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Chapter XXVIII.

And since this Jew of Celsus makes it a subject of reproach that Christians should make use of the prophets, who predicted the events of Christ’s life, we have to say, in addition to what we have already advanced upon this head, that it became him to spare individuals, as he says, and to expound the prophecies themselves, and after admitting the probability of the Christian interpretation of them, to show how the use which they make of them may be overturned.32863286    The original here is probably corrupt:  ῞Οτι ἐχρῆν αὐτὸν (ὣς φησι) φειδόμενον ἀνθρώπων αὐτὰς ἐκθέσθαι τὰς προφητείας, καὶ συναγορεύσαντα ταῖς πιθανότησιν αὐτῶν, τὴν φαινομένην αὐτῶν ἀνατροπὴν τῆς χρήσεως τῶν προφητικῶν ἐκθέσθαι.  For φειδόμενον Boherellus would read κηδόμενον, and τὴν φαινομένην αὐτῷ ἀνατροπήν.  For in this way he would not appear hastily to assume so important a position on small grounds, and particularly when he asserts that the “prophecies agree with ten thousand other things more credibly than with Jesus.”  And he ought to have carefully met this powerful argument of the Christians, as being the strongest which they adduce, and to have demonstrated with regard to each particular prophecy, that it can apply to other events with greater probability than to Jesus.  He did not, however, perceive that this was a plausible argument to be advanced against the Christians only by one who was an opponent of the prophetic writings; but Celsus has here put in the mouth of a Jew an objection which a Jew would not have made.  For a Jew will not admit that the prophecies may be applied to countless other things with greater probability than to Jesus; but he will endeavour, after giving what appears to him the meaning of each, to oppose the Christian interpretation, not indeed by any means adducing convincing reasons, but only attempting to do so.


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