To Know God is To Know Oneself
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John Calvin is often attributed the famous phrase, derived from his magnus opus,1 “Nearly all wisdom we possess, that is to say, true and sound wisdom, consists of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves” (Inst. I.1.i)

Well, while searching for ‘dolphin skins’ (cf. Ex. 26:14) today, I somehow stumbled across Clement of Alexandria’s2 comments, from which John Calvin may have drawn. Upon reading Clement, I recognize this concept was certainly passed down from the time of early, early Christianity.

As follows, is Clement’s Book To the Newly Baptized. 

Book 3, Chapter 1, On True Beauty

“It is then, as appears, the greatest of all lessons to know one’s self. For if one knows himself, he will know God; and knowing God, he will be made like God, not by wearing gold or long robes, but by well-doing, and by requiring as few things as possible.”

Both sayings show us how closely anthropology and theology are linked.



  1. The Institutes
  2. Κλήμης ὁ Ἀλεξανδρεύς; c. 150 – c. 215
News Reporter
From Madison, Wisconsin. B.A. Biblical Studies: Moody Bible Institute, Chicago. M.Div. Student at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto, Ontario.

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