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1 ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ A KEYWORD IN PLATO S APOLOGY AND JOHN S GOSPEL: A COMPARATIVE STUDY By Ewa Osek καί μοι μὴ ἄχθεσθε λέγοντι τἀληθ. And do not be angry with me for speaking the truth. Plato, Apology of Socrates 31 e1 ἐγὼ δὲ ὅτι τὴν ἀλήθειαν λέγω, οὐ πιστεύετέ μοι. But because I am telling you the truth, you do not believe me. John s Gospel 8, 45 I ought perhaps to begin by asking the essential question: what is the point of comparing the two literary texts so different in style and so distant in time as Plato s Apology of Socrates and St. John s Gospel? Are there any similarities between them? My answer is yes. The present paper is some kind of proposition of textual analysis oriented towards investigating the leading keywords, namely the truth terminology and correlated terms in the writings in question. I shall attempt to show the parallel usage of the key term ἀλήθεια in both (section one) and then to demonstrate the analogous context of its occurrences (section two). At the conclusion of this study I will offer a hypothesis on the Orphic background for the most impressive similarities (section three). Before discussing the truth terminology in the texts, a synthetic overview of state of the research should be made. The theme of truth in John has been a part of the extensive Johannine studies and a subject of the detailed analysis for over 100 years. The three different tendencies could be observed in the modern scholarship. In the period from 1900 commentators 1

2 commonly inclined to opinion that John was influenced by the Hellenistic syncretism (BÜCHSEL 1928, SCHULZ 1960, SCHWEIZER 1965, LIGHTFOOT 1956: 86-87), by the Platonic tradition and the Hermetic literature (DODD 1953, 1963, BARRET 1982), or by the Gnostic idea of truth (BULTMANN 1933, 1941). 1 The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran ( ) made 2 (א מ ח many scholars to derive the John s view from the Old Testament truth (the Hebrew with its emphasis on stability, fidelity, faithfulness, and to show some continuity between the usage of the term in the Old Testament, the Qumran writings, and John. These attempts have been made since the early fifties (KUHN 1950, GROSSOUW 1951, BROWN 1955, 1966: I , 1979 BETZ 1960, AALEN 1964, KUYPER 1964, BROWN CHARLESWORTH 1972, POTTERIE 1977, BARRET 1978, MORRIS 1995, MBURU 2010). 3 At last, an eclectic school appeared, trying to reach a compromise between the Greek and Hebrew approaches and doesn t seek to define the Johannine notion of truth in categories exclusively Hebrew or Greek (BARR 1961: , LOZANO 1964, IBUKI 1972, THISELTON 1978, CRUMP 1992). The most eminent representative of the Hebrew tendency still remains Ignace de la Potterie and his two-volume monograph in French (POTTERIE 1977). The author emphasizes theme of the Revelation as a central idea of the Fourth Gospel and reduces truth to something subordinated to it. He concluded that in John there is a total absence of Hellenistic (including Gnostic or Platonic) expressions and meanings. Whatever doesn t fit with the Hebrew pattern, like to know the truth, is explained by simple verbal similarities or influence of various literary forms of the Hellenistic Judaism, like the Septuagint, the Wisdom literature, and the Jewish Pseudepigrapha. According to Potterie, the John s conception of truth is incompatible with the Greek, especially Platonic background. For example, the Johannine idea of hearing the truth seems to him purely Hebraic, despite its earlier appearance in the Apology. 4 This view demands for correction, because there are in John s Gospel some instances of truth, which don t match to the Hebrew meaning. Moreover, the attempt to understand them on the Hebrew background or, if it is impossible, to reduce them to superficial similarities simplifies the profound and complex meaning of truth in the cross-cultural text of Spiritual Gospel. 5 The theory of Hebrew pattern can t help to explicate why John places his truth in the setting with its synonyms and opposites, like do some Greek texts of the 1 See discussion in SCHNACKENBURG 1980: The LXX uses ἀλήθεια to translate Hebrew `emet in 90 percent of the instances. 3 See discussion in ATTRIDGE 2004; ENSOR Jn 8, 40: τὴν ἀλήθειαν... ἣν ἤκουσα; cf. Jn 8, 47; 18, 37; Apol. 17 b8: πᾶσαν τὴν ἀλήθειαν ἀκούσεσθε. 5 Cf. the famous expression of Clement of Alexandria in EUSEBIUS OF CAESAREA, Historia Ecclesiastica VI 14, 7 (πνευματικὸν... εὐαγγέλιον). 2

3 classical period. Consequently, there is a need for a return to the Greek reading of John and understanding the Fourth Gospel within the context of widespread Platonism. 6 I don t suggest that author of John s Gospel was a Middle Platonic philosopher, but I assume an indirect influence of some well known dialogues, such as Phaedrus and Apology, which were current in the contemporaneous culture (like school reading, popular philosophical lectures, high literature, and so on). What about helpful monographs on truth in Plato s Apology? They don t exist yet. While the Plato s conception of truth in his philosophical dialogues has been examined in detail 7, the problem of ἀλήθεια in the Apology has nowhere received full treatment 8 and, of course, never been compared with the Johannine terminology. 1. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF TRUTH In the Apology Plato uses ἀλήθεια and its derivates from the same stem 36 times. The noun ἀλήθεια ( truth ) occurs 8 times, the adjective ἀληθής ( true ) 24 times, the adverb ἀληθῶς ( truly ) 3 times and the verb ἀληθεύειν ( to tell truth ) once. The high number of occurrences and the striking repetition of the words for truth in the Socrates preliminary remarks, the crucial points of his two speeches and the farewell address to the jurors emphasize the importance of the problem and make it the central theme of Socrates defense. 9 As compared to Plato, the Johannine usage is more intensive: the substantive ἀλήθεια is found 25 times, the adjectives ἀληθής and ἀληθινός are seen 22 times, and the adverb ἀληθῶς is used 7 times. Overall, truth in John s Gospel, underscored by 54 instances of the word group, in comparison with a combined total of 9 in the Synoptics and 28 in the Johannine epistles, takes fuller and unique meaning in the Prologue, the Jesus discourses and the scene of trial before Pilate. 10 Both Plato and the evangelist use the ἀλήθεια and its cognates in combination with the verbs λέγειν ( to tell ), ποιεῖν ( to do ), ἀκούειν ( to hear ), γινώσκειν ( to know ), and 6 Cf. DODD 1953: ; NOBILIO 2007 (the Platonic reading of John s prophet and seal ). 7 XENAKIS 1959; WOLTZ 1966; GUILLAMAUD 1987; HAMPTON 1987; FREDE 1992; DAVIDSON 1992; BALABAN 1999; HESTIR 2000; 2003; 2004; SZAIF 1996; 2000; 2004; FIERRO 2001; JENKS 2001; FIORENTINO 2002; WOLENSKI 2005; CASERTANO Truth in the Apology is mentioned several times in the following articles: COULTER 1964: ; KATO 1991: ; KNIGHT 1993: 586 note 22; BIESECKER-MAST 1994: Apol ; 19-20; 22-24; 27-29; 31; 33-34; 36; The Platonic Apology consists of the three speeches: the first speech (17 a1 35 d8), the second speech (35 e1 38 b9), and the third speech (38 c1 42 a5). See full treatment of the composition: SLINGS STRYCKER 1994: Jn 1, ; 3, ; 4, ; 5, 31-33; 6, ; 7, ; 8, ; 10, 41; 14, 6. 17; 15, 1. 26; 17, 16, 7. 13; 17, ; 18, 37-38; 19, 35. The Greek text of John s Gospel after the latest edition: NA 27. 3

4 εἶναι ( to be ). Let s proceed to show some analogies that exist between the Socratic and Johannine usage. The meanings of ἀλήθεια and its derivatives may be arranged as follows The pragmatic truth ( verity ) In the most common sense truth and truthful denote that which corresponds to the facts of the matter, in the other words, which is veritable (i.e. agreeable to the actual facts ). The ἀλήθεια in its basic meaning is used as an object of the verbs to tell (λέγειν) and to hear (ἀκούειν). At the beginning of his defense Socrates promises to the judges that they will be hearing from him the entire truth (17 b8: ἀκούσεσθε πᾶσαν τὴν ἀλήθειαν), alluding to the well-known Homeric formula πᾶσαν τὴν ἀληθείην. 11 The same phrase is reiterated at 20 d5, where he declares to tell the jury the entire truth (πᾶσαν ὑμῖν τὴν ἀλήθειαν ἐρῶ). Once speaking the truth is expressed by the special verb ἀληθεύειν (34 b5); in this passage Socrates means himself, of course. The some Platonic phrases show that the Homeric or Socratic to tell the entire truth undoubtedly implies the etymological sense of revealing some hidden things: ἀ-λήθεια as ἀ- λήθη non-concealment, non-forgetfulness. 12 These are the passages, where Socrates represents himself as well informed person, from whom nothing can conceal: οὐ πάνυ με λανθάνει (19 a5: it can t conceal from me ). 13 This etymologizing understanding of truth is paralleled by the Johannine story about the Samaritan woman, who tried to hide from Jesus a certain fact of her private life, but by chance she told him the words agreeable to the actual state of affairs (4, 7-29). In that situation, omniscient Christ replied to her: καλῶς εἶπες (4, 17: that s right ) and τοῦτο ἀληθὲς εἴρηκας (4, 18: You have said true ). 14 Very similar is usage of the substantive neuter ἀληθές and ἀληθ, for instance in the sentence: οὐκ ἀληθ λέγει (Apol. 33 b8: he doesn t tell the veritable words ), where ἀληθ means veritable. The adjective ἀληθ also occurs with the implicit or explicit saying (τὰ λεγόμενα), like in the phrases: εἰ ταῦτ ἀληθ ἐστι and εἴπερ γε τὰ λεγόμενα ἀληθ (Apol. 41 a8; 41 c7: if these tales are true ). It is possible that these passages involve the so called theory of correspondence, i.e. approach to truth as an exact correspondence between 11 Cf. HOMERUS, Ilias XXIV 407; XXIII 361; Odyssea XI 507; XIII 254. See detailed analysis in LEVET Cf. EURIPIDES, Iphigenia Taurica 1026: κλεπτῶν γὰρ ἡ νύξ, τς ἀληθείας τὸ φῶς ( Night belongs to thieves, light to truth ); SEXTUS EMPIRICUS, Adversus dogmaticos 2, 8: ἀληθ μὲν εἶναι τὰ κοινῶς πᾶσι φαινόμενα ( true are things, which are commonly seen by all people ). 13 Cf. Apol. 17 a3; 34 a5; HEITSCH 1962; RANKIN In fact, both phrases are synonymous; see BENARDETE

5 language and action. 15 Some kind of correspondence is found at Jn 10, 41, where opinion of many Jews, who believed in Jesus, is quoted: everything John [the Baptist] said about this man [Christ] was true (ἀληθ). This was an uncontestable truth, which didn t need a miraculous sign (σημεῖον) to prove it The legal term ( veracity ) The legal setting of each of the writings (Socrates speech delivered before the jury and interrogation of Jesus by Pharisees) provides a good reason to employ of ἀληθής in the forensic sense. 16 At once the question arises, if the ἀληθής in its basic meaning ( veritable, objectively true ) is coherent with the use of the same word in the legal context with overtone veracious. The former expresses self-manifesting pragmatic truth and the latter so called formal truth, reconstructed by prosecution, witness testimonies, and so on. In fact, the question concerns the relationship of truth (ἀλήθεια) to the law (νόμος). 17 As the philologists have shown, 18 the Apology of Socrates is a parody of the contemporaneous conventions of forensic oratory, especially Gorgias Defense of Palamedes. According to Plato, Socrates, not being unaware of the conventions of rhetoric and the procedure in a courtroom defense, showed his disdain, arrogance and contempt to the jury, on which his life and death depended. The only witnesses (μάρτυρες) he introduced to corroborate his true words (ὡς ἀληθ λέγω) were the God at Delphi (20 e7) and his own poverty (31 c2-3). 19 He had to realize, of course, that the poverty or something else couldn t be a reliable witness 20 in the light of the Athenian law. Probably, Platonic Socrates has his own reasons to not bring any witnesses forward: being the only man who knows and tells truth, he seeks to suggest by his behavior that the many people, used to lie or be deceived, can t testify to him, the only wise man. The Socratic proofs (τεκμήρια) resemble his witnesses. He regards his own unpopular actions (ἔργα) in BC 21 and the undoubted hatred of most Athenians to him 22 as satisfying proofs in the court case, because they are true and demonstrable facts 15 Cf. the classic formulation: ARISTOTLE, De interpretatione 9, 19 a, 33: οἱ λόγοι ἀληθεῖς ὥσπερ τὰ πράγματα ( the true words [are] like the real things ). 16 Cf. BONNER 1908; LINCOLN Cf. AESCHINES, In Timarchum 90, 8: ὁ νόμος καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια ( the law and truth ); MARCUS AURELIUS, Meditationes IX 1, 2: πίστις, αἰδώς, ἀλήθεια, νόμος ( trust, decency, truth, law ). 18 COULTER 1964; BIESECKER-MAST Apol. 31 c2-3: ἱκανὸν γὰρ, οἶμαι, ὡς ἀληθ λέγω, ἐγὼ παρέχομαι τὸν μάρτυρα, τὴν πενίαν. 20 Apol. 31 c2: ἱκανὸν... μάρτυρα; cf. GORGIAS, Palamedes 15 = B 11a D-K: μάρτυρα πιστόν. 21 Apol. 32 a4-5: μεγάλα δ ἔγωγε ὑμῖν τεκμήρια παρέξομαι τούτων, οὐ λόγους ἀλλ ὃ ὑμεῖς τιμᾶτε, ἔργα. 22 Apol. 24 a6-b1: καίτοι οἶδα σχέδὸν ὅτι αὐτοῖς τούτοις ἀπεχθάνομαι, ὃ καὶ τεκμήριον ὅτι ἀληθ λέγω καὶ ὅτι αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ διαβολὴ ἡ ἐμὴ καὶ τὰ αἴτια ταῦτά ἐστιν. 5

6 (ἀληθ καὶ εὐέλεγκτα). 23 In fact, the proofs were acting to his disadvantage. On the other hand, arguments of accusers who proceeded according to the Athenian courtroom practice seemed more persuasive to the judges than Socrates verity, although they told nothing true (οὐδὲν ἀληθὲς λέγοντες). 24 This dissonance between verity of the philosopher and veracity of his accusers is a reason why Plato s Socrates doesn t believe in the power of his own rhetoric and, consequently, in the success of his defense. In the Johannine pericope (Jn 8, 13-17) Jesus discusses one of the legal regulations and paraphrases the Old Testament sentence 25 in the following manner: δύο ἀνθρώπων ἡ μαρτυρία ἀληθής ἐστιν (8, 17: the testimony of two men is true ). The word ἀληθής, which occurs in the John, but is absent in the LXX formulation, is taken here for true in the sense of veracious or legal. The problem discussed by Christ would be expressed in the following way: is the testimony of men about God more reliable than a testimony of God about himself? 26 Jesus argues next that even if in light of the law the testimony about oneself has no value, his testimony about himself is true, because he knows his own nature, being more than a human. This is the reason why Jesus can testify about himself and needs no one to bear witness except from his Father, who sent him. 27 In the parallel passage (5, 31-32) Jesus declares the contradicting opinion, namely, that two witnesses are demanded to testify about divinity, 28 which can be linked with the Trinitarian system of the Johannine theology (the two divine Hypostases testify about the Third). Both mentioned arguments (in 5, and 8, 13-17) have a clear reference to the Prologue (1, 17), where the Evangelist distinguishes between grace and truth (ἡ χάρις καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια) and the law (ὁ νόμος) and places the truth (sc. divine) above the law (sc. human) The use of ἀληθής for real, genuine, essential Both the Apology and the Fourth Gospel contain some number of passages, in which ἀληθής, ἀληθινός, and ἀληθῶς are used in the sense of real, genuine, authentic, proper, essential, pure, unadulterated, unmixed, and so on. There are many 23 Apol. 33 c8: ταῦτα, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι, καὶ ἀληθ ἐστιν καὶ εὐέλεγκτα. Cf. similar passages at 24 a4; 22 a2; 22 b Apol. 18 b1. 5; cf. 19 e1. 25 Cf. Deut 17, 6; 19, 15 and Nu 35, Cf. Jn 5, Jn 8, 13-18: So the Pharisees objected, You testify about yourself; your testimony is not true! Jesus answered, Even if I testify about myself, my testimony is true, because I know where I came from and where I am going. It is written in your law that the testimony of two men is true. I testify about myself and the Father who sent me testifies about me. Italics mine [E. O.], the English translation after NET BIBLE. 28 Jn 5, 31-34: If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies about me, and I know the testimony he testifies about me is true. You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth. I do not accept human testimony, but I say this so that you may be saved. 29 Jn 1, 17: ὁ νόμος διὰ Μωϋσέως ἐδόθη, ἡ χάρις καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐγένετο ( The law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ ). 6

7 instances of that colloquial meaning of the word, found not only in the high literature, but also in some papyri, where the pure gold or lapis lazuli is in question. 30 The Apology has ἀληθὲς ἀδίκημα ( real crime ) and τοὔνομα... ἀληθὲς (27 e5; 34 e5: proper name of sophist,), where the use of the adjective ἀληθής has nothing to do with the previous meanings (cf. I 1-2: veritable and veracious ). Very similar is adverbial use τοὺς ὡς ἀληθῶς δικαστάς ( the genuine judges ). Socrates names in the moment the mythical just heroes of the Underworld: Minos, Rhadamanthys, Aeacus, and Triptolemus, who examined and judged the souls of dead people (41 a2-3). The ideal judges οἱ ἐκεῖ) are contrasted here with majority of the Athenian jurymen, who pretended to be judges, but they were not in fact, because they voted for condemnation of Socrates to death on a charge of philosophizing (41 a1-241, c2. 4-5). Apart from the Netherworld justice, in Socrates eyes a few Athenian judges who voted for his acquittal deserve the name of judges (40 a2-3: δικαστάς ὀρθῶς ἂν καλοίην). The use of ἀληθῶς and ὀρθῶς in the same context suggests that these adverbs were interchangeable. In the opening passage the sense of real rhetorician is suggested by defining a speaker as a man who tells true (17 b5: τὸν τἀληθ λέγοντα). Next, the rhetorical and dicanic virtue (ἀρετή) is defined: an orator should be truthful, a judge just. 31 In total, the Apology contains true sophist, true rhetorician, and true judge, where true implies an ideal embodiment of the virtues required from these professionals. 32 In the same manner the Fourth Gospel expresses the Jewish and Christian ideals. There are true Israelite (Jn 1, 47: ἀληθῶς Ἰσραηλίτης), true worshippers (4, 23: ἀληθινοὶ προσκυνηταί), true Savior (4, 42: ἀληθῶς ὁ σωτήρ), true prophet (7, 40: ἀληθῶς ὁ προφήτης), and true disciples (8, 31: ἀληθῶς μαθηταί). All of these phrases (with exception of the second) occur in combination with ἐστι and εἰσι ( is and are ). The most interesting is the first example. The full citation runs as follows: Ἴδε ἀληθῶς Ἰσραηλίτης ἐν ᾧ δόλος οὐκ ἔστι (1, 47: Look, a true Israelite in whom there is no deceit! ). It is worth noticing that the author defines true (ἀληθῶς) by means of the connected term ἄ-δολος ( honest, unadulterated ) one of the archaic synonyms of ἀληθής. 33 The paralleled passage is Jn 7, 18, which also shows attempt to defining true by righteous : ἀληθής ἐστι καὶ ἀδικία ἐν αὐτῷ οὐκ ἔστιν ( is a truthful man and there is no unrighteousness in him ). Like in the Apology, John s true comes near to just. All mentioned instances, in particular true prophet and 30 For example see P. OXY. 465, 108: ἄγαλμα κυάνου ἀληθινοῦ ( an image of true lapis lazuli ). 31 Apol. 18 a5-6: εἰ δίκαια λέγω ἢ μή δικαστοῦ μὲν γὰρ αὕτη ἀρετή, ῥήτορος δὲ τἀληθ λέγειν. Cf. Apol. 35c. 32 Cf. PLATO, Respublica III 409 d6-e1 (definition of the ideal judge). 33 THISELTON 1978; LSJ 24 s.v. ἄδολος. 7

8 true savior, are connected with the moral, spiritual and theological meaning of truth (see below, ) The metaphysical concept ( spirituality, eternity, divinity ) The most peculiar both for Plato and John the Evangelist is speaking of the divinity in categories of truth. Accordingly to the high religious atmosphere, ἀλήθεια and ἀληθής receive the most sublime of their meaning. The Apology, written before the main Platonic corpus, foreshadows the subsequent career of the term in the philosophical dialogues of Plato. The Socrates defense indicates some topics, which are widely developed by Plato s Phaedo, Phaedrus, Philebus, Symposium, Republic, and Laws. 34 First of all, there is the Platonic conception of God, defined by who does not lie (Apol. 21 b6: οὐ γὰρ δήπου ψεύδεταί γε). 35 It is undeniable that Socrates intention was to reveal a nature not only of God at Delphi, but also of God in general. The very close parallel is the passage of Republic (II 382), where Plato defines a divinity (θεῖον) by the term ἀ-ψευδές (without lie), which is expounded next by ἀληθὲς ἐν τῷ ἔργῳ καὶ ἐν λόγῳ ( truthful in its actions and words ). The negative description of God (who does not lie) is nothing else than a defining of divinity by the means of its archaic equivalent ἀψευδές, like in the Johannine etymological explanation by ἄδολος. The Plato s Cratylus 421 b gives a cosmological exposition of truth and falsehood : the former etymologically means divine motion of being (ἀλήθεια = ἡ θεία τοῦ ὄντος φορά), while the latter tendency opposite to that motion (ψεῦδος τοὐναντίον τῆ φορᾷ). One can identify this true motion with the same (ταὐτόν) or mind (νοῦς) and the opposite with the other (θάτερον) or body (σῶμα), which are discussed in Timaeus According to the Phaedrus myth, the souls of daimons, who adapt themselves to the motion of divine sphere, gain the vision of the Plain of Truth (248 b6: ἀληθείας ἰδεῖν πεδίον), but if they can t do it, never will taste this essential food. The religious or eschatological view on truth is found in a passage of the Socrates address to the 280 jurors who voted for his condemnation. 37 The philosopher, unjustly sentenced to death, is foretelling they will be branded forever by Truth itself with the stigma of evil and injustice (Apol. 39 b4-6: ὑπὸ τς ἀληθείας ὠφληκότες). Plato seems to conceive this 34 PLATO, Phaedo 84 a (truth the divinity); Phaedrus 248 b 249 b (truth the food for the souls); Philebus 58 d; 63 b (love of truth; identity of truth and mind); Symposium 212 a2-7 (truth the ideal beauty); Respublica 347d; 372e (truth the being); Leges 730 c (truth the supreme good of people and gods). 35 Cf. PINDAR, Pythia III 52, where the poet describes Apollo in the terms of: ψευδέων δ οὐχ ἅπτεται ( he doesn t touch any lies ). 36 GUILLAMAUD The total number of judges in the jury was

9 Truth as the just goddess of the Netherworld, who gives every soul his due (τίμημα), like do the infernal judges, Minos, Rhadamanthys, and their companions. 38 However, it is not simple to demarcate this Truth, the supreme judge of Underworld, from the Truth of the philosophical myth. Putting the name of one single truth (ἕν τι τοῦτο... ἀληθές) on the Socratic credo of belief in the divine Providence (41 d1-2: that no evil can happen to a good man either in life or after death and the gods care for his business), Plato links the eschatological and philosophical Truth with the human moral and ethics. The ἀλήθεια is enumerated in a number of ethical values besides intelligence (φρόνησις) and the virtues of the soul, opposites to the earthly goods (29 e1-2). 39 In this way truth gathers the spiritual meaning, equivocal with justice, wisdom, and piety. The unity of truth, divinity, and spirituality the commonplace of the Hellenistic philosophy and literature 40 appears in John in a form adapted to the Trinitarian theology and to his extremely intricate line of thought. The ἀλήθεια, ἀληθής, and ἀληθινός occur in function of equivalents or epithets of God the Father, of Logos the Son of God, identified with Jesus Christ who was born to save the world, and, finally, of the Holy Spirit, called Paracletus. 41 The most of occurrences refers to the Son. Therefore, Logos is called truth (17, 17: ἀλήθεια), true light (1, 9: τὸ φῶς τὸ ἀληθινόν), 42 true god (3, 33: θεὸς ἀληθής), true bread from heaven (6, 32: ὁ ἄρτος ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ὁ ἀληθινός), and true grapevine (15, 1: ἡ ἄμπελος ἡ ἀληθινή), where true has the meaning divine, of God, or belonging to God s sphere. The true grapevine is an element of the impressive grape-allegory (15, 1-10), which illustrates the interrelation of God, his Logos and the world: a farmer who has vineyard and cultivates vines is the Father, a vine is Logos, green branches of it are the people who believe in Son, and the dry ones are who lost their chance for Salvation. 38 Cf. PSEUDO-PLATO, Axiochus 371 c (Minos and Rhadamanthys judge the dead on the meadow of Truth, πεδίον ἀληθείας); Thessalika Mnemeia 442, 194, 1 ARVANITOPOULOS, Inscription of Demetrias in Tessaly, ca BC (αἰνὴ Φερσεφόνεια,... εὐσεβέων λειμῶνα κατοίκισον ἦ γὰρ ἀληθὴς ψυχὴ καὶ καθαρά, O holy Phersephoneia! settle [Agathocles] in the meadow of pious men: he is a true and pure soul,). 39 Cf. PLATO, Gorgias 526 d. 40 The most significant texts: PLUTARCH OF CHAERONEA, De Iside et Osiride 351 e (Assimilation to God defined as knowing the truth about Gods); EPICTETUS, Dissertationes II 2, 14 (ἀλήθεια, φύσις, εὐλαβές); fr. 36 SCHENKL (ἀλήθεια καὶ αΐδιον); MARCUS AURELIUS, Meditationes IX 1, 2 (ἀλήθεια αὕτη ὀνομάζεται καὶ τῶν ἀληθῶν ἁπάντων πρώτη αἰτία ἐστίν). 41 According to the patristic theology the Father is first Hypostasis of the Holy Trinity, the Logos is second, and the Holy Spirit is third. 42 Cf. PLOTINUS, Enneades I 6, 9 (the identical phrase φῶς ἀληθινόν with reference to the Mind or second Hypostasis). 9

10 The Father, who sent his Son, is also called true (7, 28: ἀληθινός and 8, 26: ἀληθής) by analogy to some Scriptural expressions, 43 and this epithet of God is explained by another, alive (ζῶν). 44 The Son, consequently, becomes the one who reveals His truth and grace (1, : ἡ χάρις καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια). On his trial before Pontius Pilate, Jesus says that the aim of His mission in the world is to witness to the Truth (18, 37: ἵνα μαρτυρήσω τῆ ἀληθείᾳ), but he didn t answer his interrogator who asked what was that. The rhetoric Pilate s question: What is truth? (18, 38: τί ἐστιν ἀλήθεια;), 45 giving emphasis to the word, doesn t need an answer in the context, because the author has already defined the Father as truth, revealed by the Son (cf. 1, 17). Son himself also is revealed by another (5, 32: ἄλλος), explicitly the Father. The Spirit, who goes out of the Father, will testify (5, 26: μαρτυρήσει) about him. 46 In the highly individual John s terminology He is called Spirit and Truth (4, 23-24: πνεῦμα καὶ ἀλήθεια), the Spirit of the Truth (τὸ πνεῦμα τς ἀληθείας), 47 and simply Truth (ἡ ἀλήθεια). 48 The phrase who belongs to the Truth (18, 37: ὁ ὢν ἐκ τς ἀληθείας) refers especially to the Spirit. When the Savior shows the people a possibility of return to the divine sphere, to whom part of them belongs, he reveals himself as the Truth: I am the way, and the truth, and the life (14, 6: ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ὁδὸς καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια καὶ ἡ ζωή). Thus the Truth of Logos is identified with the Salvation and the life, explained elsewhere by the eternal life (ἡ αἰώνιος ζωή) 49 and the Resurrection (ἡ ἀνάστασις) of the believers. 50 On the one hand, this Truth is God s words, which are listened by every man who belong to the Truth. 51 On the other, Jesus offers his own flesh and blood to eat and drink, recommending himself as true food (ἀληθής... βρῶσις) and true drink (ἀληθής... πόσις). 52 The Truth, conceived as Word or mystical food, provides the worshippers of God with the immortality. It is doubtless that the Johannine 43 Cf. Ex 34, 6 (κύριος ὁ θεὸς... πολυέλεος καὶ ἀληθινός) = Nu 14, 18; Ps 85, 15; 1 Esdr 8, 6 (κύριε... ἀληθινὸς εἶ). 44 Jn 6, 57a; cf. Mt 16, 16; 26, 63; Act 14, 15. This is a Septuagintal epithet, cf. Ps 41, 3; Dan-Og 5, 23; 12, 7; Dan-Th 4, 34; 6, 21; Tob-S 13, 2; 2 Mch 7, 33; Sir 18, See KÖSTENBERGER 2005 for the Pilate question. 46 See full citation: When the Paracletus comes, whom I will send you from the Father the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father that one will testify about me. 47 Jn 14, 17; 15, 26; 16, Jn 17, 17 (ἁγίασον αὐτοὺς ἐν τῆ ἀληθείᾳ ὁ λόγος ὁ σὸς ἡ ἀλήθειά ἐστιν); 16, 13 (ὁδηγήσει ὑμᾶς ἐν τῆ ἀληθείᾳ πάσῃ); cf. 1 Jn 5, 6 (τὸ πνεῦμα ἐστιν ἡ ἀλήθεια). 49 Jn 3, ; 4, ; 5, ; 6, ; 10, 28; 12, ; 17, Jn 5, 29; 11, Jn 8, 47; cf. 18, Jn 6, 55-58, esp. Jn 6, 55 ( For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink ). This is a frequently discussed passage, cf. DODD 1953: 339; MĘDALA 2010: I

11 truth life word food have exclusively spiritual dimension, in accordance with the Johannine motto: God is spirit (4, 24: πνεῦμα ὁ θεός) The moral meaning ( righteousness ) This is a clear meaning of the word and easy to distinct, because both authors like to employ true synonymously with δίκαιος ( just, righteous, honest ). In the Apology ἀληθής and δίκαιος become exchangeable. Socrates so frequently emphasizes on truth of his words (cf. above 1.1) as he asserts that he is talking only just things (17 c3: δίκαια) and just report (28 b5: δίκαιον λόγον); sometimes to tell true things (τἀληθ λέγειν) occurs in his account besides to tell just things (18 a4-5: δίκαια λέγω). Very interesting is combined use of ἀληθῶς (truly) and δικαίως (justly) with the verb εἰσάγειν in the judicial sense to sue. 54 This example shows that the adverbs were the synonyms in the first half of the IV century BC. The other passage has a similar usage of the adverbial τῆ ἀληθείᾳ (truly) is accompanied by κατὰ τὴν ἀξίαν (in accordance with personal deserts). 55 This is that section of the second speech, where Socrates argues for his paradoxical counterproposal for the penalty, viz. that he should enjoy public maintenance in the Athenian prytaneum. Truly in that context seems to be something like in absolutely just manner. The instances of that use in the John s Gospel are self-evident. The usual Father s epithet true is interchangeable with [supremely] righteous (17, 25: δίκαιος). As regards the Son, the meaning of ἀληθής is explained by without unrighteousness (7, 18: ἀδικία ἐν αὐτῷ οὐκ ἔστιν). 56 The ἀδικία is in John another word for ἁμαρτία (8, 46: sin). In one pericope appears the sentence, referring to Last Judgment of Christ: my judgment is true (8, 16: ἡ κρίσις ἡ ἐμὴ ἀληθινή ἐστιν), 57 whose meaning may be understand on the base of parallel passage: my judgment is just (5, 30: ἡ κρίσις ἡ ἐμὴ δικαία ἐστίν). The Hebraizing phrase practicing the truth (ὁ ποιῶν τὴν ἀλήθειαν) 58 contrasted to practicing the sin (ὁ ποιῶν τὴν ἁμαρτίαν), is explained by freedom from sin (8, 34), and linked with abiding in truth (8, 31-32), sanctification by truth (17, 17-19), and worship (4, 23-24). 53 Cf. Hermetic texts cited by BULTMANN 1964: CORPUS HERMETICUM XIII 6 (ἀληθές is ἀσώματον); Stobaeus, Eclogae I 275, 18 (οὐδὲν ἐν σώματι ἀληθές, ἐν ἀσωμάτῳ τὸ πᾶν ἀψευδές). 54 Apol. 29 a 1-4. See full citation: It would be a terrible thing, and truly one might then justly sue me into court, on the charge that I do not believe that there are gods, since I disobey the oracle and fear death and think I am wise when I am not. 55 Apol. 36 d 2-3: if I must propose something truly in accordance with my deserts. 56 ἀληθής ἐστιν καὶ ἀδικία ἐν αὐτῷ οὐκ ἔστιν (is a true and there is no unrighteousness in him). 57 But if I judge, my evaluation is true, because I am not alone when I judge, but I and the Father who sent me do so together. Cf. Dan-Og 3, 27: κρίσεις... ἀληθιναί. 58 Jn 3, 21; cf. 1QS 1, 5; 5, 3; 8, 2. 11

12 1.6. The mystical sense ( doctrine, wisdom ) There is no passage in the whole Apology that has the exact phrase to know truth. Socrates doesn t use such a wording anywhere, but his narration on searching for wise men in Athens implies truth, which can be sought, verified, found, gained or known. The philosopher discusses three distinct problems connected with truth : ignorance (ἀμαθία), knowing nothing (ἀγνοεῖν), and wisdom (σοφία). (1) The first of them (ἀμαθία) is the most common state of mind, which is no simple lack of knowledge, but ignorance combined with conceit, arrogance, pretending to know, and permanent incapability of knowing something true and true is untold here, but just suggested by Socrates comment that these people would not care to say any true thing (τὰ γὰρ ἀληθ... οὐκ ἂν ἐθέλοιεν λέγειν). 59 (2) On the contrary, something good for man is knowing nothing, which means a recognition of one s own ignorance. The famous Socratic wisdom, identified with human wisdom (ἀνθρωπίνη σοφία) and philosophy (φιλοσοφία), belongs to this category. 60 In fact, the Socratic paradox: I know that I know nothing 61 is tantamount to not knowing the entire truth, but to knowing something of it, which will be obscure forever for the ignorant pretending of knowledge. In the Socrates farewell speech there is one example of such a one single truth known to him (cf. Socratic credo in 41 d1-2). Socrates as a knowing nothing philosopher is contrasted with the rest of people who are ignorant of knowing nothing (21 d). (3) Finally, the perfect wisdom appears, represented by the God of Truth. Socrates puts into Apollo s mouth the oracle, which runs as follows: This one of you, O human beings, is wisest, who, like Socrates, recognizes that he is in truth of no account in respect to wisdom (the italicized phrase in Greek: οὐδενὸς ἄξιός ἐστι τῆ ἀληθείᾳ πρὸς σοφίαν). 62 The Delphic God s proclamation contains truth in the adverbial utterance τῆ ἀληθείᾳ ( in truth, truly ) with the reference to wisdom, that suggests divine, perfect or absolute knowledge. The characteristic of mentioned passages as well as the entire Apology is lack of the strictly philosophical terminology, present in the later dialogues. Where the technical terms like knowledge (ἐπιστήμη) and opinion (δόξα) are expected, we have wisdom and ignorance. The latter often occurs with the verb δοκεῖν / δόξαι ( to suppose ), which allows to link ignorance to δόξα or δόξαι ( opinion, opinions ). 63 The emphasis on the gap 59 Apol. 23 d 7-9; cf. 29 b1-2; 33 c3. 60 Apol. 20 d8; 23 a7; 28 e5; 29 c8. d5. 61 Apol. 21 b4. d5-7; 22 d1; 25 e2; 29 b Apol. 23 b2-4, the English translation after FOWLER, italics mine [E. O.]. Cf. Apol. 23 a Apol. 21 b9. c6; 22 a1; 23 c6; 29 a5-6; 41 e5. 12

13 between the divine Truth and the opinions of the ordinary people is reminiscent of the famous Parmenidean voyage to the Underworld, where the nameless Goddess guides of the two opposite realms: the path of Truth (ἀληθείης... ὁδός) and the way of seeming. 64 The former belongs to the divine Oneness, the latter is wandered by the people, who can t know the Truth and therefore they have untrue opinions of mortals (βροτῶν δόξαι). 65 Figure 1. The Parmenidean scheme Plurality The Oneness Occurrences in the D-K frs. βροτοί mortals θεά Goddess βροτοὶ εἰδότες οὐδέν B 6, 9 θεά B 1, 45 δόξαι opinions of mortals, world of appearance ἀληθείη Truth βροτῶν δόξαι B 1, 18; B 1, 53; B 7, 8, 44; B 8, 51; B 8, 61 ἀληθείη B 1, 17; 1, 52; 2, 10; 8, 51 In John s Gospel, in turn, the phrases to know the truth (γινώσκειν + τὴν ἀλήθειαν) and to know trully (γινώσκειν + ἀληθῶς) are repeated in a few pericopes. This is typically Hellenistic usage, unparalleled by any Jewish texts. The most important characteristic of the Johannine phrase to know truth is its occurrence exclusively in the connection with the Trinity: Father, Son, and Spirit. It has referrence to the divinity of Christ, 66 to the Logos and Spirit, 67 to the Spirit in particular, 68 and to the Father together with the Son. 69 This meaning of truth, implying something like knowledge about the Revelation of God 70 or a new doctrine, 71 is coherent with the Truth as God himself (cf. 1.4). Especially, three topics are worthy of note: (1) the knowlegde about divinity will be a content of the eternal life (17, 3), (2) 64 PARMENIDES, fr. B 1, D-K; fr. B 2, 4 D-K. Cf. PINDAR, Pythia III : ἀλαθείας ὁδόν ( the path of Truth ). 65 GEMELLI MARCIANO 2008 (the religious background of Parmenides poem); cf. GAJDA 1993 (truth in the pre-socratics). 66 Jn 7, 26: μήποτε ἀληθῶς ἔγνωσαν οἱ ἄρχοντες ὅτι οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ Χριστός; 17, 8: καὶ ἔγνωσαν ἀληθῶς ὅτι παρὰ σοῦ ἐξλθον. 67 Jn 8, 32: καὶ γνώσεσθε τὴν ἀλήθειαν, καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια ἐλευθερώσει ὑμᾶς. 68 Jn 14, 17: τὸ πνεῦμα τς ἀληθείας, ὃ ὁ κόσμος οὐ δύναται λαβεῖν, ὅτι οὐ θεωρεῖ αὐτό οὐδὲ γινώσκει ὑμεῖς γινώσκετε αὐτό, ὅτι παρ ὑμῖν μένει καὶ ἐν ὑμῖν ἐστιν. 69 Jn 17, 3: αὕτη δέ ἐστιν ἡ αἰώνιος ζωή, ἵνα γινώσκωσι σὲ τὸν μόνον ἀληθινὸν θεὸν καὶ ὃν ἀπέστειλας Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν. 70 Cf. Prov 17, 3 (ἀλήθεια is γνῶσις). 71 Cf. PHILO OF ALEXANDRIA, De specialibus legibus IV 178: μεταναστὰς εἰς ἀλήθειαν. 13

14 the abiding of the Son and the Spirit in the human souls is the condition sine qua non of knowing the Truth (8, 31), and (3) this world (ὁ κόσμος) and so called the belonging to the world are naturally unable to knowing the Truth and dont t want to know it. 72 The passage about liberation by the Truth (8, 31-32) in connection with the section about the eternal life (17, 2-3) sounds like a tautology: the abiding of the Truth in the souls is a condition of knowing the Truth the Truth gives them the freedom from sin the freedom from sin gives the eternal life the eternal life is a perfect knowledge of the Truth. The starting point (the knowing the Truth by abiding in It) seems to be coincidental with the final task of the human existence (the knowledge of the Truth in the eternity). For it is sure that this knowledge about the divine sphere is not discoursive one, it would be rather groundless to suppose that there are some levels or degrees of it. 2. THE CONTEXT OF TRUTH 2.1. The prophets of Truth and their mission impossible Out of all meaning of truth discussed above, the most eminent is ἀλήθεια in its metaphysical sense (cf. 1.4). This divine or absolute TRUTH is the most important theme and a guiding motif of both writings, on which their narratives focus. Accordingly, in both stories the analogous narrative structure can be found: (1) In the beginning the prophet is summoned by the TRUTH. Socrates compares himself to a gadfly sent by God at Delphi to keep a noble horse (viz. the Athenian people) awake, Jesus the Christ believes he is the Father s own Son, who has come down from heaven to save the whole world. 73 Before or after they are announced and recognized by some kind of heralds: Socrates by the enthusiast Chaerephon, Jesus by John the Baptist. 74 (2) Both prophets have a message from the God of TRUTH to the all mankind, which is to be proclaimed and witnessed. His divine mission makes them disciples and acolytes as well as adversaries. The enemies are dominant, so in consequence, they imprison the prophets on charge of the violating of the religious tradition Jn 17, 25; 1, Apol. 21 b 22 a; 23 b; 28 b d; 30 a; 30 e2 31 a1; 33 c; 37 e; cf. Jn 1, 18; 3, 17; 4, ; 5, 14; 6, ; 11, 27; 12, 47; 13, 3; 16, 28; 17, Apol. 20e; Jn 1, ; 3, Apol. 18 b 19 d; 21 e; 23 a. c. e; 24 b; 31 b; Jn 1, 35-50; 6, ; 8, 6; 7, 1; 8, ; 10, ; 11, 45-47; 12, 10-11; 18,

15 (3) The next theme is the TRUTH on a trial. The prophets try to advocate and defend the TRUTH, against the most of people, who don t understand and hate the TRUTH. 76 It is necessary that the prophets are misunderstood and must lose, 77 because there is an evident discrepancy between the eternal or divine TRUTH (cf. 1.4) and the conventional or human truth (cf. 1.2). In fact, this is a cause the TRUTH versus the world. The prophets are aware they will be condemned to death not because of their alleged crimes, but because of the TRUTH. 78 (4) The death of the prophets is not the end of knowing, hearing, practicing and talking about the TRUTH, but a return to the realm of the TRUTH, to which they belong, so a death means the life in their language. 79 Despite of the condemnation and death they are convinced that they have won a victory over the world. Socrates believes that a better man can t be injured by a worse, Jesus asserts about himself: I have conquered the world. 80 Their divine mission is accomplished now and the disciples and followers will be continuing a mission of the TRUTH to the bitter end The system of synonyms and antonyms Let s start with the Apology. As already noted, truth was closely connected with righteousness, then true (ἀληθής) becomes a synonym of just (δίκαιος, sometimes replaced by ὀρθός). Socrates represent himself not only as a truth-telling speaker (see above 1.1), but also a defender of the justice, who fights for it, 82 and in the same moment he really is a model of piety (ὅσιον), never acting against the justice and piety (35d). Besides, this philosopher has an opinion of sage, who aspire to superhuman wisdom (σοφία and φρόνησις). 83 The three virtues justice, piety, and wisdom mentioned in the Apology in close connection with the Truth, recur in the Platonic formula of the divinization (ὁμοίωσις θεῷ), expressed in the Theaetetus. 84 In turn, the Socrates truth and its three correlated terms (justice, piety, wisdom) is contrasted with the falsehood and persuasive lies (ψεῦδος) of his prosecutors. Whereas Socrates tells truth (ἀληθεύειν), Meletus tells a lie (ψεύδεσθαι). 85 The accusers lie (ψεῦδος) 76 Apol. 22 e 23 a; 28 a4; 31 e1; Jn 5, 40; 8, Jn 3, 11-12; 3, 31; 8, ; cf. the misunderstanding technique in Jn 3, 3-4; 4, ; 7, 35-36; 8, 33-34; 11, Apol. 31 a1; 37 a. c; Jn 8, 45-46; 18, 28 19, Apol. 39 b 42 a; Jn 12, Apol. 30 c9 d1: οὐ γὰρ οἴομαι θεμιτὸν εἶναι ἀμείνονι ἀνδρὶ ὑπὸ χείρονος βλάπτεσθαι; Jn 16, 33: ἐγὼ νενίκηκα τὸν κόσμον. 81 Apol. 39 d; Jn 20, 19 21, Apol. 28 b; 29 a; 32 a1; 32 b6-c2; 33 a. 83 See above PLATO, Theaetetus 176 b2-3: ὁμοίωσις δὲ δίκαιον καὶ ὅσιον μετὰ φρονήσεως γενέσθαι. 85 Apol. 34 b; cf. 17 a; 18 b; 26 a1. 15

16 and slander (διαβολή) are linked with three vices: injustice (ἀδικία), impiety (ἀσέβεια), and ignorance (ἀμαθία), 86 by analogy with the three virtues related to the truth. The triadic truth, represented by Socrates moral virtues, is included to the sphere of the soul (ψυχή) and, on the other hand, the falsehood and its three correlates fall under the realm of body (σῶμα). 87 The Socratic dilemma to live or to die (28 b7: ζν ἢ τεθνάναι) introduces the following antithesis: life (ὁ βίος / τὸ ζν) versus death (ὁ θάνατος / τὸ τεθνάναι), which becomes a guiding theme of the third speech of Socrates (38 c1 42 a5). These two are very ambiguous terms, because the former often means in Socrates mouth something like the spiritual death and the latter the spiritual life. Consequently, there is not any relationship between the body, connected with the falsehood, and the spiritual life, but surely there is a convergence of the somnolent people, who care only of the body and wealth, and the life not worth living (βίος οὐ βιωτὸς ἀνθρώπῳ). 88 Socrates deprecates the over-attachment to life (φιλοψυχία), and appreciates the afterlife, which seems to be consistent with the spiritual existence of the soul. 89 Paradoxically, the rescue from death by the means of begging and lies would be not a salvation, but damnation for his soul. 90 This is a reason, why he believes that the death is a better alternative (ἄμεινον πρᾶγμα) for him than the living among the Athenians with the stigma of their injustice. 91 The fellow-citizens, especially those responsible for his condemnation and deathsentence, are blamed for living not only in the somnolence, self-deceit, and appearances, but also in the hatred (ἀπέχθεια). 92 The question arises, why they hate Socrates, who harms none of them and, moreover, declares his friendship to them (29 d2)? The answer is suggested by one of the Socrates saying: Do not be angry with me for speaking the truth (31 e1: καί μοι μὴ ἄχθεσθε λέγοντι τἀληθ). This is the truth, which evokes hatred, evidently that TRUTH, who is associated with the divine realm and separated from the mortals and the appearances, like in the famous Parmenidean scheme. Finally, the two worlds emerge: the spiritual one, represented by the Truth, moral virtue, soul, life, and love, and the other, corporeal and mortal, where the falsehood and hatred are dominant factors (see fig. 2). 86 Apol. 23 a; 24 a; 29 b1; 30d; 32 d-e; 39 b. 87 Apol. 29 e2; 30 a8. 88 Apol. 38 a5-6; cf. 30 a7-b2. 89 Apol. 37 c5-6 (Socrates critique of φιλοψυχία); 41 a7-8: ἐγὼ μὲν γὰρ πολλάκις ἐθέλω τεθνάναι. 90 Apol. 31 d-e; 32a: πάλαι ἂν ἀπολώλη... σωθήσηται. 91 Apol. 42 a: But now the time has come to go away. I go to die and you to live; but which of us goes to the better lot, is known to none but God. Cf. Apol. 39 b. 92 Apol. 21 d-e; 23 a1; 24 a6; 28 a4. 16

17 ἀδικία injustice Figure 2. A table of the opposites in Plato s Apology (in the bold frame: the Parmenidean scheme reworked, cf. Fig. 1) The Athenians Socrates Number of occurrences σῶμα body ψυχή soul 1 σῶμα 3 ψυχή θάνατος death βίος life 27 θάνατος 18 ἀποθνῄσκειν 13 βίος, 9 ζν ψεῦδος lie ἀλήθεια truth 8 ψεῦδος, ψεύδεσθαι ἀσέβεια impiety ἀπέχθεια hatred ἀμαθία ignorance δίκαιον justice ὅσιον piety φιλεῖν love σοφία wisdom 8 ἀλήθεια, 24 ἀληθής 3 ἀληθῶς, 1 ἀληθεύειν 2 ἀπέχθεια 4 ἀπέχθεσθαι 2 φιλεῖν The author of the Fourth Gospel saves the Platonic dualistic distinction. The divine Truth (cf. above 1.4) is opposed by the personified falsehood (ψεῦδος), whose father is named the liar (ψεύστης), the devil (διάβολος), and the murderer (8, 44: ἀνθρωποκτόνος), and the ruler of this world (ὁ τοῦ κόσμου ἄρχων). 93 The first Johannine epistle adds the titles antichrist (1 Jn 2, 18: ἀντίχριστος) and the spirit of deceit (τὸ πνεῦμα τς πλάνης), by analogy to the Spirit of truth (1 Jn 4, 6: τὸ πνεῦμα τς ἀληθείας). The nature of this evil spirit is defined by the pure absence of truth (8, 44: οὐκ ἔστιν ἀλήθεια ἐν αὐτῷ) and further explained by the three related terms: desire (ἐπιθυμία), injustice (ἀδικία), and sin (ἁμαρτία). 94 On the other side, the human response to the heavenly Truth relies on the freedom from sin (ἐλευθεροῦν), a belief in the Revelation (πιστεύειν), and the witness to it (μαρτυρία). 95 The belief in the Truth leads the human beings to the freedom from sin and, automatically, to the eternal life (αἰώνιος ζωή), which is identified with the Resurrection (ἀνάστασις) and the immortality, contradicting the physical death. 96 The Platonic ambiguity of life and death (θάνατος) is sustained here, but the distinct term ψυχή (lit. soul ) is introduced to distinguish the corporeal life from the everlasting one, ζωή: The one who loves his life (ψυχή) destroys it, and the one who hates his life in this world guards it for eternal life (12, 25: εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον). In the account about resurrection of Lazarus the life is associated with the light (11, 10-11). In the Logos Hymn of Prologue the eternal life (ζωή) is named true light 93 Jn 14, 30; 12, Jn 7, 18; 8, ; 16, Jn 8, 32; 15, Jn 11, 25-26; 10,

18 (τὸ φῶς τὸ ἀληθινόν) and depicted in the juxtaposition with the darkness (σκοτία / σκότος) an image of falsehood and death. 97 There is a similar opposition or rather conflict between the spirit (πνεῦμα) and the body (σάρξ): What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 98 The realm of spirit belongs to the God, who himself is the Spirit, and, on the contrary, the body is controlled by the ruler of the world. These polarities the kingdom of Truth and the world (κόσμος), 99 the heaven (οὐρανός) and the earth (γ), 100 above (ἄνω) and beneath (κάτω) 101 show an open hostility to the each other, which is expressed in the terms of hate (μισεῖν) and love of its own (ἀγάπη). 102 This system of synonyms and opposites (see fig. 3, below) looks like the Johannine adaptation of Platonic scheme (cf. fig. 2). The similarities between them are significant and precise. The only added element is a picturesque antithesis of the light and the darkness, which is absent in the Apology, however, the light allegory is common in the other dialogues of Plato. 103 Figure 3. A table of the opposites in the Fourth Gospel ἁμαρτία sin (17) The world God σάρξ 104 body (14) 105 πνεῦμα Spirit (24) θάνατος death (8) ἀποθνῄσκειν to die (28) ζωή life (36) σκοτία / σκότος darkness (9) φῶς light (24) ψεῦδος lie (1) ψεύστης liar (3) ἀδικία injustice (1) ἐπιθυμία desire (1) ἀλήθεια truth (25) ἀληθής true (13), ἀληθινός true (9) ἀληθῶς truly (7) ἐλευθεροῦν to make free, ἐλεύθερος free (5) πιστεύειν to believe (98) μαρτυρία the witness, μαρτυρεῖν to witness (47) μισεῖν to hate (12) ἀγάπη love (11), ἀγαπᾶν to love (37) 97 Jn 1, 4-5; 9; cf. 8, 12 (ἐγώ εἰμι τὸ φῶς τοῦ κόσμου); 9, 5; 12, See TENNEY 1964 (the Johannine metaphors of the eternal life). 98 Jn 3, 6; cf. 6, Jn 18, 36: ἡ βασιλεία ἡ ἐμὴ οὐκ ἔστιν ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου τούτου 100 Jn 3, 31-32; 6, Jn 3, 31; 8, Jn 3, ; 5, ; 7, 71; 12, 25; 13, ; 14, 2115, 18-19; 17, See NOTOPOULOS The other term for body σῶμα is used in the John s Gospel six times with reference to the corpse of Christ. 105 There is a number of occurrences in the brackets. 18

19 3. THE ORPHIC PARALLEL It is time now to draw some conclusions from the comparative analysis. Both texts focus on the keyword ἀλήθεια and form the system of its synonyms, like life, love, light, and soul, which are closely connected with each other. If someone chooses the truth, his choice is tantamount to the spiritual value and, in consequence, the eternal life. In the analogy to the TRUTH family, the opposite realm, comprising lie, body, hatred, darkness, and death, exists and functions. The lower and worse world of falsehood and body looks like a mirror image of the higher and better world of the TRUTH. The Savior sent by God (Socrates or Christ) leads out the chosen people from the world of falsehood to the eternal life in the TRUTH, identified with God himself. Now another question arises, concerning the background of the striking compatibility of the polarities in both texts. How to explain this coincidence? The hypotheses of the Hermetic, Gnostic or Essene origin, which usually are applied to the John s Gospel, 106 must be rejected, because the Apology of Socrates antedates the Hermetic religion, Gnosticism, and the Qumran scrolls. But there is a solution, matching to both the Apology and the intertextual Forth Gospel, which has never been taken under consideration. I mean the so called Orphic literature, widespread in the whole Mediterranean world from the six century BC to the late Empire that strongly influenced both Greek philosophers of the classical period (among others, Parmenides and Plato) and the intertestamental Jewish writings, especially Jewish-Alexandrian literature. 107 By the way, in the Apology Plato mentions Orpheus in company of the greatest Greek poets, Musaeus, Hesiod, and Homer. 108 One of the closest parallels is provided by the bone tablets discovered in the sacred precinct of Olbia Pontica in Crimea on the Black Sea. Three of them, dated to the V BC, are carrying the brief inscriptions in Greek, in which the keyword TRUTH appears with the other mystic words. The texts run as follow: OT 463 = SEG 28, 659 OT 464 = SEG 28, 660 OT 465 = SEG 28, 661 βίος θάνατος βίος ἀλήθεια Ζα[γρεύς] Διό[νυσος] ρφι[κοί] Α LIFE DEATH LIFE TRUTH ZAG[REUS] DION[YSUS] ORPHI[CS] A εἰρήνη πόλεμος ἀλήθεια ψεῦδος Διόν[υσος] Α PEACE WAR TRUTH LIE DION[YSUS] A Διόνυσος ψεῦδος ἀλήθεια σῶμα ψυχή DIONYSUS LIE TRUTH BODY SOUL 106 See FREY Cf. the most recent edition of the extant fragments BERNABÉ Apol. 41 a = OT 1076 I. Cf. CASADESÚS

20 There are here the same pairs of opposites, as have been seen in the Apology (BODY SOUL, DEATH LIFE, LIE TRUTH, HATRED LOVE) and very similar to those in John. A missing link a name of God Dionysus / Zagreus is found in the Johannine antithesis LIGHT DARKNESS, because the God of the Bacchic mysteries was commonly identified with Apollo the God of truth and light. 109 This God, suggested by Platonic expression God at Delphi, appears in the another inscription from Olbia, inside the Attic vase dated to ca. 300 BC, which contains besides the name of God the list of the doubled words: βίος βίος Ἀπόλλων Ἀπόλλων ἥλιος ἥλιος κόσμος κόσμος φῶς φῶς LIFE LIFE APOLLO APOLLO SUN SUN WORLD WORLD LIGHT LIGHT. 110 The truth theme occurs also in the other Orphic texts, namely the Orphic gold tablets. In the funeral plaque from Pharsalus, dated to ca BC, has been found the same Homeric phrase πᾶσαν ἀληθείην with the verb λέγειν, 111 which had been repeated with such an emphasis by Socrates in the Apology (cf. 1.1 above). In the similar context and in a combination with the same verb, true words (ἀλήθεα) are used in the Testament of Orpheus the Greek-Jewish pastiche of the Orphic sacred tale. 112 The Orphic table of opposites (see fig. 4) is identical with the Platonic and Johannine scheme of the guiding keywords (see juxtaposition in fig. 5). And the last question remains: what was this puzzling TRUTH of the Orphic tablets? On the basis of many literary sources, one may infer that Aletheia is a great goddess of the Beyond, daughter of Zeus or Cronus, mentioned by many writers of the classical and imperial period, among others Pindar, Empedocles, Maximus of Tyre, and Marcus Aurelius. 113 God is the Truth this phrase perfectly summarizes not only the Johannine theology, but also the Orphic beliefs, to which Socrates alludes in his premortal speech. 109 Cf. OH 52, 10 (Dionysus Paian); OH 34, 7 (Apollo Bacchius). 110 OV Of 477,7; TORTORELLI GHIDINI 1990 (in the Orphic gold tablets telling the truth is identical with drinking at the spring of Mnemosyne ); BERNABÉ JIMÉNEZ 2008: OF 377,3; OF 378, Pindar, Olympia X 5-6 (Alatheia a daughter of Zeus); X (Chronos-Time reveals Alatheia- Truth) EMPEDOCLES, fr. 113 WRIGHT = B 121 D-K (the meadow of Aletheia-Truth and the meadow of Ate- Delirium); PLUTARCH OF CHAERONEA, Aetia Romana et Graeca 266 E-F (Aletheia a daughter of Cronus); idem, Quaestiones convivales 657 E (Aletheia a nurse of infant Apollo); MAXIMUS OF TYRE, Declamationes X 1 (77 TRAPP) = OT 6 EPIMENIDES (Aletheia with Dike); MARCUS AURELIUS, Meditationes V 33, 1 (goddesses Pistis, Aidos, Dike, and Aletheia). See SCALERA MCCLINTOCK 1990; DETIENNE 1960; 1967; SEGAL


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