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  • Chapter LXX

    Chapter LXX.

    But how is it that this Jew of Celsus could say that Jesus concealed Himself?  For his words regarding Him are these:  “And who that is sent as a messenger ever conceals himself when he ought to make known his message?”  Now, He did not conceal Himself, who said to those who sought to apprehend Him, “I was daily teaching openly in the temple, and ye laid no hold upon Me.”  But having once already answered this charge of Celsus, now again repeated, we shall content ourselves with what we have formerly said.  We have answered, also, in the preceding pages, this objection, that “while he was in the body, and no one believed upon him, he preached to all without intermission; but when he might have produced a powerful belief in himself after rising from the dead, he showed himself secretly only to one woman, and to his own boon companions.”3393

    3393 τοῖς ἑαυτοῦ θιασώταις.

      Now it is not true that He showed Himself only to one woman; for it is stated in the Gospel according to Matthew, that “in the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre.  And, behold, there had been a great earthquake:  for the angel of the Lord had descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone.”3394

    3394 Matt. xxviii. 1, 2.

      And, shortly after, Matthew adds:  “And, behold, Jesus met them”—clearly meaning the afore-mentioned Marys—“saying, All hail.  And they came and held Him by the feet, and worshipped Him.”3395

    3395 Matt. xxviii. 9.

      And we answered, too, the charge, that “while undergoing his punishment he was seen by all, but after his resurrection only by one,” when we offered our defence of the fact that “He was not seen by all.”  And now we might say that His merely human attributes were visible to all men but those which were divine in their nature—I speak of the attributes not as related, but as distinct3396

    3396 λέγω δὲ οὐ περὶ τῶν σχέσιν πρὸς ἕτερα ἐχόντων, ἀλλὰ περὶ τῶν κατὰ διαφοράν.

    —were not capable of being received by all.  But observe here the manifest contradiction into which Celsus falls.  For having said, a little before, that Jesus had appeared secretly to one woman and His own boon companions, he immediately subjoins:  “While undergoing his punishment he was seen by all men, but after his resurrection by one, whereas the opposite ought to have happened.”  And let us hear what he means by “ought to have happened.”  The being seen by all men while undergoing His punishment, but after His resurrection only by one individual, are opposites.3397

    3397 ἐναντίον τὸν μὲν κολαζόμενον πᾶσιν ἑωρᾶσθαι, ἀναστάντα δὲ ἑνί.  The Benedictine editor reads τὸν μὲν κολαζόμενον, and Bohereau proposes ἐναντίον τῷ κολαζόμενον μὲν, etc.

      Now, so far as his language conveys a meaning, he would have that to take place which is both impossible and absurd, viz., that while undergoing His punishment He should be seen only by one individual, but after His resurrection by all men! or else how will you explain his words, “The opposite ought to have happened?”


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