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Chapter XXVII.

Now, in answer to this account of Aristeas, we have to say, that if Celsus had adduced it as history, without signifying his own assent to its truth, it is in a different way that we should have met his argument.  But since he asserts that he “disappeared through the intervention of the divinity,” and “showed himself again in an unmistakeable manner,” and “visited many parts of the world,” and “made marvellous announcements;” and, moreover, that there was “an oracle of Apollo, enjoining the Metapontines to treat Aristeas as a god,” he gives the accounts relating to him as upon his own authority, and with his full assent.  And (this being the case), we ask, How is it possible that, while supposing the marvels related by the disciples of Jesus regarding their Master to be wholly fictitious, and finding fault with those who believe them, you, O Celsus, do not regard these stories of yours to be either products of jugglery35143514    τερατείαν. or inventions?  And how,35153515    Guietus conjectures, καὶ πῶς, ὧ λῷστε. while charging others with an irrational belief in the marvels recorded of Jesus, can you show yourself justified in giving credence to such statement as the above, without producing some proof or evidence of the alleged occurrences having taken place?  Or do Herodotus and Pindar appear to you to speak the truth, while they who have made it their concern to die for the doctrine of Jesus, and who have left to their successors writings so remarkable on the truths which they believed, entered for the sake of “fictions” (as you consider them), and “myths,” and “juggleries,” upon a 475struggle which entails a life of danger and a death of violence?  Place yourself, then, as a neutral party, between what is related of Aristeas and what is recorded of Jesus, and see whether, from the result, and from the benefits which have accrued from the reformation of morals, and to the worship of the God who is over all things, it is not allowable to conclude that we must believe the events recorded of Jesus not to have happened without the divine intervention, but that this was not the case with the story of Aristeas the Proconnesian.


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