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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : Chapter XXXIV. For we inquire of all those who employ such invocations of Godà

Origen Against Celsus by Origen

Chapter XXXIV. For we inquire of all those who employ such invocations of Godà

For we inquire of all those who employ such invocations of God, saying: Tell us, friends, who was Abraham, and what sort of person was Isaac, and what power did Jacob possess, that the appellation |God,| when joined with their name, could effect such wonders? And from whom have you learned, or can you learn, the facts relating to these individuals? And who has occupied himself with writing a history about them, either directly magnifying these men by ascribing to them mysterious powers, or hinting obscurely at their possession of certain great and marvellous qualities, patent to those who are qualified to see them? And when, in answer to our inquiry, no one can show from what history -- whether Greek or Barbarian -- or, if not a history, yet at least from what mystical narrative, the accounts of these men are derived, we shall bring forward the book entitled |Genesis,| which contains the acts of these men, and the divine oracles addressed to them, and will say, Does not the use by you of the names of these three ancestors of the race, establishing in the clearest manner that effects not to be lightly regarded are produced by the invocation of them, evidence the divinity of the men? And yet we know them from no other source than the sacred books of the Jews! Moreover, the phrases, |the God of Israel,| and |the God of the Hebrews,| and |the God who drowned in the Red Sea the king of Egypt and the Egyptians,| are formulæ frequently employed against demons and certain wicked powers. And we learn the history of the names and their interpretation from those Hebrews, who in their national literature and national tongue dwell with pride upon these things, and explain their meaning. How, then, should the Jews attempt to derive their origin from the first race of those whom Celsus supposed to be jugglers and deceivers, and shamelessly endeavour to trace themselves and their beginning back to these? -- whose names, being Hebrew, are an evidence to the Hebrews, who have their sacred books written in the Hebrew language and letters, that their nation is akin to these men. For up to the present time, the Jewish names belonging to the Hebrew language were either taken from their writings, or generally from words the meaning of which was made known by the Hebrew language.
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