom of speech and expression is harmful to society. Overall, the society should be regulated by a body of authority through a social contract, acting for the interests of the people without infringing on freedom of opinion and expression. “… State trying to make men (with all their different and conflicting views) always speak according to what they prescribe, they will get only the most unfortunate result…” (Spinoza 157).

To sum up, the passages for The Republic, The Bible, and Theological-Political Treatise have a common theme of intellect. The Republic emphasizes on the need for intellect in leadership. The Bible and Theological-Political Treatise express the need for intellectual freedom in interpreting The Bible and relating to political regimes. The passages emphasize the need for understanding the need for extending goodness to others. According to my understanding of the texts, justice in economic, political and social spheres of an individual and society can only be achieved through the acquisition and use of knowledge and advertising. The Bible and Theological-Political Treatise emphasize on the divine nature of the human mind and soul, who was created in God’s image. God is known to all of us and imparts knowledge and understanding. The knowledge enables us to distinguish good from evil and understand the God’s perspective of charity and love. The Republic explains the significant roles played by knowledge and those who possess it in the society, with emphasizes on leadership.

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