Shadows On A Wall

Just a homework break to write about Forms.

In his commentary on Colossians, Douglas Moo points out that Paul may be referencing Plato’s analogy of the cave in Colossians 2:17 where he (Paul, not Plato) says that “these are shadows of greater things.” Plato’s analogy of the cave was central to understanding his cosmology, where he explained that the objects in the world we interact with are like the shadows created on the wall of a cave by objects being carried before a fire.  The real world, the World of the Forms, is the source and inspiration for all things in our world in Plato’s mind.

If Moo is right, then Paul interacts with platonic categories without critique; in other words, he seems largely to just accept and use Plato’s language to communicate his message to his audience. I find that fascinating. Just one more reason to study the Greeks.

By the way, Plato’s most robust discussion of these ideas occurs in The Republic.

-Daniel

3 thoughts on “Shadows On A Wall

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