ORIGEN on Ascent
 in Plato and in the Gnostic Ophites
Contra Celsum
6: 19-34


 Contra Celsum 6.19-34ANF vol. 4  Fathers of the Third Century: Tertullian, Part Fourth; Minucius Felix; Commodian; Origen,. Greek: Origene. Contre Celse, Sources chretiennes, 136, 147, 150 ed. M. Borret, ( Cerf , Paris 1:1967; 2:1968; 3-4:1969)  Image: Bernd Witte, Das Ophitendiagramm nach Origenes Contra Celsum, Altenberge 1993, S.


ORIGEN on Ascent  in Plato and in the Gnostic Ophites


19. Celsus in the next place alleges, that “certain Christians, having misunderstood the words of Plato, loudly boast of a super-celestial’ God thus ascending beyond the heaven of the Jews.” By these words, indeed, he does not make it clear whether they also ascend beyond the God of the Jews, or only beyond the heaven by which they swear. It is not our purpose at present, however, to speak of those who acknowledge another god than the one worshipped by the Jews, but to defend ourselves, and to show that it was impossible for the prophets of the Jews, whose writings are reckoned among ours, to have borrowed anything from Plato, because they were older than he. They did not then borrow from him the declaration, that “all things are around the King of all, and that all exist on account of him; ”for we have learned that nobler thoughts than these have been uttered by the prophets, by Jesus Himself and His disciples, who have clearly indicated the meaning of the spirit that was in them, which was none other than the spirit of Christ. Nor was the philosopher the first to present to view the “super-celestial” place; for David long ago brought to view the profundity and multitude of the thoughts concerning God entertained by those who have ascended above visible things, when he said in the book of Psalms: “Praise God, ye heaven of heavens and ye waters that be above the heavens, let them praise the name of the Lord.” (Ps. 148. 4) I do not indeed, deny that Plato learned from certain Hebrews the words quoted from the Phaedrus, or even, as some have recorded, that he quoted them from a perusal of our prophetic writings, when he said: “No poet here below has ever sung of the super-celestial place, or ever will sing in a becoming manner,” and so on. And in the same passage is the following: “For the essence, which is both colourless and formless, and which cannot be touched, which really exists, is the pilot of the soul, and is beheld by the understanding alone; and around it the genus of true knowledge holds this place.” (Cf. Plato in Phiedro, p. 247) Our Paul, moreover, educated by these words, and longing after things “supra-mundane” and “super-celestial,” and doing his utmost for their sake to attain them, says in the second Epistle to the Corinthians: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are unseen are eternal.” (Cf. 2 Cor. 4. 17, 18)

  6.19 Ἑξῆς δὲ τούτοις φησὶν ὁ Κέλσος παρακούσαντάς τινας Χριστιανοὺς πλατωνικῶν λέξεων αὐχεῖν τὸν ὑπερουράνιον θεόν͵ ὑπεραναβαίνοντας τὸν Ἰουδαίων οὐρανόν. Ἐν τούτοις δὲ οὐ διασαφεῖ͵ πότερον καὶ τὸν Ἰουδαίων θεὸν ὑπεραναβαί νουσιν ἢ μόνον ὃν ὀμνύουσιν οὐρανόν. Περὶ μὲν οὖν τῶν ἕτερον ἐπαγγελλομένων θεὸν παρὰ τὸν καὶ ὑπὸ Ἰουδαίων προσκυνούμενον οὐ πρόκειται νῦν ἡμῖν λέγειν͵ περὶ δὲ ἑαυτῶν ἀπολογεῖσθαι καὶ δεικνύναι ὅτι οὐ δύνανται οἱ παρ΄ ἡμῖν Ἰουδαίων προφῆται ἀπὸ Πλάτωνός τι εἰληφέναι· πρεσβύτεροι γὰρ ἦσαν αὐτοῦ. Οὔτ΄ οὖν τὴν φάσκουσαν λέξιν· Περὶ τὸν πάντων βασιλέα πάντ΄ ἐστί͵ καὶ ἐκείνου ἕνεκα πάντα ἀπὸ Πλάτωνος εἰλήφαμεν͵ ἀλλὰ τούτων κρειττόνως εἰρημένα ἀπὸ τῶν προφητῶν μεμαθήκαμεν͵ σαφηνίσαντος τοῦ Ἰησοῦ καὶ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ τὸ βούλημα τοῦ ἐν τοῖς προφήταις πνεύματοςὅπερ οὐκ ἄλλο ἦν τοῦ πνεύματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ͵ οὔτε τὰ περὶ τοῦ ὑπερουρανίου τόπου πρῶτος ὁ φιλόσοφος παρίστησιν͵ ἀλλὰ Δαυῒδ τὴν βαθύτητα τοῦ πλήθους τῶν ἐν τοῖς ὑπεραναβεβηκόσι τὰ αἰσθητὰ ὑπαρχόντων περὶ θεοῦ θεωρημάτων πάλαι παρέστησεν εἰπὼν ἐν τῇ βίβλῳ τῶν ψαλμῶν· Αἰνεῖτε τὸν θεὸν οἱ οὐρανοὶ τῶν οὐρανῶν͵ καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ τὸ ὑπεράνω τῶν οὐρανῶν· αἰνεσάτωσαν τὸ ὄνομα κυρίου. Ἐγὼ δὲ οὐκ ἀπογινώσκω τὰς ἀπὸ τοῦ Φαίδρου λέξεις ἀπό τινων Ἑβραίων μεμαθηκότα τὸν Πλάτωνα͵ ὡς δέ τινες ἀνέγραψαν͵ ἔτι καὶ τοῖς προφητικοῖς ἐντυχόντα λόγοις ἐκτεθεῖσθαι͵ ἐν οἷς ἔλεγεν· Τὸν ὑπερουράνιον τόπον οὔτε τις ὕμνησε τῶν τῇδε ποιητὴς οὔτε ὑμνήσει κατ΄ ἀξίαν καὶ τὰ ἑξῆς͵ ἐν οἷς ἐστι καὶ τὸ Ἡ γὰρ ἀχρώματός τε καὶ ἀσχημάτιστος καὶ ἀναφὴς οὐσία ὄντως οὖσα ψυχῆς κυβερνήτῃ νῷ μόνῳ θεατή͵ περὶ ὃν τὸ τῆς ἀληθοῦς ἐπιστήμης γένος τοῦτον ἔχει τὸν τόπον. Καὶ ἀπ΄ ἐκείνων γε τῶν λόγων παιδευθεὶς ὁ Παῦλος ἡμῶν καὶ ποθῶν τὰ ὑπερκόσμια καὶ ὑπερουράνια καὶ δι΄ ἐκεῖνα πάντα πράττων͵ ἵν΄ αὐτῶν τύχῃ͵ φησὶν ἐν τῇ δευτέρᾳ πρὸς Κορινθίους ἐπιστολῇ· Τὸ γὰρ παραυτίκα ἐλαφρὸν τῆς θλίψεως ἡμῶν καθ΄ ὑπερβολὴν εἰς ὑπερβολὴν αἰώνιον βάρος δόξης κατεργάζεται ἡμῖν͵ μὴ σκοπούντων ἡμῶν τὰ βλεπόμενα ἀλλὰ τὰ μὴ βλεπόμενα· τὰ γὰρ βλεπόμενα πρόσκαιρα͵ τὰ δὲ μὴ βλεπό μενα αἰώνια.

20. Now, to those who are capable of understanding him, the apostle manifestly presents to view “things which are the objects of perception,” calling them “things seen; ”while he terms “unseen,” things which are the object of the understanding, and cognisable by it alone. He knows, also, that things “seen” and visible are “temporal,” but that things cognisable by the mind, and “not seen,” are “eternal; ”and desiring to remain in the contemplation of these. and being assisted by his earnest longing for them, he deemed all affliction as “light” and as “nothing,” and during the season of afflictions and troubles was not at all bowed down by them, but by his contemplation of (divine) things deemed every calamity a light thing, seeing we also have “a great High Priest,” who by the greatness of His power and understanding “has passed through the heavens, even Jesus the Son of God,” who has promised to all that have truly learned divine things, and have lived lives in harmony with them, to go before them to the things that are supra-mundane; for His words are: “That where I go, ye may be also.” (Cf. John 14. 3) And therefore we hope, after the troubles and struggles which we suffer here, to reach the highest heavens, and receiving, agreeably to the teaching of Jesus, the fountains of water that spring up unto eternal life, and being filled with the rivers of knowledge, shall be united with those waters that are said to be above the heavens, and which praise His name. And as many of us as praise Him shall not be carried about by the revolution of the heaven, but shall be ever engaged in the contemplation of the invisible things of God, which are no longer understood by us through the things which He hath made from the creation of the world, but seeing, as it was expressed by the true disciple of Jesus in these words, “then face to face; ” (Cf. 1 Cor. 13. 12) and in these, “When that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part will be done away.” (Cf. 1 Cor. 13. 10)

6.20 Ἄντικρυς γὰρ τοῖς ἀκούειν δυναμένοις παρίστησι τὰ μὲν αἰσθητὰ λέγων αὐτὰ βλεπόμενα͵ τὰ δὲ νοητὰ καὶ νῷ μόνῳ καταληπτὰ ὀνομάζων μὴ βλεπόμενα. Οὗτος δὲ καὶ πρόσκαιρα μὲν οἶδε τὰ αἰσθητὰ καὶ βλεπόμενα͵ αἰώνια δὲ τὰ νοητὰ καὶ μὴ βλεπόμενα· καὶ βουλό μενος πρὸς τῇ ἐκείνων θέᾳ γενέσθαι ὑπὸ τοῦ πρὸς ἐκεῖνα πόθου βοηθούμενος πᾶσαν θλῖψιν τὸ οὐδὲν καὶ ἐλαφράν τινα ἐνόμιζεν εἶναι· καὶ παρ΄ αὐτὸν τὸν τῆς θλίψεως καὶ τῶν πόνων καιρὸν μηδαμῶς μὲν βαρούμενος ὑπ΄ αὐτῶν͵ ἐπελαφρί ζων δὲ διὰ τὴν περὶ ἐκεῖνα θέαν πᾶσαν περίστασιν· ἐπεὶ καὶ ἔχομεν ἡμεῖς ἀρχιερέα μέγαν τῷ μεγέθει τῆς δυνάμεως καὶ τοῦ νοῦ αὐτοῦ διεληλυθότα τοὺς οὐρανούς͵ Ἰησοῦν τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ͵ ἐπαγγειλάμενον τοῖς γνησίως μαθοῦσι τὰ θεῖα καὶ ἀξίως αὐτῶν βιώσασι προάξειν αὐτοὺς ἐπὶ τὰ ὑπερκόσμια· φησὶ γάρ· Ἵν΄ ὅπου ἐγὼ ὑπάγω καὶ ὑμεῖς ἦτε. Διὰ τοῦτο ἡμεῖς μετὰ τοὺς ἐνταῦθα πόνους καὶ τοὺς ἀγῶνας ἐλπίζομεν πρὸς ἄκροις γενέσθαι τοῖς οὐρανοῖς͵ καὶ πηγὰς ὕδατος ἁλλομένου εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον ἀναλα βόντες κατὰ τὴν Ἰησοῦ διδασκαλίαν ποταμούς τε χωρήσαντες τῶν θεωρημάτων σὺν τοῖς λεγομένοις ὕδασιν ὑπεράνω τῶν οὐρανῶν͵ αἰνοῦσι τὸ ὄνομα κυρίου͵ ἔσεσθαι. Καὶ ὅσον γε αἰνοῦμεν αὐτόν͵ οὐ περιαχθησόμεθα ἀπὸ τῆς τοῦ οὐρανοῦ περιφορᾶς͵ ἀεὶ δὲ πρὸς τῇ θέᾳ ἐσόμεθα τῶν ἀοράτων τοῦ θεοῦ͵ οὐκέτι ἀπὸ κτίσεως κόσμου τοῖς ποιήμασι νοουμένων ἡμῖν͵ ἀλλ΄ ὡς ὠνόμασεν ὁ γνήσιος τοῦ Ἰησοῦ μαθητὴς λέγων· Τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον καὶ τό· Ἐὰν ἔλθῃ τὸ τέλειον͵ τὸ ἐκ μέρους καταργηθήσεται.

21. The Scriptures which are current in the Churches of God do not speak of “seven” heavens, or of any definite number at all, [But see 2 Cor. 12. 2, and also Irenaeus, vol. i. p. 405.] but they do appear to teach the existence of “heavens,” whether that means the “spheres” of those bodies which the Greeks call “planets,” or something more mysterious. Celsus, too, agreeably to the opinion of Plato, (Cf. Plato in Timaeo, p. 42) asserts that souls can make their way to and from the earth through the planets; while Moses, our most ancient prophet, says that a divine vision was presented to the view of our prophet Jacob, (Cf. Gen. 28. 12, 13) —a ladder stretching to heaven, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon it, and the Lord supported upon its top,—obscurely pointing, by this matter of the ladder, either to the same truths which Plato had in view, or to something greater than these. On this subject Philo has composed a treatise which deserves the thoughtful and intelligent investigation of all lovers of truth (Philo, de Somniis).

6.21 Ἑπτὰ δὲ οὐρανοὺς ἢ ὅλως περιωρισμένον ἀριθμὸν αὐτῶν αἱ φερόμεναι ἐν ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις τοῦ θεοῦ οὐκ ἀπαγ γέλλουσι γραφαί͵ ἀλλ΄ οὐρανούς͵ εἴτε τὰς σφαίρας τῶν παρ΄ Ἕλλησι λεγομένων πλανήτων εἴτε καὶ ἄλλο τι ἀπορ ρητότερον ἐοίκασι διδάσκειν οἱ λόγοι. Καὶ τὸ ὁδὸν δὲ εἶναι ταῖς ψυχαῖς ἐς γῆν καὶ ἀπὸ γῆς Κέλσος μὲν κατὰ Πλάτωνά φησι γίνεσθαι διὰ τῶν πλανήτων· Μωϋσῆς δέ͵ ὁ ἀρχαιότατος ἡμῶν προφήτης͵ ἐν ὄψει τοῦ πατριάρχου ἡμῶν Ἰακώβ φησιν ἑωρᾶσθαι θεῖον ἐνύπνιον͵ κλίμακα εἰς οὐρανὸν φθάνουσαν καὶ ἀγγέλους τοῦ θεοῦ ἀναβαίνοντας καὶ καταβαίνοντας ἐπ΄ αὐτῆς͵ τὸν δὲ κύριον ἐπεστηριγμένον ἐπὶ τοῖς ἄκροις αὐτῆς͵ εἴτε ταῦτα εἴτε τινὰ μείζονα τούτων αἰνιττόμενος ἐν τῷ περὶ τῆς κλίμακος λόγῳ· περὶ ἧς καὶ τῷ Φίλωνι συντέτακται βιβλίον͵ ἄξιον φρονίμου καὶ συνετῆς παρὰ τοῖς φιλαλήθεσιν ἐξετάσεως.





MITHRAISM (/Gnosticism)






22. After this, Celsus, desiring to exhibit his learning in his treatise against us, quotes also certain Persian mysteries, where he says: “These things are obscurely hinted at in the accounts of the Persians, and especially in the mysteries of Mithras, which are celebrated amongst them. For in the latter there is a representation of the two heavenly revolutions,—of the movement, viz., of the fixed stars, and of that which take place among the planets, and of the passage of the soul through these. The representation is of the following nature: There is a ladder with lofty gates, and on the top of it an eighth gate. The first gate consists of lead, the second of tin, the third of copper, the fourth of iron, the fifth of a mixture of metals, the sixth of silver, and the seventh of gold. The first gate they assign to Saturn, indicating by the ’lead’ the slowness of this star; the second to Venus, comparing her to the splendour and softness of tin; the third to Jupiter, being firm and solid; the fourth to Mercury, for both Mercury and iron are fit to endure all things, and are money-making and laborious; the fifth to Mars, because, being composed of a mixture of metals, it is varied and unequal; the sixth, of silver, to the Moon; the seventh, of gold, to the Sun,—thus imitating the different colours of the two latter.” He next proceeds to examine the reason of the stars being arranged in this order, which is symbolized by the names of the rest of matter. Musical reasons, moreover, are added or quoted by the Persian theology; and to these, again, he strives to add a second explanation, connected also with musical considerations. But it seems to me, that to quote the language of Celsus upon these matters would be absurd, and similar to what he himself has done, when, in his accusations against Christians and Jews, he quoted, most inappropriately, not only the words of Plato; but, dissatisfied even with these, he adduced in addition the mysteries of the Persian Mithras, and the explanation of them. Now, whatever be the case with regard to these,—whether the Persians and those who conduct the mysteries of Mithras give false or true accounts regarding them,—why did he select these for quotation, rather than some of the other mysteries, with the explanation of them? For the mysteries of Mithras do not appear to be more famous among the Greeks than those of Eleusis, or than those in Aegina, where individuals are initiated in the rites of Hecate. But if he must introduce barbarian mysteries with their explanation, why not rather those of the Egyptians, which are highly regarded by many, or those of the Cappadocians regarding the Comanian Diana, or those of the Thracians, or even those of the Romans themselves, who initiate the noblest members of their senate? But if he deemed it inappropriate to institute a comparison with any of these, because they furnished no aid in the way of accusing Jews or Christians, why did it not also appear to him inappropriate to adduce the instance of the mysteries of Mithras?

6.22 Ἑξῆς δὲ τούτοις βουλόμενος ὁ Κέλσος πολυμάθειαν ἑαυτοῦ ἐπιδείξασθαι ἐν τῷ καθ΄ ἡμῶν λόγῳ ἐκτίθεταί τινα καὶ περσικὰ μυστήρια ἐν οἷς φησιν· Αἰνίττεται ταῦτα καὶ ὁ Περσῶν λόγος͵ καὶ ἡ τοῦ Μίθρου τελετή͵ ἣ παρ΄ αὐτοῖς ἐστιν. Ἔστι γάρ τι ἐν αὐτῇ σύμβολον τῶν δύο τῶν ἐν οὐρανῷ περιόδων͵ τῆς τε ἀπλανοῦς καὶ τῆς εἰς τοὺς πλανήτας αὖ νενεμημένης͵ καὶ τῆς δι΄ αὐτῶν τῆς ψυχῆς διεξόδου. Τοιόνδε τὸ σύμβολον· κλῖμαξ ἑπτάπυλος͵ ἐπὶ δ΄ αὐτῇ πύλη ὀγδόη. Ἡ πρώτη τῶν πυλῶν μολίβδου͵ ἡ δευτέρα κασσιτέρου͵ ἡ τρίτη χαλκοῦ͵ ἡ τετάρτη σιδήρου͵ ἡ πέμπτη κεραστοῦ νομίσματος͵ ἡ ἕκτη ἀργύρου͵ χρυσοῦ δὲ ἡ ἑβδόμη. Τὴν πρώτην τίθενται Κρόνου͵ τῷ μολίβδῳ τεκμηριούμενοι τὴν βραδυτῆτα τοῦ ἀστέρος͵ τὴν δευτέραν Ἀφροδίτης͵ παραβάλλοντες αὐτῇ τὸ φαιδρόν τε καὶ μαλακὸν τοῦ κασσιτέρου͵ τὴν τρίτην τοῦ Διός͵ τὴν χαλκοβατῆ καὶ στερράν͵ τὴν τετάρτην Ἑρμοῦ͵ τλήμονα γὰρ ἔργων ἁπάντων καὶ χρηματιστὴν καὶ πολύκμητον εἶναι τόν τε σίδηρον καὶ τὸν Ἑρμῆν͵ τὴν πέμπτην Ἄρεος͵ τὴν ἐκ τοῦ κράματος ἀνώμαλόν τε καὶ ποικίλην͵ ἕκτην Σελήνης τὴν ἀργυρᾶν͵ ἑβδόμην Ἡλίου τὴν χρυσῆν͵ μιμούμενοι τὰς χρόας αὐτῶν. Ἑξῆς ἐξετάζει τὴν αἰτίαν τῆς οὕτω κατειλεγμένης τάξεως τῶν ἀστέρων͵ δηλουμένης διὰ συμβόλων ἐν τοῖς ὀνόμασι τῆς ποικίλης ὕλης͵ καὶ μουσικοὺς λόγους προσάπτει ᾗ ἐκτίθεται Περσῶν θεολογίᾳ· προσφιλοτιμεῖται δὲ τού τοις καὶ δευτέραν ἐκθέσθαι διήγησιν͵ πάλιν ἐχομένην μουσικῶν θεωρημάτων. Ἔδοξε δέ μοι τὸ ἐκθέσθαι τὴν λέξιν ἐν τούτοις τοῦ Κέλσου ἄτοπον εἶναι καὶ ὅμοιον ᾧ αὐτὸς πεποίηκεν͵ εἰς τὴν περὶ Χριστιανῶν καὶ Ἰουδαίων κατηγορίαν ἀκαίρως παραλαβὼν οὐ μόνον τὰ Πλάτωνος͵ ὡς ἐκείνοις ἀρκεῖσθαι͵ ἀλλὰ καὶ τά͵ ὥς φησι͵ Περσῶν τοῦ Μίθρου μυστήρια καὶ τὴν διήγησιν αὐτῶν. Ὅπως ποτὲ γὰρ ἐχέτω ταῦτα͵ εἴτε ψευδῶς εἴτ΄ ἀληθῶς͵ τοῖς τὰ τοῦ Μίθρου πρεσβεύουσι καὶ Πέρσαις· τί δὴ οὖν μᾶλλον ταῦτ΄ ἐξέθετο ἤ τι τῶν λοιπῶν μυστηρίων μετὰ τῆς διηγήσεως αὐτῶν; Οὐ γὰρ δοκεῖ παρ΄ Ἕλλησιν εἶναι ἐξαίρετα τὰ τοῦ Μίθρου παρὰ τὰ Ἐλευσίνια ἢ τὰ παραδιδόμενα τοῖς ἐν Αἰγίνῃ μυουμένοις τὰ τῆς Ἑκάτης. Τί δὲ μᾶλλον εἴπερ βαρβαρικὰ ἐβούλετο μυστήρια ἐκτίθεσθαι μετὰ τῆς διηγήσεως αὐτῶν͵ οὐ μᾶλλον τὰ Αἰγυπτίων͵ ἐν οἷς πολλοὶ σεμνύνονται͵ ἢ τὰ Καππαδοκῶν περὶ τῆς ἐν Κομάνοις Ἀρτέμιδος ἢ τὰ Θρᾳκῶν ἢ καὶ τὰ Ρωμαίων αὐτῶν͵ τελούντων τοὺς εὐγενεστάτους τῶν ἀπὸ τῆς συγκλήτου βουλῆς; Ἀλλ΄ εἰ ἄκαιρον αὐτῷ ἔδοξεν ἐκείνων τι παραβαλεῖν ὡς μηδαμῶς συμβαλλόμενον εἰς τὴν Ἰουδαίων ἢ Χριστιανῶν κατηγορίαν͵ πῶς οὐχὶ τὸ αὐτὸ ἄκαιρον καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς ἐκθέσεως τῶν Μιθραϊκῶν αὐτῷ ἐφαίνετο;

23. If one wished to obtain means for a profounder contemplation of the entrance of souls into divine things, not from the statements of that very insignificant sect from which he quoted, hut from books—partly those of the Jews, which are read in their synagogues, and adopted by Christians, and partly from those of Christians alone—let him peruse, at the end of Ezekiel’s prophecies, the visions beheld by the prophet, in which gates of different kinds are enumerated, (Cf. Ezek. 48) which obscurely refer to the different modes in which divine souls enter into a better world; and let him peruse also, from the Apocalypse of John, what is related of the city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and of its foundations and gates. (Cf. Rev. 21) And if he is capable of finding out also the road, which is indicated by symbols, of those who will march on to divine things, let him read the book of Moses entitled Numbers, and let him seek the help of one who is capable of initiating him into the meaning of the narratives concerning the encampments of the children of Israel; viz., of what sort those were which were arranged towards the east, as was the case with the first; and what those towards the south-west. and south; and what towards the sea; and what the last were, which were stationed towards the north. For he will see that there is in the respective places a meaning not to be lightly treated, nor, as Celsus imagines, such as calls only for silly and servile listeners: but he will distinguish in the encampments certain things relating to the numbers that are enumerated, and which are specially adapted to each tribe, of which the present does not appear to us to be the proper time to speak. Let Celsus know, moreover, as well as those who read his book, that in no part of the genuine and divinely accredited Scriptures are “seven” heavens mentioned; neither do our prophets, nor the apostles of Jesus, nor the Son of God Himself, repeat anything which they borrowed from the Persians or the Cabiri.

6.23 Εἰ δέ τις βούλοιτο μὴ ἀφ΄ ἧς παρέθετο αἱρέσεως ἀσημοτάτης ἀλλὰ ἀπὸ βιβλίων πῇ μὲν ἰουδαϊκῶν καὶ ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς αὐτῶν ἀναγινωσκομένων͵ ἅπερ Χριστιανοὶ προσίενται͵ πῇ δὲ Χριστιανῶν μόνων λαβεῖν ἀφορμὰς τῆς μυστικωτέρας περὶ εἰσόδου ψυχῶν εἰς τὰ θεῖα θεωρίας͵ ἀναγνώτω τὰ ἐπὶ τέλει τῆς τοῦ Ἰεζεκιὴλ προφητείας ἑωραμένα τῷ προφήτῃ͵ ἐν οἷς διάφοροι πύλαι καταγεγραμ μέναι εἰσίν͵ αἰνισσόμεναί τινα περὶ τῆς διαφόρου εἰσόδου τῶν θειοτέρων ψυχῶν ἐπὶ τὰ κρείττονα· ἀναγνώτω δὲ καὶ ἐκ τῆς Ἰωάννου Ἀποκαλύψεως τὰ περὶ τῆς πόλεως τοῦ θεοῦ Ἱερουσαλὴμ ἐπουρανίου καὶ τῶν θεμελίων καὶ τῶν πυλῶν αὐτῆς. Εἰ δὲ δύναται διὰ συμβόλων καὶ τὴν ὁδὸν δεδηλω μένην τῶν ὁδευσόντων ἐπὶ τὰ θεῖα μαθεῖν͵ ἀναγνώτω τοὺς ἐπιγεγραμμένους Ἀριθμοὺς Μωϋσέως καὶ ζητησάτω τὸν δυνάμενον αὐτὸν μυσταγωγῆσαι ἐπὶ τὰ περὶ τῶν παρεμβολῶν τῶν υἱῶν Ἰσραὴλ ἀναγεγραμμένα͵ ποῖαι μὲν κατὰ τὰ ἀνατολικὰ τεταγμέναι εἰσὶ μέρη ὡς πρῶται͵ ποῖαι δὲ ἐπὶ τὰ κατὰ λίβα ἢ κατὰ νότον͵ καὶ τίνες αἱ κατὰ θάλασσαν͵ καὶ τίνες αἱ τελευταῖαι κατὰ βορρᾶν. Ὄψεται γὰρ θεωρήματα οὐκ εὐκαταφρόνητα ἐν τοῖς τόποις οὐδ΄ ὡς Κέλσος οἴεται͵ μωρῶν τινων ἀκροατῶν καὶ ἀνδραπόδων δεόμενα· διαλή ψεται γὰρ τίνες ἐν αὐτοῖς͵ καὶ τίνα τὰ περὶ τῆς φύσεως τῶν κατειλεγμένων ἐν αὐτοῖς ἀριθμῶν καὶ ἐφαρμοσθέντων ἑκάστῃ φυλῇ͵ περὶ ὧν νῦν ἡμῖν ἐκθέσθαι ἔδοξεν οὐκ εὔκαιρον εἶναι. Ἴστω δὲ Κέλσος καὶ οἱ ἐντυγχάνοντες αὐτοῦ τῷ βιβλίῳ ὅτι οὐδαμοῦ τῶν γνησίων καὶ θείων πεπιστευμένων γραφῶν ἑπτὰ εἴρηνται οὐρανοί· οὔτ΄ ἀπὸ Περσῶν ἢ Καβείρων λαβόντες ἡμῶν οἱ προφῆται λέγουσί τινα οὐδ΄ οἱ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ ἀπόστολοι οὐδ΄ αὐτὸς ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ.











24. After the instance borrowed from the Mithraic mysteries, Celsus declares that he who would investigate the Christian mysteries, along with the aforesaid Persian, will, on comparing the two together, and on unveiling the rites of the Christians, see in this way the difference between them. Now, wherever he was able to give the names of the various sects, he was nothing loth to quote those with which he thought himself acquainted; but when he ought most of all to have done this, if they were really known to him, and to have informed us which was the sect that makes use of the diagram he has drawn, he has not done so. It seems to me, however, that it is from some statements of a very insignificant sect called Ophites, which he has misunderstood, that, in my opinion, he has partly borrowed what he says about the diagram. Now, as we have always been animated by a love of learning, we have fallen in with this diagram, and we have found in it the representations of men who, as Paul says, “creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts; ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (Cf. 2 Tim. 3. 6, 7) The diagram was, however, so destitute of all credibility, that neither these easily deceived women, nor the most rustic class of men, nor those who were ready to be led away by any plausible pretender whatever, ever gave their assent to the diagram. Nor, indeed, have we ever met any individual, although we have visited many parts of the earth, and have sought out all those who anywhere made profession of knowledge, that placed any faith in this diagram.

6.24 Ἑξῆς δὲ τῷ ἀπὸ τῶν μιθραϊκῶν ληφθέντι λόγῳ ἐπαγγέλλεται ὁ Κέλσος τελετήν τινα Χριστιανῶν τελετῇ τῇ προειρημένῃ Περσῶν τὸν βουλόμενον συνεξετάσαι͵ ταῦτα ἀλλήλοις παραβαλόντα καὶ γυμνώσαντα καὶ τὰ Χριστιανῶν͵ οὕτω θεάσεσθαι τὴν διαφορὰν αὐτῶν. Καὶ ὅπου μὲν ᾔδει ὀνόματα εἰπεῖν αἱρέσεων͵ οὐκ ὤκνησεν ἐκθέσθαι ἃς ἐδόκει εἰδέναι· ὅπου δὲ μᾶλλον ἐχρῆν͵ εἴπερ ἠπίστατο͵ τοῦτο ποιῆσαι καὶ διδάξαι͵ ποία αἵρεσις χρῆται τῷ διατυπωθέντι διαγράμματι͵ τοῦτ΄ οὐ πεποίηκε. Δοκεῖ δέ μοι καὶ ἐκ τούτων ἐκ παρακουσμάτων ἀσημο τάτης αἱρέσεως Ὀφιανῶν οἶμαι ἐκτεθεῖσθαι τὰ τοῦ διαγράμ ματος ἀπὸ μέρους. Τούτῳ δ΄ ἡμεῖς κατὰ τὸ φιλομαθὲς ἡμῶν περιτετεύχαμεν͵ ἐν ᾧ εὕρομεν πλάσματα ἀνθρώπων͵ ὡς ὁ Παῦλος ὠνόμασεν͵ ἐνδυνόντων εἰς τὰς οἰκίας καὶ αἰχμαλωτιζόντων γυναικάρια σεσωρευμένα ἁμαρτίαις͵ ἀγό μενα ἐπιθυμίαις ποικίλαις͵ πάντοτε μανθάνοντα καὶ μηδέποτε εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν ἀληθείας ἐλθεῖν δυνάμενα. Οὕτω δὲ πᾶσαν ἀπιθανότητα εἶχε τὸ διάγραμμα͵ ὡς μηδὲ τὰ εὐεξαπάτητα γυναικάρια μηδὲ τοὺς ἀγροικοτάτους καὶ ὑφ΄ οὑτινοσοῦν πιθανοῦ ἑτοίμως ἔχοντας ἄγεσθαι συγκατατεθεῖσθαι τῷ διαγράμματι. Οὐδενὶ γοῦν͵ καίτοι γε πολλοὺς ἐκπεριελθόντες τόπους τῆς γῆς καὶ τοὺς πανταχοῦ ἐπαγγελλομένους τι εἰδέναι ζητήσαντες͵ περιτετεύχαμεν πρεσβεύοντι τὰ τοῦ διαγράμματος.

25. In this diagram were described ten circles, distinct from each other, but united by one circle, which was said to be the soul of all things, and was called “Leviathan.” This Leviathan, the Jewish Scriptures say, whatever they mean by the expression, was created by God for a plaything; for we find in the Psalms: “In wisdom hast Thou made all things: the earth is full of Thy creatures; so is this great and wide sea. There go the ships; small animals with great; there is this dragon, which Thou hast formed to play therein.” (Cf. Ps. 104. 24–26) Instead of the word “dragon,” the term “leviathan” is in the Hebrew. This impious diagram, then, said of this leviathan, which is so clearly depreciated by the Psalmist, that it was the soul which had travelled through all things! We observed, also, in the diagram, the being named “Behemoth,” placed as it were under the lowest circle. The inventor of this accursed diagram had inscribed this leviathan at its circumference and centre, thus placing its name in two separate places. Moreover, Celsus says that the diagram was “divided by a thick black line, and this line he asserted was called Gehenna, which is Tartarus.” Now as we found that Gehenna was mentioned in the Gospel as a place of punishment, we searched to see whether it is mentioned anywhere in the ancient Scriptures, and especially because the Jews too use the word. And we ascertained that where the valley of the son of Ennom was named in Scripture in the Hebrew, instead of “valley,” with fundamentally the same meaning, it was termed both the valley of Ennom and also Geenna. And continuing our researches, we find that what was termed “Geenna,” or “the valley of Ennom,” was included in the lot of the tribe of Benjamin, in which Jerusalem also was situated. And seeking to ascertain what might be the inference from the heavenly Jerusalem belonging to the lot of Benjamin and the valley of Ennom, we find a certain confirmation of what is said regarding the place of punishment, intended for the purification of such souls as are to be purified by torments, agreeably to the saying: “The Lord cometh like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver and of gold.” (Cf. Mal. 3. 2, 3)

6.25 Ἐν ᾧ ἦν διαγραφὴ κύκλων͵ ἀπολελυμένων μὲν ἀπ΄ ἀλλήλων δέκα συνδουμένων δὲ ὑφ΄ ἑνὸς κύκλου͵ ὃς ἐλέγετο εἶναι ἡ τῶν ὅλων ψυχὴ καὶ ὠνομάζετο Λευϊαθάν͵ ὅντινα αἱ Ἰουδαίων γραφαὶ ὅ τι ποτ΄ οὖν αἰνισσόμεναι ἔλεγον πεπλάσθαι ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ παίγνιον. Ἐν γὰρ ψαλμοῖς εὕρομεν· Πάντα ἐν σοφίᾳ ἐποίησας· ἐπληρώθη ἡ γῆ τῆς κτίσεώς σου. Αὕτη ἡ θάλασσα ἡ μεγάλη καὶ εὐρύχωρος· ἐκεῖ πλοῖα διαπορεύονται͵ ζῷα μικρὰ μετὰ μεγάλων͵ δράκων οὗτος͵ ὃν ἔπλασας ἐμπαίζειν αὐτῷ. Ἀντὶ δὲ τοῦ δράκων Λευϊαθὰν ἦν ἐν τῷ ἑβραϊκῷ. Τὸ τοίνυν ἀσεβὲς διάγραμμα τὸν σαφῶς οὕτως κατηγορηθέντα ἐν τῷ προφήτῃ Λευϊαθὰν ἔλεγεν εἶναι τὴν διὰ τῶν ὅλων πεφοιτηκυῖαν ψυχήν. Εὕρομεν δ΄ ἐν αὐτῷ καὶ τὸν Βεημὼν ὀνομαζόμενον ὡσπερεὶ τεταγμένον τινὰ μετὰ τὸν κατωτάτω κύκλον. Τοῦτον δὲ τὸν Λευϊαθὰν ὁ τὸ μιαρὸν ἐκεῖνο διάγραμμα ἀναπλάσας ἐπὶ τοῦ κύκλου καὶ τοῦ κέντρου αὐτοῦ κατέγραψε͵ δὶς ἐκθέμενος αὐτοῦ τὸ ὄνομα. Ἔτι δὲ ὁ Κέλσος μελαίνῃ γραμμῇ παχείᾳ φησὶ διειλημ μένον εἶναι τὸ διάγραμμα͵ καὶ ταύτην ἔφασκεν εἰρῆσθαι αὐτῷ τὴν Γέενναν͵ οὖσαν καὶ Τάρταρον. Τὴν δὲ Γέενναν ἡμεῖς ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ γεγραμμένην ὡς κολαστήριον εὑρόντες͵ ἐζητήσαμεν͵ εἴ που τῶν παλαιῶν γραμμάτων ὠνομάσθη͵ καὶ μάλιστα ἐπείπερ καὶ Ἰουδαῖοι χρῶνται τῷ ὀνόματι. Εὕρομεν δὲ ὅπου μὲν Φάραγγα υἱοῦ Ἐννὸμ ὀνομαζομένην ἐν τῇ γραφῇ͵ ἐν δὲ τῷ ἑβραϊκῷ ἀντὶ τοῦ Φάραγξ μεμαθήκαμεν ὅτι κατὰ τοῦ αὐτοῦ ὑποκειμένου ἐλέγετο ἡ Φάραγξ Ἐννὸμ καὶ ἡ Γέεννα. Ἐπιτηροῦντες δὲ τὰ ἀναγνώσματα εὑρίσκομεν καὶ ἐν τῷ κλήρῳ τῆς φυλῆς Βενιαμὶν τὴν Γέενναν ἢ Φάραγγα Ἐννὸμ κατειλεγμένην͵ οὗ ἦν καὶ Ἱερουσαλήμ. Καὶ ἐξετάζοντες τὴν ἀκολουθίαν τοῦ εἶναι ἐπουράνιον Ἱερουσαλὴμ ἀπὸ τοῦ κλήρου Βενιαμὶν μετὰ τῆς Φάραγγος Ἐννὸμ εὑρίσκομέν τι εἰς τὸν περὶ κολάσεων τόπον͵ μεταλαμβανομένων εἰς τὴν μετὰ βασάνου κάθαρσιν τῶν τοιωνδὶ ψυχῶν κατὰ τὸ Ἰδοὺ κύριος εἰσπορεύεται ὡς πῦρ χωνευτηρίου καὶ ὡς ποία πλυνόντων· καὶ καθιεῖται χωνεύων καὶ καθαρίζων ὡς τὸ χρυσίον καὶ ὡς τὸ ἀργύριον

26. It is in the precincts of Jerusalem, then, that punishments will be inflicted upon those who undergo the process of purification, who have received into the substance of their soul the elements of wickedness, which in a certain place is figuratively termed “lead,” and on that account iniquity is represented in Zechariah as sitting upon a “talent of lead.” (Cf. Zech. v. 7) But the remarks which might be made on this topic are neither to be made to all, nor to be uttered on the present occasion; for it is not unattended with danger to commit to writing the explanation of such subjects, seeing the multitude need no further instruction than that which relates to the punishment of sinners; while to ascend beyond this is not expedient, for the sake of those who are with difficulty restrained, even by fear of eternal punishment, from plunging into any degree of wickedness, and into the flood of evils which result from sin. The doctrine of Geenna, then, is unknown both to the diagram and to Celsus: for had it been otherwise, the framers of the former would not have boasted of their pictures of animals and diagrams, as if the truth were represented by these; nor would Celsus, in his treatise against the Christians, have introduced among the charges directed against them statements which they never uttered instead of what was spoken by some who perhaps are no longer in existence, but have altogether disappeared, or been reduced to a very few individuals, and these easily counted. And as it does not beseem those who profess the doctrines of Plato to offer a defence of Epicurus and his impious opinions, so neither is it for us to defend the diagram, or to refute the accusations brought against it by Celsus. We may therefore allow his charges on these points to pass as superfluous and useless, for we would censure more severely than Celsus any who should be carried away by such opinions.

6.26 καὶ κατὰ τὸ περὶ τὴν Ἱερουσαλὴμ γίνεσθαι κολάσεις χωνευομένων͵ τῶν ἀναλαβόντων εἰς τὴν ἑαυτῶν τῆς ψυχῆς ὑπόστασιν τὰ ἀπὸ κακίας͵ τροπικῶς που ὀνομαζομένης μολίβδου· διὸ ἡ ἀνομία παρὰ τῷ Ζαχαρίᾳ ἐπὶ τάλαντον μολίβδου ἐκαθέζετο. Ὅσα δ΄ εἰς τὸν τόπον λεχθείη ἄν͵ οὔτε πᾶσιν οὔτε τοῦ παρόντος καιροῦ ἐστι διηγήσασθαι· ἀλλ΄ οὐδ΄ ἀκίνδυνον τὴν τῶν τοιούτων σαφήνειαν πιστεῦσαι γραφῇ͵ ἅτε τῶν πολλῶν οὐ χρῃζόντων πλείονος διδασκαλίας παρὰ τὴν περὶ τῆς κατὰ τῶν ἁμαρτανόντων κολάσεως. Εἰς γὰρ τὰ ὑπερέ κεινα αὐτῆς οὐ χρήσιμον ἀναβαίνειν διὰ τοὺς μόγις φόβῳ τῆς αἰωνίου κολάσεως κἂν συστέλλοντας ἐπὶ ποσὸν τῆς κακίας καὶ τῶν ἀπ΄ αὐτῆς ἁμαρτανομένων χύσιν. Οὔτ΄ οὖν οἱ κατασκευάσαντες τὸ διάγραμμα οὔτε Κέλσος οἶδε τὸν περὶ Γεέννης λόγον· ἐπεὶ οὔτ΄ ἂν ἐκεῖνοι ζωγραφίας καὶ διαγράμματα ἐσεμνοποίουν ὡς δι΄ αὐτῶν παριστάντες τὸ ἀληθές͵ οὔτ΄ ἂν ὁ Κέλσος ἐν τῷ κατὰ Χριστιανῶν συγγράμματι τὰ μηδαμῶς ὑπὸ Χριστιανῶν λεγόμενα ἀλλά τινων τάχα οὐδ΄ ἔτι ὄντων ἀλλὰ πάντῃ ἐκλελοιπότων ἢ καὶ εἰς ὀλίγους καὶ εὐαριθμήτους καταστάντων͵ ἐνετίθει ταῖς κατὰ Χριστιανῶν κατηγορίαις. Καὶ ὥσπερ οὐ καθήκει τοῖς τὰ Πλάτωνος φιλοσοφοῦσιν ἀπολογεῖσθαι περὶ Ἐπικούρου καὶ τῶν ἀσεβῶν αὐτοῦ δογμάτων͵ οὕτως οὐδ΄ ἡμῖν περὶ τῶν ἐν τῷ διαγράμματι καὶ τῶν κατ΄ αὐτοῦ λεγομένων ὑπὸ Κέλσου. Διόπερ ὡς περισσὰ καὶ μάτην ἐκκείμενα ἐῶμεν τὰ ὑπὸ Κέλσου εἰς ταῦτα λελεγμένα· μᾶλλον γὰρ Κέλσου ἡμεῖς αὐτῶν παρὰ τοῖς κεκρατημένοις ὑπὸ τοιούτων λόγων κατηγορήσομεν.

27. After the matter of the diagram, he brings forward certain monstrous statements, in the form of question and answer, regarding what is called by ecclesiastical writers the “seal,” statements which did not arise from imperfect information; such as that “he who impresses the seal is called father, and he who is sealed is called young man and son; ”and who answers, “I have been anointed with white ointment from the tree of life,”—things which we never heard to have occurred even among the heretics. In the next place, he determines even the number mentioned by those who deliver over the seal, as that “of seven angels, who attach themselves to both sides of the soul of the dying body; the one party being named angels of light, the others ‘archontics; ’“ and he asserts that the “ruler of those named ‘archontics’ is termed the ‘accursed’ god.” Then, laying hold of the expression, he assails, not without reason; those who venture to use such language; and on that account we entertain a similar feeling of indignation with those who censure such individuals, if indeed there exist any who call the God of the Jews—who sends rain and thunder, and who is the Creator of this world, and the God of Moses, and of the cosmogony which he records—an “accursed” divinity. Celsus, however, appears to have had in view in employing these expressions, not a rational object, but one of a most irrational kind, arising out of his hatred towards us, which is so unlike a philosopher. For his aim was, that those who are unacquainted with our customs should, on perusing his treatise, at once assail us as if we called the noble Creator of this world an “accursed divinity.” He appears to me, indeed, to have acted like those Jews who, when Christianity began to be first preached, scattered abroad false reports of the Gospel, such as that “Christians offered up an infant in sacrifice, and partook of its flesh; ”and again, “that the professors of Christianity, wishing to do the ‘works of darkness, ’used to extinguish the lights (in their meetings), and each one to have sexual intercourse with any woman whom he chanced to meet.” These calumnies have long exercised, although unreasonably, an influence over the minds of very many, leading those who are aliens to the Gospel to believe that Christians are men of such a character; and even at the present day they mislead some, and prevent them from entering even into the simple intercourse of conversation with those who are Christians.

6.27 Ἑξῆς δὲ τοῖς περὶ τοῦ διαγράμματος μηδὲ παρακούσας τῶν περὶ τῆς καλουμένης παρὰ τοῖς ἐκκλησιαστικοῖς σφραγῖδος ἑαυτῷ τινα ἐκτίθεται ἀλλόκοτα καὶ ἀμοιβαίας φωνάς͵ ὡς τοῦ μὲν τὴν σφραγῖδα περιτιθέντος καλουμένου πατρός͵ τοῦ δὲ σφραγιζομένου λεγομένου νέου καὶ υἱοῦ καὶ ἀποκρινομένου· κέχρισμαι χρίσματι λευκῷ ἐκ ξύλου ζωῆς͵ ὅπερ οὐδ΄ ἐν τοῖς ἀπὸ τῶν αἱρέσεων ἠκούσαμεν γίνεσθαι. Εἶτα καὶ ἀριθμὸν ὁρίζει λεγόμενον ὑπὸ τῶν παραδιδόντων τὴν σφραγῖδα ἀγγέλων ἑπτά͵ ἑκατέρωθεν τῇ ψυχῇ τοῦ ἀπαλλαττομένου σώματος ἐφισταμένων͵ τῶν μὲν τοῦ φωτὸς ἑτέρων δὲ τῶν ὀνομαζομένων ἀρχοντικῶν͵ καὶ λέγει τὸν ἄρχοντα τῶν ὀνομαζομένων ἀρχοντικῶν λέγεσθαι θεὸν κατηραμένον. Εἶτ΄ ἐπιλαβόμενος τῆς λέξεως εὐλόγως κατηγορεῖ τῶν τοῦτο τολμώντων λέγειν· τούτου δ΄ ἕνεκα καὶ ἡμεῖς συναγα νακτοῦμεν τοῖς μεμφομένοις τοὺς τοιούτους͵ εἰ δή τινες εἰσὶ λέγοντες θεὸν κατηραμένον τὸν Ἰουδαίων͵ τὸν ὕοντα καὶ βροντῶντα καὶ τοῦδε τοῦ κόσμου δημιουργὸν καὶ Μωϋσέως καὶ τῆς κατ΄ αὐτὸν κοσμοποιΐας θεόν. Ἀλλ΄ ἔοικε βεβου λῆσθαί τι διὰ τούτων ὁ Κέλσος οὐκ εὔγνωμον ἀλλ΄ ἀπὸ τοῦ καθ΄ ἡμῶν ἀφιλοσόφου μίσους πάνυ ἀγνωμονέστατον. Ἐβουλήθη γὰρ τοὺς ἀπείρους τῶν ἡμετέρων ἐντυχόντας αὐτοῦ τῇ γραφῇ πολεμῶσαι πρὸς ἡμᾶς͵ ὡς θεὸν κατηραμένον λέγοντας τὸν τοῦδε τοῦ κόσμου καλὸν δημιουργόν. Καὶ δοκεῖ μοι παραπλήσιον Ἰουδαίοις πεποιηκέναι͵ τοῖς κατὰ τὴν ἀρχὴν τῆς τοῦ χριστιανισμοῦ διδασκαλίας κατασκεδάσασι δυσφημίαν τοῦ λόγου͵ ὡς ἄρα καταθύσαντες παιδίον μετα λαμβάνουσιν αὐτοῦ τῶν σαρκῶν͵ καὶ πάλιν ὅτι οἱ ἀπὸ τοῦ λόγου τὰ τοῦ σκότου πράττειν βουλόμενοι σβεννύουσι μὲν τὸ φῶς͵ ἕκαστος δὲ τῇ παρατυχούσῃ μίγνυται· ἥτις δυσφημία παραλόγως πάλαι μὲν πλείστων ὅσων ἐκράτει πείθουσα τοὺς ἀλλοτρίους τοῦ λόγου ὅτι τοιοῦτοί εἰσι Χριστιανοί͵ καὶ νῦν δὲ ἔτι ἀπατᾷ τινας ἀποτρεπομένους διὰ τὰ τοιαῦτα κἂν εἰς κοινωνίαν ἁπλουστέραν λόγων ἥκειν πρὸς Χριστιανούς.

28. With some such object as this in view does Celsus seem to have been actuated, when he alleged that Christians term the Creator an “accursed divinity; ”in order that he who believes these charges of his against us, should, if possible, arise and exterminate the Christians as the most impious Of mankind. Confusing, moreover, things that are distinct, he states also the reason why the God of the Mosaic cosmogony is termed “accursed,” asserting that “such is his character, and worthy of execration in the opinion of those who so regard him, inasmuch as he pronounced a curse upon the serpent, who introduced the first human beings to the knowledge of good and evil.” Now he ought to have known that those who have espoused the cause of the serpent, because he gave good advice to the first human beings, and who go far beyond the Titans and Giants of fable, and are on this account called Ophites, are so far from being Christians, that they bring accusations against Jesus to as great a degree as Celsus himself; and they do not admit any one into their assembly until he has uttered maledictions against Jesus. See, then, how irrational is the procedure of Celsus, who, in his discourse against the Christians, represents as such those who will not even listen to the name of Jesus, or omit even that He was a wise man, or a person of virtuous character! What, then, could evince greater folly or madness, not only on the part of those who wish to derive their name from the serpent as the author of good, but also on the part of Celsus, who thinks that the accusations with which the Ophites(ʼΟφια̂νοι: cf. Irenaeus, vol. i. pp. 354–358) are charged, are chargeable also against the Christians! Long ago, indeed, that Greek philosopher who preferred a state of poverty, and who exhibited the pattern of a happy life, showing that he was not excluded from happiness although he was possessed of nothing, termed himself a Cynic; while these impious wretches, as not being human beings, whose enemy the serpent is, but as being serpents, pride themselves upon being called Ophites from the serpent, which is an animal most hostile to and greatly dreaded by man, and boast of one Euphrates as the introducer of these unhallowed opinions.

6.28 Τοιοῦτόν τι δή μοι φαίνεται ὁ Κέλσος οἰκονομῶν ἐκτεθεῖσθαι͵ ὡς ἄρα Χριστιανοὶ λέγουσι κατηραμένον θεὸν τὸν δημιουργόν͵ ἵν΄ ὁ πιστεύων αὐτῷ ταῦτα καθ΄ ἡμῶν λέγοντι εἰ δυνατὸν καὶ ἐπὶ τὸ αἱρεῖν ὁρμήσαι Χριστιανοὺς ὡς πάντων ἀσεβεστάτους. Φύρων δὲ τὰ πράγματα καὶ τὴν αἰτίαν ἐκτίθεται τοῦ κατηραμένον λέγεσθαι τὸν τῆς κατὰ Μωϋσέα κοσμοποιΐας θεὸν φάσκων ὅτι τοιοῦτός ἐστιν καὶ ἀρᾶς ἄξιος κατὰ τοὺς ταῦτα περὶ αὐτοῦ δοξάζοντας͵ ἐπείπερ τῷ ὄφει͵ γνῶσιν καλοῦ καὶ κακοῦ τοῖς πρώτοις ἀνθρώποις εἰσηγου μένῳ͵ κατηράσατο. Εἰδέναι δ΄ αὐτὸν ἐχρῆν ὅτι οἱ τὰ τοῦ ὄφεως ἑλόμενοι ὡς καλῶς τοῖς πρώτοις ἀνθρώποις συμβουλεύσαντος καὶ Τιτᾶνας καὶ Γίγαντας τοὺς μυθικοὺς ὑπερβαλόντες καὶ Ὀφιανοὶ διὰ τοῦτο καλούμενοι τοσοῦτον ἀποδέουσι τοῦ εἶναι Χριστιανοί͵ ὥστ΄ οὐκ ἔλαττον Κέλσου κατηγορεῖν αὐτοὺς τοῦ Ἰησοῦ καὶ μὴ πρότερον προσίεσθαί τινα ἐπὶ τὸ συνέδριον ἑαυτῶν͵ ἐὰν μὴ ἀρὰς θῆται κατὰ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ. Ὅρα γοῦν πῶς ἀλογώτατον πεποίηκεν ὁ Κέλσος ἐν τοῖς κατὰ Χριστιανῶν λόγοις παραλαβὼν ὡς Χριστιανοὺς τοὺς μηδ΄ ἀκούειν θέλοντας τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ Ἰησοῦ͵ κἂν ὅτι σοφός τις ἢ μέτριος τὰ ἤθη ἄνθρωπός τις ἦν. Τί οὖν εἴη ἂν ἠλιθιώ τερον ἢ μανικώτερον οὐ μόνον τῶν ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄφεως ὡς ἀρχηγοῦ τῶν καλῶν χρηματίσαι βουληθέντων ἀλλὰ καὶ Κέλσου͵ νομίσαντος κατὰ Χριστιανῶν εἶναι κατηγορίας τὰς κατὰ τῶν Ὀφιανῶν; Πάλαι μὲν οὖν ὁ τὴν εὐτέλειαν ἀγαπήσας φιλόσοφος Ἑλλήνων καὶ παράδειγμα ἐκθεὶς εὐδαίμονος βίου͵ ὡς οὐ κωλυόμενος εὐδαιμονεῖν ἀπὸ τῆς παντελοῦς ἀκτημοσύνης͵ Κυνικὸν ἑαυτὸν ἀνηγόρευσεν· οὗτοι δὲ οἱ ἀνόσιοι ἀπὸ τοῦ πολεμιωτάτου ἀνθρώποις ὄφεως καὶ φρικτοτάτου ὡς οὐκ ἄνθρωποι͵ ὧν ἐχθρός ἐστιν ὄφις͵ ἀλλ΄ ὡς ὄφεις σεμνύνονται ἐπὶ τῷ Ὀφιανοὶ καλεῖσθαι͵ Εὐφράτην τινὰ εἰσηγητὴν τῶν ἀνοσίων αὐχοῦντες λόγων.

29. In the next place, as if it were the Christians whom he was calumniating, he continues his accusations against those who termed the God of Moses and of his law an “accursed” divinity; and imagining that it is the Christians who so speak, he expresses himself thus: “What could be more foolish or insane than such senseless wisdom? For what blunder has the Jewish lawgiver committed? and why do you accept, by means, as you say, of a certain allegorical and typical method of interpretation, the cosmogony which he gives, and the law of the Jews, while it is with unwillingness, O most impious man, that you give praise to the Creator of the world, who promised to give them all things; who promised to multiply their race to the ends of the earth, and to raise them up from the dead with the same flesh and blood, and who gave inspiration to their prophets; and, again, you slander Him! When you feel the force of such considerations, indeed, you acknowledge that you worship the same God; but when your teacher Jesus and the Jewish Moses give contradictory decisions, you seek another God, instead of Him, and the Father!” Now, by such statements, this illustrious philosopher Celsus distinctly slanders the Christians, asserting that, when the Jews press them hard, they acknowledge the same God as they do; but that when Jesus legislates differently from Moses, they seek another god instead of Him. Now, whether we are conversing with the Jews, or are alone with ourselves, we know of only one and the same God, whom the Jews also worshipped of old time, and still profess to worship as God, and we are guilty of no impiety towards Him. We do not assert, however; that God will raise men from the dead with the same flesh and blood, as has been shown in the preceding pages; for we do not maintain that the psychic body, which is sown in corruption, and in dishonour, and in weakness, will rise again such as it was sown. On such subjects, however, we have spoken at adequate length in the foregoing pages.

6.29 Εἶθ΄ ἑξῆς ὡς Χριστιανοῖς λοιδορούμενος καὶ κατηγορῶν τῶν κατηραμένον εἰπόντων τὸν Μωϋσέως καὶ τοῦ κατ΄ αὐτὸν νόμου θεὸν καὶ οἰόμενος Χριστιανοὺς εἶναι τοὺς ταῦτα λέγοντάς φησι· Τί ἂν ἠλιθιώτερον ἢ μανικώτερον ταύτης τῆς ἀναισθήτου σοφίας γένοιτο; Τί γὰρ ἐσφάλη ὁ Ἰουδαίων νομοθέτης; Καὶ πῶς τὴν ἐκείνου κοσμογένειαν σαυτῷ διά τινος͵ ὡς φῄς͵ τυπώδους ἀλληγορίας λαμβάνεις ἢ τὸν Ἰουδαίων νόμον͵ ἐπαινεῖς δὲ ἄκων͵ ὦ δυσσεβέστατε͵ τὸν τοῦ κόσμου δημιουργόν͵ τὸν πάντα ὑποσχόμενον αὐτοῖς͵ τὸν τὸ γένος αὐτῶν αὐξήσειν μέχρι περάτων γῆς ἐπαγ γειλάμενον καὶ ἀναστήσειν ἐκ νεκρῶν αὐτῇ σαρκὶ καὶ αἵματι καὶ τοῖς προφήταις ἐμπνέοντα͵ καὶ πάλιν τοῦτον λοιδορεῖς; Ἀλλ΄ ὅταν μὲν ὑπὸ τούτων βιάζῃ͵ τὸν αὐτὸν θεὸν σέβειν ὁμολογεῖς· ὅταν δὲ τὰ ἐναντία ὁ σὸς διδάσκαλος Ἰησοῦς καὶ ὁ Ἰουδαίων Μωϋσῆς νομοθετῇ͵ θεὸν ἄλλον ἀντὶ τούτου καὶ τοῦ πατρὸς ζητεῖς. Καὶ ἐν τούτοις δὴ ὁ γενναιότατος φιλόσοφος Κέλσος σαφῶς Χριστιανοὺς συκοφαντεῖ͵ λέγων τοὺς αὐτούς͵ ἡνίκα μὲν ἂν Ἰουδαῖοι αὐτοὺς βιάζωνται͵ τὸν αὐτὸν αὐτοῖς θεὸν ὁμολογεῖν· ὅταν δὲ τὰ ἐναντία Ἰησοῦς Μωϋσεῖ νομοθετῇ͵ ἄλλον ἀντὶ τούτου ζητεῖν. Εἴτε γὰρ Ἰουδαίοις διαλεγόμενοι εἴτε καθ΄ ἑαυτοὺς ὄντες ἕνα καὶ τὸν αὐτὸν ἴσμεν͵ ὃν καὶ πάλαι ἔσεβον Ἰουδαῖοι καὶ νῦν σέβειν ἐπαγγέλλονται θεόν͵ οὐδαμῶς εἰς αὐτὸν ἀσεβοῦντες. Ἀλλ΄ οὐδ΄ ἀναστήσειν ἐκ νεκρῶν αὐτῇ σαρκὶ καὶ αἵματί φαμεν τὸν θεόν͵ ὡς ἐν τοῖς ἀνωτέρω λέλεκται· οὐ γὰρ τὸ σπειρόμενον ἐν φθορᾷ καὶ ἐν ἀτιμίᾳ καὶ ἐν ἀσθενείᾳ σῶμα ψυχικόν φαμεν ἀνίστασθαι͵ ὁποῖον ἐσπάρη. Ἀλλὰ γὰρ περὶ τούτων ἐν τοῖς ἀνωτέρω μετρίως ἡμῖν λέλεκται.

30. He next returns to the subject of the Seven ruling Demons, whose names are not found among Christians, but who, I think, are accepted by the Ophites. We found, indeed, that in the diagram, which on their account we procured a sight of, the same order was laid down as that which Celsus has given. Celsus says that “the goat was shaped like a lion,” not mentioning the name given him by those who are truly the most impious of individuals; whereas we discovered that He who is honoured in holy Scripture as the angel of the Creator is called by this accursed diagram Michael the Lion-like. Again, Celsus says that the “second in order is a bull; ”whereas the diagram which we possessed made him to be Suriel, the bull-like. Further, Celsus termed the third “an amphibious sort of animal, and one that hissed frightfully; ”while the diagram described the third as Raphael, the serpent-like. Moreover, Celsus asserted that the “fourth had the form of an eagle; ”the diagram representing him as Gabriel, the eagle-like. Again, the “fifth,” according to Celsus, “had the countenance of a bear; ”and this, according to the diagram, was Thauthabaoth, the bear-like. Celsus continues his account, that the “sixth was described as having the face of a dog; ”and him the diagram called Erataoth. The “seventh,” he adds, “had the countenance of an ass, and was named Thaphabaoth or Onoel; ”whereas we discovered that in the diagram he is called Onoel, or Thartharaoth, being somewhat asinine in appearance. We have thought it proper to be exact in stating these matters, that we might not appear to be ignorant of those things which Celsus professed to know, but that we Christians, knowing them better than he, may demonstrate that these are not the words of Christians, but of those who are altogether alienated from salvation, and who neither acknowledge Jesus as Saviour, nor God, nor Teacher, nor Son of God.

6.30 Εἶθ΄ ἑξῆς ἐπαναλαμβάνει τὰ περὶ τῶν ἑπτὰ ἀρχόν των δαιμόνων͵ μηδαμῶς μὲν ὑπὸ Χριστιανῶν ὀνομαζομένων οἶμαι δ΄ ὑπὸ Ὀφιανῶν παραλαμβανομένων. Καὶ εὕρομέν γε ἐν ᾧ καὶ ἡμεῖς δι΄ ἐκείνους ἐκτησάμεθα διαγράμματι τὴν τάξιν ὁμοίως ἐκκειμένην οἷς ὁ Κέλσος ἐξέθετο. Ὁ μὲν οὖν Κέλσος ἔλεγε τὸν πρῶτον ἰδέᾳ λέοντος μεμορφωμένον͵ οὐκ ἐκθέμενος͵ τίνα αὐτὸν ὀνομάζουσιν οἱ ἀληθῶς δυσσεβέ στατοι· ἡμεῖς δὲ εὕρομεν ὅτι τὸν ἐν ταῖς ἱεραῖς γραφαῖς εὐφημούμενον ἄγγελον τοῦ δημιουργοῦ͵ τοῦτον τὸ μιαρὸν ἐκεῖνο διάγραμμα ἔλεγεν εἶναι Μιχαὴλ τὸν λεοντοειδῆ. Πάλιν τ΄ αὖ ὁ μὲν Κέλσος ἔφασκε τὸν ἑξῆς καὶ δεύτερον εἶναι ταῦρον· ὃ δ΄ εἴχομεν διάγραμμα τὸν Σουριὴλ ἔλεγεν εἶναι τὸν ταυροειδῆ. Εἶτα ὁ μὲν Κέλσος τρίτον ἀμφίβιόν τινα καὶ φρικῶδες ἐπισυρίζοντα· τὸ δὲ διάγραμμα τρίτον Ραφαὴλ ἔλεγεν εἶναι δρακοντοειδῆ. Πάλιν τε αὖ ὁ μὲν Κέλσος τὸν τέταρτον ἀετοῦ ἔφασκεν ἔχειν μορφήν· τὸ δὲ διάγραμμα Γαβριὴλ ἔλεγεν εἶναι τὸν ἀετοειδῆ. Εἶθ΄ ὁ μὲν Κέλσος τὸν πέμπτον ἔφασκεν εἶναι ἄρκου πρόσωπον ἔχοντα· τὸ δὲ διάγραμμα τὸν Θαυθαβαὼθ ἔφασκεν εἶναι τὸν ἀρκοειδῆ. Εἶθ΄ ὁ μὲν Κέλσος τὸν ἕκτον κυνὸς πρόσωπον ἔλεγεν ἱστορεῖσθαι ἔχειν παρ΄ ἐκείνοις· τὸ δὲ διάγραμμα ἔφασκεν εἶναι αὐτὸν Ἐραθαώθ. Εἶθ΄ ὁ μὲν Κέλσος τὸν ἕβδομον ἔφασκεν ὄνου ἔχειν πρόσωπον͵ καὶ ὀνομάζεσθαι αὐτὸν Θαφα βαὼθ ἢ Ὀνοήλ· ἡμεῖς δ΄ ἐν τῷ διαγράμματι εὕρομεν ὅτι οὗτος καλεῖται Ὀνοὴλ ἢ Θαρθαραώθ͵ ὀνοειδής τις τυγχάνων. Ἔδοξε δὲ καὶ ἡμῖν ἀκριβῶς ἐκθέσθαι τὰ τοιαῦτα͵ ἵνα μὴ δοκῶμεν ἀγνοεῖν ἃ Κέλσος ἐπηγγέλλετο εἰδέναι· ἀλλὰ καὶ παραστήσωμεν ἀκριβέστερον ἐκείνου αὐτὰ ἐγνωκότες οἱ Χριστιανοί͵ ὡς οὐ Χριστιανῶν λόγους ἀλλὰ πάντῃ ἀλλοτρίων σωτηρίας καὶ οὐδαμῶς ἐπιγραφομένων Ἰησοῦν ἢ σωτῆρα ἢ θεὸν ἢ διδάσκαλον ἢ υἱὸν θεοῦ.

31. Moreover, if any one would wish to become acquainted with the artifices of those sorcerers, through which they desire to lead men away by their teaching (as if they possessed the knowledge of certain secret rites), but are not at all successful in so doing, let him listen to the instruction which they receive after passing through what is termed the “fence of wickedness,” —gates which are subjected to the world of ruling spirits. (The following, then, is the manner in which they proceed): “I salute the one-formed king, the bond of blindness, complete oblivion, the first power, preserved by the spirit of providence and by wisdom, from whom I am sent forth pure, being already part of the light of the son and of the father: grace be with me; yea, O father, let it be with me.” They say also that the beginnings of the Ogdoad (ʼΟγδοάδος. Cf. Tertullian, de Praescript. adv. Haereticos, cap. 33.) are derived from this. In the next place, they are taught to say as follows, while passing through what they call Ialdabaoth: “Thou, O first and seventh, who art born to command with confidence, thou, O Ialdabaoth, who art the rational ruler of a pure mind, and a perfect work to son and father, bearing the symbol of life in the character of a type, and opening to the world the gate which thou didst close against thy kingdom, I pass again in freedom through thy realm. Let grace be with me; yea, O father, let it be with me.” They say, moreover, that the star Phaenon is in sympathy with the lion-like ruler. They next imagine that he who has passed through Ialdabaoth and arrived at Iao ought thus to speak: “Thou, O second Iao, who shinest by night who art the ruler of the secret mysteries of son and father, first prince of death, and portion of the innocent, bearing now mine own beard as symbol, I am ready to pass through thy realm, having strengthened him who is born of thee by the living word. Grace be with me; father, let it be with me.” They next come to Sabaoth, to whom they think the following should be addressed: “O governor of the fifth realm, powerful Sabaoth, defender of the law of thy creatures, who are liberated by thy grace through the help of a more powerful Pentad, admit me, seeing the faultless symbol of their art, preserved by the stamp of an image, a body liberated by a Pentad. Let grace be with me, O father, let grace be with me.” And after Sabaoth they come to Astaphaeus, to whom they believe the following prayer should be offered: “O Astaphaeus, ruler of the third gate, overseer of the first principle of water, look upon me as one of thine initiated, admit me who am purified with the spirit of a virgin, thou who seest the essence of the world. Let grace be with me, O father, let grace be with me.” After him comes Aloaeus, who is to be thus addressed: “O Aloaeus, governor of the second gate, let me pass, seeing I bring to thee the symbol of thy mother, a gracewhich is hidden by the powers of the realms. Let grace be with me, O father, let it be with me.” And last of all they name Horaeus, and think that the following prayer ought to be offered to him: “Thou who didst fearlessly overleap the rampart of fire, O Horaeus, who didst obtain the government of the first gate, let me pass, seeing thou beholdest the symbol of thine own power, sculptured on the figure of the tree of life, and formed after this image, in the likeness of innocence. Let grace be with me, O father, let grace be with me.”

6.31 Εἰ δέ τις βούλεται καὶ τὰ πλάσματα τῶν γοήτων ἐκείνων μαθεῖν͵ δι΄ ὧν ἐβουλήθησαν μὲν ὑπάγειν ἀνθρώπους ἑαυτῶν τῇ διδασκαλίᾳ ὡς ἀπόρρητά τινα ἔχοντες οὐ πάνυ δ΄ ἐδυνήθησαν͵ ἀκουέτω ὃ διδάσκονται λέγειν μετὰ τὸ διελθεῖν ὃν ὀνομάζουσι φραγμὸν κακίας͵ πύλας ἀρχόντων αἰῶνι δεδεμένας· Βασιλέα μονότροπον͵ δεσμὸν ἀβλεψίας͵ λήθην ἀπερίσκεπτον ἀσπάζομαι͵ πρώτην δύναμιν͵ πνεύματι προνοίας καὶ σοφίᾳ τηρουμένην· ἔνθεν εἰλικρινὴς πέμπομαι͵ φωτὸς ἤδη μέρος υἱοῦ καὶ πατρός· ἡ χάρις συνέστω μοι͵ ναὶ πάτερ͵ συνέστω. Καί φασι τῆς ὀγδοάδος τὰς ἀρχὰς ἐντεῦθεν εἶναι. Εἶθ΄ ἑξῆς διδάσκονται λέγειν διερχόμενοι ὅν φασιν Ἰαλδαβαώθ· Σὺ δὲ μετὰ πεποιθήσεως πρῶτε καὶ ἕβδομε γεγονὼς κρατεῖν Ἰαλδαβαώθ͵ ἄρχων λόγος ὑπάρχων νοὸς εἰλικρινοῦς͵ ἔργον τέλειον υἱῷ καὶ πατρί͵ χαρακτῆρι τύπου ζωῆς σύμβολον ἐπιφέρων͵ ἣν ἔκλεισας αἰῶνι σῷ πύλην κόσμῳ ἀνοίξας͵ παροδεύω τὴν σὴν ἐλεύθερος πάλιν ἐξουσίαν· ἡ χάρις συνέστω μοι͵ ναὶ πάτερ͵ συνέστω. Φασὶ δὲ τῷ λεοντοειδεῖ ἄρχοντι συμπαθεῖν ἄστρον τὸν Φαίνοντα. Εἶτα οἴονται τὸν διελθόντα τὸν Ἰαλδαβαὼθ καὶ φθάσαντα ἐπὶ τὸν Ἰὰ δεῖν λέγειν· Σὺ δὲ κρυπτομένων μυστηρίων υἱοῦ καὶ πατρὸς ἄρχων νυκτοφαὴς δεύτερε Ἰαὼ καὶ πρῶτε δέσποτα θανάτου͵ μέρος ἀθώου͵ φέρων ἤδη τὸν ἴδιον ὑπήκοον νοῦν σύμβολον͵ παροδεύειν σὴν ἕτοιμος ἀρχήν· κατίσχυσας τὸν ἀπὸ σοῦ γενόμενον λόγῳ ζῶντι· ἡ χάρις συνέστω͵ πάτερ͵ συνέστω. Εἶθ΄ ἑξῆς τὸν Σαβαώθ͵ πρὸς ὃν οἴονται λέξειν· Πέμπτης ἐξουσίας ἄρχων͵ δυνάστα Σαβαώθ͵ προήγορε νόμου τῆς σῆς κτίσεως χάριτι λυομένης͵ πεντάδι δυνατωτέρᾳ͵ πάρες με͵ σύμβολον ὁρῶν σῆς τέχνης ἀνεπίληπτον͵ εἰκόνι τύπου τετηρημένον͵ πεντάδι λυθὲν σῶμα· ἡ χάρις συνέστω μοι͵ πάτερ͵ συνέστω. Ἑξῆς δὲ αὐτῷ τὸν Ἀσταφαιόν͵ ᾧ πιστεύουσι τοιαῦτα ἐρεῖν· Τρίτης ἄρχων πύλης Ἀσταφαιέ͵ ἐπίσκοπε πρώτης ὕδατος ἀρχῆς͵ ἕνα βλέπων μύστην πάρες με παρθένου πνεύματι κεκαθαρμένον͵ ὁρῶν οὐσίαν κόσμου· ἡ χάρις συνέστω μοι͵ πάτερ͵ συνέστω. Μετὰ δ΄ αὐτὸν τὸν Αἰλωαιόν͵ ᾧ τοιαῦτα λέγειν οἴονται· Δευτέρας ἄρχων πύλης Αἰλωαιέ͵ πάρες με τῆς σῆς μητρὸς φέροντά σοι σύμβολον͵ χάριν κρυπτομένην δυνάμεσιν ἐξουσιῶν· ἡ χάρις συνέστω μοι͵ πάτερ͵ συνέστω. Τελευταῖον δὲ τὸν Ὡραῖον ὀνομάζουσι καὶ πρὸς αὐτὸν λέγειν οἴονται· Ὑπερβὰς φραγμὸν πυρὸς ἀφόβως͵ πρώτης λαχὼν ἀρχὴν πύλης Ὡραῖε͵ πάρες με͵ σῆς ὁρῶν δυνάμεως σύμβολον καταλυθὲν τύπῳ ζωῆς ξύλου͵ εἰκόνι καθ΄ ὁμοίωσιν ληφθὲν ἀθώου· ἡ χάρις συνέστω μοι͵ πάτερ͵ συνέστω.

32. The supposed great learning of Celsus, which is composed, however, rather of curious trifles and silly talk than anything else, has made us touch upon these topics, from a wish to show to every one who peruses his treatise and our reply, that we have no lack of information on those subjects, from which he takes occasion to calumniate the Christians, who neither are acquainted with, nor concern themselves about, such matters. For we, too, desired both to learn and set forth these things, in order that sorcerers might not, under pretext of knowing more than we, delude those who are easily carried away by the glitter of names. And I could have given many more illustrations to show that we are acquainted with the opinions of these deluders, and that we disown them, as being alien to ours, and impious, and not in harmony with the doctrines of true Christians, of which we are ready to make confession even to the death. It must be noticed, too, that those who have drawn up this array of fictions, have, from neither understanding magic, nor discriminating the meaning of holy Scripture, thrown everything into confusion; seeing that they have borrowed from magic the names of Ialdabaoth, and Astaphaeus, and Horaeus, and from the Hebrew Scriptures him who is termed in Hebrew Iao or Jah, and Sabaoth, and Adonaeus, and Eloaeus. Now the names taken from the Scriptures are names of one and the same God; which, not being understood by the enemies of God, as even themselves acknowledge, led to their imagining that Iao was a different God, and Sabaoth another, and Adonaeus, whom the Scriptures term Adonai, a third besides, and that Eloaeus, whom the prophets name in Hebrew Eloi, was also different.

6.32 Ἐπὶ ταῦτα δὲ ἡμᾶς ἡ Κέλσου νομιζομένη μὲν πολυμά θεια͵ μᾶλλον δ΄ οὖσα περιεργία καὶ φλυαρία͵ προεκαλέσατο βουλομένους παραστῆσαι τῷ ἐντυχόντι τῇ ἐκείνου γραφῇ καὶ τοῖς ἡμῖν πρὸς αὐτὴν γεγραμμένοις ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν ἀπορία ἡμῖν τῶν Κέλσου μαθημάτων͵ ἐφ΄ οἷς καταψεύδεται Χριστιανῶν͵ οὔτε φρονούντων οὔτ΄ εἰδότων τὰ τοιαῦτα͵ εἰ καὶ ἡμεῖς ἐβουλήθημεν καὶ ταῦτα γνῶναι καὶ ἐκθέσθαι· ἵνα μὴ τῇ ἐπαγγελίᾳ τοῦ εἰδέναι τι πλεῖον ἡμῶν οἱ γόητες ἐξαπατῶσι τοὺς ὑπὸ τῆς τῶν ὀνομάτων φαντασίας συναρπα ζομένους. Ἐδυνάμην δὲ καὶ ἄλλα πλείονα παραθέμενος παραστῆσαι ὅτι ἴσμεν μὲν τὰ τῶν ἀπατεώνων͵ ἀρνούμεθα δὲ αὐτὰ ὡς ἀλλότρια καὶ ἀσεβῆ καὶ οὐ συνυπάρχοντα τοῖς μέχρι θανάτου ὑφ΄ ἡμῶν ὁμολογουμένοις ἀληθῶς Χριστιανῶν λόγοις. Χρὴ μέντοι εἰδέναι ὅτι οἱ ταῦτα συνταξάμενοι͵ οὔτε τὰ μαγείας νοήσαντες οὔτε τὰ τῶν θείων γραφῶν διακρίναντες͵ πάντ΄ ἔφυραν· ἀπὸ μὲν μαγείας τὸν Ἰαλδαβαὼθ λαβόντες καὶ τὸν Ἀσταφαιὸν καὶ τὸν Ὡραῖον͵ ἀπὸ δὲ τῶν ἑβραϊκῶν γραφῶν τὸν Ἰαὼ ἢ Ἰὰ παρ΄ Ἑβραίοις ὀνομαζόμενον καὶ τὸν Σαβαὼθ καὶ τὸν Ἀδωναῖον καὶ τὸν Ἐλωαῖον. Τὰ δὲ ἀπὸ τῶν γραφῶν ληφθέντα ὀνόματα ἐπώνυμά ἐστι τοῦ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἑνὸς θεοῦ· ὅπερ μὴ συνέντες οἱ ἐχθροὶ θεῷ͵ ὡς καὶ αὐτοὶ ὁμολογοῦσιν͵ ᾠήθησαν ἄλλον μὲν εἶναι τὸν Ἰαὼ ἕτερον δὲ τὸν Σαβαὼθ καὶ τρίτον παρὰ τοῦτον τὸν Ἀδωναῖον͵ ὃν λέγουσιν αἱ γραφαὶ Ἀδωναΐ͵ καὶ ἄλλον τὸν Ἐλωαῖον͵ ὃν οἱ προφῆται ὀνομάζουσιν ἑβραϊστὶ Ἐλωαΐ.

33. Celsus next relates other fables, to the effect that “certain persons return to the shapes of the archontics, so that some are called lions, others bulls, others dragons, or eagles, or bears, or dogs.” We found also in the diagram which we possessed, and which Celsus called the “square pattern,” the statements made by these unhappy beings concerning the gates of Paradise. The flaming sword was depicted as the diameter of a flaming circle, and as if mounting guard over the tree of knowledge and of life. Celsus, however, either would not or could not repeat the harangues which, according to the fables of these impious individuals, are represented as spoken at each of the gates by those who pass through them; but this we have done in order to show to Celsus and those who read his treatise, that we know the depth of these unhallowed mysteries, and that they are far removed from the worship which Christians offer up to God.

6.33 Εἶθ΄ ἑξῆς ἄλλους μύθους ὁ Κέλσος ἐκτίθεται͵ ὥς τινων εἰς τὰς ἀρχοντικὰς μορφὰς ἐπανερχομένων͵ ὥστε τινὰς μὲν γίνεσθαι λέοντας ἄλλους δὲ ταύρους καὶ ἄλλους δράκοντας ἢ ἀετοὺς ἢ ἄρκους ἢ κύνας. Εὕρομεν δὲ ἐν ᾧ εἴχομεν διαγράμματι καὶ ὃ ὠνόμασε Κέλσος τετράγωνον σχῆμα καὶ τὸ ἐπὶ τῶν τοῦ παραδείσου πυλῶν λεγόμενον ὑπὸ τῶν ἀθλίων ἐκείνων. Ἐζωγραφεῖτο δὲ ὡς διάμετρος κύκλου τινὸς πυροειδοῦς ἡ φλογίνη ῥομφαία ὡς δορυφο ρουμένη τῷ τε τῆς γνώσεως ξύλῳ καὶ τῆς ζωῆς. Ὁ μὲν οὖν Κέλσος οὐκ ἠθέλησε τὰς δημηγορίας ἢ οὐκ ἐδυνήθη ἐκθέσθαι͵ ἃς καθ΄ ἑκάστην πύλην κατὰ τοὺς τῶν ἀσεβῶν μύθους ἐροῦσιν οἱ διϊόντες αὐτάς· ἡμεῖς δὲ καὶ τοῦτο πεποιήκαμεν͵ ἵνα τὸ τῆς ἀτελέστου τελετῆς πέρας δείξωμεν τῷ Κέλσῳ καὶ τοῖς ἐντυγχάνουσι τῇ γραφῇ ἐγνωκέναι ὡς ἀλλότριον τῆς Χριστιανῶν περὶ τὸ θεῖον εὐσεβείας.





(Chapters 1-7: Antony the young ascetic)






















CHAPTER 1. Of the vigils which we endured. 1. De uigiliis quas pertulimus.






Youth and





































CHAPTER 1. Of the vigils which we endured. 1. De uigiliis quas pertulimus.


















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