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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



8413
Origen, Against Celsus, 1.9


nanHe 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?


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

29 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Isaiah, 35.5-35.6 (8th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

35.5. אָז תִּפָּקַחְנָה עֵינֵי עִוְרִים וְאָזְנֵי חֵרְשִׁים תִּפָּתַחְנָה׃ 35.6. אָז יְדַלֵּג כָּאַיָּל פִּסֵּחַ וְתָרֹן לְשׁוֹן אִלֵּם כִּי־נִבְקְעוּ בַמִּדְבָּר מַיִם וּנְחָלִים בָּעֲרָבָה׃ 35.5. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped." 35.6. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, And the tongue of the dumb shall sing; For in the wilderness shall waters break out, And streams in the desert."
2. New Testament, 1 Corinthians, 2.6, 2.15, 3.19 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2.6. We speak wisdom, however, among those who are fullgrown; yet a wisdom not of this world, nor of the rulers of this world,who are coming to nothing. 2.15. But he who is spiritual discerns allthings, and he himself is judged by no one. 3.19. Forthe wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written,"He has taken the wise in their craftiness.
3. New Testament, 2 Timothy, 3.6-3.7 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

3.6. For of these are those who creep into houses, and take captive gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts 3.7. always learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
4. New Testament, Acts, 6.7, 8.26-8.40, 9.1-9.19, 10.1-10.48, 12.12, 13.4-13.12, 13.42-13.43, 13.48, 16.14-16.15, 16.29-16.33, 17.2-17.4, 17.10-17.12, 17.31-17.32, 18.8, 18.24-18.26, 22.6-22.16, 26.6, 26.22-26.24, 26.27, 28.3-28.6 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

6.7. The word of God increased and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem exceedingly. A great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. 8.26. But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, "Arise, and go toward the south to the way that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza. This is a desert. 8.27. He arose and went. Behold, there was a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was over all her treasure, who had come to Jerusalem to worship. 8.28. He was returning and sitting in his chariot, and was reading the prophet Isaiah. 8.29. The Spirit said to Philip, "Go near, and join yourself to this chariot. 8.30. Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, "Do you understand what you are reading? 8.31. He said, "How can I, unless someone explains it to me?" He begged Philip to come up and sit with him. 8.32. Now the passage of the Scripture which he was reading was this, "He was led as a sheep to the slaughter. As a lamb before his shearer is silent, So he doesn't open his mouth. 8.33. In his humiliation, his judgment was taken away. Who will declare His generations? For his life is taken from the earth. 8.34. The eunuch answered Philip, "Please tell who the prophet is talking about: about himself, or about some other? 8.35. Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture, preached to him Jesus. 8.36. As they went on the way, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "Behold, here is water. What is keeping me from being baptized? 8.38. He commanded the chariot to stand still, and they both went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 8.39. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, and the eunuch didn't see him any more, for he went on his way rejoicing. 8.40. But Philip was found at Azotus. Passing through, he preached the gospel to all the cities, until he came to Caesarea. 9.1. But Saul, still breathing threats and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 9.2. and asked for letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 9.3. As he traveled, it happened that he got close to Damascus, and suddenly a light from the sky shone around him. 9.4. He fell on the earth, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? 9.5. He said, "Who are you, Lord?"The Lord said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 9.6. But rise up, and enter into the city, and you will be told what you must do. 9.7. The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice, but seeing no one. 9.8. Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened, he saw no one. They led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. 9.9. He was without sight for three days, and neither ate nor drank. 9.10. Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Aias. The Lord said to him in a vision, "Aias!"He said, "Behold, it's me, Lord. 9.11. The Lord said to him, "Arise, and go to the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one named Saul, a man of Tarsus. For behold, he is praying 9.12. and in a vision he has seen a man named Aias coming in, and laying his hands on him, that he might receive his sight. 9.13. But Aias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he did to your saints at Jerusalem. 9.14. Here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name. 9.15. But the Lord said to him, "Go your way, for he is my chosen vessel to bear my name before the nations and kings, and the children of Israel. 9.16. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for my name's sake. 9.17. Aias departed, and entered into the house. Laying his hands on him, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord, who appeared to you in the way which you came, has sent me, that you may receive your sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit. 9.18. Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he received his sight. He arose and was baptized. 9.19. He took food and was strengthened. Saul stayed several days with the disciples who were at Damascus. 10.1. Now there was a certain man in Caesarea, Cornelius by name, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment 10.2. a devout man, and one who feared God with all his house, who gave gifts for the needy generously to the people, and always prayed to God. 10.3. At about the ninth hour of the day, he clearly saw in a vision an angel of God coming to him, and saying to him, "Cornelius! 10.4. He, fastening his eyes on him, and being frightened, said, "What is it, Lord?"He said to him, "Your prayers and your gifts to the needy have gone up for a memorial before God. 10.5. Now send men to Joppa, and get Simon, who is surnamed Peter. 10.6. He lodges with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the seaside. 10.7. When the angel who spoke to him had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier of those who waited on him continually. 10.8. Having explained everything to them, he sent them to Joppa. 10.9. Now on the next day as they were on their journey, and got close to the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray at about noon. 10.10. He became hungry and desired to eat, but while they were preparing, he fell into a trance. 10.11. He saw heaven opened and a certain container descending to him, like a great sheet let down by four corners on the earth 10.12. in which were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild animals, reptiles, and birds of the sky. 10.13. A voice came to him, "Rise, Peter, kill and eat! 10.14. But Peter said, "Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean. 10.15. A voice came to him again the second time, "What God has cleansed, you must not make unholy. 10.16. This was done three times, and immediately the vessel was received up into heaven. 10.17. Now while Peter was very perplexed in himself what the vision which he had seen might mean, behold, the men who were sent by Cornelius, having made inquiry for Simon's house, stood before the gate 10.18. and called and asked whether Simon, who was surnamed Peter, was lodging there. 10.19. While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Behold, three men seek you. 10.20. But arise, get down, and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them. 10.21. Peter went down to the men, and said, "Behold, I am he whom you seek. Why have you come? 10.22. They said, "Cornelius, a centurion, a righteous man and one who fears God, and well spoken of by all the nation of the Jews, was directed by a holy angel to invite you to his house, and to listen to what you say. 10.23. So he called them in and lodged them. On the next day Peter arose and went out with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa accompanied him. 10.24. On the next day they entered into Caesarea. Cornelius was waiting for them, having called together his relatives and his near friends. 10.25. When it happened that Peter entered, Cornelius met him, fell down at his feet, and worshiped him. 10.26. But Peter raised him up, saying, "Stand up! I myself am also a man. 10.27. As he talked with him, he went in and found many gathered together. 10.28. He said to them, "You yourselves know how it is an unlawful thing for a man who is a Jew to join himself or come to one of another nation, but God has shown me that I shouldn't call any man unholy or unclean. 10.29. Therefore also I came without complaint when I was sent for. I ask therefore, why did you send for me? 10.30. Cornelius said, "Four days ago, I was fasting until this hour, and at the ninth hour, I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing 10.31. and said, 'Cornelius, your prayer is heard, and your gifts to the needy are remembered in the sight of God. 10.32. Send therefore to Joppa, and summon Simon, who is surnamed Peter. He lodges in the house of Simon a tanner, by the seaside. When he comes, he will speak to you.' 10.33. Therefore I sent to you at once, and it was good of you to come. Now therefore we are all here present in the sight of God to hear all things that have been commanded you by God. 10.34. Peter opened his mouth and said, "Truly I perceive that God doesn't show favoritism; 10.35. but in every nation he who fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him. 10.36. The word which he sent to the children of Israel, preaching good news of peace by Jesus Christ -- he is Lord of all -- 10.37. that spoken word you yourselves know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; 10.38. even Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 10.39. We are witnesses of all things which he did both in the country of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they also killed, hanging him on a tree. 10.40. God raised him up the third day, and gave him to be revealed 10.41. not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen before by God, to us, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 10.42. He charged us to preach to the people and to testify that this is he who is appointed by God as the Judge of the living and the dead. 10.43. All the prophets testify about him, that through his name everyone who believes in him will receive remission of sins. 10.44. While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all those who heard the word. 10.45. They of the circumcision who believed were amazed, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was also poured out on the Gentiles. 10.46. For they heard them speak with other languages and magnify God. Then Peter answered 10.47. Can any man forbid the water, that these who have received the Holy Spirit as well as we should not be baptized? 10.48. He commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay some days. 12.12. Thinking about that, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. 13.4. So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia. From there they sailed to Cyprus. 13.5. When they were at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. They had also John as their attendant. 13.6. When they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar Jesus 13.7. who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of understanding. The same summoned Barnabas and Saul, and sought to hear the word of God. 13.8. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn aside the proconsul from the faith. 13.9. But Saul, who is also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fastened his eyes on him 13.10. and said, "Full of all deceit and all cunning, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? 13.11. Now, behold, the hand of the Lord is on you, and you will be blind, not seeing the sun for a season!"Immediately there fell on him a mist and darkness. He went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 13.12. Then the proconsul, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord. 13.42. So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. 13.43. Now when the synagogue broke up, many of the Jews and of the devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas; who, speaking to them, urged them to continue in the grace of God. 13.48. As the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of God. As many as were appointed to eternal life believed. 16.14. A certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, one who worshiped God, heard us; whose heart the Lord opened to listen to the things which were spoken by Paul. 16.15. When she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and stay." She urged us. 16.29. He called for lights and sprang in, and, fell down trembling before Paul and Silas 16.30. and brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 16.31. They said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household. 16.32. They spoke the word of the Lord to him, and to all who were in his house. 16.33. He took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes, and was immediately baptized, he and all his household. 17.2. Paul, as was his custom, went in to them, and for three Sabbath days reasoned with them from the Scriptures 17.3. explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer, and to rise again from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ. 17.4. Some of them were persuaded, and joined Paul and Silas, of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and not a few of the chief women. 17.10. The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Beroea. When they arrived, they went into the Jewish synagogue. 17.11. Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of the mind, examining the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so. 17.12. Many of them therefore believed; also of the Greek women of honorable estate, and not a few men. 17.31. because he has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he has ordained; whereof he has given assurance to all men, in that he has raised him from the dead. 17.32. Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked; but others said, "We want to hear you yet again concerning this. 18.8. Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his house. Many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized. 18.24. Now a certain Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by race, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus. He was mighty in the Scriptures. 18.25. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, although he knew only the baptism of John. 18.26. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside, and explained to him the way of God more accurately. 22.6. It happened that, as I made my journey, and came close to Damascus, about noon, suddenly there shone from the sky a great light around me. 22.7. I fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?' 22.8. I answered, 'Who are you, Lord?' He said to me, 'I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you persecute.' 22.9. Those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they didn't understand the voice of him who spoke to me. 22.10. I said, 'What shall I do, Lord?' The Lord said to me, 'Arise, and go into Damascus. There you will be told about all things which are appointed for you to do.' 22.11. When I couldn't see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus. 22.12. One Aias, a devout man according to the law, well reported of by all the Jews who lived there 22.13. came to me, and standing by me said to me, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight!' In that very hour I looked up at him. 22.14. He said, 'The God of our fathers has appointed you to know his will, and to see the Righteous One, and to hear a voice from his mouth. 22.15. For you will be a witness for him to all men of what you have seen and heard. 22.16. Now why do you wait? Arise, be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.' 26.6. Now I stand here to be judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers 26.22. Having therefore obtained the help that is from God, I stand to this day testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses did say should come 26.23. how the Christ must suffer, and how he first by the resurrection of the dead should proclaim light both to these people and to the Gentiles. 26.24. As he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, "Paul, you are crazy! Your great learning is driving you insane! 26.27. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe. 28.3. But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand. 28.4. When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said one to another, "No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped from the sea, yet Justice has not allowed to live. 28.5. However he shook off the creature into the fire, and wasn't harmed. 28.6. But they expected that he would have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly, but when they were long in expectation and saw nothing bad happen to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.
5. New Testament, John, 19.34-19.35 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

19.34. However one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 19.35. He who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, that you may believe.
6. New Testament, Luke, 8.2-8.4, 10.19, 15.17, 19.1-19.8 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

8.2. and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out; 8.3. and Joanna, the wife of Chuzas, Herod's steward; Susanna; and many others; who ministered to them from their possessions. 8.4. When a great multitude came together, and people from every city were coming to him, he spoke by a parable. 10.19. Behold, I give you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. Nothing will in any way hurt you. 15.17. But when he came to himself he said, 'How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough to spare, and I'm dying with hunger! 19.1. He entered and was passing through Jericho. 19.2. There was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 19.3. He was trying to see who Jesus was, and couldn't because of the crowd, because he was short. 19.4. He ran on ahead, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was to pass that way. 19.5. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and saw him, and said to him, "Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house. 19.6. He hurried, came down, and received him joyfully. 19.7. When they saw it, they all murmured, saying, "He has gone in to lodge with a man who is a sinner. 19.8. Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, half of my goods I give to the poor. If I have wrongfully exacted anything of anyone, I restore four times as much.
7. New Testament, Mark, 16.17-16.18 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

16.17. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new languages; 16.18. they will take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it will in no way hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.
8. Alcinous, Handbook of Platonism, 1.3 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

9. Athenagoras, The Resurrection of The Dead, 1.3 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

1.3. τῶν ἀληθῶν οἱ τοιοῦτοι κατέλιπον ἀσυκοφάντητον, οὐ τὴν οὐσίαν τοῦ θεοῦ, οὐ τὴν γνῶσιν, οὐ τὴν ἐνέργειαν, οὐ τὰ τούτοις ἐφεξῆς καθ᾿ εἱρμὸν ἑπόμενα καὶ τὸν τῆς εὐσεβείας ἡμῖν ὑπογράφοντα λόγον. Ἀλλ᾿ οἱ μὲν πάντη καὶ καθάπαξ ἀπογινώσκουσι τὴν περὶ τούτων ἀλήθειαν, οἱ δὲ πρὸς τὸ δοκοῦν αὐτοῖς διαστρέφουσιν, οἱ δὲ καὶ περὶ τῶν ἐμφανῶν
10. Athenagoras, Apology Or Embassy For The Christians, 2.5, 7.2, 24.1-24.2 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

11. Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation To The Greeks, 10.89 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd 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. Irenaeus, Refutation of All Heresies, 1.7.3 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

15. Justin, Dialogue With Trypho, 2.2 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

16. Lucian, The Passing of Peregrinus, 13 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

17. Minucius Felix, Octavius, 8.4 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

18. Numenius of Apamea, Fragments, None (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

19. Numenius of Apamea, Fragments, None (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

20. Tatian, Oration To The Greeks, 35, 33 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

21. Tertullian, Against The Valentinians, 1.1-1.4 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

22. Tertullian, Apology, 46, 39 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

39. I shall at once go on, then, to exhibit the peculiarities of the Christian society, that, as I have refuted the evil charged against it, I may point out its positive good. We are a body knit together as such by a common religious profession, by unity of discipline, and by the bond of a common hope. We meet together as an assembly and congregation, that, offering up prayer to God as with united force, we may wrestle with Him in our supplications. This violence God delights in. We pray, too, for the emperors, for their ministers and for all in authority, for the welfare of the world, for the prevalence of peace, for the delay of the final consummation. We assemble to read our sacred writings, if any peculiarity of the times makes either forewarning or reminiscence needful. However it be in that respect, with the sacred words we nourish our faith, we animate our hope, we make our confidence more steadfast; and no less by inculcations of God's precepts we confirm good habits. In the same place also exhortations are made, rebukes and sacred censures are administered. For with a great gravity is the work of judging carried on among us, as befits those who feel assured that they are in the sight of God; and you have the most notable example of judgment to come when any one has sinned so grievously as to require his severance from us in prayer, in the congregation and in all sacred intercourse. The tried men of our elders preside over us, obtaining that honour not by purchase, but by established character. There is no buying and selling of any sort in the things of God. Though we have our treasure chest, it is not made up of purchase-money, as of a religion that has its price. On the monthly day, if he likes, each puts in a small donation; but only if it be his pleasure, and only if he be able: for there is no compulsion; all is voluntary. These gifts are, as it were, piety's deposit fund. For they are not taken thence and spent on feasts, and drinking-bouts, and eating-houses, but to support and bury poor people, to supply the wants of boys and girls destitute of means and parents, and of old persons confined now to the house; such, too, as have suffered shipwreck; and if there happen to be any in the mines, or banished to the islands, or shut up in the prisons, for nothing but their fidelity to the cause of God's Church, they become the nurslings of their confession. But it is mainly the deeds of a love so noble that lead many to put a brand upon us. See, they say, how they love one another, for themselves are animated by mutual hatred; how they are ready even to die for one another, for they themselves will sooner put to death. And they are angry with us, too, because we call each other brethren; for no other reason, as I think, than because among themselves names of consanguinity are assumed in mere pretence of affection. But we are your brethren as well, by the law of our common mother nature, though you are hardly men, because brothers so unkind. At the same time, how much more fittingly they are called and counted brothers who have been led to the knowledge of God as their common Father, who have drunk in one spirit of holiness, who from the same womb of a common ignorance have agonized into the same light of truth! But on this very account, perhaps, we are regarded as having less claim to be held true brothers, that no tragedy makes a noise about our brotherhood, or that the family possessions, which generally destroy brotherhood among you, create fraternal bonds among us. One in mind and soul, we do not hesitate to share our earthly goods with one another. All things are common among us but our wives. We give up our community where it is practised alone by others, who not only take possession of the wives of their friends, but most tolerantly also accommodate their friends with theirs, following the example, I believe, of those wise men of ancient times, the Greek Socrates and the Roman Cato, who shared with their friends the wives whom they had married, it seems for the sake of progeny both to themselves and to others; whether in this acting against their partners' wishes, I am not able to say. Why should they have any care over their chastity, when their husbands so readily bestowed it away? O noble example of Attic wisdom, of Roman gravity - the philosopher and the censor playing pimps! What wonder if that great love of Christians towards one another is desecrated by you! For you abuse also our humble feasts, on the ground that they are extravagant as well as infamously wicked. To us, it seems, applies the saying of Diogenes: The people of Megara feast as though they were going to die on the morrow; they build as though they were never to die! But one sees more readily the mote in another's eye than the beam in his own. Why, the very air is soured with the eructations of so many tribes, and curi, and decuri . The Salii cannot have their feast without going into debt; you must get the accountants to tell you what the tenths of Hercules and the sacrificial banquets cost; the choicest cook is appointed for the Apaturia, the Dionysia, the Attic mysteries; the smoke from the banquet of Serapis will call out the firemen. Yet about the modest supper-room of the Christians alone a great ado is made. Our feast explains itself by its name. The Greeks call it agapè, i.e., affection. Whatever it costs, our outlay in the name of piety is gain, since with the good things of the feast we benefit the needy; not as it is with you, do parasites aspire to the glory of satisfying their licentious propensities, selling themselves for a belly-feast to all disgraceful treatment - but as it is with God himself, a peculiar respect is shown to the lowly. If the object of our feast be good, in the light of that consider its further regulations. As it is an act of religious service, it permits no vileness or immodesty. The participants, before reclining, taste first of prayer to God. As much is eaten as satisfies the cravings of hunger; as much is drunk as befits the chaste. They say it is enough, as those who remember that even during the night they have to worship God; they talk as those who know that the Lord is one of their auditors. After manual ablution, and the bringing in of lights, each is asked to stand forth and sing, as he can, a hymn to God, either one from the holy Scriptures or one of his own composing - a proof of the measure of our drinking. As the feast commenced with prayer, so with prayer it is closed. We go from it, not like troops of mischief-doers, nor bands of vagabonds, nor to break out into licentious acts, but to have as much care of our modesty and chastity as if we had been at a school of virtue rather than a banquet. Give the congregation of the Christians its due, and hold it unlawful, if it is like assemblies of the illicit sort: by all means let it be condemned, if any complaint can be validly laid against it, such as lies against secret factions. But who has ever suffered harm from our assemblies? We are in our congregations just what we are when separated from each other; we are as a community what we are individuals; we injure nobody, we trouble nobody. When the upright, when the virtuous meet together, when the pious, when the pure assemble in congregation, you ought not to call that a faction, but a curia- [i.e., the court of God.]
23. Eusebius of Caesarea, Demonstration of The Gospel, 1.1.12 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

24. Eusebius of Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History, 4.26.7, 5.17.5, 5.28.4-5.28.5, 5.28.12, 5.28.14, 6.19.4, 6.19.10, 8.1.2 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

4.26.7. Again he adds the following: For our philosophy formerly flourished among the Barbarians; but having sprung up among the nations under your rule, during the great reign of your ancestor Augustus, it became to your empire especially a blessing of auspicious omen. For from that time the power of the Romans has grown in greatness and splendor. To this power you have succeeded, as the desired possessor, and such shall you continue with your son, if you guard the philosophy which grew up with the empire and which came into existence with Augustus; that philosophy which your ancestors also honored along with the other religions. 5.17.5. He writes thus. But the Miltiades to whom he refers has left other monuments of his own zeal for the Divine Scriptures, in the discourses which he composed against the Greeks and against the Jews, answering each of them separately in two books. And in addition he addresses an apology to the earthly rulers, in behalf of the philosophy which he embraced. 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. 6.19.4. Some persons, desiring to find a solution of the baseness of the Jewish Scriptures rather than abandon them, have had recourse to explanations inconsistent and incongruous with the words written, which explanations, instead of supplying a defense of the foreigners, contain rather approval and praise of themselves. For they boast that the plain words of Moses are enigmas, and regard them as oracles full of hidden mysteries; and having bewildered the mental judgment by folly, they make their explanations. Farther on he says: 6.19.10. For the doctrine of Christ was taught to Origen by his parents, as we have shown above. And Ammonius held the divine philosophy unshaken and unadulterated to the end of his life. His works yet extant show this, as he is celebrated among many for the writings which he has left. For example, the work entitled The Harmony of Moses and Jesus, and such others as are in the possession of the learned. 8.1.2. The favor shown our people by the rulers might be adduced as evidence; as they committed to them the government of provinces, and on account of the great friendship which they entertained toward their doctrine, released them from anxiety in regard to sacrificing.
25. Eusebius of Caesarea, Preparation For The Gospel, 1.2.1-1.2.3 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

26. Nag Hammadi, The Gospel of Philip, 55 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

27. Nag Hammadi, The Tripartite Tractate, 112.20-112.21 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

28. Origen, Against Celsus, 1.5-1.6, 1.8, 1.10-1.13, 1.26-1.29, 1.32, 1.34-1.39, 1.41, 1.62, 1.64, 2.1, 2.4-2.5, 2.11, 2.24, 2.26, 2.28, 2.55, 2.78, 3.5, 3.7-3.8, 3.10-3.12, 3.14, 3.16-3.19, 3.24, 3.33-3.34, 3.38-3.39, 3.42, 3.44-3.47, 3.49-3.52, 3.54-3.55, 3.59, 3.65, 3.74-3.75, 4.10-4.11, 4.15, 4.25, 5.25, 5.41, 5.61-5.62, 6.1-6.2, 6.10, 6.12, 6.24, 6.40, 7.18, 7.39, 7.44, 7.53, 7.59, 7.62, 7.68-7.69, 8.2, 8.9, 8.11-8.12, 8.14, 8.24-8.27, 8.33-8.36, 8.38, 8.41, 8.43, 8.45, 8.48-8.49, 8.66, 8.68-8.69 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

1.5. Treating of the regulations respecting idolatry as being peculiar to Christianity, Celsus establishes their correctness, saying that the Christians do not consider those to be gods that are made with hands, on the ground that it is not in conformity with right reason (to suppose) that images, fashioned by the most worthless and depraved of workmen, and in many instances also provided by wicked men, can be (regarded as) gods. In what follows, however, wishing to show that this is a common opinion, and one not first discovered by Christianity, he quotes a saying of Heraclitus to this effect: That those who draw near to lifeless images, as if they were gods, act in a similar manner to those who would enter into conversation with houses. Respecting this, then, we have to say, that ideas were implanted in the minds of men like the principles of morality, from which not only Heraclitus, but any other Greek or barbarian, might by reflection have deduced the same conclusion; for he states that the Persians also were of the same opinion, quoting Herodotus as his authority. We also can add to these Zeno of Citium, who in his Polity, says: And there will be no need to build temples, for nothing ought to be regarded as sacred, or of much value, or holy, which is the work of builders and of mean men. It is evident, then, with respect to this opinion (as well as others), that there has been engraven upon the hearts of men by the finger of God a sense of the duty that is required. 1.6. After this, through the influence of some motive which is unknown to me, Celsus asserts that it is by the names of certain demons, and by the use of incantations, that the Christians appear to be possessed of (miraculous) power; hinting, I suppose, at the practices of those who expel evil spirits by incantations. And here he manifestly appears to malign the Gospel. For it is not by incantations that Christians seem to prevail (over evil spirits), but by the name of Jesus, accompanied by the announcement of the narratives which relate to Him; for the repetition of these has frequently been the means of driving demons out of men, especially when those who repeated them did so in a sound and genuinely believing spirit. Such power, indeed, does the name of Jesus possess over evil spirits, that there have been instances where it was effectual, when it was pronounced even by bad men, which Jesus Himself taught (would be the case), when He said: Many shall say to Me in that day, In Your name we have cast out devils, and done many wonderful works. Whether Celsus omitted this from intentional malignity, or from ignorance, I do not know. And he next proceeds to bring a charge against the Saviour Himself, alleging that it was by means of sorcery that He was able to accomplish the wonders which He performed; and that foreseeing that others would attain the same knowledge, and do the same things, making a boast of doing them by help of the power of God, He excludes such from His kingdom. And his accusation is, that if they are justly excluded, while He Himself is guilty of the same practices, He is a wicked man; but if He is not guilty of wickedness in doing such things, neither are they who do the same as He. But even if it be impossible to show by what power Jesus wrought these miracles, it is clear that Christians employ no spells or incantations, but the simple name of Jesus, and certain other words in which they repose faith, according to the holy Scriptures. 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. 1.10. In 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. 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? 1.12. In 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. 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. 1.26. But let us see the manner in which this Celsus, who professes to know everything, brings a false accusation against the Jews, when he alleges that they worship angels, and are addicted to sorcery, in which Moses was their instructor. Now, in what part of the writings of Moses he found the lawgiver laying down the worship of angels, let him tell, who professes to know all about Christianity and Judaism; and let him show also how sorcery can exist among those who have accepted the Mosaic law, and read the injunction, Neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them. Moreover, he promises to show afterwards how it was through ignorance that the Jews were deceived and led into error. Now, if he had discovered that the ignorance of the Jews regarding Christ was the effect of their not having heard the prophecies about Him, he would show with truth how the Jews fell into error. But without any wish whatever that this should appear, he views as Jewish errors what are no errors at all. And Celsus having promised to make us acquainted, in a subsequent part of his work, with the doctrines of Judaism, proceeds in the first place to speak of our Saviour as having been the leader of our generation, in so far as we are Christians, and says that a few years ago he began to teach this doctrine, being regarded by Christians as the Son of God. Now, with respect to this point - His prior existence a few years ago - we have to remark as follows. Could it have come to pass without divine assistance, that Jesus, desiring during these years to spread abroad His words and teaching, should have been so successful, that everywhere throughout the world, not a few persons, Greeks as well as Barbarians, learned as well as ignorant, adopted His doctrine, so that they struggled, even to death in its defense, rather than deny it, which no one is ever related to have done for any other system? I indeed, from no wish to flatter Christianity, but from a desire thoroughly to examine the facts, would say that even those who are engaged in the healing of numbers of sick persons, do not attain their object - the cure of the body - without divine help; and if one were to succeed in delivering souls from a flood of wickedness, and excesses, and acts of injustice, and from a contempt of God, and were to show, as evidence of such a result, one hundred persons improved in their natures (let us suppose the number to be so large), no one would reasonably say that it was without divine assistance that he had implanted in those hundred individuals a doctrine capable of removing so many evils. And if any one, on a candid consideration of these things, shall admit that no improvement ever takes place among men without divine help, how much more confidently shall he make the same assertion regarding Jesus, when he compares the former lives of many converts to His doctrine with their after conduct, and reflects in what acts of licentiousness and injustice and covetousness they formerly indulged, until, as Celsus, and they who think with him, allege, they were deceived, and accepted a doctrine which, as these individuals assert, is destructive of the life of men; but who, from the time that they adopted it, have become in some way meeker, and more religious, and more consistent, so that certain among them, from a desire of exceeding chastity, and a wish to worship God with greater purity, abstain even from the permitted indulgences of (lawful) love. 1.27. Any one who examines the subject will see that Jesus attempted and successfully accomplished works beyond the reach of human power. For although, from the very beginning, all things opposed the spread of His doctrine in the world, - both the princes of the times, and their chief captains and generals, and all, to speak generally, who were possessed of the smallest influence, and in addition to these, the rulers of the different cities, and the soldiers, and the people - yet it proved victorious, as being the Word of God, the nature of which is such that it cannot be hindered; and becoming more powerful than all such adversaries, it made itself master of the whole of Greece, and a considerable portion of Barbarian lands, and convened countless numbers of souls to His religion. And although, among the multitude of converts to Christianity, the simple and ignorant necessarily outnumbered the more intelligent, as the former class always does the latter, yet Celsus, unwilling to take note of this, thinks that this philanthropic doctrine, which reaches to every soul under the sun, is vulgar, and on account of its vulgarity and its want of reasoning power, obtained a hold only over the ignorant. And yet he himself admits that it was not the simple alone who were led by the doctrine of Jesus to adopt His religion; for he acknowledges that there were among them some persons of moderate intelligence, and gentle disposition, and possessed of understanding, and capable of comprehending allegories. 1.28. And since, in imitation of a rhetorician training a pupil, he introduces a Jew, who enters into a personal discussion with Jesus, and speaks in a very childish manner, altogether unworthy of the grey hairs of a philosopher, let me endeavour, to the best of my ability, to examine his statements, and show that he does not maintain, throughout the discussion, the consistency due to the character of a Jew. For he represents him disputing with Jesus, and confuting Him, as he thinks, on many points; and in the first place, he accuses Him of having invented his birth from a virgin, and upbraids Him with being born in a certain Jewish village, of a poor woman of the country, who gained her subsistence by spinning, and who was turned out of doors by her husband, a carpenter by trade, because she was convicted of adultery; that after being driven away by her husband, and wandering about for a time, she disgracefully gave birth to Jesus, an illegitimate child, who having hired himself out as a servant in Egypt on account of his poverty, and having there acquired some miraculous powers, on which the Egyptians greatly pride themselves, returned to his own country, highly elated on account of them, and by means of these proclaimed himself a God. Now, as I cannot allow anything said by unbelievers to remain unexamined, but must investigate everything from the beginning, I give it as my opinion that all these things worthily harmonize with the predictions that Jesus is the Son of God. 1.32. But let us now return to where the Jew is introduced, speaking of the mother of Jesus, and saying that when she was pregt she was turned out of doors by the carpenter to whom she had been betrothed, as having been guilty of adultery, and that she bore a child to a certain soldier named Panthera; and let us see whether those who have blindly concocted these fables about the adultery of the Virgin with Panthera, and her rejection by the carpenter, did not invent these stories to overturn His miraculous conception by the Holy Ghost: for they could have falsified the history in a different manner, on account of its extremely miraculous character, and not have admitted, as it were against their will, that Jesus was born of no ordinary human marriage. It was to be expected, indeed, that those who would not believe the miraculous birth of Jesus would invent some falsehood. And their not doing this in a credible manner, but (their) preserving the fact that it was not by Joseph that the Virgin conceived Jesus, rendered the falsehood very palpable to those who can understand and detect such inventions. Is it at all agreeable to reason, that he who dared to do so much for the human race, in order that, as far as in him lay, all the Greeks and Barbarians, who were looking for divine condemnation, might depart from evil, and regulate their entire conduct in a manner pleasing to the Creator of the world, should not have had a miraculous birth, but one the vilest and most disgraceful of all? And I will ask of them as Greeks, and particularly of Celsus, who either holds or not the sentiments of Plato, and at any rate quotes them, whether He who sends souls down into the bodies of men, degraded Him who was to dare such mighty acts, and to teach so many men, and to reform so many from the mass of wickedness in the world, to a birth more disgraceful than any other, and did not rather introduce Him into the world through a lawful marriage? Or is it not more in conformity with reason, that every soul, for certain mysterious reasons (I speak now according to the opinion of Pythagoras, and Plato, and Empedocles, whom Celsus frequently names), is introduced into a body, and introduced according to its deserts and former actions? It is probable, therefore, that this soul also, which conferred more benefit by its residence in the flesh than that of many men (to avoid prejudice, I do not say all), stood in need of a body not only superior to others, but invested with all excellent qualities. 1.34. But it was, as the prophets also predicted, from a virgin that there was to be born, according to the promised sign, one who was to give His name to the fact, showing that at His birth God was to be with man. Now it seems to me appropriate to the character of a Jew to have quoted the prophecy of Isaiah, which says that Immanuel was to be born of a virgin. This, however, Celsus, who professes to know everything, has not done, either from ignorance or from an unwillingness (if he had read it and voluntarily passed it by in silence) to furnish an argument which might defeat his purpose. And the prediction runs thus: And the Lord spoke again unto Ahaz, saying, Ask you a sign of the Lord your God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord . And he said, Hear now, O house of David; is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel, which is, being interpreted, God with us. And that it was from intentional malice that Celsus did not quote this prophecy, is clear to me from this, that although he makes numerous quotations from the Gospel according to Matthew, as of the star that appeared at the birth of Christ, and other miraculous occurrences, he has made no mention at all of this. Now, if a Jew should split words, and say that the words are not, Lo, a virgin, but, Lo, a young woman, we reply that the word Olmah- which the Septuagint have rendered by a virgin, and others by a young woman- occurs, as they say, in Deuteronomy, as applied to a virgin, in the following connection: If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; then you shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and you shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he humbled his neighbour's wife. And again: But if a man find a betrothed damsel in a field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die: but unto the damsel you shall do nothing; there is in her no sin worthy of death. 1.35. But that we may not seem, because of a Hebrew word, to endeavour to persuade those who are unable to determine whether they ought to believe it or not, that the prophet spoke of this man being born of a virgin, because at his birth these words, God with us, were uttered, let us make good our point from the words themselves. The Lord is related to have spoken to Ahaz thus: Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord your God, either in the depth or height above; and afterwards the sign is given, Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son. What kind of sign, then, would that have been - a young woman who was not a virgin giving birth to a child? And which of the two is the more appropriate as the mother of Immanuel (i.e., God with us) - whether a woman who has had intercourse with a man, and who has conceived after the manner of women, or one who is still a pure and holy virgin? Surely it is appropriate only to the latter to produce a being at whose birth it is said, God with us. And should he be so captious as to say that it is to Ahaz that the command is addressed, Ask for yourself a sign from the Lord your God, we shall ask in return, who in the times of Ahaz bore a son at whose birth the expression is made use of, Immanuel, i.e., God with us? And if no one can be found, then manifestly what was said to Ahaz was said to the house of David, because it is written that the Saviour was born of the house of David according to the flesh; and this sign is said to be in the depth or in the height, since He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things. And these arguments I employ as against a Jew who believes in prophecy. Let Celsus now tell me, or any of those who think with him, with what meaning the prophet utters either these statements about the future, or the others which are contained in the prophecies? Is it with any foresight of the future or not? If with a foresight of the future, then the prophets were divinely inspired; if with no foresight of the future, let him explain the meaning of one who speaks thus boldly regarding the future, and who is an object of admiration among the Jews because of his prophetic powers. 1.36. And now, since we have touched upon the subject of the prophets, what we are about to advance will be useful not only to the Jews, who believe that they spoke by divine inspiration, but also to the more candid among the Greeks. To these we say that we must necessarily admit that the Jews had prophets, if they were to be kept together under that system of law which had been given them, and were to believe in the Creator of the world, as they had learned, and to be without pretexts, so far as the law was concerned, for apostatizing to the polytheism of the heathen. And we establish this necessity in the following manner. For the nations, as it is written in the law of the Jews itself, shall hearken unto observers of times, and diviners; but to that people it is said: But as for you, the Lord your God has not suffered you so to do. And to this is subjoined the promise: A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you from among your brethren. Since, therefore, the heathen employ modes of divination either by oracles or by omens, or by birds, or by ventriloquists, or by those who profess the art of sacrifice, or by Chaldean genealogists - all which practices were forbidden to the Jews- this people, if they had no means of attaining a knowledge of futurity, being led by the passion common to humanity of ascertaining the future would have despised their own prophets, as not having in them any particle of divinity; and would not have accepted any prophet after Moses, nor committed their words to writing, but would have spontaneously betaken themselves to the divining usages of the heathen, or attempted to establish some such practices among themselves. There is therefore no absurdity in their prophets having uttered predictions even about events of no importance, to soothe those who desire such things, as when Samuel prophesies regarding three she-asses which were lost, or when mention is made in the third book of Kings respecting the sickness of a king's son. And why should not those who desired to obtain auguries from idols be severely rebuked by the administrators of the law among the Jews?- as Elijah is found rebuking Ahaziah, and saying, Is it because there is not a God in Israel that you go to inquire of Baalzebub, god of Ekron? 1.37. I think, then, that it has been pretty well established not only that our Saviour was to be born of a virgin, but also that there were prophets among the Jews who uttered not merely general predictions about the future - as, e.g., regarding Christ and the kingdoms of the world, and the events that were to happen to Israel, and those nations which were to believe in the Saviour, and many other things concerning Him - but also prophecies respecting particular events; as, for instance, how the asses of Kish, which were lost, were to be discovered, and regarding the sickness which had fallen upon the son of the king of Israel, and any other recorded circumstance of a similar kind. But as a further answer to the Greeks, who do not believe in the birth of Jesus from a virgin, we have to say that the Creator has shown, by the generation of several kinds of animals, that what He has done in the instance of one animal, He could do, if it pleased Him, in that of others, and also of man himself. For it is ascertained that there is a certain female animal which has no intercourse with the male (as writers on animals say is the case with vultures), and that this animal, without sexual intercourse, preserves the succession of race. What incredibility, therefore, is there in supposing that, if God wished to send a divine teacher to the human race, He caused Him to be born in some manner different from the common! Nay, according to the Greeks themselves, all men were not born of a man and woman. For if the world has been created, as many even of the Greeks are pleased to admit, then the first men must have been produced not from sexual intercourse, but from the earth, in which spermatic elements existed; which, however, I consider more incredible than that Jesus was born like other men, so far as regards the half of his birth. And there is no absurdity in employing Grecian histories to answer Greeks, with the view of showing that we are not the only persons who have recourse to miraculous narratives of this kind. For some have thought fit, not in regard to ancient and heroic narratives, but in regard to events of very recent occurrence, to relate as a possible thing that Plato was the son of Amphictione, Ariston being prevented from having marital intercourse with his wife until she had given birth to him with whom she was pregt by Apollo. And yet these are veritable fables, which have led to the invention of such stories concerning a man whom they regarded as possessing greater wisdom and power than the multitude, and as having received the beginning of his corporeal substance from better and diviner elements than others, because they thought that this was appropriate to persons who were too great to be human beings. And since Celsus has introduced the Jew disputing with Jesus, and tearing in pieces, as he imagines, the fiction of His birth from a virgin, comparing the Greek fables about Danaë, and Melanippe, and Auge, and Antiope, our answer is, that such language becomes a buffoon, and not one who is writing in a serious tone. 1.38. But, moreover, taking the history, contained in the Gospel according to Matthew, of our Lord's descent into Egypt, he refuses to believe the miraculous circumstances attending it, viz., either that the angel gave the divine intimation, or that our Lord's quitting Judea and residing in Egypt was an event of any significance; but he invents something altogether different, admitting somehow the miraculous works done by Jesus, by means of which He induced the multitude to follow Him as the Christ. And yet he desires to throw discredit on them, as being done by help of magic and not by divine power; for he asserts that he (Jesus), having been brought up as an illegitimate child, and having served for hire in Egypt, and then coming to the knowledge of certain miraculous powers, returned from thence to his own country, and by means of those powers proclaimed himself a god. Now I do not understand how a magician should exert himself to teach a doctrine which persuades us always to act as if God were to judge every man for his deeds; and should have trained his disciples, whom he was to employ as the ministers of his doctrine, in the same belief. For did the latter make an impression upon their hearers, after they had been so taught to work miracles; or was it without the aid of these? The assertion, therefore, that they did no miracles at all, but that, after yielding their belief to arguments which were not at all convincing, like the wisdom of Grecian dialectics, they gave themselves up to the task of teaching the new doctrine to those persons among whom they happened to take up their abode, is altogether absurd. For in what did they place their confidence when they taught the doctrine and disseminated the new opinions? But if they indeed wrought miracles, then how can it be believed that magicians exposed themselves to such hazards to introduce a doctrine which forbade the practice of magic? 1.39. I do not think it necessary to grapple with an argument advanced not in a serious but in a scoffing spirit, such as the following: If the mother of Jesus was beautiful, then the god whose nature is not to love a corruptible body, had intercourse with her because she was beautiful; or, It was improbable that the god would entertain a passion for her, because she was neither rich nor of royal rank, seeing no one, even of her neighbours, knew her. And it is in the same scoffing spirit that he adds: When hated by her husband, and turned out of doors, she was not saved by divine power, nor was her story believed. Such things, he says, have no connection with the kingdom of heaven. In what respect does such language differ from that of those who pour abuse on others on the public streets, and whose words are unworthy of any serious attention? 1.41. But, that we may not have the appearance of intentionally passing by his charges through inability to refute them, we have resolved to answer each one of them separately according to our ability, attending not to the connection and sequence of the nature of the things themselves, but to the arrangement of the subjects as they occur in this book. Let us therefore notice what he has to say by way of impugning the bodily appearance of the Holy Spirit to our Saviour in the form of a dove. And it is a Jew who addresses the following language to Him whom we acknowledge to be our Lord Jesus: When you were bathing, says the Jew, beside John, you say that what had the appearance of a bird from the air alighted upon you. And then this same Jew of his, continuing his interrogations, asks, What credible witness beheld this appearance? Or who heard a voice from heaven declaring you to be the Son of God? What proof is there of it, save your own assertion, and the statement of another of those individuals who have been punished along with you? 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. 1.64. But if we were to reproach those who have been converted with their former lives, then we would have occasion to accuse Ph do also, even after he became a philosopher; since, as the history relates, he was drawn away by Socrates from a house of bad fame to the pursuits of philosophy. Nay, even the licentious life of Polemo, the successor of Xenocrates, will be a subject of reproach to philosophy; whereas even in these instances we ought to regard it as a ground of praise, that reasoning was enabled, by the persuasive power of these men, to convert from the practice of such vices those who had been formerly entangled by them. Now among the Greeks there was only one Ph do, I know not if there were a second, and one Polemo, who betook themselves to philosophy, after a licentious and most wicked life; while with Jesus there were not only at the time we speak of, the twelve disciples, but many more at all times, who, becoming a band of temperate men, speak in the following terms of their former lives: For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour towards man appeared, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed upon us richly, we became such as we are. For God sent forth His Word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions, as the prophet taught in the book of Psalms. And in addition to what has been already said, I would add the following: that Chrysippus, in his treatise on the Cure of the Passions, in his endeavours to restrain the passions of the human soul, not pretending to determine what opinions are the true ones, says that according to the principles of the different sects are those to be cured who have been brought under the dominion of the passions, and continues: And if pleasure be an end, then by it must the passions be healed; and if there be three kinds of chief blessings, still, according to this doctrine, it is in the same way that those are to be freed from their passions who are under their dominion; whereas the assailants of Christianity do not see in how many persons the passions have been brought under restraint, and the flood of wickedness checked, and savage manners softened, by means of the Gospel. So that it well became those who are ever boasting of their zeal for the public good, to make a public acknowledgement of their thanks to that doctrine which by a new method led men to abandon many vices, and to bear their testimony at least to it, that even though not the truth, it has at all events been productive of benefit to the human race. 2.1. The first book of our answer to the treatise of Celsus, entitled A True Discourse, which concluded with the representation of the Jew addressing Jesus, having now extended to a sufficient length, we intend the present part as a reply to the charges brought by him against those who have been converted from Judaism to Christianity. And we call attention, in the first place, to this special question, viz., why Celsus, when he had once resolved upon the introduction of individuals upon the stage of his book, did not represent the Jew as addressing the converts from heathenism rather than those from Judaism, seeing that his discourse, if directed to us, would have appeared more likely to produce an impression. But probably this claimant to universal knowledge does not know what is appropriate in the matter of such representations; and therefore let us proceed to consider what he has to say to the converts from Judaism. He asserts that they have forsaken the law of their fathers, in consequence of their minds being led captive by Jesus; that they have been most ridiculously deceived, and that they have become deserters to another name and to another mode of life. Here he has not observed that the Jewish converts have not deserted the law of their fathers, inasmuch as they live according to its prescriptions, receiving their very name from the poverty of the law, according to the literal acceptation of the word; for Ebion signifies poor among the Jews, and those Jews who have received Jesus as Christ are called by the name of Ebionites. Nay, Peter himself seems to have observed for a considerable time the Jewish observances enjoined by the law of Moses, not having yet learned from Jesus to ascend from the law that is regulated according to the letter, to that which is interpreted according to the spirit, - a fact which we learn from the Acts of the Apostles. For on the day after the angel of God appeared to Cornelius, suggesting to him to send to Joppa, to Simon surnamed Peter, Peter went up into the upper room to pray about the sixth hour. And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready he fell into a trance, and saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth; wherein were all manner of four-footed beasts, and creeping things of the earth, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean. And the voice spoke unto him again the second time, What God has cleansed, call not common. Now observe how, by this instance, Peter is represented as still observing the Jewish customs respecting clean and unclean animals. And from the narrative that follows, it is manifest that he, as being yet a Jew, and living according to their traditions, and despising those who were beyond the pale of Judaism, stood in need of a vision to lead him to communicate to Cornelius (who was not an Israelite according to the flesh), and to those who were with him, the word of faith. Moreover, in the Epistle to the Galatians, Paul states that Peter, still from fear of the Jews, ceased upon the arrival of James to eat with the Gentiles, and separated himself from them, fearing them that were of the circumcision; and the rest of the Jews, and Barnabas also, followed the same course. And certainly it was quite consistent that those should not abstain from the observance of Jewish usages who were sent to minister to the circumcision, when they who seemed to be pillars gave the right hand of fellowship to Paul and Barnabas, in order that, while devoting themselves to the circumcision, the latter might preach to the Gentiles. And why do I mention that they who preached to the circumcision withdrew and separated themselves from the heathen, when even Paul himself became as a Jew to the Jews, that he might gain the Jews? Wherefore also in the Acts of the Apostles it is related that he even brought an offering to the altar, that he might satisfy the Jews that he was no apostate from their law. Now, if Celsus had been acquainted with all these circumstances, he would not have represented the Jew holding such language as this to the converts from Judaism: What induced you, my fellow citizens, to abandon the law of your fathers, and to allow your minds to be led captive by him with whom we have just conversed, and thus be most ridiculously deluded, so as to become deserters from us to another name, and to the practices of another life? 2.4. The Jew, then, continues his address to converts from his own nation thus: Yesterday and the day before, when we visited with punishment the man who deluded you, you became apostates from the law of your fathers; showing by such statements (as we have just demonstrated) anything but an exact knowledge of the truth. But what he advances afterwards seems to have some force, when he says: How is it that you take the beginning of your system from our worship, and when you have made some progress you treat it with disrespect, although you have no other foundation to show for your doctrines than our law? Now, certainly the introduction to Christianity is through the Mosaic worship and the prophetic writings; and after the introduction, it is in the interpretation and explanation of these that progress takes place, while those who are introduced prosecute their investigations into the mystery according to revelation, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest in the Scriptures of the prophets, and by the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ. But they who advance in the knowledge of Christianity do not, as you allege, treat the things written in the law with disrespect. On the contrary, they bestow upon them greater honour, showing what a depth of wise and mysterious reasons is contained in these writings, which are not fully comprehended by the Jews, who treat them superficially, and as if they were in some degree even fabulous. And what absurdity should there be in our system - that is, the Gospel- having the law for its foundation, when even the Lord Jesus Himself said to those who would not believe upon Him: If you had believed Moses, you would have believed Me, for he wrote of Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how shall you believe My words? Nay, even one of the evangelists- Mark - says: The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as it is written in the prophet Isaiah, Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who shall prepare Your way before You, which shows that the beginning of the Gospel is connected with the Jewish writings. What force, then, is there in the objection of the Jew of Celsus, that if any one predicted to us that the Son of God was to visit mankind, he was one of our prophets, and the prophet of our God? Or how is it a charge against Christianity, that John, who baptized Jesus, was a Jew? For although He was a Jew, it does not follow that every believer, whether a convert from heathenism or from Judaism, must yield a literal obedience to the law of Moses. 2.5. After these matters, although Celsus becomes tautological in his statements about Jesus, repeating for the second time that he was punished by the Jews for his crimes, we shall not again take up the defense, being satisfied with what we have already said. But, in the next place, as this Jew of his disparages the doctrine regarding the resurrection of the dead, and the divine judgment, and of the rewards to be bestowed upon the just, and of the fire which is to devour the wicked, as being stale opinions, and thinks that he will overthrow Christianity by asserting that there is nothing new in its teaching upon these points, we have to say to him, that our Lord, seeing the conduct of the Jews not to be at all in keeping with the teaching of the prophets, inculcated by a parable that the kingdom of God would be taken from them, and given to the converts from heathenism. For which reason, now, we may also see of a truth that all the doctrines of the Jews of the present day are mere trifles and fables, since they have not the light that proceeds from the knowledge of the Scriptures; whereas those of the Christians are the truth, having power to raise and elevate the soul and understanding of man, and to persuade him to seek a citizenship, not like the earthly Jews here below, but in heaven. And this result shows itself among those who are able to see the grandeur of the ideas contained in the law and the prophets, and who are able to commend them to others. 2.11. In the next place, that He was betrayed by those whom He called His disciples, is a circumstance which the Jew of Celsus learned from the Gospels; calling the one Judas, however, many disciples, that he might seem to add force to the accusation. Nor did he trouble himself to take note of all that is related concerning Judas; how this Judas, having come to entertain opposite and conflicting opinions regarding his Master neither opposed Him with his whole soul, nor yet with his whole soul preserved the respect due by a pupil to his teacher. For he that betrayed Him gave to the multitude that came to apprehend Jesus, a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, it is he; seize him,- retaining still some element of respect for his Master: for unless he had done so, he would have betrayed Him, even publicly, without any pretence of affection. This circumstance, therefore, will satisfy all with regard to the purpose of Judas, that along with his covetous disposition, and his wicked design to betray his Master, he had still a feeling of a mixed character in his mind, produced in him by the words of Jesus, which had the appearance (so to speak) of some remt of good. For it is related that, when Judas, who betrayed Him, knew that He was condemned, he repented, and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the high priest and elders, saying, I have sinned, in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. But they said, What is that to us? You see to that; - and that, having thrown the money down in the temple, he departed, and went and hanged himself. But if this covetous Judas, who also stole the money placed in the bag for the relief of the poor, repented, and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, it is clear that the instructions of Jesus had been able to produce some feeling of repentance in his mind, and were not altogether despised and loathed by this traitor. Nay, the declaration, I have sinned, in that I have betrayed the innocent blood, was a public acknowledgment of his crime. Observe, also, how exceedingly passionate was the sorrow for his sins that proceeded from that repentance, and which would not allow him any longer to live; and how, after he had cast the money down in the temple, he withdrew, and went away and hanged himself: for he passed sentence upon himself, showing what a power the teaching of Jesus had over this sinner Judas, this thief and traitor, who could not always treat with contempt what he had learned from Jesus. Will Celsus and his friends now say that those proofs which show that the apostasy of Judas was not a complete apostasy, even after his attempts against his Master, are inventions, and that this alone is true, viz., that one of His disciples betrayed Him; and will they add to the Scriptural account that he betrayed Him also with his whole heart? To act in this spirit of hostility with the same writings, both as to what we are to believe and what we are not to believe, is absurd. And if we must make a statement regarding Judas which may overwhelm our opponents with shame, we would say that, in the book of Psalms, the whole of the 108th contains a prophecy about Judas, the beginning of which is this: O God, hold not Your peace before my praise; for the mouth of the sinner, and the mouth of the crafty man, are opened against me. And it is predicted in this psalm, both that Judas separated himself from the number of the apostles on account of his sins, and that another was selected in his place; and this is shown by the words: And his bishopric let another take. But suppose now that He had been betrayed by some one of His disciples, who was possessed by a worse spirit than Judas, and who had completely poured out, as it were, all the words which he had heard from Jesus, what would this contribute to an accusation against Jesus or the Christian religion? And how will this demonstrate its doctrine to be false? We have replied in the preceding chapter to the statements which follow this, showing that Jesus was not taken prisoner when attempting to flee, but that He gave Himself up voluntarily for the sake of us all. Whence it follows, that even if He were bound, He was bound agreeably to His own will; thus teaching us the lesson that we should undertake similar things for the sake of religion in no spirit of unwillingness. 2.24. After this, wishing to prove that the occurrences which befell Him were painful and distressing, and that it was impossible for Him, had He wished, to render them otherwise, he proceeds: Why does he mourn, and lament, and pray to escape the fear of death, expressing himself in terms like these: 'O Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me?' Now in these words observe the malignity of Celsus, how not accepting the love of truth which actuates the writers of the Gospels (who might have passed over in silence those points which, as Celsus thinks, are censurable, but who did not omit them for many reasons, which any one, in expounding the Gospel, can give in their proper place), he brings an accusation against the Gospel statement, grossly exaggerating the facts, and quoting what is not written in the Gospels, seeing it is nowhere found that Jesus lamented. And he changes the words in the expression, Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me, and does not give what follows immediately after, which manifests at once the ready obedience of Jesus to His Father, and His greatness of mind, and which runs thus: Nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will. Nay, even the cheerful obedience of Jesus to the will of His Father in those things which He was condemned to suffer, exhibited in the declaration, If this cup cannot pass from Me except I drink it, Your will be done, he pretends not to have observed, acting here like those wicked individuals who listen to the Holy Scriptures in a maligt spirit, and who talk wickedness with lofty head. For they appear to have heard the declaration, I kill, and they often make it to us a subject of reproach; but the words, I will make alive, they do not remember - the whole sentence showing that those who live amid public wickedness, and who work wickedly, are put to death by God, and that a better life is infused into them instead, even one which God will give to those who have died to sin. And so also these men have heard the words, I will smite; but they do not see these, and I will heal, which are like the words of a physician, who cuts bodies asunder, and inflicts severe wounds, in order to extract from them substances that are injurious and prejudicial to health, and who does not terminate his work with pains and lacerations, but by his treatment restores the body to that state of soundness which he has in view. Moreover, they have not heard the whole of the announcement, For He makes sore, and again binds up; but only this part, He makes sore. So in like manner acts this Jew of Celsus who quotes the words, O Father, would that this cup might pass from Me; but who does not add what follows, and which exhibits the firmness of Jesus, and His preparedness for suffering. But these matters, which afford great room for explanation from the wisdom of God, and which may reasonably be pondered over by those whom Paul calls perfect when he said, We speak wisdom among them who are perfect, we pass by for the present, and shall speak for a little of those matters which are useful for our present purpose. 2.26. This Jew of Celsus still accuses the disciples of Jesus of having invented these statements, saying to them: Even although guilty of falsehood, you have not been able to give a color of credibility to your inventions. In answer to which we have to say, that there was an easy method of concealing these occurrences - that, viz., of not recording them at all. For if the Gospels had not contained the accounts of these things, who could have reproached us with Jesus having spoken such words during His stay upon the earth? Celsus, indeed, did not see that it was an inconsistency for the same persons both to be deceived regarding Jesus, believing Him to be God, and the subject of prophecy, and to invent fictions about Him, knowing manifestly that these statements were false. of a truth, therefore, they were not guilty of inventing untruths, but such were their real impressions, and they recorded them truly; or else they were guilty of falsifying the histories, and did not entertain these views, and were not deceived when they acknowledged Him to be God. 2.28. And since this Jew of Celsus makes it a subject of reproach that Christians should make use of the prophets, who predicted the events of Christ's life, we have to say, in addition to what we have already advanced upon this head, that it became him to spare individuals, as he says, and to expound the prophecies themselves, and after admitting the probability of the Christian interpretation of them, to show how the use which they make of them may be overturned. For in this way he would not appear hastily to assume so important a position on small grounds, and particularly when he asserts that the prophecies agree with ten thousand other things more credibly than with Jesus. And he ought to have carefully met this powerful argument of the Christians, as being the strongest which they adduce, and to have demonstrated with regard to each particular prophecy, that it can apply to other events with greater probability than to Jesus. He did not, however, perceive that this was a plausible argument to be advanced against the Christians only by one who was an opponent of the prophetic writings; but Celsus has here put in the mouth of a Jew an objection which a Jew would not have made. For a Jew will not admit that the prophecies may be applied to countless other things with greater probability than to Jesus; but he will endeavour, after giving what appears to him the meaning of each, to oppose the Christian interpretation, not indeed by any means adducing convincing reasons, but only attempting to do so. 2.55. The Jew continues his address to those of his countrymen who are converts, as follows: Come now, let us grant to you that the prediction was actually uttered. Yet how many others are there who practise such juggling tricks, in order to deceive their simple hearers, and who make gain by their deception?- as was the case, they say, with Zamolxis in Scythia, the slave of Pythagoras; and with Pythagoras himself in Italy; and with Rhampsinitus in Egypt (the latter of whom, they say, played at dice with Demeter in Hades, and returned to the upper world with a golden napkin which he had received from her as a gift); and also with Orpheus among the Odrysians, and Protesilaus in Thessaly, and Hercules at Cape T narus, and Theseus. But the question is, whether any one who was really dead ever rose with a veritable body. Or do you imagine the statements of others not only to be myths, but to have the appearance of such, while you have discovered a becoming and credible termination to your drama in the voice from the cross, when he breathed his last, and in the earthquake and the darkness? That while alive he was of no assistance to himself, but that when dead he rose again, and showed the marks of his punishment, and how his hands were pierced with nails: who beheld this? A half-frantic woman, as you state, and some other one, perhaps, of those who were engaged in the same system of delusion, who had either dreamed so, owing to a peculiar state of mind, or under the influence of a wandering imagination had formed to himself an appearance according to his own wishes, which has been the case with numberless individuals; or, which is most probable, one who desired to impress others with this portent, and by such a falsehood to furnish an occasion to impostors like himself. Now, since it is a Jew who makes these statements, we shall conduct the defense of our Jesus as if we were replying to a Jew, still continuing the comparison derived from the accounts regarding Moses, and saying to him: How many others are there who practise similar juggling tricks to those of Moses, in order to deceive their silly hearers, and who make gain by their deception? Now this objection would be more appropriate in the mouth of one who did not believe in Moses (as we might quote the instances of Zamolxis and Pythagoras, who were engaged in such juggling tricks) than in that of a Jew, who is not very learned in the histories of the Greeks. An Egyptian, moreover, who did not believe the miracles of Moses, might credibly adduce the instance of Rhampsinitus, saying that it was far more credible that he had descended to Hades, and had played at dice with Demeter, and that after stealing from her a golden napkin he exhibited it as a sign of his having been in Hades, and of his having returned thence, than that Moses should have recorded that he entered into the darkness, where God was, and that he alone, above all others, drew near to God. For the following is his statement: Moses alone shall come near the Lord; but the rest shall not come near. We, then, who are the disciples of Jesus, say to the Jew who urges these objections: While assailing our belief in Jesus, defend yourself, and answer the Egyptian and the Greek objectors: what will you say to those charges which you brought against our Jesus, but which also might be brought against Moses first? And if you should make a vigorous effort to defend Moses, as indeed his history does admit of a clear and powerful defense, you will unconsciously, in your support of Moses, be an unwilling assistant in establishing the greater divinity of Jesus. 2.78. The Jew continues: Did Jesus come into the world for this purpose, that we should not believe him? To which we immediately answer, that He did not come with the object of producing incredulity among the Jews; but knowing beforehand that such would be the result, He foretold it, and made use of their unbelief for the calling of the Gentiles. For through their sin salvation came to the Gentiles, respecting whom the Christ who speaks in the prophecies says, A people whom I did not know became subject to Me: they were obedient to the hearing of My ear; and, I was found of them who sought Me not; I became manifest to those who inquired not after Me. It is certain, moreover, that the Jews were punished even in this present life, after treating Jesus in the manner in which they did. And let the Jews assert what they will when we charge them with guilt, and say, Is not the providence and goodness of God most wonderfully displayed in your punishment, and in your being deprived of Jerusalem, and of the sanctuary, and of your splendid worship? For whatever they may say in reply with respect to the providence of God, we shall be able more effectually to answer it by remarking, that the providence of God was wonderfully manifested in using the transgression of that people for the purpose of calling into the kingdom of God, through Jesus Christ, those from among the Gentiles who were strangers to the covet and aliens to the promises. And these things were foretold by the prophets, who said that, on account of the transgressions of the Hebrew nation, God would make choice, not of a nation, but of individuals chosen from all lands; and, having selected the foolish things of the world, would cause an ignorant nation to become acquainted with the divine teaching, the kingdom of God being taken from the one and given to the other. And out of a larger number it is sufficient on the present occasion to adduce the prediction from the song in Deuteronomy regarding the calling of the Gentiles, which is as follows, being spoken in the person of the Lord: They have moved Me to jealousy with those who are not gods; they have provoked Me to anger with their idols: and I will move them to jealousy with those who are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation. 3.5. Immediately after these points, Celsus, imagining that the Jews are Egyptians by descent, and had abandoned Egypt, after revolting against the Egyptian state, and despising the customs of that people in matters of worship, says that they suffered from the adherents of Jesus, who believed in Him as the Christ, the same treatment which they had inflicted upon the Egyptians; and that the cause which led to the new state of things in either instance was rebellion against the state. Now let us observe what Celsus has here done. The ancient Egyptians, after inflicting many cruelties upon the Hebrew race, who had settled in Egypt owing to a famine which had broken out in Judea, suffered, in consequence of their injustice to strangers and suppliants, that punishment which divine Providence had decreed was to fall on the whole nation for having combined against an entire people, who had been their guests, and who had done them no harm; and after being smitten by plagues from God, they allowed them, with difficulty, and after a brief period, to go wherever they liked, as being unjustly detained in slavery. Because, then, they were a selfish people, who honoured those who were in any degree related to them far more than they did strangers of better lives, there is not an accusation which they have omitted to bring against Moses and the Hebrews, - not altogether denying, indeed, the miracles and wonders done by him, but alleging that they were wrought by sorcery, and not by divine power. Moses, however, not as a magician, but as a devout man, and one devoted to the God of all things, and a partaker in the divine Spirit, both enacted laws for the Hebrews, according to the suggestions of the Divinity, and recorded events as they happened with perfect fidelity. 3.7. In like manner, as the statement is false that the Hebrews, being (originally) Egyptians, dated the commencement (of their political existence) from the time of their rebellion, so also is this, that in the days of Jesus others who were Jews rebelled against the Jewish state, and became His followers; for neither Celsus nor they who think with him are able to point out any act on the part of Christians which savours of rebellion. And yet, if a revolt had led to the formation of the Christian commonwealth, so that it derived its existence in this way from that of the Jews, who were permitted to take up arms in defense of the members of their families, and to slay their enemies, the Christian Lawgiver would not have altogether forbidden the putting of men to death; and yet He nowhere teaches that it is right for His own disciples to offer violence to any one, however wicked. For He did not deem it in keeping with such laws as His, which were derived from a divine source, to allow the killing of any individual whatever. Nor would the Christians, had they owed their origin to a rebellion, have adopted laws of so exceedingly mild a character as not to allow them, when it was their fate to be slain as sheep, on any occasion to resist their persecutors. And truly, if we look a little deeper into things, we may say regarding the exodus from Egypt, that it is a miracle if a whole nation at once adopted the language called Hebrew, as if it had been a gift from heaven, when one of their own prophets said, As they went forth from Egypt, they heard a language which they did not understand. 3.8. In the following way, also, we may conclude that they who came out of Egypt with Moses were not Egyptians; for if they had been Egyptians, their names also would be Egyptian, because in every language the designations (of persons and things) are kindred to the language. But if it is certain, from the names being Hebrew, that the people were not Egyptians, - and the Scriptures are full of Hebrew names, and these bestowed, too, upon their children while they were in Egypt - it is clear that the Egyptian account is false, which asserts that they were Egyptians, and went forth from Egypt with Moses. Now it is absolutely certain that, being descended, as the Mosaic history records, from Hebrew ancestors, they employed a language from which they also took the names which they conferred upon their children. But with regard to the Christians, because they were taught not to avenge themselves upon their enemies (and have thus observed laws of a mild and philanthropic character); and because they would not, although able, have made war even if they had received authority to do so - they have obtained this reward from God, that He has always warred in their behalf, and on certain occasions has restrained those who rose up against them and desired to destroy them. For in order to remind others, that by seeing a few engaged in a struggle for their religion, they also might be better fitted to despise death, some, on special occasions, and these individuals who can be easily numbered, have endured death for the sake of Christianity - God not permitting the whole nation to be exterminated, but desiring that it should continue, and that the whole world should be filled with this salutary and religious doctrine. And again, on the other hand, that those who were of weaker minds might recover their courage and rise superior to the thought of death, God interposed His providence on behalf of believers, dispersing by an act of His will alone all the conspiracies formed against them; so that neither kings, nor rulers, nor the populace, might be able to rage against them beyond a certain point. Such, then, is our answer to the assertions of Celsus, that a revolt was the original commencement of the ancient Jewish state, and subsequently of Christianity. 3.10. But observe what he alleges as a proof of his statement: Christians at first were few in number, and held the same opinions; but when they grew to be a great multitude, they were divided and separated, each wishing to have his own individual party: for this was their object from the beginning. That Christians at first were few in number, in comparison with the multitudes who subsequently became Christian, is undoubted; and yet, all things considered, they were not so very few. For what stirred up the envy of the Jews against Jesus, and aroused them to conspire against Him, was the great number of those who followed Him into the wilderness - five thousand men on one occasion, and four thousand on another, having attended Him there, without including the women and children. For such was the charm of Jesus' words, that not only were men willing to follow Him to the wilderness, but women also, forgetting the weakness of their sex and a regard for outward propriety in thus following their Teacher into desert places. Children, too, who are altogether unaffected by such emotions, either following their parents, or perhaps attracted also by His divinity, in order that it might be implanted within them, became His followers along with their parents. But let it be granted that Christians were few in number at the beginning, how does that help to prove that Christians would be unwilling to make all men believe the doctrine of the Gospel? 3.11. He says, in addition, that all the Christians were of one mind, not observing, even in this particular, that from the beginning there were differences of opinion among believers regarding the meaning of the books held to be divine. At all events, while the apostles were still preaching, and while eye-witnesses of (the works of) Jesus were still teaching His doctrine, there was no small discussion among the converts from Judaism regarding Gentile believers, on the point whether they ought to observe Jewish customs, or should reject the burden of clean and unclean meats, as not being obligatory on those who had abandoned their ancestral Gentile customs, and had become believers in Jesus. Nay, even in the Epistles of Paul, who was contemporary with those who had seen Jesus, certain particulars are found mentioned as having been the subject of dispute - viz., respecting the resurrection, and whether it were already past, and the day of the Lord, whether it were near at hand or not. Nay, the very exhortation to avoid profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: which some professing, have erred concerning the faith, is enough to show that from the very beginning, when, as Celsus imagines, believers were few in number, there were certain doctrines interpreted in different ways. 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. 3.14. After this he continues: Their union is the more wonderful, the more it can be shown to be based on no substantial reason. And yet rebellion is a substantial reason, as well as the advantages which accrue from it, and the fear of external enemies. Such are the causes which give stability to their faith. To this we answer, that our union does thus rest upon a reason, or rather not upon a reason, but upon the divine working, so that its commencement was God's teaching men, in the prophetical writings, to expect the advent of Christ, who was to be the Saviour of mankind. For in so far as this point is not really refuted (although it may seem to be by unbelievers), in the same proportion is the doctrine commended as the doctrine of God, and Jesus shown to be the Son of God both before and after His incarnation. I maintain, moreover, that even after His incarnation, He is always found by those who possess the acutest spiritual vision to be most God-like, and to have really come down to us from God, and to have derived His origin or subsequent development not from human wisdom, but from the manifestation of God within Him, who by His manifold wisdom and miracles established Judaism first, and Christianity afterwards; and the assertion that rebellion, and the advantages attending it, were the originating causes of a doctrine which has converted and improved so many men was effectually refuted. 3.16. But what the legends are of every kind which we gather together, or the terrors which we invent, as Celsus without proof asserts, he who likes may show. I know not, indeed, what he means by inventing terrors, unless it be our doctrine of God as Judge, and of the condemnation of men for their deeds, with the various proofs derived partly from Scripture, partly from probable reason. And yet - for truth is precious - Celsus says, at the close, Forbid that either I, or these, or any other individual should ever reject the doctrine respecting the future punishment of the wicked and the reward of the good! What terrors, then, if you except the doctrine of punishment, do we invent and impose upon mankind? And if he should reply that we weave together erroneous opinions drawn from ancient sources, and trumpet them aloud, and sound them before men, as the priests of Cybele clash their cymbals in the ears of those who are being initiated in their mysteries; we shall ask him in reply, Erroneous opinions from what ancient sources? For, whether he refers to Grecian accounts, which taught the existence of courts of justice under the earth, or Jewish, which, among other things, predicted the life that follows the present one; he will be unable to show that we who, striving to believe in grounds of reason, regulate our lives in conformity with such doctrines, have failed correctly to ascertain the truth. 3.17. He wishes, indeed, to compare the articles of our faith to those of the Egyptians; among whom, as you approach their sacred edifices, are to be seen splendid enclosures, and groves, and large and beautiful gateways, and wonderful temples, and magnificent tents around them, and ceremonies of worship full of superstition and mystery; but when you have entered, and passed within, the object of worship is seen to be a cat, or an ape, or a crocodile, or a goat, or a dog! Now, what is the resemblance between us and the splendours of Egyptian worship which are seen by those who draw near their temples? And where is the resemblance to those irrational animals which are worshipped within, after you pass through the splendid gateways? Are our prophecies, and the God of all things, and the injunctions against images, objects of reverence in the view of Celsus also, and Jesus Christ crucified, the analogue to the worship of the irrational animal? But if he should assert this - and I do not think that he will maintain anything else - we shall reply that we have spoken in the preceding pages at greater length in defense of those charges affecting Jesus, showing that what appeared to have happened to Him in the capacity of His human nature, was fraught with benefit to all men, and with salvation to the whole world. 3.18. In the next place, referring to the statements of the Egyptians, who talk loftily about irrational animals, and who assert that they are a sort of symbols of God, or anything else which their prophets, so termed, are accustomed to call them, Celsus says that an impression is produced in the minds of those who have learned these things; that they have not been initiated in vain; while with regard to the truths which are taught in our writings to those who have made progress in the study of Christianity (through that which is called by Paul the gift consisting in the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and in the word of knowledge according to the Spirit), Celsus does not seem even to have formed an idea, judging not only from what he has already said, but from what he subsequently adds in his attack upon the Christian system, when he asserts that Christians repel every wise man from the doctrine of their faith, and invite only the ignorant and the vulgar; on which assertions we shall remark in due time, when we come to the proper place. 3.19. He says, indeed, that we ridicule the Egyptians, although they present many by no means contemptible mysteries for our consideration, when they teach us that such rites are acts of worship offered to eternal ideas, and not, as the multitude think, to ephemeral animals; and that we are silly, because we introduce nothing nobler than the goats and dogs of the Egyptian worship in our narratives about Jesus. Now to this we reply, Good sir, (suppose that) you are right in eulogizing the fact that the Egyptians present to view many by no means contemptible mysteries, and obscure explanations about the animals (worshipped) among them, you nevertheless do not act consistently in accusing us as if you believed that we had nothing to state which was worthy of consideration, but that all our doctrines were contemptible and of no account, seeing we unfold the narratives concerning Jesus according to the 'wisdom of the word' to those who are 'perfect' in Christianity. Regarding whom, as being competent to understand the wisdom that is in Christianity, Paul says: 'We speak wisdom among them that are perfect; yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, who come to nought, but we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory; which none of the princes of this world knew.' 3.24. And again, when it is said of Æsculapius that a great multitude both of Greeks and Barbarians acknowledge that they have frequently seen, and still see, no mere phantom, but Æsculapius himself, healing and doing good, and foretelling the future; Celsus requires us to believe this, and finds no fault with the believers in Jesus, when we express our belief in such stories, but when we give our assent to the disciples, and eye-witnesses of the miracles of Jesus, who clearly manifest the honesty of their convictions (because we see their guilelessness, as far as it is possible to see the conscience revealed in writing), we are called by him a set of silly individuals, although he cannot demonstrate that an incalculable number, as he asserts, of Greeks and Barbarians acknowledge the existence of Æsculapius; while we, if we deem this a matter of importance, can clearly show a countless multitude of Greeks and Barbarians who acknowledge the existence of Jesus. And some give evidence of their having received through this faith a marvellous power by the cures which they perform, revoking no other name over those who need their help than that of the God of all things, and of Jesus, along with a mention of His history. For by these means we too have seen many persons freed from grievous calamities, and from distractions of mind, and madness, and countless other ills, which could be cured neither by men nor devils. 3.33. Celsus, however, shows that he has read a good many Grecian histories, when he quotes further what is told of Cleomedes of Astypal a, who, he relates, entered into an ark, and although shut up within it, was not found therein, but through some arrangement of the divinity, flew out, when certain persons had cut open the ark in order to apprehend him. Now this story, if an invention, as it appears to be, cannot be compared with what is related of Jesus, since in the lives of such men there is found no indication of their possessing the divinity which is ascribed to them; whereas the divinity of Jesus is established both by the existence of the Churches of the saved, and by the prophecies uttered concerning Him, and by the cures wrought in His name, and by the wisdom and knowledge which are in Him, and the deeper truths which are discovered by those who know how to ascend from a simple faith, and to investigate the meaning which lies in the divine Scriptures, agreeably to the injunctions of Jesus, who said, Search the Scriptures, and to the wish of Paul, who taught that we ought to know how to answer every man; nay, also of him who said, Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks of you a reason of the faith that is in you. If he wishes to have it conceded, however, that it is not a fiction, let him show with what object this supernatural power made him, through some arrangement of the divinity, flee from the ark. For if he will adduce any reason worthy of consideration, and point out any purpose worthy of God in conferring such a power on Cleomedes, we will decide on the answer which we ought to give; but if he fail to say anything convincing on the point, clearly because no reason can be discovered, then we shall either speak slightingly of the story to those who have not accepted it, and charge it with being false, or we shall say that some demoniac power, casting a glamour over the eyes, produced, in the case of the Astypal an, a result like that which is produced by the performers of juggling tricks, while Celsus thinks that with respect to him he has spoken like an oracle, when he said that by some divine arrangement he flew away from the ark. 3.34. I am, however, of opinion that these individuals are the only instances with which Celsus was acquainted. And yet, that he might appear voluntarily to pass by other similar cases, he says, And one might name many others of the same kind. Let it be granted, then, that many such persons have existed who conferred no benefit upon the human race: what would each one of their acts be found to amount to in comparison with the work of Jesus, and the miracles related of Him, of which we have already spoken at considerable length? He next imagines that, in worshipping him who, as he says, was taken prisoner and put to death, we are acting like the Get who worship Zamolxis, and the Cilicians who worship Mopsus, and the Acarians who pay divine honours to Amphilochus, and like the Thebans who do the same to Amphiaraus, and the Lebadians to Trophonius. Now in these instances we shall prove that he has compared us to the foregoing without good grounds. For these different tribes erected temples and statues to those individuals above enumerated, whereas we have refrained from offering to the Divinity honour by any such means (seeing they are adapted rather to demons, which are somehow fixed in a certain place which they prefer to any other, or which take up their dwelling, as it were, after being removed (from one place to another) by certain rites and incantations), and are lost in reverential wonder at Jesus, who has recalled our minds from all sensible things, as being not only corruptible, but destined to corruption, and elevated them to honour the God who is over all with prayers and a righteous life, which we offer to Him as being intermediate between the nature of the uncreated and that of all created things, and who bestows upon us the benefits which come from the Father, and who as High Priest conveys our prayers to the supreme God. 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. 3.39. We must notice the remarks which Celsus next makes, when he says to us, that faith, having taken possession of our minds, makes us yield the assent which we give to the doctrine of Jesus; for of a truth it is faith which does produce such an assent. Observe, however, whether that faith does not of itself exhibit what is worthy of praise, seeing we entrust ourselves to the God who is over all, acknowledging our gratitude to Him who has led us to such a faith, and declaring that He could not have attempted or accomplished such a result without the divine assistance. And we have confidence also in the intentions of the writers of the Gospels, observing their piety and conscientiousness, manifested in their writings, which contain nothing that is spurious, or deceptive, or false, or cunning; for it is evident to us that souls unacquainted with those artifices which are taught by the cunning sophistry of the Greeks (which is characterized by great plausibility and acuteness), and by the kind of rhetoric in vogue in the courts of justice, would not have been able thus to invent occurrences which are fitted of themselves to conduct to faith, and to a life in keeping with faith. And I am of opinion that it was on this account that Jesus wished to employ such persons as teachers of His doctrines, viz., that there might be no ground for any suspicion of plausible sophistry, but that it might clearly appear to all who were capable of understanding, that the guileless purpose of the writers being, so to speak, marked with great simplicity, was deemed worthy of being accompanied by a diviner power, which accomplished far more than it seemed possible could be accomplished by a periphrasis of words, and a weaving of sentences, accompanied by all the distinctions of Grecian art. 3.42. Celsus, then, does not speak as a good reasoner, when he compares the mortal flesh of Jesus to gold, and silver, and stone, asserting that the former is more liable to corruption than the latter. For, to speak correctly, that which is incorruptible is not more free from corruption than another thing which is incorruptible, nor that which is corruptible more liable to corruption than another corruptible thing. But, admitting that there are degrees of corruptibility, we can say in answer, that if it is possible for the matter which underlies all qualities to exchange some of them, how should it be impossible for the flesh of Jesus also to exchange qualities, and to become such as it was proper for a body to be which had its abode in the ether and the regions above it, and possessing no longer the infirmities belonging to the flesh, and those properties which Celsus terms impurities, and in so terming them, speaks unlike a philosopher? For that which is properly impure, is so because of its wickedness. Now the nature of body is not impure; for in so far as it is bodily nature, it does not possess vice, which is the generative principle of impurity. But, as he had a suspicion of the answer which we would return, he says with respect to the change of the body of Jesus, Well, after he has laid aside these qualities, he will be a God: (and if so), why not rather Æsculapius, and Dionysus, and Hercules? To which we reply, What great deed has Æsculapius, or Dionysus, or Hercules wrought? And what individuals will they be able to point out as having been improved in character, and made better by their words and lives, so that they may make good their claim to be gods? For let us peruse the many narratives regarding them, and see whether they were free from licentiousness or injustice, or folly, or cowardice. And if nothing of that kind be found in them, the argument of Celsus might have force, which places the forenamed individuals upon an equality with Jesus. But if it is certain that, although some things are reported of them as reputable, they are recorded, nevertheless, to have done innumerable things which are contrary to right reason, how could you any longer say, with any show of reason, that these men, on putting aside their mortal body, became gods rather than Jesus? 3.44. After these points Celsus quotes some objections against the doctrine of Jesus, made by a very few individuals who are considered Christians, not of the more intelligent, as he supposes, but of the more ignorant class, and asserts that the following are the rules laid down by them. Let no one come to us who has been instructed, or who is wise or prudent (for such qualifications are deemed evil by us); but if there be any ignorant, or unintelligent, or uninstructed, or foolish persons, let them come with confidence. By which words, acknowledging that such individuals are worthy of their God, they manifestly show that they desire and are able to gain over only the silly, and the mean, and the stupid, with women and children. In reply to which, we say that, as if, while Jesus teaches continence, and says, Whosoever looks upon a woman to lust after her, has already committed adultery with her in his heart, one were to behold a few of those who are deemed to be Christians living licentiously, he would most justly blame them for living contrary to the teaching of Jesus, but would act most unreasonably if he were to charge the Gospel with their censurable conduct; so, if he found nevertheless that the doctrine of the Christians invites men to wisdom, the blame then must remain with those who rest in their own ignorance, and who utter, not what Celsus relates (for although some of them are simple and ignorant, they do not speak so shamelessly as he alleges), but other things of much less serious import, which, however, serve to turn aside men from the practice of wisdom. 3.45. But that the object of Christianity is that we should become wise, can be proved not only from the ancient Jewish writings, which we also use, but especially from those which were composed after the time of Jesus, and which are believed among the Churches to be divine. Now, in the fiftieth Psalm, David is described as saying in his prayer to God these words: The unseen and secret things of Your wisdom You have manifested to me. Solomon, too, because he asked for wisdom, received it; and if any one were to peruse the Psalms, he would find the book filled with many maxims of wisdom: and the evidences of his wisdom may be seen in his treatises, which contain a great amount of wisdom expressed in few words, and in which you will find many laudations of wisdom, and encouragements towards obtaining it. So wise, moreover, was Solomon, that the queen of Sheba, having heard his name, and the name of the Lord, came to try him with difficult questions, and spoke to him all things, whatsoever were in her heart; and Solomon answered her all her questions. There was no question omitted by the king which he did not answer her. And the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon, and the possessions which he had and there was no more spirit in her. And she said to the king, The report is true which I heard in my own land regarding you and your wisdom; and I believed not them who told me, until I had come, and my eyes have seen it. And, lo, they did not tell me the half. You have added wisdom and possessions above all the report which I heard. It is recorded also of him, that God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the seashore. And the wisdom that was in Solomon greatly excelled the wisdom of all the ancients, and of all the wise men of Egypt; and he was wiser than all men, even than Gethan the Ezrahite, and Emad, and Chalcadi, and Aradab, the sons of Madi. And he was famous among all the nations round about. And Solomon spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were five thousand. And he spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon even to the hyssop which springs out of the wall; and also of fishes and of beasts. And all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth who had heard of the fame of his wisdom. And to such a degree does the Gospel desire that there should be wise men among believers, that for the sake of exercising the understanding of its hearers, it has spoken certain truths in enigmas, others in what are called dark sayings, others in parables, and others in problems. And one of the prophets- Hosea - says at the end of his prophecies: Who is wise, and he will understand these things? Or prudent, and he shall know them? Daniel, moreover, and his fellow-captives, made such progress in the learning which the wise men around the king in Babylon cultivated, that they were shown to excel all of them in a tenfold degree. And in the book of Ezekiel it is said to the ruler of Tyre, who greatly prided himself on his wisdom, Are you wiser than Daniel? Every secret was not revealed to you. 3.46. And if you come to the books written after the time of Jesus, you will find that those multitudes of believers who hear the parables are, as it were, without, and worthy only of exoteric doctrines, while the disciples learn in private the explanation of the parables. For, privately, to His own disciples did Jesus open up all things, esteeming above the multitudes those who desired to know His wisdom. And He promises to those who believe upon Him to send them wise men and scribes, saying, Behold, I will send unto you wise men and scribes, and some of them they shall kill and crucify. And Paul also, in the catalogue of charismata bestowed by God, placed first the word of wisdom, and second, as being inferior to it, the word of knowledge, but third, and lower down, faith. And because he regarded the word as higher than miraculous powers, he for that reason places workings of miracles and gifts of healings in a lower place than the gifts of the word. And in the Acts of the Apostles Stephen bears witness to the great learning of Moses, which he had obtained wholly from ancient writings not accessible to the multitude. For he says: And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. And therefore, with respect to his miracles, it was suspected that he wrought them perhaps, not in virtue of his professing to come from God, but by means of his Egyptian knowledge, in which he was well versed. For the king, entertaining such a suspicion, summoned the Egyptian magicians, and wise men, and enchanters, who were found to be of no avail as against the wisdom of Moses, which proved superior to all the wisdom of the Egyptians. 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. 3.49. This statement also is untrue, that it is only foolish and low individuals, and persons devoid of perception, and slaves, and women, and children, of whom the teachers of the divine word wish to make converts. Such indeed does the Gospel invite, in order to make them better; but it invites also others who are very different from these, since Christ is the Saviour of all men, and especially of them that believe, whether they be intelligent or simple; and He is the propitiation with the Father for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. After this it is superfluous for us to wish to offer a reply to such statements of Celsus as the following: For why is it an evil to have been educated, and to have studied the best opinions, and to have both the reality and appearance of wisdom? What hindrance does this offer to the knowledge of God? Why should it not rather be an assistance, and a means by which one might be better able to arrive at the truth? Truly it is no evil to have been educated, for education is the way to virtue; but to rank those among the number of the educated who hold erroneous opinions is what even the wise men among the Greeks would not do. On the other hand, who would not admit that to have studied the best opinions is a blessing? But what shall we call the best, save those which are true, and which incite men to virtue? Moreover, it is an excellent thing for a man to be wise, but not to seem so, as Celsus says. And it is no hindrance to the knowledge of God, but an assistance, to have been educated, and to have studied the best opinions, and to be wise. And it becomes us rather than Celsus to say this, especially if it be shown that he is an Epicurean. 3.50. But let us see what those statements of his are which follow next in these words: Nay, we see, indeed, that even those individuals, who in the market-places perform the most disgraceful tricks, and who gather crowds around them, would never approach an assembly of wise men, nor dare to exhibit their arts among them; but wherever they see young men, and a mob of slaves, and a gathering of unintelligent persons, there they thrust themselves in, and show themselves off. Observe, now, how he slanders us in these words, comparing us to those who in the market-places perform the most disreputable tricks, and gather crowds around them! What disreputable tricks, pray, do we perform? Or what is there in our conduct that resembles theirs, seeing that by means of readings, and explanations of the things read, we lead men to the worship of the God of the universe, and to the cognate virtues, and turn them away from contemning Deity, and from all things contrary to right reason? Philosophers verily would wish to collect together such hearers of their discourses as exhort men to virtue - a practice which certain of the Cynics especially have followed, who converse publicly with those whom they happen to meet. Will they maintain, then, that these who do not gather together persons who are considered to have been educated, but who invite and assemble hearers from the public street, resemble those who in the market-places perform the most disreputable tricks, and gather crowds around them? Neither Celsus, however, nor any one who holds the same opinions, will blame those who, agreeably to what they regard as a feeling of philanthropy, address their arguments to the ignorant populace. 3.51. And if they are not to be blamed for so doing, let us see whether Christians do not exhort multitudes to the practice of virtue in a greater and better degree than they. For the philosophers who converse in public do not pick and choose their hearers, but he who likes stands and listens. The Christians, however, having previously, so far as possible, tested the souls of those who wish to become their hearers, and having previously instructed them in private, when they appear (before entering the community) to have sufficiently evinced their desire towards a virtuous life, introduce them then, and not before, privately forming one class of those who are beginners, and are receiving admission, but who have not yet obtained the mark of complete purification; and another of those who have manifested to the best of their ability their intention to desire no other things than are approved by Christians; and among these there are certain persons appointed to make inquiries regarding the lives and behaviour of those who join them, in order that they may prevent those who commit acts of infamy from coming into their public assembly, while those of a different character they receive with their whole heart, in order that they may daily make them better. And this is their method of procedure, both with those who are sinners, and especially with those who lead dissolute lives, whom they exclude from their community, although, according to Celsus, they resemble those who in the market-places perform the most shameful tricks. Now the venerable school of the Pythagoreans used to erect a cenotaph to those who had apostatized from their system of philosophy, treating them as dead; but the Christians lament as dead those who have been vanquished by licentiousness or any other sin, because they are lost and dead to God, and as being risen from the dead (if they manifest a becoming change) they receive them afterwards, at some future time, after a greater interval than in the case of those who were admitted at first, but not placing in any office or post of rank in the Church of God those who, after professing the Gospel, lapsed and fell. 3.52. Observe now with regard to the following statement of Celsus, We see also those persons who in the market-places perform most disreputable tricks, and collect crowds around them, whether a manifest falsehood has not been uttered, and things compared which have no resemblance. He says that these individuals, to whom he compares us, who perform the most disreputable tricks in the market-places and collect crowds, would never approach an assembly of wise men, nor dare to show off their tricks before them; but wherever they see young men, and a mob of slaves, and a gathering of foolish people, there do they thrust themselves in and make a display. Now, in speaking thus he does nothing else than simply load us with abuse, like the women upon the public streets, whose object is to slander one another; for we do everything in our power to secure that our meetings should be composed of wise men, and those things among us which are especially excellent and divine we then venture to bring forward publicly in our discussions when we have an abundance of intelligent hearers, while we conceal and pass by in silence the truths of deeper import when we see that our audience is composed of simpler minds, which need such instruction as is figuratively termed milk. 3.54. We acknowledge, however, although Celsus will not have it so, that we do desire to instruct all men in the word of God, so as to give to young men the exhortations which are appropriate to them, and to show to slaves how they may recover freedom of thought, and be ennobled by the word. And those among us who are the ambassadors of Christianity sufficiently declare that they are debtors to Greeks and Barbarians, to wise men and fools, (for they do not deny their obligation to cure the souls even of foolish persons,) in order that as far as possible they may lay aside their ignorance, and endeavour to obtain greater prudence, by listening also to the words of Solomon: Oh, you fools, be of an understanding heart, and Who is the most simple among you, let him turn unto me; and wisdom exhorts those who are devoid of understanding in the words, Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mixed for you. Forsake folly that you may live, and correct understanding in knowledge. This too would I say (seeing it bears on the point), in answer to the statement of Celsus: Do not philosophers invite young men to their lectures? And do they not encourage young men to exchange a wicked life for a better? And do they not desire slaves to learn philosophy? Must we find fault, then, with philosophers who have exhorted slaves to the practice of virtue? With Pythagoras for having so done with Zamolxis, Zeno with Perseus, and with those who recently encouraged Epictetus to the study of philosophy? Is it indeed permissible for you, O Greeks, to call youths and slaves and foolish persons to the study of philosophy, but if we do so, we do not act from philanthropic motives in wishing to heal every rational nature with the medicine of reason, and to bring them into fellowship with God, the Creator of all things? These remarks, then, may suffice in answer to what are slanders rather than accusations on the part of Celsus. 3.55. But as Celsus delights to heap up calumnies against us, and, in addition to those which he has already uttered, has added others, let us examine these also, and see whether it be the Christians or Celsus who have reason to be ashamed of what is said. He asserts, We see, indeed, in private houses workers in wool and leather, and fullers, and persons of the most uninstructed and rustic character, not venturing to utter a word in the presence of their elders and wiser masters; but when they get hold of the children privately, and certain women as ignorant as themselves, they pour forth wonderful statements, to the effect that they ought not to give heed to their father and to their teachers, but should obey them; that the former are foolish and stupid, and neither know nor can perform anything that is really good, being preoccupied with empty trifles; that they alone know how men ought to live, and that, if the children obey them, they will both be happy themselves, and will make their home happy also. And while thus speaking, if they see one of the instructors of youth approaching, or one of the more intelligent class, or even the father himself, the more timid among them become afraid, while the more forward incite the children to throw off the yoke, whispering that in the presence of father and teachers they neither will nor can explain to them any good thing, seeing they turn away with aversion from the silliness and stupidity of such persons as being altogether corrupt, and far advanced in wickedness, and such as would inflict punishment upon them; but that if they wish (to avail themselves of their aid) they must leave their father and their instructors, and go with the women and their playfellows to the women's apartments, or to the leather shop, or to the fuller's shop, that they may attain to perfection;- and by words like these they gain them over. 3.59. Immediately after this, Celsus, perceiving that he has slandered us with too great bitterness, as if by way of defense expresses himself as follows: That I bring no heavier charge than what the truth compels me, any one may see from the following remarks. Those who invite to participation in other mysteries, make proclamation as follows: 'Every one who has clean hands, and a prudent tongue;' others again thus: 'He who is pure from all pollution, and whose soul is conscious of no evil, and who has lived well and justly.' Such is the proclamation made by those who promise purification from sins. But let us hear what kind of persons these Christians invite. Every one, they say, who is a sinner, who is devoid of understanding, who is a child, and, to speak generally, whoever is unfortunate, him will the kingdom of God receive. Do you not call him a sinner, then, who is unjust, and a thief, and a housebreaker, and a poisoner, and a committer of sacrilege, and a robber of the dead? What others would a man invite if he were issuing a proclamation for an assembly of robbers? Now, in answer to such statements, we say that it is not the same thing to invite those who are sick in soul to be cured, and those who are in health to the knowledge and study of divine things. We, however, keeping both these things in view, at first invite all men to be healed, and exhort those who are sinners to come to the consideration of the doctrines which teach men not to sin, and those who are devoid of understanding to those which beget wisdom, and those who are children to rise in their thoughts to manhood, and those who are simply unfortunate to good fortune, or - which is the more appropriate term to use - to blessedness. And when those who have been turned towards virtue have made progress, and have shown that they have been purified by the word, and have led as far as they can a better life, then and not before do we invite them to participation in our mysteries. For we speak wisdom among them that are perfect. 3.65. He imagines, however, that we utter these exhortations for the conversion of sinners, because we are able to gain over no one who is really good and righteous, and therefore open our gates to the most unholy and abandoned of men. But if any one will fairly observe our assemblies we can present a greater number of those who have been converted from not a very wicked life, than of those who have committed the most abominable sins. For naturally those who are conscious to themselves of better things, desire that those promises may be true which are declared by God regarding the reward of the righteous, and thus assent more readily to the statements (of Scripture) than those do who have led very wicked lives, and who are prevented by their very consciousness (of evil) from admitting that they will be punished by the Judge of all with such punishment as befits those who have sinned so greatly, and as would not be inflicted by the Judge of all contrary to right reason. Sometimes, also, when very abandoned men are willing to accept the doctrine of (future) punishment, on account of the hope which is based upon repentance, they are prevented from so doing by their habit of sinning, being constantly dipped, and, as it were, dyed in wickedness, and possessing no longer the power to turn from it easily to a proper life, and one regulated according to right reason. And although Celsus observes this, he nevertheless, I know not why, expresses himself in the following terms: And yet, indeed, it is manifest to every one that no one by chastisement, much less by merciful treatment, could effect a complete change in those who are sinners both by nature and custom, for to change nature is an exceedingly difficult thing. But they who are without sin are partakers of a better life. 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. 4.10. In the next place, Celsus, as is his custom, having neither proved nor established anything, proceeds to say, as if we talked of God in a manner that was neither holy nor pious, that it is perfectly manifest that they babble about God in a way that is neither holy nor reverential; and he imagines that we do these things to excite the astonishment of the ignorant, and that we do not speak the truth regarding the necessity of punishments for those who have sinned. And accordingly he likens us to those who in the Bacchic mysteries introduce phantoms and objects of terror. With respect to the mysteries of Bacchus, whether there is any trustworthy account of them, or none that is such, let the Greeks tell, and let Celsus and his boon-companions listen. But we defend our own procedure, when we say that our object is to reform the human race, either by the threats of punishments which we are persuaded are necessary for the whole world, and which perhaps are not without use to those who are to endure them; or by the promises made to those who have lived virtuous lives, and in which are contained the statements regarding the blessed termination which is to be found in the kingdom of God, reserved for those who are worthy of becoming His subjects. 4.11. After this, being desirous to show that it is nothing either wonderful or new which we state regarding floods or conflagrations, but that, from misunderstanding the accounts of these things which are current among Greeks or barbarous nations, we have accorded our belief to our own Scriptures when treating of them, he writes as follows: The belief has spread among them, from a misunderstanding of the accounts of these occurrences, that after lengthened cycles of time, and the returns and conjunctions of planets, conflagrations and floods are wont to happen, and because after the last flood, which took place in the time of Deucalion, the lapse of time, agreeably to the vicissitude of all things, requires a conflagration and this made them give utterance to the erroneous opinion that God will descend, bringing fire like a torturer. Now in answer to this we say, that I do not understand how Celsus, who has read a great deal, and who shows that he has perused many histories, had not his attention arrested by the antiquity of Moses, who is related by certain Greek historians to have lived about the time of Inachus the son of Phoroneus, and is acknowledged by the Egyptians to be a man of great antiquity, as well as by those who have studied the history of the Phœnicians. And any one who likes may peruse the two books of Flavius Josephus on the antiquities of the Jews, in order that he may see in what way Moses was more ancient than those who asserted that floods and conflagrations take place in the world after long intervals of time; which statement Celsus alleges the Jews and Christians to have misunderstood, and, not comprehending what was said about a conflagration, to have declared that God will descend, bringing fire like a torturer. 4.15. And with respect to His having descended among men, He was previously in the form of God; and through benevolence, divested Himself (of His glory), that He might be capable of being received by men. But He did not, I imagine, undergo any change from good to evil, for He did no sin; nor from virtue to vice, for He knew no sin. Nor did He pass from happiness to misery, but He humbled Himself, and nevertheless was blessed, even when His humiliation was undergone in order to benefit our race. Nor was there any change in Him from best to worst, for how can goodness and benevolence be of the worst? Is it befitting to say of the physician, who looks on dreadful sights and handles unsightly objects in order to cure the sufferers, that he passes from good to evil, or from virtue to vice, or from happiness to misery? And yet the physician, in looking on dreadful sights and handling unsightly objects, does not wholly escape the possibility of being involved in the same fate. But He who heals the wounds of our souls, through the word of God that is in Him, is Himself incapable of admitting any wickedness. But if the immortal God - the Word - by assuming a mortal body and a human soul, appears to Celsus to undergo a change and transformation, let him learn that the Word, still remaining essentially the Word, suffers none of those things which are suffered by the body or the soul; but, condescending occasionally to (the weakness of) him who is unable to look upon the splendours and brilliancy of Deity, He becomes as it were flesh, speaking with a literal voice, until he who has received Him in such a form is able, through being elevated in some slight degree by the teaching of the Word, to gaze upon what is, so to speak, His real and pre-eminent appearance. 4.25. But if you depreciate the littleness of man, not on account of his body, but of his soul, regarding it as inferior to that of other rational beings, and especially of those who are virtuous; and inferior, because evil dwells in it - why should those among Christians who are wicked, and those among the Jews who lead sinful lives, be termed a collection of bats, or ants, or worms, or frogs, rather than those individuals among other nations who are guilty of wickedness?- seeing, in this respect, any individual whatever, especially if carried away by the tide of evil, is, in comparison with the rest of mankind, a bat, and worm, and frog, and ant. And although a man may be an orator like Demosthenes, yet, if stained with wickedness like his, and guilty of deeds proceeding, like his, from a wicked nature; or an Antiphon, who was also considered to be indeed an orator, yet who annihilated the doctrine of providence in his writings, which were entitled Concerning Truth, like that discourse of Celsus, - such individuals are notwithstanding worms, rolling in a corner of the dung-heap of stupidity and ignorance. Indeed, whatever be the nature of the rational faculty, it could not reasonably be compared to a worm, because it possesses capabilities of virtue. For these adumbrations towards virtue do not allow of those who possess the power of acquiring it, and who are incapable of wholly losing its seeds, to be likened to a worm. It appears, therefore, that neither can men in general be deemed worms in comparison with God. For reason, having its beginning in the reason of God, cannot allow of the rational animal being considered wholly alien from Deity. Nor can those among Christians and Jews who are wicked, and who, in truth, are neither Christians nor Jews, be compared, more than other wicked men, to worms rolling in a corner of a dunghill. And if the nature of reason will not permit of such comparisons, it is manifest that we must not calumniate human nature, which has been formed for virtue, even if it should sin through ignorance, nor liken it to animals of the kind described. 5.25. Let us next notice the statements of Celsus, which follow the preceding, and which are as follow: As the Jews, then, became a peculiar people, and enacted laws in keeping with the customs of their country, and maintain them up to the present time, and observe a mode of worship which, whatever be its nature, is yet derived from their fathers, they act in these respects like other men, because each nation retains its ancestral customs, whatever they are, if they happen to be established among them. And such an arrangement appears to be advantageous, not only because it has occurred to the mind of other nations to decide some things differently, but also because it is a duty to protect what has been established for the public advantage; and also because, in all probability, the various quarters of the earth were from the beginning allotted to different superintending spirits, and were thus distributed among certain governing powers, and in this manner the administration of the world is carried on. And whatever is done among each nation in this way would be rightly done, wherever it was agreeable to the wishes (of the superintending powers), while it would be an act of impiety to get rid of the institutions established from the beginning in the various places. By these words Celsus shows that the Jews, who were formerly Egyptians, subsequently became a peculiar people, and enacted laws which they carefully preserve. And not to repeat his statements, which have been already before us, he says that it is advantageous to the Jews to observe their ancestral worship, as other nations carefully attend to theirs. And he further states a deeper reason why it is of advantage to the Jews to cultivate their ancestral customs, in hinting dimly that those to whom was allotted the office of superintending the country which was being legislated for, enacted the laws of each land in co-operation with its legislators. He appears, then, to indicate that both the country of the Jews, and the nation which inhabits it, are superintended by one or more beings, who, whether they were one or more, co-operated with Moses, and enacted the laws of the Jews. 5.41. Let us notice the charges which are next advanced by Celsus, in which there is exceedingly little that has reference to the Christians, as most of them refer to the Jews. His words are: If, then, in these respects the Jews were carefully to preserve their own law, they are not to be blamed for so doing, but those persons rather who have forsaken their own usages, and adopted those of the Jews. And if they pride themselves on it, as being possessed of superior wisdom, and keep aloof from intercourse with others, as not being equally pure with themselves, they have already heard that their doctrine concerning heaven is not peculiar to them, but, to pass by all others, is one which has long ago been received by the Persians, as Herodotus somewhere mentions. 'For they have a custom,' he says, 'of going up to the tops of the mountains, and of offering sacrifices to Jupiter, giving the name of Jupiter to the whole circle of the heavens.' And I think, continues Celsus, that it makes no difference whether you call the highest being Zeus, or Zen, or Adonai, or Sabaoth, or Ammoun like the Egyptians, or Papp us like the Scythians. Nor would they be deemed at all holier than others in this respect, that they observe the rite of circumcision, for this was done by the Egyptians and Colchians before them; nor because they abstain from swine's flesh, for the Egyptians practised abstinence not only from it, but from the flesh of goats, and sheep, and oxen, and fishes as well; while Pythagoras and his disciples do not eat beans, nor anything that contains life. It is not probable, however, that they enjoy God's favour, or are loved by Him differently from others, or that angels were sent from heaven to them alone, as if they had had allotted to them 'some region of the blessed,' for we see both themselves and the country of which they were deemed worthy. Let this band, then, take its departure, after paying the penalty of its vaunting, not having a knowledge of the great God, but being led away and deceived by the artifices of Moses, having become his pupil to no good end. 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. 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. 6.10. He next continues: You see how Plato, although maintaining that (the chief good) cannot be described in words, yet, to avoid the appearance of retreating to an irrefutable position, subjoins a reason in explanation of this difficulty, as even 'nothing' might perhaps be explained in words. But as Celsus adduces this to prove that we ought not to yield a simple assent, but to furnish a reason for our belief, we shall quote also the words of Paul, where he says, in censuring the hasty believer, unless you have believed inconsiderately. Now, through his practice of repeating himself, Celsus, so far as he can, forces us to be guilty of tautology, reiterating, after the boastful language which has been quoted, that Plato is not guilty of boasting and falsehood, giving out that he has made some new discovery, or that he has come down from heaven to announce it, but acknowledges whence these statements are derived. Now, if one wished to reply to Celsus, one might say in answer to such assertions, that even Plato is guilty of boasting, when in the Tim us he puts the following language in the month of Zeus: Gods of gods, whose creator and father I am, and so on. And if any one will defend such language on account of the meaning which is conveyed under the name of Zeus, thus speaking in the dialogue of Plato, why should not he who investigates the meaning of the words of the Son of God, or those of the Creator in the prophets, express a profounder meaning than any conveyed by the words of Zeus in the Tim us? For the characteristic of divinity is the announcement of future events, predicted not by human power, but shown by the result to be due to a divine spirit in him who made the announcement. Accordingly, we do not say to each of our hearers, Believe, first of all, that He whom I introduce to you is the Son of God; but we put the Gospel before each one, as his character and disposition may fit him to receive it, inasmuch as we have learned to know how we ought to answer every man. And there are some who are capable of receiving nothing more than an exhortation to believe, and to these we address that alone; while we approach others, again, as far as possible, in the way of demonstration, by means of question and answer. Nor do we at all say, as Celsus scoffingly alleges, Believe that he whom I introduce to you is the Son of God, although he was shamefully bound, and disgracefully punished, and very recently was most contumeliously treated before the eyes of all men; neither do we add, Believe it even the more (on that account). For it is our endeavour to state, on each individual point, arguments more numerous even than we have brought forward in the preceding pages. 6.12. Accordingly, let us pass on to another charge made by Celsus, who is not even acquainted with the words (of our sacred books), but who, from misunderstanding them, has said that we declare the wisdom that is among men to be foolishness with God; Paul having said that the wisdom of the world is foolishness with God. Celsus says that the reason of this has been stated long ago. And the reason he imagines to be, our desire to win over by means of this saying the ignorant and foolish alone. But, as he himself has intimated, he has said the same thing before; and we, to the best of our ability, replied to it. Notwithstanding this, however, he wished to show that this statement was an invention of ours, and borrowed from the Grecian sages, who declare that human wisdom is of one kind, and divine of another. And he quotes the words of Heraclitus, where he says in one passage, that man's method of action is not regulated by fixed principles, but that of God is; and in another, that a foolish man listens to a demon, as a boy does to a man. He quotes, moreover, the following from the Apology of Socrates, of which Plato was the author: For I, O men of Athens, have obtained this name by no other means than by my wisdom. And of what sort is this wisdom? Such, probably, as is human; for in that respect I venture to think that I am in reality wise. Such are the passages adduced by Celsus. But I shall subjoin also the following from Plato's letter to Hermeas, and Erastus, and Coriscus: To Erastus and Coriscus I say, although I am an old man, that, in addition to this noble knowledge of 'forms' (which they possess), they need a wisdom, with regard to the class of wicked and unjust persons, which may serve as a protective and repelling force against them. For they are inexperienced, in consequence of having passed a large portion of their lives with us, who are moderate individuals, and not wicked. I have accordingly said that they need these things, in order that they may not be compelled to neglect the true wisdom, and to apply themselves in a greater degree than is proper to that which is necessary and human. 6.24. After the instance borrowed from the Mithraic mysteries, Celsus declares that he who would investigate the Christian mysteries, along with the aforesaid Persian, will, on comparing the two together, and on unveiling the rites of the Christians, see in this way the difference between them. Now, wherever he was able to give the names of the various sects, he was nothing loth to quote those with which he thought himself acquainted; but when he ought most of all to have done this, if they were really known to him, and to have informed us which was the sect that makes use of the diagram he has drawn, he has not done so. It seems to me, however, that it is from some statements of a very insignificant sect called Ophites, which he has misunderstood, that, in my opinion, he has partly borrowed what he says about the diagram. Now, as we have always been animated by a love of learning, we have fallen in with this diagram, and we have found in it the representations of men who, as Paul says, creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with various lusts; ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. The diagram was, however, so destitute of all credibility, that neither these easily deceived women, nor the most rustic class of men, nor those who were ready to be led away by any plausible pretender whatever, ever gave their assent to the diagram. Nor, indeed, have we ever met any individual, although we have visited many parts of the earth, and have sought out all those who anywhere made profession of knowledge, that placed any faith in this diagram. 6.40. After these things, Celsus appears to me to act like those who, in their intense hatred of the Christians, maintain, in the presence of those who are utterly ignorant of the Christian faith, that they have actually ascertained that Christians devour the flesh of infants, and give themselves without restraint to sexual intercourse with their women. Now, as these statements have been condemned as falsehoods invented against the Christians, and this admission made by the multitude and those altogether aliens to our faith; so would the following statements of Celsus be found to be calumnies invented against the Christians, where he says that he has seen in the hands of certain presbyters belonging to our faith barbarous books, containing the names and marvellous doings of demons; asserting further, that these presbyters of our faith professed to do no good, but all that was calculated to injure human beings. Would, indeed, that all that is said by Celsus against the Christians was of such a nature as to be refuted by the multitude, who have ascertained by experience that such things are untrue, seeing that most of them have lived as neighbours with the Christians, and have not even heard of the existence of any such alleged practices! 7.18. Celsus adds: Will they not besides make this reflection? If the prophets of the God of the Jews foretold that he who should come into the world would be the Son of this same God, how could he command them through Moses to gather wealth, to extend their dominion, to fill the earth, to put their enemies of every age to the sword, and to destroy them utterly, which indeed he himself did - as Moses says - threatening them, moreover, that if they did not obey his commands, he would treat them as his avowed enemies; while, on the other hand, his Son, the man of Nazareth, promulgated laws quite opposed to these, declaring that no one can come to the Father who loves power, or riches, or glory; that men ought not to be more careful in providing food than the ravens; that they were to be less concerned about their raiment than the lilies; that to him who has given them one blow, they should offer to receive another? Whether is it Moses or Jesus who teaches falsely? Did the Father, when he sent Jesus, forget the commands which he had given to Moses? Or did he change his mind, condemn his own laws, and send forth a messenger with counter instructions? Celsus, with all his boasts of universal knowledge, has here fallen into the most vulgar of errors, in supposing that in the law and the prophets there is not a meaning deeper than that afforded by a literal rendering of the words. He does not see how manifestly incredible it is that worldly riches should be promised to those who lead upright lives, when it is a matter of common observation that the best of men have lived in extreme poverty. Indeed, the prophets themselves, who for the purity of their lives received the Divine Spirit, wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented: they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. For, as the Psalmist, says, many are the afflictions of the righteous. If Celsus had read the writings of Moses, he would, I daresay, have supposed that when it is said to him who kept the law, You shall lend unto many nations, and you yourself shall not borrow, the promise is made to the just man, that his temporal riches should be so abundant, that he would be able to lend not only to the Jews, not only to two or three nations, but to many nations. What, then, must have been the wealth which the just man received according to the law for his righteousness, if he could lend to many nations? And must we not suppose also, in accordance with this interpretation, that the just man would never borrow anything? For it is written, and you shall yourself borrow nothing. Did then that nation remain for so long a period attached to the religion which was taught by Moses, while, according to the supposition of Celsus, they saw themselves so grievously deceived by that lawgiver? For nowhere is it said of any one that he was so rich as to lend to many nations. It is not to be believed that they would have fought so zealously in defense of a law whose promises had proved glaringly false, if they understood them in the sense which Celsus gives to them. And if any one should say that the sins which are recorded to have been committed by the people are a proof that they despised the law, doubtless from the feeling that they had been deceived by it, we may reply that we have only to read the history of the times in order to find it shown that the whole people, after having done that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, returned afterwards to their duty, and to the religion prescribed by the law. 7.39. Now let us hear what it is that he invites us to learn, that we may ascertain from him how we are to know God, although he thinks that his words are beyond the capacity of all Christians. Let them hear, says he, if they are able to do so. We have then to consider what the philosopher wishes us to hear from him. But instead of instructing us as he ought, he abuses us; and while he should have shown his goodwill to those whom he addresses at the outset of his discourse, he stigmatizes as a cowardly race men who would rather die than abjure Christianity even by a word, and who are ready to suffer every form of torture, or any kind of death. He also applies to us that epithet carnal or flesh-indulging, although, as we are wont to say, we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth we know Him no more, and although we are so ready to lay down our lives for the cause of religion, that no philosopher could lay aside his robes more readily. He then addresses to us these words: If, instead of exercising your senses, you look upwards with the soul; if, turning away the eye of the body, you open the eye of the mind, thus and thus only you will be able to see God. He is not aware that this reference to the two eyes, the eye of the body and the eye of the mind, which he has borrowed from the Greeks, was in use among our own writers; for Moses, in his account of the creation of the world, introduces man before his transgression as both seeing and not seeing: seeing, when it is said of the woman, The woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise; and again not seeing, as when he introduces the serpent saying to the woman, as if she and her husband had been blind, God knows that on the day that you eat thereof your eyes shall be opened; and also when it is said, They ate, and the eyes of both of them were opened. The eyes of sense were then opened, which they had done well to keep shut, that they might not be distracted, and hindered from seeing with the eyes of the mind; and it was those eyes of the mind which in consequence of sin, as I imagine, were then closed, with which they had up to that time enjoyed the delight of beholding God and His paradise. This twofold kind of vision in us was familiar to our Saviour, who says, For judgment I have come into this world, that they which see not, might see, and that they which see might be made blind, - meaning, by the eyes that see not, the eyes of the mind, which are enlightened by His teaching; and the eyes which see are the eyes of sense, which His words do render blind, in order that the soul may look without distraction upon proper objects. All true Christians therefore have the eye of the mind sharpened, and the eye of sense closed; so that each one, according to the degree in which his better eye is quickened, and the eye of sense darkened, sees and knows the Supreme God, and His Son, who is the Word, Wisdom, and so forth. 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. 7.53. After these remarks of Celsus, which we have done our best to refute, he goes on to address us thus: Seeing you are so eager for some novelty, how much better it would have been if you had chosen as the object of your zealous homage some one of those who died a glorious death, and whose divinity might have received the support of some myth to perpetuate his memory! Why, if you were not satisfied with Hercules or Æsculapius, and other heroes of antiquity, you had Orpheus, who was confessedly a divinely inspired man, who died a violent death. But perhaps some others have taken him up before you. You may then take Anaxarchus, who, when cast into a mortar, and beaten most barbarously, showed a noble contempt for his suffering, and said, 'Beat, beat the shell of Anaxarchus, for himself you do not beat,'- a speech surely of a spirit truly divine. But others were before you in following his interpretation of the laws of nature. Might you not, then, take Epictetus, who, when his master was twisting his leg, said, smiling and. unmoved, 'You will break my leg;' and when it was broken, he added, 'Did I not tell you that you would break it?' What saying equal to these did your god utter under suffering? If you had said even of the Sibyl, whose authority some of you acknowledge, that she was a child of God, you would have said something more reasonable. But you have had the presumption to include in her writings many impious things, and set up as a god one who ended a most infamous life by a most miserable death. How much more suitable than he would have been Jonah in the whale's belly, or Daniel delivered from the wild beasts, or any of a still more portentous kind! 7.59. When Celsus here or elsewhere finds himself unable to dispute the truth of what we say, but avers that the same things were said by the Greeks, our answer is, that if the doctrine be sound, and the effect of it good, whether it was made known to the Greeks by Plato or any of the wise men of Greece, or whether it was delivered to the Jews by Moses or any of the prophets, or whether it was given to the Christians in the recorded teaching of Jesus Christ, or in the instructions of His apostles, that does not affect the value of the truth communicated. It is no objection to the principles of Jews or Christians, that the same things were also said by the Greeks, especially if it be proved that the writings of the Jews are older than those of the Greeks. And further, we are not to imagine that a truth adorned with the graces of Grecian speech is necessarily better than the same when expressed in the more humble and unpretending language used by Jews and Christians, although indeed the language of the Jews, in which the prophets wrote the books which have come down to us, has a grace of expression peculiar to the genius of the Hebrew tongue. And even if we were required to show that the same doctrines have been better expressed among the Jewish prophets or in Christian writings, however paradoxical it may seem, we are prepared to prove this by an illustration taken from different kinds of food, and from the different modes of preparing them. Suppose that a kind of food which is wholesome and nutritious has been prepared and seasoned in such a way as to be fit, not for the simple tastes of peasants and poor labourers, but for those only who are rich and dainty in their tastes. Suppose, again, that that same food is prepared not to suit the tastes of the more delicate, but for the peasants, the poor labourers, and the common people generally, in short, so that myriads of persons might eat of it. Now if, according to the supposition, the food prepared in the one way promotes the health of those only who are styled the better classes, while none of the others could taste it, whereas when prepared in the other way it promoted the health of great multitudes of men, which shall we esteem as most contributing to the public welfare - those who prepare food for persons of mark, or those who prepare it for the multitudes?- taking for granted that in both cases the food is equally wholesome and nourishing; while it is evident that the welfare of mankind and the common good are promoted better by that physician who attends to the health of the many, than by one who confines his attention to a few. 7.62. Let us now see what follows. Let us pass on, says he, to another point. They cannot tolerate temples, altars, or images. In this they are like the Scythians, the nomadic tribes of Libya, the Seres who worship no god, and some other of the most barbarous and impious nations in the world. That the Persians hold the same notions is shown by Herodotus in these words: 'I know that among the Persians it is considered unlawful to erect images, altars, or temples; but they charge those with folly who do so, because, as I conjecture, they do not, like the Greeks, suppose the gods to be of the nature of men.' Heraclitus also says in one place: 'Persons who address prayers to these images act like those who speak to the walls, without knowing who the gods or the heroes are.' And what wiser lesson have they to teach us than Heraclitus? He certainly plainly enough implies that it is a foolish thing for a man to offer prayers to images, while he knows not who the gods and heroes are. This is the opinion of Heraclitus; but as for them, they go further, and despise without exception all images. If they merely mean that the stone, wood, brass, or gold which has been wrought by this or that workman cannot be a god, they are ridiculous with their wisdom. For who, unless he be utterly childish in his simplicity, can take these for gods, and not for offerings consecrated to the service of the gods, or images representing them? But if we are not to regard these as representing the Divine Being, seeing that God has a different form, as the Persians concur with them in saying, then let them take care that they do not contradict themselves; for they say that God made man His own image, and that He gave him a form like to Himself. However, they will admit that these images, whether they are like or not, are made and dedicated to the honour of certain beings. But they will hold that the beings to whom they are dedicated are not gods, but demons, and that a worshipper of God ought not to worship demons. 7.68. After all that we have already said concerning Jesus, it would be a useless repetition for us to answer these words of Celsus: It is easy to convict them of worshipping not a god, not even demons, but a dead person. Leaving, then, this objection for the reason assigned, let us pass on to what follows: In the first place, I would ask why we are not to serve demons? Is it not true that all things are ordered according to God's will, and that His providence governs all things? Is not everything which happens in the universe, whether it be the work of God, of angels, of other demons, or of heroes, regulated by the law of the Most High God? Have these not had assigned them various departments of which they were severally deemed worthy? Is it not just, therefore, that he who worships God should serve those also to whom God has assigned such power? Yet it is impossible, he says, for a man to serve many masters. Observe here again how he settles at once a number of questions which require considerable research, and a profound acquaintance with what is most mysterious in the government of the universe. For we must inquire into the meaning of the statement, that all things are ordered according to God's will, and ascertain whether sins are or are not included among the things which God orders. For if God's government extends to sins not only in men, but also in demons and in any other spiritual beings who are capable of sin, it is for those who speak in this manner to see how inconvenient is the expression that all things are ordered by the will of God. For it follows from it that all sins and all their consequences are ordered by the will of God, which is a different thing from saying that they come to pass with God's permission. For if we take the word ordered in its proper signification, and say that all the results of sin were ordered, then it is evident that all things are ordered according to God's will, and that all, therefore, who do evil do not offend against His government. And the same distinction holds in regard to providence. When we say that the providence of God regulates all things, we utter a great truth if we attribute to that providence nothing but what is just and right. But if we ascribe to the providence of God all things whatsoever, however unjust they may be, then it is no longer true that the providence of God regulates all things, unless we refer directly to God's providence things which flow as results from His arrangements. Celsus maintains also, that whatever happens in the universe, whether it be the work of God, of angels, of other demons, or of heroes, is regulated by the law of the Most High God. But this also is incorrect; for we cannot say that transgressors follow the law of God when they transgress; and Scripture declares that it is not only wicked men who are transgressors, but also wicked demons and wicked angels. 7.69. And it is not we alone who speak of wicked demons, but almost all who acknowledge the existence of demons. Thus, then, it is not true that all observe the law of the Most High; for all who fall away from the divine law, whether through heedlessness, or through depravity and vice, or through ignorance of what is right, all such do not keep the law of God, but, to use a new phrase which we find in Scripture, the law of sin. I say, then, that in the opinion of most of those who believe in the existence of demons, some of them are wicked; and these, instead of keeping the law of God, offend against it. But, according to our belief, it is true of all demons, that they were not demons originally, but they became so in departing from the true way; so that the name demons is given to those beings who have fallen away from God. Accordingly, those who worship God must not serve demons. We may also learn the true nature of demons if we consider the practice of those who call upon them by charms to prevent certain things, or for many other purposes. For this is the method they adopt, in order by means of incantations and magical arts to invoke the demons, and induce them to further their wishes. Wherefore, the worship of all demons would be inconsistent in us who worship the Supreme God; and the service of demons is the service of so-called gods, for all the gods of the heathen are demons. The same thing also appears from the fact that the dedication of the most famous of the so-called sacred places, whether temples or statues, was accompanied by curious magical incantations, which were performed by those who zealously served the demons with magical arts. Hence we are determined to avoid the worship of demons even as we would avoid death; and we hold that the worship, which is supposed among the Greeks to be rendered to gods at the altars, and images, and temples, is in reality offered to demons. 8.2. In a passage previously quoted Celsus asks us why we do not worship demons, and to his remarks on demons we gave such an answer as seemed to us in accordance with the divine word. After having put this question for the purpose of leading us to the worship of demons, he represents us as answering that it is impossible to serve many masters. This, he goes on to say, is the language of sedition, and is only used by those who separate themselves and stand aloof from all human society. Those who speak in this way ascribe, as he supposes, their own feelings and passions to God. It does hold true among men, that he who is in the service of one master cannot well serve another, because the service which he renders to the one interferes with that which he owes to the other; and no one, therefore, who has already engaged himself to the service of one, must accept that of another. And, in like manner, it is impossible to serve at the same time heroes or demons of different natures. But in regard to God, who is subject to no suffering or loss, it is, he thinks, absurd to be on our guard against serving more gods, as though we had to do with demi-gods, or other spirits of that sort. He says also, He who serves many gods does that which is pleasing to the Most High, because he honours that which belongs to Him. And he adds, It is indeed wrong to give honour to any to whom God has not given honour. Wherefore, he says, in honouring and worshipping all belonging to God, we will not displease Him to whom they all belong. 8.9. And observe the recklessness of that expression, For if you worship any other of the things in the universe, as though he would have us believe that we are led by our service of God to the worship of any other things which belong to God, without any injury to ourselves. But, as if feeling his error, he corrects the words, If you worship any other of the things in the universe, by adding, We may honour none, however, except those to whom that right has been given by God. And we would put to Celsus this question in regard to those who are honoured as gods, as demons, or as heroes: Now, sir, can you prove that the right to be honoured has been given to these by God, and that it has not arisen from the ignorance and folly of men who in their wanderings have fallen away from Him to whom alone worship and service are properly due? You said a little ago, O Celsus, that Antinous, the favourite of Adrian, is honoured; but surely you will not say that the right to be worshipped as a god was given to him by the God of the universe? And so of the others, we ask proof that the right to be worshipped was given to them by the Most High God. But if the same question is put to us in regard to the worship of Jesus, we will show that the right to be honoured was given to Him by God, that all may honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. For all the prophecies which preceded His birth were preparations for His worship. And the wonders which He wrought - through no magical art, as Celsus supposes, but by a divine power, which was foretold by the prophets- have served as a testimony from God in behalf of the worship of Christ. He who honours the Son, who is the Word and Reason, acts in nowise contrary to reason, and gains for himself great good; he who honours Him, who is the Truth, becomes better by honouring truth: and this we may say of honouring wisdom, righteousness, and all the other names by which the sacred Scriptures are wont to designate the Son of God. 8.11. He adds, And indeed he who, when speaking of God, asserts that there is only one who may be called Lord, speaks impiously, for he divides the kingdom of God, and raises a sedition therein, implying that there are separate factions in the divine kingdom, and that there exists one who is His enemy. He might speak after this fashion, if he could prove by conclusive arguments that those who are worshipped as gods by the heathens are truly gods, and not merely evil spirits, which are supposed to haunt statues and temples and altars. But we desire not only to understand the nature of that divine kingdom of which we are continually speaking and writing, but also ourselves to be of those who are under the rule of God alone, so that the kingdom of God may be ours. Celsus, however, who teaches us to worship many gods, ought in consistency not to speak of the kingdom of God, but of the kingdom of the gods. There are therefore no factions in the kingdom of God, nor is there any god who is an adversary to Him, although there are some who, like the Giants and Titans, in their wickedness wish to contend with God in company with Celsus, and those who declare war against Him who has by innumerable proofs established the claims of Jesus, and against Him who, as the Word, did, for the salvation of our race, show Himself before all the world in such a form as each was able to receive Him. 8.12. In what follows, some may imagine that he says something plausible against us. If, says he, these people worshipped one God alone, and no other, they would perhaps have some valid argument against the worship of others. But they pay excessive reverence to one who has but lately appeared among men, and they think it no offense against God if they worship also His servant. To this we reply, that if Celsus had known that saying, I and My Father are one, and the words used in prayer by the Son of God, As You and I are one, he would not have supposed that we worship any other besides Him who is the Supreme God. For, says He, My Father is in Me, and I in Him. And if any should from these words be afraid of our going over to the side of those who deny that the Father and the Son are two persons, let him weigh that passage, And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul, that he may understand the meaning of the saying, I and My Father are one. We worship one God, the Father and the Son, therefore, as we have explained; and our argument against the worship of other gods still continues valid. And we do not reverence beyond measure one who has but lately appeared, as though He did not exist before; for we believe Himself when He says, Before Abraham was, I am. Again He says, I am the truth; and surely none of us is so simple as to suppose that truth did not exist before the time when Christ appeared. We worship, therefore, the Father of truth, and the Son, who is the truth; and these, while they are two, considered as persons or subsistences, are one in unity of thought, in harmony and in identity of will. So entirely are they one, that he who has seen the Son, who is the brightness of God's glory, and the express image of His person, has seen in Him who is the image of God, God Himself. 8.14. Again Celsus proceeds: If you should tell them that Jesus is not the Son of God, but that God is the Father of all, and that He alone ought to be truly worshipped, they would not consent to discontinue their worship of him who is their leader in the sedition. And they call him Son of God, not out of any extreme reverence for God, but from an extreme desire to extol Jesus Christ. We, however, have learned who the Son of God is, and know that He is the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and the breath of the power of God, and a pure influence flowing from the glory of the Almighty; moreover, the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of His goodness. We know, therefore, that He is the Son of God, and that God is His father. And there is nothing extravagant or unbecoming the character of God in the doctrine that He should have begotten such an only Son; and no one will persuade us that such a one is not a Son of the unbegotten God and Father. If Celsus has heard something of certain persons holding that the Son of God is not the Son of the Creator of the universe, that is a matter which lies between him and the supporters of such an opinion. Jesus is, then, not the leader of any seditious movement, but the promoter of peace. For He said to His disciples, Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; and as He knew that it would be men of the world, and not men of God, who would wage war against us, he added, Not as the world gives peace, do I give peace unto you. And even although we are oppressed in the world, we have confidence in Him who said, In the world you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. And it is He whom we call Son of God- Son of that God, namely, whom, to quote the words of Celsus, we most highly reverence; and He is the Son who has been most highly exalted by the Father. Grant that there may be some individuals among the multitudes of believers who are not in entire agreement with us, and who incautiously assert that the Saviour is the Most High God; however, we do not hold with them, but rather believe Him when He says, The Father who sent Me is greater than I. We would not therefore make Him whom we call Father inferior - as Celsus accuses us of doing - to the Son of God. 8.24. Let us now see on what grounds Celsus urges us to make use of the idol offerings and the public sacrifices in the public feasts. His words are, If these idols are nothing, what harm will there be in taking part in the feast? On the other hand, if they are demons, it is certain that they too are God's creatures, and that we must believe in them, sacrifice to them according to the laws, and pray to them that they may be propitious. In reference to this statement, it would be profitable for us to take up and clearly explain the whole passage of the first Epistle to the Corinthians, in which Paul treats of offerings to idols. The apostle draws from the fact that an idol is nothing in the world, the consequence that it is injurious to use things offered to idols; and he shows to those who have ears to hear on such subjects, that he who partakes of things offered to idols is worse than a murderer, for he destroys his own brethren, for whom Christ died. And further, he maintains that the sacrifices are made to demons; and from that he proceeds to show that those who join the table of demons become associated with the demons; and he concludes that a man cannot both be a partaker of the table of the Lord and of the table of demons. But since it would require a whole treatise to set forth fully all that is contained on this subject in the Epistle to the Corinthians, we shall content ourselves with this brief statement of the argument; for it will be evident to any one who carefully considers what has been said, that even if idols are nothing, nevertheless it is an awful thing to join in idol festivals. And even supposing that there are such beings as demons to whom the sacrifices are offered, it has been clearly shown that we are forbidden to take part in these festivals, when we know the difference between the table of the Lord and the table of demons. And knowing this, we endeavour as much as we can to be always partakers of the Lord's table, and beware to the utmost of joining at any time the table of demons. 8.25. Celsus says that the demons belong to God, and are therefore to be believed, to be sacrificed to according to laws, and to be prayed to that they may be propitious. Those who are disposed to learn, must know that the word of God nowhere says of evil things that they belong to God, for it judges them unworthy of such a Lord. Accordingly, it is not all men who bear the name of men of God, but only those who are worthy of God - such as Moses and Elias, and any others who are so called, or such as resemble those who are so called in Scripture. In the same way, all angels are not said to be angels of God, but only those that are blessed: those that have fallen away into sin are called angels of the devil, just as bad men are called men of sin, sons of perdition, or sons of iniquity. Since, then, among men some are good and others bad, and the former are said to be God's and the latter the devil's, so among angels some are angels of God, and others angels of the devil. But among demons there is no such distinction, for all are said to be wicked. We do not therefore hesitate to say that Celsus is false when he says, If they are demons, it is evident that they must also belong to God. He must either show that this distinction of good and bad among angels and men has no foundation, or else that a similar distinction may be shown to hold among demons. If that is impossible, it is plain that demons do not belong to God; for their prince is not God, but, as holy Scripture says, Beelzebub. 8.26. And we are not to believe in demons, although Celsus urges us to do so; but if we are to obey God, we must die, or endure anything, sooner than obey demons. In the same way, we are not to propitiate demons; for it is impossible to propitiate beings that are wicked and that seek the injury of men. Besides, what are the laws in accordance with which Celsus would have us propitiate the demons? For if he means laws enacted in states, he must show that they are in agreement with the divine laws. But if that cannot be done, as the laws of many states are quite inconsistent with each other, these laws, therefore, must of necessity either be no laws at all in the proper sense of the word, or else the enactments of wicked men; and these we must not obey, for we must obey God rather than men. Away, then, with this counsel, which Celsus gives us, to offer prayer to demons: it is not to be listened to for a moment; for our duty is to pray to the Most High God alone, and to the Only-begotten, the First-born of the whole creation, and to ask Him as our High Priest to present the prayers which ascend to Him from us, to His God and our God, to His Father and the Father of those who direct their lives according to His word. And as we would have no desire to enjoy the favour of those men who wish us to follow their wicked lives, and who give us their favour only on condition that we choose nothing opposed to their wishes, because their favour would make us enemies of God, who cannot be pleased with those who have such men for their friends - in the same way those who are acquainted with the nature, the purposes, and the wickedness of demons, can never wish to obtain their favour. 8.27. And Christians have nothing to fear, even if demons should not be well-disposed to them; for they are protected by the Supreme God, who is well pleased with their piety, and who sets His divine angels to watch over those who are worthy of such guardianship, so that they can suffer nothing from demons. He who by his piety possesses the favour of the Most High, who has accepted the guidance of Jesus, the Angel of the great counsel, being well contented with the favour of God through Christ Jesus, may say with confidence that he has nothing to suffer from the whole host of demons. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear. So much, then, in reply to those statements of Celsus: If they are demons, they too evidently belong to God, and they are to be believed, to be sacrificed to according to the laws, and prayers are to be offered to them that they may be propitious. 8.33. From this it is evident that we have already met the next statement of Celsus, which is as follows: We must either not live, and indeed not come into this life at all, or we must do so on condition that we give thanks and first-fruits and prayers to demons, who have been set over the things of this world: and that we must do as long as we live, that they may prove good and kind. We must surely live, and we must live according to the word of God, as far as we are enabled to do so. And we are thus enabled to live, when, whether we eat or drink, we do all to the glory of God; and we are not to refuse to enjoy those things which have been created for our use, but must receive them with thanksgiving to the Creator. And it is under these conditions, and not such as have been imagined by Celsus, that we have been brought into life by God; and we are not placed under demons, but we are under the government of the Most High God, through Him who has brought us to God - Jesus Christ. It is not according to the law of God that any demon has had a share in worldly affairs, but it was by their own lawlessness that they perhaps sought out for themselves places destitute of the knowledge of God and of the divine life, or places where there are many enemies of God. Perhaps also, as being fit to rule over and punish them, they have been set by the Word, who governs all things, to rule over those who subjected themselves to evil and not to God. For this reason, then, let Celsus, as one who knows not God, give thank-offerings to demons. But we give thanks to the Creator of all, and, along with thanksgiving and prayer for the blessings we have received, we also eat the bread presented to us; and this bread becomes by prayer a sacred body, which sanctifies those who sincerely partake of it. 8.34. Celsus would also have us to offer first-fruits to demons. But we would offer them to Him who said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself upon the earth. And to Him to whom we offer first-fruits we also send up our prayers, having a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, and we hold fast this profession as long as we live; for we find God and His only-begotten Son, manifested to us in Jesus, to be gracious and kind to us. And if we would wish to have besides a great number of beings who shall ever prove friendly to us, we are taught that thousand thousands stood before Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand ministered unto Him. And these, regarding all as their relations and friends who imitate their piety towards God, and in prayer call upon Him with sincerity, work along with them for their salvation, appear unto them, deem it their office and duty to attend to them, and as if by common agreement they visit with all manner of kindness and deliverance those who pray to God, to whom they themselves also pray: For they are all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation. Let the learned Greeks say that the human soul at its birth is placed under the charge of demons: Jesus has taught us not to despise even the little ones in His Church, saying, Their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven. And the prophet says, The angel of the Lord encamps round about them that fear Him, and delivers them. We do not, then, deny that there are many demons upon earth, but we maintain that they exist and exercise power among the wicked, as a punishment of their wickedness. But they have no power over those who have put on the whole armour of God, who have received strength to withstand the wiles of the devil, and who are ever engaged in contests with them, knowing that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 8.35. Now let us consider another saying of Celsus, which is as follows: The satrap of a Persian or Roman monarch, or ruler or general or governor, yea, even those who fill lower offices of trust or service in the state, would be able to do great injury to those who despised them; and will the satraps and ministers of earth and air be insulted with impunity? Observe now how he introduces servants of the Most High - rulers, generals, governors, and those filling lower offices of trust and service - as, after the manner of men, inflicting injury upon those who insult them. For he does not consider that a wise man would not wish to do harm to any, but would strive to the utmost of his power to change and amend them; unless, indeed, it be that those whom Celsus makes servants and rulers appointed by the Most High are behind Lycurgus, the lawgiver of the Laced monians, or Zeno of Citium. For when Lycurgus had had his eye put out by a man, he got the offender into his power; but instead of taking revenge upon him, he ceased not to use all his arts of persuasion until he induced him to become a philosopher. And Zeno, on the occasion of some one saying, Let me perish rather than not have my revenge on you, answered him, But rather let me perish if I do not make a friend of you. And I am not yet speaking of those whose characters have been formed by the teaching of Jesus, and who have heard the words, Love your enemies, and pray for them which despitefully use you, that you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven; for He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. And in the prophetical writings the righteous man says, O Lord my God, if I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands; if I have returned evil to those who have done evil to me, let me fall helpless under mine enemies: let my enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth. 8.36. But the angels, who are the true rulers and generals and ministers of God, do not, as Celsus supposes, injure those who offend them; and if certain demons, whom Celsus had in mind, do inflict evils, they show that they are wicked, and that they have received no office of the kind from God. And they even do injury to those who are under them, and who have acknowledged them as their masters; and accordingly, as it would seem that those who break through the regulations which prevail in any country in regard to matters of food, suffer for it if they are under the demons of that place, while those who are not under them, and have not submitted to their power, are free from all harm, and bid defiance to such spirits; although if, in ignorance of certain things, they have come under the power of other demons, they may suffer punishment from them. But the Christian- the true Christian, I mean - who has submitted to God alone and His Word, will suffer nothing from demons, for He is mightier than demons. And the Christian will suffer nothing, for the angel of the Lord will encamp about them that fear Him, and will deliver them, and his angel, who always beholds the face of his Father in heaven, offers up his prayers through the one High Priest to the God of all, and also joins his own prayers with those of the man who is committed to his keeping. Let not, then, Celsus try to scare us with threats of mischief from demons, for we despise them. And the demons, when despised, can do no harm to those who are under the protection of Him who can alone help all who deserve His aid; and He does no less than set His own angels over His devout servants, so that none of the hostile angels, nor even he who is called the prince of this world, can effect anything against those who have given themselves to God. 8.38. He next represents Christians as saying what he never heard from any Christian; or if he did, it must have been from one of the most ignorant and lawless of the people. Behold, they are made to say, I go up to a statue of Jupiter or Apollo, or some other god: I revile it, and beat it, yet it takes no vengeance on me. He is not aware that among the prohibitions of the divine law is this, You shall not revile the gods, and this is intended to prevent the formation of the habit of reviling any one whatever; for we have been taught, Bless, and curse not, and it is said that revilers shall not inherit the kingdom of God. And who among us is so foolish as to speak in the way Celsus describes, and to fail to see that such contemptuous language can be of no avail for removing prevailing notions about the gods? For it is matter of observation that there are men who utterly deny the existence of a God or of an overruling providence, and who by their impious and destructive teaching have founded sects among those who are called philosophers, and yet neither they themselves, nor those who have embraced their opinions, have suffered any of those things which mankind generally account evils: they are both strong in body and rich in possessions. And yet if we ask what loss they have sustained, we shall find that they have suffered the most certain injury. For what greater injury can befall a man than that he should be unable amidst the order of the world to see Him who has made it? And what sorer affliction can come to any one than that blindness of mind which prevents him from seeing the Creator and Father of every soul? 8.41. He then goes on to rail against us after the manner of old wives. You, says he, mock and revile the statues of our gods; but if you had reviled Bacchus or Hercules in person, you would not perhaps have done so with impunity. But those who crucified your God when present among men, suffered nothing for it, either at the time or during the whole of their lives. And what new thing has there happened since then to make us believe that he was not an impostor, but the Son of God? And forsooth, he who sent his Son with certain instructions for mankind, allowed him to be thus cruelly treated, and his instructions to perish with him, without ever during all this long time showing the slightest concern. What father was ever so inhuman? Perhaps, indeed, you may say that he suffered so much, because it was his wish to bear what came to him. But it is open to those whom you maliciously revile, to adopt the same language, and say that they wish to be reviled, and therefore they bear it patiently; for it is best to deal equally with both sides - although these (gods) severely punish the scorner, so that he must either flee and hide himself, or be taken and perish. Now to these statements I would answer that we revile no one, for we believe that revilers will not inherit the kingdom of God. And we read, Bless them that curse you; bless, and curse not; also, Being reviled, we bless. And even although the abuse which we pour upon another may seem to have some excuse in the wrong which we have received from him, yet such abuse is not allowed by the word of God. And how much more ought we to abstain from reviling others, when we consider what a great folly it is! And it is equally foolish to apply abusive language to stone or gold or silver, turned into what is supposed to be the form of God by those who have no knowledge of God. Accordingly, we throw ridicule not upon lifeless images, but upon those only who worship them. Moreover, if certain demons reside in certain images, and one of them passes for Bacchus, another for Hercules, we do not vilify them: for, on the one hand, it would be useless; and, on the other, it does not become one who is meek, and peaceful, and gentle in spirit, and who has learned that no one among men or demons is to be reviled, however wicked he may be. 8.43. Some new thing, then, has come to pass since the time that Jesus suffered - that, I mean, which has happened to the city, to the whole nation, and in the sudden and general rise of a Christian community. And that, too, is a new thing, that those who were strangers to the covets of God, with no part in His promises, and far from the truth, have by a divine power been enabled to embrace the truth. These things were not the work of an impostor, but were the work of God, who sent His Word, Jesus Christ, to make known His purposes. The sufferings and death which Jesus endured with such fortitude and meekness, show the cruelty and injustice of those who inflicted them, but they did not destroy the announcement of the purposes of God; indeed, if we may so say, they served rather to make them known. For Jesus Himself taught us this when He said, Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides by itself alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit. Jesus, then, who is this grain of wheat, died, and brought forth much fruit. And the Father is ever looking forward for the results of the death of the grain of wheat, both those which are arising now, and those which shall arise hereafter. The Father of Jesus is therefore a tender and loving Father, though He spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up as His lamb for us all, that so the Lamb of God, by dying for all men, might take away the sin of the world. It was not by compulsion, therefore, but willingly, that He bore the reproaches of those who reviled Him. Then Celsus, returning to those who apply abusive language to images, says: of those whom you load with insults, you may in like manner say that they voluntarily submit to such treatment, and therefore they bear insults with patience; for it is best to deal equally with both sides. Yet these severely punish the scorner, so that he must either flee and hide himself, or be taken and perish. It is not, then, because Christians cast insults upon demons that they incur their revenge, but because they drive them away out of the images, and from the bodies and souls of men. And here, although Celsus perceives it not, he has on this subject spoken something like the truth; for it is true that the souls of those who condemn Christians, and betray them, and rejoice in persecuting them, are filled with wicked demons. 8.45. Let us see what Celsus next goes on to say. It is as follows: What need is there to collect all the oracular responses, which have been delivered with a divine voice by priests and priestesses, as well as by others, whether men or women, who were under a divine influence?- all the wonderful things that have been heard issuing from the inner sanctuary? - all the revelations that have been made to those who consulted the sacrificial victims?- and all the knowledge that has been conveyed to men by other signs and prodigies? To some the gods have appeared in visible forms. The world is full of such instances. How many cities have been built in obedience to commands received from oracles; how often, in the same way, delivered from disease and famine! Or again, how many cities, from disregard or forgetfulness of these oracles, have perished miserably! How many colonies have been established and made to flourish by following their orders! How many princes and private persons have, from this cause, had prosperity or adversity! How many who mourned over their childlessness, have obtained the blessing they asked for! How many have turned away from themselves the anger of demons! How many who were maimed in their limbs, have had them restored! And again, how many have met with summary punishment for showing want of reverence to the temples - some being instantly seized with madness, others openly confessing their crimes, others having put an end to their lives, and others having become the victims of incurable maladies! Yea, some have been slain by a terrible voice issuing from the inner sanctuary. I know not how it comes that Celsus brings forward these as undoubted facts, while at the same time he treats as mere fables the wonders which are recorded and handed down to us as having happened among the Jews, or as having been performed by Jesus and His disciples. For why may not our accounts be true, and those of Celsus fables and fictions? At least, these latter were not believed by the followers of Democritus, Epicurus, and Aristotle, although perhaps these Grecian sects would have been convinced by the evidence in support of our miracles, if Moses or any of the prophets who wrought these wonders, or Jesus Christ Himself, had come in their way. 8.48. In the next place, Celsus, after referring to the enthusiasm with which men will contend unto death rather than abjure Christianity, adds strangely enough some remarks, in which he wishes to show that our doctrines are similar to those delivered by the priests at the celebration of the heathen mysteries. He says, Just as you, good sir, believe in eternal punishments, so also do the priests who interpret and initiate into the sacred mysteries. The same punishments with which you threaten others, they threaten you. Now it is worthy of examination, which of the two is more firmly established as true; for both parties contend with equal assurance that the truth is on their side. But if we require proofs, the priests of the heathen gods produce many that are clear and convincing, partly from wonders performed by demons, and partly from the answers given by oracles, and various other modes of divination. He would, then, have us believe that we and the interpreters of the mysteries equally teach the doctrine of eternal punishment, and that it is a matter for inquiry on which side of the two the truth lies. Now I should say that the truth lies with those who are able to induce their hearers to live as men who are convinced of the truth of what they have heard. But Jews and Christians have been thus affected by the doctrines they hold about what we speak of as the world to come, and the rewards of the righteous, and the punishments of the wicked. Let Celsus then, or any one who will, show us who have been moved in this way in regard to eternal punishments by the teaching of heathen priests and mystagogues. For surely the purpose of him who brought to light this doctrine was not only to reason upon the subject of punishments, and to strike men with terror of them, but to induce those who heard the truth to strive with all their might against those sins which are the causes of punishment. And those who study the prophecies with care, and are not content with a cursory perusal of the predictions contained in them, will find them such as to convince the intelligent and sincere reader that the Spirit of God was in those men, and that with their writings there is nothing in all the works of demons, responses of oracles, or sayings of soothsayers, for one moment to be compared. 8.49. Let us see in what terms Celsus next addresses us: Besides, is it not most absurd and inconsistent in you, on the one hand, to make so much of the body as you do - to expect that the same body will rise again, as though it were the best and most precious part of us; and yet, on the other, to expose it to such tortures as though it were worthless? But men who hold such notions, and are so attached to the body, are not worthy of being reasoned with; for in this and in other respects they show themselves to be gross, impure, and bent upon revolting without any reason from the common belief. But I shall direct my discourse to those who hope for the enjoyment of eternal life with God by means of the soul or mind, whether they choose to call it a spiritual substance, an intelligent spirit, holy and blessed, or a living soul, or the heavenly and indestructible offspring of a divine and incorporeal nature, or by whatever name they designate the spiritual nature of man. And they are rightly persuaded that those who live well shall be blessed, and the unrighteous shall all suffer everlasting punishments. And from this doctrine neither they nor any other should ever swerve. Now, as he has often already reproached us for our opinions on the resurrection, and as we have on these occasions defended our opinions in what seemed to us a reasonable way, we do not intend, at each repetition of the one objection, to go into a repetition of our defense. Celsus makes an unfounded charge against us when he ascribes to us the opinion that there is nothing in our complex nature better or more precious than the body; for we hold that far beyond all bodies is the soul, and especially the reasonable soul; for it is the soul, and not the body, which bears the likeness of the Creator. For, according to us, God is not corporeal, unless we fall into the absurd errors of the followers of Zeno and Chrysippus. 8.66. Then Celsus, following the example of those who are under the influence of demons- at one time recovering, at another relapsing, as though he were again becoming sensible - says: If, however, any worshipper of God should be ordered to do anything impious, or to say anything base, such a command should in no way be regarded; but we must encounter all kinds of torment, or submit to any kind of death, rather than say or even think anything unworthy of God. Again, however, from ignorance of our principles, and in entire confusion of thought, he says: But if any one commands you to celebrate the sun, or to sing a joyful triumphal song in praise of Minerva, you will by celebrating their praises seem to render the higher praise to God; for piety, in extending to all things, becomes more perfect. To this our answer is, that we do not wait for any command to celebrate the praises of the sun; for we have been taught to speak well not only of those creatures that are obedient to the will of God, but even of our enemies. We therefore praise the sun as the glorious workmanship of God, which obeys His laws and hearkens to the call, Praise the Lord, sun and moon, and with all your powers show forth the praises of the Father and Creator of all. Minerva, however, whom Celsus classes with the sun, is the subject of various Grecian myths, whether these contain any hidden meaning or not. They say that Minerva sprang fully armed from the brain of Jupiter; that when she was pursued by Vulcan, she fled from him to preserve her honour; and that from the seed which fell to the ground in the heat of Vulcan's passion, there grew a child whom Minerva brought up and called Erichthonius, That owed his nurture to the blue-eyed maid, But from the teeming furrow took his birth, The mighty offspring of the foodful earth. It is therefore evident, that if we admit Minerva the daughter of Jupiter, we must also admit many fables and fictions which can be allowed by no one who discards fables and seeks after truth. 8.68. Celsus goes on to say: We must not disobey the ancient writer, who said long ago, 'Let one be king, whom the son of crafty Saturn appointed;' and adds: If you set aside this maxim, you will deservedly suffer for it at the hands of the king. For if all were to do the same as you, there would be nothing to prevent his being left in utter solitude and desertion, and the affairs of the earth would fall into the hands of the wildest and most lawless barbarians; and then there would no longer remain among men any of the glory of your religion or of the true wisdom. If, then, there shall be one lord, one king, he must be, not the man whom the son of crafty Saturn appointed, but the man to whom He gave the power, who removes kings and sets up kings, and who raises up the useful man in time of need upon earth. Sirach 10:4 For kings are not appointed by that son of Saturn, who, according to Grecian fable, hurled his father from his throne, and sent him down to Tartarus (whatever interpretation may be given to this allegory), but by God, who governs all things, and who wisely arranges whatever belongs to the appointment of kings. We therefore do set aside the maxim contained in the line, Whom the son of crafty Saturn appointed; for we know that no god or father of a god ever devises anything crooked or crafty. But we are far from setting aside the notion of a providence, and of things happening directly or indirectly through the agency of providence. And the king will not inflict deserved punishment upon us, if we say that not the son of crafty Saturn gave him his kingdom, but He who removes and sets up kings. And would that all were to follow my example in rejecting the maxim of Homer, maintaining the divine origin of the kingdom, and observing the precept to honour the king! In these circumstances the king will not be left in utter solitude and desertion, neither will the affairs of the world fall into the hands of the most impious and wild barbarians. For if, in the words of Celsus, they do as I do, then it is evident that even the barbarians, when they yield obedience to the word of God, will become most obedient to the law, and most humane; and every form of worship will be destroyed except the religion of Christ, which will alone prevail. And indeed it will one day triumph, as its principles take possession of the minds of men more and more every day. 8.69. Celsus, then, as if not observing that he was saying anything inconsistent with the words he had just used, if all were to do the same as you, adds: You surely do not say that if the Romans were, in compliance with your wish, to neglect their customary duties to gods and men, and were to worship the Most High, or whatever you please to call him, that he will come down and fight for them, so that they shall need no other help than his. For this same God, as yourselves say, promised of old this and much more to those who served him, and see in what way he has helped them and you! They, in place of being masters of the whole world, are left with not so much as a patch of ground or a home; and as for you, if any of you transgresses even in secret, he is sought out and punished with death. As the question started is, What would happen if the Romans were persuaded to adopt the principles of the Christians, to despise the duties paid to the recognised gods and to men, and to worship the Most High? this is my answer to the question. We say that if two of us shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of the Father of the just, which is in heaven; for God rejoices in the agreement of rational beings, and turns away from discord. And what are we to expect, if not only a very few agree, as at present, but the whole of the empire of Rome? For they will pray to the Word, who of old said to the Hebrews, when they were pursued by the Egyptians, The Lord shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace; and if they all unite in prayer with one accord, they will be able to put to flight far more enemies than those who were discomfited by the prayer of Moses when he cried to the Lord, and of those who prayed with him. Now, if what God promised to those who keep His law has not come to pass, the reason of its nonfulfilment is not to be ascribed to the unfaithfulness of God. But He had made the fulfilment of His promises to depend on certain conditions - namely, that they should observe and live according to His law; and if the Jews have not a plot of ground nor a habitation left to them, although they had received these conditional promises, the entire blame is to be laid upon their crimes, and especially upon their guilt in the treatment of Jesus.
29. Origen, On First Principles, 4.1.7 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd 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
abuse, in polemic Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 212
accusation, against christians Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 226
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
apologetic Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 212
apologist Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 212, 226
apology Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 792
aquila and prisca(-illa) Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 226
aristotle Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 172
athenagoras Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 212, 792, 812
athens Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 226
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
catechumenate Lampe, Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries: From Paul to Valentinus (2003) 138
celsus Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 469, 470; Erler et al., Authority and Authoritative Texts in the Platonist Tradition (2021) 150; Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 172; 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) 226, 792, 812; Neusner Green and Avery-Peck, Judaism from Moses to Muhammad: An Interpretation: Turning Points and Focal Points (2022) 173; Nicklas and Spittler, Credible, Incredible: The Miraculous in the Ancient Mediterranean. (2013) 261
christ, death of Osborne, Eros Unveiled: Plato and the God of Love (1996) 176
christ, life of Osborne, Eros Unveiled: Plato and the God of Love (1996) 176
christianity, critiques of Neusner Green and Avery-Peck, Judaism from Moses to Muhammad: An Interpretation: Turning Points and Focal Points (2022) 173
christianity, relationship to rome according to celsus Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 859
christianity, universal message of Osborne, Eros Unveiled: Plato and the God of Love (1996) 176
christianity Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 212
christianity and hermetism Bull, Lied and Turner, Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices: Studies for Einar Thomassen at Sixty (2011) 222
christians Erler et al., Authority and Authoritative Texts in the Platonist Tradition (2021) 150
clement of alexandria Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 172; Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 792
cognitive/intellectual capacities Beck, The Religion of the Mithras Cult in the Roman Empire: Mysteries of the Unconquered Sun (2006) 47
conversion Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 226
creation Osborne, Eros Unveiled: Plato and the God of Love (1996) 176
cross, crucifixion Lampe, Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries: From Paul to Valentinus (2003) 138
cynics/cynicism Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 792
defense Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 226
dialectic Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 812
doctrine Beck, The Religion of the Mithras Cult in the Roman Empire: Mysteries of the Unconquered Sun (2006) 47
early christian education Bull, Lied and Turner, Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices: Studies for Einar Thomassen at Sixty (2011) 222
egyptian religion, celsus on Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 59
epicureanism, attacks against Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 212
epicureanism James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 158
epicureans Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 172
esotericism, esoteric Bull, Lied and Turner, Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices: Studies for Einar Thomassen at Sixty (2011) 222
euripides Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 812
eusebian, canon Tellbe Wasserman and Nyman, Healing and Exorcism in Second Temple Judaism and Early Christianity (2019) 203
eusebius Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 172
exegesis Erler et al., Authority and Authoritative Texts in the Platonist Tradition (2021) 150
galen 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) 226, 792, 812
gnostics Bull, Lied and Turner, Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices: Studies for Einar Thomassen at Sixty (2011) 222
god, word of Osborne, Eros Unveiled: Plato and the God of Love (1996) 176
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
hades Visnjic, The Invention of Duty: Stoicism as Deontology (2021) 375
happiness (eudaimonia), healing, analogy of Osborne, Eros Unveiled: Plato and the God of Love (1996) 176
hecate Visnjic, The Invention of Duty: Stoicism as Deontology (2021) 375
heraclites Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 59
heresy, interior to church Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 469, 470
heresy Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 212
hermetism, hermetic Bull, Lied and Turner, Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices: Studies for Einar Thomassen at Sixty (2011) 222
humankind, as object of gods love Osborne, Eros Unveiled: Plato and the God of Love (1996) 176
humiliores Lampe, Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries: From Paul to Valentinus (2003) 138
incarnation, the paradigm of philanthropia for origen Osborne, Eros Unveiled: Plato and the God of Love (1996) 176
initiatory hierarchy Bull, Lied and Turner, Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices: Studies for Einar Thomassen at Sixty (2011) 222
instruction Bull, Lied and Turner, Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices: Studies for Einar Thomassen at Sixty (2011) 222
invention (εὕρεσις, inventio), scientific James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 158
irénée de lyon/irenaeus of lyon Bull, Lied and Turner, Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices: Studies for Einar Thomassen at Sixty (2011) 222
jerusalem Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 212
jesus, descent into hell Visnjic, The Invention of Duty: Stoicism as Deontology (2021) 375
jesus Nicklas and Spittler, Credible, Incredible: The Miraculous in the Ancient Mediterranean. (2013) 261
jewish Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 172
jewish succession, as origin of heresies Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 469
jews, hebrews (in the tripartite tractate) Dunderberg, Beyond Gnosticism: Myth, Lifestyle, and Society in the School of Valentinus (2008) 267
jews and judaism, anti-semitism, classical Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 59
jews and judaism, christianity compared by celsus to Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 59
justice Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 812
justin martyr Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 792
knowledge, secret knowledge Bull, Lied and Turner, Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices: Studies for Einar Thomassen at Sixty (2011) 222
long, a. a. James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 158
martyr, justin Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 470
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
mystery religions Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 59
neoplatonists Beck, The Religion of the Mithras Cult in the Roman Empire: Mysteries of the Unconquered Sun (2006) 47
neuschäfer, bernard James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 158
numenius Beck, The Religion of the Mithras Cult in the Roman Empire: Mysteries of the Unconquered Sun (2006) 47; Erler et al., Authority and Authoritative Texts in the Platonist Tradition (2021) 150
officials Lampe, Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries: From Paul to Valentinus (2003) 138
old testament Osborne, Eros Unveiled: Plato and the God of Love (1996) 176
origen, contra celsum Osborne, Eros Unveiled: Plato and the God of Love (1996) 176
origen, more inclusive account of sects and heresyc Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 469, 470
origen Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 172; Nicklas and Spittler, Credible, Incredible: The Miraculous in the Ancient Mediterranean. (2013) 261; Osborne, Eros Unveiled: Plato and the God of Love (1996) 176
origen of alexandria Fialová Hoblík and Kitzler, Hellenism, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity: Transmission and Transformation of Ideas (2022) 95
origens attitude towards philosophy Fialová Hoblík and Kitzler, Hellenism, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity: Transmission and Transformation of Ideas (2022) 95
pagan/paganism Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 172
paul/pauline Tellbe Wasserman and Nyman, Healing and Exorcism in Second Temple Judaism and Early Christianity (2019) 203
persuasion Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 226
philosopher Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 812
philosophical opposition (to christianity) Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 859
philosophy, criticized as divided Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 470
philosophy, hellenistic Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 812
philosophy Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 792, 812
plato Fialová Hoblík and Kitzler, Hellenism, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity: Transmission and Transformation of Ideas (2022) 95; Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 172; Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 812; Nicklas and Spittler, Credible, Incredible: The Miraculous in the Ancient Mediterranean. (2013) 261
platonic dialogues, republic Erler et al., Authority and Authoritative Texts in the Platonist Tradition (2021) 150
platonism, middle Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 812
platonism and christian platonism Fialová Hoblík and Kitzler, Hellenism, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity: Transmission and Transformation of Ideas (2022) 95
pleasure Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 212, 226
plutarch Erler et al., Authority and Authoritative Texts in the Platonist Tradition (2021) 150
polemic Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 212
porphyry Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 172; Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 812
preaching Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 226
prophecy, proof from Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 226
protrepsis/protreptic Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 226
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
reason/rationality Beck, The Religion of the Mithras Cult in the Roman Empire: Mysteries of the Unconquered Sun (2006) 47
reason Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 812
resurrection Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 226
return from the dead Nicklas and Spittler, Credible, Incredible: The Miraculous in the Ancient Mediterranean. (2013) 261
revelation Bull, Lied and Turner, Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices: Studies for Einar Thomassen at Sixty (2011) 222; Osborne, Eros Unveiled: Plato and the God of Love (1996) 176
rome/roman Tellbe Wasserman and Nyman, Healing and Exorcism in Second Temple Judaism and Early Christianity (2019) 203
sallustius, neoplatonist Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 812
scepticism Erler et al., Authority and Authoritative Texts in the Platonist Tradition (2021) 150
scripture Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 470
secrecy Bull, Lied and Turner, Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices: Studies for Einar Thomassen at Sixty (2011) 222
senator, senatorial Lampe, Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries: From Paul to Valentinus (2003) 138
skeptics/sceptics Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 172
slaves, slavery Lampe, Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries: From Paul to Valentinus (2003) 138
stratification, social Lampe, Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries: From Paul to Valentinus (2003) 138
sword, power of Lampe, Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries: From Paul to Valentinus (2003) 138
symbols symbol systems/complexes Beck, The Religion of the Mithras Cult in the Roman Empire: Mysteries of the Unconquered Sun (2006) 47
synagogue Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 212, 226
tatian and celsus, philosophical history and christian deviance, celsus on Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 59
tatian and celsus Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 59
teacher Erler et al., Authority and Authoritative Texts in the Platonist Tradition (2021) 150
testing (πεῖρα) James, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation (2021) 158
theologians, ancient pagan Beck, The Religion of the Mithras Cult in the Roman Empire: Mysteries of the Unconquered Sun (2006) 47
theology, metaphysics Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 172
theology Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 812; Osborne, Eros Unveiled: Plato and the God of Love (1996) 176
trastevere Lampe, Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries: From Paul to Valentinus (2003) 138
true discourse, of celsus, christians and the roman empire Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 859
true discourse, of celsus, jesuss followers Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 859
true discourse, of celsus, themes Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 859
true doctrine (celsus) Neusner Green and Avery-Peck, Judaism from Moses to Muhammad: An Interpretation: Turning Points and Focal Points (2022) 173
valentinianism, valentinian Bull, Lied and Turner, Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices: Studies for Einar Thomassen at Sixty (2011) 222
virgin birth Nicklas and Spittler, Credible, Incredible: The Miraculous in the Ancient Mediterranean. (2013) 261
virtue Osborne, Eros Unveiled: Plato and the God of Love (1996) 176
vulgar, the Beck, The Religion of the Mithras Cult in the Roman Empire: Mysteries of the Unconquered Sun (2006) 47
weapon Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 212, 226
wisdom Bull, Lied and Turner, Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices: Studies for Einar Thomassen at Sixty (2011) 222
wisdom (sophia) Osborne, Eros Unveiled: Plato and the God of Love (1996) 176
wise, the' Beck, The Religion of the Mithras Cult in the Roman Empire: Mysteries of the Unconquered Sun (2006) 47
wise and the vulgar initiation, rites of Beck, The Religion of the Mithras Cult in the Roman Empire: Mysteries of the Unconquered Sun (2006) 47
women Lampe, Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries: From Paul to Valentinus (2003) 138; Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 212; Osborne, Eros Unveiled: Plato and the God of Love (1996) 176
word/the word, saving Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 792
zoroaster Beck, The Religion of the Mithras Cult in the Roman Empire: Mysteries of the Unconquered Sun (2006) 47
διάφορος Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 469