Overlooking Samos, Greece, only 1.6km away across the Myclae strait. Paul passed here Acts 20:17 Samos was famous for it’s engineering marvels, in particular the Eupalinian Aqueduct; Pythagorus the mathematician, Herodotus who lived here for a while, Aristarchus the astronomer who first claimed the earth revolved around the sun and Theodosius who formed the method of casting bronze sculptures. But most important and persausive of greek thought was Epicurus, the father of the idea of Epicureanism. He claimed that nothing should be believed, but tested. There was a claim that men should seek pleasure and the absence of pain, which was the pinnacle of goodness. It left out the need for God: “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
It became part of a philiosophy addressed by Paul that a man “should eat, drink for tomorrow we die” 1Cor 15:32 But this was no new philosophy, as Solomon explained this as the best position a man could obtain without the presence of God Eccl 8:15 It was also the philosophy of Shebna, who in the face of the impending invasion of Sennacerib had built himself a fine tomb! and gave up hope Isa 22:13 This is important, as this was a leader in the ecclesia of Hezekiah! Such an impact did this have on the king, appearing at the time of the invasion and the onset of hideous disease, that the king dispared of how atonement with God and spiritual leadership would ever be accomplished again in Israel. In response he turned to the wisdom of the ancients Prov 25:1, and collated the proverbs of Prov 25-29 The answer was: It is not good to eat much honey, so for men to search out their own glory is not glory, He that hath no rule over his own spirit (given over to Epicureanism) is like a city that is broken down and without walls Prov 25:27,28
Paul met the Epicureans in Athens Acts 17:18
Today Samos is still is famous for it’s extensive vineyards and the Muscat wine produced.