Celsus on the true doctrine. On the True Doctrine 2022-10-21
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Celsus was a Greek philosopher and writer who lived in the second century AD. He is best known for his work "On the True Doctrine," which was a critique of Christianity. In this work, Celsus sought to refute the claims of Christianity and to argue that it was a superstitious and irrational belief system.
Celsus began his critique by attacking the credibility of the Gospels, the primary texts of Christianity. He argued that the Gospels were written many years after the events they describe and were based on hearsay and legends rather than on eyewitness accounts. He also pointed out inconsistencies and contradictions within the Gospels, arguing that they could not be trusted as reliable sources of historical information.
Celsus also took issue with the idea of the divinity of Jesus, arguing that it was absurd to believe that a mere mortal could be the son of God. He argued that the concept of the trinity, which holds that God is one being in three persons, was confusing and contradictory. Celsus maintained that the true doctrine, as he saw it, was one that was based on reason and evidence, and that Christianity failed to meet these standards.
Despite Celsus' criticisms, Christianity continued to spread and thrive in the centuries following the publication of "On the True Doctrine." Today, it remains one of the largest and most influential religions in the world, with billions of followers worldwide.
Despite the enduring popularity of Christianity, Celsus' critique remains relevant and thought-provoking. His arguments and questioning of the historical reliability of the Gospels continue to be debated by scholars and theologians to this day. Celsus' work serves as a reminder that all belief systems, including Christianity, should be subject to critical examination and scrutiny in order to fully understand and appreciate their true nature and significance.
The True Doctrine of Celsus
. Otherwise you will be acting the most ridiculous part, if, whilst you pronounce imprecations upon those others that are recognized as gods, treating them as idols, you yet do homage to a more wretched idol than any of these, which indeed is not even an idol or a phantom, but a dead man, and you seek a father like to himself. Celsus calls Jesus a sorcerer. Are they gods, or some other race of beings? In this translation, Professor Hoffmann has, for the first time, painstakingly reconstructed the main order of the philosopher's argument. Like so many sirens they chatter away endlessly and beat their breasts. Why instead do you, the son of God, wander about in so mean a condition, hiding yourself through fear, and leading a miserable life up and down? Even although guilty of falsehood, you have not been able to give a color of credibility to your inventions. It is certainly not true, as claimed, that the notes make the text 'completely accessible to students as well as to scholars of religious history and philosophy'.
Celsus: On the True Doctrine: A Discourse Against the Christians: Joseph Hoffman: 9780195041514
Yesterday and the day before, when we visited with punishment the man who deluded you, you became apostates from the law of your fathers. For it would be unjust in them, after receiving the good things which they dispense, to pay them no tribute in return. My reply to this would be that the way to conceal tales of this sort was easy—not to have recorded them at all. And if he does know, why does he not make men better? Within a few pages Hoffmann renders the Greek word dogma, used in similar contexts, as "truth,""eccentric belief," and "doctrine. Since accuracy was essential to his refutation of The True Doctrine, Biblical scholar Arthur J.
Origen returns to the same remarks of Celsus, but also accuses Celsus of repeating himself; so I have consolidated some doublets, retained others, and edited the whole for smoothness and consistency of voice. If he wished to remain hid, why was there heard a voice from heaven proclaiming him to be the son of God? Origen wrote his refutation in 248. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. One of Celsus' most bitter complaints is of the refusal of Christians to cooperate with civil society, and their contempt for local customs and the ancient religions. Clearly the christians have used the myths of Danae and the Melanippe, or of the Auge and the Antiope in fabricating the story of Jesus' virgin birth. In his opinion Christian theology was based on an amalgamation of false Celsus gave a point by point critique of Christian doctrine, and why it should not have been believed by anyone. History proves the claims to great antiquity put forth by many nations, as the Athenians, and Egyptians, and Arcadians, and Phrygians, who assert that certain individuals have existed among them who sprang from the earth, and who each adduce proofs of these assertions.
How many princes and private persons have, from this cause, had prosperity or adversity! One may compare the articles of their faith to those of the Egyptians, among whom, as you approach their sacred edifices, are to be seen splendid enclosures, and groves, and large and beautiful gateways, and wonderful temples, and magnificent tents around them, and ceremonies of worship full of superstition and mystery; but when you have entered, and passed within, the object of worship is seen to be a cat, or an ape, or a crocodile, or a goat, or a dog! Faith, having taken possession of their minds, makes them yield the assent which they give to the doctrine of Jesus; for of a truth it is faith which does produce such an assent. Origen's response is to simply deny that Christians do this; there is no copyright in names. The story of Lot and his daughters is worse than the crimes of Thyestes. The very air which we breathe is received from demons, and not an animal can breathe without receiving the air from the demons who are set over the air. . On all the rest I will send down eternal fire, both on cities and on countries. And if you seek one to be your guide along this way, you must shun all deceivers and jugglers, who will introduce you to phantoms.
On the True Doctrine: A Discourse Against the Christians
You have made no manifestation to us, although they challenged you in the temple to exhibit some unmistakeable sign that you were the son of God. For he has himself acknowledged that these are not the works of a divine nature; but the inventions of certain deceivers, and of thoroughly wicked men. But those who crucified your God when present among men, suffered nothing for it, either at the time or during the whole of their lives. Jews and Christians alike adduce in defense of abstinence from idol sacrifices, that it is wrong for those who have dedicated themselves to the Most High God to eat with demons. Moeller, History of the Christian Church, i.
On the True Doctrine: A Discourse against Christians (Celsus) : Celsus : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
The Jews worship angels, and are addicted to sorcery, in which Moses was their instructor. Neither have visible things been given to man by God, but each individual thing comes into existence and perishes for the sake of the safety of the whole passing agreeably to the change, which I have already mentioned, from one thing to another. He is said by the Christians to have already come, but by the Jews that his advent as Messiah is still future. Looking for faults in a man's book is a morose process, and not one I want to spend a lot of time on. And when they meet one another they enter into conversation, for which reason they never mistake their way; consequently they possess a full endowment of reason, and some common ideas on certain general subjects, and a voice by which they express themselves regarding accidental things. Just as the charlatans of the cults take advantage of the simpleton's lack of education to lead him around by the nose, so too with the Christian teachers: they do not want to give or receive reasons for what they believe.
Rather do I wish to show that Nature teaches this, that God made nothing that is mortal, but that his works, whatever they are, are immortal, while mortal things are the works of others, and the soul is a work of God, while the nature of the body is different. God does not fear any one, so as to escape danger by leading into error those who conspire against him, nor is anyone who is either in a state of sickness or mental alienation a friend of God. Moses, who wrote the account of the tower, and the confusion of tongues, has perverted the story of the sons of Aloeus, and referred it to the tower. Christians at first were few in number, and held the same opinions; but when they grew to be a great multitude, they were divided and separated, each wishing to have his own individual party: for this was their object from the beginning. And whatever is done among each nation in this way would be rightly done, wherever it was agreeable to the wishes of the superintending powers, while it would be an act of impiety to get rid of the institutions established from the beginning in the various places. What induced you, my fellow-citizens, to abandon the law of your fathers, and to allow your minds to be led captive by him with whom we have just conversed, and thus be most ridiculously deluded, so as to become deserters from us to another name, and to the practices of another life? He also downplays Celsus's appeal to evidence of reason and piety among birds, insects, and elephants.
Celsus, on the True Doctrine: a Discourse Against the...
. Celsus provided only one solution to solve the problems that he believed Christianity would inevitably create within the Empire. Not quite what the atheist is led to believe! For he has himself acknowledged that these are not the works of a divine nature, but the inventions of certain deceivers, and of thoroughly wicked men. After so long a period of time, then, did God now bethink himself of making men live righteous lives, but neglect to do so before? Surely it is intolerable for you to say, that if our present rulers, on embracing your opinions, are taken by the enemy, you will still be able to persuade those who rule after them; and after these have been taken you will persuade their successors and so on, until at length, when all who have yielded to your persuasion have been taken, some prudent ruler shall arise, with a foresight of what is impending, and he will destroy you all utterly before he himself perishes. According to the blurb this is 'the first modern English translation of this classic work of antiquity'.