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ANF04. Fathers of the Third Century: Tertullian, Part Fourth; Minucius Felix; Commodian; Origen, Parts First and Second
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Chapter XXXV.

And let any one who peruses the treatise of Celsus observe whether it does not convey some such insinuation as the above, when he says:  “And they attempted to derive their origin from the first race of jugglers and deceivers, appealing to the testimony of dark and ambiguous words, whose meaning was veiled in obscurity.”  For these names are indeed obscure, and not within the comprehension and knowledge of many, though not in our opinion of doubtful meaning, even although assumed by those who are aliens to our religion; but as, according to Celsus, they do not38343834    κατὰ δὲ Κέλσον, οὐ παριστάνταLibri editi ad oram ὡς παριστάντα. convey any ambiguity, I am at a loss to know why he has rejected them.  And yet, if he had wished honestly to overturn the genealogy which he deemed the Jews to have so shamelessly arrogated, in boasting of Abraham and his descendants (as their progenitors), he ought to have quoted all the passages bearing on the subject; and, in the first place, to have advocated his cause with such arguments as he thought likely to be convincing, and in the next to have bravely38353835    γενναίως. refuted, by means of what appeared to him to be the true meaning, and by arguments in its favour, the errors existing on the subject.  But neither Celsus nor any one else will be able, by their discussions regarding the nature of names employed for miraculous purposes, to lay down the correct doctrine regarding them, and to demonstrate that those men were to be lightly esteemed whose names merely, not among their countrymen alone, but also amongst foreigners, could accomplish (such results).  He ought to have shown, moreover, how we, in misinterpreting38363836    παρεξηγούμενοι. the passages in which these names are found, deceive our hearers, as he imagines, while he himself, who boasts that he is not ignorant or unintelligent, gives the true interpretation of them.  And he hazarded the assertion,38373837    παρέῤῥιψε. in speaking of those names, from which the Jews deduce their genealogies, that “never, during the long antecedent period, has there been any dispute about these names, but that at the present time the Jews dispute about them with certain others,” whom he does not mention.  Now, let him who chooses show who these are that dispute with the Jews, and who adduce even probable arguments to show that Jews and Christians do not decide correctly on the points relating to these names, but that there are others who have discussed these questions with the greatest learning and accuracy.  But we are well assured that none can establish anything of the sort, it being manifest that these names are derived from the Hebrew language, which is found only among the Jews.


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