Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume IV/Origen/Origen Against Celsus/Book VI/Chapter XXXIV

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Chapter XXXIV.

After finishing the foregoing, and those analogous matters which we ourselves have added, Celsus continues as follows:  “They continue to heap together one thing after another,—discourses of prophets, and circles upon circles, and effluents[1] from an earthly church, and from circumcision; and a power flowing from one Prunicos, a virgin and a living soul; and a heaven slain in order to live, and an earth slaughtered by the sword, and many put to death that they may live, and death ceasing in the world, when the sin of the world is dead; and, again, a narrow way, and gates that open spontaneously.  And in all their writings (is mention made) of the tree of life, and a resurrection of the flesh by means[2] of the ‘tree,’ because, I imagine, their teacher was nailed to a cross, and was a carpenter by craft; so that if he had chanced to have been cast from a precipice, or thrust into a pit, or suffocated by hanging, or had been a leather-cutter, or stone-cutter, or worker in iron, there would have been (invented) a precipice of life beyond the heavens, or a pit of resurrection, or a cord of immortality, or a blessed stone, or an iron of love, or a sacred leather!  Now what old woman would not be ashamed to utter such things in a whisper, even when making stories to lull an infant to sleep?”  In using such language as this, Celsus appears to me to confuse together matters which he has imperfectly heard.  For it seems likely that, even supposing that he had heard a few words traceable to some existing heresy, he did not clearly understand the meaning intended to be conveyed; but heaping the words together, he wished to show before those who knew nothing either of our opinions or of those of the heretics, that he was acquainted with all the doctrines of the Christians.  And this is evident also from the foregoing words.

  1. ἀποῤῥοίας.
  2. ἀπὸ ξύλου.