Brother AACOOLDRE : PLUTARCH’S ESSAY TITLED “ON CONTENTMENT”: another nail in the Lukewarm church.


Well-Known Member
Jul 26, 2001
PLUTARCH’S ESSAY TITLED “ON CONTENTMENT”: another nail in the Lukewarm church.

By Andre Austin

Plutarch’s full name is Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus. Lucius is Latinized so it could have been Leuk (Luke) or Leukos. He was born in 46AD in Boeotia, Greece and died in120Ad. Some writers claim he’s the Luke that wrote the book of Acts.

Plutarch wrote several essays against the Stoics and his essay On Contentment is in part an attack .Ian Kidd, a former Professor at St. Andrews translated Plutarch an wrote an introduction to the essay and said:

“Plutarch’s essay at some points favors attitudes congruent with Epicureanism but opposed to Stoicism, at others stoic-colored views alien to Epicureans” Plutarch's Essays" translated by Ian Kidd on p. 203

My motive here is to demonstrate that the same language Plutarch uses against the stoics is used against the rich lukewarm church in Laodicea in Revelations chapter 3. I will quote him in full context so you can get the feel for it. Being in Good contentment was called “good emotions” by the Stoics.

Plutarch states:

“Plato compared life to a game of dice in which it is not just important to throw something appropriate, but also to make good use of it however the throw out (translator indicates this is a Platonic/Stoic terminology of making good use of what you got).

And where our situations are concerned, it may be true that we do not control (Stoic per to Translator) the throw of the dice, but it is our job, if we are sensible, to accommodate ourselves to whatever fortune deals us and allocate everything to a place where, as each situation arises, if it is congruent, we can maximize its benefit, and if it is unwelcome, we can minimize harm. A physical illness can make people incapable of enduring either heat or cold, and those who muddle unintelligently through life are like that, in the sense that they get ecstatic at good fortune and depressed at bad fortune-which is to say that both good and bad fortune knock them off balance, or rather they knock themselves off balance”. Plutarch's Essays" translated by Ian Kidd on p.216

Now we know the term Lukewarm is neither Hot or Cold (both negative passions) . I advanced the theory that Lukewarm was balanced towards the truth or good deeds like the Marcionites wrote about the church. Rev chapter 3 engages in a literary technique of inversion (taking the opposite position). The Stoics taught to drink warm water like Socrates and Lukewarm here is spit out. Lukewarm is made to be in the middle of Hot and Cold but they taught that a stick was either crooked or straight.

How do we know that the Hot & cold are passions? Because of the context Plutarch just outlined. Plus in Rev chapter 3:14-22 these rich Lukewarm souls are called Wretched and pitiful (miserable/unhappy) these were the very charges the Stoics were called because they seemed to have neutral passions.

In another letter/essays Plutarch writes:


1. Homer, having contemplated the various kinds of mortal animals, and compared them one with another in respect to their lives and habits, cried out:

  • What wretched creature of what wretched kind,
  • Than man more weak, calamitous, and blind!*
attributing to man that unhappy primacy of having the superiority in miseries

The information just keeps piling on. Some would claim my claims are nothing but a pile of B.S. Well even if it was, and I think it not, gems can be pulled from the ruins of dung hills. And I’m content to think, to feel and to be satisfied that I presented my case without a reasonable dout free from the passions of error. But you are the judge to make up your own mind

Note: Lukewarm is also related to Leukos in the Illiad 4:489-500 & Leukothea in The Odyssey 5:333-500

In the lost play of Euripides Leukothea switches her children’s clothes from Black to white. In Rev Chapter 3:18 it ask the Lukewarm church to switch their nakedness to white (leukos) clothes. The people from this city grew rich from selling glossy black wool clothes.

EURIPIDES Dramatic Fragments

her own sons in white vestments, and Ino’s sons in black. (4) Ino veiled her own sons in white, Themisto’s in black; then Themisto was deceived and killed her

Edited and translated by Christopher Collard, Martin Cropp.LCL 504, Pages 442-443, 2 of 2 matches

When Luke attacked the Rich man vs Poor Lazarus Bible scholars called it an attack on Stoicism. The rich man goes to hell and ask lazarus who’s in heaven to send down water to cool his heated condiction Luke 16:19-31 also See:

Dispute with Stoicism in the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus

By Tim Brookins Baylor University, Waco, TX

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