Download Against the Christians. The Rise of Early Anti-Christian by Jeffrey W. Hargis PDF

By Jeffrey W. Hargis

ISBN-10: 0820441562

ISBN-13: 9780820441566

Opposed to the Christians examines the anti-Christian polemic works of Celsus, Porphyry, and Julian the Apostate. the 1st ebook to research the phenomenon of early anti-Christian literature intensive, it chooses the critics' objection to Christian exclusivism as its start line. The evolution of the polemic, from a rhetoric of radical contrast to 1 of "rhetorical assimilation," unearths a cosmopolitan try to reveal contradictions and inconsistencies inside Christianity whereas even as reflecting the method of fusion among Christianity and the tradition of past due antiquity.

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Example text

In addition, the Jews, accor~ing to Celsus, were originally renegades from Egypt, while Christians were likewise renegades from Judaism. In his next remarks Celsus imagines that the Jews were Egyptian by race, and left Egypt after revolting against the Egyptian community and despising the religious customs of Egypt. 24 According to Celsus, Jews and Christians shared the same group characteristics and therefore deserved to be condemned together, whether with respect to their origins or in the present.

Justin's tactic of positive comparison was simply an alternative way in which criticism could be deflected from the Christian worship of Jesus. Although Celsus used the same type of comparisons, his motives, as we have stated, were quite different. A lengthy section9 of contra Celsum has Origen and Celsus battling over the comparison of Jesus to other gods and heroes. Celsus listed and discussed numerous divine and human figures, such as Heracles, Dionysus and Asclepius, the last of whom was revered as a god since he both healed people and foretold the future.

Tertullian's complaint against Christians who attended public events appeared about this time. The number of converts was increasing, and not only from the lower classes. Although the church was far from attaining social acceptability, it was no longer huddled in the dark corners of society. Nor was this only the case at the end of the second century. Even in the earlier account of the Gallic martyrdarns of 178, pagan persecutors excluded Christians from baths, markets and other public gathering places before actually excercising violence against them.

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