2 Thessalonians 2:9-14
John Lennox makes the connection when he writes:
“Since Antiochus IV plays a central role as a thought model of the future, it is important for us now to get a flavor of the times in which he lived. They hold much to interest us, but we shall have to be content with a thumbnail sketch.
One of the legacies of Alexander’s conquest was the spread of the Greek culture over a vast area, and this led to a ‘NEW TYPE OF CIVILISATION OF MULTIPLE NATIONS UNITED CULTURALLY BY THE GREEK LANGUAGE.’
Alexander ushered in what is known as the Hellenistic Age (from 323-30 BC).
It was a time of high and heady culture. In particular, the period from about 280 to 160 BC produced a long list of intellectual luminaries who laid the foundations of those disciplines that would eventually become science as we now know it.”
According to Merriam-Webster, a democracy is a government by the people “in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.”
Derived from the earlier Phoenician alphabet, the
Greek alphabet was the first alphabet in the western sense of the word, featuring distinct letters for vowels and consonants. It was developed after the Dark Ages and consisted of 24 letters, ordered from alpha to omega.
Believe it or not, the word “alphabet” originates from the first 2 letters of the Greek alphabet: alpha and beta. Today many letters of our modern alphabet originate from the Greek alphabet, including letters such as A, B, E, and O. The Greek originally had a single form of each letter but created upper case and lower case versions of the letters later.
The first library in the world, the library of Alexandria, was actually built in Egypt. During this time Egypt was under Greek control after submitting to Alexander’s rule. The Macedonians started spreading the Greek way of life to all of the conquered lands, including Egypt. After Alexander’s death, there was a power struggle and the Kingdom of Egypt came under the rule of Alexander’s general, Ptolemy.
Ptolemy ordered the construction of a library which would contain over 700,000 scrolls of work. There was also a rule that all ships passing through the Alexandrian harbor had to declare if they had any works of science or philosophy. If they did, the work was copied and placed in the library, and the original copy would be returned to the captain. Because of this accumulation of knowledge, many great discoveries took place in the library.
The Olympic Games started in ancient Greece, specifically in the city of Olympia. The participants were the city-states of Ancient Greece and its colonies. The Olympic Games were held every four years in honor of Zeus, the king god. The prizes for winning were fame and glory. Statues of the winners were erected and sometimes the winners’ faces were even put on coins. Today we still celebrate the Olympic Games and continue some of the old traditions, such as the olive leaf crowns, the lighting of the flame, and the opening and closing celebrations.
What Does the Olympic Flame Symbolize?
Another common symbol of the Olympic Games is the flame. The tradition of the torch relay and lighting of the Olympic flame to start the games began with the Berlin Games in 1936. The flame symbolizes beginning of the Olympic Games. The idea came from ancient Greece, where a sacred fire was kept burning throughout the celebration of the ancient Olympics on the altar of the sanctuary of Hestia.
Who is Hestia?
Hestia was one of the 12 gods and goddesses from Mt Olympus. She was the first born of Cronus and Rhea and was the sister to many famous gods and goddesses, including Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades.
Science and Mathematics
Along with being the birthplace of many great mathematicians, Greece was also the mother country of many famous scientists.
What Greek Thinkers Influenced Science and Mathematics?
This mathematician was the first to calculate the circumference of the Earth. He did this by comparing the altitudes of the mid-day sun at two different locations. Eratosthenes also calculated the tilt of the Earth’s axis, and eventually became the chief librarian of the Library of Alexandria.
This astronomer and mathematician was the first to create a model with a sun at the center of the known universe with the Earth revolving around it. He also placed the planets of the solar system around the sun in the right order and thought stars to be other bodies like the sun. Nicolaus Copernicus attributed the heliocentric theory to Aristarchus.
Archimedes is generally considered the greatest mathematician of antiquity and of all time. He anticipated modern calculus, geometrical theorems, and learned to calculate the area geometric shapes, including the circle and sphere. Some of Archimedes other achievements include coming up with an accurate approximation of pi and designing effective levers and pulleys. One of his famous quotes was, “Give me a lever long enough and I will move the Earth!”
Greek mythology has pervaded nearly every form of popular culture imaginable. Many Greek myths have been adapted into modern novels, movies, TV shows, video games and even brands. Some well-known instances of Greek mythology in pop culture are:
The bestselling novel Percy Jackson and the Olympians
The God of War video game franchise
The TV show Battlestar Galactica
Mary Shelley’s Gothic novel Frankenstein;
The brand Nike (Nike was the Greek goddess of victory)
Like the first library, the first lighthouse in the world was located in the Greek-controlled Egyptian kingdom of Alexandria. The structure was called the Lighthouse of Alexandria, or the Pharos of Alexandria. Taller than the Statue of Liberty, it was the second tallest structure of its day (only the Great Pyramid of Giza was taller than it).
The lighthouse had three layers:
A square-shaped base
An octagonal mid section
A round beacon on top
The lighthouse could be seen by fire at night, and by the smoke of the fire by day. Sadly, the lighthouse was destroyed by earthquakes, but it set the model for all future lighthouses.
While medicine had been practiced in Babylon, China, India and Egypt, the Greeks were the first to create a standardized system of medicine including medical diagnosis, prognosis, and medical ethics. The manner in which the medical practice is carried out today, in terms of diagnosis and sometimes of treatment, is very similar to that of the ancient Greeks. These ancient advancements in medicine were largely instituted by Hippocrates, who is often called the “father of medicine.”
What Did Hippocrates Invent?
Aside from theories and ethics about how physicians should practice medicine, Hippocrates also made direct contributions to the application of medicine. He taught that all ailments had natural causes in a time when people believed that illnesses were punishments from the gods. Some of Hippocrates’ contributions include:
A Hippocratic Oath is a historical sworn statement by physicians in which they swear by the names of a number of healing gods to uphold specific ethical standards. These include principles such as medical confidentiality and non-maleficence. Below is an excerpt from the full text of the Hippocratic Oath, which remains a rite of passage for some medical graduates.
The Oat starts with these words: “I swear by APOLLO, the physician…….
Apollo is one of the Olympian deities in classical Greek and Roman religion and Greek and Roman mythology. His father is Zeus in Greek religion. In Biblical Theology, Apollo is one of the Fallen Elohim, a Nephilim.
“There is little doubt a link between Apollyon and Apollo. Let me elaborate:
The name Apollyon is a Greek play on words for “Apollo”.
The Hebrew word Abaddon means “destruction” and in Greek the word “Apollyon” means “Destroyer”.
The fact that Apollyon is used to intentionally call to mind the god Apollo is hinted at throughout Revelation 9. The Anchor Bible Dictionary says the following concerning the link between Apollyon and Apollo:
“In one manuscript, instead of Apollyon the text reads APOLLO, the Greek God of death and pestilence (or plague like the plague of locusts mentioned in Revelation 9).
Apollyon is no doubt the correct reading. The LOCUST was an emblem of this god.”