The Big Picture
Socrates lived about 400 years before Jesus Christ. And about 400 years before Socrates, lived the wisest king of Israel: King Solomon. In his introduction to Proverbs, in the 7th verse of chapter one, Solomon said,
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”
The beginning of what? I can’t believe it. 400 years after Socrates, Jesus seemed to have similar view. 400 years before Socrates, King Solomon provided partial introduction to the concept of “knowledge” that seemed to align with the two. Did these three people conspire to convince me to accept a concept I have not believed?
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Philosophy 3rd Edition by Jay Stevenson provides me a more enlightening explanation: the three major areas of philosophy which are BEING or EXISTENCE (Ontology), KNOWING (Epistemology), and ACTING (Ethics) are interconnected. There are different schools of thoughts. One school of thoughts says that our knowledge about KNOWING (about how we know and understand things) are based on our knowledge of our EXISTENCE. In other words, we base our knowledge about “knowledge” on how we understand the existence of our world, of ourselves.
The source of everything is also the source of knowledge. God is the source of all creation, including us. And He is also the source of our knowledge about all creation. A person who does not acknowledge God as the source of creation might have a very different viewpoint from the one who does acknowledge God.
Knowledge begins when we acknowledge the source of all creation, the beginning of all things—God. We know and understand things because God revealed those things to us by providing us the capacity to know. Knowledge begins when we know who the source of our knowledge is.