Celsus, on the True Doctrine: a Discourse Against the Christians.

1357 Words Oct 21st, 2012 6 Pages
HIS 1010
Fall 10/21/12
Paper 1
Celsus, On The True Doctrine: A Discourse Against the Christians.
(Trans. R. Joseph Hoffman)

Romans were a highly skilled and educated lot and they demonstrated mild tolerance to religious sects, like Judaism. The goal of religion was to ensure the prosperity of the state, the people and the emperor under the protection of the gods. They honored this communal argument by preserving traditional ideology, moral conduct and religious responsibilities. But the rise of Christianity and their teachings became troublesome, with its circumcision, keeping the Sabbath holy and refusal to honor the Roman practice of occasional sacrifices for the Emperor, which Christians deemed to close to worshipping false idols
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For example, we are told that Jesus judged the rich with the saying 'It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of god. ' Yet we know that Plato expressed this very idea in a purer form when he said, 'It is impossible for an exceptionally good man to be exceptionally rich. ' Is one utterance more inspired than the other?" (Celsus pg. 94) Celsus reproaches Jesus because of his sufferings, saying that he received no assistance from the father, or was unable to aid himself. No one was willing to die a martyr for him or stick by his side, “Yet on the examples of those original traitors you stake your faith and profess your willingness to die? (Celsus pg. 66) And if the struggles of Jesus was foretold, why was he, a god or Son of God, fearful? (Bible, Mark 14:36) Another instance of the disorganization of Christians are their distinct sects or cults, many of which regard one another with intense mutual hostility.

"As to the squabbles of the Jews and the Christians," Celsus opines, "I can only say that these sects remind me of a cluster of bats or ants escaping a nest, a bunch of frogs holding council in a swamp, or a clutch of worms assembling in the muck: all of them disagreeing over who is the worst sinner" (Celsus pg.79) “While some of the Christians proclaim [that] they have the same god as do the Jews, others insist that there is another god

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