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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



7287
Justin, First Apology, 63-64


nanAnd all the Jews even now teach that the nameless God spoke to Moses; whence the Spirit of prophecy, accusing them by Isaiah the prophet mentioned above, said The ox knows his owner, and the ass his master's crib; but Israel does not know Me, and My people do not understand. Isaiah 1:3 And Jesus the Christ, because the Jews knew not what the Father was, and what the Son, in like manner accused them; and Himself said, No one knows the Father, but the Son; nor the Son, but the Father, and they to whom the Son reveals Him. Matthew 11:27 Now the Word of God is His Son, as we have before said. And He is called Angel and Apostle; for He declares whatever we ought to know, and is sent forth to declare whatever is revealed; as our Lord Himself says, He that hears Me, hears Him that sent Me. Luke 10:16 From the writings of Moses also this will be manifest; for thus it is written in them, And the Angel of God spoke to Moses, in a flame of fire out of the bush, and said, I am that I am, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, the God of your fathers; go down into Egypt, and bring forth My people. Exodus 3:6 And if you wish to learn what follows, you can do so from the same writings; for it is impossible to relate the whole here. But so much is written for the sake of proving that Jesus the Christ is the Son of God and His Apostle, being of old the Word, and appearing sometimes in the form of fire, and sometimes in the likeness of angels; but now, by the will of God, having become man for the human race, He endured all the sufferings which the devils instigated the senseless Jews to inflict upon Him; who, though they have it expressly affirmed in the writings of Moses, And the angel of God spoke to Moses in a flame of fire in a bush, and said, I am that I am, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, yet maintain that He who said this was the Father and Creator of the universe. Whence also the Spirit of prophecy rebukes them, and says, Israel does not know Me, my people have not understood Me. Isaiah 1:3 And again, Jesus, as we have already shown, while He was with them, said, No one knows the Father, but the Son; nor the Son but the Father, and those to whom the Son will reveal Him. Matthew 11:27 The Jews, accordingly, being throughout of opinion that it was the Father of the universe who spoke to Moses, though He who spoke to him was indeed the Son of God, who is called both Angel and Apostle, are justly charged, both by the Spirit of prophecy and by Christ Himself, with knowing neither the Father nor the Son. For they who affirm that the Son is the Father, are proved neither to have become acquainted with the Father, nor to know that the Father of the universe has a Son; who also, being the first-begotten Word of God, is even God. And of old He appeared in the shape of fire and in the likeness of an angel to Moses and to the other prophets; but now in the times of your reign, having, as we before said, become Man by a virgin, according to the counsel of the Father, for the salvation of those who believe in Him, He endured both to be set at nought and to suffer, that by dying and rising again He might conquer death. And that which was said out of the bush to Moses, I am that I am, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and the God of your fathers, Exodus 3:6 this signified that they, even though dead, are yet in existence, and are men belonging to Christ Himself. For they were the first of all men to busy themselves in the search after God; Abraham being the father of Isaac, and Isaac of Jacob, as Moses wrote.


nanFrom what has been already said, you can understand how the devils, in imitation of what was said by Moses, asserted that Proserpine was the daughter of Jupiter, and instigated the people to set up an image of her under the name of Kore [Cora, i.e., the maiden or daughter] at the spring-heads. For, as we wrote above, Moses said, In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form and unfurnished: and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. In imitation, therefore, of what is here said of the Spirit of God moving on the waters, they said that Proserpine [or Cora] was the daughter of Jupiter. And in like manner also they craftily feigned that Minerva was the daughter of Jupiter, not by sexual union, but, knowing that God conceived and made the world by the Word, they say that Minerva is the first conception [ἔννοια]; which we consider to be very absurd, bringing forward the form of the conception in a female shape. And in like manner the actions of those others who are called sons of Jupiter sufficiently condemn them.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

27 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Genesis, 3, 2 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

2. Philo of Alexandria, On The Sacrifices of Cain And Abel, 9-10 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

10. In reference to which it is said of Moses, "That no one is said to know of his Tomb;" for who could be competent to perceive the migration of a perfect soul to the living God? Nor do I even believe that the soul itself while awaiting this event was conscious of its own improvement, inasmuch as it was at that time becoming gradually divine; for God, in the case of those persons whom he is about to benefit, does not take him who is to receive the advantage into his counsels, but is accustomed rather to pour his benefits ungrudgingly upon him without his having any previous anticipation of them. This is something like the meaning of God's adding the creation of what is good to the perfect mind. But the good is holiness, the name of which is Abel. IV.
3. Philo of Alexandria, On Dreams, 2.189 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

2.189. for when," the scripture say, "the high priest goes into the Holy of Holies he will not be a Man." What then will he be if he is not a man? Will he be a God? I would not venture to say that (for the chief prophet, Moses, did receive the inheritance of this name while he was still in Egypt, being called "the god of Pharaoh;") nor again is he man, but he touches both these extremities as if he touched both the feet and the head. XXIX.
4. Philo of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 1.13-1.14 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

1.13. Some persons have conceived that the sun, and the moon, and the other stars are independent gods, to whom they have attributed the causes of all things that exist. But Moses was well aware that the world was created, and was like a very large city, having rulers and subjects in it; the rulers being all the bodies which are in heaven, such as planets and fixed stars; 1.14. and the subjects being all the natures beneath the moon, hovering in the air and adjacent to the earth. But that the rulers aforesaid are not independent and absolute, but are the viceroys of one supreme Being, the Father of all, in imitation of whom they administer with propriety and success the charge committed to their care, as he also presides over all created things in strict accordance with justice and with law. Others, on the contrary, who have not discovered the supreme Governor, who thus rules everything, have attributed the causes of the different things which exist in the world to the subordinate powers, as if they had brought them to pass by their own independent act.
5. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Moses, 1.158 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

1.158. What more shall I say? Has he not also enjoyed an even greater communion with the Father and Creator of the universe, being thought unworthy of being called by the same appellation? For he also was called the god and king of the whole nation, and he is said to have entered into the darkness where God was; that is to say, into the invisible, and shapeless, and incorporeal world, the essence, which is the model of all existing things, where he beheld things invisible to mortal nature; for, having brought himself and his own life into the middle, as an excellently wrought picture, he established himself as a most beautiful and Godlike work, to be a model for all those who were inclined to imitate him.
6. Philo of Alexandria, Questions On Genesis, 2.62 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

7. Anon., Didache, 13-14, 12 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

12. But let every one that comes in the name of the Lord be received, and afterward you shall prove and know him; for you shall have understanding right and left. If he who comes is a wayfarer, assist him as far as you are able; but he shall not remain with you, except for two or three days, if need be. But if he wills to abide with you, being an artisan, let him work and eat; 2 Thessalonians 3:10 but if he has no trade, according to your understanding see to it that, as a Christian, he shall not live with you idle. But if he wills not to do, he is a Christ-monger. Watch that you keep aloof from such.
8. New Testament, 1 Corinthians, 2.8, 8.5, 10.20-10.21, 15.24-15.27, 15.39-15.42 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2.8. which none of the rulers of this worldhas known. For had they known it, they wouldn't have crucified the Lordof glory. 8.5. For though there are things that are called "gods,"whether in the heavens or on earth; as there are many "gods" and many"lords; 10.20. But I say that thethings which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and notto God, and I don't desire that you would have communion with demons. 10.21. You can't both drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons.You can't both partake of the table of the Lord, and of the table ofdemons. 15.24. Then the end comes, when he willdeliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when he will haveabolished all rule and all authority and power. 15.25. For he mustreign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 15.26. The lastenemy that will be abolished is death. 15.27. For, "He put all thingsin subjection under his feet." But when he says, "All things are put insubjection," it is evident that he is excepted who subjected all thingsto him. 15.39. All flesh is not the same flesh, butthere is one flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish,and another of birds. 15.40. There are also celestial bodies, andterrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial differs from that ofthe terrestrial. 15.41. There is one glory of the sun, another gloryof the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs fromanother star in glory. 15.42. So also is the resurrection of the dead.It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption.
9. New Testament, 2 John, 10 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

10. New Testament, 3 John, 9-10 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

11. New Testament, 2 Corinthians, 4.4 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

12. New Testament, Acts, 19.9 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

19.9. But when some were hardened and disobedient, speaking evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus.
13. New Testament, Ephesians, 3.10, 6.12 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

3.10. to the intent that now through the assembly the manifold wisdom of God might be made known to the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places 6.12. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world's rulers of the darkness of this age, and against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
14. New Testament, Galatians, 4.8-4.9 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

4.8. However at that time, not knowing God, youwere in bondage to those who by nature are not gods. 4.9. But now thatyou have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, why do youturn back again to the weak and miserable elements, to which you desireto be in bondage all over again?
15. New Testament, Philippians, 2.10 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2.10. that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, those on earth, and those under the earth
16. New Testament, Romans, 8.38 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

8.38. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers
17. Clement of Alexandria, Excerpts From Theodotus, 78.2 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

18. Irenaeus, Refutation of All Heresies, 4.6.2 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

19. Justin, First Apology, 31-32, 34-35, 47-49, 52, 60-62, 64-67, 28 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

28. For among us the prince of the wicked spirits is called the serpent, and Satan, and the devil, as you can learn by looking into our writings. And that he would be sent into the fire with his host, and the men who follow him, and would be punished for an endless duration, Christ foretold. For the reason why God has delayed to do this, is His regard for the human race. For He foreknows that some are to be saved by repentance, some even that are perhaps not yet born. In the beginning He made the human race with the power of thought and of choosing the truth and doing right, so that all men are without excuse before God; for they have been born rational and contemplative. And if any one disbelieves that God cares for these things, he will thereby either insinuate that God does not exist, or he will assert that though He exists He delights in vice, or exists like a stone, and that neither virtue nor vice are anything, but only in the opinion of men these things are reckoned good or evil. And this is the greatest profanity and wickedness.
20. Justin, Dialogue With Trypho, 59.1, 61.1 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

100. In what sense Christ is [called] Jacob, and Israel, and Son of Man Justin: Then what follows—'But You, the praise of Israel, inhabit the holy place'— declared that He is to do something worthy of praise and wonderment, being about to rise again from the dead on the third day after the crucifixion; and this He has obtained from the Father. For I have showed already that Christ is called both Jacob and Israel; and I have proved that it is not in the blessing of Joseph and Judah alone that what relates to Him was proclaimed mysteriously, but also in the Gospel it is written that He said: 'All things are delivered unto me by My Father.' and, 'No man knows the Father but the Son; nor the Son but the Father, and they to whom the Son will reveal Him.' Matthew 11:27 Accordingly He revealed to us all that we have perceived by His grace out of the Scriptures, so that we know Him to be the first-begotten of God, and to be before all creatures; likewise to be the Son of the patriarchs, since He assumed flesh by the Virgin of their family, and submitted to become a man without comeliness, dishonoured, and subject to suffering. Hence, also, among His words He said, when He was discoursing about His future sufferings: 'The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the Pharisees and Scribes, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.' Matthew 16:21 He said then that He was the Son of man, either because of His birth by the Virgin, who was, as I said, of the family of David and Jacob, and Isaac, and Abraham; or because Adam was the father both of Himself and of those who have been first enumerated from whom Mary derives her descent. For we know that the fathers of women are the fathers likewise of those children whom their daughters bear. For [Christ] called one of His disciples— previously known by the name of Simon — Peter; since he recognised Him to be Christ the Son of God, by the revelation of His Father: and since we find it recorded in the memoirs of His apostles that He is the Son of God, and since we call Him the Son, we have understood that He proceeded before all creatures from the Father by His power and will (for He is addressed in the writings of the prophets in one way or another as Wisdom, and the Day, and the East, and a Sword, and a Stone, and a Rod, and Jacob, and Israel); and that He became man by the Virgin, in order that the disobedience which proceeded from the serpent might receive its destruction in the same manner in which it derived its origin. For Eve, who was a virgin and undefiled, having conceived the word of the serpent, brought forth disobedience and death. But the Virgin Mary received faith and joy, when the angel Gabriel announced the good tidings to her that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon her, and the power of the Highest would overshadow her: wherefore also the Holy Thing begotten of her is the Son of God; and she replied, 'Be it unto me according to your word.' Luke 1:38 And by her has He been born, to whom we have proved so many Scriptures refer, and by whom God destroys both the serpent and those angels and men who are like him; but works deliverance from death to those who repent of their wickedness and believe upon Him.
21. Pliny The Younger, Letters, 10.96, 10.96.7 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

22. Pliny The Younger, Letters, 10.96, 10.96.7 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

23. Tertullian, Against The Valentinians, 1.1 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

1. The Valentinians, who are no doubt a very large body of heretics- comprising as they do so many apostates from the truth, who have a propensity for fables, and no discipline to deter them (therefrom) care for nothing so much as to obscure what they preach, if indeed they (can be said to) preach who obscure their doctrine. The officiousness with which they guard their doctrine is an officiousness which betrays their guilt. Their disgrace is proclaimed in the very earnestness with which they maintain their religious system. Now, in the case of those Eleusinian mysteries, which are the very heresy of Athenian superstition, it is their secrecy that is their disgrace. Accordingly, they previously beset all access to their body with tormenting conditions; and they require a long initiation before they enrol (their members), even instruction during five years for their perfect disciples, in order that they may mould their opinions by this suspension of full knowledge, and apparently raise the dignity of their mysteries in proportion to the craving for them which they have previously created. Then follows the duty of silence. Carefully is that guarded, which is so long in finding. All the divinity, however, lies in their secret recesses: there are revealed at last all the aspirations of the fully initiated, the entire mystery of the sealed tongue, the symbol of virility. But this allegorical representation, under the pretext of nature's reverend name, obscures a real sacrilege by help of an arbitrary symbol, and by empty images obviates the reproach of falsehood! In like manner, the heretics who are now the object of our remarks, the Valentinians, have formed Eleusinian dissipations of their own, consecrated by a profound silence, having nothing of the heavenly in them but their mystery. By the help of the sacred names and titles and arguments of true religion, they have fabricated the vainest and foulest figment for men's pliant liking, out of the affluent suggestions of Holy Scripture, since from its many springs many errors may well emanate. If you propose to them inquiries sincere and honest, they answer you with stern look and contracted brow, and say, The subject is profound. If you try them with subtle questions, with the ambiguities of their double tongue, they affirm a community of faith (with yourself). If you intimate to them that you understand their opinions, they insist on knowing nothing themselves. If you come to a close engagement with them they destroy your own fond hope of a victory over them by a self-immolation. Not even to their own disciples do they commit a secret before they have made sure of them. They have the knack of persuading men before instructing them; although truth persuades by teaching, but does not teach by first persuading.
24. Tertullian, On Fasting, Against The Psychics, 13.5, 16.8 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

25. Lactantius, Divine Institutes, 1.7 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

1.7. Apollo, indeed, whom they think divine above all others, and especially prophetic, giving responses at Colophon - I suppose because, induced by the pleasantness of Asia, he had removed from Delphi - to some one who asked who He was, or what God was at all, replied in twenty-one verses, of which this is the beginning:- Self-produced, untaught, without a mother, unshaken, A name not even to be comprised in word, dwelling in fire, This is God; and we His messengers are a slight portion of God.Can any one suspect that this is spoken of Jupiter, who had both a mother and a name? Why should I say that Mercury, that thrice greatest, of whom I have made mention above, not only speaks of God as without a mother, as Apollo does, but also as without a father, because He has no origin from any other source but Himself? For He cannot be produced from any one, who Himself produced all things. I have, as I think, sufficiently taught by arguments, and confirmed by witnesses, that which is sufficiently plain by itself, that there is one only King of the universe, one Father, one God. But perchance some one may ask of us the same question which Hortensius asks in Cicero: If God is one only, what solitude can be happy? As though we, in asserting that He is one, say that He is desolate and solitary. Undoubtedly He has ministers, whom we call messengers. And that is true, which I have before related, that Seneca said in his Exhortations that God produced ministers of His kingdom. But these are neither gods, nor do they wish to be called gods or to be worshipped, inasmuch as they do nothing but execute the command and will of God. Nor, however, are they gods who are worshipped in common, whose number is small and fixed. But if the worshippers of the gods think that they worship those beings whom we call the ministers of the Supreme God, there is no reason why they should envy us who say that there is one God, and deny that there are many. If a multitude of gods delights them, we do not speak of twelve, or three hundred and sixty-five as Orpheus did; but we convict them of innumerable errors on the other side, in thinking that they are so few. Let them know, however, by what name they ought to be called, lest they do injury to the true God, whose name they set forth, while they assign it to more than one. Let them believe their own Apollo, who in that same response took away from the other gods their name, as he took away the dominion from Jupiter. For the third verse shows that the ministers of God ought not to be called gods, but angels. He spoke falsely respecting himself, indeed; for though he was of the number of demons, he reckoned himself among the angels of God, and then in other responses he confessed himself a demon. For when he was asked how he wished to be supplicated, he thus answered:- O all-wise, all-learned, versed in many pursuits, hear, O demon.And so, again, when at the entreaty of some one he uttered an imprecation against the Sminthian Apollo, he began with this verse:- O harmony of the world, bearing light, all-wise demon. What therefore remains, except that by his own confession he is subject to the scourge of the true God and to everlasting punishment? For in another response he also said:- The demons who go about the earth and about the sea Without weariness, are subdued beneath the scourge of God.We speak on the subject of both in the second book. In the meantime it is enough for us, that while he wishes to honour and place himself in heaven, he has confessed, as the nature of the matter is, in what manner they are to be named who always stand beside God. Therefore let men withdraw themselves from errors; and laying aside corrupt superstitions, let them acknowledge their Father and Lord, whose excellence cannot be estimated, nor His greatness perceived, nor His beginning comprehended. When the earnest attention of the human mind and its acute sagacity and memory has reached Him, all ways being, as it were, summed up and exhausted, it stops, it is at a loss, it fails; nor is there anything beyond to which it can proceed. But because that which exists must of necessity have had a beginning, it follows that since there was nothing before Him, He was produced from Himself before all things. Therefore He is called by Apollo self-produced, by the Sibyl self-created, uncreated, and unmade. And Seneca, an acute man, saw and expressed this in his Exhortations. We, he said, are dependent upon another. Therefore we look to some one to whom we owe that which is most excellent in us. Another brought us into being, another formed us; but God of His own power made Himself.
26. Origen, Against Celsus, 5.2-5.6 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

5.2. We have now, then, to refute that statement of his which runs as follows: O Jews and Christians, no God or son of a God either came or will come down (to earth). But if you mean that certain angels did so, then what do you call them? Are they gods, or some other race of beings? Some other race of beings (doubtless), and in all probability demons. Now as Celsus here is guilty of repeating himself (for in the preceding pages such assertions have been frequently advanced by him), it is unnecessary to discuss the matter at greater length, seeing what we have already said upon this point may suffice. We shall mention, however, a few considerations out of a greater number, such as we deem in harmony with our former arguments, but which have not altogether the same bearing as they, and by which we shall show that in asserting generally that no God, or son of God, ever descended (among men), he overturns not only the opinions entertained by the majority of mankind regarding the manifestation of Deity, but also what was formerly admitted by himself. For if the general statement, that no God or son of God has come down or will come down, be truly maintained by Celsus, it is manifest that we have here overthrown the belief in the existence of gods upon the earth who had descended from heaven either to predict the future to mankind or to heal them by means of divine responses; and neither the Pythian Apollo, nor Æsculapius, nor any other among those supposed to have done so, would be a god descended from heaven. He might, indeed, either be a god who had obtained as his lot (the obligation) to dwell on earth for ever, and be thus a fugitive, as it were, from the abode of the gods, or he might be one who had no power to share in the society of the gods in heaven; or else Apollo, and Æsculapius, and those others who are believed to perform acts on earth, would not be gods, but only certain demons, much inferior to those wise men among mankind, who on account of their virtue ascend to the vault of heaven. 5.3. But observe how, in his desire to subvert our opinions, he who never acknowledged himself throughout his whole treatise to be an Epicurean, is convicted of being a deserter to that sect. And now is the time for you, (reader), who peruse the works of Celsus, and give your assent to what has been advanced, either to overturn the belief in a God who visits the human race, and exercises a providence over each individual man, or to grant this, and prove the falsity of the assertions of Celsus. If you, then, wholly annihilate providence, you will falsify those assertions of his in which he grants the existence of God and a providence, in order that you may maintain the truth of your own position; but if, on the other hand, you still admit the existence of providence, because you do not assent to the dictum of Celsus, that neither has a God nor the son of a God come down nor is to come down to mankind, why not rather carefully ascertain from the statements made regarding Jesus, and the prophecies uttered concerning Him, who it is that we are to consider as having come down to the human race as God, and the Son of God?- whether that Jesus who said and ministered so much, or those who under pretence of oracles and divinations, do not reform the morals of their worshippers, but who have besides apostatized from the pure and holy worship and honour due to the Maker of all things, and who tear away the souls of those who give heed to them from the one only visible and true God, under a pretence of paying honour to a multitude of deities? 5.4. But since he says, in the next place, as if the Jews or Christians had answered regarding those who come down to visit the human race, that they were angels: But if you say that they are angels, what do you call them? he continues, Are they gods, or some other race of beings? and then again introduces us as if answering, Some other race of beings, and probably demons,- let us proceed to notice these remarks. For we indeed acknowledge that angels are ministering spirits, and we say that they are sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation; and that they ascend, bearing the supplications of men, to the purest of the heavenly places in the universe, or even to supercelestial regions purer still; and that they come down from these, conveying to each one, according to his deserts, something enjoined by God to be conferred by them upon those who are to be the recipients of His benefits. Having thus learned to call these beings angels from their employments, we find that because they are divine they are sometimes termed god in the sacred Scriptures, but not so that we are commanded to honour and worship in place of God those who minister to us, and bear to us His blessings. For every prayer, and supplication, and intercession, and thanksgiving, is to be sent up to the Supreme God through the High Priest, who is above all the angels, the living Word and God. And to the Word Himself shall we also pray and make intercessions, and offer thanksgivings and supplications to Him, if we have the capacity of distinguishing between the proper use and abuse of prayer. 5.5. For to invoke angels without having obtained a knowledge of their nature greater than is possessed by men, would be contrary to reason. But, conformably to our hypothesis, let this knowledge of them, which is something wonderful and mysterious, be obtained. Then this knowledge, making known to us their nature, and the offices to which they are severally appointed, will not permit us to pray with confidence to any other than to the Supreme God, who is sufficient for all things, and that through our Saviour the Son of God, who is the Word, and Wisdom, and Truth, and everything else which the writings of God's prophets and the apostles of Jesus entitle Him. And it is enough to secure that the holy angels of God be propitious to us, and that they do all things on our behalf, that our disposition of mind towards God should imitate as far as it is within the power of human nature the example of these holy angels, who again follow the example of their God; and that the conceptions which we entertain of His Son, the Word, so far as attainable by us, should not be opposed to the clearer conceptions of Him which the holy angels possess, but should daily approach these in clearness and distinctness. But because Celsus has not read our holy Scriptures, he gives himself an answer as if it came from us, saying that we assert that the angels who come down from heaven to confer benefits on mankind are a different race from the gods, and adds that in all probability they would be called demons by us: not observing that the name demons is not a term of indifferent meaning like that of men, among whom some are good and some bad, nor yet a term of excellence like that of the gods, which is applied not to wicked demons, or to statues, or to animals, but (by those who know divine things) to what is truly divine and blessed; whereas the term demons is always applied to those wicked powers, freed from the encumbrance of a grosser body, who lead men astray, and fill them with distractions and drag them down from God and supercelestial thoughts to things here below. 5.6. He next proceeds to make the following statement about the Jews:- The first point relating to the Jews which is fitted to excite wonder, is that they should worship the heaven and the angels who dwell therein, and yet pass by and neglect its most venerable and powerful parts, as the sun, the moon, and the other heavenly bodies, both fixed stars and planets, as if it were possible that 'the whole' could be God, and yet its parts not divine; or (as if it were reasonable) to treat with the greatest respect those who are said to appear to such as are in darkness somewhere, blinded by some crooked sorcery, or dreaming dreams through the influence of shadowy spectres, while those who prophesy so clearly and strikingly to all men, by means of whom rain, and heat, and clouds, and thunder (to which they offer worship), and lightnings, and fruits, and all kinds of productiveness, are brought about - by means of whom God is revealed to them - the most prominent heralds among those beings that are above - those that are truly heavenly angels - are to be regarded as of no account! In making these statements, Celsus appears to have fallen into confusion, and to have penned them from false ideas of things which he did not understand; for it is patent to all who investigate the practices of the Jews, and compare them with those of the Christians, that the Jews who follow the law, which, speaking in the person of God, says, You shall have no other gods before Me: you shall not make unto you an image, nor a likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters under the earth; you shall not bow down to them, nor serve them, worship nothing else than the Supreme God, who made the heavens, and all things besides. Now it is evident that those who live according to the law, and worship the Maker of heaven, will not worship the heaven at the same time with God. Moreover, no one who obeys the law of Moses will bow down to the angels who are in heaven; and, in like manner, as they do not bow down to sun, moon, and stars, the host of heaven, they refrain from doing obeisance to heaven and its angels, obeying the law which declares: Lest you lift up your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, should be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the Lord your God has divided unto all nations.
27. Augustine, The City of God, 9.23 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

9.23. If the Platonists prefer to call these angels gods rather than demons, and to reckon them with those whom Plato, their founder and master, maintains were created by the supreme God, they are welcome to do so, for I will not spend strength in fighting about words. For if they say that these beings are immortal, and yet created by the supreme God, blessed but by cleaving to their Creator and not by their own power, they say what we say, whatever name they call these beings by. And that this is the opinion either of all or the best of the Platonists can be ascertained by their writings. And regarding the name itself, if they see fit to call such blessed and immortal creatures gods, this need not give rise to any serious discussion between us, since in our own Scriptures we read, The God of gods, the Lord has spoken; and again, Confess to the God of gods; and again, He is a great King above all gods. And where it is said, He is to be feared above all gods, the reason is immediately added, for it follows, for all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. He said, above all gods, but added, of the nations; that is to say, above all those whom the nations count gods, in other words, demons. By them He is to be feared with that terror in which they cried to the Lord, Have You come to destroy us? But where it is said, the God of gods, it cannot be understood as the god of the demons; and far be it from us to say that great King above all gods means great King above all demons. But the same Scripture also calls men who belong to God's people gods: I have said, You are gods, and all of you children of the Most High. Accordingly, when God is styled God of gods, this may be understood of these gods; and so, too, when He is styled a great King above all gods. Nevertheless, some one may say, if men are called gods because they belong to God's people, whom He addresses by means of men and angels, are not the immortals, who already enjoy that felicity which men seek to attain by worshipping God, much more worthy of the title? And what shall we reply to this, if not that it is not without reason that in holy Scripture men are more expressly styled gods than those immortal and blessed spirits to whom we hope to be equal in the resurrection, because there was a fear that the weakness of unbelief, being overcome with the excellence of these beings, might presume to constitute some of them a god? In the case of men this was a result that need not be guarded against. Besides, it was right that the men belonging to God's people should be more expressly called gods, to assure and certify them that He who is called God of gods is their God; because, although those immortal and blessed spirits who dwell in the heavens are called gods, yet they are not called gods of gods, that is to say, gods of the men who constitute God's people, and to whom it is said, I have said, You are gods, and all of you the children of the Most High. Hence the saying of the apostle, Though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, as there be gods many and lords many, but to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him. 1 Corinthians 8:5-6 We need not, therefore, laboriously contend about the name, since the reality is so obvious as to admit of no shadow of doubt. That which we say, that the angels who are sent to announce the will of God to men belong to the order of blessed immortals, does not satisfy the Platonists, because they believe that this ministry is discharged, not by those whom they call gods, in other words, not by blessed immortals, but by demons, whom they dare not affirm to be blessed, but only immortal, or if they do rank them among the blessed immortals, yet only as good demons, and not as gods who dwell in the heaven of heavens remote from all human contact. But, though it may seem mere wrangling about a name, yet the name of demon is so detestable that we cannot bear in any sense to apply it to the holy angels. Now, therefore, let us close this book in the assurance that, whatever we call these immortal and blessed spirits, who yet are only creatures, they do not act as mediators to introduce to everlasting felicity miserable mortals, from whom they are severed by a twofold distinction. And those others who are mediators, in so far as they have immortality in common with their superiors, and misery in common with their inferiors (for they are justly miserable in punishment of their wickedness), cannot bestow upon us, but rather grudge that we should possess, the blessedness from which they themselves are excluded. And so the friends of the demons have nothing considerable to allege why we should rather worship them as our helpers than avoid them as traitors to our interests. As for those spirits who are good, and who are therefore not only immortal but also blessed, and to whom they suppose we should give the title of gods, and offer worship and sacrifices for the sake of inheriting a future life, we shall, by God's help, endeavor in the following book to show that these spirits, call them by what name, and ascribe to them what nature you will, desire that religious worship be paid to God alone, by whom they were created, and by whose communications of Himself to them they are blessed.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
alexandria Linjamaa (2019), The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics, 222
angel Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 297, 298
angelic descent,and anti-pagan polemics Reed (2005), Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity: The Reception of Enochic Literature. 169
angelic sin,as epistemological transgression Reed (2005), Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity: The Reception of Enochic Literature. 169
apocalyptic literature,and book of daniel Reed (2005), Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity: The Reception of Enochic Literature. 169
apocalyptic literature,history of scholarship on Reed (2005), Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity: The Reception of Enochic Literature. 169
apollo Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 297
apologists,generally Esler (2000), The Early Christian World, 531
apology,apologetics,christian Reed (2005), Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity: The Reception of Enochic Literature. 169
architecture,from first century to early fourth century Esler (2000), The Early Christian World, 710
architecture,generally Esler (2000), The Early Christian World, 710
architecture,house-churches Esler (2000), The Early Christian World, 710
becker,e. m. Ayres and Ward (2021), The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual, 107
body,bodies Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 297
christianity,attitudes towards jews in Reed (2005), Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity: The Reception of Enochic Literature. 169
church Linjamaa (2019), The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics, 222
clement of alexandria,on the catechumenate,,inherited catechetical practices from within early church Ayres and Ward (2021), The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual, 107
clement of alexandria,on the catechumenate,,secrecy of Ayres and Ward (2021), The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual, 107
clement of alexandria,on the catechumenate Ayres and Ward (2021), The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual, 107
clement of alexandria Linjamaa (2019), The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics, 222
cosmic deity Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 298
cosmology Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 297
creator,creation Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 297
cult Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 298
daemon,demon Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 298
demons,as enemies of christ Reed (2005), Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity: The Reception of Enochic Literature. 169
demons,christian association with jews Reed (2005), Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity: The Reception of Enochic Literature. 169
demons,pagan enslavement to Reed (2005), Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity: The Reception of Enochic Literature. 169
divine name Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 297, 298
early high christology Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 297, 298
education Linjamaa (2019), The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics, 222
egypt [ alexandria Linjamaa (2019), The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics, 222
emperor cult,emperor worship Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 297, 298
enochic literary tradition,place of book of dreams in Reed (2005), Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity: The Reception of Enochic Literature. 169
evil,supernatural etiology of Reed (2005), Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity: The Reception of Enochic Literature. 169
fallen angels,as enemies of christ Reed (2005), Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity: The Reception of Enochic Literature. 169
fasts/fasti Tabbernee (2007), Fake Prophecy and Polluted Sacraments: Ecclesiastical and Imperial Reactions to Montanism, 148
father Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 297, 298
gabe,mitteilung Hellholm et al. (2010), Ablution, Initiation, and Baptism: Late Antiquity, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity, 1400
genesis,and book of the watchers Reed (2005), Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity: The Reception of Enochic Literature. 169
glory Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 298
greco-roman culture,christian polemics against Reed (2005), Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity: The Reception of Enochic Literature. 169
heaven Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 297
heroes Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 297
house-church,architecture Esler (2000), The Early Christian World, 710
intermarriage Reed (2005), Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity: The Reception of Enochic Literature. 169
israel,and the angels Reed (2005), Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity: The Reception of Enochic Literature. 169
jerusalem Reed (2005), Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity: The Reception of Enochic Literature. 169
justin martyr,on catechumenate Ayres and Ward (2021), The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual, 107
justin martyr,theology Esler (2000), The Early Christian World, 531
justin martyr Linjamaa (2019), The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics, 222; Reed (2005), Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity: The Reception of Enochic Literature. 169
knowledge,revealed Reed (2005), Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity: The Reception of Enochic Literature. 169
kurios,kyrios Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 298
lang,t. j. Ayres and Ward (2021), The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual, 107
le Tabbernee (2007), Fake Prophecy and Polluted Sacraments: Ecclesiastical and Imperial Reactions to Montanism, 148
literary production Reed (2005), Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity: The Reception of Enochic Literature. 169
logos Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 297
lord Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 297, 298
marcion,marcionism Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 297
marcion and marcionites Ayres and Ward (2021), The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual, 107
matter (material substance/existence) Linjamaa (2019), The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics, 222
messianism,messianic Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 298
metaphysics Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 297
mortality Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 297
moses Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 298
mother Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 297
noah Reed (2005), Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity: The Reception of Enochic Literature. 169
novelty (charge of ) Tabbernee (2007), Fake Prophecy and Polluted Sacraments: Ecclesiastical and Imperial Reactions to Montanism, 148
oracle Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 297
oracles/sayings [logia (montanist) Tabbernee (2007), Fake Prophecy and Polluted Sacraments: Ecclesiastical and Imperial Reactions to Montanism, 148
origen Linjamaa (2019), The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics, 222
pagan,paganism Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 298
pagan monotheism Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 297
paganism/paganists Tabbernee (2007), Fake Prophecy and Polluted Sacraments: Ecclesiastical and Imperial Reactions to Montanism, 148
paul,pauline,paulinism Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 297, 298
persecution Reed (2005), Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity: The Reception of Enochic Literature. 169
persecutions Tabbernee (2007), Fake Prophecy and Polluted Sacraments: Ecclesiastical and Imperial Reactions to Montanism, 148
philosophy Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 297
pliny the younger Ayres and Ward (2021), The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual, 107
pneumatic humans/powers Linjamaa (2019), The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics, 222
priest,priesthood Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 298
psychic humans/powers Linjamaa (2019), The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics, 222
psychici Tabbernee (2007), Fake Prophecy and Polluted Sacraments: Ecclesiastical and Imperial Reactions to Montanism, 148
ritual Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 298
rome,roman Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 298
sacrifice Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 298
salbung(en) Hellholm et al. (2010), Ablution, Initiation, and Baptism: Late Antiquity, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity, 1400
san clemente Esler (2000), The Early Christian World, 710
school Linjamaa (2019), The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics, 222
scripture,christian,justin martyr Esler (2000), The Early Christian World, 531
spirit [ pneuma Linjamaa (2019), The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics, 222
statio,stationes Tabbernee (2007), Fake Prophecy and Polluted Sacraments: Ecclesiastical and Imperial Reactions to Montanism, 148
sun Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 297
tatian and celsus,,education of christians and Ayres and Ward (2021), The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual, 107
teacher Linjamaa (2019), The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics, 222
tertullian,on catechumenate Ayres and Ward (2021), The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual, 107
tertullian Tabbernee (2007), Fake Prophecy and Polluted Sacraments: Ecclesiastical and Imperial Reactions to Montanism, 148
theos hypsistos\u2003 Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 297
titular churches Esler (2000), The Early Christian World, 710
uncreated Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 297
valentinian/valentinians Linjamaa (2019), The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics, 222
valentinus,valentinianism Novenson (2020), Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 297
valentinus Linjamaa (2019), The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics, 222
valentinus and valentinians Ayres and Ward (2021), The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual, 107
wiedergeburt Hellholm et al. (2010), Ablution, Initiation, and Baptism: Late Antiquity, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity, 1400
xerophagy/xerophagies' Tabbernee (2007), Fake Prophecy and Polluted Sacraments: Ecclesiastical and Imperial Reactions to Montanism, 148