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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



8413
Origen, Against Celsus, 1.10-1.13


nanIn the next place, since our opponents keep repeating those statements about faith, we must say that, considering it as a useful thing for the multitude, we admit that we teach those men to believe without reasons, who are unable to abandon all other employments, and give themselves to an examination of arguments; and our opponents, although they do not acknowledge it, yet practically do the same. For who is there that, on betaking himself to the study of philosophy, and throwing himself into the ranks of some sect, either by chance, or because he is provided with a teacher of that school, adopts such a course for any other reason, except that he believes his particular sect to be superior to any other? For, not waiting to hear the arguments of all the other philosophers, and of all the different sects, and the reasons for condemning one system and for supporting another, he in this way elects to become a Stoic, e.g., or a Platonist, or a Peripatetic, or an Epicurean, or a follower of some other school, and is thus borne, although they will not admit it, by a kind of irrational impulse to the practice, say of Stoicism, to the disregard of the others; despising either Platonism, as being marked by greater humility than the others; or Peripateticism, as more human, and as admitting with more fairness than other systems the blessings of human life. And some also, alarmed at first sight about the doctrine of providence, from seeing what happens in the world to the vicious and to the virtuous, have rashly concluded that there is no divine providence at all, and have adopted the views of Epicurus and Celsus.


nanSince, then, as reason teaches, we must repose faith in some one of those who have been the introducers of sects among the Greeks or Barbarians, why should we not rather believe in God who is over all things, and in Him who teaches that worship is due to God alone, and that other things are to be passed by, either as non-existent, or as existing indeed, and worthy of honour, but not of worship and reverence? And respecting these things, he who not only believes, but who contemplates things with the eye of reason, will state the demonstrations that occur to him, and which are the result of careful investigation. And why should it not be more reasonable, seeing all human things are dependent upon faith, to believe God rather than them? For who enters on a voyage, or contracts a marriage, or becomes the father of children, or casts seed into the ground, without believing that better things will result from so doing, although the contrary might and sometimes does happen? And yet the belief that better things, even agreeably to their wishes, will follow, makes all men venture upon uncertain enterprises, which may turn out differently from what they expect. And if the hope and belief of a better future be the support of life in every uncertain enterprise, why shall not this faith rather be rationally accepted by him who believes on better grounds than he who sails the sea, or tills the ground, or marries a wife, or engages in any other human pursuit, in the existence of a God who was the Creator of all these things, and in Him who with surpassing wisdom and divine greatness of mind dared to make known this doctrine to men in every part of the world, at the cost of great danger, and of a death considered infamous, which He underwent for the sake of the human race; having also taught those who were persuaded to embrace His doctrine at the first, to proceed, under the peril of every danger, and of ever impending death, to all quarters of the world to ensure the salvation of men?


nanIn the next place, when Celsus says in express words, If they would answer me, not as if I were asking for information, for I am acquainted with all their opinions, but because I take an equal interest in them all, it would be well. And if they will not, but will keep reiterating, as they generally do, 'Do not investigate,' etc., they must, he continues, explain to me at least of what nature these things are of which they speak, and whence they are derived, etc. Now, with regard to his statement that he is acquainted with all our doctrines, we have to say that this is a boastful and daring assertion; for if he had read the prophets in particular, which are full of acknowledged difficulties, and of declarations that are obscure to the multitude, and if he had perused the parables of the Gospels, and the other writings of the law and of the Jewish history, and the utterances of the apostles, and had read them candidly, with a desire to enter into their meaning, he would not have expressed himself with such boldness, nor said that he was acquainted with all their doctrines. Even we ourselves, who have devoted much study to these writings, would not say that we were acquainted with everything, for we have a regard for truth. Not one of us will assert, I know all the doctrines of Epicurus, or will be confident that he knows all those of Plato, in the knowledge of the fact that so many differences of opinion exist among the expositors of these systems. For who is so daring as to say that he knows all the opinions of the Stoics or of the Peripatetics? Unless, indeed, it should be the case that he has heard this boast, I know them all, from some ignorant and senseless individuals, who do not perceive their own ignorance, and should thus imagine, from having had such persons as his teachers, that he was acquainted with them all. Such an one appears to me to act very much as a person would do who had visited Egypt (where the Egyptian savans, learned in their country's literature, are greatly given to philosophizing about those things which are regarded among them as divine, but where the vulgar, hearing certain myths, the reasons of which they do not understand, are greatly elated because of their fancied knowledge), and who should imagine that he is acquainted with the whole circle of Egyptian knowledge, after having been a disciple of the ignorant alone, and without having associated with any of the priests, or having learned the mysteries of the Egyptians from any other source. And what I have said regarding the learned and ignorant among the Egyptians, I might have said also of the Persians; among whom there are mysteries, conducted on rational principles by the learned among them, but understood in a symbolic sense by the more superficial of the multitude. And the same remark applies to the Syrians, and Indians, and to all those who have a literature and a mythology.


nanBut since Celsus has declared it to be a saying of many Christians, that the wisdom of this life is a bad thing, but that foolishness is good, we have to answer that he slanders the Gospel, not giving the words as they actually occur in the writings of Paul, where they run as follow: If any one among you seems to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. The apostle, therefore, does not say simply that wisdom is foolishness with God, but the wisdom of this world. And again, not, If any one among you seems to be wise, let him become a fool universally; but, let him become a fool in this world, that he may become wise. We term, then, the wisdom of this world, every false system of philosophy, which, according to the Scriptures, is brought to nought; and we call foolishness good, not without restriction, but when a man becomes foolish as to this world. As if we were to say that the Platonist, who believes in the immortality of the soul, and in the doctrine of its metempsychosis, incurs the charge of folly with the Stoics, who discard this opinion; and with the Peripatetics, who babble about the subtleties of Plato; and with the Epicureans, who call it superstition to introduce a providence, and to place a God over all things. Moreover, that it is in agreement with the spirit of Christianity, of much more importance to give our assent to doctrines upon grounds of reason and wisdom than on that of faith merely, and that it was only in certain circumstances that the latter course was desired by Christianity, in order not to leave men altogether without help, is shown by that genuine disciple of Jesus, Paul, when he says: For after that, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. Now by these words it is clearly shown that it is by the wisdom of God that God ought to be known. But as this result did not follow, it pleased God a second time to save them that believe, not by folly universally, but by such foolishness as depended on preaching. For the preaching of Jesus Christ as crucified is the foolishness of preaching, as Paul also perceived, when he said, But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling-block, and to the Greeks foolishness; but to them who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and wisdom of God.


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

19 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Genesis, 41.33-41.40 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

41.33. וְעַתָּה יֵרֶא פַרְעֹה אִישׁ נָבוֹן וְחָכָם וִישִׁיתֵהוּ עַל־אֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם׃ 41.34. יַעֲשֶׂה פַרְעֹה וְיַפְקֵד פְּקִדִים עַל־הָאָרֶץ וְחִמֵּשׁ אֶת־אֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם בְּשֶׁבַע שְׁנֵי הַשָּׂבָע׃ 41.35. וְיִקְבְּצוּ אֶת־כָּל־אֹכֶל הַשָּׁנִים הַטֹּבֹת הַבָּאֹת הָאֵלֶּה וְיִצְבְּרוּ־בָר תַּחַת יַד־פַּרְעֹה אֹכֶל בֶּעָרִים וְשָׁמָרוּ׃ 41.36. וְהָיָה הָאֹכֶל לְפִקָּדוֹן לָאָרֶץ לְשֶׁבַע שְׁנֵי הָרָעָב אֲשֶׁר תִּהְיֶיןָ בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם וְלֹא־תִכָּרֵת הָאָרֶץ בָּרָעָב׃ 41.37. וַיִּיטַב הַדָּבָר בְּעֵינֵי פַרְעֹה וּבְעֵינֵי כָּל־עֲבָדָיו׃ 41.38. וַיֹּאמֶר פַּרְעֹה אֶל־עֲבָדָיו הֲנִמְצָא כָזֶה אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר רוּחַ אֱלֹהִים בּוֹ׃ 41.39. וַיֹּאמֶר פַּרְעֹה אֶל־יוֹסֵף אַחֲרֵי הוֹדִיעַ אֱלֹהִים אוֹתְךָ אֶת־כָּל־זֹאת אֵין־נָבוֹן וְחָכָם כָּמוֹךָ׃ 41.33. Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt." 41.34. Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint overseers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven years of plenty." 41.35. And let them gather all the food of these good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it." 41.36. And the food shall be for a store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine.’" 41.37. And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants." 41.38. And Pharaoh said unto his servants: ‘Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom the spirit of God is?’" 41.39. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph: ‘Forasmuch as God hath shown thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou." 41.40. Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled; only in the throne will I be greater than thou.’"
2. Hebrew Bible, 1 Kings, 4.33 (8th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

3. Plato, Phaedrus, 248-250, 247 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

4. Plato, Philebus, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

12b. Phi. True; and for that reason I wash my hands of it and now call upon the goddess herself to witness that I do so. Pro. And we also will bear witness to these words of yours. But all the same, Socrates, Philebus may agree or do as he likes, let us try to finish our argument in due order. Soc. We must try, and let us begin with the very goddess who Philebus says is spoken of as Aphrodite but is most truly named Pleasure. Pro. Quite right.
5. Plato, Theaetetus, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

176a. THEO. If, Socrates, you could persuade all men of the truth of what you say as you do me, there would be more peace and fewer evils among mankind. SOC. But it is impossible that evils should be done away with, Theodorus, for there must always be something opposed to the good; and they cannot have their place among the gods, but must inevitably hover about mortal nature and this earth. Therefore we ought to try to escape from earth to the dwelling of the gods as quickly as we can;
6. Plato, Timaeus, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

22d. the occurrence of a shifting of the bodies in the heavens which move round the earth, and a destruction of the things on the earth by fierce fire, which recurs at long intervals. At such times all they that dwell on the mountains and in high and dry places suffer destruction more than those who dwell near to rivers or the sea; and in our case the Nile, our Saviour in other ways, saves us also at such times from this calamity by rising high. And when, on the other hand, the Gods purge the earth with a flood of waters, all the herdsmen and shepherds that are in the mountains are saved
7. Hebrew Bible, Daniel, 1.20 (2nd cent. BCE - 2nd cent. BCE)

1.20. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his realm."
8. Josephus Flavius, Life, 11-12, 9-10 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

9. New Testament, 1 Corinthians, 1.18-1.31, 2.5, 11.19 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

1.18. For the word of the cross isfoolishness to those who are dying, but to us who are saved it is thepower of God. 1.19. For it is written,"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,I will bring the discernment of the discerning to nothing. 1.20. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the lawyerof this world? Hasn't God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 1.21. For seeing that in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdomdidn't know God, it was God's good pleasure through the foolishness ofthe preaching to save those who believe. 1.22. For Jews ask for signs,Greeks seek after wisdom 1.23. but we preach Christ crucified; astumbling block to Jews, and foolishness to Greeks 1.24. but to thosewho are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God andthe wisdom of God. 1.25. Because the foolishness of God is wiser thanmen, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 1.26. For you seeyour calling, brothers, that not many are wise according to the flesh,not many mighty, and not many noble; 1.27. but God chose the foolishthings of the world that he might put to shame those who are wise. Godchose the weak things of the world, that he might put to shame thethings that are strong; 1.28. and God chose the lowly things of theworld, and the things that are despised, and the things that are not,that he might bring to nothing the things that are: 1.29. that noflesh should boast before God. 1.30. But of him, you are in ChristJesus, who was made to us wisdom from God, and righteousness andsanctification, and redemption: 1.31. that, according as it iswritten, "He who boasts, let him boast in the Lord. 2.5. that your faith wouldn't stand in the wisdom of men, but in thepower of God. 11.19. For there also mustbe factions among you, that those who are approved may be revealedamong you.
10. Athenagoras, Apology Or Embassy For The Christians, 3 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

3. Three things are alleged against us: atheism, Thyestean feasts, Œdipodean intercourse. But if these charges are true, spare no class: proceed at once against our crimes; destroy us root and branch, with our wives and children, if any Christian is found to live like the brutes. And yet even the brutes do not touch the flesh of their own kind; and they pair by a law of nature, and only at the regular season, not from simple wantonness; they also recognise those from whom they receive benefits. If any one, therefore, is more savage than the brutes, what punishment that he can endure shall be deemed adequate to such offenses? But, if these things are only idle tales and empty slanders, originating in the fact that virtue is opposed by its very nature to vice, and that contraries war against one another by a divine law (and you are yourselves witnesses that no such iniquities are committed by us, for you forbid informations to be laid against us), it remains for you to make inquiry concerning our life, our opinions, our loyalty and obedience to you and your house and government, and thus at length to grant to us the same rights (we ask nothing more) as to those who persecute us. For we shall then conquer them, unhesitatingly surrendering, as we now do, our very lives for the truth's sake.
11. Atticus, Fragments, 3 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

12. Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies, 7.3.20 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

13. Galen, On The Use of Parts, 11.14 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

14. Eusebius of Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History, 5.28.4-5.28.5, 5.28.12, 5.28.14, 6.19 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

5.28.4. And what they say might be plausible, if first of all the Divine Scriptures did not contradict them. And there are writings of certain brethren older than the times of Victor, which they wrote in behalf of the truth against the heathen, and against the heresies which existed in their day. I refer to Justin and Miltiades and Tatian and Clement and many others, in all of whose works Christ is spoken of as God. 5.28.5. For who does not know the works of Irenaeus and of Melito and of others which teach that Christ is God and man? And how many psalms and hymns, written by the faithful brethren from the beginning, celebrate Christ the Word of God, speaking of him as Divine. 5.28.12. But as he paid little regard to the visions, because he was ensnared by the first position among them and by that shameful covetousness which destroys a great many, he was scourged by holy angels, and punished severely through the entire night. Thereupon having risen in the morning, he put on sackcloth and covered himself with ashes, and with great haste and tears he fell down before Zephyrinus, the bishop, rolling at the feet not only of the clergy, but also of the laity; and he moved with his tears the compassionate Church of the merciful Christ. And though he used much supplication, and showed the welts of the stripes which he had received, yet scarcely was he taken back into communion. 5.28.14. And as being of the earth and speaking of the earth, and as ignorant of him who comes from above, they forsake the holy writings of God to devote themselves to geometry. Euclid is laboriously measured by some of them; and Aristotle and Theophrastus are admired; and Galen, perhaps, by some is even worshipped.
15. Eusebius of Caesarea, Preparation For The Gospel, 15.5.1-15.5.14 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

16. Origen, Against Celsus, 1.8-1.9, 1.11, 1.13, 1.21, 1.23, 1.62, 2.13, 2.42, 2.60, 3.12-3.13, 3.37-3.38, 3.47, 3.72, 3.75, 3.80, 4.4, 4.39, 4.48, 4.62, 5.3, 5.61-5.63, 6.1-6.3, 6.17, 6.49, 7.44, 8.72-8.75 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

1.8. It is with a certain eloquence, indeed, that he appears to advocate the cause of those who bear witness to the truth of Christianity by their death, in the following words: And I do not maintain that if a man, who has adopted a system of good doctrine, is to incur danger from men on that account, he should either apostatize, or feign apostasy, or openly deny his opinions. And he condemns those who, while holding the Christian views, either pretend that they do not, or deny them, saying that he who holds a certain opinion ought not to feign recantation, or publicly disown it. And here Celsus must be convicted of self-contradiction. For from other treatises of his it is ascertained that he was an Epicurean; but here, because he thought that he could assail Christianity with better effect by not professing the opinions of Epicurus, he pretends that there is a something better in man than the earthly part of his nature, which is akin to God, and says that they in whom this element, viz., the soul, is in a healthy condition, are ever seeking after their kindred nature, meaning God, and are ever desiring to hear something about Him, and to call it to remembrance. Observe now the insincerity of his character! Having said a little before, that the man who had embraced a system of good doctrine ought not, even if exposed to danger on that account from men, to disavow it, or pretend that he had done so, nor yet openly disown it, he now involves himself in all manner of contradictions. For he knew that if he acknowledged himself an Epicurean, he would not obtain any credit when accusing those who, in any degree, introduce the doctrine of Providence, and who place a God over the world. And we have heard that there were two individuals of the name of Celsus, both of whom were Epicureans; the earlier of the two having lived in the time of Nero, but this one in that of Adrian, and later. 1.9. He next proceeds to recommend, that in adopting opinions we should follow reason and a rational guide, since he who assents to opinions without following this course is very liable to be deceived. And he compares inconsiderate believers to Metragyrt, and soothsayers, and Mithr, and Sabbadians, and to anything else that one may fall in with, and to the phantoms of Hecate, or any other demon or demons. For as among such persons are frequently to be found wicked men, who, taking advantage of the ignorance of those who are easily deceived, lead them away whither they will, so also, he says, is the case among Christians. And he asserts that certain persons who do not wish either to give or receive a reason for their belief, keep repeating, Do not examine, but believe! and, Your faith will save you! And he alleges that such also say, The wisdom of this life is bad, but that foolishness is a good thing! To which we have to answer, that if it were possible for all to leave the business of life, and devote themselves to philosophy, no other method ought to be adopted by any one, but this alone. For in the Christian system also it will be found that there is, not to speak at all arrogantly, at least as much of investigation into articles of belief, and of explanation of dark sayings, occurring in the prophetical writings, and of the parables in the Gospels, and of countless other things, which either were narrated or enacted with a symbolic signification, (as is the case with other systems). But since the course alluded to is impossible, partly on account of the necessities of life, partly on account of the weakness of men, as only a very few individuals devote themselves earnestly to study, what better method could be devised with a view of assisting the multitude, than that which was delivered by Jesus to the heathen? And let us inquire, with respect to the great multitude of believers, who have washed away the mire of wickedness in which they formerly wallowed, whether it were better for them to believe without a reason, and (so) to have become reformed and improved in their habits, through the belief that men are chastised for sins, and honoured for good works or not to have allowed themselves to be converted on the strength of mere faith, but (to have waited) until they could give themselves to a thorough examination of the (necessary) reasons. For it is manifest that, (on such a plan), all men, with very few exceptions, would not obtain this (amelioration of conduct) which they have obtained through a simple faith, but would continue to remain in the practice of a wicked life. Now, whatever other evidence can be furnished of the fact, that it was not without divine intervention that the philanthropic scheme of Christianity was introduced among men, this also must be added. For a pious man will not believe that even a physician of the body, who restores the sick to better health, could take up his abode in any city or country without divine permission, since no good happens to men without the help of God. And if he who has cured the bodies of many, or restored them to better health, does not effect his cures without the help of God, how much more He who has healed the souls of many, and has turned them (to virtue), and improved their nature, and attached them to God who is over all things, and taught them to refer every action to His good pleasure, and to shun all that is displeasing to Him, even to the least of their words or deeds, or even of the thoughts of their hearts? 1.11. Since, then, as reason teaches, we must repose faith in some one of those who have been the introducers of sects among the Greeks or Barbarians, why should we not rather believe in God who is over all things, and in Him who teaches that worship is due to God alone, and that other things are to be passed by, either as non-existent, or as existing indeed, and worthy of honour, but not of worship and reverence? And respecting these things, he who not only believes, but who contemplates things with the eye of reason, will state the demonstrations that occur to him, and which are the result of careful investigation. And why should it not be more reasonable, seeing all human things are dependent upon faith, to believe God rather than them? For who enters on a voyage, or contracts a marriage, or becomes the father of children, or casts seed into the ground, without believing that better things will result from so doing, although the contrary might and sometimes does happen? And yet the belief that better things, even agreeably to their wishes, will follow, makes all men venture upon uncertain enterprises, which may turn out differently from what they expect. And if the hope and belief of a better future be the support of life in every uncertain enterprise, why shall not this faith rather be rationally accepted by him who believes on better grounds than he who sails the sea, or tills the ground, or marries a wife, or engages in any other human pursuit, in the existence of a God who was the Creator of all these things, and in Him who with surpassing wisdom and divine greatness of mind dared to make known this doctrine to men in every part of the world, at the cost of great danger, and of a death considered infamous, which He underwent for the sake of the human race; having also taught those who were persuaded to embrace His doctrine at the first, to proceed, under the peril of every danger, and of ever impending death, to all quarters of the world to ensure the salvation of men? 1.13. But since Celsus has declared it to be a saying of many Christians, that the wisdom of this life is a bad thing, but that foolishness is good, we have to answer that he slanders the Gospel, not giving the words as they actually occur in the writings of Paul, where they run as follow: If any one among you seems to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. The apostle, therefore, does not say simply that wisdom is foolishness with God, but the wisdom of this world. And again, not, If any one among you seems to be wise, let him become a fool universally; but, let him become a fool in this world, that he may become wise. We term, then, the wisdom of this world, every false system of philosophy, which, according to the Scriptures, is brought to nought; and we call foolishness good, not without restriction, but when a man becomes foolish as to this world. As if we were to say that the Platonist, who believes in the immortality of the soul, and in the doctrine of its metempsychosis, incurs the charge of folly with the Stoics, who discard this opinion; and with the Peripatetics, who babble about the subtleties of Plato; and with the Epicureans, who call it superstition to introduce a providence, and to place a God over all things. Moreover, that it is in agreement with the spirit of Christianity, of much more importance to give our assent to doctrines upon grounds of reason and wisdom than on that of faith merely, and that it was only in certain circumstances that the latter course was desired by Christianity, in order not to leave men altogether without help, is shown by that genuine disciple of Jesus, Paul, when he says: For after that, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. Now by these words it is clearly shown that it is by the wisdom of God that God ought to be known. But as this result did not follow, it pleased God a second time to save them that believe, not by folly universally, but by such foolishness as depended on preaching. For the preaching of Jesus Christ as crucified is the foolishness of preaching, as Paul also perceived, when he said, But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling-block, and to the Greeks foolishness; but to them who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and wisdom of God. 1.21. The following is the view of Celsus and the Epicureans: Moses having, he says, learned the doctrine which is to be found existing among wise nations and eloquent men, obtained the reputation of divinity. Now, in answer to this we have to say, that it may be allowed him that Moses did indeed hear a somewhat ancient doctrine, and transmitted the same to the Hebrews; that if the doctrine which he heard was false, and neither pious nor venerable, and if notwithstanding, he received it and handed it down to those under his authority, he is liable to censure; but if, as you assert, he gave his adherence to opinions that were wise and true, and educated his people by means of them, what, pray, has he done deserving of condemnation? Would, indeed, that not only Epicurus, but Aristotle, whose sentiments regarding providence are not so impious (as those of the former), and the Stoics, who assert that God is a body, had heard such a doctrine! Then the world would not have been filled with opinions which either disallow or enfeeble the action of providence, or introduce a corrupt corporeal principle, according to which the god of the Stoics is a body, with respect to whom they are not afraid to say that he is capable of change, and may be altered and transformed in all his parts, and, generally, that he is capable of corruption, if there be any one to corrupt him, but that he has the good fortune to escape corruption, because there is none to corrupt. Whereas the doctrine of the Jews and Christians, which preserves the immutability and unalterableness of the divine nature, is stigmatized as impious, because it does not partake of the profanity of those whose notions of God are marked by impiety, but because it says in the supplication addressed to the Divinity, You are the same, it being, moreover, an article of faith that God has said, I change not. 1.23. After this, Celsus next asserts that Those herdsmen and shepherds who followed Moses as their leader, had their minds deluded by vulgar deceits, and so supposed that there was one God. Let him show, then, how, after this irrational departure, as he regards it, of the herdsmen and shepherds from the worship of many gods, he himself is able to establish the multiplicity of deities that are found among the Greeks, or among those other nations that are called Barbarian. Let him establish, therefore, the existence of Mnemosyne, the mother of the Muses by Zeus; or of Themis, the parent of the Hours; or let him prove that the ever naked Graces can have a real, substantial existence. But he will not be able to show, from any actions of theirs, that these fictitious representations of the Greeks, which have the appearance of being invested with bodies, are (really) gods. And why should the fables of the Greeks regarding the gods be true, any more than those of the Egyptians for example, who in their language know nothing of a Mnemosyne, mother of the nine Muses; nor of a Themis, parent of the Hours; nor of a Euphrosyne, one of the Graces; nor of any other of these names? How much more manifest (and how much better than all these inventions!) is it that, convinced by what we see, in the admirable order of the world, we should worship the Maker of it as the one Author of one effect, and which, as being wholly in harmony with itself, cannot on that account have been the work of many makers; and that we should believe that the whole heaven is not held together by the movements of many souls, for one is enough, which bears the whole of the non-wandering sphere from east to west, and embraces within it all things which the world requires, and which are not self-existing! For all are parts of the world, while God is no part of the whole. But God cannot be imperfect, as a part is imperfect. And perhaps profounder consideration will show, that as God is not a part, so neither is He properly the whole, since the whole is composed of parts; and reason will not allow us to believe that the God who is over all is composed of parts, each one of which cannot do what all the other parts can. 1.62. And after such statements, showing his ignorance even of the number of the apostles, he proceeds thus: Jesus having gathered around him ten or eleven persons of notorious character, the very wickedest of tax-gatherers and sailors, fled in company with them from place to place, and obtained his living in a shameful and importunate manner. Let us to the best of our power see what truth there is in such a statement. It is manifest to us all who possess the Gospel narratives, which Celsus does not appear even to have read, that Jesus selected twelve apostles, and that of these Matthew alone was a tax-gatherer; that when he calls them indiscriminately sailors, he probably means James and John, because they left their ship and their father Zebedee, and followed Jesus; for Peter and his brother Andrew, who employed a net to gain their necessary subsistence, must be classed not as sailors, but as the Scripture describes them, as fishermen. The Lebes also, who was a follower of Jesus, may have been a tax-gatherer; but he was not of the number of the apostles, except according to a statement in one of the copies of Mark's Gospel. And we have not ascertained the employments of the remaining disciples, by which they earned their livelihood before becoming disciples of Jesus. I assert, therefore, in answer to such statements as the above, that it is clear to all who are able to institute an intelligent and candid examination into the history of the apostles of Jesus, that it was by help of a divine power that these men taught Christianity, and succeeded in leading others to embrace the word of God. For it was not any power of speaking, or any orderly arrangement of their message, according to the arts of Grecian dialectics or rhetoric, which was in them the effective cause of converting their hearers. Nay, I am of opinion that if Jesus had selected some individuals who were wise according to the apprehension of the multitude, and who were fitted both to think and speak so as to please them, and had used such as the ministers of His doctrine, He would most justly have been suspected of employing artifices, like those philosophers who are the leaders of certain sects, and consequently the promise respecting the divinity of His doctrine would not have manifested itself; for had the doctrine and the preaching consisted in the persuasive utterance and arrangement of words, then faith also, like that of the philosophers of the world in their opinions, would have been through the wisdom of men, and not through the power of God. Now, who is there on seeing fishermen and tax-gatherers, who had not acquired even the merest elements of learning (as the Gospel relates of them, and in respect to which Celsus believes that they speak the truth, inasmuch as it is their own ignorance which they record), discoursing boldly not only among the Jews of faith in Jesus, but also preaching Him with success among other nations, would not inquire whence they derived this power of persuasion, as theirs was certainly not the common method followed by the multitude? And who would not say that the promise, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men, had been accomplished by Jesus in the history of His apostles by a sort of divine power? And to this also, Paul, referring in terms of commendation, as we have stated a little above, says: And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power; that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. For, according to the predictions in the prophets, foretelling the preaching of the Gospel, the Lord gave the word in great power to them who preached it, even the King of the powers of the Beloved, in order that the prophecy might be fulfilled which said, His words shall run very swiftly. And we see that the voice of the apostles of Jesus has gone forth into all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. On this account are they who hear the word powerfully proclaimed filled with power, which they manifest both by their dispositions and their lives, and by struggling even to death on behalf of the truth; while some are altogether empty, although they profess to believe in God through Jesus, inasmuch as, not possessing any divine power, they have the appearance only of being converted to the word of God. And although I have previously mentioned a Gospel declaration uttered by the Saviour, I shall nevertheless quote it again, as appropriate to the present occasion, as it confirms both the divine manifestation of our Saviour's foreknowledge regarding the preaching of His Gospel, and the power of His word, which without the aid of teachers gains the mastery over those who yield their assent to persuasion accompanied with divine power; and the words of Jesus referred to are, The harvest is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray therefore to the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest. 2.13. This Jew of Celsus continues, after the above, in the following fashion: Although he could state many things regarding the events of the life of Jesus which are true, and not like those which are recorded by the disciples, he willingly omits them. What, then, are those true statements, unlike the accounts in the Gospels, which the Jew of Celsus passes by without mention? Or is he only employing what appears to be a figure of speech, in pretending to have something to say, while in reality he had nothing to produce beyond the Gospel narrative which could impress the hearer with a feeling of its truth, and furnish a clear ground of accusation against Jesus and His doctrine? And he charges the disciples with having invented the statement that Jesus foreknew and foretold all that happened to Him; but the truth of this statement we shall establish, although Celsus may not like it, by means of many other predictions uttered by the Saviour, in which He foretold what would befall the Christians in after generations. And who is there who would not be astonished at this prediction: You shall be brought before governors and kings for My sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles; and at any others which He may have delivered respecting the future persecution of His disciples? For what system of opinions ever existed among men on account of which others are punished, so that any one of the accusers of Jesus could say that, foreseeing the impiety or falsity of his opinions to be the ground of an accusation against them he thought that this would redound to his credit, that he had so predicted regarding it long before? Now if any deserve to be brought, on account of their opinions, before governors and kings, what others are they, save the Epicureans, who altogether deny the existence of providence? And also the Peripatetics, who say that prayers are of no avail, and sacrifices offered as to the Divinity? But some one will say that the Samaritans suffer persecution because of their religion. In answer to whom we shall state that the Sicarians, on account of the practice of circumcision, as mutilating themselves contrary to the established laws and the customs permitted to the Jews alone, are put to death. And you never hear a judge inquiring whether a Sicarian who strives to live according to this established religion of his will be released from punishment if he apostatizes, but will be led away to death if he continues firm; for the evidence of the circumcision is sufficient to ensure the death of him who has undergone it. But Christians alone, according to the prediction of their Saviour, You shall be brought before governors and kings for My sake, are urged up to their last breath by their judges to deny Christianity, and to sacrifice according to the public customs; and after the oath of abjuration, to return to their homes, and to live in safety. And observe whether it is not with great authority that this declaration is uttered: Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father who is in heaven. And whosoever shall deny Me before men, etc. And go back with me in thought to Jesus when He uttered these words, and see His predictions not yet accomplished. Perhaps you will say, in a spirit of incredulity, that he is talking folly, and speaking to no purpose, for his words will have no fulfilment; or, being in doubt about assenting to his words, you will say, that if these predictions be fulfilled, and the doctrine of Jesus be established, so that governors and kings think of destroying those who acknowledge Jesus, then we shall believe that he utters these prophecies as one who has received great power from God to implant this doctrine among the human race, and as believing that it will prevail. And who will not be filled with wonder, when he goes back in thought to Him who then taught and said, This Gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles, and beholds, agreeably to His words, the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached in the whole world under heaven to Greeks and Barbarians, wise and foolish alike? For the word, spoken with power, has gained the mastery over men of all sorts of nature, and it is impossible to see any race of men which has escaped accepting the teaching of Jesus. But let this Jew of Celsus, who does not believe that He foreknew all that happened to Him, consider how, while Jerusalem was still standing, and the whole Jewish worship celebrated in it, Jesus foretold what would befall it from the hand of the Romans. For they will not maintain that the acquaintances and pupils of Jesus Himself handed down His teaching contained in the Gospels without committing it to writing, and left His disciples without the memoirs of Jesus contained in their works. Now in these it is recorded, that when you shall see Jerusalem compassed about with armies, then shall you know that the desolation thereof is near. But at that time there were no armies around Jerusalem, encompassing and enclosing and besieging it; for the siege began in the reign of Nero, and lasted till the government of Vespasian, whose son Titus destroyed Jerusalem, on account, as Josephus says, of James the Just, the brother of Jesus who was called Christ, but in reality, as the truth makes clear, on account of Jesus Christ the Son of God. 2.42. But further, since Celsus will have it that Jesus was not irreproachable, let him instance any one of those who adhere to His doctrine, who has recorded anything that could truly furnish ground of reproach against Jesus; or if it be not from these that he derives his matter of accusation against Him, let him say from what quarter he has learned that which has induced him to say that He is not free from reproach. Jesus, however, performed all that He promised to do, and by which He conferred benefits upon his adherents. And we, continually seeing fulfilled all that was predicted by Him before it happened, viz., that this Gospel of His should be preached throughout the whole world, and that His disciples should go among all nations and announce His doctrine; and, moreover, that they should be brought before governors and kings on no other account than because of His teaching; we are lost in wonder at Him, and have our faith in Him daily confirmed. And I know not by what greater or more convincing proofs Celsus would have Him confirm His predictions; unless, indeed, as seems to be the case, not understanding that the Logos had become the man Jesus, he would have Him to be subject to no human weakness, nor to become an illustrious pattern to men of the manner in which they ought to bear the calamities of life, although these appear to Celsus to be most lamentable and disgraceful occurrences, seeing that he regards labour to be the greatest of evils, and pleasure the perfect good - a view accepted by none of those philosophers who admit the doctrine of providence, and who allow that courage, and fortitude, and magimity are virtues. Jesus, therefore, by His sufferings cast no discredit upon the faith of which He was the object; but rather confirmed the same among those who would approve of manly courage, and among those who were taught by Him that what was truly and properly the happy life was not here below, but was to be found in that which was called, according to His own words, the coming world; whereas in what is called the present world life is a calamity, or at least the first and greatest struggle of the soul. 2.60. In the next place, as if this were possible, viz., that the image of a man who was dead could appear to another as if he were still living, he adopts this opinion as an Epicurean, and says, That some one having so dreamed owing to a peculiar state of mind, or having, under the influence of a perverted imagination, formed such an appearance as he himself desired, reported that such had been seen; and this, he continues, has been the case with numberless individuals. But even if this statement of his seems to have a considerable degree of force, it is nevertheless only fitted to confirm a necessary doctrine, that the soul of the dead exists in a separate state (from the body); and he who adopts such an opinion does not believe without good reason in the immortality, or at least continued existence, of the soul, as even Plato says in his treatise on the Soul that shadowy phantoms of persons already dead have appeared to some around their sepulchres. Now the phantoms which exist about the soul of the dead are produced by some substance, and this substance is in the soul, which exists apart in a body said to be of splendid appearance. But Celsus, unwilling to admit any such view, will have it that some dreamed a waking dream, and, under the influence of a perverted imagination, formed to themselves such an image as they desired. Now it is not irrational to believe that a dream may take place while one is asleep; but to suppose a waking vision in the case of those who are not altogether out of their senses, and under the influence of delirium or hypochondria, is incredible. And Celsus, seeing this, called the woman half-mad,- a statement which is not made by the history recording the fact, but from which he took occasion to charge the occurrences with being untrue. 3.12. In the next place, since he reproaches us with the existence of heresies in Christianity as being a ground of accusation against it, saying that when Christians had greatly increased in numbers, they were divided and split up into factions, each individual desiring to have his own party; and further, that being thus separated through their numbers, they confute one another, still having, so to speak, one name in common, if indeed they still retain it. And this is the only thing which they are yet ashamed to abandon, while other matters are determined in different ways by the various sects. In reply to which, we say that heresies of different kinds have never originated from any matter in which the principle involved was not important and beneficial to human life. For since the science of medicine is useful and necessary to the human race, and many are the points of dispute in it respecting the manner of curing bodies, there are found, for this reason, numerous heresies confessedly prevailing in the science of medicine among the Greeks, and also, I suppose, among those barbarous nations who profess to employ medicine. And, again, since philosophy makes a profession of the truth, and promises a knowledge of existing things with a view to the regulation of life, and endeavours to teach what is advantageous to our race, and since the investigation of these matters is attended with great differences of opinion, innumerable heresies have consequently sprung up in philosophy, some of which are more celebrated than others. Even Judaism itself afforded a pretext for the origination of heresies, in the different acceptation accorded to the writings of Moses and those of the prophets. So, then, seeing Christianity appeared an object of veneration to men, not to the more servile class alone, as Celsus supposes, but to many among the Greeks who were devoted to literary pursuits, there necessarily originated heresies - not at all, however, as the result of faction and strife, but through the earnest desire of many literary men to become acquainted with the doctrines of Christianity. The consequence of which was, that, taking in different acceptations those discourses which were believed by all to be divine, there arose heresies, which received their names from those individuals who admired, indeed, the origin of Christianity, but who were led, in some way or other, by certain plausible reasons, to discordant views. And yet no one would act rationally in avoiding medicine because of its heresies; nor would he who aimed at that which is seemly entertain a hatred of philosophy, and adduce its many heresies as a pretext for his antipathy. And so neither are the sacred books of Moses and the prophets to be condemned on account of the heresies in Judaism. 3.13. Now, if these arguments hold good, why should we not defend, in the same way, the existence of heresies in Christianity? And respecting these, Paul appears to me to speak in a very striking manner when he says, For there must be heresies among you, that they who are approved may be made manifest among you. For as that man is approved in medicine who, on account of his experience in various (medical) heresies, and his honest examination of the majority of them, has selected the preferable system - and as the great proficient in philosophy is he who, after acquainting himself experimentally with the various views, has given in his adhesion to the best, - so I would say that the wisest Christian was he who had carefully studied the heresies both of Judaism and Christianity. Whereas he who finds fault with Christianity because of its heresies would find fault also with the teaching of Socrates, from whose school have issued many others of discordant views. Nay, the opinions of Plato might be chargeable with error, on account of Aristotle's having separated from his school, and founded a new one - on which subject we have remarked in the preceding book. But it appears to me that Celsus has become acquainted with certain heresies which do not possess even the name of Jesus in common with us. Perhaps he had heard of the sects called Ophites and Cainites, or some others of a similar nature, which had departed in all points from the teaching of Jesus. And yet surely this furnishes no ground for a charge against the Christian doctrine. 3.37. The Egyptians, then, having been taught to worship Antinous, will, if you compare him with Apollo or Zeus, endure such a comparison, Antinous being magnified in their estimation through being classed with these deities; for Celsus is clearly convicted of falsehood when he says, that they will not endure his being compared with Apollo or Zeus. Whereas Christians (who have learned that their eternal life consists in knowing the only true God, who is over all, and Jesus Christ, whom He has sent; and who have learned also that all the gods of the heathen are greedy demons, which flit around sacrifices and blood, and other sacrificial accompaniments, in order to deceive those who have not taken refuge with the God who is over all, but that the divine and holy angels of God are of a different nature and will from all the demons on earth, and that they are known to those exceedingly few persons who have carefully and intelligently investigated these matters) will not endure a comparison to be made between them and Apollo or Zeus, or any being worshipped with odour and blood and sacrifices; some of them, so acting from their extreme simplicity, not being able to give a reason for their conduct, but sincerely observing the precepts which they have received; others, again, for reasons not to be lightly regarded, nay, even of a profound description, and (as a Greek would say) drawn from the inner nature of things; and among the latter of these God is a frequent subject of conversation, and those who are honoured by God, through His only-begotten Word, with participation in His divinity, and therefore also in His name. They speak much, too, both regarding the angels of God and those who are opposed to the truth, but have been deceived; and who, in consequence of being deceived, call them gods or angels of God, or good demons, or heroes who have become such by the transference into them of a good human soul. And such Christians will also show, that as in philosophy there are many who appear to be in possession of the truth, who have yet either deceived themselves by plausible arguments, or by rashly assenting to what was brought forward and discovered by others; so also, among those souls which exist apart from bodies, both angels and demons, there are some which have been induced by plausible reasons to declare themselves gods. And because it was impossible that the reasons of such things could be discovered by men with perfect exactness, it was deemed safe that no mortal should entrust himself to any being as to God, with the exception of Jesus Christ, who is, as it were, the Ruler over all things, and who both beheld these weighty secrets, and made them known to a few. 3.38. The belief, then, in Antinous, or any other such person, whether among the Egyptians or the Greeks, is, so to speak, unfortunate; while the belief in Jesus would seem to be either a fortunate one, or the result of thorough investigation, having the appearance of the former to the multitude, and of the latter to exceedingly few. And when I speak of a certain belief being, as the multitude would call it, unfortunate, I in such a case refer the cause to God, who knows the reasons of the various fates allotted to each one who enters human life. The Greeks, moreover, will admit that even among those who are considered to be most largely endowed with wisdom, good fortune has had much to do, as in the choice of teachers of one kind rather than another, and in meeting with a better class of instructors (there being teachers who taught the most opposite doctrines), and in being brought up in better circumstances; for the bringing up of many has been amid surroundings of such a kind, that they were prevented from ever receiving any idea of better things, but constantly passed their life, from their earliest youth, either as the favourites of licentious men or of tyrants, or in some other wretched condition which forbade the soul to look upwards. And the causes of these varied fortunes, according to all probability, are to be found in the reasons of providence, though it is not easy for men to ascertain these; but I have said what I have done by way of digression from the main body of my subject, on account of the proverb, that such is the power of faith, because it seizes that which first presents itself. For it was necessary, owing to the different methods of education, to speak of the differences of belief among men, some of whom are more, others less fortunate in their belief; and from this to proceed to show that what is termed good or bad fortune would appear to contribute even in the case of the most talented, to their appearing to be more fully endowed with reason and to give their assent on grounds of reason to the majority of human opinions. But enough on these points. 3.47. But it is probable that what is written by Paul in the first Epistle to the Corinthians, as being addressed to Greeks who prided themselves greatly on their Grecian wisdom, has moved some to believe that it was not the object of the Gospel to win wise men. Now, let him who is of this opinion understand that the Gospel, as censuring wicked men, says of them that they are wise not in things which relate to the understanding, and which are unseen and eternal; but that in busying themselves about things of sense alone, and regarding these as all-important, they are wise men of the world: for as there are in existence a multitude of opinions, some of them espousing the cause of matter and bodies, and asserting that everything is corporeal which has a substantial existence, and that besides these nothing else exists, whether it be called invisible or incorporeal, it says also that these constitute the wisdom of the world, which perishes and fades away, and belongs only to this age, while those opinions which raise the soul from things here to the blessedness which is with God, and to His kingdom, and which teach men to despise all sensible and visible things as existing only for a season, and to hasten on to things invisible, and to have regard to those things which are not seen - these, it says, constitute the wisdom of God. But Paul, as a lover of truth, says of certain wise men among the Greeks, when their statements are true, that although they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful. And he bears witness that they knew God, and says, too, that this did not happen to them without divine permission, in these words: For God showed it unto them; dimly alluding, I think, to those who ascend from things of sense to those of the understanding, when he adds, For the invisible things of God from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful. 3.72. In the next place, speaking as in the person of a teacher of our doctrine, he expresses himself as follows: Wise men reject what we say, being led into error, and ensnared by their wisdom. In reply to which we say that, since wisdom is the knowledge of divine and human things and of their causes, or, as it is defined by the word of God, the breath of the power of God, and a pure influence flowing from the glory of the Almighty; and the brightness of the everlasting light, and the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of His goodness, Wisdom 7:25-26 no one who was really wise would reject what is said by a Christian acquainted with the principles of Christianity, or would be led into error, or ensnared by it. For true wisdom does not mislead, but ignorance does, while of existing things knowledge alone is permanent, and the truth which is derived from wisdom. But if, contrary to the definition of wisdom, you call any one whatever who dogmatizes with sophistical opinions wise, we answer that in conformity with what you call wisdom, such an one rejects the words of God, being misled and ensnared by plausible sophisms. And since, according to our doctrine, wisdom is not the knowledge of evil, but the knowledge of evil, so to speak, is in those who hold false opinions and who are deceived by them, I would therefore in such persons term it ignorance rather than wisdom. 3.75. But as he afterwards says that the teacher of Christianity acts like a person who promises to restore patients to bodily health, but who prevents them from consulting skilled physicians, by whom his ignorance would be exposed, we shall inquire in reply, What are the physicians to whom you refer, from whom we turn away ignorant individuals? For you do not suppose that we exhort those to embrace the Gospel who are devoted to philosophy, so that you would regard the latter as the physicians from whom we keep away such as we invite to come to the word of God. He indeed will make no answer, because he cannot name the physicians; or else he will be obliged to betake himself to those of them who are ignorant, and who of their own accord servilely yield themselves to the worship of many gods, and to whatever other opinions are entertained by ignorant individuals. In either case, then, he will be shown to have employed to no purpose in his argument the illustration of one who keeps others away from skilled physicians. But if, in order to preserve from the philosophy of Epicurus, and from such as are considered physicians after his system, those who are deceived by them, why should we not be acting most reasonably in keeping such away from a dangerous disease caused by the physicians of Celsus, - that, viz., which leads to the annihilation of providence, and the introduction of pleasure as a good? But let it be conceded that we do keep away those whom we encourage to become our disciples from other philosopher-physicians - from the Peripatetics, for example, who deny the existence of providence and the relation of Deity to man - why shall we not piously train and heal those who have been thus encouraged, persuading them to devote themselves to the God of all things, and free those who yield obedience to us from the great wounds inflicted by the words of such as are deemed to be philosophers? Nay, let it also be admitted that we turn away from physicians of the sect of the Stoics, who introduce a corruptible god, and assert that his essence consists of a body, which is capable of being changed and altered in all its parts, and who also maintain that all things will one day perish, and that God alone will be left; why shall we not even thus emancipate our subjects from evils, and bring them by pious arguments to devote themselves to the Creator, and to admire the Father of the Christian system, who has so arranged that instruction of the most benevolent kind, and fitted for the conversion of souls, should be distributed throughout the whole human race? Nay, if we should cure those who have fallen into the folly of believing in the transmigration of souls through the teaching of physicians, who will have it that the rational nature descends sometimes into all kinds of irrational animals, and sometimes into that state of being which is incapable of using the imagination, why should we not improve the souls of our subjects by means of a doctrine which does not teach that a state of insensibility or irrationalism is produced in the wicked instead of punishment, but which shows that the labours and chastisements inflicted upon the wicked by God are a kind of medicines leading to conversion? For those who are intelligent Christians, keeping this in view, deal with the simple-minded, as parents do with very young children. We do not betake ourselves then to young persons and silly rustics, saying to them, Flee from physicians. Nor do we say, See that none of you lay hold of knowledge; nor do we assert that knowledge is an evil; nor are we mad enough to say that knowledge causes men to lose their soundness of mind. We would not even say that any one ever perished through wisdom; and although we give instruction, we never say, Give heed to me, but Give heed to the God of all things, and to Jesus, the giver of instruction concerning Him. And none of us is so great a braggart as to say what Celsus put in the mouth of one of our teachers to his acquaintances, I alone will save you. Observe here the lies which he utters against us! Moreover, we do not assert that true physicians destroy those whom they promise to cure. 3.80. Seeing, however, that Celsus alleges that Christians are won over by us through vain hopes, we thus reply to him when he finds fault with our doctrine of the blessed life, and of communion with God: As for you, good sir, they also are won over by vain hopes who have accepted the doctrine of Pythagoras and Plato regarding the soul, that it is its nature to ascend to the vault of heaven, and in the super-celestial space to behold the sights which are seen by the blessed spectators above. According to you, O Celsus, they also who have accepted the doctrine of the duration of the soul (after death), and who lead a life through which they become heroes, and make their abodes with the gods, are won over by vain hopes. Probably also they who are persuaded that the soul comes (into the body) from without, and that it will be withdrawn from the power of death, would be said by Celsus to be won over by empty hopes. Let him then come forth to the contest, no longer concealing the sect to which he belongs, but confessing himself to be an Epicurean, and let him meet the arguments, which are not lightly advanced among Greeks and Barbarians, regarding the immortality of the soul, or its duration (after death), or the immortality of the thinking principle; and let him prove that these are words which deceive with empty hopes those who give their assent to them; but that the adherents of his philosophical system are pure from empty hopes, and that they indeed lead to hopes of good, or - what is more in keeping with his opinions - give birth to no hope at all, on account of the immediate and complete destruction of the soul (after death). Unless, perhaps, Celsus and the Epicureans will deny that it is a vain hope which they entertain regarding their end - pleasure - which, according to them, is the supreme good, and which consists in the permanent health of the body, and the hope regarding it which is entertained by Epicurus. 4.4. The argument which Celsus employs against us and the Jews will be turned against himself thus: My good sir, does the God who is over all things know what takes place among men, or does He not know? Now if you admit the existence of a God and of providence, as your treatise indicates, He must of necessity know. And if He does know, why does He not make (men) better? Is it obligatory, then, on us to defend God's procedure in not making men better, although He knows their state, but not equally binding on you, who do not distinctly show by your treatise that you are an Epicurean, but pretend to recognise a providence, to explain why God, although knowing all that takes place among men, does not make them better, nor by divine power liberate all men from evil? We are not ashamed, however, to say that God is constantly sending (instructors) in order to make men better; for there are to be found among men reasons given by God which exhort them to enter on a better life. But there are many diversities among those who serve God, and they are few in number who are perfect and pure ambassadors of the truth, and who produce a complete reformation, as did Moses and the prophets. But above all these, great was the reformation effected by Jesus, who desired to heal not only those who lived in one corner of the world, but as far as in Him lay, men in every country, for He came as the Saviour of all men. 4.39. But as Celsus makes a jest also of the serpent, as counteracting the injunctions given by God to the man, taking the narrative to be an old wife's fable, and has purposely neither mentioned the paradise of God, nor stated that God is said to have planted it in Eden towards the east, and that there afterwards sprang up from the earth every tree that was beautiful to the sight, and good for food, and the tree of life in the midst of the paradise, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and the other statements which follow, which might of themselves lead a candid reader to see that all these things had not inappropriately an allegorical meaning, let us contrast with this the words of Socrates regarding Eros in the Symposium of Plato, and which are put in the mouth of Socrates as being more appropriate than what was said regarding him by all the others at the Symposium. The words of Plato are as follow: When Aphrodite was born, the gods held a banquet, and there was present, along with the others, Porus the son of Metis. And after they had dined, Penia came to beg for something (seeing there was an entertainment), and she stood at the gate. Porus meantime, having become intoxicated with the nectar (for there was then no wine), went into the garden of Zeus, and, being heavy with liquor, lay down to sleep. Penia accordingly formed a secret plot, with a view of freeing herself from her condition of poverty, to get a child by Porus, and accordingly lay down beside him, and became pregt with Eros. And on this account Eros has become the follower and attendant of Aphrodite, having been begotten on her birthday feast, and being at the same time by nature a lover of the beautiful, because Aphrodite too is beautiful. Seeing, then, that Eros is the son of Porus and Penia, the following is his condition. In the first place, he is always poor, and far from being delicate and beautiful, as most persons imagine; but is withered, and sunburnt, and unshod, and without a home, sleeping always upon the ground, and without a covering; lying in the open air beside gates, and on public roads; possessing the nature of his mother, and dwelling continually with indigence. But, on the other hand, in conformity with the character of his father, he is given to plotting against the beautiful and the good, being courageous, and hasty, and vehement; a keen hunter, perpetually devising contrivances; both much given to forethought, and also fertile in resources; acting like a philosopher throughout the whole of his life; a terrible sorcerer, and dealer in drugs, and a sophist as well; neither immortal by nature nor yet mortal, but on the same day, at one time he flourishes and lives when he has plenty, and again at another time dies, and once more is recalled to life through possessing the nature of his father. But the supplies furnished to him are always gradually disappearing, so that he is never at any time in want, nor yet rich; and, on the other hand, he occupies an intermediate position between wisdom and ignorance. Now, if those who read these words were to imitate the malignity of Celsus - which be it far from Christians to do!- they would ridicule the myth, and would turn this great Plato into a subject of jest; but if, on investigating in a philosophic spirit what is conveyed in the dress of a myth, they should be able to discover the meaning of Plato, (they will admire) the manner in which he was able to conceal, on account of the multitude, in the form of this myth, the great ideas which presented themselves to him, and to speak in a befitting manner to those who know how to ascertain from the myths the true meaning of him who wove them together. Now I have brought forward this myth occurring in the writings of Plato, because of the mention in it of the garden of Zeus, which appears to bear some resemblance to the paradise of God, and of the comparison between Penia and the serpent, and the plot against Porus by Penia, which may be compared with the plot of the serpent against the man. It is not very clear, indeed, whether Plato fell in with these stories by chance, or whether, as some think, meeting during his visit to Egypt with certain individuals who philosophized on the Jewish mysteries, and learning some things from them, he may have preserved a few of their ideas, and thrown others aside, being careful not to offend the Greeks by a complete adoption of all the points of the philosophy of the Jews, who were in bad repute with the multitude, on account of the foreign character of their laws and their peculiar polity. The present, however, is not the proper time for explaining either the myth of Plato, or the story of the serpent and the paradise of God, and all that is related to have taken place in it, as in our exposition of the book of Genesis we have especially occupied ourselves as we best could with these matters. 4.48. In the next place, as if he had devoted himself solely to the manifestation of his hatred and dislike of the Jewish and Christian doctrine, he says: The more modest of Jewish and Christian writers give all these things an allegorical meaning; and, Because they are ashamed of these things, they take refuge in allegory. Now one might say to him, that if we must admit fables and fictions, whether written with a concealed meaning or with any other object, to be shameful narratives when taken in their literal acceptation, of what histories can this be said more truly than of the Grecian? In these histories, gods who are sons castrate the gods who are their fathers, and gods who are parents devour their own children, and a goddess-mother gives to the father of gods and men a stone to swallow instead of his own son, and a father has intercourse with his daughter, and a wife binds her own husband, having as her allies in the work the brother of the fettered god and his own daughter! But why should I enumerate these absurd stories of the Greeks regarding their gods, which are most shameful in themselves, even though invested with an allegorical meaning? (Take the instance) where Chrysippus of Soli, who is considered to be an ornament of the Stoic sect, on account of his numerous and learned treatises, explains a picture at Samos, in which Juno was represented as committing unspeakable abominations with Jupiter. This reverend philosopher says in his treatises, that matter receives the spermatic words of the god, and retains them within herself, in order to ornament the universe. For in the picture at Samos Juno represents matter, and Jupiter god. Now it is on account of these, and of countless other similar fables, that we would not even in word call the God of all things Jupiter, or the sun Apollo, or the moon Diana. But we offer to the Creator a worship which is pure, and speak with religious respect of His noble works of creation, not contaminating even in word the things of God; approving of the language of Plato in the Philebus, who would not admit that pleasure was a goddess, so great is my reverence, Protarchus, he says, for the very names of the gods. We verily entertain such reverence for the name of God, and for His noble works of creation, that we would not, even under pretext of an allegorical meaning, admit any fable which might do injury to the young. 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? 5.61. After the above remarks he proceeds as follows: Let no one suppose that I am ignorant that some of them will concede that their God is the same as that of the Jews, while others will maintain that he is a different one, to whom the latter is in opposition, and that it was from the former that the Son came. Now, if he imagine that the existence of numerous heresies among the Christians is a ground of accusation against Christianity, why, in a similar way, should it not be a ground of accusation against philosophy, that the various sects of philosophers differ from each other, not on small and indifferent points, but upon those of the highest importance? Nay, medicine also ought to be a subject of attack, on account of its many conflicting schools. Let it be admitted, then, that there are among us some who deny that our God is the same as that of the Jews: nevertheless, on that account those are not to be blamed who prove from the same Scriptures that one and the same Deity is the God of the Jews and of the Gentiles alike, as Paul, too, distinctly says, who was a convert from Judaism to Christianity, I thank my God, whom I serve from my forefathers with a pure conscience. And let it be admitted also, that there is a third class who call certain persons carnal, and others spiritual,- I think he here means the followers of Valentinus - yet what does this avail against us, who belong to the Church, and who make it an accusation against such as hold that certain natures are saved, and that others perish in consequence of their natural constitution? And let it be admitted further, that there are some who give themselves out as Gnostics, in the same way as those Epicureans who call themselves philosophers: yet neither will they who annihilate the doctrine of providence be deemed true philosophers, nor those true Christians who introduce monstrous inventions, which are disapproved of by those who are the disciples of Jesus. Let it be admitted, moreover, that there are some who accept Jesus, and who boast on that account of being Christians, and yet would regulate their lives, like the Jewish multitude, in accordance with the Jewish law - and these are the twofold sect of Ebionites, who either acknowledge with us that Jesus was born of a virgin, or deny this, and maintain that He was begotten like other human beings - what does that avail by way of charge against such as belong to the Church, and whom Celsus has styled those of the multitude? He adds, also, that certain of the Christians are believers in the Sibyl, having probably misunderstood some who blamed such as believed in the existence of a prophetic Sibyl, and termed those who held this belief Sibyllists. 5.62. He next pours down upon us a heap of names, saying that he knows of the existence of certain Simonians who worship Helene, or Helenus, as their teacher, and are called Helenians. But it has escaped the notice of Celsus that the Simonians do not at all acknowledge Jesus to be the Son of God, but term Simon the power of God, regarding whom they relate certain marvellous stories, saying that he imagined that if he could become possessed of similar powers to those with which be believed Jesus to be endowed, he too would become as powerful among men as Jesus was among the multitude. But neither Celsus nor Simon could comprehend how Jesus, like a good husbandman of the word of God, was able to sow the greater part of Greece, and of barbarian lands, with His doctrine, and to fill these countries with words which transform the soul from all that is evil, and bring it back to the Creator of all things. Celsus knows, moreover, certain Marcellians, so called from Marcellina, and Harpocratians from Salome, and others who derive their name from Mariamme, and others again from Martha. We, however, who from a love of learning examine to the utmost of our ability not only the contents of Scripture, and the differences to which they give rise, but have also, from love to the truth, investigated as far as we could the opinions of philosophers, have never at any time met with these sects. He makes mention also of the Marcionites, whose leader was Marcion. 5.63. In the next place, that he may have the appearance of knowing still more than he has yet mentioned, he says, agreeably to his usual custom, that there are others who have wickedly invented some being as their teacher and demon, and who wallow about in a great darkness, more unholy and accursed than that of the companions of the Egyptian Antinous. And he seems to me, indeed, in touching on these matters, to say with a certain degree of truth, that there are certain others who have wickedly invented another demon, and who have found him to be their lord, as they wallow about in the great darkness of their ignorance. With respect, however, to Antinous, who is compared with our Jesus, we shall not repeat what we have already said in the preceding pages. Moreover, he continues, these persons utter against one another dreadful blasphemies, saying all manner of things shameful to be spoken; nor will they yield in the slightest point for the sake of harmony, hating each other with a perfect hatred. Now, in answer to this, we have already said that in philosophy and medicine sects are to be found warring against sects. We, however, who are followers of the word of Jesus, and have exercised ourselves in thinking, and saying, and doing what is in harmony with His words, when reviled, bless; being persecuted, we suffer it; being defamed, we entreat; and we would not utter all manner of things shameful to be spoken against those who have adopted different opinions from ours, but, if possible, use every exertion to raise them to a better condition through adherence to the Creator alone, and lead them to perform every act as those who will (one day) be judged. And if those who hold different opinions will not be convinced, we observe the injunction laid down for the treatment of such: A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject, knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sins, being condemned of himself. Moreover, we who know the maxim, Blessed are the peacemakers, and this also, Blessed are the meek, would not regard with hatred the corrupters of Christianity, nor term those who had fallen into error Circes and flattering deceivers. 6.1. In beginning this our sixth book, we desire, my reverend Ambrosius, to answer in it those accusations which Celsus brings against the Christians, not, as might be supposed, those objections which he has adduced from writers on philosophy. For he has quoted a considerable number of passages, chiefly from Plato, and has placed alongside of these such declarations of holy Scripture as are fitted to impress even the intelligent mind; subjoining the assertion that these things are stated much better among the Greeks (than in the Scriptures), and in a manner which is free from all exaggerations and promises on the part of God, or the Son of God. Now we maintain, that if it is the object of the ambassadors of the truth to confer benefits upon the greatest possible number, and, so far as they can, to win over to its side, through their love to men, every one without exception - intelligent as well as simple - not Greeks only, but also Barbarians (and great, indeed, is the humanity which should succeed in converting the rustic and the ignorant ), it is manifest that they must adopt a style of address fitted to do good to all, and to gain over to them men of every sort. Those, on the other hand, who turn away from the ignorant as being mere slaves, and unable to understand the flowing periods of a polished and logical discourse, and so devote their attention solely to such as have been brought up among literary pursuits, confine their views of the public good within very strait and narrow limits. 6.2. I have made these remarks in reply to the charges which Celsus and others bring against the simplicity of the language of Scripture, which appears to be thrown into the shade by the splendour of polished discourse. For our prophets, and Jesus Himself, and His apostles, were careful to adopt a style of address which should not merely convey the truth, but which should be fitted to gain over the multitude, until each one, attracted and led onwards, should ascend as far as he could towards the comprehension of those mysteries which are contained in these apparently simple words. For, if I may venture to say so, few have been benefited (if they have indeed been benefited at all) by the beautiful and polished style of Plato, and those who have written like him; while, on the contrary, many have received advantage from those who wrote and taught in a simple and practical manner, and with a view to the wants of the multitude. It is easy, indeed, to observe that Plato is found only in the hands of those who profess to be literary men; while Epictetus is admired by persons of ordinary capacity, who have a desire to be benefited, and who perceive the improvement which may be derived from his writings. Now we make these remarks, not to disparage Plato (for the great world of men has found even him useful), but to point out the aim of those who said: And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that our faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. For the word of God declares that the preaching (although in itself true and most worthy of belief) is not sufficient to reach the human heart, unless a certain power be imparted to the speaker from God, and a grace appear upon his words; and it is only by the divine agency that this takes place in those who speak effectually. The prophet says in the sixty-seventh Psalm, that the Lord will give a word with great power to them who preach. If, then, it should be granted with respect to certain points, that the same doctrines are found among the Greeks as in our own Scriptures, yet they do not possess the same power of attracting and disposing the souls of men to follow them. And therefore the disciples of Jesus, men ignorant so far as regards Grecian philosophy, yet traversed many countries of the world, impressing, agreeably to the desire of the Logos, each one of their hearers according to his deserts, so that they received a moral amelioration in proportion to the inclination of their will to accept of that which is good. 6.17. Since Celsus, moreover, from a desire to depreciate the accounts which our Scriptures give of the kingdom of God, has quoted none of them, as if they were unworthy of being recorded by him (or perhaps because he was unacquainted with them), while, on the other hand, he quotes the sayings of Plato, both from his Epistles and the Ph drus, as if these were divinely inspired, but our Scriptures were not, let us set forth a few points, for the sake of comparison with these plausible declarations of Plato, which did not however, dispose the philosopher to worship in a manner worthy of him the Maker of all things. For he ought not to have adulterated or polluted this worship with what we call idolatry, but what the many would describe by the term superstition. Now, according to a Hebrew figure of speech, it is said of God in the eighteenth Psalm, that He made darkness His secret place, to signify that those notions which should be worthily entertained of God are invisible and unknowable, because God conceals Himself in darkness, as it were, from those who cannot endure the splendours of His knowledge, or are incapable of looking at them, partly owing to the pollution of their understanding, which is clothed with the body of mortal lowliness, and partly owing to its feebler power of comprehending God. And in order that it may appear that the knowledge of God has rarely been vouchsafed to men, and has been found in very few individuals, Moses is related to have entered into the darkness where God was. And again, with regard to Moses it is said: Moses alone shall come near the Lord, but the rest shall not come near. And again, that the prophet may show the depth of the doctrines which relate to God, and which is unattainable by those who do not possess the Spirit which searches all things, even the deep things of God, he added: The abyss like a garment is His covering. Nay, our Lord and Saviour, the Logos of God, manifesting that the greatness of the knowledge of the Father is appropriately comprehended and known pre-eminently by Him alone, and in the second place by those whose minds are enlightened by the Logos Himself and God, declares: No man knows the Son, but the Father; neither knows any man the Father but the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him. For no one can worthily know the uncreated and first-born of all created nature like the Father who begot Him, nor any one the Father like the living Logos, and His Wisdom and Truth. By sharing in Him who takes away from the Father what is called darkness, which He made His secret place, and the abyss, which is called His covering, and in this way unveiling the Father, every one knows the Father who is capable of knowing Him. 6.49. Let us notice now what follows, where, expressing in a single word his opinion regarding the Mosaic cosmogony, without offering, however, a single argument in its support, he finds fault with it, saying: Moreover, their cosmogony is extremely silly. Now, if he had produced some credible proofs of its silly character, we should have endeavoured to answer them; but it does not appear to me reasonable that I should be called upon to demonstrate, in answer to his mere assertion, that it is not silly. If any one, however, wishes to see the reasons which led us to accept the Mosaic account, and the arguments by which it may be defended, he may read what we have written upon Genesis, from the beginning of the book up to the passage, And this is the book of the generation of men, where we have tried to show from the holy Scriptures themselves what the heaven was which was created in the beginning; and what the earth, and the invisible part of the earth, and that which was without form; and what the deep was, and the darkness that was upon it; and what the water was, and the Spirit of God which was borne over it; and what the light which was created, and what the firmament, as distinct from the heaven which was created in the beginning; and so on with the other subjects that follow. Celsus has also expressed his opinion that the narrative of the creation of man is exceedingly silly, without stating any proofs, or endeavouring to answer our arguments; for he had no evidence, in my judgment, which was fitted to overthrow the statement that man has been made in the image of God. He does not even understand the meaning of the Paradise that was planted by God, and of the life which man first led in it; and of that which resulted from accident, when man was cast forth on account of his sin, and was settled opposite the Paradise of delight. Now, as he asserts that these are silly statements, let him turn his attention not merely to each one of them (in general), but to this in particular, He placed the cherubim, and the flaming sword, which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life, and say whether Moses wrote these words with no serious object in view, but in the spirit of the writers of the old Comedy, who have sportively related that Prœtus slew Bellerophon, and that Pegasus came from Arcadia. Now their object was to create laughter in composing such stories; whereas it is incredible that he who left behind him laws for a whole nation, regarding which he wished to persuade his subjects that they were given by God, should have written words so little to the purpose, and have said without any meaning, He placed the cherubim, and the flaming sword, which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life, or made any other statement regarding the creation of man, which is the subject of philosophic investigation by the Hebrew sages. 7.44. Celsus supposes that we may arrive at a knowledge of God either by combining or separating certain things after the methods which mathematicians call synthesis and analysis, or again by analogy, which is employed by them also, and that in this way we may as it were gain admission to the chief good. But when the Word of God says, No man knows the Father but the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him, He declares that no one can know God but by the help of divine grace coming from above, with a certain divine inspiration. Indeed, it is reasonable to suppose that the knowledge of God is beyond the reach of human nature, and hence the many errors into which men have fallen in their views of God. It is, then, through the goodness and love of God to mankind, and by a marvellous exercise of divine grace to those whom He saw in His foreknowledge, and knew that they would walk worthy of Him who had made Himself known to them, and that they would never swerve from a faithful attachment to His service, although they were condemned to death or held up to ridicule by those who, in ignorance of what true religion is, give that name to what deserves to be called anything rather than religion. God doubtless saw the pride and arrogance of those who, with contempt for all others, boast of their knowledge of God, and of their profound acquaintance with divine things obtained from philosophy, but who still, not less even than the most ignorant, run after their images, and temples, and famous mysteries; and seeing this, He has chosen the foolish things of this world - the simplest of Christians, who lead, however, a life of greater moderation and purity than many philosophers- to confound the wise, who are not ashamed to address iimate things as gods or images of the gods. For what reasonable man can refrain from smiling when he sees that one who has learned from philosophy such profound and noble sentiments about God or the gods, turns straightway to images and offers to them his prayers, or imagines that by gazing upon these material things he can ascend from the visible symbol to that which is spiritual and immaterial. But a Christian, even of the common people, is assured that every place forms part of the universe, and that the whole universe is God's temple. In whatever part of the world he is, he prays; but he rises above the universe, shutting the eyes of sense, and raising upwards the eyes of the soul. And he stops not at the vault of heaven; but passing in thought beyond the heavens, under the guidance of the Spirit of God, and having thus as it had gone beyond the visible universe, he offers prayers to God. But he prays for no trivial blessings, for he has learned from Jesus to seek for nothing small or mean, that is, sensible objects, but to ask only for what is great and truly divine; and these things God grants to us, to lead us to that blessedness which is found only with Him through His Son, the Word, who is God. 8.72. Afterwards he says: If it were possible, implying at the same time that he thought it most desirable, that all the inhabitants of Asia, Europe, and Libya, Greeks and Barbarians, all to the uttermost ends of the earth, were to come under one law; but judging this quite impossible, he adds, Any one who thinks this possible, knows nothing. It would require careful consideration and lengthened argument to prove that it is not only possible, but that it will surely come to pass, that all who are endowed with reason shall come under one law. However, if we must refer to this subject, it will be with great brevity. The Stoics, indeed, hold that, when the strongest of the elements prevails, all things shall be turned into fire. But our belief is, that the Word shall prevail over the entire rational creation, and change every soul into His own perfection; in which state every one, by the mere exercise of his power, will choose what he desires, and obtain what he chooses. For although, in the diseases and wounds of the body, there are some which no medical skill can cure, yet we hold that in the mind there is no evil so strong that it may not be overcome by the Supreme Word and God. For stronger than all the evils in the soul is the Word, and the healing power that dwells in Him; and this healing He applies, according to the will of God, to every man. The consummation of all things is the destruction of evil, although as to the question whether it shall be so destroyed that it can never anywhere arise again, it is beyond our present purpose to say. Many things are said obscurely in the prophecies on the total destruction of evil, and the restoration to righteousness of every soul; but it will be enough for our present purpose to quote the following passage from Zephaniah: Prepare and rise early; all the gleanings of their vineyards are destroyed. Therefore wait upon Me, says the Lord, on the day that I rise up for a testimony; for My determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kings, to pour upon them Mine indignation, even all My fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of My jealousy. For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one consent. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia My suppliants, even the daughter of My dispersed, shall bring My offering. In that day shall you not be ashamed for all your doings, wherein you have transgressed against Me: for then I will take away out of the midst of you them that rejoice in your pride; and you shall no more be haughty because of My holy mountain. I will also leave in the midst of you an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord . The remt of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid. I leave it to those who are able, after a careful study of the whole subject, to unfold the meaning of this prophecy, and especially to inquire into the signification of the words, When the whole earth is destroyed, there will be turned upon the peoples a language according to their race, as things were before the confusion of tongues. Let them also carefully consider the promise, that all shall call upon the name of the Lord, and serve Him with one consent; also that all contemptuous reproach shall be taken away, and there shall be no longer any injustice, or vain speech, or a deceitful tongue. And thus much it seemed needful for me to say briefly, and without entering into elaborate details, in answer to the remark of Celsus, that he considered any agreement between the inhabitants of Asia, Europe, and Libya, as well Greeks as Barbarians, was impossible. And perhaps such a result would indeed be impossible to those who are still in the body, but not to those who are released from it. 8.73. In the next place, Celsus urges us to help the king with all our might, and to labour with him in the maintece of justice, to fight for him; and if he requires it, to fight under him, or lead an army along with him. To this our answer is, that we do, when occasion requires, give help to kings, and that, so to say, a divine help, putting on the whole armour of God. And this we do in obedience to the injunction of the apostle, I exhort, therefore, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; and the more any one excels in piety, the more effective help does he render to kings, even more than is given by soldiers, who go forth to fight and slay as many of the enemy as they can. And to those enemies of our faith who require us to bear arms for the commonwealth, and to slay men, we can reply: Do not those who are priests at certain shrines, and those who attend on certain gods, as you account them, keep their hands free from blood, that they may with hands unstained and free from human blood offer the appointed sacrifices to your gods; and even when war is upon you, you never enlist the priests in the army. If that, then, is a laudable custom, how much more so, that while others are engaged in battle, these too should engage as the priests and ministers of God, keeping their hands pure, and wrestling in prayers to God on behalf of those who are fighting in a righteous cause, and for the king who reigns righteously, that whatever is opposed to those who act righteously may be destroyed! And as we by our prayers vanquish all demons who stir up war, and lead to the violation of oaths, and disturb the peace, we in this way are much more helpful to the kings than those who go into the field to fight for them. And we do take our part in public affairs, when along with righteous prayers we join self-denying exercises and meditations, which teach us to despise pleasures, and not to be led away by them. And none fight better for the king than we do. We do not indeed fight under him, although he require it; but we fight on his behalf, forming a special army - an army of piety- by offering our prayers to God. 8.74. And if Celsus would have us to lead armies in defense of our country, let him know that we do this too, and that not for the purpose of being seen by men, or of vainglory. For in secret, and in our own hearts, there are prayers which ascend as from priests in behalf of our fellow citizens. And Christians are benefactors of their country more than others. For they train up citizens, and inculcate piety to the Supreme Being; and they promote those whose lives in the smallest cities have been good and worthy, to a divine and heavenly city, to whom it may be said, You have been faithful in the smallest city, come into a great one, where God stands in the assembly of the gods, and judges the gods in the midst; and He reckons you among them, if you no more die as a man, or fall as one of the princes. 8.75. Celsus also urges us to take office in the government of the country, if that is required for the maintece of the laws and the support of religion. But we recognise in each state the existence of another national organization, founded by the Word of God, and we exhort those who are mighty in word and of blameless life to rule over Churches. Those who are ambitious of ruling we reject; but we constrain those who, through excess of modesty, are not easily induced to take a public charge in the Church of God. And those who rule over us well are under the constraining influence of the great King, whom we believe to be the Son of God, God the Word. And if those who govern in the Church, and are called rulers of the divine nation - that is, the Church- rule well, they rule in accordance with the divine commands, and never suffer themselves to be led astray by worldly policy. And it is not for the purpose of escaping public duties that Christians decline public offices, but that they may reserve themselves for a diviner and more necessary service in the Church of God- for the salvation of men. And this service is at once necessary and right. They take charge of all - of those that are within, that they may day by day lead better lives, and of those that are without, that they may come to abound in holy words and in deeds of piety; and that, while thus worshipping God truly, and training up as many as they can in the same way, they may be filled with the word of God and the law of God, and thus be united with the Supreme God through His Son the Word, Wisdom, Truth, and Righteousness, who unites to God all who are resolved to conform their lives in all things to the law of God.
17. Origen, On First Principles, 4.1.7 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

18. Porphyry, Life of Plotinus, 16 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

19. Augustine, Confessions, 3.4.7-3.4.8 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
abduction James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 158
academy Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 178
alexander of aphrodisias James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 158
analogy (ἀναλογία), and inquiry James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 158
apology Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 792
athenagoras Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 792
augustine James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 247
barnes, jonathan James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 158
blank, david James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 158
celsus, and epicureanism Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 276
celsus, and origen Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 276
celsus, on god Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 276
celsus, on jesus Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 276
celsus, on providence (πρόνοια) Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 276
celsus Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 472, 473; Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 276; Fialová Hoblík and Kitzler, Hellenism, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity: Transmission and Transformation of Ideas (2022) 102; Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 178; James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 158; Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 792; Neusner Green and Avery-Peck, Judaism from Moses to Muhammad: An Interpretation: Turning Points and Focal Points (2022) 172; Nicklas and Spittler, Credible, Incredible: The Miraculous in the Ancient Mediterranean. (2013) 252
christ-logos Fialová Hoblík and Kitzler, Hellenism, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity: Transmission and Transformation of Ideas (2022) 102
christian platonists Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 178
christianity, critiques of Neusner Green and Avery-Peck, Judaism from Moses to Muhammad: An Interpretation: Turning Points and Focal Points (2022) 172
clement of alexandria, on intellectual independence Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 97
clement of alexandria Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 178; Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 792
conversion, christian life-writing focused on Goldhill, The Christian Invention of Time: Temporality and the Literature of Late Antiquity (2022) 186
conversion, life choices versus, in classical writing Goldhill, The Christian Invention of Time: Temporality and the Literature of Late Antiquity (2022) 186
conversion, repentance, focus on Goldhill, The Christian Invention of Time: Temporality and the Literature of Late Antiquity (2022) 186
cynics/cynicism Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 792
death and temporality, socrates, death of Goldhill, The Christian Invention of Time: Temporality and the Literature of Late Antiquity (2022) 186
dialectic Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 473
dio cassius Goldhill, The Christian Invention of Time: Temporality and the Literature of Late Antiquity (2022) 186
diogenes laertius, lives of the philosophers Goldhill, The Christian Invention of Time: Temporality and the Literature of Late Antiquity (2022) 186
divine mind (νοῦς) Fialová Hoblík and Kitzler, Hellenism, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity: Transmission and Transformation of Ideas (2022) 102
epicureanism James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 158
epicureans Nicklas and Spittler, Credible, Incredible: The Miraculous in the Ancient Mediterranean. (2013) 252
epicurus/epicureans/epicureanism, and celsus Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 276
eusebius Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 178
galen Goldhill, The Christian Invention of Time: Temporality and the Literature of Late Antiquity (2022) 186; James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 158; Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 792; Neusner Green and Avery-Peck, Judaism from Moses to Muhammad: An Interpretation: Turning Points and Focal Points (2022) 172
giulea, dragon a. Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 97
gods, celsus on Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 276
grammar, hellenistic James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 158
grant, robert James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 158
greco-roman culture, life-writing in Goldhill, The Christian Invention of Time: Temporality and the Literature of Late Antiquity (2022) 186
gregory thaumaturgus James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 247
hairesis Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 473
heresy, interior to church Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 472, 473
idea of the good Fialová Hoblík and Kitzler, Hellenism, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity: Transmission and Transformation of Ideas (2022) 102
intellectual independence, clement on Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 97
intellectual independence, faith, evidential basis of Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 97
intellectual independence, in christianity Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 97
intellectual independence Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 97
intelligible Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 178
invention (εὕρεσις, inventio), scientific James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 158
jesus christ Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 276
jewish antiquities, on philosophical choice in life Goldhill, The Christian Invention of Time: Temporality and the Literature of Late Antiquity (2022) 186
justin martyr Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 792
life-writing and time, conversion, christian focus on Goldhill, The Christian Invention of Time: Temporality and the Literature of Late Antiquity (2022) 186
life-writing and time, in greco-roman culture Goldhill, The Christian Invention of Time: Temporality and the Literature of Late Antiquity (2022) 186
life-writing and time Goldhill, The Christian Invention of Time: Temporality and the Literature of Late Antiquity (2022) 186
life choices versus conversion, in classical writing Goldhill, The Christian Invention of Time: Temporality and the Literature of Late Antiquity (2022) 186
lilla, s. r. c. Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 97
logos (λόγος), divine James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 247
long, a. a. James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 158
lucian, on philosophical choice in life Goldhill, The Christian Invention of Time: Temporality and the Literature of Late Antiquity (2022) 186
martyr, justin, use of greek models for heresy Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 472
medicine, as analogy for scriptural interpretation James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 158
medicine James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 158
method, scientific James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 158
misinterpretation and defamation Fialová Hoblík and Kitzler, Hellenism, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity: Transmission and Transformation of Ideas (2022) 102
myth/mythology/μῦýθοι Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 178
neoplatonism Fialová Hoblík and Kitzler, Hellenism, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity: Transmission and Transformation of Ideas (2022) 102
neuschäfer, bernard James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 158
ophites Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 472, 473
origen, and celsus Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 276
origen, exclusive account of sects and heresy Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 472, 473
origen, more inclusive account of sects and heresyc Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 472, 473
origen, on philosophical choice in life Goldhill, The Christian Invention of Time: Temporality and the Literature of Late Antiquity (2022) 186
origen Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 178; Nicklas and Spittler, Credible, Incredible: The Miraculous in the Ancient Mediterranean. (2013) 252
origen of alexandria Fialová Hoblík and Kitzler, Hellenism, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity: Transmission and Transformation of Ideas (2022) 96, 102
origens attitude towards philosophy Fialová Hoblík and Kitzler, Hellenism, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity: Transmission and Transformation of Ideas (2022) 96, 102
pagan/paganism Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 178
paul the apostle Fialová Hoblík and Kitzler, Hellenism, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity: Transmission and Transformation of Ideas (2022) 96
phaedrus James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 247
philosophical theology Fialová Hoblík and Kitzler, Hellenism, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity: Transmission and Transformation of Ideas (2022) 96
philosophy James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 247; Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 792
plato Fialová Hoblík and Kitzler, Hellenism, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity: Transmission and Transformation of Ideas (2022) 102; Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 178
platonism and christian platonism Fialová Hoblík and Kitzler, Hellenism, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity: Transmission and Transformation of Ideas (2022) 96
platonist Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 178
plotinus Fialová Hoblík and Kitzler, Hellenism, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity: Transmission and Transformation of Ideas (2022) 96
plutarch Goldhill, The Christian Invention of Time: Temporality and the Literature of Late Antiquity (2022) 186
plutarch of chaeronea Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 178
polemics Nicklas and Spittler, Credible, Incredible: The Miraculous in the Ancient Mediterranean. (2013) 252
polemo Goldhill, The Christian Invention of Time: Temporality and the Literature of Late Antiquity (2022) 186
porphyry Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 178
pragmatism James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 247
predestination (προόρισις), celsus on Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 276
ptolemy James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 158
pythagoras Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 792
pythagoreanism Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 792
repentance, conversion, christian life-writing focused on Goldhill, The Christian Invention of Time: Temporality and the Literature of Late Antiquity (2022) 186
scriptures Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 178
simplicity, of orthodoxy Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 473
skeptics/sceptics Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 178
socrates (philosopher), death of Goldhill, The Christian Invention of Time: Temporality and the Literature of Late Antiquity (2022) 186
specific christian intellectuals, intellectual independence in Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 97
stoic/stoics Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 178
synkrisis (comparison), in plutarch Goldhill, The Christian Invention of Time: Temporality and the Literature of Late Antiquity (2022) 186
testing (πεῖρα) James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 158
theology Fialová Hoblík and Kitzler, Hellenism, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity: Transmission and Transformation of Ideas (2022) 102
time Goldhill, The Christian Invention of Time: Temporality and the Literature of Late Antiquity (2022) 186
tragedy, greek Goldhill, The Christian Invention of Time: Temporality and the Literature of Late Antiquity (2022) 186
trinity, trinitarian Fialová Hoblík and Kitzler, Hellenism, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity: Transmission and Transformation of Ideas (2022) 96
true doctrine (celsus) Neusner Green and Avery-Peck, Judaism from Moses to Muhammad: An Interpretation: Turning Points and Focal Points (2022) 172
wisdom (σοφία), vagueness of James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 247
wisdom (σοφία) James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 247
word/the word, saving' Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 792
xenocrates Goldhill, The Christian Invention of Time: Temporality and the Literature of Late Antiquity (2022) 186
πιθανότης Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 472