Now a few of Celsus’ arguments: One of the main points which is always discussed between critical historians and traditional theologians is the resurrection of ‘Jesus. Celsus says that this event which is so important was observed only by adherents, and originally even only by a few ecstatic women. His deification is nothing else than processes of deification which occurred in many other cases which we know from history. Good old Euhemeros, the philosopher of religion, has given sufficient examples of the way in which a human being, a king or a hero, was deified. Then he says that the Christians do something which is especially disgusting, ,namely, when the stories become extremely incredible – as many of them in the Old Testament – then they are explained away,. allegorically. (All these things were actually done.) ln this criticism, especially of the Old Testament miracle stories, a slight element ‘of anti-Judaism is visible, and this is understandable because some of Celsus’ criticism hit, the Jews as much as the Christians. … He says that the descent of God contradicts the unchangeable character of God which is also emphasized so strongly by the Christian writers. But if the Divine Being has descended to earth, why did this happen in a despised corner of the world, and why did it happen only once? Especially disgusting – and here again we have anti-Judaistic feeling – is the fight between the Jews and Christians as to whether the Messiah has or has not appeared.

This is particularly disgusting to the educated pagan. Very stupid, also, was the much used argument of that time from prophecy to fulfillment. He is historically educated enough to see that the prophet did not mean the fulfillment in the terms in which the fulfillment happened. And I would say this is an especially sore spot in all Church history, something where the idea of universal preparatory revelation – which is a sound idea – has been distorted in the mechanism of “foreseeing” events, and then they “happened”. He sees this weakness with great clarity.