CELSUS 4 arguments against Christianity
The first of 4 arguments I believe to be of importance is that of the virgin birth. Jesus
claims to be born of a virgin in the town of Bethlehem. It was said that Jesus was born to a
virgin and God himself. When it was time for Mary to give birth she and her husband set off to
have God’s son. Because there was no room at an Inn Jesus was born in a stable. On the contrary
to what the Christian religion believes Celsus says that Jesus was born to a mother who was a
spinner, and his legitimate father a Roman soldier, Panthera (Celsus pg. 57). It seemed as if it
were common knowledge the transgressions that Jesus mother had committed with the Roman.
When this was found out Jesus mother was cast out by her carpenter husband and convicted of
adultery (Celsus pg. 57). The Jews then went on with the story by saying this was explained by
the fact that Herod wanted Jesus killed so they fled to Egypt (Celsus pg. 59). Herod feared that
the son of God was going to be born and become the rightful king taking Herod’s throne.
Herod sent out a decree that all male babies born would be put to death. Celsus felt that being a
God, Jesus should have not been afraid of death, but yet embrace it like the roman Gods did. He
was a king after all, and kings were noble, righteous, brave, and willing to die for their subjects.
This argument against Jesus seems to be just the beginning, in my opinion, of the downfall of his
The next point I feel valid to Celsus arguments is that of the Christian faith and their
followers. Celsus argued that instead of Jesus wanting all to follow his disciples seemed to pray
on the weak and dumb (Celsus pg. 73-75). Jesus followers were the weak, poor, lame, children,
and women. This was hardly the kingdom that was respectable. Roman Gods had kingdoms and
armies of all kinds. It takes men, women, children, poor and rich to have a community. This was
not the case for Christians. Christians used the excuse that those who were educated,
sensible, or wise were evil (Celsus pg. 72). By welcoming only the weak and slow into the
Christian fold it looks as if they can only sell their ideas to those who can’t think for
themselves. It was like they were more interested in finding followers that were going to follow
them no matter the stakes without any sort of challenge. Christianity seemed to be for the lower
class. This is surprising considering that Christianity was met with resistance from the Roman
government where a lot of it needed to be done in secrecy. This seems to be a slap in the face to
the Romans who encouraged progression and education, yet felt that loyalty was a must.
Roman Gods are that of noble character and moral values. They surround themselves with
people of the same likeness. Roman Gods were held to a higher standard and were expected to
lead their lands with a moral compass and the best interests of everyone. They did not have the
luxury of taking risky or even selfish chances. They had to be the upmost and noblest of leaders
to lead their people to a better life Jesus did not seem to follow this thinking, and surrounded
himself with ten or eleven friends that he associated with (Celsus pg. 59) that were less than
moral men, yet he was gaining followers (Celsus pg. 57). This was very dangerous to Rome.
The next argument that seems to be of merit was that of GOD being God. In the reading
Celsus makes points that the Christian God is nothing like the Greek and Roman Gods. The
Christian God seemed as if he did not have an explanation as to why he let things happen to
Good people. He did not have anyone he answered to. The Roman Gods and Kings were the
authority of the land, but did not have the right to be reckless with their kingdoms and subjects.
The decisions the...
Cited: Hoffman R.J. Celsus On the True Doctrine: A Discourse Against the Christians. Oxford
University Press, 1987.
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