Probably the most crucial point in the biblical understanding of human nature is the notion of freedom, conceived of as the choice between obedience to God's will, faith in Him, and love for Him -- or disobedience, faithlessness, and pride. The necessity for choice between obedience and disobedience, good and evil, is presented early, in Genesis 2:16-17. Greek thought puts great store on the intellect, on our ability to attain rational knowledge of theoretical and moral truth; the highest fulfillment of human life was thought by Plato and Aristotle to be attainable only by those who are able to gain such knowledge. The Judeo-Christian tradition, in contrast, puts the emphasis on human goodness, and this is something that is open to all, and independent of intellectual power. There is thus a democratic impetus, an ideal of the equality of all finite human beings before God, implicit in the Bible -- though it may be questioned just how well Jewish and Christian practice has lived up to this. The concern with human goodness is not just with right action: it is at least as much with the foundation in human character and personality from which such life will flow. And in a crucial way, it goes beyond the sophisticated conceptions of human virtue offered by Plato and Aristotle, for the biblical writers see the only firm foundation for human goodness as faith in the transcendent yet personal God.
Leslie Stevenson, Ten Theories of Human Nature, pp. 75-6