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Chapter LIX.

He imagines also that both the earthquake and the darkness were an invention;33513351    τερατείαν. but regarding these, we have in the preceding pages, made our defence, according to our ability, adducing the testimony of Phlegon, who relates that these events took place at the time when our Saviour suffered.33523352    [See cap. xxxiii., note, p. 455, supra.]  And he goes on to say, that “Jesus, while alive, was of no assistance to himself, but that he arose after death, and exhibited the marks of his punishment, and showed how his hands had been pierced by nails.”  We ask him what he means by the expression, “was of no assistance to himself?”  For if he means it to refer to want of virtue, we reply that He was of very great assistance.  For He neither uttered nor committed anything that was improper, but was truly “led as a sheep to the slaughter, and was dumb as a lamb before the shearer;”33533353    Isa. liii. 7. and the Gospel testifies that He opened not His mouth.  But if Celsus applies the expression to things indifferent and corporeal,33543354    εἰ δὲ τὸ “ἐπήρκεσεν ” ἀπὸ τῶν μέσων καὶ σωματικῶν λαμβάνει. (meaning that in such Jesus could render no help to Himself,) we say that we have proved from the Gospels that He went voluntarily to encounter His sufferings.  Speaking next of the statements in the Gospels, that after His resurrection He showed the marks of His punishment, and how His hands had been pierced, he asks, “Who beheld this?”  And discrediting the narrative of Mary Magdalene, who is related to have seen Him, he replies, “A half-frantic woman, as ye state.”  And because she is not the only one who is recorded to have seen the Saviour after His resurrection, but others also are mentioned, this Jew of Celsus calumniates these statements also in adding, “And some one else of those engaged in the same system of deception!”


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