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Origen, Celsus And Lucian On The "Dénouement Of The Drama" Of The Gospels

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Chapter Summary

The chief counter-argument against the identification of the two men named Celsus has been that Origen's opponent does not fit the description of an Epicurean, which is how Lucian identifies his friend. Both Celsus and Polybius were speaking metaphorically, of course, of textual composition being akin to stragecraft. Origen chides, Celsus apparently did not learn to carry out this school exercise very well. While it is well known that Origen frequently unmasks Celsus for espousing views inconsistent with his supposed Epicureanism, it is equally telling that he likewise chides "the Jew" for displaying an unbecoming knowledge of the theatre in quoting Euripides, Bacchae 498 in his complaint that the gospel plot did not, like a good tragedy, include an act of final retribution and recognition by the slain.

Keywords: Celsus; Epicureanism; gospel plot; Lucian; Origen; Polybius



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