He probably had personal contact with Christians. I have a begrudging respect for Celsus and readily admit some of his arguments went unanswered by Christian apologists, even the illuminative Origen. WHAT DID CELSUS SAY AGAINST CHRISTIANITY? Regrettably, I can't reply to every letter, but I greatly appreciate your feedback — especially notifications about typographical errors and inappropriate ads. cit., V) Celsus takes up the teachings of the Christians in detail and refutes them from the point of view of the history of philosophy. the opinion expressed by Origen in the early part of his reply that Celsus was an Epicurean (his references to Celsus' alleged Epicureanism become fewer as he proceeds and almost cease after book 4). Celsus, a a philosopher of the Middle Platonist school, did not reject everything in Christianity outright (e.g., the Logos doctrine, certain ethical principles, etc.). The views of Celsus drew responses from Origen who considered it a fabricated story. His manner too, in spite of the probable eirenic scope of his work, is that of a special pleader for paganism who uses all the resources of dialectic and rhetoric, all the artifices of wit and sarcasm to make his opponents seem ridiculous. Celsus the Platonist. The claim originates in Jewish anti-Christian lore and first appears in the historical record in Origen’s Contra Celsus 1.32, where the Church Father relates with disapproval the fact that the pagan philosopher Celsus had said of the Virgin that “when she was pregnant she was turned out of doors by the carpenter to whom she had been betrothed, as having been guilty of adultery, and that she bore a child to a … The Christ-Mythicist should see that if Jesus never existed, Celsus would have been more than willing to say so. A.D. 178) was a bitter assault upon Christ. Greek scientists like Porphyry and Celsus questioned the reliability of the contents of Genesis, Jonah, Daniel, as well as the factuality of Jesus’ Virgin Birth and Resurrection. Christian discourse, discussing Justin’s alleged “trinitarian theology” betrays a fundamentally misguided approach.7 The problem most often associated with Justin’s trinitarian theology is its subordinationism.8 Even more troubling is Justin’s view of the Holy Spirit. CELSUS: A pagan philosopher and controversialist against Christianity. November 1, 1908. With thanks to Fr. . to Christian exclusivity and its failure to participate in pagan forms of religios- Juster 1914: 53-54; Moore 1921: 197-254). Celsus wondered why Christians worshipped a dead man as immortal. Nevertheless, it is interesting, to say the least, to find a second-century opponent of Christianity off-setting the Christian idea of a direct divine origin of man by the theory that men and animals have a common natural origin, and that the human soul is sprung from the animal soul. He must have consorted with Jewish and Christian teachers, and with the representatives of the Gnostic sects. (Paderborn, 1899), II, 152 sqq. Celsus the Platonist. The flight into Egypt, the absence of any divine intervention in favour of the Mother of Jesus, who was driven forth with her husband, and other arguments are used to show that Christ was not the Messias. Finally these powers, spirits, or demons, mediate between God and man, and are the immediate source of prophecy and wonder-working. Origen, op. The resurrection is a myth and the alleged testimony to it is based on unreliable reports and hallucinations. Celsus took pains to make himself acquainted with the beliefs of his Christian contemporaries, and he is unquestionably conscious of his knowledge of Christianity. Celsus did not believe in the resurrection; in his mind, it was a decidedly disgusting and repugnant belief. To understand Celsus's criticism of the Gospel narrative it is necessary to remember that he was a firm believer in the possibility of cures by magic. 74 ff. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03490a.htm. His True Discourse (ca. 1. It is generally supposed that Celsus was a Roman. Turner, W. (1908). Moreover, he is, if indeed well-intentioned, yet a partisan; he adopts the current Roman notion that Christianity is merely an offshoot of Judaism; in regard to the person of Christ he exhibits none of that respect which the later Platonists manifested towards the founder of Christianity; towards the miracles ascribed to Christ he shows a sceptical spirit, at one time describing them as fables invented by the Disciples, at another paralleling them with the wonders wrought by Egyptian sorcerers; he looks upon the Resurrection of Christ as either a silly story invented by the followers of Jesus, or a ghost-apparition such as is narrated of many of the heroes of antiquity. der altkirchlichen Litteratur (Freiburg, 1892), I, 158 sqq. That many people believe in Jesus is not evidence of anything except that people will believe anything they are told. corresponds to that of Plato; Laws 903 c, and of Seneca, Ep. In the preface Celsus forecasts the general plan of his attack by describing in the first place the general character of Christianity and then proceeding to accuse both Christian and Jew of "separatism", that is to say, of arrogating to themselves a superior wisdom, while in reality their ideas concerning the origin of the universe, etc., are common to all peoples and to the wise men of antiquity. 395 Origen Against Celsus.. Book I. Preface. Celsus, a pagan philosopher, argued that the OT did not predict events in the life of Jesus. Christ, he says, claimed to be of virgin birth; in reality, He was the son of a Jewish village woman, the wife of a carpenter. Celsus felt the doctrine of the resurrection was based on an incorrect interpretation of reincarnation. Please help support the mission of New Advent and get the full contents of this website as an instant download. God is a spirit, and whatever has come directly from His hands is spirit. ; KAYSER, Le philosophie de Celse (Strasburg, 1843); PÉLAGAUD, Etude sur Celse (Paris, 1878); BUHL, La polémique de Celse (Strasburg, 1844); EHRHARD, Altchristliche Litteratur, Part I (Freiburg, 1900), 335 sqq. For no matter how the religions of the world may differ among themselves, they all hold that there is one God who is supreme. Further, Celsus argues that Christian doctrine twisted the Greek concept of immortality of the soul into the resurrection. u. Untersuch. by dr. Lardner - Kindle edition by Celsus (the philosopher.). When false witnesses testified against our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, He remained silent; and when unfounded charges were brought against Him, He returned no answer, believing that His whole life and conduct among the Jews were a better refutation than any answer to the false testimony, or than any formal defence against the accusations. This is something Celsus did not want. 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