Shelves: history , religion From my Amazon review: While I had read numerous books with references to Celsus in them, I have just gotten around to reading a translation of his book "On the True Doctrine: A Discourse Against the Christians. Joseph Hoffmann. The text flows well from section to section, though it seems to be in no particular order. All in all, a good read, but not recommended for anyone who is staunchly Christian i.
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Shelves: history , religion From my Amazon review: While I had read numerous books with references to Celsus in them, I have just gotten around to reading a translation of his book "On the True Doctrine: A Discourse Against the Christians.
Joseph Hoffmann. The text flows well from section to section, though it seems to be in no particular order. All in all, a good read, but not recommended for anyone who is staunchly Christian i.
The True Doctrine is a sharp, irreverent and devastating Criticism of Christianity, probably the most famous in antiquity. Hoffmann has done a fine job not only putting this book together, but also giving us a lengthy introduction and copious notes. Reading it I found it to be a mixed bag. Some of his insights are spot on, almost modern in there perception.
Other times he seemed a tad confusing and inconsistent. Finally, there were some portions where I felt he did not understand Christianity as much as he thought.
Christians might not like his constant backhanded nastiness, maybe even more than his arguments. I found them juicy! Celsus ends up providing lots of corroborating evidence for Christianity, useful to us today. We also gain greater insights into the philosophical differences between Christians and non-Christians. Celsus mounts his attack against Christianity, but none of his arguments were able to stop the truth of Christianity from spreading across the I enjoyed reading this and would encourage the reading of it for a better understanding of Christianity and its relationship with the Roman world of antiquity.
Celsus mounts his attack against Christianity, but none of his arguments were able to stop the truth of Christianity from spreading across the Empire. He is sincere, but it is obvious from reading this work that he is grasping at straws.
On the True Doctrine
The primary problem that most Roman citizens and the Imperial government had regarding the Christians was their adamant refusal to participate in the required sacrifices that were regularly made to the Emperor and the Roman state, sacrifices that were an integral part of Roman politics, religion, and culture. Roman philosophers also attacked Christian moral and ethical principles because "the Christianity of the first century had yet to develop an assailable system of belief or a fixed canon of writings from which such beliefs could be educed". Celsus and his work[ edit ] Celsus was either a Greek or a Roman who wrote during the latter half of the 2nd century AD. Very little is known about his origins or life.
The True Doctrine of Celsus
He leaves Jews and Moses out of those he cites Egyptians, Syrians, Indians, Persians, Odrysians, Samothracians, Eleusinians, Hyperboreans, Galactophagoi, Druids, and Getae , and instead blames Moses for the corruption of the ancient religion: "the goatherds and shepherds who followed Moses as their leader were deluded by clumsy deceits into thinking that there was only one God, [and] without any rational cause Origen considered this a fabricated story. So that Jesus himself does not deny that these works at least are not at all divine, but are the acts of wicked men; and being compelled by the force of truth, he at the same time not only laid open the doings of others, but convicted himself of the same acts. Is it not, then, a miserable inference, to conclude from the same works that the one is God and the other sorcerers? Why ought the others, because of these acts, to be accounted wicked rather than this man, seeing they have him as their witness against himself? For he has himself acknowledged that these are not the works of a divine nature, but the inventions of certain deceivers, and of thoroughly wicked men. Since accuracy was essential to his refutation of The True Doctrine,  most scholars agree that Origen is a reliable source for what Celsus said.