Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 January 2021
Early Christians were certainly inclined to look upon Plato as an ally. The first part of this chapter considers how far Eusebius and other apologists succeeded in making out the case that the Bible and Plato proclaim the same God. In the second part it proposes that the Johannine concept of the Logos was at once more foreign to Plato and more palatable to certain of his followers than Augustine supposed it to be. It concludes by examining two indictments of the hermeneutic method of the Fathers – first, that they co-opted the Platonic device of allegoresis to overwrite the plain sense of the scriptures, and secondly that under Platonic influence they surrendered faith to philosophy in their mystical readings of the Song of Songs.