Originally posted by catstorm
Jehovah's Witnesses reject birthday celebrations because of their pagan origins. The Bible quotes pagan writers, 1 Corinthians 15:33 is from Menander(343-291B.C.), for example. Doesn't this indicate that the writers of the Bible saw at least some good in pagans?
Its not only because its a pagan origin, its also because every Birthday mentioned in scripture is portrayed in a negative way. Pharaoh kills one of his servants, a baker I think and Herod cuts off the head of John the Baptist both on Birthday celebrations. There are also other reasons but that of course is not the point of your text.
Paul cites other pagan references when its expedient to do so. For example he cites some of the pagan poets to the Athenians. For example Acts 17:28,
‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’[b] As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’[c] - Acts 17:28
[b] From the Cretan philosopher Epimenides
[c]From the Cilician Stoic philosopher Aratus
Pagans may express Biblical truths unwittingly, for example the native Americans speak of 'the great spirit', which they perceive animates all living things. The Bible also terms God a 'spirit'.
So to answer your question, yes, they indeed have thought that there was some 'good', in pagan writings. The folly of the pagan from a Biblical perspective is that they worship the creation, rather than the creator.