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Hellenism is the traditional designation for the Greek culture of the Roman Empire in the days of Jesus, Paul, and for centuries after. Classical philosophies of the Greeks had already expired and diluted beyond recognition except for small bands of continuators of the traditions of the Pythagoreans, of Plato, and Aristotle (whose library was lost for centuries). The new philosophies of the Hellenistic world were those of the Cynics, Skeptics, and increasingly the Stoics. Gradually a more integral and rounded tendency emerged within Hellenism, but also in certain respects in opposition at times to it in regard to one philosophical problem or another, or an ensemble of problems. Thinkers most closely associated with Hellenistic Christian philosophies are:
In most cases, these writers reference something in an earlier philosopher, without adding to the ongoing problem-historical shape of Western philosophical knowledge. Between Calvin, and Arminius, born four years before Calvin's death, a Protestant scholasticism took from various loci and authorities of the Western Middle Ages. It begins already with Luther's colleague Philip Melanchthon, who turned from Luther's sola Scriptura to philosophical theology; but Protestant Scholasticism's Reformed variants are diverse. There were no real alternatives until Herman Dooyeweerd and D. H. Th. Vollenhoven in the last century.