Was Socrates braver than Jesus?

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''This ordeal he refers to as a 'bitter cup which he ardently prays may, if possible, be taken from him, so that he does not have to drink it. What is this cup? Is it physical suffering from which he shrinks, the torture of the scourge and the cross, together perhaps with the mental anguish of betrayal, denial and desertion by his friends, and the mockery and abuse of his enemies? Nothing could ever make me believe that the cup that Jesus dreaded was any of these things (grievous as they were) or all of them together. His physical and moral courage throughout his public ministry had been indomitable. To me it is ludicrous to suppose that he is now afraid of pain, insult and death. Socrates in the prison cell in Athens, according to Plato's account, took his cup of hemlock 'without trembling or changing colour or expression'. He then 'raised the cup to his lips and very cheerfully and quietly drained it'. When his friends burst into tears, he rebuked them for their 'absurd' behaviour and urged them to 'keep quiet and be brave'. He died without fear, sorrow or protest . So was Socrates braver than Jesus? Or were their cups filled with different poisons?''

John Stott - The Cross of Christ - p88
Posted March 27, 2013 @ 3:15 PM by Paul Levy
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