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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



8413
Origen, Against Celsus, 6.63


nanCelsus, not observing the difference between after the image of God and God's image, next asserts that the first-born of every creature is the image of God - the very word and truth, and also the very wisdom, being the image of His goodness, while man has been created after the image of God; moreover, that every man whose head is Christ is the image and glory of God - and further, not observing to which of the characteristics of humanity the expression after the image of God belongs, and that it consists in a nature which never had nor longer has the old man with his deeds, being called after the image of Him who created it, from its not possessing these qualities, - he maintains: Neither did He make man His image; for God is not such an one, nor like any other species of (visible) being. Is it possible to suppose that the element which is after the image of God should exist in the inferior part - I mean the body - of a compound being like man, because Celsus has explained that to be made after the image of God? For if that which is after the image of God be in the body only, the better part, the soul, has been deprived of that which is after His image, and this (distinction) exists in the corruptible body - an assertion which is made by none of us. But if that which is after the image of God be in both together, then God must necessarily be a compound being, and consist, as it were, of soul and body, in order that the element which is after God's image, the better part, may be in the soul; while the inferior part, and that which is according to the body, may be in the body - an assertion, again, which is made by none of us. It remains, therefore, that that which is after the image of God must be understood to be in our inner man, which is also renewed, and whose nature it is to be after the image of Him who created it, when a man becomes perfect, as our Father in heaven is perfect, and hears the command, Be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy, and learning the precept, Be followers of God, receives into his virtuous soul the traits of God's image. The body, moreover, of him who possesses such a soul is a temple of God; and in the soul God dwells, because it has been made after His image.


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

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

2. Philo of Alexandria, On Giants, 11-18, 58-59, 6, 60-61, 67, 7-10 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

10. Since what shall we say? Must we not say that these animals which are terrestrial or aquatic live in air and spirit? What? Are not pestilential afflictions accustomed to exist when the air is tainted or corrupted, as if that were the cause of all such assuming vitality? Again, when the air is free from all taint and innocent, such as it is especially wont to be when the north wind prevails, does not the imbibing of a purer air tend to a more vigorous and more lasting duration of life?
3. Philo of Alexandria, On The Creation of The World, 25, 139 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

139. And that he is superior to all these animals in regard of his soul, is plain. For God does not seem to have availed himself of any other animal existing in creation as his model in the formation of man; but to have been guided, as I have said before, by his own reason alone. On which account, Moses affirms that this man was an image and imitation of God, being breathed into in his face in which is the place of the sensations, by which the Creator endowed the body with a soul. Then, having placed the mind in the domit part as king, he gave him as a body of satellites, the different powers calculated to perceive colours and sounds, and flavours and odours, and other things of similar kinds, which man could never have distinguished by his own resources without the sensations. And it follows of necessity that an imitation of a perfectly beautiful model must itself be perfectly beautiful, for the word of God surpasses even that beauty which exists in the nature which is perceptible only by the external senses, not being embellished by any adventitious beauty, but being itself, if one must speak the truth, its most exquisite embellishment. XLIX.
4. Philo of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 1.81, 3.83 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.81. For if it was necessary to examine the mortal body of the priest that it ought not be imperfect through any misfortune, much more was it necessary to look into his immortal soul, which they say is fashioned in the form of the living God. Now the image of God is the Word, by which all the world was made. 3.83. The name of homicide is that affixed to him who has slain a man; but in real truth it is a sacrilege, and the very greatest of all sacrileges, because, of all the possessions and sacred treasures in the whole world, there is nothing more holy in appearance, nor more godlike than man, the all-beautiful copy of an all-beautiful model, a representation admirably made after an archetypal rational idea.
5. Philo of Alexandria, Allegorical Interpretation, 3.96 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

6. New Testament, 1 Corinthians, 6.19 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

6.19. Or don't you know that your body is a temple ofthe Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have from God? You are notyour own
7. Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies, 2.16.72, 4.23.151 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

8. Irenaeus, Demonstration of The Apostolic Teaching, 22 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

9. Justin, Dialogue With Trypho, 8 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

8. Justin: When he had spoken these and many other things, which there is no time for mentioning at present, he went away, bidding me attend to them; and I have not seen him since. But straightway a flame was kindled in my soul; and a love of the prophets, and of those men who are friends of Christ, possessed me; and while revolving his words in my mind, I found this philosophy alone to be safe and profitable. Thus, and for this reason, I am a philosopher. Moreover, I would wish that all, making a resolution similar to my own, do not keep themselves away from the words of the Saviour. For they possess a terrible power in themselves, and are sufficient to inspire those who turn aside from the path of rectitude with awe; while the sweetest rest is afforded those who make a diligent practice of them. If, then, you have any concern for yourself, and if you are eagerly looking for salvation, and if you believe in God, you may- since you are not indifferent to the matter - become acquainted with the Christ of God, and, after being initiated, live a happy life. When I had said this, my beloved friends those who were with Trypho laughed; but Trypho just smiled and said: Trypho: I approve of your other remarks, and admire the eagerness with which you study divine things; but it were better for you still to abide in the philosophy of Plato, or of some other man, cultivating endurance, self-control, and moderation, rather than be deceived by false words, and follow the opinions of men of no reputation. For if you remain in that mode of philosophy, and live blamelessly, a hope of a better destiny were left to you; but when you have forsaken God, and reposed confidence in man, what safety still awaits you? If, then, you are willing to listen to me (for I have already considered you a friend), first be circumcised, then observe what ordices have been enacted with respect to the Sabbath, and the feasts, and the new moons of God; and, in a word, do all things which have been written in the law: and then perhaps you shall obtain mercy from God. But Christ - if He has indeed been born, and exists anywhere - is unknown, and does not even know Himself, and has no power until Elias come to anoint Him, and make Him manifest to all. And you, having accepted a groundless report, invent a Christ for yourselves, and for his sake are inconsiderately perishing.
10. Theophilus, To Autolycus, 1.14 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

1.14. Therefore, do not be sceptical, but believe; for I myself also used to disbelieve that this would take place, but now, having taken these things into consideration, I believe. At the same time, I met with the sacred Scriptures of the holy prophets, who also by the Spirit of God foretold the things that have already happened, just as they came to pass, and the things now occurring as they are now happening, and things future in the order in which they shall be accomplished. Admitting, therefore, the proof which events happening as predicted afford, I do not disbelieve, but I believe, obedient to God, whom, if you please, do you also submit to, believing Him, lest if now you continue unbelieving, you be convinced hereafter, when you are tormented with eternal punishments; which punishments, when they had been foretold by the prophets, the later-born poets and philosophers stole from the holy Scriptures, to make their doctrines worthy of credit. Yet these also have spoken beforehand of the punishments that are to light upon the profane and unbelieving, in order that none be left without a witness, or be able to say, We have not heard, neither have we known. But do you also, if you please, give reverential attention to the prophetic Scriptures, and they will make your way plainer for escaping the eternal punishments, and obtaining the eternal prizes of God. For He who gave the mouth for speech, and formed the ear to hear, and made the eye to see, will examine all things, and will judge righteous judgment, rendering merited awards to each. To those who by patient continuance in well-doing Romans 2:7 seek immortality, He will give life everlasting, joy, peace, rest, and abundance of good things, which neither has eye seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man to conceive. 1 Corinthians 2:9 But to the unbelieving and despisers, who obey not the truth, but are obedient to unrighteousness, when they shall have been filled with adulteries and fornications, and filthiness, and covetousness, and unlawful idolatries, there shall be anger and wrath, tribulation and anguish, Romans 2:8-9 and at the last everlasting fire shall possess such men. Since you said, Show me your God, this is my God, and I counsel you to fear Him and to trust Him.
11. Athanasius, Defense of The Nicene Definition, 27 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

12. Origen, Against Celsus, 2.55, 4.51, 4.71-4.72, 4.86, 4.88, 5.41-5.45, 5.55, 6.19, 6.61-6.62, 6.64-6.65, 7.43, 7.62, 7.68, 8.12, 8.17-8.18, 8.49, 8.63 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

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. 4.51. Celsus appears to me to have heard that there are treatises in existence which contain allegorical explanations of the law of Moses. These however, he could not have read; for if he had he would not have said: The allegorical explanations, however, which have been devised are much more shameful and absurd than the fables themselves, inasmuch as they endeavour to unite with marvellous and altogether insensate folly things which cannot at all be made to harmonize. He seems to refer in these words to the works of Philo, or to those of still older writers, such as Aristobulus. But I conjecture that Celsus has not read their books, since it appears to me that in many passages they have so successfully hit the meaning (of the sacred writers), that even Grecian philosophers would have been captivated by their explanations; for in their writings we find not only a polished style, but exquisite thoughts and doctrines, and a rational use of what Celsus imagines to be fables in the sacred writings. I know, moreover, that Numenius the Pythagorean- a surpassingly excellent expounder of Plato, and who held a foremost place as a teacher of the doctrines of Pythagoras - in many of his works quotes from the writings of Moses and the prophets, and applies to the passages in question a not improbable allegorical meaning, as in his work called Epops, and in those which treat of Numbers and of Place. And in the third book of his dissertation on The Good, he quotes also a narrative regarding Jesus - without, however, mentioning His name - and gives it an allegorical signification, whether successfully or the reverse I may state on another occasion. He relates also the account respecting Moses, and Jannes, and Jambres. But we are not elated on account of this instance, though we express our approval of Numenius, rather than of Celsus and other Greeks, because he was willing to investigate our histories from a desire to acquire knowledge, and was (duly) affected by them as narratives which were to be allegorically understood, and which did not belong to the category of foolish compositions. 4.71. But as, in what follows, Celsus, not understanding that the language of Scripture regarding God is adapted to an anthropopathic point of view, ridicules those passages which speak of words of anger addressed to the ungodly, and of threatenings directed against sinners, we have to say that, as we ourselves, when talking with very young children, do not aim at exerting our own power of eloquence, but, adapting ourselves to the weakness of our charge, both say and do those things which may appear to us useful for the correction and improvement of the children as children, so the word of God appears to have dealt with the history, making the capacity of the hearers, and the benefit which they were to receive, the standard of the appropriateness of its announcements (regarding Him). And, generally, with regard to such a style of speaking about God, we find in the book of Deuteronomy the following: The Lord your God bare with your manners, as a man would bear with the manners of his son. It is, as it were, assuming the manners of a man in order to secure the advantage of men that the Scripture makes use of such expressions; for it would not have been suitable to the condition of the multitude, that what God had to say to them should be spoken by Him in a manner more befitting the majesty of His own person. And yet he who is anxious to attain a true understanding of holy Scripture, will discover the spiritual truths which are spoken by it to those who are called spiritual, by comparing the meaning of what is addressed to those of weaker mind with what is announced to such as are of acuter understanding, both meanings being frequently found in the same passage by him who is capable of comprehending it. 4.72. We speak, indeed, of the wrath of God. We do not, however, assert that it indicates any passion on His part, but that it is something which is assumed in order to discipline by stern means those sinners who have committed many and grievous sins. For that which is called God's wrath, and anger, is a means of discipline; and that such a view is agreeable to Scripture, is evident from what is said in the sixth Psalm, O Lord, rebuke me not in Your anger, neither chasten me in Your hot displeasure; and also in Jeremiah. O Lord, correct me, but with judgment: not in Your anger, lest You bring me to nothing. Any one, moreover, who reads in the second book of Kings of the wrath of God, inducing David to number the people, and finds from the first book of Chronicles that it was the devil who suggested this measure, will, on comparing together the two statements, easily see for what purpose the wrath is mentioned, of which wrath, as the Apostle Paul declares, all men are children: We were by nature children of wrath, even as others. Moreover, that wrath is no passion on the part of God, but that each one brings it upon himself by his sins, will be clear from the further statement of Paul: Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, and forbearance, and long-suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But after your hardness and impenitent heart, treasure up unto yourself wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God. How, then, can any one treasure up for himself wrath against a day of wrath, if wrath be understood in the sense of passion? or how can the passion of wrath be a help to discipline? Besides, the Scripture, which tells us not to be angry at all, and which says in the thirty-seventh Psalm, Cease from anger, and forsake wrath, and which commands us by the mouth of Paul to put off all these, anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication, would not involve God in the same passion from which it would have us to be altogether free. It is manifest, further, that the language used regarding the wrath of God is to be understood figuratively from what is related of His sleep, from which, as if awaking Him, the prophet says: Awake, why do You sleep, Lord? and again: Then the Lord awoke as one out of sleep, and like a mighty man that shouts by reason of wine. If, then, sleep must mean something else, and not what the first acceptation of the word conveys, why should not wrath also be understood in a similar way? The threatenings, again, are intimations of the (punishments) which are to befall the wicked: for it is as if one were to call the words of a physician threats, when he tells his patients, I will have to use the knife, and apply cauteries, if you do not obey my prescriptions, and regulate your diet and mode of life in such a way as I direct you. It is no human passions, then, which we ascribe to God, nor impious opinions which we entertain of Him; nor do we err when we present the various narratives concerning Him, drawn from the Scriptures themselves, after careful comparison one with another. For those who are wise ambassadors of the word have no other object in view than to free as far as they can their hearers from weak opinions, and to endue them with intelligence. 4.86. Immediately after this, as if doing his utmost to reduce the human race to a still lower position, and to bring them to the level of the irrational animals, and desiring to omit not a single circumstance related of the latter which manifests their greatness, he declares that in certain individuals among the irrational creation there exists the power of sorcery; so that even in this particular men cannot specially pride themselves, nor wish to arrogate a superiority over irrational creatures. And the following are his words: If, however, men entertain lofty notions because of their possessing the power of sorcery, yet even in that respect are serpents and eagles their superiors in wisdom; for they are acquainted with many prophylactics against persons and diseases, and also with the virtues of certain stones which help to preserve their young. If men, however, fall in with these, they think that they have gained a wonderful possession. Now, in the first place, I know not why he should designate as sorcery the knowledge of natural prophylactics displayed by animals - whether that knowledge be the result of experience, or of some natural power of apprehension; for the term sorcery has by usage been assigned to something else. Perhaps, indeed, he wishes quietly, as an Epicurean, to censure the entire use of such arts, as resting only on the professions of sorcerers. However, let it be granted him that men do pride themselves greatly upon the knowledge of such arts, whether they are sorcerers or not: how can serpents be in this respect wiser than men, when they make use of the well-known fennel to sharpen their power of vision and to produce rapidity of movement, having obtained this natural power not from the exercise of reflection, but from the constitution of their body, while men do not, like serpents, arrive at such knowledge merely by nature, but partly by experiment, partly by reason, and sometimes by reflection and knowledge? So, if eagles, too, in order to preserve their young in the nest, carry there the eagle-stone when they have discovered it, how does it appear that they are wise, and more intelligent than men, who find out by the exercise of their reflective powers and of their understanding what has been bestowed by nature upon eagles as a gift? 4.88. And wishing to show at greater length that even the thoughts of God entertained by the human race are not superior to those of all other mortal creatures, but that certain of the irrational animals are capable of thinking about Him regarding whom opinions so discordant have existed among the most acute of mankind- Greeks and Barbarians - he continues: If, because man has been able to grasp the idea of God, he is deemed superior to the other animals, let those who hold this opinion know that this capacity will be claimed by many of the other animals; and with good reason: for what would any one maintain to be more divine than the power of foreknowing and predicting future events? Men accordingly acquire the art from the other animals, and especially from birds. And those who listen to the indications furnished by them, become possessed of the gift of prophecy. If, then, birds, and the other prophetic animals, which are enabled by the gift of God to foreknow events, instruct us by means of signs, so much the nearer do they seem to be to the society of God, and to be endowed with greater wisdom, and to be more beloved by Him. The more intelligent of men, moreover, say that the animals hold meetings which are more sacred than our assemblies, and that they know what is said at these meetings, and show that in reality they possess this knowledge, when, having previously stated that the birds have declared their intention of departing to some particular place, and of doing this thing or the other, the truth of their assertions is established by the departure of the birds to the place in question, and by their doing what was foretold. And no race of animals appears to be more observant of oaths than the elephants are, or to show greater devotion to divine things; and this, I presume, solely because they have some knowledge of God. See here now how he at once lays hold of, and brings forward as acknowledged facts, questions which are the subject of dispute among those philosophers, not only among the Greeks, but also among the Barbarians, who have either discovered or learned from certain demons some things about birds of augury and other animals, by which certain prophetic intimations are said to be made to men. For, in the first place, it has been disputed whether there is an art of augury, and, in general, a method of divination by animals, or not. And, in the second place, they who admit that there is an art of divination by birds, are not agreed about the manner of the divination; since some maintain that it is from certain demons or gods of divination that the animals receive their impulses to action - the birds to flights and sounds of different kinds, and the other animals to movements of one sort or another. Others, again, believe that their souls are more divine in their nature, and fitted to operations of that kind, which is a most incredible supposition. 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. 5.42. It is evident that, by the preceding remarks, Celsus charges the Jews with falsely giving themselves out as the chosen portion of the Supreme God above all other nations. And he accuses them of boasting, because they gave out that they knew the great God, although they did not really know Him, but were led away by the artifices of Moses, and were deceived by him, and became his disciples to no good end. Now we have in the preceding pages already spoken in part of the venerable and distinguished polity of the Jews, when it existed among them as a symbol of the city of God, and of His temple, and of the sacrificial worship offered in it and at the altar of sacrifice. But if any one were to turn his attention to the meaning of the legislator, and to the constitution which he established, and were to examine the various points relating to him, and compare them with the present method of worship among other nations, there are none which he would admire to a greater degree; because, so far as can be accomplished among mortals, everything that was not of advantage to the human race was withheld from them, and only those things which are useful bestowed. And for this reason they had neither gymnastic contests, nor scenic representations, nor horse-races; nor were there among them women who sold their beauty to any one who wished to have sexual intercourse without offspring, and to cast contempt upon the nature of human generation. And what an advantage was it to be taught from their tender years to ascend above all visible nature, and to hold the belief that God was not fixed anywhere within its limits, but to look for Him on high, and beyond the sphere of all bodily substance! And how great was the advantage which they enjoyed in being instructed almost from their birth, and as soon as they could speak, in the immortality of the soul, and in the existence of courts of justice under the earth, and in the rewards provided for those who have lived righteous lives! These truths, indeed, were proclaimed in the veil of fable to children, and to those whose views of things were childish; while to those who were already occupied in investigating the truth, and desirous of making progress therein, these fables, so to speak, were transfigured into the truths which were concealed within them. And I consider that it was in a manner worthy of their name as the portion of God that they despised all kinds of divination, as that which bewitches men to no purpose, and which proceeds rather from wicked demons than from anything of a better nature; and sought the knowledge of future events in the souls of those who, owing to their high degree of purity, received the spirit of the Supreme God. 5.43. But what need is there to point out how agreeable to sound reason, and unattended with injury either to master or slave, was the law that one of the same faith should not be allowed to continue in slavery more than six years? The Jews, then, cannot be said to preserve their own law in the same points with the other nations. For it would be censurable in them, and would involve a charge of insensibility to the superiority of their law, if they were to believe that they had been legislated for in the same way as the other nations among the heathen. And although Celsus will not admit it, the Jews nevertheless are possessed of a wisdom superior not only to that of the multitude, but also of those who have the appearance of philosophers; because those who engage in philosophical pursuits, after the utterance of the most venerable philosophical sentiments, fall away into the worship of idols and demons, whereas the very lowest Jew directs his look to the Supreme God alone; and they do well, indeed, so far as this point is concerned, to pride themselves thereon, and to keep aloof from the society of others as accursed and impious. And would that they had not sinned, and transgressed the law, and slain the prophets in former times, and in these latter days conspired against Jesus, that we might be in possession of a pattern of a heavenly city which even Plato would have sought to describe; although I doubt whether he could have accomplished as much as was done by Moses and those who followed him, who nourished a chosen generation, and a holy nation, dedicated to God, with words free from all superstition. 5.44. But as Celsus would compare the venerable customs of the Jews with the laws of certain nations, let us proceed to look at them. He is of opinion, accordingly, that there is no difference between the doctrine regarding heaven and that regarding God; and he says that the Persians, like the Jews, offer sacrifices to Jupiter upon the tops of the mountains,- not observing that, as the Jews were acquainted with one God, so they had only one holy house of prayer, and one altar of whole burnt-offerings, and one censer for incense, and one high priest of God. The Jews, then, had nothing in common with the Persians, who ascend the summits of their mountains, which are many in number, and offer up sacrifices which have nothing in common with those which are regulated by the Mosaic code - in conformity to which the Jewish priests served unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, explaining enigmatically the object of the law regarding the sacrifices, and the things of which these sacrifices were the symbols. The Persians therefore may call the whole circle of heaven Jupiter; but we maintain that the heaven is neither Jupiter nor God, as we indeed know that certain beings of a class inferior to God have ascended above the heavens and all visible nature: and in this sense we understand the words, Praise God, you heaven of heavens, and you waters that be above the heavens: let them praise the name of the Lord . 5.45. As Celsus, however, is of opinion that it matters nothing whether the highest being be called Jupiter, or Zen, or Adonai, or Sabaoth, or Ammoun (as the Egyptians term him), or Papp us (as the Scythians entitle him), let us discuss the point for a little, reminding the reader at the same time of what has been said above upon this question, when the language of Celsus led us to consider the subject. And now we maintain that the nature of names is not, as Aristotle supposes, an enactment of those who impose them. For the languages which are prevalent among men do not derive their origin from men, as is evident to those who are able to ascertain the nature of the charms which are appropriated by the inventors of the languages differently, according to the various tongues, and to the varying pronunciations of the names, on which we have spoken briefly in the preceding pages, remarking that when those names which in a certain language were possessed of a natural power were translated into another, they were no longer able to accomplish what they did before when uttered in their native tongues. And the same peculiarity is found to apply to men; for if we were to translate the name of one who was called from his birth by a certain appellation in the Greek language into the Egyptian or Roman, or any other tongue, we could not make him do or suffer the same things which he would have done or suffered under the appellation first bestowed upon him. Nay, even if we translated into the Greek language the name of an individual who had been originally invoked in the Roman tongue, we could not produce the result which the incantation professed itself capable of accomplishing had it preserved the name first conferred upon him. And if these statements are true when spoken of the names of men, what are we to think of those which are transferred, for any cause whatever, to the Deity? For example, something is transferred from the name Abraham when translated into Greek, and something is signified by that of Isaac, and also by that of Jacob; and accordingly, if any one, either in an invocation or in swearing an oath, were to use the expression, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, he would produce certain effects, either owing to the nature of these names or to their powers, since even demons are vanquished and become submissive to him who pronounces these names; whereas if we say, the god of the chosen father of the echo, and the god of laughter, and the god of him who strikes with the heel, the mention of the name is attended with no result, as is the case with other names possessed of no power. And in the same way, if we translate the word Israel into Greek or any other language, we shall produce no result; but if we retain it as it is, and join it to those expressions to which such as are skilled in these matters think it ought to be united, there would then follow some result from the pronunciation of the word which would accord with the professions of those who employ such invocations. And we may say the same also of the pronunciation of Sabaoth, a word which is frequently employed in incantations; for if we translate the term into Lord of hosts, or Lord of armies, or Almighty (different acceptation of it having been proposed by the interpreters), we shall accomplish nothing; whereas if we retain the original pronunciation, we shall, as those who are skilled in such matters maintain, produce some effect. And the same observation holds good of Adonai. If, then, neither Sabaoth nor Adonai, when rendered into what appears to be their meaning in the Greek tongue, can accomplish anything, how much less would be the result among those who regard it as a matter of indifference whether the highest being be called Jupiter, or Zen, or Adonai, or Sabaoth! 6.19. Celsus in the next place alleges, that certain Christians, having misunderstood the words of Plato, loudly boast of a 'super-celestial' God, thus ascending beyond the heaven of the Jews. By these words, indeed, he does not make it clear whether they also ascend beyond the God of the Jews, or only beyond the heaven by which they swear. It is not our purpose at present, however, to speak of those who acknowledge another god than the one worshipped by the Jews, but to defend ourselves, and to show that it was impossible for the prophets of the Jews, whose writings are reckoned among ours, to have borrowed anything from Plato, because they were older than he. They did not then borrow from him the declaration, that all things are around the King of all, and that all exist on account of him; for we have learned that nobler thoughts than these have been uttered by the prophets, by Jesus Himself and His disciples, who have clearly indicated the meaning of the spirit that was in them, which was none other than the spirit of Christ. Nor was the philosopher the first to present to view the super-celestial place; for David long ago brought to view the profundity and multitude of the thoughts concerning God entertained by those who have ascended above visible things, when he said in the book of Psalms: Praise God, you heaven of heavens and you waters that be above the heavens, let them praise the name of the Lord . I do not, indeed, deny that Plato learned from certain Hebrews the words quoted from the Ph drus, or even, as some have recorded, that he quoted them from a perusal of our prophetic writings, when he said: No poet here below has ever sung of the super-celestial place, or ever will sing in a becoming manner, and so on. And in the same passage is the following: For the essence, which is both colorless and formless, and which cannot be touched, which really exists, is the pilot of the soul, and is beheld by the understanding alone; and around it the genus of true knowledge holds this place. Our Paul, moreover, educated by these words, and longing after things supra-mundane and super-celestial, and doing his utmost for their sake to attain them, says in the second Epistle to the Corinthians: For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are unseen are eternal. 6.61. Again, not understanding the meaning of the words, And God ended on the sixth day His works which He had made, and ceased on the seventh day from all His works which He had made: and God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it, because on it He had ceased from all His works which He had begun to make; and imagining the expression, He ceased on the seventh day, to be the same as this, He rested on the seventh day, he makes the remark: After this, indeed, he is weary, like a very bad workman, who stands in need of rest to refresh himself! For he knows nothing of the day of the Sabbath and rest of God, which follows the completion of the world's creation, and which lasts during the duration of the world, and in which all those will keep festival with God who have done all their works in their six days, and who, because they have omitted none of their duties, will ascend to the contemplation (of celestial things), and to the assembly of righteous and blessed beings. In the next place, as if either the Scriptures made such a statement, or as if we ourselves so spoke of God as having rested from fatigue, he continues: It is not in keeping with the fitness of things that the first God should feel fatigue, or work with His hands, or give forth commands. Celsus says, that it is not in keeping with the fitness of things that the first God should feel fatigue. Now we would say that neither does God the Word feel fatigue, nor any of those beings who belong to a better and diviner order of things, because the sensation of fatigue is peculiar to those who are in the body. You can examine whether this is true of those who possess a body of any kind, or of those who have an earthly body, or one a little better than this. But neither is it consistent with the fitness of things that the first God should work with His own hands. If you understand the words work with His own hands literally, then neither are they applicable to the second God, nor to any other being partaking of divinity. But suppose that they are spoken in an improper and figurative sense, so that we may translate the following expressions, And the firmament shows forth His handywork, and the heavens are the work of Your hands, and any other similar phrases, in a figurative manner, so far as respects the hands and limbs of Deity, where is the absurdity in the words, God thus working with His own hands? And as there is no absurdity in God thus working, so neither is there in His issuing commands; so that what is done at His bidding should be beautiful and praiseworthy, because it was God who commanded it to be performed. 6.62. Celsus, again, having perhaps misunderstood the words, For the mouth of the Lord has spoken it, or perhaps because some ignorant individuals had rashly ventured upon the explanation of such things, and not understanding, moreover, on what principles parts called after the names of the bodily members are assigned to the attributes of God, asserts: He has neither mouth nor voice. Truly, indeed, God can have no voice, if the voice is a concussion of the air, or a stroke on the air, or a species of air, or any other definition which may be given to the voice by those who are skilled in such matters; but what is called the voice of God is said to be seen as God's voice by the people in the passage, And all the people saw the voice of God; the word saw being taken, agreeably to the custom of Scripture, in a spiritual sense. Moreover, he alleges that God possesses nothing else of which we have any knowledge; but of what things we have knowledge he gives no indication. If he means limbs, we agree with him, understanding the things of which we have knowledge to be those called corporeal, and pretty generally so termed. But if we are to understand the words of which we have knowledge in a universal sense, then there are many things of which we have knowledge, (and which may be attributed to God); for He possesses virtue, and blessedness, and divinity. If we, however, put a higher meaning upon the words, of which we have knowledge, since all that we know is less than God, there is no absurdity in our also admitting that God possesses none of those things of which we have knowledge. For the attributes which belong to God are far superior to all things with which not merely the nature of man is acquainted, but even that of those who have risen far above it. And if he had read the writings of the prophets, David on the one hand saying, But You are the same, and Malachi on the other, I am (the Lord), and change not, he would have observed that none of us assert that there is any change in God, either in act or thought. For abiding the same, He administers mutable things according to their nature, and His word elects to undertake their administration. 6.64. Celsus, again, brings together a number of statements, which he gives as admissions on our part, but which no intelligent Christian would allow. For not one of us asserts that God partakes of form or color. Nor does He even partake of motion, because He stands firm, and His nature is permanent, and He invites the righteous man also to do the same, saying: But as for you, stand here by Me. And if certain expressions indicate a kind of motion, as it were, on His part, such as this, They heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, we must understand them in this way, that it is by sinners that God is understood as moving, or as we understand the sleep of God, which is taken in a figurative sense, or His anger, or any other similar attribute. But God does not partake even of substance. For He is partaken of (by others) rather than that Himself partakes of them, and He is partaken of by those who have the Spirit of God. Our Saviour, also, does not partake of righteousness; but being Himself righteousness, He is partaken of by the righteous. A discussion about substance would be protracted and difficult, and especially if it were a question whether that which is permanent and immaterial be substance properly so called, so that it would be found that God is beyond substance, communicating of His substance, by means of office and power, to those to whom He communicates Himself by His Word, as He does to the Word Himself; or even if He is substance, yet He is said be in His nature invisible, in these words respecting our Saviour, who is said to be the image of the invisible God, while from the term invisible it is indicated that He is immaterial. It is also a question for investigation, whether the only-begotten and first-born of every creature is to be called substance of substances, and idea of ideas, and the principle of all things, while above all there is His Father and God. 6.65. Celsus proceeds to say of God that of Him are all things, abandoning (in so speaking), I know not how, all his principles; while our Paul declares, that of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things, showing that He is the beginning of the substance of all things by the words of Him, and the bond of their subsistence by the expression through Him, and their final end by the terms to Him. of a truth, God is of nothing. But when Celsus adds, that He is not to be reached by word, I make a distinction, and say that if he means the word that is in us- whether the word conceived in the mind, or the word that is uttered - I, too, admit that God is not to be reached by word. If, however, we attend to the passage, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, we are of opinion that God is to be reached by this Word, and is comprehended not by Him only, but by any one whatever to whom He may reveal the Father; and thus we shall prove the falsity of the assertion of Celsus, when he says, Neither is God to be reached by word. The statement, moreover, that He cannot be expressed by name, requires to be taken with a distinction. If he means, indeed, that there is no word or sign that can represent the attributes of God, the statement is true, since there are many qualities which cannot be indicated by words. Who, for example, could describe in words the difference between the quality of sweetness in a palm and that in a fig? And who could distinguish and set forth in words the peculiar qualities of each individual thing? It is no wonder, then, if in this way God cannot be described by name. But if you take the phrase to mean that it is possible to represent by words something of God's attributes, in order to lead the hearer by the hand, as it were, and so enable him to comprehend something of God, so far as attainable by human nature, then there is no absurdity in saying that He can be described by name. And we make a similar distinction with regard to the expression, for He has undergone no suffering that can be conveyed by words. It is true that the Deity is beyond all suffering. And so much on this point. 7.43. Observe that when Plato says, that after having found out the Creator and Father of the universe, it is impossible to make Him known to all men, he does not speak of Him as unspeakable, and as incapable of being expressed in words. On the contrary, he implies that He may be spoken of, and that there are a few to whom He may be made known. But Celsus, as if forgetting the language which he had just quoted from Plato, immediately gives God the name of the unspeakable. He says: since the wise men have found out this way, in order to be able to give us some idea of the First of Beings, who is unspeakable. For ourselves, we hold that not God alone is unspeakable, but other things also which are inferior to Him. Such are the things which Paul labours to express when he says, I heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter, where the word heard is used in the sense of understood; as in the passage, He who has ears to hear, let him hear. We also hold that it is a hard matter to see the Creator and Father of the universe; but it is possible to see Him in the way thus referred to, Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God; and not only so, but also in the sense of the words of Him who is the image of the invisible God; He who has seen Me has seen the Father who sent Me. No sensible person could suppose that these last words were spoken in reference to His bodily presence, which was open to the view of all; otherwise all those who said, Crucify him, crucify him, and Pilate, who had power over the humanity of Jesus, were among those who saw God the Father, which is absurd. Moreover, that these words, He that has seen Me, has seen the Father who sent Me, are not to be taken in their grosser sense, is plain from the answer which He gave to Philip, Have I been so long time with you, and yet do you not know Me, Philip? after Philip had asked, Show us the Father, and it suffices us. He, then, who perceives how these words, The Word was made flesh, are to be understood of the only-begotten Son of God, the first-born of all creation, will also understand how, in seeing the image of the invisible God, we see the Creator and Father of the universe. 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. 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. 8.17. Celsus then proceeds to say that we shrink from raising altars, statues, and temples; and this, he thinks, has been agreed upon among us as the badge or distinctive mark of a secret and forbidden society. He does not perceive that we regard the spirit of every good man as an altar from which arises an incense which is truly and spiritually sweet-smelling, namely, the prayers ascending from a pure conscience. Therefore it is said by John in the Revelation, The odours are the prayers of saints; and by the Psalmist, Let my prayer come up before You as incense. And the statues and gifts which are fit offerings to God are the work of no common mechanics, but are wrought and fashioned in us by the Word of God, to wit, the virtues in which we imitate the First-born of all creation, who has set us an example of justice, of temperance, of courage, of wisdom, of piety, and of the other virtues. In all those, then, who plant and cultivate within their souls, according to the divine word, temperance, justice, wisdom, piety, and other virtues, these excellences are their statues they raise, in which we are persuaded that it is becoming for us to honour the model and prototype of all statues: the image of the invisible God, God the Only-begotten. And again, they who put off the old man with his deeds, and put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that has created him, in taking upon them the image of Him who has created them, do raise within themselves a statue like to what the Most High God Himself desires. And as among statuaries there are some who are marvellously perfect in their art, as for example Pheidias and Polycleitus, and among painters, Zeuxis and Apelles, while others make inferior statues, and others, again, are inferior to the second-rate artists - so that, taking all together, there is a wide difference in the execution of statues and pictures - in the same way there are some who form images of the Most High in a better manner and with a more perfect skill; so that there is no comparison even between the Olympian Jupiter of Pheidias and the man who has been fashioned according to the image of God the Creator. But by far the most excellent of all these throughout the whole creation is that image in our Saviour who said, My Father is in Me. 8.18. And every one who imitates Him according to his ability, does by this very endeavour raise a statue according to the image of the Creator, for in the contemplation of God with a pure heart they become imitators of Him. And, in general, we see that all Christians strive to raise altars and statues as we have described them and these not of a lifeless and senseless kind and not to receive greedy spirits intent upon lifeless things, but to be filled with the Spirit of God who dwells in the images of virtue of which we have spoken, and takes His abode in the soul which is conformed to the image of the Creator. Thus the Spirit of Christ dwells in those who bear, so to say, a resemblance in form and feature to Himself. And the Word of God, wishing to set this clearly before us, represents God as promising to the righteous, I will dwell in them, and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And the Saviour says, If any man hear My words, and do them, I and My Father will come to him, and make Our abode with him. Let any one, therefore, who chooses compare the altars which I have described with those spoken of by Celsus, and the images in the souls of those who worship the Most High God with the statues of Pheidias, Polycleitus, and such like, and he will clearly perceive, that while the latter are lifeless things, and subject to the ravages of time, the former abide in the immortal spirit as long as the reasonable soul wishes to preserve them. 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. 8.63. After having said so much of the demons, and of their fondness for blood and the odour of sacrifices, Celsus adds, as though wishing to retract the charge he had made: The more just opinion is, that demons desire nothing and need nothing, but that they take pleasure in those who discharge towards them offices of piety. If Celsus believed this to be true, he should have said so, instead of making his previous statements. But, indeed, human nature is never utterly forsaken by God and His only-begotten Son, the Truth. Wherefore even Celsus spoke the truth when he made the demons take pleasure in the blood and smoke of victims; although, by the force of his own evil nature, he falls back into his errors, and compares demons with men who rigorously discharge every duty, even to those who show no gratitude; while to those who are grateful they abound in acts of kindness. Here Celsus appears to me to get into confusion. At one time his judgment is darkened by the influence of demons, and at another he recovers from their deluding power, and gets some glimpses of the truth. For again he adds: We must never in any way lose our hold of God, whether by day or by night, whether in public or in secret, whether in word or in deed, but in whatever we do, or abstain from doing. That is, as I understand it, whatever we do in public, in all our actions, in all our words, let the soul be constantly fixed upon God. And yet again, as though, after struggling in argument against the insane inspirations of demons, he were completely overcome by them, he adds: If this is the case, what harm is there in gaining the favour of the rulers of the earth, whether of a nature different from ours, or human princes and kings? For these have gained their dignity through the instrumentality of demons. In a former part, Celsus did his utmost to debase our souls to the worship of demons; and now he wishes us to seek the favour of kings and princes, of whom, as the world and all history are full of them, I do not consider it necessary to quote examples.
13. Origen, On First Principles, 1.2.6, 2.10.7 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

1.2.6. Let us now see how we are to understand the expression invisible image, that we may in this way perceive how God is rightly called the Father of His Son; and let us, in the first place, draw our conclusions from what are customarily called images among men. That is sometimes called an image which is painted or sculptured on some material substance, such as wood or stone; and sometimes a child is called the image of his parent, when the features of the child in no respect belie their resemblance to the father. I think, therefore, that that man who was formed after the image and likeness of God may be fittingly compared to the first illustration. Respecting him, however, we shall see more precisely, God willing, when we come to expound the passage in Genesis. But the image of the Son of God, of whom we are now speaking, may be compared to the second of the above examples, even in respect of this, that He is the invisible image of the invisible God, in the same manner as we say, according to the sacred history, that the image of Adam is his son Seth. The words are, And Adam begot Seth in his own likeness, and after his own image. Now this image contains the unity of nature and substance belonging to Father and Son. For if the Son do, in like manner, all those things which the Father does, then, in virtue of the Son doing all things like the Father, is the image of the Father formed in the Son, who is born of Him, like an act of His will proceeding from the mind. And I am therefore of opinion that the will of the Father ought alone to be sufficient for the existence of that which He wishes to exist. For in the exercise of His will He employs no other way than that which is made known by the counsel of His will. And thus also the existence of the Son is generated by Him. For this point must above all others be maintained by those who allow nothing to be unbegotten, i.e., unborn, save God the Father only. And we must be careful not to fall into the absurdities of those who picture to themselves certain emanations, so as to divide the divine nature into parts, and who divide God the Father as far as they can, since even to entertain the remotest suspicion of such a thing regarding an incorporeal being is not only the height of impiety, but a mark of the greatest folly, it being most remote from any intelligent conception that there should be any physical division of any incorporeal nature. Rather, therefore, as an act of the will proceeds from the understanding, and neither cuts off any part nor is separated or divided from it, so after some such fashion is the Father to be supposed as having begotten the Son, His own image; namely, so that, as He is Himself invisible by nature, He also begot an image that was invisible. For the Son is the Word, and therefore we are not to understand that anything in Him is cognisable by the senses. He is wisdom, and in wisdom there can be no suspicion of anything corporeal. He is the true light, which enlightens every man that comes into this world; but He has nothing in common with the light of this sun. Our Saviour, therefore, is the image of the invisible God, inasmuch as compared with the Father Himself He is the truth: and as compared with us, to whom He reveals the Father, He is the image by which we come to the knowledge of the Father, whom no one knows save the Son, and he to whom the Son is pleased to reveal Him. And the method of revealing Him is through the understanding. For He by whom the Son Himself is understood, understands, as a consequence, the Father also, according to His own words: He that has seen Me, has seen the Father also. 2.10.7. But that fate also which is mentioned in the Gospels as overtaking unfaithful stewards who, it is said, are to be divided, and a portion of them placed along with unbelievers, as if that portion which is not their own were to be sent elsewhere, undoubtedly indicates some kind of punishment on those whose spirit, as it seems to me, is shown to be separated from the soul. For if this Spirit is of divine nature, i.e., is understood to be a Holy Spirit, we shall understand this to be said of the gift of the Holy Spirit: that when, whether by baptism, or by the grace of the Spirit, the word of wisdom, or the word of knowledge, or of any other gift, has been bestowed upon a man, and not rightly administered, i.e., either buried in the earth or tied up in a napkin, the gift of the Spirit will certainly be withdrawn from his soul, and the other portion which remains, that is, the substance of the soul, will be assigned its place with unbelievers, being divided and separated from that Spirit with whom, by joining itself to the Lord, it ought to have been one spirit. Now, if this is not to be understood of the Spirit of God, but of the nature of the soul itself, that will be called its better part which was made in the image and likeness of God; whereas the other part, that which afterwards, through its fall by the exercise of free-will, was assumed contrary to the nature of its original condition of purity — this part, as being the friend and beloved of matter, is punished with the fate of unbelievers. There is also a third sense in which that separation may be understood, this viz., that as each believer, although the humblest in the Church, is said to be attended by an angel, who is declared by the Saviour always to behold the face of God the Father, and as this angel was certainly one with the object of his guardianship; so, if the latter is rendered unworthy by his want of obedience, the angel of God is said to be taken from him, and then that part of him — the part, viz., which belongs to his human nature— being rent away from the divine part, is assigned a place along with unbelievers, because it has not faithfully observed the admonitions of the angel allotted it by God.
14. Anon., Letter of Aristeas, 129-171, 7, 128

128. It is worth while to mention briefly the information which he gave in reply to our questions. For I suppose that most people feel a curiosity with regard to some of the enactments in the law


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
adam Lieu, Marcion and the Making of a Heretic: God and Scripture in the Second Century (2015) 363, 364
allegory Lieu, Marcion and the Making of a Heretic: God and Scripture in the Second Century (2015) 364
anger, gods Van der Horst, Studies in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (2014) 45
apelles Lieu, Marcion and the Making of a Heretic: God and Scripture in the Second Century (2015) 364
aristobulus Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 190
arius and arians, lived religion in alexandria and Ayres Champion and Crawford, The Intellectual World of Late Antique Christianity: Reshaping Classical Traditions (2023) 255
authority Wilson, The Sentences of Sextus (2012) 73
celsus Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 190
clement of alexandria, material images and Ayres Champion and Crawford, The Intellectual World of Late Antique Christianity: Reshaping Classical Traditions (2023) 255
clement of alexandria Van der Horst, Studies in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (2014) 45
emotions, gods Van der Horst, Studies in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (2014) 45
eusebius Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 190
eusebius of caesarea, material images, on Ayres Champion and Crawford, The Intellectual World of Late Antique Christianity: Reshaping Classical Traditions (2023) 255
eustathius of antioch Ayres Champion and Crawford, The Intellectual World of Late Antique Christianity: Reshaping Classical Traditions (2023) 255
free will Ramelli, The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis: A Critical Assessment from the New Testament to Eriugena (2013) 198
freedom Wilson, The Sentences of Sextus (2012) 73
gentiles (ethnē) Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 190
god, according to celsus Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 855
harl, marguerite Ayres Champion and Crawford, The Intellectual World of Late Antique Christianity: Reshaping Classical Traditions (2023) 255
image of god, and likeness Ramelli, The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis: A Critical Assessment from the New Testament to Eriugena (2013) 198
image of god Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 190; Wilson, The Sentences of Sextus (2012) 73
jews, judeans, law Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 190
knowledge Ramelli, The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis: A Critical Assessment from the New Testament to Eriugena (2013) 198
letter of aristeas Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 190
logos, christ as Ramelli, The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis: A Critical Assessment from the New Testament to Eriugena (2013) 198
marcellus of ancyra Ayres Champion and Crawford, The Intellectual World of Late Antique Christianity: Reshaping Classical Traditions (2023) 255
methodius of olympus, on material images Ayres Champion and Crawford, The Intellectual World of Late Antique Christianity: Reshaping Classical Traditions (2023) 255
middle platonism Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 190
myth Lieu, Marcion and the Making of a Heretic: God and Scripture in the Second Century (2015) 364
origen, on material images Ayres Champion and Crawford, The Intellectual World of Late Antique Christianity: Reshaping Classical Traditions (2023) 255
origen Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 190; Van der Horst, Studies in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (2014) 45
philo Van der Horst, Studies in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (2014) 45
philo of alexandria, on material images Ayres Champion and Crawford, The Intellectual World of Late Antique Christianity: Reshaping Classical Traditions (2023) 255
philo of alexandria Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 190
philosophical opposition (to christianity) Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 855
piety Wilson, The Sentences of Sextus (2012) 73
power Wilson, The Sentences of Sextus (2012) 73
purity/purification Wilson, The Sentences of Sextus (2012) 73
rabbinic references to marcion Lieu, Marcion and the Making of a Heretic: God and Scripture in the Second Century (2015) 364
resurrection, of believers Lieu, Marcion and the Making of a Heretic: God and Scripture in the Second Century (2015) 363
sabbath Lieu, Marcion and the Making of a Heretic: God and Scripture in the Second Century (2015) 363
sinlessness Wilson, The Sentences of Sextus (2012) 73
soul Ramelli, The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis: A Critical Assessment from the New Testament to Eriugena (2013) 198
the faithful Wilson, The Sentences of Sextus (2012) 73
the soul Wilson, The Sentences of Sextus (2012) 73
true discourse, of celsus, god Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 855
true discourse, of celsus, prophecy Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 855
true discourse, of celsus, themes Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 855
wisdom' Wilson, The Sentences of Sextus (2012) 73
word (logos) Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 190