So I’ve decided to start an occasional series of very short blog posts, with my one-sentence summaries of each of the dialogues of Plato. For those in biblical studies, Plato is worth studying for a few reasons:
- He is a thought-provoking genius
- He was very influential for certain elements of Greek culture by the time of the New Testament, as well as for the patristics
- He defies the notion that ‘pagans’ were all interested in promoting perversity and immorality and self-centredness
- He provides a challenge to simplistic notions of what ‘Greeks’ were like – his views on immortality, for example, are far more complex than is often claimed of ‘Greeks’ or even of ‘Plato’
- His style of anti-rhetorical rhetoric is somewhat reminiscent of that of Paul
A key thing you need to know about Plato is that he was – in my view – inexorably shaped by the Athenian democracy’s rejection, trial, and execution of his mentor, Socrates. This event crystallises for him that the type of world in which that could be called ‘justice’ is upside down.
Some of my one-sentence summaries will be the result of long & hard thought; others will be the result of short & sweet thought! The idea is that they capture something essential to the dialogue in question.
Anyway, without further ado, here’s my one sentence summary of Euthyphro…
Euthyphro, the expert in divine piety, ironically knows less than Socrates, who is about to be charged for impiety.