Nope. You're wrong. Plain and simple. It is you who do that which you accuse others of.
I think you may not be familiar with the history of the early Christianity and how it was infuenced by Greek pagan phylosophies.
Early Christianity arose as a movement within Second Temple Judaism, following the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. With a missionary commitment to both Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews), Christianity rapidly spread into the greater Roman Empire and beyond. The early Christianity was developing in the Roman Empire, where many religions that were practiced were mainly paganism. Greek philosophy played an important part too in many people’s outlooks on lives. Here, Christianity came into contact with the dominant Pagan religions. By the 2nd century, many Christians were converts from Paganism. These conflicts are recorded in the works of the early Christian writers such as Justin Martyr as well as hostile reports by writers including Tacitus and Suetonius.
Paganism is commonly used to refer to different, largely unconnected religions from the time period, such as the Greco-Roman religions of the Roman Empire, including the Roman imperial cult, the various mystery religions and Gnosticism, and more localised ethnic religions practiced both inside and outside the Empire. During the Middle Ages, the term was also adapted to refer to religions practiced outside the former Roman Empire, such as Germanic paganism and Slavic paganism.
Trinitarianism is a form of polytheism. Since many of the early Christians were converts from pagan religions, they were polytheisticly biased and were more open to a belief of the “Triune God” than the true Abrahamic Monotheistic Jews would have been who worshiped a singular person God. For the new converts of pagan background it was easier to accept polytheistic doctrines as polytheism was nothing new to them at the time. As the Christianity was growing they had to adapt to Judaistic monotheism, thus had to reconcile the 3 persons into One God one way or another.
Christianity originated in the Roman province of Judaea, a predominantly Jewish society, with traditional philosophies distinct from the Greek thought which was dominant in the Roman Empire at the time. The conflict between the two modes of thought is recorded in the Christian scriptures, in Paul's encounters with Epicurean and Stoic philosophers mentioned in Acts, his diatribe against Greek philosophy in 1st Corinthians, and his warning against vain philosophy in Colossians 2:8.
One early Christian writer of the 2nd and early 3rd century, Clement of Alexandria, demonstrated the assimilation of Greek thought in writing: "Philosophy has been given to the Greeks as their own kind of Covenant, their foundation for the philosophy of Christ... the philosophy of the Greeks... contains the basic elements of that genuine and perfect knowledge which is higher than human... even upon those spiritual objects." (Miscellanies 6. 8 ) [ 6]
As Christianity spread throughout the Greek world, an increasing number of church leaders were educated in Greek philosophy. The dominant philosophical traditions of the Greco-Roman world at the time were Stoicism, Platonism, and Epicureanism. Stoicism and, particularly, Platonism were readily incorporated into Christian ethics and Christian theology. Christian assimilation of Greek philosophy was anticipated by Philo and other Greek-speaking Alexandrian Jews. Philo's blend of Judaism, Platonism, and Stoicism strongly influenced Christian Alexandrian writers like Origen and Clement of Alexandria, as well as, in the Latin world, Ambrose of Milan.
The nature of Christ was a topic of numerous debates in the early years of Christianity and the philosophy of ancient Greece played a big role in confusing the monotheistic Christianity with polytheistic paganism. Many early Christians theologians seemed to have struggled to understand numerous Biblical verses in relation to the monotheistic nature of God in the Bible. They had misinterpreted the Bible attempting to determine who Christ is. Their struggle to provide an exegesis had led many to resort to the ideas of pagan philosophies in order to fill in the gaps of their lack of understanding of the monotheistic Biblical scripture. Many early Christians were former pagan converts, the Romans and the Greeks especially, whose polytheistic view would not be an obstacle in interpreting the Bible to establish their definition of God. Although, many early Christian theologians seemingly had polytheistic bias, others were closer to the truth and I will cover later on.
Many historians and religious scholars attest to the influence of Greek or Platonic philosophy in the development and acceptance of the Trinity doctrine in the fourth century. Friedrich Nietzsche, amongst other scholars, called Christianity, "Platonism for the people." Plato's influence on Christian thought is often thought to be mediated by his major influence on Saint Augustine of Hippo, also known as Saint Augustine, Saint Austin, Blessed Augustine, and the Doctor of Grace, is one of the most important philosophers and theologians in the history of Christianity.
Christianity is the West’s most important worldview. Plato was the West’s most important philosopher. But the two have far more in common than just importance—in fact, Plato helped set the intellectual stage for the early church. The famous Greek philosopher Plato (ca. 429-347 B.C.) believed in a divine triad of “God, the ideas, [and] the World-Spirit,” though he “nowhere explained or harmonised this triad” (Charles Bigg, Christian Platonists of Alexandria, 1886, p. 249).
Dean Inge, the famous professor of divinity, writes that:
“Platonism is part of the vital structure of Christian theology . . . . [If people would read Plotinus, who worked to reconcile Platonism with Scripture,] they would understand better the real continuity between the old culture and the new religion... The Galilean Gospel, as it proceeded from the lips of Jesus, was doubtless unaffected by Greek philosophy . . . . But [early Christianity] from its very beginning was formed by a confluence of Jewish and Hellenic religious ideas.”
This idea—Plato as important precursor to Christianity—is far from new.
Let’s look at a few thinkers who’ve found Plato important:
The above mentioned Augustine of Hippo, also known as Saint Augustine, Saint Austin, Blessed Augustine, whose writings influenced the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy.
“The utterance of Plato, the most pure and bright in all philosophy, scattering the clouds of error . . .”
“I found that whatever truth I had read [in the Platonists] was [in the writings of Paul] combined with the exaltation of thy grace.”
Eusebius of Caesarea: “[Plato is] the only Greek who has attained the porch of (Christian) truth.”
Clement of Alexandria: “. . . before the advent of the Lord, philosophy was necessary to the Greeks for righteousness. And now it becomes conducive to piety; being a kind of preparatory training to those who attain to faith . . . . For God is the cause of all good things, but of some primarily, as of the Old and New Testaments; and of others by consequence, as philosophy. Perchance, too, philosophy was given to the Greeks directly and primarily . . . . For [philosophy] was a schoolmaster to bring ‘the Hellenic mind . . . to Christ.’ Philosophy, therefore, was a preparation, paving the way for him who is perfected in Christ.”
Later Greek thinkers refined Plato’s concepts into what they referred to as three “substances”—the supreme God or “the One,” from which came “mind” or “thought” and a “spirit” or “soul.” In their thinking, all were different divine “substances” or aspects of the same God. These were different divine aspects of that same supreme good—distinct and yet unified as one.
Such metaphysical thinking was common among the intelligentsia of the Greek world and carried over into the thinking of the Roman world of the New Testament period and succeeding centuries. As the last of the apostles began to die off, some of this metaphysical thinking began to affect and infiltrate the early Church—primarily through those who had already begun to compromise with paganism.
As Bible scholars John McClintock and James Strong explain: “Towards the end of the 1st century, and during the 2d, many learned men came over both from Judaism and paganism to Christianity. These brought with them into the Christian schools of theology their Platonic ideas and phraseology” ( Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, 1891, Vol. 10, “Trinity,” p. 553).
The true Church largely resisted such infiltration and held firm to the teaching of the apostles, drawing their doctrine from the writings of the apostles and “the Holy Scriptures [the books of the Old Testament] which are able to make you wise for salvation” (2 Timothy 3:15).
Two distinct threads of Christianity split and developed separately—one true to the plain and simple teachings of the Bible and the other increasingly compromised with pagan thought and practices adopted from the Greco-Roman world.
Thus, as debate swelled over the nature of God in the fourth century leading to the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople, it was no longer a debate between biblical truth and error. Both sides in the debate had been seriously compromised by their acceptance of unbiblical philosophical ideas.
Many of the church leaders who formulated the doctrine of the Trinity were steeped in Greek and Platonic philosophy, and this influenced their religious views and teaching. The language they used in describing and defining the Trinity is, in fact, taken directly from Platonic and Greek philosophy. The word Trinity itself is neither biblical nor Christian. Rather, the Platonic term trias, from the word for three, was Latinized as Trinity— the latter giving us the English word Trinity.
“The Alexandria catechetical school, which revered Clement of Alexandria and Origen, the greatest theologian of the Greek Church, as its heads, applied the allegorical method to the explanation of Scripture. Its thought was influenced by Plato: its strong point was [pagan] theological speculations. Athanasius and the three Cappadocians [the men whose Trinitarian views were adopted by the Catholic Church at the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople] had been included among its members” (Hubert Jedin, Ecumenical Councils of the Catholic Church: an Historical Outline, 1960, p. 28).
“The doctrines of the Logos [i.e., the “Word,” a designation for Christ in John 1] and the Trinity received their shape from Greek Fathers, who . . . were much influenced, directly or indirectly, by the Platonic philosophy . . . That errors and corruptions crept into the Church from this source can not be denied” ( The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Samuel Macauley Jackson, editor, 1911, Vol. 9, p. 91).
The preface to historian Edward Gibbons’ History of Christianity sums up the Greek influence on the adoption of the Trinity doctrine by stating: “If Paganism was conquered by Christianity, it is equally true that Christianity was corrupted by Paganism. The pure Deism [basic religion, in this context] of the first Christians … was changed, by the Church of Rome, into the incomprehensible dogma of the trinity. Many of the pagan tenets, invented by the Egyptians and idealized by Plato, were retained as being worthy of belief” (1883, p. xvi). (See “How Ancient Trinitarian Gods Influenced Adoption of the Trinity,” beginning on page 18.)
The link between Plato’s teachings and the Trinity as adopted by the Catholic Church centuries later is so strong that Edward Gibbon, in his masterwork The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, referred to Plato as “the Athenian sage, who had thus marvelously anticipated one of the most surprising discoveries of the Christian revelation” —the Trinity (1890, Vol. 1, p. 574).
Thus we see that the doctrine of the Trinity owes far less to the Bible than it does to the metaphysical speculations of Plato and other pagan Greek philosophers. No wonder the apostle Paul warns us in Colossians 2:8 to beware of “hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ”!
From the days of the Early Church until the present, the (Trinitarian Eastern) Orthodox Church has made positive selective use of ancient Greek philosophy, particularly Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and the Stoics. The most important principle to keep in mind is that early Christianity developed in a Greek milieu and a common vocabulary was used in philosophical, spiritual and theological writing. However, the meanings of words sometimes evolved along different lines. In other cases, philosophical ideas and concepts were sometimes adapted and changed by Christian writers. Any exegetical endeavour trying to unravel the influence of Neo-Platonic thought on Christian theology needs to keep these principles in mind. One should also note that philosophy was used quite differently in the Eastern and Western theological traditions.
The writings attributed to Dionysius the Areopagite are among the most enigmatic works of late antiquity. Byzantine scholars such as Gregory Palamas cited Dionysius especially in matters of Mystical Theology such as theoria, the divine energies and the unknowability of God. At present, modern theologians and philosophers are still debating whether Dionysius was a Neo-Platonist with Christian influences or a Christian writer with Neo-Platonic influences. Among Orthodox scholars, the later view seems to be shared by such writers as Andrew Louth and Vladimir Lossky. However, other Orthodox scholars such as John Meyendorff believe that the Neo-Platonism of Dionysius exerted both positive and negative influences on Orthodox theology. Meyendorff maintains that Dionysius has led to some confusion in the areas of liturgical and ecclesiological formulations.
Julian (born c. 331 – died June 26, 363), was a Roman Emperor (361–363) of the Constantinian dynasty. He was the last pagan Roman Emperor. The legalisation of Christianity by the Emperor Constantine had led to its widespread success within the Eastern Roman Empire and, to a lesser extent, the Western Roman Empire. Julian attempted to counteract Christianity by restoring and reforming pagan worship, using the Neoplatonism developed by Iamblichus to unify Hellenic worship in the empire.
Is God an Essence?
Many Trinitarian Christian will explain the formula of Trinity by saying that God is an Essence, or a Being, consisting of the three Persons the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This is strikingly similar to the philosophy of Aristotle, Plato and Neoplatonism the aforementioned Greek philosophers.
Neoplatonism is generally a metaphysical and epistemological philosophy. Neoplatonism is a form of idealistic monism combined with elements of polytheism. It is a modern term used to designate a tradition of philosophy that arose in the 3rd century AD and persisted until shortly after the closing of the Platonic Academy in Athens in AD 529 by Justinian I. Neoplatonists were heavily influenced by Plato, but also by the Platonic tradition that thrived during the six centuries which separated the first of the Neoplatonists from Plato. The earliest Christian philosophers, such as Justin and Athenagoras, who attempted to connect Christianity with Platonism, and the Christian Gnostics of Alexandria, especially Valentinus and the followers of Basilides, also mirrored elements of Neoplatonism, albeit without its rigorous self-consistency.
Certain central tenets of Neoplatonism served as a philosophical interim for the Christian theologian Augustine of Hippo on his journey from dualistic Manichaeism to Christianity. As a Manichee, Augustine had held that God is made of matter; when he became a Neoplatonist, he changed his views on these things. As a Neoplatonist, and later a Christian, Augustine believed that God is not material. When writing his treatise 'On True Religion' several years after his 387 baptism, Augustine's Christianity was still tempered by Neoplatonism.
Many other Christians were influenced by Neoplatonism, especially in their identifying the Neoplatonic One, or God, with Yahweh. The most influential of these would be Origen, the pupil of Ammonius Saccas and the fifth-century author known as Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, (whose works were translated by John Scotus in the 9th century for the West) and proved significant for both the Eastern Orthodox and Western branches of Christianity. Neoplatonism also had links with Gnosticism, which Plotinus rebuked in his ninth tractate of the second Enneads: "Against Those That Affirm The Creator of The Cosmos and The Cosmos Itself to Be Evil" (generally known as "Against The Gnostics").
So, what is an Essence? In philosophy, essence is the attribute or set of attributes that make an entity or substance what it fundamentally is, and which it has by necessity, and which without it loses its identity.
Essence as the concept originates with Aristotle, who used the Greek expression to ti ên einai (τὸ τί ἦν εἶναι, literally meaning "the what it was to be" and corresponding to the scholastic term quiddity). In the history of Western thought, essence has often served as a vehicle for doctrines that tend to individuate different forms of existence as well as different identity conditions for objects and properties; in this logical meaning, the concept has given a strong theoretical and common-sense basis to the whole family of logical theories based on the "possible worlds" analogy set up by Leibniz and developed in the intensional logic from Carnap to Kripke, which was later challenged by "extensionalist" philosophers such as Quine.
So, in his dialogues Plato suggests that concrete beings acquire their essence through their relations to "Forms"—abstract universals logically or ontologically separate from the objects of sense perception.
The term "Logos" was interpreted variously in neoplatonism. Plotinus refers to Thales in interpreting Logos as the principle of meditation, the interrelationship between the Hypostases (Soul, Spirit (nous) and the 'One').
Aristotle continues to influence Christian theology, especially the Neoplatonism of the Early Church, and the scholastic tradition of the Roman Catholic Church.
With the loss of the study of ancient Greek in the early medieval Latin West, Aristotle was practically unknown there from c. AD 600 to c. 1100 except through the Latin translation of the Organon made by Boethius. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, interest in Aristotle revived and Latin Christians had translations made, from the original Greek, such as those by James of Venice and William of Moerbeke.
After Thomas Aquinas wrote his theology, working from Moerbeke's translations, the demand for Aristotle's writings grew and the Greek manuscripts returned to the West, stimulating a revival of Aristotelianism in Europe that continued into the Renaissance. Aristotle is referred to as "The Philosopher" by Scholastic thinkers such as Thomas Aquinas (see Summa Theologica, Part I, Question 3, etc.). These thinkers blended Aristotelian philosophy with Christianity, bringing the thought of Ancient Greece into the Middle Ages.
Due to their belief being grounded in Platonic thought, the Neoplatonists rejected Gnosticism's vilification of Plato's demiurge, the creator of the material world or cosmos discussed in the Timaeus. Neoplatonism has been referred to as orthodox Platonic philosophy by scholars like Professor John D. Turner; this reference may be due, in part, to Plotinus' attempt to refute certain interpretations of Platonic philosophy, through his Enneads. Plotinus believed the followers of Gnosticism had corrupted the original teachings of Plato and often argued against likes of Valentinus who, according to Plotinus, had given rise to doctrines of dogmatic theology with ideas such as that the Spirit of Christ was brought forth by a conscious god after the fall from Pleroma. According to Plotinus, The One is not a conscious god with intent nor a godhead nor a conditioned existing entity of any kind, rather a requisite principle of totality which is also the source of ultimate wisdom.
Despite the influence of this pagan philosophy had on Christianity, Justinian I would hurt neoplatonism later by ordering the closure of the refounded School of Athens. After the closure, Neoplatonic and or secular philosophical studies continued in publicly funded schools in Alexandria. In the early seventh century, the Neoplatonist Stephanus brought this Alexandrian tradition to Constantinople, where it would remain influential, albeit as a form of secular education. The university maintained an active philosophical tradition of Platonism and Aristotelianism, with the former being the longest unbroken Platonic school, running for close to two millennia until the 15th century
Neoplatonism ostensibly survived in the Eastern Christian Church as an independent tradition and was reintroduced to the West by Plethon, an avowed pagan and opponent of the Byzantine Church, inasmuch as the latter, under Western scholastic influence, relied heavily upon Aristotelian methodology. Plethon's Platonic revival, following the Council of Florence (1438–1439), largely accounts for the renewed interest in Platonic philosophy which accompanied the Renaissance.
John Burnet (1892) noted: The Neoplatonists were quite justified in regarding themselves as the spiritual heirs of Pythagoras; and, in their hands, philosophy ceased to exist as such, and became theology. And this tendency was at work all along; hardly a single Greek philosopher was wholly uninfluenced by it. Perhaps Aristotle might seem to be an exception; but it is probable that, if we still possessed a few such "exoteric" works as the Protreptikos in their entirety, we should find that the enthusiastic words in which he speaks of the "blessed life" in the Metaphysics and in the Ethics (Nicomachean Ethics) were less isolated outbursts of feeling than they appear now. In later days, Apollonios of Tyana showed in practice what this sort of thing must ultimately lead to. The theurgy and thaumaturgy of the late Greek schools were only the fruit of the seed sown by the generation which immediately preceded the Persian War.
Apostle Paul having been trying to convert early Greeks to Christianity saw that philosophy of mere men is not the way forward for a believer, especially when it came to theology: Colossians 2:8: ’ See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.