A Passage of Origen Out of his Books against Celsus, Concerning These Three Miracles.
I HAVE in the Vindication prolixly shewn, that the literal histories of these miracles is rational, consistent, and credible: so that we may be safe and easy in understanding them in their literal sense, whatever any fathers or other people may say to the contrary. I shall however here set before the reader a passage of Origen writ about A. D.245, which passage I have chosen, not only as containing a testimony to the real performance of these miracles in their literal sense, and shewing, that Origen argued the Messiaship of Jesus from miracles; but also as containing an excellent observation concerning the credibility of the Evangelists. The reader will likewise perceive, that in Celsus's time, who flourished about the middle of the second century, the miracles of Jesus were much talked of and well known to Heathens: and that the Christians in the time of Celsus, or before, believ'd the miracles of Jesus, and argued his divine mission from them.

"But this, says Origen, is no new thing with Celsus, when he is not able directly to oppose the miracles which Jesus is recorded to have done, to asperse them as jugling tricks. To which I have already often replied according to my ability. And here [6] he makes us answer him; That we therefore believe him to be the Son of God, because he healed the lame and the blind. He adds; and, as you say, raised the dead, For certain, we do believe him to be the Christ and the Son of God, because he healed the lame and the blind. And we are confirmed in it, because that in the Prophets it, is written: Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall hear, and the lame man leap as an hart. And that he raised the dead, and that this is not a fiction of those that wrote the gospels, is evident hence; that if it had been a fiction of theirs, they would have related, many persons to have been raised up, and those who had lain a long time in their graves. But it not being a fiction, there are few of whom this is related: for instance, the daughter of the ruler of the synagogue (of whom I do not [7] know why he said, she is not dead, but sleepeth, expressing somewhat peculiar to her, not common to all dead persons) and the only son of a widow, on whom he had compassion, and raised him up, after he had bid the bearers of the corpse stop; and the third, Lazarus, who had been buried four days."


Page 6. l.19. after there, r. mere. p.16. l.4. for every, r. ever. p.43. l.6. for despair any longer, r. hope no longer, p.104. l.18. for in his, r. is his.


[6] --Kai nun de phesin hoionei hemas apokeinasthai, hoti dia tout' onomisamen auton einai Huion Theou, epei cholous kai tuphlous etherapeuse. Prostithesi de kai to hos umeis phate, aniste nekrous. hoti men oun golous kai tuphlous etherapeuse, dioper Christon auton kai Huion Theou nomizomen; delon hemin estin ek tou kai en protheteiais gegraphthai; Tote.--Hoti de kai nekrous aniste, kai houk esti plasma ton ta euangelia grapsanton; paristatai ek tou, ei men plasma en, pollous anagegraphthai tou anastantas, kai tou... ede chronous echontas pleionas en tois mnemeiois. epei d' ouk esti plasma, panu euarithmetous lelechtheu, ten te tou archisunaghogou thugatera (peri hes ouk oid' hopos ...pen, ouk apethanen, alla katheudei; legon ti peri autes ho ou pasi tois apothnousi prosen) kai ton monogene tes cheras huion. eph' ho splagchnistheis anestesen, stesas tou... pherontas ton nekron; kai teiton Lazarontetarten hemeran en to mnemeio echonta. Cont. Cels. 1. 2. p. 87.

[7] Origen, it seems, did not then think of the reason of this, I have assigned the plain reason of it, p. 52. See also, p. 105.

the preface
Top of Page
Top of Page