Celsus On the True Doctrine. A Discourse Against the by Celsus, R. Joseph Hoffman

By Celsus, R. Joseph Hoffman

The works of many early critics of the Christian church have been burned through ruling emperors or another way destroyed within the moment and 3rd centuries, however the writings of the Greek pagan thinker, Celsus, have survived in a roundabout way via his eloquent opponent Origen of Alexandria. In his apologetical treatise, Contra Celsum, Origen argues opposed to the guidelines set forth through Celsus and fees from Celsus' The real Doctrine at size. via this treatise, Celsus has come to symbolize the indifferent pagan voice of the a long time. during this translation, Professor Hoffmann has, for the 1st time, painstakingly reconstructed the most order of the philosopher's argument. Celsus' discourse indicates him to be an eclectic philosopher--a dabbler in a variety of faculties of proposal, together with Platonism and Stoicism, and a scholar of the historical past and non secular customs of many countries. Hoffman supplementations this definitive translation with an informative advent, summarizing Celsus' premises and putting the id of Celsus in its ancient context.

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In other instances, the attack centers on Jesus' character or on the credulity and unsavoriness of his disciples. " For Celsus, such inconsistencies are fatal. " cELSUS 37 Celsus shows remarkable insight into the apologetic character of the gospel writings. Unlike modern readers who know the gospels chiefly as the canonical documents of the Christian church, Celsus knew them as missionary literature-as propaganda and proclamation-rather than as sacred biography. In this respect Celsus was the first of the New Testament demythologizers, a title he shares in the history of the church with Porphyry, Voltaire, Tom Paine, D.

16 (Nero). 7. 40. 3. 41. For a general discussion of Galen's views, see Richard Walzer, Galen on Jews and Christians (London, 1949). 42. Galen, cited from fragments given in Walzer, 48-49. 43· In the case of Porphyry, the reader is referred to Adolf von Harnack, Porphyrius, "Gegen die Christen" (Berlin, 1916). According to Harnack, Porphyry was the pagan philosopher cited by Macarius Magnes (early fifth century) in the Apocriticus (English trans. by T. W. Crafer [New York, 1919], esp. pp. 51-161).

25. 7· Cf. 2; Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs. 8. 2; Epistle to the Romans, 7·3· 9· Justin Martyr, First Apology, 66. 10. 97 (in R. A. B. , Oxford Classical Texts, 1963). 11. 10. 12. 5-6; in Ancient Christian Writers, 39, ed. G. W. Clarke (New York, 1974). 46 ~B ~ . 13 . 9·5-6. 14 . 4-5. 15 . justin, 1 Apology, 7· 16 . Tertullian of Carthage, A Prescription against the Heretics, 43· 17 . Tertullian, To the Nations, 7, 8; Apology, 11. 1 8. Tertullian, Apology, 39· 19 . Tertullian, Apology, 39· 20 .

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