Anti-Christian Library

Truthful Word-Celsus

Criticism of Christianity

TRUE WORD
INTRODUCTION

Christians make secret alliances between themselves that are contrary to the laws. In fact, there are open societies that arise in accordance with the law, and there are hidden societies that operate outside the law. The Christian community (agape) is based on a community of danger, and the strength (of its obligations) is above the oath of duty … [I, 1].

The doctrine of Christians of barbaric origin. (True), barbarians are able to create teachings, (but) judge the created by barbarians (teachings), improve them and develop towards virtues better than others (only) the Hellenes are capable [I, 2] … (If Christians secretly carry out and spread their doctrine, then) it’s not without reason that they do this: they try to avert the death penalty threatening them from themselves; (but this) danger (not more formidable) of those dangers that people were exposed to for the sake of philosophy, such as Socrates [I, 3] … (As for) ethical provisions, they (they) are common with other philosophers and are not represent something worthy of respect and are not a new teaching [I, 4] … They therefore do not believe in gods created by human hands, which is ridiculous to allow the creations of the most despicable and evil artisans made sometimes by wicked people, were gods. (But already) Heraclitus said: “Those who turn to lifeless gods act as if someone were talking to the walls.” Persians were of the same opinion, according to Herodotus [I, 5] …

The strength of Christians is, apparently, in the knowledge of the names of certain demons and (in the application) of spells. The miracles that allegedly showed (Jesus), he was able to perform with the help of witchcraft. Foreseeing that others, having acquired the same knowledge, would want to do the same and boast that they were doing it by God’s power, Jesus expelled all such from the community. (But one of two 🙂 if he rightly expelled them, then since he himself is guilty of the same things, then (and himself) a bad person; if he committed such acts without being bad, then those who act like him should not (should be considered bad on this basis) [I, 6].

I do not think at all to say that a person who adheres to good doctrine must, when he is in danger of it because of this, abandon his doctrine or pretend to be refused, or become a renegade; After all, whoever has a sound soul (related to God), she always strives for her native (God), and (such people) are always eager to hear something and remember about it [I, 8]. But to perceive some doctrine (it is necessary), following reason and a reasonable leader; he who adjoins any (teachers) on such grounds is not amenable to deception. (Such people are similar) to the foolish admirers of metragirt and fortune-tellers, priests of Mithra and Sabazia and anyone who believes in the appearance of Hekate [5]and other female and male demons … (Namely) this is the case with Christians. Some of them do not want to give or receive explanations about what they believe in. They get off (with phrases like): “do not test, but believe”, “your faith will save you” (cf. Mt. 9:22); they say: “wisdom in the world is evil, and stupidity is good” (cf. 1 Cor. 3:19) [I, 9] … If they wish to answer me not as a (person) who inquires, I’m all (about Christians) I know, but how (to a person) who is equally interested in everyone is good; if they do not wish, but say, as usual, “do not test,” etc., it is necessary that they (at least) explain what it is that they claim and from which source it came from [I, 12].

Many peoples observe related teachings. There is a primordial ancient teaching, which was practiced by the wisest peoples and states and wise people – Egyptians, Assyrians, Indians, Persians, Odries, Samothrace [I, 14]; Eleusians and Hyperboreans, the wisest ancient peoples – the Homeric galactophages, Celtic druids and Getae, argued (about the same things as the Bible). The Lin Museum, Orpheus, Ferekid, Persian Zoroaster, Pythagoras talked about this, set forth their positions in books and preserved them to our time [I, 16]. (The allegorical form is stated in these works) secret wisdom … [I, 18], (Moses in his cosmogony believes that the world does not even count 10,000 years; meanwhile) the world has not been created. A lot of world fires and floods occurred from the century, and the flood at Deucalion is a later, recent phenomenon, as well as the world fire at Phaeton [I, 19]. The Greeks consider them ancient because they did not see and do not remember more ancient fires and floods [I, 20]. Accepting this doctrine from wise peoples and rational people, Moses became known as the inspired [I, 21] … Circumcision was borrowed from the Egyptians [I, 22] … The followers of Moses and the shepherds of goats and sheep, carried away by gross deception, admitted that there is one God [I, 23], calling this world order by the name of the Most High, Adonai, heaven, the Sabaoth or whatever you like best. (Essentially) it makes no difference whether to name the god standing above all the usual name of the Greeks as Zeus, or such name among the Hindus, or such name among the Egyptians [I, 24] … (Jews) venerate angels and are committed to witchcraft, in which Moses appeared to be their teacher. I (further) will show how the Jews, by virtue of their ignorance, succumbed to deception and fell into error … I will talk about the Jews later, (first, about Jesus), who became the founder of (Christianity). Most recently, he preached this doctrine, and Christians recognized him as the son of God … they were deceived and accepted the doctrine, spoiling a person’s life [I, 26]. It was learned only by commoners, (although) among Christians there were some decent, efficient, understanding people who successfully applied allegorical interpretations.

Part I
JUDAISM AGAINST CHRISTIANITY

(Jesus) invented his birth from a virgin. He was born in a Jewish village from a local woman, a poor and impoverished one; convicted of adultery, she was driven out by her husband, a carpenter in the craft. (She was convicted of adultery and gave birth to a soldier named Panther) [I, 32]. Rejected by her husband, she shamefully wandered and gave birth in secret to Jesus. This one, having hired by poverty as a day laborer in Egypt and having practiced there in some abilities that the Egyptians are famous for, returned proud of his abilities and on this basis declared himself a god [I, 28]. (The virgin birth of Jesus reminds) Hellenic myths about Danae, Melanippus, Auga and Antiope [I, 37] … Perhaps the mother of Jesus was beautiful, and the god, who was unusual for loving a corruptible body, combined with her as with a beauty? We will not talk about the fact that God could hardly fall in love with a (woman) poor and non-royal family; because no one knew her, not even her neighbors … When the carpenter hated her and drove her away, neither God’s power nor a powerful word saved her … This does not fit the “kingdom of God” [I, 39]. When John bathed you, the image of a bird came down from heaven from you, you affirm (cf. Matthew 3: 16-17). But what credible witness saw this phenomenon, or who heard a voice from heaven proclaiming you the son of God? Just what you say about it and bring (as a witness) one of those who were executed with you [I, 41] … Suppose my prophet in Jerusalem once said that the son of God would come, who will judge the righteous and punish the wicked [I, 49]. Why are you more (you have the right to claim the title of the son of God) than the tens of thousands of others who were born after this prophecy and about whom it was foreshadowed? .. Some in a state of ecstasy, others in a state of wakefulness declare that the son of God will come from above. .. (But after all) the prophecies referring here can be interpreted as applied to other things [I, 50]. (If Jesus is the son of God, then why during the execution) did his father not help him or (why) he could not help himself [I, 54]? If you want to say that every person who happened by divine providence is the son of God, then how are you different from another? There will be tens of thousands of Jews who will expose you, claiming that the prophecy about the son of God is said about themselves [I, 57]. Jesus said the Chaldeans, prompted by his birth, came to worship him, still a baby, as a god; that they reported this to the tetrarch Herod; the latter sent to kill all those born at the same time (with Jesus), hoping to destroy him along with them, so that, having come to the right age, he would not become king [I, 58] … If (Herod wanted to kill you), so that you Having grown up, you did not become a king in his place; why, when you have grown up, do not reign, but as a son of God, you become impoverished, bending from fear and wandering randomly [I, 61]? Having gotten yourself ten or eleven adherents, inveterate people, the lowest tax collectors and boatmen, you wandered with them here and there, with difficulty getting yourself a miserable food [I, 62] … Why did you need to be taken to Egypt as a baby so that you not killed? After all, it was not proper for God to fear death; and yet an angel appeared from heaven ordering you and your household to flee, so that you, remaining, were not killed. Surely the angel already sent twice for you could not protect you here, the great god (could not protect) his own son? (Obviously, there was nothing divine in you, and your blood spilled on the cross) was not “the moisture that flows only among the inhabitants of the happy sky” (Iliad, V, 340) [I, 66]. The ancient myths that attributed the divine origin to Perseus, Amphiarai, Eak, and Minos — we do not believe them — at least pointed out, so as not to seem untrustworthy, to the great, amazing deeds they performed, truly exceeding human strength; did you do something beautiful or surprising in word or deed? You could not show us anything, although we in the temple urged you to show some clear sign that you are the son of God (John 2:18) [I, 67]. (Let’s say for a minute, that it’s true) all that your pupils fooling (readers) about healing, resurrection, about a few loaves that have filled the crowd, and there are still large surpluses, and everything else; we’ll believe that you did all this: (but no worse) the work of sorcerers who promise even more amazing things, and what the Egyptian scholars do, giving their wonderful knowledge in the middle of the market, expelling demons from people, blowing out diseases, soul-provoking heroes, showing ghostly sumptuous feasts, meals, cookies and goodies, setting in motion animals that do not exist in reality, which are only for imagination. So what if they do such things, we have to consider them sons of God? Or should we say that these are tricks of bad and miserable people [I, 68]? .. God would not have such a body, like yours. A body born the way you, Jesus, was born cannot be the body of God [I, 69]. The body of God does not feed in this way; the body of God does not use such a voice or such a means of persuasion [I, 70] … All this is the work of a God-hated, worthless sorcerer [I, 71].

What happened to you, citizens, that you rejected domestic law and, seduced by that (person) with whom we just spoke, succumbed to a very ridiculous way and ran away from us, adopting a different name and a different way of life [II, 1]? Most recently, almost yesterday, when we executed this seducer of yours, you rejected the domestic law … How are you, proceeding from our shrines, (nevertheless) moving further, dishonor them! After all, you cannot indicate a source of your teaching other than our law; because if someone predicted to you that in fact the son of God would come to people, then it was our prophet, our god [II, 4] … (Jesus, to whom you refer, was not the proclaimed son of God) and was punished by the Jews as a criminal. Regarding the resurrection of the dead, the judgment of God, the glory for the righteous, and the (hellish) flame for sinners, then Christians do not teach anything new about this [II, 5]. (If Jesus was the son of God, then why) did he follow all the customs accepted by the Jews, up to their (usual) sacrifices [II, 6]? .. (Jesus) – a bouncer, a rude liar and a wicked [II, 7]. To those who wish to be deceived, many appeared like Jesus was …

Believers in Christ blame the Jews for not believing in Jesus as a god. (But if he really were a god), then how (exactly) did we, who announced to the whole world about the coming coming of a messenger of God who punishes the wicked, dishonored him when he appeared? Why would we blaspheme the one foretold? Is it really so that we will be punished more than others [II, 8]? (No, that’s not the point, of course); how could we admit to God that one who, as it was clear, did not fulfill anything that was promised, and when we convicted him, condemned him and sentenced him to death, hid on the run and was taken in a shameful manner, betrayed by those whom he called his students? But it would not have been supposed that God would run away and be led connected, and it is least possible that his followers, who would share his whole personal life with him, those who followed him as a teacher left and betrayed the one whom they considered to be the savior, son and angel of the greatest god [II, 9]. A good warlord, commanding many tens of thousands, was never betrayed; even the evil chieftain of robbers, commanding the villains, because he seems useful to his comrades, (he was not betrayed by his own). And since he was betrayed by his subordinates, he was not (therefore) a good commander, but, having deceived his students, he did not inspire the deceived (even) that, say, the goodwill that (robbers feel) for the chieftain [II, 12]. I can tell a lot more about the story of Jesus, but I willingly omit it. even the evil chieftain of robbers, commanding the villains, since he seems useful to his comrades (he was not betrayed by his own). And since he was betrayed by his subordinates, he was not (therefore) a good commander, and, having deceived his students, he did not inspire the deceived (even) that, say, the goodwill that the robbers have for the chieftain [II, 12]. I can tell a lot more about the story of Jesus, but I willingly omit it. even the evil chieftain of robbers, commanding the villains, since he seems useful to his comrades (he was not betrayed by his own). And since he was betrayed by his subordinates, he was not (therefore) a good commander, and, having deceived his students, he did not inspire the deceived (even) that, say, the goodwill that the robbers have for the chieftain [II, 12]. I can tell a lot more about the story of Jesus, but I willingly omit it.

The disciples (of Jesus) invented that he had foreseen and predicted everything that had happened to them [II, 13]. The disciples of Jesus, having no opportunity to reject the obvious facts, came up with this (trick) – they say that he foresaw everything [II, 15]. (In order to save the authority of Jesus), they wrote about him stupidly, as if someone, calling someone fair, showed him acting unfairly, calling him immortal, showed a corpse, but added to all this that he had foretold all that it happened to him. After all, you don’t even say that, it seemed, to the wicked people it seemed as if he had suffered all this, but (in reality) he had not; on the contrary, you acknowledge that he has undergone. But why is this prediction credible? Where did this corpse turn out to be immortal [II, 16]? .. What rational god, or demon, or person, foreseeing what would happen to him (trouble), wouldn’t he try, if he could, evade, and not undergo what he knew in advance [II, 17]? If he had previously named the one who would betray him and who would renounce him, then how could it be that they were not afraid of him as a god, and did not abandon the thought of betraying him and renouncing him? Meanwhile, they betrayed him and renounced him, not thinking about him at all [II, 18]. After all, if they are malicious against a person and he, having learned about it in time, will tell the attackers about it in advance, then they will abandon their intention and beware. Therefore, this could not happen after his prediction – it is impossible, and since it (nevertheless) happened, then (this) proved that there was no prediction. For it is completely inconceivable that people who had heard about this beforehand (went on to) surrender and renounce [II, 19]. if he could evade, and not undergo what he knew in advance [II, 17]? If he had previously named the one who would betray him and who would renounce him, then how could it be that they were not afraid of him as a god, and did not abandon the thought of betraying him and renouncing him? Meanwhile, they betrayed him and renounced him, not thinking about him at all [II, 18]. After all, if they are malicious against a person and he, having learned about it in time, will tell the attackers about it in advance, then they will abandon their intention and beware. Therefore, this could not happen after his prediction – it is impossible, and since it (nevertheless) happened, then (this) proved that there was no prediction. For it is completely inconceivable that people who had heard about this beforehand (went on to) surrender and renounce [II, 19]. if he could evade, and not undergo what he knew in advance [II, 17]? If he had previously named the one who would betray him and who would renounce him, then how could they not be afraid of him as a god, and did not abandon the thought of betraying him and renouncing him? Meanwhile, they betrayed him and renounced him, not thinking about him at all [II, 18]. After all, if they are malicious against a person and he, having learned about it in time, will tell the attackers about it in advance, then they will abandon their intention and beware. Therefore, this could not happen after his prediction – it is impossible, and since it (nevertheless) happened, then (this) proved that there was no prediction. For it is completely inconceivable that people who had heard about this beforehand (went on to) surrender and renounce [II, 19]. 17]? If he had previously named the one who would betray him and who would renounce him, then how could they not be afraid of him as a god, and did not abandon the thought of betraying him and renouncing him? Meanwhile, they betrayed him and renounced him, not thinking about him at all [II, 18]. After all, if they are malicious against a person and he, having learned about it in time, will tell the attackers about it in advance, then they will abandon their intention and beware. Therefore, this could not happen after his prediction – it is impossible, and since it (nevertheless) happened, then (this) proved that there was no prediction. For it is completely inconceivable that people who had heard about this beforehand (went on to) surrender and renounce [II, 19]. 17]? If he had previously named the one who would betray him and who would renounce him, then how could they not be afraid of him as a god, and did not abandon the thought of betraying him and renouncing him? Meanwhile, they betrayed him and renounced him, not thinking about him at all [II, 18]. After all, if they are malicious against a person and he, having learned about it in time, will tell the attackers about it in advance, then they will abandon their intention and beware. Therefore, this could not happen after his prediction – it is impossible, and since it (nevertheless) happened, then (this) proved that there was no prediction. For it is completely inconceivable that people who had heard about this beforehand (went on to) surrender and renounce [II, 19]. and did not abandon the thought of betraying him and renouncing him? Meanwhile, they betrayed him and renounced him, not thinking about him at all [II, 18]. After all, if they are malicious against a person and he, having learned about it in time, will tell the attackers about it in advance, then they will abandon their intention and beware. Therefore, this could not happen after his prediction – it is impossible, and since it (nevertheless) happened, then (this) proved that there was no prediction. For it is completely inconceivable that people who had heard about this beforehand (went on to) surrender and renounce [II, 19]. and did not abandon the thought of betraying him and renouncing him? Meanwhile, they betrayed him and renounced him, not thinking about him at all [II, 18]. After all, if a person is attacked and he, having learned about it in time, tells the attackers about it in advance, then they will abandon their intention and beware. Therefore, this could not happen after his prediction – it is impossible, and since it (nevertheless) happened, then (this) proved that there was no prediction. For it is completely inconceivable that people who had heard about this beforehand (went on to) surrender and renounce [II, 19]. this could not happen after his prediction – this is impossible, and since it (nevertheless) happened, then (this) proved that there was no prediction. For it is completely inconceivable that people who had heard about this beforehand (went on to) surrender and renounce [II, 19]. this could not happen after his prediction – this is impossible, and since it (nevertheless) happened, then (this) proved that there was no prediction. For it is completely inconceivable that people who had heard about this beforehand (went on to) surrender and renounce [II, 19].

(Further, if you take your point of view, then) he predicted all this as a god, and the predicted certainly had to be completed; it turns out that God seduced his disciples and prophets, with whom he ate and drank together, so that they would become dishonest and immoral, and yet he should do good to all people, especially his companions. Or should it be assumed that the person’s fellow practitioner would not be malicious against him, and the one sitting at the table with God would encroach on him? But what is most absurd is that God himself was malicious against the comrades-in-arms, making them traitors and wicked [II, 20].

(Further), if he himself decided so, if he accepted the execution, obeying his father, then it is obvious that everything that happened to him as a god by his will and thought should not have been painful and painful for him [II, 23]; what does he call for help, complain and pray for deliverance from the fear of death, saying: “Father, if possible, let this cup pass from me”? [II, 24]. (And here you are, the disciples of Jesus), even with a lie you failed to clothe your fabrications in the form of credibility [II, 26]. (It is not surprising, therefore) that some of the believers, as if in a state of intoxication, go so far as to lay their hands on themselves, thrice, four times, and repeatedly redo and rework the first record of the gospel in order to be able to reject denunciations [9] [II, 27 ].

Christians use prophets that supposedly foreshadowed everything (regarding) Jesus … (But) prophecies can be applied more convincingly to thousands of others than to Jesus [II, 28]. The prophets say that he who has come is a great ruler, the lord of the whole earth, of all peoples and armies; they did not at all proclaim such a slander [II, 29] … No one discovers the god and son of God on the basis of such hints and false rumors, on the basis of such weak evidence; just as the sun, illuminating everything, reveals itself first of all, the Son of God ought to prove himself in the same way [II, 30].

You engage in sophistry when you say that the son of God is the word itself; declaring the son of God a “word”, you are not presenting a pure, holy word, but a person who has been shamefully executed and punished with torment. If the Son of God was really a word with you, we would praise you [II, 31]. (But your Jesus only) a bouncer and a sorcerer [II, 32].

You claim that Jesus is of royal origin. That was impudence on the part of the genealogy compilers when they brought Jesus out of the first man and the kings of Judah. Of course, the carpenter’s wife, who turned out to be of such a noble family, could not have known this [II, 32] … What did Jesus accomplish as an outstanding God, despising people, mocking and mocking events? [II, 33]. (After all, here) Bacchus at Euripides exclaims: “God himself will save me when I want.” (And here) even the one who condemned him was not injured, like Pentheus [10]fallen into madness or torn to pieces. They laughed at him, dressed him in purple, put a crown of thorns on him and gave him a reed [II, 34]; why, if not earlier, then at least at this moment does not show divine (power), does not escape from this shame, does not punish those who insult him and his father [II, 35]? Well, when his body was crucified, what was his blood? Such … “what flows among the inhabitants of heaven” [II, 36]?

(Why is Jesus on the cross) so eagerly drawn to drink and could not endure thirst, as any person often suffers [II, 37]? You, strong believers, reproach us for not believing him to be God and disagreeing with you as if he had endured it for the benefit of people, so that we would also despise punishment [II, 36]. (But his example and all his activities did not convince anyone); he was executed and suffered such suffering, not convincing anyone during his life, even his disciples [I, 39]; and he himself did not show himself free from all vices [II, 41]. Jesus was not perfect [II, 42]. Would you say about him that, not convincing those who live here (on earth), he went to Hades to convince those who are there (the dead) [II, 43]?

If, thinking up ridiculous excuses, about which you are being ridiculously deceived in the most ridiculous way, you are thinking of really defending yourself, then what prevents you from considering any other convicts who have ended their lives in the most miserable way to be especially great people and divine messengers? (Indeed, on the same basis) the same shameless person could talk about the executed robber and murderer that he is not a robber, but a god: he supposedly predicted to the members of his gang that what would actually happen to them [II, 44 ].

Further, those who were with him during his life listened to his speech and followed him as a teacher – seeing his execution and death, they neither died with him, nor for him, were convinced (that it was necessary) to despise the torment, but deny that they (his) disciples: and now you are dying with him [II, 45]! Personally, he recruited a dozen boaters and the most outcast publicans, and not all of them. If during his life he did not convince anyone, and after his death those who want to convince so many, is this not the height of absurdity? [II, 46].

On the basis of what reasoning did you come to consider him the son of God? (You say): “We have come to this, for we know that the execution took place for the sake of overcoming the father of evil”; so, have not many others been executed, and no less low [II, 47]? (Or you say): “On this basis, we consider him the son of God, that he healed the lame and blind and raised the dead” [II, 48]. (But), Oh light and truth, (Jesus himself), with your own lips, according to your scripture, clearly states that other villains and charlatans who use such powers will appear, and he calls the one who cunningly arranges it, a certain Satan; thus, he himself does not deny that such (miracles) do not represent anything divine, but are the work of evil people. Under the pressure of truth, he simultaneously revealed (the tricks) of others and exposed himself. Is it not impudence – on the basis of the same actions of one to be considered a god, and the others – charlatans? Why, on this basis, should we consider the villains of others, and not him, following his testimony? After all, he himself admitted that all these are not signs of a divine essence, but some deceivers, the greatest scoundrels [II, 49].

What attracted you (to him), if not his predictions that he supposedly would rise after death [II, 54]? Well, believe you, he said that. But how many others are there who spread such fables, convincing simple-minded listeners and using their delusion? After all, the Scythians say the same thing about Zamolxis, the slave of Pythagoras, in Italy – about Pythagoras himself, in Egypt – about Rampsinite; this one even allegedly played dice with Hell with Demeter and returned from there with gifts from her — a golden towel. The same is said about Orpheus among the Odrizes, about Protesilaus in Thessaly, about Hercules in Tenar and about Theseus .

Let us see, however, whether anyone has ever risen after death in the flesh. Or do you think that for others this is considered and in reality is a fairy tale, but for you this dramatic incident was thought up decently and believably – his exclamation on the pillar when he gave up his spirit, and an earthquake, and an eclipse? And that he, although he failed to fend for himself during his lifetime, becoming a corpse, rebelled, showed signs of execution, broken arms – who saw this? A half-crazy woman or someone else from the same charlatan company, to whom this was a dream because of some predisposition or who voluntarily allowed himself to captivate a deceptive, fantastic vision, as it happened to so many, or, more likely, wanted to hit the others with a charlatan fiction and this lie to open the way for other vagrants [II, 55]. If Jesus really as you say, he was resurrected, if he really wanted to show divine power, he should have seemed to those who insulted him, who had condemned him, generally to everyone [II, 63]; after all, since he died and was, as you say, a god, he had nothing to fear from any of the people, and not then he was sent from the very beginning to hide [II, 67]. If this was of such great importance for the proof of (his) divinity, he, in any case, should have disappeared directly from the pillar [II, 68], (so that everyone could see it. And he chose to hide; but) who ever , being sent as a messenger, hides when it is necessary to declare what (he) was entrusted with? While he, clothed in flesh, did not inspire confidence, he preached to everyone tirelessly, and when he, having risen from the dead, could inspire strong faith, he appeared secretly only to one woman and his own adherents; when he was punished, everyone saw him, and when he was resurrected – only one person; but it should have been the other way around [II, 70]. (So ​​he hoped) to enlighten the pious and pity the erring and repentant [II, 71]! If he wanted to remain in obscurity, then why was there a voice declaring him to be the son of God? If he didn’t want to hide, why should he be punished and die? [II, 72]. (And if) he wanted (by example) the suffering he had suffered to teach us to despise death, then, having risen from the dead, (he should) openly call on everyone and explain why he came down (to earth) [II, 73]. (So ​​he hoped) to enlighten the pious and pity the erring and repentant [II, 71]! If he wanted to remain in obscurity, then why was there a voice declaring him to be the son of God? If he didn’t want to hide, why should he be punished and die? [II, 72]. (And if) he wanted (by example) the suffering he had suffered to teach us to despise death, then, having risen from the dead, (he should) openly call on everyone and explain why he came down (to earth) [II, 73]. (So ​​he hoped) to enlighten the pious and pity the erring and repentant [II, 71]! If he wanted to remain in obscurity, then why was there a voice declaring him to be the son of God? If he didn’t want to hide, why should he be punished and die? [II, 72]. (And if) he wanted (by example) the suffering he had suffered to teach us to despise death, then, having risen from the dead, (he should) openly call on everyone and explain why he came down (to earth) [II, 73].

We bring all this to you from your own writings, we don’t need anyone else’s testimony, you are beaten with your own weapons [II, 74] … O Almighty, O heaven, what kind of god, being among people, does not cause ( to oneself) of faith, although at the same time it is (just) the one who relies on him? Why doesn’t it be recognized by those who have long been waiting for him [II, 75]?

… (So) in vain he threatens and scolds when he says “woe to you”, “I tell you in advance”: for by this he irrefutably admits that he is not able to convince, and this does not happen either with God or even ( just) with a reasonable person [II, 76].

We, the Jews, hope that once we truly will be resurrected in the flesh and gain eternal life, an example and leader in this will be our messenger (god), who will show that it is not impossible for God to (resurrect) anyone in the flesh. But where is he so that we (could) see and believe him [II, 77]? (We saw that it was not Jesus who was this messenger; for he could not convince anyone); or maybe he appeared for that, so that we would not believe [II, 78]?

So, Jesus was a man, moreover, the way the truth draws him and shows his mind [II, 79].

Part II
CRITICISM OF CHRISTIANITY FROM THE VIEW OF
PHILOSOPHY AND HISTORY

Christians and Jews are foolishly arguing among themselves, and their conversations among themselves about Christ are no different from the debate about the shadow of a donkey that has entered into a proverb.

There is nothing noble in the debates of Jews and Christians among themselves, since both sides believe that there was a prophecy from the spirit of God about the coming savior of the human race; they disagree only on the question of whether the foretold savior has already appeared or not [III, 1]. (However, the Hellenes also had saviors) – the beneficent Asclepius, who predicts the future for entire cities dedicated to him, such as: Trikke, Epidaurus, Kos and Pergamum, Aristeus [13] from Prokonnes, some [14] from Klazomen and Cleomed from Astiapalea [III, 3]. Jews come from Egypt; they left Egypt, rebelling against the Egyptian state and despising the religion adopted in Egypt; (and now) what they did to the Egyptians, they (themselves) experienced from the partisans of Jesus, who believed in him as in Christ; in both cases, the reason for the innovation was indignation against the state [III, 5]. Jews, being Egyptians, got their start (as a separate nation) by rebellion, and being (already) Jews, they rebelled against the Jewish state and followed Jesus [III, 7] in the time of Jesus; (they are always led only by the spirit of rebellion, and) if all people wished to become Christians, then they would not have wished (to remain Christians) [III, 9].

At first, there were few of them, and they had one mind. And having multiplied, they disintegrate immediately and split up: everyone wants to have their own fraction; for they sought this from the very beginning [III, 10]; again breaking away from the majority, they expose themselves. The only, so to speak, common thing that they still have, if any, is the name. This is the only thing they are still embarrassed to discard: and everything else is different for them [III, 12]. Their union is all the more surprising that, as (easily) can be proved, it does not rest on any solid foundation; this “solid foundation” is a rebellious spirit, (derived) from it profit and fear of external (opponents); this strengthens their faith [III, 14].

They attract and combine all kinds of notions of horrors; combining poorly understood ancient legends, they dazzle and fascinate people, as those who stun the initiates in the coribant [16] [III, 16]. The Egyptians’ faith (can be compared to a cult): when you come up to them, (you see) magnificent sacred sites and groves, huge beautiful propylaea, wonderful temples, magnificent tabernacles around, reverential mysterious worship. But when you enter and find yourself already inside, you see that worship is given to the cat, monkey, crocodile, goat or dog [III, 17]. (Incidentally) recognizing this, it is suggested that not in vain (animals) are sacred [III, 18]. (Christians), on the one hand, laugh at the Egyptians, although the latter give a lot of good riddles, as they teach that this kind of veneration is given to eternal ideas, and not, as many people think, to perishable animals; but they are stupid, not introducing into the stories about Jesus anything more worthy of respect than the Egyptian goats and dogs [III, 19].

(The Greeks believe that) Dioscuri, Hercules, Asclepius and Dionysus (from people turned into gods; Christians) do not tolerate being considered gods, since they were originally people, even if they had done many good deeds to people; meanwhile, they claim that after his death Jesus was seen by his own disciples, moreover, in the form of a shadow [III, 22]. Regarding Asclepius, a large, innumerable number of people, both Hellenes and barbarians, unanimously claim that they often saw him and still (now) see him, moreover, not in the form of a ghost, but in healing, beneficent, and foretelling the future [III, 24]. (Everyone knows) the prophecies of Apollo [III, 25]; on the other hand, the proconnesian Aristeus, having so divinely disappeared from the midst of people, appeared openly afterwards, subsequently often spent a lot of time on earth and proclaimed marvelous things; and,[17] to honor Aristeus among the gods, since no one considers him to be a god yet [III, 26]. No one considers the god of hyperborean Abarid  , who possessed such strength that he was carried at the speed of an arrow [III, 31]. (Or, here) Klazomensky (hero): don’t they say about him that his soul often, having left the body, wandered without a body? But his people did not recognize him as a god [III, 32]. (They didn’t recognize God) and Kleomed from Astiapalea (who is said to be), when he climbed into the drawer and was locked in it, he was not found inside; in some supernatural way, it disappeared from the inside, when some broke into a box to grab it [III, 33]. I could name many more.

Worshiping the conquered and executed, (Christians) act like Geths who venerate Zamolksis, Cilicians – (fans) Pug [19] , Akarnanyans – Amphilochus, Thebans – Amfiarai, Lebadians – Trophony [20] [III, 34]. The veneration of beloved Adrian  is no worse than their veneration of Jesus [III, 36]; (and even) the Egyptians (who recognized the cult of Antinous) would not have endured if they began to equate it with Apollo or Zeus [III, 37].

This is what preconceived faith leads to, whatever it may be [III, 38]. (And among Christians) the bias of the soul creates such a disposition towards Jesus [III, 39]; they acknowledge him, consisting of a mortal body, as God and think that in this way they act piously [III, 41]; (and after all) the human flesh of Jesus is (worse) gold, silver or stone, since it is more perishable than the latter. But, (Christians say), he after all becomes a god, having removed from himself (a bodily membrane); but why not with great right (may become gods) Asclepius, Dionysus and Hercules [III, 42]? (Christians) laugh at the admirers of Zeus on the grounds that they show his grave in Crete; and nevertheless, they honor the one who came out of the grave, not knowing how and why the Cretans do this [III, 43].

Here is what they prescribe: “Let not one educated, not one wise, not one rational (man) come to us; all of this is considered bad in our country. But if there is an ignoramus, unreasonable, minor, let him come boldly. ” Considering only such people to be worthy of their god, they obviously desire and can only attract minors, low-born, uneducated, slaves and children [III, 44]. What is it really bad to be educated, to be interested in the best teachings, to be, and seem reasonable? How does this interfere with knowing God? Isn’t it rather something useful, whereby it is easier to get to the truth? [III, 49]. But we actually see that those who express and disseminate the most heinous things in the squares never join the assembly of rational people and do not dare to reveal their (views) among them; but if they envy the youths or a bunch of domestic slaves, or a bunch of unreasonable people, then they push through there and show off [III, 50]. We see that in private houses wool-robbers, shoemakers, felts, the most rude louts, in the presence of older and more intelligent gentlemen do not dare to open their mouths; but when they manage to get children and some stupid women separately, they tell them amazing things that they don’t have to pay respect to their father and teachers, but to obey only themselves; those supposedly talk nonsense, their thought is paralyzed, they essentially do not know and do not know how to do anything beautiful, being held captive by empty prejudices; but only they themselves know how to live; if the children obey them, they will be happy, and happiness will appear at home. And if during such speeches they see that one of the mentors in education is suitable, one of the rational people or the father himself, the more cautious of them shy away, and the more impudent ones incite the children to lose the rein, whispering that in the presence of the father and teachers they will not want and will not be able to preach good to the children, because, they say, they are repelled by meanness and dullness (of the elders), finally corrupted, immensely evil and punishing them; therefore, if they want, they must leave their father and teachers and go with the women and their playmates in the women’s room, in the shoe or full-length workshop, in order to achieve perfection. They convince with such speeches [III, 55]. they are repelled by the baseness and dullness of (elders), completely corrupted, immensely evil and punishing them; therefore, if they want, they must leave their father and teachers and go with the women and their playmates in the women’s room, in the shoe or full-length workshop, in order to achieve perfection. They convince with such speeches [III, 55]. they are repelled by the baseness and dullness of (elders), completely corrupted, immensely evil and punishing them; therefore, if they want, they must leave their father and teachers and go with the women and their playmates in the women’s room, in the shoe or full-length workshop, in order to achieve perfection. They convince with such speeches [III, 55].

And that I do not make more severe accusations than the truth requires, you can see the following. Those who call for participation in other (non-Christian) sacraments proclaim: “Whose hands are clean and speech is reasonable” or “whose soul is free from evil, who has lived well and justly” [22] , those who promise the cleansing of sins proclaim. Let us listen to whom these call . Who is a sinner, they say, who is unreasonable, who are underdeveloped, simply put, who is a rascal, the kingdom of God awaits him. But do you consider a sinner not a dishonest thief, cracker, poisoner, sacrilegious, desecrator of graves? Who else would the thief invite and call upon [III, 59]?

They say that God is revealed to sinners; but why was he not sent down to the sinless? What is wrong in not having sin? (According to their teachings, it turns out that) a wicked man, if he humbles himself under the (severity) of a disaster, God will accept, and a righteous man, if he, having virtue from the very beginning, will turn his gaze upward, he will not accept [III, 62]! People who correctly rule the law force (the accused), repenting of their crimes, to stop their plaintive cries so that they do not (appear to be) sentenced out of pity rather than in accordance with the truth: but God judges, not guided by the truth, but flattering! They say: “Who is without sin?” This is quite true, for the human race is, as it were, born to sin; (but in this case) everyone should be called upon, since everyone sins [III, 63]. Why is sinners so favored? (Claiming like that, Christians either) blaspheme against God, (or) lie [III, 64]. They do all this to encourage sinners, not being able to attract a single really good and fair person, and therefore they open the doors to the most criminal, missing (people). After all, it is clear to everyone that no one can completely remake innate and inveterate sinners even through punishment, much less pity; for fundamentally changing the character is extremely difficult. (Of course), sinless people are the best members of society [III, 65] … that no one can completely remake innate and inveterate sinners even through punishment, much less pity; for fundamentally changing the character is extremely difficult. (Of course), sinless people are the best members of society [III, 65] … that no one can completely remake innate and inveterate sinners even through punishment, much less pity; for fundamentally changing the character is extremely difficult. (Of course), sinless people are the best members of society [III, 65] …

“Everything is possible for God” (Christians say this; yes, God can, but) does not wish for anything unjust [III, 70]. (And according to the teachings of Christians it turns out that), like people who succumb to complaints, God, giving in to complaints of complaining, pleases the bad and rejects good people who do not do so; and this is extremely unfair [III, 71].

A (Christian) teacher (says): “The sages reject our teaching, because wisdom misleads them and leads them astray” [III, 72]. (But this) is ridiculous; no sane person will agree with this reasoning [III, 73]; (therefore them) the teacher is looking for the unreasonable [III, 74]. Preachers (of Christianity) act similarly to those who promise to heal the body, but dissuade them from going to knowledgeable doctors (fearing) that they will convict him of ignorance. (Christians) resort to simple-minded and juvenile ignoramuses, telling them: “Avoid doctors”, “See that none of you touch knowledge”, “Knowledge is evil, knowledge deviates people from the health of the soul”. “Only I will save you (their teacher says), and the doctors destroy those whom they promise to heal” [III, 75].

A (Christian) teacher acts as if someone, when drunk, speaking before the drunk, began to blasphemer sober for drunkenness [III, 76], or to a person with sick eyes, who would blame those who have acute vision, that in those eyesight is damaged [III, 77].

I blame them for this and similar things – I won’t begin to list them all – and affirm that they are mistaken and insulting God in order to attract bad people to them with deceptive hopes and inspire them with contempt for the best people on the grounds that they’d supposedly be better, if they stay away from those [III, 78].

The affirmation of some Christians and Jews that a god or son of God has either descended or will descend to earth as a judge of (all) earthly things is the most shameful, and the refutation of it does not require long words [IV, 2]. What is the meaning of such a descent of God? To find out what is being done in people? So he is not omniscient? Or does he know everything, but does not correct, and cannot correct it with his divine power, without sending someone in the flesh for this [IV, 3]?

(Further, how do Christians think the descent of God is possible? If) God descended to the people, he (therefore) left his throne; a) after all, if you change the smallest thing here, then everything will turn upside down and become ashes [IV, 5]! .. Or maybe God, not taking advantage of fame among people and believing that he is losing from this, wished to be recognized, and (wanted) to check the believers and unbelievers, as well as people upstarts show themselves off? (But this means) to ascribe to God a strong and completely human vanity [IV, 6]. But, (Christians say), he wants to give us the knowledge of him, not because he wants to be recognized, but for the sake of salvation (of people): that those who gain it, become righteous, are saved, and those who have not been punished are punished as caught villains. What, after so many years, did God remember to judge the behavior of people, and before that he had not thought about it [IV, 7]? Clear, that they talk about God unholy and not holy; they do this to intimidate the uninitiated, and not to punish sinners, imitating the participants of the Bacchic mysteries, showing ghosts and monsters [IV, 10]. (And they didn’t invent all these fears themselves, but only) distorted what they heard from the Hellenes and barbarians. They heard from them that over long periods of time, as stars approach and diverge, world fires and floods occur and that, after the last catastrophe at Deucalion, the elapsed period requires, according to the general change in the universe, a world fire. This prompted them, on the basis of a false understanding, to assert that God would come down, carrying with him the purifying fire of retribution [IV, II]. imitating the participants of the Bacchic mysteries, showing ghosts and monsters [IV, 10]. (And they didn’t invent all these fears themselves, but only) distorted what they heard from the Hellenes and barbarians. They heard from them that over long periods of time, as stars approach and diverge, world fires and floods occur and that, after the last catastrophe at Deucalion, the elapsed period requires, according to the general change in the universe, a world fire. This prompted them, on the basis of a false understanding, to assert that God would come down, carrying with him the purifying fire of retribution [IV, II]. imitating the participants of the Bacchic mysteries, showing ghosts and monsters [IV, 10]. (And they didn’t invent all these fears themselves, but only) distorted what they heard from the Hellenes and barbarians. They heard from them that over long periods of time, as stars approach and diverge, world fires and floods occur and that, after the last catastrophe at Deucalion, the elapsed period requires, according to the general change in the universe, a world fire. This prompted them, on the basis of a false understanding, to assert that God would come down, carrying with him the purifying fire of retribution [IV, II]. as stars approach and diverge, world fires and floods occur and that, after the last catastrophe at Deucalion, the elapsed period requires, according to the general change in the universe, a world fire. This prompted them, on the basis of a false understanding, to assert that God would come down, carrying with him the purifying fire of retribution [IV, II]. as stars approach and diverge, world fires and floods occur and that, after the last catastrophe at Deucalion, the elapsed period requires, according to the general change in the universe, a world fire. This prompted them, on the basis of a false understanding, to assert that God would come down, carrying with him the purifying fire of retribution [IV, II].

Let us return once more to this question first, with a large number of arguments; I (at the same time) will not say anything new, but long proven. God is kind, beautiful, blessed and abides in the most beautiful and the best. If he comes down to people, he has to change, (and) change (will be) from good to evil, from beautiful to ugly, from blissful to unhappy, from best to worst. Who would choose such a change as their inheritance? Of course, it is natural for a mortal to change and change, while the immortal is to remain the same and unchanging; so that God could not subject himself to this change [IV, 14]. So, either God really turns, as they say, into a mortal body, which, as stated above, is impossible; or he himself does not change, but makes it so that it seems to those who see him (that he has changed, that is) he is misleading and deceiving. But deception and falsehood in general are evil, with the only exception when they are used as a medicine for sick or crazy friends for treatment or for enemies when they take precautions to avoid danger. But after all, God does not have a sick or crazy friend, and he is not afraid of anyone in order to (he had to) avoid danger by deception [IV, 18].

(Jews and Christians differently substantiate ideas about the future or already occurred coming of Christ.) Jews say that since life is filled with evil, a messenger of God is necessary for the unrighteous to be punished and for everything to be cleansed, as it was during the first flood [IV , 20]. Along with the flood that cleansed the earth, the (Babylonian) tower was destroyed. Moses, who wrote about the tower, forged the same story about the tower, (associated) with the sons of Aloë . Tales of Sodom and Gomorrah, allegedly destroyed by fire for sins, are an imitation of the story of Phaethon [IV, 21]. And the Christians, adding something to the stories of the Jews, say that for the sins of the Jews the son of God has already been sent and that the Jews, having executed Jesus and given him bile, incurred the wrath of God themselves [IV, 22]. The clan of Christians and Jews is like a flock of bats or ants crawling out of a hole, or frogs sitting around a puddle, or earthworms in the corner of a swamp, who would make a meeting and argue among themselves about which of them is more sinful and say, that, they say, “our God reveals everything and foreshadows” that, “having left the whole world and the heavenly movement and ignored this earth, he is only concerned with us, he only sends his messengers to us and does not stop sending them and solicits them so that we always been with him. ” Christians are like worms who would say that, they say, there is a god, and then we follow, born of God, similar in all God, everything is subordinate to us – earth, water, air and stars, everything exists for us, everything is put at our service. Now, say the worms, in view of the fact that some among us have sinned, God will come or he will send his son to defeat the wicked and so that we will have eternal life with him. All this is more acceptable when worms and frogs argue about this among themselves than Jews and Christians [IV, 23]. to smite the wicked, and so that we might have eternal life with him. All this is more acceptable when worms and frogs argue about this among themselves than Jews and Christians [IV, 23]. to smite the wicked, and so that we might have eternal life with him. All this is more acceptable when worms and frogs argue about this among themselves than Jews and Christians [IV, 23].

Jews, runaway slaves from Egypt, never did anything worthy of mention, neither in terms of value nor in number were noticeable [IV, 31]. They tried to derive their kind from the seed of the first liars and vagabonds, referring to dark and ambiguous words shrouded in fog and interpreting them to fools and ignoramuses, although in all the long preceding time there was no dispute [IV, 33] about these (genealogical) names, and (only) now the Jews are at odds with some others on this account [IV, 35]. While (others) people claiming to antiquity (of their origin), like the Athenians, Egyptians, Arcadians and Phrygians, claim that some among them were born on their land, and each cites evidence of this, the Jews gathered somewhere in corner of Palestine, people who are completely uneducated and have not heard before that all this has long been sung by Hesiod[24]and thousands of other inspired men, composed the most incredible and awkward (myths) about a certain man created by the hands of a god who breathed soul into him, about a woman created from a rib, about the commandments of God and about a snake opposing them, about the victory of a serpent over the instructions of God ; they tell some kind of myth as old women, and in the most unholy way they portray God immediately, from the very beginning powerless, unable to convince even the only person he created [IV, 36]. (Even) among Christians and Jews, the most conscientious are ashamed of this and try to somehow interpret it allegorically [IV, 38]. Further, they, shamelessly faking Deucalion, (talk) about some kind of flood, about an extraordinary ark, containing everything inside, about some dove and raven as messengers. I don’t think they expected that all this will gain distribution; they told it artlessly, like a fairy tale to small children [IV, 41]. It is completely absurd to have children born in old age, (stories) about the wiles of the brothers, about the grief of the father, about the treachery of the mother; in all this, God is taking an immediate part. God gives his sons donkeys, sheep and camels [IV, 43], gives wells to the righteous, (arranges them) marriages and ties with daughters-in-law and servants [IV, 44]; (Lot’s marriage) with daughters is infamous crimes Tiesta[25] [IV, 45]. (How disgusting are the tales of the warring brothers), of the merchant brothers (the sons of Jacob), who sell their brother, and the deceived father [IV, 46]. (The stories follow) about dreams and their interpretation, (as a result of which the prisoner) was released (and elevated to high rank). When the brothers who sold him, starving, were sent (to Egypt) with their donkeys for procurement, the sold one received them graciously; unclear (pictured) recognition of (brothers Joseph). Sold in slavery (Joseph) receives freedom and with fanfare returns to the grave of his father. He ordered the glorious and divine family of Jews, scattered in many in Egypt, to settle somewhere outside it and engage in shepherding in a remote area. The exodus from Egypt was (essentially) an escape [IV, 47]. (And in this case) the most conscientious of Jews and Christians, ashamed of this, are trying to somehow interpret this allegorically [IV, 48, 50]. But this cannot be taken as an allegory, it is stated in the form of the most naive tale [IV, 50]. In any case, the imaginary allegories written about this are even more shameful and ridiculous than the (myths) themselves, because (these interpretations) they are trying to reconcile (using outlandish and completely meaningless stupidity) nowhere and never agree [IV, 51]. I met this kind (interpretation) in the “Papisk and Iason Dispute” worthy not of laughter, but rather of pity and indignation.

In any case, I am not going to refute this, for this is apparently clear to everyone, especially if anyone has the patience and endurance to listen to their writings. I prefer to acquaint (the reader) with nature, (to show) that God did not create anything mortal, but that creations are all immortal, and mortal – creations of those (creations). The soul is the creation of God, the body has a different nature. In this regard, there is no difference between a bat, worms, a frog, or a human being, for matter is the same and their perishable part is the same [IV, 52]. All of the above creatures have a common and uniform nature, moving forward and backward in the cycle of changes [IV, 60]. From everything that comes from matter, nothing is immortal. But enough of that. If anyone wants to listen more and explore more, he will know more [IV, 61].

Evil in existence, neither earlier, nor now, nor in the future, can become neither more nor less, for the nature of everything is one and the same and the origin of evil is the same [IV, 62]. What is the source of evil, it is not easy for a person who has not studied philosophy. For the masses, it is enough to say that evil is not from God, that it is applied to matter and is introduced into mortal life; the cycle of (everything) passing is the same from beginning to end, and in accordance with the established cycle the same thing inevitably arose, exists and will exist [27] [IV, 65].

(Everything) visible is not for man, but for the good of the whole, everything arises and dies in the (process) transition of one into another, as I said above. Neither good nor evil in mortality can increase or decrease, and God does not need to make new corrections; God does not amend the universe, purifying it through a flood or fire; he does not look like a person who has unsuccessfully built or improperly made something [IV, 69]. (Besides), if something seems evil to you, it is still unknown whether it is evil; for you do not know what is useful to you, or to another, or to the cosmos [IV, 70].

… (And they attribute) to God the passion of anger (and put in his mouth) threats [IV, 70]; and isn’t it funny? One man, angry with the Jews, exterminated (from them) all the combatants, put them on fire, turned them into nothing; and the greatest god, according to them, was angry, furious and threatening (he was only able to) send his son, and he suffers such suffering!

But, in order to dwell not only on the Jews — for it is not about that — but on all nature, as I promised, I will clarify the foregoing more clearly [IV, 73].

(Christians) say that God created everything for man; (but the history of animals and the presence of sharpness in them shows that) everything was created for the sake of people no more than for unreasonable creatures [IV, 74]. Thunder, lightning and rain are not the work of God; but even if we assume that this is the work of God’s hands, then all this happens for the sake of people no more than for feeding plants – trees, herbs, flowers. If you say that (plants) do grow for a person, then on what basis can you say that they grow for a person rather than for the unreasonable, wildest animals [IV, 75]? (On the contrary), we get food by working and laboring with effort and effort, and animals do not sow and do not plow, and everything for them grows itself [IV, 76]. If you refer to the verse of Euripides [29]: “The sun and night serve mortals,” why (do they) serve us more than flies or ants? Indeed, for them, night also serves as a rest, and day – to see and act [IV, 76]. People are said to have created unreasonable creatures for their sake; (but) if someone would say that we rule over animals, because we hunted wild animals and eat them, then we will say – why can not assert (with b óthe right) that we were born for them? After all, they hunt us and devour us? Moreover, we need nets and weapons and the help of many people and dogs against (animals) that we hunt, and nature gave each individual individually an immediately (acting) weapon that easily subdues us with them [IV, 78]. As for your claim that God gave us the opportunity to catch animals and use them, we will say that, apparently, before there were cities, equipment and all kinds of societies, weapons and nets, animals caught and ate people and least of all people caught animals [IV, 79], so in this respect, God more likely subjugated people to animals [IV, 80]. If it seems that people differ from unreasonable creatures in that they built cities, that they have a state, authorities and leaders, then this does not apply: because both ants and bees (have it all). Bees have a leader, they have retinue, service, war, victory, capture of the vanquished, cities and suburbs, job changes, punishment of the lazy and evil; in any case, they drive away and punish the drones [IV, 81]. Ants have (purely) human (care) about food and prudence (in blanks) for the winter; they support each other when carrying heavy loads, when they see that one of them is tired; they take the sprouts from the folded fruits so that they do not swell and remain (suitable) as food for them throughout the year [IV, 83]; for the dying ants, the survivors give a special place, and it serves as a public cemetery for them; and, really, when they meet, they talk with each other and therefore do not go astray; so they have full mind general concepts of some universal (objects), speech, (expressing) events and marking them [IV, 84]. Indeed, if someone were looking at the earth from heaven, what would he see as the difference between what we do and (what they do) ants and bees [IV, 85]? If people mean witchcraft, then snakes and eagles are wiser in this respect (their); in fact, they know many antidotes and protective agents and even the properties of certain stones (used by them) for (preserving) the health of the cubs; when people come across (such things), they think they have made a wonderful acquisition [IV, 86]. If a person is considered higher than other animals on the grounds that he has learned the idea of ​​the divine, then let those who say this know that many other animals will claim this, and very thoroughly; because what can be called more divine, than knowledge and prediction of the future? People therefore try to learn it from other animals, most of all from birds, and those who listen to their instructions are diviners . If the birds and other animals that prophesy, who know the future from God, teach us with their signs, then it is obvious that they are closer to communion with God, wiser and more pleasing to God. Knowledgeable people say that birds also have conversations, of course more sacred than ours (and claim) that they know the language (of birds), and confirm this in practice: saying in advance that the birds said that they would go there and will do this and that, they show that they really went there and did what was predicted . As for the elephants [32](it is known that) there is no one more faithful to the oath and more devoted to the divine, of course, precisely because they possess the knowledge of (divine) [IV, 88]. Storks are more godly than humans, as this animal shows love for its neighbors and brings food to its parents. The Arabian phoenix  , after many years, returns to Egypt, takes the deceased father, buries him in a ball from myrrh and puts it where the sanctuary of the sun [IV, 98].

So, not everything was created for man, just as not for a lion, and not for an eagle, and not for a dolphin, but for the cosmos, as the creation of God, to be holistic and perfect in all respects. That’s why everything is proportionate – not in relation to each other, except in passing, but in relation to the universe as a whole. God cares (only) for the universe, providence never leaves it, it does not get worse, and God does not return to himself over time and does not get angry for the sake of people, just as he does not for the sake of monkeys or mice; and he does not threaten those (creatures) of whom each received his share in inheritance [IV, 99].

Jews and Christians! Not one god and not one son of God came down and would not go down to earth. If you are talking about some kind of angels, then what do you think of them – gods or something else? Apparently, something else, demons [V, 2].

It is surprising to the Jews that, although they revere the sky and the angels abiding on it, they ignore the most wonderful and powerful parts of it – the sun, moon and other motionless stars and planets; (for them) it seems acceptable that the universe as a whole is god and its parts are not divine or that it’s good to honor those who are believed to open up somewhere in darkness (to people) blinded by evil magic or raving foggy ghosts, and those who prophesy so brilliantly to everyone, through which rain and a bucket, clouds and thunders are distributed, and yet they worship them, and lightnings, and fruits, and any creation through which the deity reveals itself to them, these messengers from above, genuine heavenly angels – they do not set anything [V, 6].

It is absurd on their part to think that when God, as a cook, starts a fire (on the day of Judgment), then all of humanity will be roasted, and they alone will remain, moreover, not only the living, but also the long dead will come out of the earth in the flesh – truly hope the worms! What kind of human soul, however, yearns for a rotten body? Even your Christians do not share this dogma, some reveal the vileness, disgust and at the same time the impossibility of this [34]. In fact, which body, completely decomposed, is able to return to its original state, moreover, to that first composition from which it disintegrated? Not knowing what to answer, they resort to a stupid ruse – for God, they say, anything is possible. But God cannot do anything ugly and does not want to do anything against nature; and even if you demanded something shameful due to your viciousness, then God will not be able to (do it), and you must directly think that (it will) be; for God directs not perverted desires and not distorted obscenity, but a right and just nature. He could bestow eternal life to his soul, “corpses,” says Heraclitus, “are more despicable than manure.” Flesh filled with things that are indecent to speak of, God will not want to and will not be able to declare eternal contrary to reason. After all, he himself is the mind of all things;

Jews, having become an independent people, having set laws for themselves in accordance with local conditions and preserving them in their midst today, observing the service, whatever it may be, but in any case inherited from the fathers, act like other people; after all, everyone follows domestic laws, as they were once established. Yes, so, perhaps, it’s convenient, not only because different opinions came to different minds and that it is necessary to observe what is established together, but also because, apparently, separate parts of the earth were provided from the very beginning different rulers and distributed between some authorities and in that order they are governed. Therefore, each (people) every behavior is correct insofar as he likes it, the violation of what has long been established in this place is unholy [V, 25]. One could cite the testimony of Herodotus, who says so: “The inhabitants of the cities of Marei and Apis, in that part of Egypt that borders Libya, considered themselves Libyans, not Egyptians; dissatisfied with the way of worshiping the gods, not wanting to refrain (from eating) cows, they sent to tell Amon that there was nothing in common between them and the Egyptians; they live outside the delta, in everything they differ from the Egyptians and wish that they were allowed to eat all kinds of food. But God did not allow this, saying that Egypt is all the land that the Nile irrigates with its waters, and the Egyptians are all those who live below the city of Elephantine and drink water from the Nile River. ” not wanting to refrain (from eating) cows, they sent to tell Amon that there was nothing in common between them and the Egyptians; they live outside the delta, in everything they differ from the Egyptians and wish that they were allowed to eat all kinds of food. But God did not allow this, saying that Egypt is all the land that the Nile irrigates with its waters, and the Egyptians are all those who live below the city of Elephantine and drink water from the Nile River. ” not wanting to refrain (from eating) cows, they sent to tell Amon that there was nothing in common between them and the Egyptians; they live outside the delta, in everything they differ from the Egyptians and wish that they were allowed to eat all kinds of food. But God did not allow this, saying that Egypt is all the land that the Nile irrigates with its waters, and the Egyptians are all those who live below the city of Elephantine and drink water from the Nile River. ”[35] . So Herodotus tells. But Amon is no worse (and has the same right) to send out (instructions) about divine affairs, like the angels of the Jews.

So, there is nothing wrong with everyone honoring their own laws. Of course, we find the greatest differences among different peoples, and yet each of them himself thinks that his view is the best. Those of the Ethiopians who live in Meroe honor “only Zeus and Dionysus” ( Herodotus . II, 29), the Arabs – Urania and Dionysus ( Herodotus . III, 8), only them, the Egyptians all honor Osiris and Isis, and (in in particular) the inhabitants of Sais – Athena, the inhabitants of Navkratida – since recently (the god whom) have been called Serapis [36] , and so on all by numbers. Some abstain from sheep, venerating them as sacred, others from goats, others from crocodiles, from cows, abstain and abhor pork [37]. But the Scythians considered it a wonderful thing to devour people, and among the Indians there are those who believe that they are doing a holy thing by eating their parents. This is somehow said by the same Herodotus. For the sake of persuasiveness, I will immediately bring his true words: “Indeed, if you ask any people what customs are the best, then each of the investigators will answer that the best customs are his own. Thus, every nation considers its customs much better than everyone else. That’s why it’s unnatural for anyone, even a madman, to joke with such things. That all people relate precisely to their customs can be proved by numerous examples, in particular the following: during his reign, Darius called to the Hellenes who were with him in the service, and asked them how much they would agree to eat their dead parents. They replied that they would never do this. After this, Darius called the Indians, the so-called Kalatis, who eat their parents, and asked them in the presence of the Hellenes, and the translator explained the meaning of the answer: for what fee would they agree to put the dead parents to fire? The Calatias answered with loud exclamations and demanded that he not blaspheme. This is how customs are honored, and I think Pindar was right when he called the custom “omnipotent ruler” in his poem.[38] [V, 34].

Thus, if the Jews so defend their own law, then (for this) they have nothing to despise; (those who deserve contempt rather) who give up their (faith) and are adjacent to the Jewish one. If they are proud that they know some deeper wisdom, and shy away from communicating with others, as if they were supposedly not so pure, then they have already heard that even they do not (by right) consider their own doctrine of heaven to be their own, but that the Persians already taught about heaven in ancient times, not to mention others, as Herodotus reports somewhere: “It’s customary to make sacrifices to Zeus on the highest mountains, and they call Zeus the whole heavenly arch” ( Herodotus. I, 131). But, in my opinion, it makes no difference whether to name Zeus the Most High, or Xen, or Adonai, or the Host of Hosts, or Amoun, like the Egyptians, or Papes, like the Scythians. And rightly so, they are not at all more holy than others, on the grounds that they are circumcised; after all, this (the custom was introduced at home) by the Egyptians and Colchis [39] earlier; and not because they abstain from pork, because the Egyptians also (adhere to this), who, moreover, still (abstain from meat), goats, sheep, bulls and fish, Pythagoras did not eat beans, and his disciples did not animate anything. It also does not seem that the Jews enjoyed good fame with God and his love, preferably over others, and that he would only send them his messengers from above, as if they really had received the promised land for inheritance: we see what glory we have achieved they themselves and their country.

So, off this choir that has been punished for its swagger! They do not know the great god, but are seduced and deceived by the magic of Moses and for an evil purpose became his disciples [V, 41]. Let another (choir) come out (on stage); I will ask them where they came from and what they have the founder of their domestic laws; they will not be able to name anyone, because they came from the same place, and they themselves withdraw their teacher and choirmaster from there; and yet they fell away from the Jews  [V, 33].

Let us leave aside, however, everything that can be convicted of them regarding their teacher; let’s say that it was really some kind of messenger (of heaven); (so), did he appear first and alone, or did others come before him? If they replied that he had only appeared, they would have been convicted of lies and in contradiction with themselves: after all, they often say that others also appeared, moreover, at once sixty or seventy, and that they were seduced and punished by being subjected imprisonment underground (Book of Enoch. 10), so underground sources are their tears. Further, to the tomb of this same (Christ) angels appeared – according to some, one, according to others, two – who announced to the women that he had risen. Obviously, the son of God could not open the coffin himself and needed someone else to roll off the stone. In addition, and about Mary’s pregnancy, an angel appeared to the carpenter, and the other about fleeing to save the baby. But is it worth it to expound in detail and list all (angels) who were allegedly sent to Moses and others? So, if others were sent, it is obvious that this one is from the same god. Well, one must assume that his mission was more serious in view of the fact that the Jews either went astray, or perverted piety, or did wicked things; this is at least hinted at (Christians) [V, 52]. So, it is not only about him that he was reported to the human race; even those who, on the basis of Jesus’ teachings, abandoned the demiurge his mission was more serious in view of the fact that the Jews either went astray, or perverted piety, or did the wicked; this is at least hinted at (Christians) [V, 52]. So, it is not only about him that he was reported to the human race; even those who, on the basis of Jesus’ teachings, abandoned the demiurge his mission was more serious in view of the fact that the Jews either went astray, or perverted piety, or did the wicked; this is at least hinted at (Christians) [V, 52]. So, it is not only about him that he was reported to the human race; even those who, on the basis of Jesus’ teachings, abandoned the demiurge[41] , as a lower (deity), and joined, as to some stronger, to God and Father who appeared, they say that before him some creators (messengers) appeared to the human race [V, 54].

So, they and the Jews have the same god. In any case, (Christians belonging to) the main church openly acknowledge this, and also take the cosmogony accepted by the Jews for truth, in particular about the six days (creation) and the seventh day on which the god, having rested, went to his observation post . They call the first man the same as the Jews, and likewise include his offspring in their genealogies; (they tell) about the same intrigues of the brothers against each other as the Jews, the same stories about resettlement in Egypt and about flight from there [V, 59].

Let them not think that I do not know that some of them recognize the same god as the Jews, while others – the other, opposing this, from whom the son came [42] . There is a third kind, calling some pneumatics, others – psyche [43] . Some declare themselves Gnostics, some, recognizing Jesus, at the same time wish to live according to the law of the Jews, like a mass of Jews. There are also sybilists [44] [V, 61]. I also know the Simonians, who are called Elenians – as worshipers of Helen or teachers of Helen, – Marcellians – worshipers of Marcellinus, – harpocratians, followers of Salome, followers of Mariamne, Martha, Marcionites, led by Marcion [45] [V, 62]. Each of them (reveres) to another teacher and demon, cruelly deceiving and wandering in deep darkness more lawlessly and vilely than the followers of the cult of Antinous in Egypt. They slander against each other in a terrible way, (belching) explicit and secret (curses), they cannot come to an agreement on any point, they abhor each other, (they call others) circe and seductive rebels [V, 63] , a burn of hearing, riddles, liars-sirens [46] , mocking and plugging the ears of those who listen to them, and rewarding them with a pig’s head [47]. From all these to such an extent diverging (sects), shamefully exposing themselves in disputes, one can hear: “For me, the world is crucified, and I for the world” (Gal. 6:14) [V, 64]. Christians, disagreeing among themselves in the doctrine, say that they know more than the Jews.

Part III
CRITICISM OF SEPARATE CHRISTIAN DOGMAS

Well, if they have no source of their teaching, let us examine the teaching itself; first of all, it is necessary to state what they, poorly perceiving from others, perverted by ignorance, immediately showing indecent courage from the very beginning about an object that they do not know [V, 65]. The Greeks said this better, without pomp and without proclamation allegedly from God or the son of God [VI, 1].

So, let the ancient sages explain to the seekers of knowledge, let Plato, son of Ariston, speak out about the highest good and let him say in one of his letters that the highest good is by no means “definable” (rhe ton), but arises “with frequent communication” ( people among themselves); it “suddenly light kindled in the soul from a soaring flame” [48] [VI, 3]. (Further Plato writes in a letter): “If I thought that this could be clearly stated in writing or orally for many, then what could we do better in life than to write so useful for people and bring nature to the light for everyone? ”[VI, 6]. (But Christians), poorly understanding Plato, (transferred this teaching to God). (Plato does not require that they believe him immediately): “using questions and answers” [49], he enlightens the mind among the followers of his philosophy [VI, 7]. (In a number of places, Plato notes that) the benefit is known “for the few”, that many, full of “wrong contempt”, “proud, seductive hope”, call some things true, as knowing supposedly “something exalted”. But after such a statement, Plato, however, doesn’t (fool) anyone, doesn’t block the mouth of anyone who wants to speak out about what the teaching (teaching) represents to him; he does not demand that they immediately believe that this is de god, and this is his son, who came down (from heaven) and talked with me [VI, 8]. Plato further writes: “I have an intention to say more about this; it is possible that when I do this, what I am talking about will immediately become clearer. There is a real reason preventing the daredevil from writing about any of these subjects; I’ve talked about her more than once, and now, it seems, it is necessary (again about it) to say: everything that exists has three things by means of which knowledge is realized, the fourth is itself (knowledge), and the fifth must be considered that which is knowable and true; of these, the first is the name, the second is the definition, the third is the image, the fourth is knowledge ”[VI, 9].

As you can see, Plato, although he assured that it is “inexpressible”, however, in order not to get the impression that he seeks refuge in the inexpressible, he gives a justification for this difficulty, or even “nothing” could turn out to be “expressible”. Plato does not boast and does not deceitfully claim that he discovered something new or came from heaven to announce (something), but indicates where (takes) it. (And the Christians) say: believe that the one we represent to you is the son of God, even if he was most humiliatingly bound and subjected to shameful torture, even if he had just recently been wandering in front of everyone in the most shameful way; (moreover, they say), that’s why you must believe more strongly [VI, 10]. But if everyone introduces his own (god) and everyone has at their disposal a common (formula): “Believe if you want to be saved, or leave”, what remains to be done really wishing to be saved? Throw bones, (or something), and wonder where to turn and whom to pester [VI, 11]?

(To justify their inability to prove their position by reasonable arguments), they say that wisdom in people is madness before God. I have already indicated the reason for this – (desire) to attract only uneducated people and minors. But I will prove that this is also invented and borrowed from the Hellenic sages. (So), Heraclitus said: “The human being does not have knowledge, but the divine possesses”; (in another place he says): “A stupid person is reputed to be a demon, like a child is a husband” [50], and in the Platonic “Apology of Socrates” (we read): “I, the Athenians, acquired this name by nothing more than wisdom; but what wisdom? One that is, perhaps, human wisdom; and, apparently, I am indeed wise with such wisdom ”(Apol. V, p. 20 D) [VI, 12]. (Thus, the doctrine of two wisdom) – divine and human – (ancient doctrine) and goes back to Heraclitus and Plato (but, while even Plato considered himself wise only by human wisdom, Christians) expound divine wisdom to the most uneducated, slaves or the most ignorant people [VI, 13]. Being charlatans, they run away without looking back from people who are more understanding, not amenable to deception and catch simpletons in their networks [VI, 14].

Their humble wisdom is (the result) of a misunderstanding of the thought of Plato, which says in one place in the “Laws” (Leg. IV, 715 sq): “God, according to ancient tradition, enclosing the beginning, end and middle of everything that exists, acts directly, walking along the path (indicated by it) by nature; it is always followed by justice punishing violators of divine law; whoever wants to be happy follows her humbly and modestly. ” (And among Christians) the humble resigns himself ugly and to his own misfortune, having plunged himself to the ground, rushed to his knees and prostrates, dressed in miserable clothes and sprinkled (the head) ashes [VI, 15].

The statement of Jesus about the rich, which reads: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man in the kingdom of heaven,” Plato plainly says; Jesus distorted the words of Plato, who said that “it is impossible to be especially good and at the same time exceptionally rich” (Leg. V, 743) [VI, 16]. The divine kingdom (also) is divinely said by Plato in letters and in the “Fedra” (and among Christians it is stated unconvincingly) [VI, 17]. “Around the king of the universe (Plato says) everything is gathered, everything exists for his sake, he is the source of all that is beautiful; the second (contracts) to the second, the third – to the third. And so the human soul seeks to study these principles, contemplating that which is akin to it; but she does not fully comprehend any of this. As for the king and those things that I spoke of, nothing can be compared with them ”(Ep. II, p. 312 E – 313 A) [VI, 18].

Some Christians, not understanding the statements of Plato, boast of their god rising above the heavens, stepping even higher than the sky of the Jews. (We read in Plato) in “Fedra” (Phaedr. XXVII, p. 247 C): “No earthly poet has sung and will not be able to adequately sing the celestial space”, (and further): “A truly existing entity that has neither color, no image, intangible, is available only to the leader of the soul; the true kind of knowledge has its place around this essence ”[VI, 19].

(They say) of the seven heavens; (and here they confused, having read that), according to Plato, the path of souls to and from earth lies through the planets (Phaedr. XXVII, p. 248 C – E; Tim. XIV, p. 41 D sq) [VI, 21]. The doctrine of the Persians and the Mystery of Mithra, which they have, alludes to this. In this mystery, a symbol of two-way movement in the sky is given – the movement of motionless stars and planets and the passage of souls through them. But this symbol is this: the seven-door staircase and the eighth gate above it. The first gate is made of lead, the second of tin, the third of copper, the fourth of iron, the fifth of mixed metal, the sixth of silver, and the seventh of gold. They dedicate the first (gate) to Kronos, seeing in lead a sign of the slowness of this luminary, the second to Aphrodite, comparing the shine and softness of tin with it, the third “to the copper threshold”, the strong to Zeus, the fourth to Hermes,[51] . The (reason) of such an arrangement of planets is that it is symbolically expressed in the names of other matter and that Persian theology (operates with) musical concepts [VI, 22]. (On this basis, Christians present) to those who are interested in stupid listeners and slaves (teaching) about the seven heavens, borrowed from the Persians or from the Kabirs [VI, 23].

If someone wanted to explore at the same time a certain Christian mystery and the mystery of the Persians, comparing them with each other and revealing the (sacraments) of Christians, he would see what the difference between them is. (The Christians have) a drawn figure [VI, 24], on which circles are drawn – ten separated from each other and enclosed in one circle. The diagram is separated by a thick black line, and this they call Gehenna, that is, Tartarus [VI, 25]. (Then they talk about some kind) of the seal, that he who imposed it is called the father, and the sealed one is called young and son and exclaims: “I am anointed with bright oil from the tree of life.” Those who report this seal also name seven angels standing on both sides of the soul of a person parting with the body; some of them are angels of light, others are the so-called archonical ones [52]; the ruler of the so-called archonics is called the cursed god; they call the damned god of the Jews, the one who causes rain and thunder, the creator of this world, the god of Moses and his universe [VI, 27]! He is worthy of a curse from the point of view of those who made a judgment about him, because he cursed the serpent for giving the first people the knowledge of good and evil [VI, 28]. What could be more stupid and absurd than this meaningless teaching? What is the Jewish legislator guilty of? And how do you take it for yourself in the form of a typical allegory, as you put it, his cosmogony or the law of the Jews, and (at the same time) you do not want, oh wicked ones, to glorify the creator of the world, who promised everything to them, who announced that he will multiply their race to the ends of the earth, and will raise them up here in the flesh and blood that inspired the prophets? On the contrary, you blaspheme him. When (the Jews) put pressure on you, you acknowledge that you worship the same god (as they are); and since your teacher Jesus (preaching something) that contradicts the Jewish legislator Moses, you are looking for another god instead and instead of your father [VI, 29].

Christians call the seven archons of demons; the first looks like a lion, the second – a bull; the third is some amphibian hissing menacingly; the fourth kind of eagle; the fifth has the face of a bear; about the sixth they are told that he has the appearance of a dog; the seventh has a donkey head and is called Tafaboot, or Onoil [53] [VI, 30] … Some take archonical images so that some become lions, others bulls, others dragons, eagles, bears or dogs. On the diagram (they have some kind of figure) a quadrangular figure … the gates of paradise … the tree of knowledge and life [VI, 33]. Others still heap one another upon the utterances of the prophets, circles on circles, emanations of the earthly church and circumcision, a force flowing from a certain virgin. Prusniki, a living soul, the sky that is slaughtered so that it lives, the earth pierced by the sword, many that are given for slaughter, so that they live, the cessation of death in the world when the sin of the world dies away, the narrow way down, self-opening gates; and everywhere there (appears) the tree of life and the resurrection of the flesh thanks to the tree; this, I think, because their teacher was nailed to the cross and was a carpenter by craft, so if he was accidentally thrown off a cliff, or pushed into the abyss, or strangled with a rope, and if he were a shoemaker, or a mason, or a blacksmith, then they would have a rock of life, an abyss of resurrection, a rope of immortality, a blessed stone, an iron of love, or a sacred sole. Why, an old woman, humming tales, lulling a child, would be ashamed to whisper such (nonsense) [VI, 34]!

The following is especially surprising in them: they interpret about some inscriptions between the heavenly upper circles, especially some about “greater and lesser”, “son and father”; they promise some kind of magical magic, and this is for them the height of wisdom [VI, 38]. They use magic and sorcery, naming some barbaric [54] names of demons; they do the same as those who, on the same grounds, fool people who do not know that the names (of the gods) sound differently among the Hellenes and the Scythians. So, according to Herodotus, the Scythians call Apollo Gongosir, Poseidon – Tagimasa, Aphrodite – Argimpasa, Hestia – Tabiti ( Herodotus . IV, 59).

Should I list all those who commanded purification rites, hymns, redemption, conspiracies, beating in the chest, dressing in demons, various amulets in the form of robes, numbers, stones, plants, roots and generally a variety of objects [VI, 39] ? At some elders I saw barbaric books containing the names of demons and magical means; they do not promise anything good, but all to the detriment of people [VI, 40]. A certain Egyptian musician Dionysius, whom I happened to meet, told me about magic, that it is valid only for uneducated and depraved people, and it is not able to produce any action on people involved in philosophy, since they took care in a timely manner (create self) a healthy lifestyle [VI, 41]. They are most wickedly mistaken and display the following great ignorance, also as a result of distorting divine mysteries: they put forward some kind of adversary to God, calling him the devil, and in Hebrew, Satan. In general, all these are dark notions, and the statement that the greatest god, desiring to be useful to people in some way, encounters an adversary and turns out to be powerless is not a sign of holiness. The Son of God is defeated by the devil, and, punished by him, he also teaches us to despise the misfortunes that come from him, predicts that Satan will also appear in this way, will show great and wondrous deeds, appropriating the glory of God; but those who wished to turn to (the son of God) should not succumb to all this, but believe only him (Jesus). This is just the (manner) of an unscrupulous person,

(As I said, Christian teaching) about Satan (the result) of a misunderstanding of the riddles (found in the works of ancient poets and philosophers). The ancients hint at some kind of divine struggle: in particular, Heraclitus says this: “You need to know that there is a general war, that justice is a contention, that everything arises and passes by virtue of contention.” And Ferekid, who lived much earlier than Heraclitus, set forth a myth in which one army is opposed to another; one is led by Kronos, the other by Ophionios; he talks about their challenges and battles, that between them there is an agreement that the side that will be cast into Oken (i.e., the ocean) is considered defeated, and those who overthrow and defeat them, take possession of the sky . The Mysteries of the Titans and Giants have the same meaning [55]declaring war on the gods, and existing among the Egyptians (myths) about Typhon, Horus and Osiris [56] . But this is not at all what (Christians say) about the devil, or rather, about a deceiver who speaks with a rival doctrine. And Homer, like Heraclitus, Ferekid, and the followers of the mysteries about the titans and giants, alludes to this in the following words addressed to Hera by Hephaestus:

He is already older than me, urged by the heart to help,

Rinul, grabbing his leg, and cast him out of heaven (Iliad. I, 590-591).

And in the speech of Zeus, addressed to Hera, (we read) like this:

Or forgot how she hung from the sky? As the two I imposed

Anvils on his feet, and threw a golden one on his hands

Is the inextricable You are among the ether and clouds of black

Hung from the sky; mourned the immortals all on Olympus;

But they could not free, proceeding; whoever I comprehend

He overthrew heaven from Prague in a swoop, and he flew to the ground,

Just breathing (ibid. XV, 18-24).

Zeus’s appeal to Hera is the speech of God, addressed to matter; speech to matter hints that God possessed this matter, which was at first disordered, bound it with laws and put it in order; and the demons around her, since they were unbridled, he punished and cast him down on the way. Understanding precisely in this sense these verses of Homer, Ferekid said: “Under that region lies the region of Tartarus; it is guarded by the daughters of Boreas – Harpies and Tiella, and Zeus throws down those who err insolent there. Also associated with these representations are (images on) the attire of Athena (on the statue), which everyone sees during the procession at the panathenaea [57]; it indicates that a certain motherless and virgin goddess defeats the bold sons of the earth. (And Christians, on the contrary, say that) the son of God is punished by the devil and that he teaches to be steadfast when (the devil) punishes them too; but this is completely ridiculous: I think it was necessary that the devil should be punished, and not threaten people who had been subjected to his wiles [VI, 46].

And whence (thought) came to them to call the son of God, I will explain: the ancients declared this world as descended from God as his son and youth [58] ; the world, in any case, is as much the son of God as (Jesus) [VI, 47].

The cosmogony of Christians is truly utterly absurd; their scripture about the origin of people, about the creation of man “in the image of God”, about how God planted “paradise”, how a person’s life went there and about the misfortune that happened when he was expelled and resettled “opposite the pleasure garden” ” Moses wrote all this, without realizing anything, doing something similar to what the poets of the ancient comedy jokingly wrote: Proyt married Bellerophon, and Pegasus was from Arcadia [59] [VI, 49].

Some of the ancients said (much) about the creation of the world and the earth (based on a deep understanding of the nature of things); and Moses and the prophets, who left their writings (to Christians), not knowing what the nature of the world and man was, composed gross absurdity; (to begin with the fact that Moses believes that the world was created by God, but cannot indicate from which). It is far more absurd that he devoted several days to the creation of the world, when there were no days. After all, when there was no sky, the earth had not yet been confirmed and the sun had not yet turned – where did the days come from? [VI, 50, 60] [60]. (And what does “let there be light” mean, and to whom is this appeal addressed?) After all, did the creator not take the light from above, like a man lighting a lamp from his neighbors? And if he who created it was an adversary of the great god, a cursed god, acting contrary to his decision, then why would he lend him light [VI, 51]?

I still do not say anything about the creation and death of the world – neither that it is not created and eternal, nor that it is created, but indestructible, and vice versa. (But where did they come from) the divine spirit came from as something alien to this world – “the divine spirit hovered above the earth” – (and how did it happen that) some other demiurge [61]in addition to the great god, he conceived evil against his spirit, and the Most High God endured, (whereas) it was necessary to overthrow (him)? (And now) the great god, having given the demiurge from the spirit, demands it back. But what kind of god gives something in order to demand it back? After all, the one who needs is required back, and God does not need anything. And why did he overlook the evil demiurge opposing him [VI, 52]? (And when he received his sight and became convinced of the intrigues of the demiurge), why did he send secretly to destroy his creations? Why does he invade secretly, cheat and mislead? Why does he lure the condemned and the damned, as you say, with a demiurge and secretly lead them away, like some kind of slave kidnapper? Why does he impersonate the father of strangers (children)? A good god who seeks to be the father (of people), condemned by another (god), sinners, destitute and, as they say, – scum and who is not able to punish his messenger, convicted of that imperceptibly departs from him! (You say you don’t think) the world is the creation of another god. But if all this is a creation of God himself, then how does God do evil? How is he unable to convince and reason? How did it happen that when people turned out to be ungrateful and bad, he felt remorse, condemned and hated his own art? How does he threaten and destroy his own descendants? And where does he lead them from this world, which he himself created? [VI, 53]. when people were ungrateful and bad, did he feel remorse, condemn and hate his own art? How does he threaten and destroy his own descendants? And where does he lead them from this world, which he himself created? [VI, 53]. when people were ungrateful and bad, did he feel remorse, condemn and hate his own art? How does he threaten and destroy his own descendants? And where does he lead them from this world, which he himself created? [VI, 53].

Returning to the beginning, how can you not consider it absurd the first and greatest god who orders: “Let there be, let there be another, or this”, who works one day so much, the next day so much more, then the third, on the fourth, fifth, sixth day [VI, 60]? And after that, just like a miserable artisan, he gets tired and needs to rest in idleness [VI, 61]!

(In general, they draw a god for themselves in their image. But) the god has neither mouth nor voice; he does not have anything else that is familiar to us [VI, 62]. And (God) did not create man in his likeness, for God is not like that and does not at all resemble any image [VI, 63]. He does not have a figure or color, he does not participate in movement and in essence [VI, 64]. Everything emanates from him, but he comes from nothing; God is inaccessible to the word … he cannot be designated by his name … he does not possess any property that can be covered by the name; he is beyond all perception [VI, 65].

“But (they will tell me), how can I know God? And how do I know the path to it? After all, you spread the darkness before your eyes, and I clearly do not see anything. ” (The darkness is not because I am blocking the light from you; on the contrary), when someone takes people out of the darkness into a bright light, they cannot bear the brilliance, their eyesight is amazed and deteriorates, and they think that they are blind [VI, 66 ]. (And you, who think that you see the light), how do you think to know God and be saved thanks to him [VI, 68]? (You say): “Since God is great and incomprehensible, he breathed his spirit into a body like us and sent it here (to us) so that we could listen to him and learn from him” [VI, 69]. Speaking of the spirit of God, Christians are no different from the Greek Stoics, who claim that God is a spirit that penetrates everything and embraces everything in itself [VI, 71]. But if the son is a spirit emanating from God, born in a human body, then the son of God himself cannot be immortal; for it is not such a property of the spirit to abide forever[62] ; (some Christians even believe) that God is not a spirit, but (only) his son. (Be that as it may), the spirit was to be inhaled by God; but it follows that Jesus could not rise in the flesh; for God would not take back the spirit that he gave after he was defiled by the nature of the body [VI, 77]. (And again, the absurdity of Jesus’ birth from a virgin appears); if (god) wanted to send (to earth) the spirit from himself, why did he have to blow it into the womb of a woman? After all, he could, having already experience in creating people, create a (ready-made) body for this, and not enclose his spirit in such evil spirits; in this case, if (Jesus) had been directly created from above, he would not have caused such distrust [VI, 73].

Marcion and his followers (recognizing that Jesus immediately appeared from heaven as the son of a good god, opposing the evil demiurge), are free from some charges, but some fall under them. (Indeed, from the point of view of Marcion, who rejects the prophets and prophecies about Christ), how can one prove that the one who endured such an execution is the son of God, since this was not predicted? (Further, if we collect the statements of the Christians, it turns out that) there were two sons of God – one from the demiurge, the other from the Marcionite god. (These two are arguing among themselves, and) their single combat, like the struggle of the gods and fathers, is like a fight of quail [63] ; so that themselves (the gods), exhausted from old age and capable of only chatter, no longer (able) to manage each other and leave their sons to fight [VI, 74]?

Once in the body of (Jesus) was the spirit of God, then it would have to differ sharply from others in growth, beauty, strength, voice, ability to amaze or convince; for it is impossible that something in which more is divine is contained is no different from the other; and meanwhile (the body of Jesus) was no different from the others and, as they say, was not distinguished by growth, beauty, harmony [VI, 75].

Further, if in fact God, like Zeus in a comedy, waking up from a long sleep, wanted to save the human race from evil, why did he send his spirit, which you are talking about, to one corner (of the earth)? He should have inflated many bodies in the same way and sent them all over the earth. But the author of theatrical comedy jokingly wrote that Zeus, waking up, sent Hermes to the Athenians and Macedonians; don’t you think that you composed something more ridiculous – sending the son of God to the Jews [VI, 78]? (After all, there were other nations more worthy of the attention of God), the divinely inspired peoples of the Chaldeans, Egyptians, Persians, Hindus, (whereas) Jews – (miserable people), who will soon die [VI, 80]. (And how is it) the omniscient god did not know that he was sending his son to evil people who would sin and execute him? (They have one answer to this): “Everything is predicted” (by the prophets) [VI, 81].

So let’s see how they come up with an excuse; those who introduce another god (will not find) any (excuse), and (recognizing) the same (god) will again say the same thing, the same truly wise (position), which supposedly should have happened; evidence is long predicted [VII, 2]. (But a strange thing): the predictions of Pythia, Dodonids, or (Apollonius) Clarius and Branchids, or in the temple of Amun [64], the predictions of many other seers, which, apparently, any country is teeming with, they do not bet on anything. And all that is said or not said in Judea according to their method, as is usual now in Phenicia and Palestine, is considered to be wonderful and immutable among them [VII, 3]. I could talk about the method of divination in Phenicia and Palestine, which I had heard and which I studied. There are many kinds of prophecy; the most perfect among the people here. Many obscure personalities in and around churches, some even beggars, wandering around cities and camps, very easily, when the opportunity presents itself, begin to behave like diviners. It is convenient and habitual for everyone to declare: “I am a god, or the spirit of God, or the son of God. I came. The world perishes, and you people perish for sins. I want to save you. And you will soon see me returning with the power of heaven. Blessed is he who will honor me now; I will send eternal fire to all the others, to their cities and lands, and people who do not recognize their sins will repent and moan in vain; but whoever obeyed me, I will grant eternal salvation. ” Subsequently, they add to these threats incomprehensible, half-crazy, completely inaudible speeches, the meaning of which no sane person will open; they are inconsistent and empty, but they give a fool or charlatan an excuse to use what has been said in which direction he will like [VII, 9]. These “genuine” prophets, which I had to listen to, convicted by me, confessed that they were harassing, and (admitted) that they were inventing their incoherent speech [VII, 11]. by that I give eternal salvation. ” Subsequently, they add to these threats incomprehensible, half-crazy, completely inaudible speeches, the meaning of which no sane person will open; they are inconsistent and empty, but they give a fool or charlatan an excuse to use what has been said in which direction he will like [VII, 9]. These “genuine” prophets, which I had to listen to, convicted by me, confessed that they were harassing, and (admitted) that they were inventing their incoherent speech [VII, 11]. by that I give eternal salvation. ” Subsequently, they add to these threats incomprehensible, half-crazy, completely inaudible speeches, the meaning of which no sane person will open; they are inconsistent and empty, but they give a fool or charlatan an excuse to use what has been said in which direction he will like [VII, 9]. These “genuine” prophets, which I had to listen to, convicted by me, confessed that they were harassing, and (admitted) that they were inventing their incoherent speech [VII, 11].

Those who justify the circumstances concerning Christ with references to the prophets cannot say anything good when any statement about the divine seems bad, shameful, unclean or vile [VII, 12]. After all, God does not create and does not express anything shameful and does not contribute to evil; and what other thing for God was eating lamb meat or drinking from bile and vinegar, but not eating manure [VII, 13]? Well, if the prophets predict that a great god — I won’t talk about more offensive things — will be a slave, or fall ill, or die, then it is predicted that God will have to die, or be a slave, or be ill in order to through his death to inspire faith that he is a god? But the prophets would not have predicted something like this: it would be evil and wicked. Therefore, one must investigate not whether the (prophets) predicted or did not predict, But is it worthy of God and is it good? The evil and shameful should not be trusted, even if all people were ecstatic and seemed to be prophesying. How can it be holy that is done in relation to (Jesus) as a god [VII, 14]?

(The most indecent things can be prophesied about God, but is it really possible), if such prophecies were about the God of the universe, then on the grounds that this was predicted, you need to believe such things about God [VII, 15]?

Wouldn’t (Christians) think again about the following: if the prophets of the Jews predicted that this would be his son, how did it (happen to be) that through Moses he prescribes to gain wealth, gain power and inhabit the earth, kill enemies in the prime of life, destroy by their entire tribes, and he himself, according to Moses, performs such (feats) in front of the Jews and also definitely threatens the Jews that if they do not obey him, he will treat them like enemies; meanwhile, his son, “Nazarene,” teaches the other way around — that for a rich man, an ambitious lover striving for wisdom or glory, there is no access to his father, that bread and breadbasket should not be taken care of more than crows, but less clothing lilies, what needs to be given to the striker once to strike the second time? Who is lying – Moses or Jesus? Or did the father, when sending the last one, forget that he prescribed Moses? Or, condemning his own laws, he changed his mind and sent a messenger for (preaching) the opposite (commandments) [VII, 18]? .. They say that God has a bodily nature, and even a humanoid body [VII, 27] … (If you ask them) where they are going, what they hope for (they will answer): “To another country, it is better than this.” The inspired ancient people spoke of a blissful life for blissful souls; some called (the place of stay of the blessed) the islands of the blessed, others – the Champs Elysees, because (they promise) liberation from all evils; so Homer says: “To another country, better than this.” The inspired ancient people spoke of a blissful life for blissful souls; some called (the place of stay of the blessed) islands of the blessed, others – the Champs Elysees, because (they promise) liberation from all evils; so Homer says: “To another country, better than this.” The inspired ancient people spoke of a blissful life for blissful souls; some called (the place of stay of the blessed) islands of the blessed, others – the Champs Elysees, because (they promise) liberation from all evils; so Homer says:

You are beyond the borders of the earth, you will be in the fields of Elysia

Sent by the gods …

Where light careless days run through … (Odyssey. IV, 563-565.)

But Plato, considering the soul to be immortal, called this country, where it goes, just the earth; namely, he says: “It is very large, we inhabit an insignificant part from the Herculean pillars to Fasida around the sea [65]like ants or frogs around a swamp; many others live in many other similar places. Everywhere around the earth there are many hollows of various types and sizes, where water, fog and air flow; the purest land is in clear sky ”(Phaedon, LVIII, p. 109 AB) [VII, 28]. What (Plato) points out with these words, it’s not easy for everyone to understand, unless he is able to penetrate into his following statements: “Because of our weakness and heavyness, we are not able to rise to the limits of the air”, “if nature (of man) is capable of was to endure this sight, he would know that there is true heaven, true light ”(Phaedon, LIX, p. 110 DE) [VII, 31]. (But Christians cannot understand this, they all take it rudely sensually); poorly understanding the theory of the transmigration of souls, they created the doctrine of the resurrection, speak of the “seed”, the “cabin of the soul,” in order to “get together” and “put on oneself” (2 Cor. 5: 4) [VII, 32]. And when they are knocked out from all positions and refuted, they again, as if nothing had happened, return to the same question: “How do we know and see God? And how do we go to him? ”[VII, 33]. They expect (obviously) to see God with bodily eyes, hear his voice with their ears, touch them with sensual hands [VII, 34]. (So ​​let them go) to the sanctuaries of Trophonius, Amphiarai and Pug, where you can see the humanoid gods, moreover, without deception, real; they can be seen more than once, in passing, as a Christian seducer, but they always communicate with those who wish [VII, 35]. They expect (obviously) to see God with bodily eyes, hear his voice with their ears, touch them with sensual hands [VII, 34]. (So ​​let them go) to the sanctuaries of Trophony, Amphiarai and Pug, where you can see the humanoid gods, moreover, without deception, the real; they can be seen more than once, in passing, as a Christian seducer, but they always communicate with those who wish [VII, 35]. They expect (obviously) to see God with bodily eyes, hear his voice with their ears, touch them with sensual hands [VII, 34]. (So ​​let them go) to the sanctuaries of Trophony, Amphiarai and Pug, where you can see the humanoid gods, moreover, without deception, the real; they can be seen more than once, in passing, as a Christian seducer, but they always communicate with those who wish [VII, 35].

But they again ask: how can they know God without perceiving him with feeling? What is (can be known) outside of feeling? To this I will answer: this (voice) is not of man and not of the soul, but the voice of the flesh. Let, however, they listen, if only this low, devoted to the bodily race (of people) is able to understand. If, having silenced a feeling, you look with your mind and, breaking away from the body, open the eyes of the soul, then only in this way you will see God. If you need a guide along this path, you should avoid deceivers, charlatans, palm off ghosts, so that you do not become a laughing stock in all respects, scolding idols of other gods who show themselves, but venerating someone who is truly more pathetic than those ghosts, and is not even a ghost, but a real corpse, and striving for a father like him [VII, 36].

(If you need a leader), then there is no shortage of ancient leaders and holy people; follow inspired poets and wise philosophers from whom you can hear a lot of the divine [VII, 41]. The most powerful teacher is Plato, (who) in Timaeus (V, p. 28 C) (writes): “To find the creator and father of all this is work; but having found, it’s impossible to explain to everyone. ” You see how the spokesmen of the will of the gods are looking for the path to truth, and how Plato knew that it was impossible for everyone to follow this path. But since (this way) was opened by wise people so that we get some concept of the inexpressible and the first, revealing it by way of synthesis or isolation from the rest or analysis, I would like to acquaint you with the generally inexpressible, but I was I would be surprised if you were able to follow (for my thought),

(So) there is essence and becoming, intelligible and visible. In essence, truth; in becoming, error. Knowledge is connected with truth, opinion with another; about the intelligible (formed) concept, visible (perceived) by vision. The intelligible is cognized by the mind, the visible by the eye. And just as in the world of the visible sun, without being an eye or vision, it is the reason that the eye sees that knowledge exists, that the visible is visible, that the sensory arises and even that it is itself accessible to vision – in the same way in the intelligible world, that, being neither mind, nor mind, nor thinking, nor knowledge, is the reason that the mind understands that thinking exists thanks to it, that knowledge cognizes thanks to it; for everything intelligible, for truth itself and essence itself, it is the reason for their being, being above everything,

All this is said for people with intelligence; if you understand something about this, it’s good for you. And if you think that some kind of spirit emanating from God proclaims the divine (teaching), then let him be this spirit, proclaiming (what I have stated); for the ancients overwhelmed by him (sages) reported a lot of good. And if you are not able to understand this, keep silent and do not call sighted blind and walkers – lame, you yourself are lame and mutilated, and you live for the body, that is, for the corpse [VII, 45].

If you wanted to introduce something new, it would be much better for you to engage in someone else who has died noble and who is able to take on the myth of God. Well, if you did not like Hercules, or Asclepius, or (others), who were famous in antiquity, you had Orpheus, a man admittedly overshadowed by a divine spirit and who also died a violent death; but maybe (you didn’t like that) others took possession of you before you? Then (you could have taken) Anaxarchus [66] , who, when he was thrown into a mortar and crushed in an inadmissible manner, resolutely despised the punishment, saying: “Crowd up, crush the bag of Anaxarchus, you don’t dare him yourself.” This is undoubtedly a speech of some kind of spirit. But even some natural scientists have followed you. Why not take Epictetus [67]? When its owner twisted his leg, he, fearlessly smiling, said to him: “You’ll break”, and when he (really) broke it, he said: “Didn’t I tell you I’ll break it?” Your god said something like that, when was he executed? And you, of course, would have declared even the daughter of God to Sibyl, which some of you use; Now you write in it (prophecies), without hesitation, a lot of blasphemy, and you declare God (person), who lived the most inglorious life and died the most miserable death. Wouldn’t Jonah with his pumpkin or Daniil (escaping) from animals, or even more wonderful miracle workers of this kind come to you much better [VII, 53]?

They also have such an instruction – do not resist the offender. “If you are hit on one cheek, turn the other.” And this is old, it has already been said much earlier, they only roughly reproduce it. With Plato, Socrates speaks as follows to Crito (Crito. X, 49 EVERYTHING): “In no case should one act unjustly? – In no way. “Even if you are being treated unfairly, you cannot respond with injustice, as most people are used to thinking, since in no case should you be offended?” – I think no. “So, Criton, should one do evil or not?” “In no case, Socrates.” – And what, to repay evil for evil, as is customary to say, fair or unfair? – It is certainly unfair to do something evil to a person in no way different from committing injustice. – Right. Consequently, you can’t answer with injustice and you can’t do evil to any person, even when you endure from him. ” Here is how Plato says, and further: “Consider whether you agree and agree with me — and we will begin to argue from this point — that it is never right to act injustice, to answer injustice, or to defend against evil, responding with evil. Or do you refuse and do not agree with the starting position? I always had that opinion and now I remain with him. ” Such was Plato’s conviction, but even earlier divine people taught the same thing. Or do you refuse and do not agree with the starting position? I always had that opinion and now I remain with him. ” Such was Plato’s conviction, but even earlier divine people taught the same thing. Or do you refuse and do not agree with the starting position? I always had that opinion and now I remain with him. ” Such was Plato’s conviction, but even earlier divine people taught the same thing.

But regarding this and other teachings distorted (by Christians), it is enough that I said: whoever wants to study their teachings more deeply (he) will be able to find out [VII, 58].

Part IV
ON THE NEED TO FOLLOW OFFICIAL CULT

Let’s move on to another. They cannot stand the appearance of temples, altars, and images, just like Scythians, nomads, Libyans, who do not know the god of sulfur (i.e., Chinese), and other criminal and lawless peoples; that the Persians have such an opinion, Herodotus tells about this in the following expressions (I, 131): “The following customs are known to me about Persians: to erect statues, altars and temples are not allowed among them; doing so they call fools. It seems to me that this is because they did not consider the gods humanoid, as the Greeks say. ” Yes, and Heraclitus once spoke as follows: “And they worship these statues, as if someone were talking to houses, not knowing what gods and heroes are.” So, they teach us something more wise than Heraclitus? In any case, he very vaguely indicates that it is foolish to pray to statues if you do not know what gods and heroes are.

Such is the opinion of Heraclitus; these decisively vilify the statues. If (they think so) on the basis that the stone, wood, bronze or gold that was processed by such (master) is not a god, then this is ridiculous wisdom. After all, who, if not a round fool, would consider them gods, and not offerings to the gods and their images? If, on the basis that it is impossible to comprehend the images of the gods – because the gods have a different image, as the Persians thought – then they do not notice that they themselves are exposed when they say that God created man in his own image. Thus, they will have to admit that the statues (are erected) in honor of some – similar or dissimilar to their kind, that those to whom they consecrate are not gods, but demons; but the one who honors God should not serve the demons [VII, 62]. (But here) they refute themselves,

But first of all, I’ll ask: why can’t you read the demons? Is not everything arranged according to the decision of God, and is not all providence (emanating) from him? After all, everything that exists in the universe, whether it is the creation of God, or angels, or other demons, or heroes, all this receives its law from the greatest god, someone who is awarded (this), vested with power, is assigned to each thing. So can not a worshiper of justice read (and) those who received their powers from there? “But,” says (Christ), “one and the same person cannot serve several masters” [VII, 68]. This is the voice of rebellion (emanating from people) who fenced off the wall and broke away from other people. Those who reason in this way transfer, as far as it is in their power, their passions to God. Of course, among people it makes sense that whoever serves someone cannot, in accordance with reason, serve another person, since that other person will suffer damage from the division of service; in the same way (inconvenient), having already given an obligation to one, to contact the obligation with another, for this would be to the detriment of (the first); and there is reason not to serve simultaneously different heroes and demons of this kind. As regards a god who cannot be harmed or afflicted, it makes no sense to be wary of honoring several gods, as is customary with respect to people, heroes, and the same kind of demons. He who honors several gods, thereby doing good to him, because he honors something from the great god. After all, no one can use reverence if it is not given to him from God. Therefore, if someone worships and worships all (God’s close associates), he does not insult the god to whom they all belong [VIII, 2]. Really, the one who,

Perhaps they would have justified their irreconcilable dispute against others if they had not really venerated anyone other than one god; but they, beyond measure, honor this recently appeared one and, however, do not consider that they sin against God, worshiping even his minister [VIII, 12].

If you explain to them that this one is not the son of God, but that God is the father of everything and that he should be honored alone, they will not agree (to honor God) if they do not at the same time worship (the son) who was the leader of the rebellion among them . And they called him the son of God, not because they worship God deeply, but because they strongly nominate a “son” [VIII, 14]. And so that (it was clear that) I am not reporting anything that is not related to the goal (my research), I will give their true words. In one place in some “Heavenly dialogue” [68]they are expressed as follows: “If the son of God is stronger, if the son of man is his lord, then who else can rule over a sovereign god? “Why are there many around the storehouse, but no one in the storehouse?” Why, having made such a long journey, do not you have the courage? “You are mistaken; I have the courage and the sword.” Thus, their task is not to honor the heavenly god, but the dummy father of the one whom they unanimously recognized, so that under the guise of the great father who is put in charge, they only worship the human son, who is declared the more powerful ruler, “ruler of the sovereign god”. That’s where their commandment is, that you cannot serve two masters – to maintain a position for this alone [VIII, 15].

They avoid the construction of altars, statues and temples; (instead) a sign (community of worship) is their agreement about a secretive, secret community. (But, as I already said, I see no reason why they should not make sacrifices to demons), because God, of course, is common to all, good, needs nothing, and a stranger to envy; what, therefore, prevents the most loyal to him to participate in public festivities [VIII, 21]? If these images are nothing, then what’s wrong with participating in a common feast [69]? And if there are any demons, then they are obviously also from God and they should be trusted, offer according to the laws of the sacrifice with auspicious omens and pray to them that they are merciful [VIII, 24]. If, indeed, according to some primordial tradition, they abstain from some such sacrificial animals, they should completely refrain from any animal food; such was the conviction of Pythagoras, who worshiped the soul and its organs. If (they refuse sacrificial meat) so that, as they say, they don’t take part in the meal with the demons, then I congratulate them for their wisdom that they can hardly understand that they are always the cooks of demons; in fact, they only beware of this when they see a sacrificial animal being slaughtered; (well), and when they eat bread, drink wine, eat fruit or even water, or even just inhale the air,

Thus, either you don’t have to live and walk on the earth at all, or if you already got life as it is, you have to thank the demons who have received (in their jurisdiction) the earthly, give them the first things and offer prayers while we live, in order to achieve their disposition towards people [VIII, 33]. (After all, think about it), a satrap, governor, praetor, or procurator of a Persian or Roman king, having even less significant power, authority or office, could greatly damage if they are shown neglect, and air and elevated satraps and ministers can do little damage if insult them [VIII, 35]? Or maybe, if they are called barbaric names, they have power, and if in Greek and Latin, then they no longer (have power) [VIII, 37]? (But the Christian) says: “So I stood in front of a statue of Zeus, or Apollo, or some other god, I blaspheme and beat him, but he does not avenge himself? ”[VIII, 38]. But you don’t see, my dear, that everyone not only scolds your demon, but expels you from all over the land and sea, and you, a loyal one, are chained, taken away and hanged, and your demon, or, as you call him son of God, does not intercede for himself at all [VIII, 39]. And the priest of Apollo and Zeus (I would object to that) “late grind the mills of the gods”[70] or

“And sons from sons who have too late to be born” (Iliad. XX, 308).

You are reproaching and ridiculing their statues, and if you had personally insulted even Dionysus or Hercules, you might not have gotten off safely. But those who crucified and executed your god personally did not suffer at all, and subsequently for such a long time. And what wonderful thing happened thanks to him to those who believed that he was not a deceiver, but a son of God? But the one who sent his son for some kind of “news” did not pay attention to the fact that he was so severely punished that the “news” perished with him, and did not respond, although so much time had passed. Which father is so heartless?

He wanted this, you say, and therefore he suffered insults from all sides. But you could also say about those whom you blaspheme that they want this and therefore suffer when they blaspheme against them; it’s best to approach the same things the same way. But, by the way, these (avenged and) even avenged the blasphemer, who because of this runs, hides, gets caught and dies [VIII, 41].

Is it worth listing all that the prophets and prophetesses or other obsessed men and women predicted in inspired speech from the prophets? How many wonderful things came from their shrines? How many were discovered on the basis (of the mantle) of the sacrificial animals and the victims who turned to them, how many were discovered on the basis of other miraculous signs? Ghosts appeared to some in reality. All life is full of them. How many cities were erected on the basis of the oracles and got rid of diseases and pestilence, and how many (cities, on the contrary), for the fact that they did not reckon with them or forget about them, died miserably? How many (cities) colonies were founded at their direction and succeeded following their instructions? How many rulers and individuals have ended up doing better or worse? How many (people) suffering from childlessness received what they asked, how many escaped the wrath of the demons? How much was recovered from a bodily ailment? On the contrary, how many people who mocked the shrine immediately paid – some went crazy on the spot, others divulged their deeds, others killed themselves, others were twisted by an incurable disease. (It happened) even, (that) a stern voice from the depths of the sanctuary destroyed some [VIII, 45].

(Christians are ready to death to defend their doctrine and threaten heavenly punishment to their opponents; but), dear, just as you believe in eternal torment, so do the interpreters, clergy and mystagogues and those shrines. And which of them is true and valid, it can be disassembled. In words, both sides equally vouch for their teachings. And if evidence is required, they present a lot of evidence, putting forward the affairs of some demonic forces and prophets and (information) about various prophecies [VIII, 43].

Further, isn’t your sense of longing for the body and the hope that it will rise again the same way? and there is nothing more desirable and valuable for you; and vice versa, giving him to execution (you consider) as dishonorable. But with adherents of such convictions, with (people) who have fused with the body, you should not talk about this topic; for such people in other respects are rude, unclean, and without reasoning surrender to a painful tendency to rebellion. We will talk with those who hope to find an eternal soul or mind with God – it does not matter whether they call it a spiritual or intelligible spirit, a holy, blissful, or a living soul, or a heavenly and immortal offspring of a divine disembodied nature, or whatever like to call. In any case, they correctly reason in the sense that those who live will be blissful, and the unrighteous will be wholly in the grip of eternal evil; neither they nor anyone else will ever be able to move away from this teaching [VIII, 49].

People find themselves attached to the body, either for the sake of the routine of the universe, or as a punishment for sins, or because the soul is burdened with passions until it is cleansed in established periods; according to Empedocles, every soul (idea) of mortals, gradually changing, “30 thousand years wandered away from the blessed.” Therefore, one has to believe that people are entrusted to some overseers of this prison [VIII, 53]. (And Christians without any reason) blaspheme (disposing of) demons on the earth and (for this) give their bodies to torment and torture; (they see this as a special feat, not understanding that and) robbers steadfastly endure what they have to endure for robbery [VIII, 54].

Logic requires one of two things. Or they consider it unworthy to perform the accepted ceremonies and honor their guardians, then do not let them turn into husbands, do not get married, don’t take children into their arms, do nothing in life, let them leave hastily without leaving any offspring, so that it’s their tribe completely destroyed from the face of the earth.

If they take wives, produce children, eat the fruits, enjoy life and endure the calamities that they have suffered, the nature is such that all people experience calamities: after all, evil is necessary, and it has no other soil (for manifestation), then you must give the proper honors those who manage it, and to fulfill proper duties in life until they are freed from these shackles, otherwise they will be ungrateful to them; and it’s unfair because, taking advantage of what belongs to them (demons), they don’t pay back anything [VIII, 55]. For everything on earth, down to the smallest things, there is someone who is given authority over this. This can be seen from the fact that, as the Egyptians say, the human body is distributed over 36 sections – some count much more – and it is distributed among 36 demons or some etheric gods, and everyone knows something else. They know the names of these demons in the local language, such as Khnumen, Khnahumen, Knat, Sikat, Hiu, Erebiu, Ramanor, Reyanoor and all sorts of other native names. And so, invoking them, they heal the diseases of (individual) parts of the body. What prevents, if anyone, from pleasing these and others, and rather being healthy than being sick, having good luck than failing, and possibly getting rid of the instruments of torture and punishment [VIII, 58]?

(True, practitioners of the cult of demons may be inclined to sorcery; and) of course, we must be careful not to devote ourselves entirely to their service due to all this, so that, after loving the body and deviating from the more valuable, we will not betray (this valuable) oblivion . Maybe we should not ignore the wise people who say that most of the demons surrounding the earth merged with creation; being chained to blood, to fat, to chants and tied to other similar things, they do not know how to heal the body, predict the future fate of a person and the city, they know and can only what relates to earthly affairs [VIII, 60] . It is necessary to give them (therefore) due reverence, since it is useful, but the mind does not advise it to do it exclusively [VIII, 62]. (However), it’s rather necessary to think that the demons do not need anything and do not ask for anything, but they are pleased when they observe piety towards them. But one should not part with God anywhere and in any way, neither day nor night, neither in society, nor in private, nor in speech, nor in any business without exception; in all these (cases) and outside them, let the soul be directed toward God.

Since this is such a situation, what is it terrible to have others (demons) disposing of here, too? and from among the people – rulers and kings? After all, they have won power here, not without demonic power [VIII, 63].

Of course, if someone ordered someone honoring God to dishonor God or say something shameful, then you should not obey this in any case, but you must endure all the torture and undergo any death than not only pronounce but also to think the wicked of God. But if you are ordered to praise Helios [71] or earnestly to glorify Athena in the beautiful pean [72] , then you will show (only) more piety towards the great god, if you sing these. For worship of God, pervading everything, becomes more perfect [VIII, 66]. And if you are ordered to swear by the name of the king among the people, then this is not scary. He is entrusted with what is on the earth, and everything that you receive in life, you receive from him [VIII, 67].

One must trust the ancient husband, who has long proclaimed:

Tsar to us be one, to whom Zeus the perspicacious

Scepter also granted laws (Iliad. II, 205-206).

After all, if you break this rule, the king will legally punish you. For if everyone acts like you, then there will be no obstacles to being left alone, abandoned by everyone, and everything on earth will be left to the most lawless and wildest barbarians, and people will have no glory either about your piety or true wisdom [VIII, 68].

You, of course, will not say that if the Romans, obeying you, neglected the laws established by them with respect to gods and people and began to call on your Almighty or whom you want, then he will come down from heaven and fight for them, and no other force not required. After all, this same god, who promised this and much more to his adherents, (yourself) see how much you helped those (i.e., Jews) and you: those, instead of becoming the masters of the whole earth, did not have a piece of land left not a hearth, but among you, if someone else is wandering, hiding, then they will look for him to punish him with death [VIII, 69]. Right, it’s unbearable when you say that if our reigns succumb to your beliefs and perish, you will convince those who will reign later, and then, if these perish, others and so on, one by one, until finally

(They expect to convert all people to their faith). If it were possible for Asia, Europe and Libya, the Hellenes and barbarians, to the maximum diverging among themselves, to adopt one law! (But this is impossible), and the thinker does not know anything [VIII, 72].

CONCLUSION

It is necessary to defend the king with all his strength, to share his work fairly, to fight for him, to take part in his campaigns when necessary, and to command the army with him [VIII, 73]; it is necessary to participate in the management of the fatherland, if this also needs to be done for the good of laws and piety [VIII, 75].

I intend to write another essay, (in which) I will teach how those who want and can obey me should live [VIII, 76].


Date: 240-300 CE. Origen wrote his apology, according to Eusebius (Church History, VI, 36), in the reign of Emperor Philip Arab, most likely in 248-300CE.

Categories: Anti-Christian Library, Christianity

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