Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Were the Pharisees Molinists?

Being associated with the Pharisees is normally unflattering.  But considering Paul was originally a Pharisee, it's important to understand what they believed.  And they maintained God's providential control and man's freedom in a way only Molinists today can.  Here's how Josephus described the Pharisees view:

3. Now, for the Pharisees, ... when they determine that all things are done by fate, they do not take away the freedom from men of acting as they think fit; since their notion is, that it hath pleased God to make a temperament, whereby what he wills is done, but so that the will of man can act virtuously or viciously.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/josephus/ant-18.htm

the Pharisees are those who are esteemed most skillful in the exact explication of their laws, and introduce the first sect. These ascribe all to fate [or providence], and to God, and yet allow, that to act what is right, or the contrary, is principally in the power of men, although fate does co-operate in every action.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/josephus/war-2.htm

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