This is a boastful and daring assertion; for if he had read the prophets in particular, which are full of acknowledged difficulties, ... the Gospels, and the other writings of the law and of the Jewish history, and the utterances of the apostles, and had read them candidly, with a desire to enter into their meaning, he would not have expressed himself with such boldness.Not one of us will assert, “I know all the doctrines of Epicurus,” or will be confident that he knows all those of Plato, in the knowledge of the fact that so many differences of opinion exist among the expositors of these systems. For who is so daring as to say that he knows all the opinions of the Stoics or of the Peripatetics?
Unless, indeed, it should be the case that he has heard this boast, “I know them all,” from some ignorant and senseless individuals, who do not perceive their own ignorance, and should thus imagine, from having had such persons as his teachers, that he was acquainted with them all.
Such an one appears to me to act very much as a person would do who had visited Egypt ..., and who should imagine that he is acquainted with the whole circle of Egyptian knowledge, after having been a disciple of the ignorant alone, and without having associated with any of the priests, or having learned the mysteries of the Egyptians from any other source. And what I have said regarding the learned and ignorant among the Egyptians, I might have said also of the Persians; ... the Syrians, and Indians, and to all those who have a literature and a mythology.
What need, moreover, was there that you, while still an infant, should be conveyed into Egypt? Was it to escape being murdered? But then it was not likely that a God should be afraid of death; The old mythological fables, which attributed a divine origin to Perseus, and Amphion, and Æacus, and Minos, ... represented the deeds of these personages as great and wonderful, and truly beyond the power of man; but what hast thou done that is noble or wonderful either in deed or in word? Bk. I. Ch. LXVI - LXVII
Celsus: What god, or spirit, or prudent man would not, on foreseeing that such events were to befall him, avoid them if he could; whereas he threw himself headlong into those things which he knew beforehand were to happen?Origen: And yet Socrates knew that he would die after drinking the hemlock, and it was in his power, if he had allowed himself to be persuaded by Crito, by escaping from prison, to avoid these calamities; but nevertheless he decided, as it appeared to him consistent with right reason, that it was better for him to die as became a philosopher, than to retain his life in a manner unbecoming one. Leonidas also, the Lacedæmonian general, knowing that he was on the point of dying with his followers at Thermopylæ, did not make any effort to preserve his life by disgraceful means but said to his companions, “Let us go to breakfast, as we shall sup in Hades.” ... Now, where is the wonder if Jesus, knowing all things that were to happen, did not avoid them, but encountered what He foreknew;bk. II. ch. XVII
Celsus: “if Jesus desired to show that his power was really divine, he ought to have appeared to those who had ill-treated him, and to him who had condemned him, and to all men universally.”
Whether Celsus omitted this from intentional malignity, or from ignorance, I do not know. (Bk.I Ch. VI)...And that it was from intentional malice that Celsus did not quote this prophecy, is clear to me from this (Bk. I Ch. XXXIV)
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