Monday, November 12, 2012

Even More Evidence that Celsus's Source Book on the Christian Heresies Resembled the Philosophumena

I just noticed that right after Celsus cites all the aforementioned material which seems to come from the Philosophumena (see previous posts) he launches into his famous argument that the Christian sects don't have   a clue about Greek philosophy.  This could only have been so if Celsus's original source - much like the Philosophumena was making the (negative) link between the Christian sects and Greek philosophy:

Those, then, who do not regard the apostle as a holy and wise man, will not adopt his language, and say, "The world is crucified to me, and I unto the world." And consequently in this point, too, Celsus is guilty of falsehood. He continues, moreover, to linger over the accusations which he brings against the diversity of sects which exist, but does not appear to me to be accurate in the language which he employs, nor to have carefully observed or understood how it is that those Christians who have made progress in their studies say that they are possessed of greater knowledge than the Jews; and also, whether they acknowledge the same Scriptures, but interpret them differently, or whether they do not recognise these books as divine. For we find both of these views prevailing among the sects. He then continues: "Although they have no foundation for the doctrine, let us examine the system itself; and, in the first place, let us mention the corruptions which they have made through ignorance and misunderstanding, when in the discussion of elementary principles they express their opinions in the most absurd manner on things which they do not understand, such as the following." And then, to certain expressions which are continually in the mouths of the believers in Christianity, he opposes certain others from the writings of the philosophers, with the object of making it appear that the noble sentiments which Celsus supposes to be used by Christians have been expressed in better and clearer language by the philosophers, in order that he might drag away to the study of philosophy those who are caught by opinions which at once evidence their noble and religious character. [Phil. 5.65]

Email with comments or questions.

Stephan Huller's Observations by Stephan Huller
is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.