Epictetus
Epictetus


The Power of God Protects

Indeed, why should a man with such understanding be afraid of anything which happens among men? Is kinship with Caesar or with any other of the powerful in Rome sufficient to enable us to live in safety, and above contempt and without any fear at all? To have God for your maker and father and guardian should in the same way release us from sorrows and fears?

Epictetus uses this understanding of our place in the world as a premise for a bit of wisdom he wishes to convey to his eagerly listening students. From this idea that we are all children of God we might also deduce that we have nothing to fear from humans. For is not our father more powerful than any human? Does he not have dominion and control over everything?

God is commonly understood to have omniscience (all-knowingness), to be omni-powerful (powerful beyond all else), and to be omni-present (to be everywhere). With such a protector, his children should believe that they need not fear anything or anyone.

In the larger sense this is true, but, as Epictetus explains, there is more to it than this.

Chapter 9:

  1. Our Relationship with God Has Consequences
  2. The Power of God Protects (9a)
  3. Sustenance (9b)
  4. The Philosopher's Job (9c)
  5. Our Mission (9d)
  6. Death Not Desired or Feared (9e)
  7. The Worthless Life (9f)
Stoicism and Christianity Index

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This is a translation and explanation of the first book of the Discourses of Epictetus. His words are in regular text, comments are in bold.

Biographical Information on Epictetus


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