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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9236
Philo Of Alexandria, On The Sacrifices Of Cain And Abel, 9


nanNot but what, when he gave him the use of all earthly things and suffered him to dwell among them, he assigned to him not such a power as he might exercise in common with an earthly governor or monarch, by which he should forcibly rule over the passions of the soul, but he appointed him to be a sort of god, making the whole of the body, and the mind, which is the ruler of the body, subjects and slaves to him; "For I give thee," says he, "as a god to Pharaoh." But God is not susceptible of any subtraction or addition, inasmuch as he is complete and entirely equal to himself.


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

36 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Exodus, 7.1, 24.2 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

7.1. וַיָּבֹא מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן אֶל־פַּרְעֹה וַיַּעַשׂוּ כֵן כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהוָה וַיַּשְׁלֵךְ אַהֲרֹן אֶת־מַטֵּהוּ לִפְנֵי פַרְעֹה וְלִפְנֵי עֲבָדָיו וַיְהִי לְתַנִּין׃ 7.1. וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה רְאֵה נְתַתִּיךָ אֱלֹהִים לְפַרְעֹה וְאַהֲרֹן אָחִיךָ יִהְיֶה נְבִיאֶךָ׃ 24.2. וְנִגַּשׁ מֹשֶׁה לְבַדּוֹ אֶל־יְהוָה וְהֵם לֹא יִגָּשׁוּ וְהָעָם לֹא יַעֲלוּ עִמּוֹ׃ 7.1. And the LORD said unto Moses: ‘See, I have set thee in God’s stead to Pharaoh; and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet." 24.2. and Moses alone shall come near unto the LORD; but they shall not come near; neither shall the people go up with him.’"
2. Hebrew Bible, Genesis, 2.24, 3.5 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

2.24. עַל־כֵּן יַעֲזָב־אִישׁ אֶת־אָבִיו וְאֶת־אִמּוֹ וְדָבַק בְּאִשְׁתּוֹ וְהָיוּ לְבָשָׂר אֶחָד׃ 3.5. כִּי יֹדֵעַ אֱלֹהִים כִּי בְּיוֹם אֲכָלְכֶם מִמֶּנּוּ וְנִפְקְחוּ עֵינֵיכֶם וִהְיִיתֶם כֵּאלֹהִים יֹדְעֵי טוֹב וָרָע׃ 2.24. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh." 3.5. for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.’"
3. Hebrew Bible, Psalms, 11.7, 17.15 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

11.7. כִּי־צַדִּיק יְהוָה צְדָקוֹת אָהֵב יָשָׁר יֶחֱזוּ פָנֵימוֹ׃ 17.15. אֲנִי בְּצֶדֶק אֶחֱזֶה פָנֶיךָ אֶשְׂבְּעָה בְהָקִיץ תְּמוּנָתֶךָ׃ 11.7. For the LORD is righteous, He loveth righteousness; the upright shall behold His face." 17.15. As for me, I shall behold Thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness."
4. Plato, Timaeus, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

41c. it is to be fully perfect. But if by my doing these creatures came into existence and partook of life, they would be made equal unto gods; in order, therefore, that they may be mortal and that this World-all may be truly All, do ye turn yourselves, as Nature directs, to the work of fashioning these living creatures, imitating the power showed by me in my generating of you. Now so much of them as it is proper to designate ’immortal,’ the part we call divine which rules supreme in those who are fain to follow justice always and yourselves, that part I will deliver unto you when I have sown it and given it origin.
5. Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, None (4th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

6. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Abraham, 144 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

144. And kings too appear to me to imitate the divine nature in this particular, and to act in the same way, giving their favours in person, but inflicting their chastisements by the agency of others.
7. Philo of Alexandria, On The Cherubim, 18 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

18. This, then, is the meaning of coming in front of one's judge, when brought up for judgment. But the case of coming in front of any one which has a bearing upon connection or familiarity, may be illustrated by the example of the allwise Abraham. "For," says Moses, "he was still standing in front of God." And a proof of his familiarity is contained in the expression that "he came near to God, and spoke." For it is fitting for one who has no connection with another to stand at a distance, and to be separated from him, but he who is connected with him should stand near to him. 18. These are the causes which may be advanced by probable conjecture, to explain the question which is raised on this point; for the true causes God alone knows. But having said what is fitting concerning these matters, I shall now proceed in regular order to discuss the laws themselves with accuracy and precision: first of all of necessity, mentioning this point, that of his laws God himself, without having need of any one else, thought fit to promulgate some by himself alone, and some he promulgated by the agency of his prophet Moses, whom he selected, by reason of his pre-eminent excellence, out of all men, as the most suitable man to be the interpreter of his will.
8. Philo of Alexandria, On The Confusion of Tongues, 147, 31, 146 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

146. And even if there be not as yet any one who is worthy to be called a son of God, nevertheless let him labour earnestly to be adorned according to his first-born word, the eldest of his angels, as the great archangel of many names; for he is called, the authority, and the name of God, and the Word, and man according to God's image, and he who sees Israel.
9. Philo of Alexandria, On Flight And Finding, 63, 62 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

62. But it was by all means necessary that different regions should be assigned to different things, the heaven to good things, the earth to what is evil; for the tendency of good is to soar on high, and if it ever comes down to us, for its Father is very bounteous, it still is very justly anxious to return again to heaven. But if evil remains here, living at the greatest possible distance from the divine choir, always hovering around mortal life, and unable to die from among the human race.
10. Philo of Alexandria, On Giants, 48-49, 47 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

11. Philo of Alexandria, On The Creation of The World, 111, 144-146, 70-73, 91, 95, 102 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

102. And the number seven by those persons who are in the habit of employing names with strict propriety is called the perfecting number; because by it, everything is perfected. And any one may receive a confirmation of this from the fact, that every organic body has three dimensions, length, depth, and breadth; and four boundaries, the point, the line, the superficies, and the solid; and by theses, when combined, the number seven is made up. But it would be impossible for bodies to be measured by the number seven, according to the combination of the three dimensions, and the four boundaries, if it did not happen that the ideas of the first numbers, one, two, three and four, in which the number ten is founded, comprised the nature of the number seven. For the aforesaid numbers have four boundaries, the first, the second, the third, the fourth, and three intervals. The first interval being that between one and two; the second, that between two and three; the third, that between three and four. XXXV.
12. Philo of Alexandria, On The Posterity of Cain, 169, 167 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

13. Philo of Alexandria, On Curses, 44-46, 43 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

43. The race of these men is difficult to trace, since they show a life of plotting, and cunning, and wickedness, and dissoluteness, full of passion and wickednesses, as such a life must be. For all those whom God, since they pleased him well, has caused to quit their original abode, and has transformed from the race of perishable beings to that of immortals, are no longer found among the common multitude. XIII.
14. Philo of Alexandria, On The Sacrifices of Cain And Abel, 8, 10 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

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

2.189. for when," the scripture say, "the high priest goes into the Holy of Holies he will not be a Man." What then will he be if he is not a man? Will he be a God? I would not venture to say that (for the chief prophet, Moses, did receive the inheritance of this name while he was still in Egypt, being called "the god of Pharaoh;") nor again is he man, but he touches both these extremities as if he touched both the feet and the head. XXIX.
16. Philo of Alexandria, On The Virtues, 169, 168 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

168. And in another place also the lawgiver gives this precept, which is most becoming and suitable to a rational nature, that men should imitate God to the best of their power, omitting nothing which can possibly contribute to such a similarity as the case admits of. XXXII. Since then you have received strength from a being who is more powerful than you, give others a share of that strength, distributing among them the benefits which you have received yourself, in order that you may imitate God by bestowing gifts like his;
17. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Moses, 1.158, 2.288, 2.291 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.158. What more shall I say? Has he not also enjoyed an even greater communion with the Father and Creator of the universe, being thought unworthy of being called by the same appellation? For he also was called the god and king of the whole nation, and he is said to have entered into the darkness where God was; that is to say, into the invisible, and shapeless, and incorporeal world, the essence, which is the model of all existing things, where he beheld things invisible to mortal nature; for, having brought himself and his own life into the middle, as an excellently wrought picture, he established himself as a most beautiful and Godlike work, to be a model for all those who were inclined to imitate him. 2.288. And some time afterwards, when he was about to depart from hence to heaven, to take up his abode there, and leaving this mortal life to become immortal, having been summoned by the Father, who now changed him, having previously been a double being, composed of soul and body, into the nature of a single body, transforming him wholly and entirely into a most sun-like mind; he then, being wholly possessed by inspiration, does not seem any longer to have prophesied comprehensively to the whole nation altogether, but to have predicted to each tribe separately what would happen to each of them, and to their future generations, some of which things have already come to pass, and some are still expected, because the accomplishment of those predictions which have been fulfilled is the clearest testimony to the future. 2.291. For when he was now on the point of being taken away, and was standing at the very starting-place, as it were, that he might fly away and complete his journey to heaven, he was once more inspired and filled with the Holy Spirit, and while still alive, he prophesied admirably what should happen to himself after his death, relating, that is, how he had died when he was not as yet dead, and how he was buried without any one being present so as to know of his tomb, because in fact he was entombed not by mortal hands, but by immortal powers, so that he was not placed in the tomb of his forefathers, having met with particular grace which no man ever saw; and mentioning further how the whole nation mourned for him with tears a whole month, displaying the individual and general sorrow on account of his unspeakable benevolence towards each individual and towards the whole collective host, and of the wisdom with which he had ruled them.
18. Philo of Alexandria, Allegorical Interpretation, 3.100-3.103, 3.207 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

19. Philo of Alexandria, Questions On Exodus, 2.46, 2.62 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

20. Philo of Alexandria, Questions On Genesis, 3.12 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

21. Philo of Alexandria, Who Is The Heir, 64, 63 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

63. We have now explained what it was necessary for you to be apprised of as a preliminary. For the first part of the argument had a sort of enigmatical obscurity. But we must examine with more accurate particularity what the man who is fond of learning seeks. Perhaps then it is something of this sort: to know whether any one who is desirous of that life which is dependent on blood and who claims an interest in the objects of the outward sense, can become an inheritor of incorporeal and divine things?
22. Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities, 4.326 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

4.326. and as he was going to embrace Eleazar and Joshua, and was still discoursing with them, a cloud stood over him on the sudden, and he disappeared in a certain valley, although he wrote in the holy books that he died, which was done out of fear, lest they should venture to say that, because of his extraordinary virtue, he went to God.
23. New Testament, 1 Corinthians, 2.8, 8.5, 10.20-10.21, 13.12, 15.24-15.27 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2.8. which none of the rulers of this worldhas known. For had they known it, they wouldn't have crucified the Lordof glory. 8.5. For though there are things that are called "gods,"whether in the heavens or on earth; as there are many "gods" and many"lords; 10.20. But I say that thethings which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and notto God, and I don't desire that you would have communion with demons. 10.21. You can't both drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons.You can't both partake of the table of the Lord, and of the table ofdemons. 13.12. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, butthen face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, evenas I was also fully known. 15.24. Then the end comes, when he willdeliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when he will haveabolished all rule and all authority and power. 15.25. For he mustreign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 15.26. The lastenemy that will be abolished is death. 15.27. For, "He put all thingsin subjection under his feet." But when he says, "All things are put insubjection," it is evident that he is excepted who subjected all thingsto him.
24. New Testament, 2 Corinthians, 4.4 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

25. New Testament, Ephesians, 3.10, 6.12 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

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

4.8. However at that time, not knowing God, youwere in bondage to those who by nature are not gods. 4.9. But now thatyou have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, why do youturn back again to the weak and miserable elements, to which you desireto be in bondage all over again?
27. New Testament, Hebrews, 3 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

28. New Testament, Philippians, 2.10 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

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

8.38. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers
30. New Testament, John, 1.9-1.18, 17.24-17.26 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

1.9. The true light that enlightens everyone was coming into the world. 1.10. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world didn't recognize him. 1.11. He came to his own, and those who were his own didn't receive him. 1.12. But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become God's children, to those who believe in his name: 1.13. who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 1.14. The Word became flesh, and lived among us. We saw his glory, such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. 1.15. John testified about him. He cried out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me, for he was before me.' 1.16. From his fullness we all received grace upon grace. 1.17. For the law was given through Moses. Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 1.18. No one has seen God at any time. The one and only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him. 17.24. Father, I desire that they also whom you have given me be with me where I am, that they may see my glory, which you have given me, for you loved me before the foundation of the world. 17.25. Righteous Father, the world hasn't known you, but I knew you; and these knew that you sent me. 17.26. I made known to them your name, and will make it known; that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and I in them.
31. New Testament, Matthew, 5.8 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

5.8. Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
32. Plutarch, On The Obsolescence of Oracles, None (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

415c. afew souls still, in the long reach of time, because of supreme excellence, come, after being purified, to share completely in divine qualities. But with some of these souls it comes to pass that they do not maintain control over themselves, but yield to temptation and are again clothed with mortal bodies and have a dim and darkened life, like mist or vapour."Hesiod thinks that with the lapse of certain periods of years the end comes even to the demigods; for, speaking in the person of the Naiad, he indirectly suggests the length of time with these words: Nine generations long is the life of the crow and his cawing, Nine generations of vigorous men. Lives of four crows together Equal the life of a stag, and three stages the old age of a raven; Nine of the lives of the raven the life of the Phoenix doth equal;
33. Plutarch, On The Sign of Socrates, None (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

34. Justin, First Apology, 63, 60 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

60. And the physiological discussion concerning the Son of God in the Tim us of Plato, where he says, He placed him crosswise in the universe, he borrowed in like manner from Moses; for in the writings of Moses it is related how at that time, when the Israelites went out of Egypt and were in the wilderness, they fell in with poisonous beasts, both vipers and asps, and every kind of serpent, which slew the people; and that Moses, by the inspiration and influence of God, took brass, and made it into the figure of a cross, and set it in the holy tabernacle, and said to the people, If you look to this figure, and believe, you shall be saved thereby. Numbers 21:8 And when this was done, it is recorded that the serpents died, and it is handed down that the people thus escaped death. Which things Plato reading, and not accurately understanding, and not apprehending that it was the figure of the cross, but taking it to be a placing crosswise, he said that the power next to the first God was placed crosswise in the universe. And as to his speaking of a third, he did this because he read, as we said above, that which was spoken by Moses, that the Spirit of God moved over the waters. For he gives the second place to the Logos which is with God, who he said was placed crosswise in the universe; and the third place to the Spirit who was said to be borne upon the water, saying, And the third around the third. And hear how the Spirit of prophecy signified through Moses that there should be a conflagration. He spoke thus: Everlasting fire shall descend, and shall devour to the pit beneath. Deuteronomy 32:22 It is not, then, that we hold the same opinions as others, but that all speak in imitation of ours. Among us these things can be heard and learned from persons who do not even know the forms of the letters, who are uneducated and barbarous in speech, though wise and believing in mind; some, indeed, even maimed and deprived of eyesight; so that you may understand that these things are not the effect of human wisdom, but are uttered by the power of God.
35. Origen, Against Celsus, 5.2-5.6 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

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

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


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
angel Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 298
angels Janowitz, Magic in the Roman World: Pagans, Jews and Christians (2002) 74
anthropology Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 145, 150
ascent Janowitz, Magic in the Roman World: Pagans, Jews and Christians (2002) 74
assimilation to god Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 145, 150
burial Janowitz, Magic in the Roman World: Pagans, Jews and Christians (2002) 74
christianity, christians Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 150
cloud man, merkavah imagery related to Heo, Images of Torah: From the Second-Temple Period to the Middle Ages (2023) 288
cosmic deity Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 298
cult Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 298
daemon, demon Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 298
deification Janowitz, Magic in the Roman World: Pagans, Jews and Christians (2002) 74
divine name Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 298
early high christology Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 298
eleazar Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 195
emperor cult, emperor worship Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 298
father Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 298
first cause Heo, Images of Torah: From the Second-Temple Period to the Middle Ages (2023) 288
glory Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 298
humanity Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 195
image of god Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 145
immortality Janowitz, Magic in the Roman World: Pagans, Jews and Christians (2002) 74; Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 195
jesus Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 150
john, gospel of Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 145, 150
joshua Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 195
kinship language/terms Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 145
knowledge Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 145
kurios, kyrios Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 298
light, true Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 150
logos (λόγος) Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 145, 150
lord Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 298
merkavah imagery, devekut to Heo, Images of Torah: From the Second-Temple Period to the Middle Ages (2023) 288
messianism, messianic Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 298
moses Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 145, 150; Janowitz, Magic in the Roman World: Pagans, Jews and Christians (2002) 74; Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 298
new Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 150
pagan, paganism Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 298
paul, pauline, paulinism Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 298
philo Janowitz, Magic in the Roman World: Pagans, Jews and Christians (2002) 74
philo of alexandria Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 145, 150
plutarch Janowitz, Magic in the Roman World: Pagans, Jews and Christians (2002) 74
priest, priesthood Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 298
prophecy, mosaic Heo, Images of Torah: From the Second-Temple Period to the Middle Ages (2023) 288
prophets Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 195
qumran Janowitz, Magic in the Roman World: Pagans, Jews and Christians (2002) 74
ritual Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 298
rome, roman Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 298
sacrifice Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 298
seed (σπέρμα) of god Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 145
soul Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 145
spirit/spirits of god Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 145
sun, the Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 195
symbol Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 150
tabernacle Heo, Images of Torah: From the Second-Temple Period to the Middle Ages (2023) 288
tomb' Janowitz, Magic in the Roman World: Pagans, Jews and Christians (2002) 74
transformation Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 150
μεταβολή Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 145
ὁμοίωσις θεῷ Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 145, 150