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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9226
Philo Of Alexandria, On Giants, 11-13


nanIt is then natural that that medium by which all other animals, whether aquatic of terrestrial, are vivified should itself be empty and destitute of souls? On the contrary, even if all other animals were barren, the air by itself would be bound to be productive of life, having received from the great Creator the seeds of vitality by his especial favour. III.


nanSome souls, therefore, have descended into bodies, and others have not thought worthy to approach any one of the portions of the earth; and these, when hallowed and surrounded by the ministrations of the father, the Creator has been accustomed to employ, as hand-maidens and servants in the administration of mortal affairs.


nanAnd they having descended into the body as into a river, at one time are carried away and swallowed up by the voracity of a most violent whirlpool; and, at another time, striving with all their power to resist its impetuosity, they at first swim on the top of it, and afterwards fly back to the place from which they started.


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18 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Genesis, 1.1, 2.7, 3.14, 4.8-4.15, 6.1-6.4 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

1.1. וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לַיַּבָּשָׁה אֶרֶץ וּלְמִקְוֵה הַמַּיִם קָרָא יַמִּים וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים כִּי־טוֹב׃ 1.1. בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ׃ 2.7. וַיִּיצֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָאָדָם עָפָר מִן־הָאֲדָמָה וַיִּפַּח בְּאַפָּיו נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים וַיְהִי הָאָדָם לְנֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה׃ 3.14. וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהִים אֶל־הַנָּחָשׁ כִּי עָשִׂיתָ זֹּאת אָרוּר אַתָּה מִכָּל־הַבְּהֵמָה וּמִכֹּל חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה עַל־גְּחֹנְךָ תֵלֵךְ וְעָפָר תֹּאכַל כָּל־יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ׃ 4.8. וַיֹּאמֶר קַיִן אֶל־הֶבֶל אָחִיו וַיְהִי בִּהְיוֹתָם בַּשָּׂדֶה וַיָּקָם קַיִן אֶל־הֶבֶל אָחִיו וַיַּהַרְגֵהוּ׃ 4.9. וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל־קַיִן אֵי הֶבֶל אָחִיךָ וַיֹּאמֶר לֹא יָדַעְתִּי הֲשֹׁמֵר אָחִי אָנֹכִי׃ 4.11. וְעַתָּה אָרוּר אָתָּה מִן־הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר פָּצְתָה אֶת־פִּיהָ לָקַחַת אֶת־דְּמֵי אָחִיךָ מִיָּדֶךָ׃ 4.12. כִּי תַעֲבֹד אֶת־הָאֲדָמָה לֹא־תֹסֵף תֵּת־כֹּחָהּ לָךְ נָע וָנָד תִּהְיֶה בָאָרֶץ׃ 4.13. וַיֹּאמֶר קַיִן אֶל־יְהוָה גָּדוֹל עֲוֺנִי מִנְּשֹׂא׃ 4.14. הֵן גֵּרַשְׁתָּ אֹתִי הַיּוֹם מֵעַל פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה וּמִפָּנֶיךָ אֶסָּתֵר וְהָיִיתִי נָע וָנָד בָּאָרֶץ וְהָיָה כָל־מֹצְאִי יַהַרְגֵנִי׃ 4.15. וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ יְהוָה לָכֵן כָּל־הֹרֵג קַיִן שִׁבְעָתַיִם יֻקָּם וַיָּשֶׂם יְהוָה לְקַיִן אוֹת לְבִלְתִּי הַכּוֹת־אֹתוֹ כָּל־מֹצְאוֹ׃ 6.1. וַיְהִי כִּי־הֵחֵל הָאָדָם לָרֹב עַל־פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה וּבָנוֹת יֻלְּדוּ לָהֶם׃ 6.1. וַיּוֹלֶד נֹחַ שְׁלֹשָׁה בָנִים אֶת־שֵׁם אֶת־חָם וְאֶת־יָפֶת׃ 6.2. וַיִּרְאוּ בְנֵי־הָאֱלֹהִים אֶת־בְּנוֹת הָאָדָם כִּי טֹבֹת הֵנָּה וַיִּקְחוּ לָהֶם נָשִׁים מִכֹּל אֲשֶׁר בָּחָרוּ׃ 6.2. מֵהָעוֹף לְמִינֵהוּ וּמִן־הַבְּהֵמָה לְמִינָהּ מִכֹּל רֶמֶשׂ הָאֲדָמָה לְמִינֵהוּ שְׁנַיִם מִכֹּל יָבֹאוּ אֵלֶיךָ לְהַחֲיוֹת׃ 6.3. וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה לֹא־יָדוֹן רוּחִי בָאָדָם לְעֹלָם בְּשַׁגַּם הוּא בָשָׂר וְהָיוּ יָמָיו מֵאָה וְעֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה׃ 6.4. הַנְּפִלִים הָיוּ בָאָרֶץ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם וְגַם אַחֲרֵי־כֵן אֲשֶׁר יָבֹאוּ בְּנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים אֶל־בְּנוֹת הָאָדָם וְיָלְדוּ לָהֶם הֵמָּה הַגִּבֹּרִים אֲשֶׁר מֵעוֹלָם אַנְשֵׁי הַשֵּׁם׃ 1.1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." 2.7. Then the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." 3.14. And the LORD God said unto the serpent: ‘Because thou hast done this, cursed art thou from among all cattle, and from among all beasts of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life." 4.8. And Cain spoke unto Abel his brother. And it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him." 4.9. And the LORD said unto Cain: ‘Where is Abel thy brother?’ And he said: ‘I know not; am I my brother’s keeper?’" 4.10. And He said: ‘What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto Me from the ground." 4.11. And now cursed art thou from the ground, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand." 4.12. When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a wanderer shalt thou be in the earth.’" 4.13. And Cain said unto the LORD: ‘My punishment is greater than I can bear." 4.14. Behold, Thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the land; and from Thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth; and it will come to pass, that whosoever findeth me will slay me.’" 4.15. And the LORD said unto him: ‘Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.’ And the LORD set a sign for Cain, lest any finding him should smite him." 6.1. And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them," 6.2. that the sons of nobles saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives, whomsoever they chose." 6.3. And the LORD said: ‘My spirit shall not abide in man for ever, for that he also is flesh; therefore shall his days be a hundred and twenty years.’" 6.4. The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also after that, when the sons of nobles came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them; the same were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown."
2. Hebrew Bible, Leviticus, 17.11 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

17.11. כִּי נֶפֶשׁ הַבָּשָׂר בַּדָּם הִוא וַאֲנִי נְתַתִּיו לָכֶם עַל־הַמִּזְבֵּחַ לְכַפֵּר עַל־נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם כִּי־הַדָּם הוּא בַּנֶּפֶשׁ יְכַפֵּר׃ 17.11. For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that maketh atonement by reason of the life."
3. Plato, Phaedo, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

80e. Far from it, dear Cebes and Simmias, but the truth is much rather this—if it departs pure, dragging with it nothing of the body, because it never willingly associated with the body in life, but avoided it and gathered itself into itself alone, since this has always been its constant study—but this means nothing else than that it pursued philosophy rightly and
4. Plato, Symposium, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

202e. Through it are conveyed all divination and priestcraft concerning sacrifice and ritual
5. Philo of Alexandria, On The Confusion of Tongues, 174-177, 180, 172 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

172. Again, it is by means of these powers that the incorporeal world, perceptible by the intellect, has been put together, which is the archetypal model of this invisible world, being compounded by invisible species, just as this world is of invisible bodies.
6. Philo of Alexandria, On Flight And Finding, 66 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

66. for it is not becoming for God himself to inflict punishment, as being the first and most excellent Lawgiver; but he punishes by the ministry of others, and not by his own act. It is very suitable to his character that he himself should bestow his graces, and his free gifts, and his great benefits, inasmuch as he is by nature good and bountiful. But it is not fitting that he should inflict his punishments further than by his mere command, inasmuch as he is a king; but he must act in this by the instrumentality of others, who are suitable for such purposes.
7. Philo of Alexandria, On Giants, 12-18, 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?
8. Philo of Alexandria, On The Creation of The World, 135, 139, 144, 25, 63, 65-68, 84, 134 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

134. After this, Moses says that "God made man, having taken clay from the earth, and he breathed into his face the breath of life." And by this expression he shows most clearly that there is a vast difference between man as generated now, and the first man who was made according to the image of God. For man as formed now is perceptible to the external senses, partaking of qualities, consisting of body and soul, man or woman, by nature mortal. But man, made according to the image of God, was an idea, or a genus, or a seal, perceptible only by the intellect, incorporeal, neither male nor female, imperishable by nature.
9. Philo of Alexandria, On Planting, 14, 12 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

10. Philo of Alexandria, On Dreams, 1.133-1.141 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.133. Such then may be said, by way of preface, to the discussion of that description of visions which are sent from God. But it is time now to turn to the subject itself, and to investigate, with accuracy, every portion of it. The scripture therefore says, "And he dreamed a dream. And behold a ladder was planted firmly on the ground, the head of which reached to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending along It. 1.134. By the ladder in this thing, which is called the world, is figuratively understood the air, the foundation of which is the earth, and the head is the heaven; for the large interior space, which being extended in every direction, reaches from the orb of the moon, which is described as the most remote of the order in heaven, but the nearest to us by those who contemplate sublime objects, down to the earth, which is the lowest of such bodies, is the air. 1.135. This air is the abode of incorporeal souls, since it seemed good to the Creator of the universe to fill all the parts of the world with living creatures. On this account he prepared the terrestrial animals for the earth, the aquatic animals for the sea and for the rivers, and the stars for the heaven; for every one of these bodies is not merely a living animal, but is also properly described as the very purest and most universal mind extending through the universe; so that there are living creatures in that other section of the universe, the air. And if these things are not comprehensible by the outward senses, what of that? For the soul is also invisible. 1.136. And yet it is probable that the air should nourish living animals even more than the land or the water. Why so? Because it is the air which has given vitality to those animals which live on the earth and in the water. For the Creator of the universe formed the air so that it should be the habit of those bodies which are immovable, and the nature of those which are moved in an invisible manner, and the soul of such as are able to exert an impetus and visible sense of their own. 1.137. Is it not then absurd that that element, by means of which the other elements have been filled with vitality, should itself be destitute of living things? Therefore let no one deprive the most excellent nature of living creatures of the most excellent of those elements which surrounds the earth; that is to say, of the air. For not only is it not alone deserted by all things besides, but rather, like a populous city, it is full of imperishable and immortal citizens, souls equal in number to the stars. 1.138. Now of these souls some descend upon the earth with a view to be bound up in mortal bodies, those namely which are most nearly connected with the earth, and which are lovers of the body. But some soar upwards, being again distinguished according to the definitions and times which have been appointed by nature. 1.139. of these, those which are influenced by a desire for mortal life, and which have been familiarised to it, again return to it. But others, condemning the body of great folly and trifling, have pronounced it a prison and a grave, and, flying from it as from a house of correction or a tomb, have raised themselves aloft on light wings towards the aether, and have devoted their whole lives to sublime speculations. 1.140. There are others, again, the purest and most excellent of all, which have received greater and more divine intellects, never by any chance desiring any earthly thing whatever, but being as it were lieutets of the Ruler of the universe, as though they were the eyes and ears of the great king, beholding and listening to everything. 1.141. Now philosophers in general are wont to call these demons, but the sacred scripture calls them angels, using a name more in accordance with nature. For indeed they do report (diangellousi) the injunctions of the father to his children, and the necessities of the children to the father.
11. 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.
12. Philo of Alexandria, On The Virtues, 188-227, 187 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

187. We ought to rebuke in no measured language those who celebrate nobility of birth as the greatest of all blessings, and the cause also of great blessings, if in the first place they think those men nobly born who are sprung from persons who were rich and glorious in the days of old, when those very ancestors themselves, from whom they boast to be descended, were not made happy by their unlimited abundance; since, in truth, that which is really good does not naturally or necessarily lodge in any external thing, nor in any of the things which belong to the body, and indeed I may even say not in every part of the soul, but only in the domit and most important portion of it.
13. Philo of Alexandria, Allegorical Interpretation, 3.96 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

14. Philo of Alexandria, Questions On Genesis, 4.188 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

15. Philo of Alexandria, That The Worse Attacks The Better, 80, 83-84, 224 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

16. Philo of Alexandria, Plant., 14, 12 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

12. Those then that are affected by motion, inducing change of place, which we call animals, are attached to the most important portions of the universe; the terrestrial animals to the earth, the animals which swim to the water, the winged animals to the air and those which can live in the flame to the fire (which last are said to be most evidently produced in Macedonia), and the stars are attached to the heaven. For those who have studied philosophy pronounce the stars also to be animals, being endowed with intellect and pervading the whole universe; some being planets, and moving by their own intrinsic nature; and others, that is the fixed stars, being borne along with the revolutions of the universe; so that they likewise appear to change their places.
17. Origen, Against Celsus, 2.55, 4.51, 5.55, 6.63, 7.62, 7.68, 8.12, 8.17-8.18 (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. 6.63. Celsus, 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. 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.
18. 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
allegory, allegorical interpretation, philo Potter Suh and Holladay, Hellenistic Jewish Literature and the New Testament: Collected Essays (2021) 215
allegory, allegorical interpretation Potter Suh and Holladay, Hellenistic Jewish Literature and the New Testament: Collected Essays (2021) 215
allegory Tarrant et al, Brill's Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity (2018) 122, 123, 124, 125
angels, philo of alexandria Potter Suh and Holladay, Hellenistic Jewish Literature and the New Testament: Collected Essays (2021) 215
angels Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 107; Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 11; Tarrant et al, Brill's Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity (2018) 122, 123, 124, 125
animals Tarrant et al, Brill's Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity (2018) 122
apuleius Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 45
aristobulus Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 190
aristotle Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 113
artapanus Potter Suh and Holladay, Hellenistic Jewish Literature and the New Testament: Collected Essays (2021) 215
baccchus Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 113
barthélemy, d. Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 107
beautiful Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 45
blessed life/blessedness Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 113
body Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 45
celsus Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 190
cicero Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 113
cosmos, as plant Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 107
cosmos Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 107
daemones Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 45
daimones, as angels Tarrant et al, Brill's Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity (2018) 123, 124
demonology Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 45
demons, demonic Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 11
earth Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 107
elements, four Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 107
elements Tarrant et al, Brill's Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity (2018) 124
eudoxus of cnidus Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 113
euripides Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 113
eusebius Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 107; Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 190
gentiles (ethnē) Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 190
god, maker Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 113
god Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 45
good Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 45
herodotus Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 113
image of god Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 190
intellect, intelligence Tarrant et al, Brill's Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity (2018) 122
intellect Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 45
jewish thought Tarrant et al, Brill's Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity (2018) 122, 123, 124, 125
jews, judeans, law Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 190
judaism, pneuma (spirit) Potter Suh and Holladay, Hellenistic Jewish Literature and the New Testament: Collected Essays (2021) 215
judaism, spirit of god, divine spirit Potter Suh and Holladay, Hellenistic Jewish Literature and the New Testament: Collected Essays (2021) 215
judaism in egypt, philo of alexandria Potter Suh and Holladay, Hellenistic Jewish Literature and the New Testament: Collected Essays (2021) 215
judaism in egypt Potter Suh and Holladay, Hellenistic Jewish Literature and the New Testament: Collected Essays (2021) 215
letter of aristeas Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 190
logos of god Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 107
lxx genesis Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 45
middle platonism Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 45; Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 190
moses Tarrant et al, Brill's Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity (2018) 123, 125
nous/νοῦýς Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 45
origen Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 107; Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 190
pederasty Tarrant et al, Brill's Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity (2018) 124
philo, of alexandria Tarrant et al, Brill's Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity (2018) 122, 123, 124, 125
philo of alexandria, angels Potter Suh and Holladay, Hellenistic Jewish Literature and the New Testament: Collected Essays (2021) 215
philo of alexandria Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 45; Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 190; Potter Suh and Holladay, Hellenistic Jewish Literature and the New Testament: Collected Essays (2021) 215
planets Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 107, 113
plato, phaedrus Tarrant et al, Brill's Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity (2018) 124
plato, symposium Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 45
plato, timaeus Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 45
plato Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 45
platonist Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 45
plutarch of chaeronea Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 45
pythagoras/pythagorean/pythagoreanism Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 45
pythagoreans Tarrant et al, Brill's Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity (2018) 123
reincarnation Tarrant et al, Brill's Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity (2018) 122, 124, 125
runia, d. Tarrant et al, Brill's Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity (2018) 123, 124
sense-perception Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 113
senses, five Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 113
simmias Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 45
simplicius Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 113
socrates Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 45
soul, descent into incarnation Tarrant et al, Brill's Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity (2018) 125
soul, incorporeal Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 107, 113
soul/psuchē/ψυχή Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 45
souls Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 11
spirit, philo of alexandria Potter Suh and Holladay, Hellenistic Jewish Literature and the New Testament: Collected Essays (2021) 215
stars Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 113
symbolic interpretation' Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 113
testing passim, agents of Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 11
theano Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 45
vice Tarrant et al, Brill's Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity (2018) 125
watchers Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 11
word (logos) Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 190
xenocrates Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 45