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JUSTIN, DIALOGUE WITH TRYPHO
1. Then I
continued, I purpose to quote to you Scriptures, not that I am anxious to make
merely an artful display of words; for I possess no such faculty, but God's
grace alone has been granted to me to the understanding of His Scriptures, of
which grace I exhort all to become partakers freely and bounteously, in order
that they may not, through want of it, incur condemnation in the judgment which
God the Maker of all things shall hold through my Lord Jesus Christ.
2. And Trypho
said, What you do is worthy of the worship of God; but you appear to me to feign
ignorance when you say that you do not possess a store of artful words. I again
replied, Be it so, since you think so; yet I am persuaded that I speak the
truth. But give me your attention, that I may now rather adduce the remaining
3. Proceed, said
he. And I continued: It is again written by Moses, my brethren, that He who is
called God and appeared to the patriarchs is called both Angel and Lord, in
order that from this you may understand Him to be minister to the Father of all
things, as you have already admitted, and may remain firm, persuaded by
4. The word of
God, therefore by Moses, when referring to Jacob the grandson of Abraham, speaks
thus: 'And it came to pass, when the sheep conceived, that I saw them with my
eyes in the dream: And, behold, the he-goats and the rams which leaped upon the
sheep and she-goats were spotted with white, and speckled and sprinkled with a
5. And the Angel
of God said to me in the dream, Jacob, Jacob. And I said, What is it, Lord? And
He said, Lift up thine eyes, and see that the he-goats and rams leaping on the
sheep and she-goats are spotted with white, speckled, and sprinkled with a dun
6. For I have seen
what Laban does unto thee. I am the God who appeared to thee in Bethel, where
thou anointed a pillar and vowed a vow unto Me. Now therefore arise, and get
thee out of this land, and depart to the land of thy birth, and I shall be with
7. And again, in
other words, speaking of the same Jacob, it says thus: 'And having risen up that
night, he took the two wives, and the two women-servants, and his eleven
children, and passed over the ford Jabbok; and he took them and went over the
brook, and sent over all his belongings.
8. But Jacob was
left behind alone, and an Angel wrestled with him until morning. And seeing that
He did not prevail against him, and He touched the broad part of his thigh; and
the broad part of Jacob's thigh grew stiff while he wrestled with Him.
And He said,
Let Me go, for the day breaks. But he said, I will not let Thee go, except Thou
bless me. And He said to him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And He said,
Thy name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name; for thou
hast prevailed with God, and with men you shalt be powerful.
10. And Jacob asked
Him, and said, Tell me Thy name. But he said, Why dost thou ask after My name?
And He blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of that place Peniel, for I
saw God face to face, and my soul rejoiced.
11. And again, in
other terms, referring to the same Jacob, it says the following: 'And Jacob came
to Luz, in the land of Canaan, which is Bethel, he and all the people that were
with him. And there he built an altar, and called the name of that place Bethel;
for there God appeared to him when he fled from the face of his brother Esau.
12. And Deborah,
Rebecca's nurse, died, and was buried beneath Bethel under an oak: and Jacob
called the name of it The Oak of Sorrow. And God appeared again to Jacob in Luz,
when he came out from Mesopotamia in Syria, and He blessed him.
13. And God said to
him, Thy name shall be no more called Jacob, but Israel shall he thy name.' He
is called God, and He is and shall be God. And when all had agreed on these
grounds, I continued: Moreover, I consider it necessary to repeat to you the
words which narrate how He who is both Angel and God and Lord, and who appeared
as a man to Abraham, and who wrestled in human form with Jacob, was seen by him
when he fled from his brother Esau.
They are as
follows: 'And Jacob went out from the well of the oath, and went toward Charran.
And he lighted on a spot, and slept there, for the sun was setting; and he
gathered of the stones of the place, and put them under his head.
And he slept in
that place; and he dreamed, and, behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, whose
top reached to heaven; and the angels of God ascended and descended upon it. And
the Lord stood above it, and He said, I am the Lord, the God of Abraham thy
father, and of Isaac; be not afraid:
16. The land
whereon thou lay, I will give to thee and to thy seed; and thy seed shall be as
the dust of the earth, and shall be extended to the west, the south, the north,
and east. And in thee, and in thy seed, shall all families of the earth be
17. And, behold, I
am with thee, keeping thee in every way wherein thou go, and will bring thee
again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done all that I
have spoken of to thee. And Jacob awakening out of his sleep said, Surely the
Lord is in this place, and I knew it not.
18. And he was
afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other than the house
of God, and this is the gate of heaven. And Jacob rose up in the morning, and
took the stone which he had placed under his head, and he set it up for a
pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it; and Jacob called the name of the
place The House of God, and the name of the city formerly was Ulammaus.'"
When I had
spoken these words, I continued: "Permit me to show you further from the
book of Exodus how this same One, who is both Angel and God, and Lord and man,
and who appeared in human form to Abraham and to Isaac, and appearing in a flame
of fire from the bush, He conversed with Moses."
20. And after they
said they would listen cheerfully, patiently, and eagerly, I went on: These
words are in the book which bears the title of Exodus: 'And after many days the
king of Egypt died, and the children of Israel groaned by reason of the works;'
21. And so go and
gather the elders of Israel, and thou shalt say unto them, The Lord God of your
fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has
appeared to me, saying, I am surely beholding you, and the things which have
befallen you in Egypt.'
22. And I went on:
Have you perceived, sirs, that this very God whom Moses speaks of as an Angel
that talked to him in the flame of fire, declared to Moses that He is the God of
Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob?
said, We do not perceive this from the passage quoted by you, but that it was an
angel who appeared in the flame of fire, but God who conversed with Moses; so
that there were really two persons in company with each other, an angel and God,
that appeared in that vision.
24. I again
replied, Even if this were so, my friends, that an angel and God were together
in the vision seen by Moses, yet, as has already been proved to you by the
passages previously quoted, it will not be the Creator of all things that is the
God Who said to Moses that He was the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and
the God of Jacob.
25. But it will be
He who has been proven to you to have appeared to Abraham, ministering to the
will of the Maker of all things, and likewise executing His counsel in the
judgment of Sodom; so that, even though it be as you say, that there were two -
an angel and God.
He who has but
the smallest of intelligence will not venture to assert that the Maker and
Father of all things, having left all super-celestial matters, was visible on a
little portion of the earth.
27. And Trypho
said, Since it has been previously proven that He who is called God and Lord,
and appeared to Abraham, received from the Lord, who is in the heavens, that
which He inflicted on the land of Sodom, even although an angel had accompanied
the God who appeared to Moses.
perceive that the God who communed with Moses from the bush was not the Maker of
all things, but He who has been shown to have manifested Himself to Abraham and
to Isaac and to Jacob; who also is called and is perceived to be the Angel of
God the Maker of all things, because He publishes to men the commands of the
Father and Maker of all things.
29. And I replied,
Now assuredly, Trypho, I shall show that, in the vision of Moses, this same One
alone who is called an Angel, and who is God, appeared to and communed with
Moses. For the Scripture says thus: 'The Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a
flame of fire from the bush; and he saw that the bush burned with fire, but the
bush was not consumed.
30. And Moses said,
I will turn aside and see this great sight, for the bush is not burnt. And when
the Lord saw that he turned aside to behold, the Lord called to him out of the
bush.' In the same manner, therefore, in which the Scripture calls Him who
appeared to Jacob in the dream an Angel;
31. Then that the
same Angel who appeared in the dream spoke to him, saying, 'I am the God that
appeared to thee when thou didst flee from the face of Esau thy brother;' and,
in the judgment which befell Sodom in the days of Abraham, the Lord had
inflicted the punishment of the Lord who is in the heavens;
Even so here,
the Scripture, in announcing that the Angel of the Lord appeared to Moses, and
afterwards declaring him to be Lord and God, speaks of the same One, of whom it
declares by the many testimonies already quoted to be minister to God, who is
above the world, above whom there is no other.
Wisdom is begotten of the Father, as fire from fire.
1. I shall give
you another testimony, my friends, said I, from the Scriptures, that God begat
before all creatures - a Beginning, a certain rational power from Himself, who
by the Holy Spirit is called, the Glory of the Lord, the Son, and Wisdom, and an
Angel, and then again God, and Lord and Logos; and on another occasion He calls
Himself Captain, when He appeared in human form to Joshua the son of Nun.
For He can be
called by all those names, since He ministers to the Father's will, and since He
was begotten of the Father by an act of will; just as we see happening among
ourselves: for when we give out some word, we beget the word; yet not by
abscission, so as to lessen the word in us, when we give it out:
3. And just as we
see also happening in the case of a fire, which is not lessened when it has
kindled another, but remains the same; and that which has been kindled by it
likewise appears to exist by itself, not diminishing that from which it was
4. The Word of
Wisdom, who is Himself this God begotten of the Father of all things, and Word,
and Wisdom, and Power, and the Glory of the Begetter, will bear evidence to me,
when He speaks by Solomon the following:
5. 'If I shall
declare to you what happens daily, I shall call to mind events from everlasting,
and review them. The Lord made me the beginning of His ways for His works. From
everlasting He established me in the beginning, before He had made the earth,
and before He had made the deeps, before the springs of the waters had issued
forth, before the mountains had been established.
6. Before all the
hills He begot me. God made the country, and the desert, and the highest
inhabited places under the sky. When He made ready the heavens I was with Him,
and when He set up His throne on the winds: when He made the high clouds strong,
and the springs of the deep safe.
When He made
the foundations of the earth I was with His arranging. I was that in which He
rejoiced; daily and at all times I delighted in His countenance, because He
delighted in the finishing of the habitable world, and delighted in the sons of
8. Now, therefore,
O son, hear me. Blessed is the man who shall listen to me, and the mortal who
shall keep my ways, watching daily at my doors, observing the posts of my
ingoing. For my outgoing are the outgoings of life, and has been prepared by the
Lord. But they who sin against me, trespass against their own souls; and they
who hate me love death.'
And the same
sentiment was expressed, my friends, by the word of God by Moses, when it
indicated to us, with regard to Him whom it has pointed out, that God speaks in
the creation of man with the very same design, in the following words:
10. 'Let Us make
man after our image and likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of
the sea, and over the fowl of the heaven, and over the cattle, and over all the
earth, and over all the creeping things that creep on the earth. And God created
man: after the image of God did He create him; male and female created He them.
And God blessed
them, and said, Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and have power over
it. And that you may not change the words just quoted, and repeat what your
teachers assert,--either that God said to Himself, 'Let Us make, 'just as we,
when about to do something, oftentimes say to ourselves, 'Let us make;
12. Or that God
spoke to the elements, to wit, the earth and other similar substances of which
we believe man was formed, 'Let Us make,' I shall quote again the words narrated
by Moses himself, from which we can indisputably learn that God conversed with
some one who was numerically distinct from Himself, and also a rational Being.
13. These are the
words: 'And God said, Behold, Adam has become as one of us, to know good and
evil.' In saying, therefore, 'as one of us,' Moses declares a number of persons
associated with one another, and that they are at least two.
14. For I would not
say that the dogma of that heresy which is said to be among you is true, or that
the teachers of it can prove that God spoke to angels, or that the human frame
was the workmanship of angels.
15. But that this
Offspring, which was truly brought forth from the Father, was with the Father
before all the creatures, and the Father communed with Him; even as the
Scripture by Solomon has made clear, that He whom Solomon calls Wisdom, was
begotten as a Beginning before all His creatures and as Offspring by God, who
has also declared this same thing in the revelation made by Joshua the son of
therefore, to the following from the book of Joshua, that what I say may become
manifest to you; it is this: 'And it came to pass, when Joshua was near Jericho,
he lifted up his eyes, and saw a man standing over against him.
17. And Joshua
approached Him, and said, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And He said
to him, I am Captain of the Lord's host. And Joshua fell on his face on the
ground, and said to Him, Lord, what commanded Thou Thy servant?
18. And the Lord's
Captain said to Joshua, Loosen the shoes off thy feet; for the place whereon
thou stand is holy ground. And Jericho was shut up and fortified, and no one
went out of it. And the Lord said to Joshua, Behold, I give into thine hand
Jericho, and its king, and its mighty men.'
19. And Trypho
said, This point has been proved to me forcibly, and by many arguments, my
friend. It remains, then, to prove that He submitted to become man by the
Virgin, according to the will of His Father; and to be crucified, and to die.
Prove also clearly, that after this He rose again and ascended to heaven.
20. I answered,
This, too, has been already demonstrated by me in the previously quoted words of
the prophecies, my friends; which, by recalling and expounding for your sakes, I
shall endeavor to lead you to agree with me also about this matter.
21. The passage,
then, which Isaiah records, 'Who shall declare His generation? for His life is
taken away from the earth,--does it not appear to you to refer to One who, not
having descent from men, was said to be delivered over to death by God for the
transgressions of the people?
22. Of whose blood,
Moses, when speaking in parable, said, that He would wash His garments in the
blood of the grape; since His blood did not spring from the seed of man, but
from the will of God. And then, what is said by David, 'In the splendors of Thy
holiness have I begotten Thee from the womb, before the morning star.
23. The Lord hath
sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of
Melchizedek, does this not declare to you that He was from of old, and that the
God and Father of all things intended Him to be begotten by a human womb?
24. And speaking in
other words, which also have been already quoted: 'Thy throne, O God, is for
ever and ever: a scepter of rectitude is the scepter of Thy kingdom. Thou hast
loved righteousness, and hast hated iniquity: therefore God, even thy God, hath
anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.
25. He has anointed
Thee with myrrh, and oil, and cassia from Thy garments, from the ivory palaces,
whereby they made Thee glad. Kings' daughters are in Thy honor.
The queen stood
at Thy right hand, clad in garments embroidered with gold. Hearken, O daughter,
and behold, and incline thine ear, and forget thy people and the house of thy
father; and the King shall desire thy beauty: because he is thy Lord, and thou
shalt worship Him.'
27. Therefore these
words testify explicitly that He is witnessed to by Him who established these
things, as deserving to be worshipped, as God and as Christ. Moreover, that the
word of God speaks to those who believe in Him as being one soul, and one
synagogue, and one church, as to a daughter;
That this thus
addresses the church which has sprung from His name and partakes of His name is
distinctly proclaimed in like manner in the following words, which teach us also
to forget old ancestral customs, when they speak thus:
29. 'Hearken, O
daughter, and behold, and incline thine ear; forget thy people and the house of
thy father, and the King shall desire thy beauty: because He is thy Lord, and
thou shalt worship Him.'
30. Here Trypho
said, Let Him be recognized as Lord and Christ and God, as the Scriptures
declares by you of the Gentiles, who from His name have been called Christians;
But we who are servants of God that made this same Christ, do not require to
confess or worship Him.
To this I
replied, If I were to be quarrelsome and light-minded like you, Trypho, I would
no longer continue to converse with you, since you are prepared not to
understand what has been said, but only to return some captious answer;
But now, since
I fear the judgment of God, I do not state an untimely opinion concerning any
one of your nation, as to whether or not some of them may be saved by the grace
of the Lord of Sabaoth.
although you act wrongfully, I shall continue to reply to any proposition you
shall bring forward, and to any contradiction which you make; and, in fact, I do
the very same to all men of every nation, who wish to examine along with me, or
make inquiry at me, regarding this subject.
34. Accordingly, if
you had bestowed attention on the Scriptures previously quoted by me, you would
already have understood, that those who are saved of your own nation are saved
through this man], and partake of His lot; and you would not certainly have
asked me about this matter.
35. I shall again
repeat the words of David previously quoted by me, and beg of you to comprehend
them, and not to act wrongfully, and stir each other up merely to give some
contradiction. The words which David spoke then are these:
'The Lord has
reigned; let the nations be angry: He who sits upon the cherubim; let the earth
be shaken. The Lord is great in Zion; and He is high above all the nations. Let
them confess Thy great name, for it is fearful and holy; and the honor of the
king loves judgment.
37. Thou has
prepared equity; judgment and righteousness has Thou performed in Jacob. Exalt
the Lord our God, and worship the footstool of His feet; for He is holy. Moses
and Aaron among His priests, and Samuel among them that call upon His name; they
called on the Lord, and He heard them. In the pillar of the cloud He spake to
them; for they kept His testimonies and His commandments which He gave them.'
38. And from the
other words of David, also previously quoted, which you foolishly affirm to
refer to Solomon, it can be proved that they do not refer to Solomon, and that
those of your nation who are saved shall be saved through Him of these words.
God, give Thy judgment to the king, and Thy righteousness unto the king's son.
He shall judge Thy people with righteousness, and Thy poor with judgment. The
mountains shall take up peace to the people, and the hills righteousness.
40. He shall judge
the poor of the people, and shall save the children of the needy, and shall
abase the slanderer: and He shall co-endure with the sun, and before the moon
unto all generations; and so on, and all tribes of the earth shall be blessed in
Him. All nations shall call Him blessed.
be the Lord, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things: and blessed be
His glorious name for ever and ever: and the whole earth shall be filled with
His glory. Amen, Amen.'
42. And you
remember from other words also spoken by David, and which I have mentioned
before, how it is declared that He would come forth from the highest heavens,
and again return to the same places, in order that you may recognize Him as God
coming forth from above, and as man living among men; and that He will again
appear, and they who pierced Him shall see Him, and shall bewail Him.
1. And Trypho
said, Being shaken by so many Scriptures, I know not what to say about the
Scripture which Isaiah writes, in which God says that He gives not His glory to
another, speaking thus 'I am the Lord God; this is my name; my glory will I not
give to another, nor my virtues.'
2. And I answered,
If you spoke these words, Trypho, and then kept silence in simplicity and with
no ill intent, neither repeating what goes before nor adding what comes after,
you must be forgiven; but if because you imagined that you could throw doubt on
the passage, in order that I might say the Scriptures contradicted each other,
you have erred.
3. But I shall not
venture to suppose or to say such a thing; and if a Scripture which appears to
be of such a kind be brought forward, and if there be a pretext that it is
contrary, since I am entirely convinced that no Scripture contradicts another.
4. Then I shall
admit rather that I do not understand what is recorded, and shall strive to
persuade those who imagine that the Scriptures are contradictory, to be rather
of the same opinion as myself. With what intent, then have you brought this
difficulty forward God only knows.
But I shall
remind you of what the passage says, in order that you may recognize even from
this that God gives glory to His Christ alone. And I shall take up some short
passages sirs, those which are in connection with what has been said by Trypho,
and those which are also joined in consecutive order.
For I will not
repeat those of another section, but those which are joined together in one. Do
you also give me your attention. For
thus said the Lord, the God that created the heavens, and fastened them, that
established the earth, and that which is in it; and gave breath to the people
upon it, and spirit to them who walk therein:
7. I the Lord God
have called Thee in righteousness, and will hold Thine hand, and will strengthen
Thee; and I have given Thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the
Gentiles, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out them that are bound from
the chains, and those who sit in darkness from the prison-house.
8. I am the Lord
God; this is my name: my glory will I not give to another, nor my virtues to
graven images. Behold, the former things are come to pass; new things will I
announce, and before they are announced they are made manifest to you.
Sing unto the
Lord a new song: His sovereignty from the end of the earth. ye who descend into
the sea, and continually sail; ye islands and inhabitants thereof. Rejoice O
wilderness and the villages thereof, and the houses; and let the inhabitants of
Cedar shall rejoice, and the inhabitants of the rock shall cry aloud from the
top of the mountains:
10. They shall give
glory to God; they shall publish His virtues among the islands. The Lord God of
hosts shall go forth, He shall destroy war, He shall stir up zeal, and He shall
cry aloud to the enemies with strength.'
11. And when I
repeated this, I said to them, Have you perceived, my friends, that God says He
will give Him whom He has established as a light to the Gentiles in glory, and
not as Trypho said, that God was retaining the glory to Himself?
12. Then Trypho
answered, We have perceived this also; pass on therefore to the remainder of the
discourse. And I, resuming the
discourse where I had left off at a previous stage, when proving that He was
born of a virgin, and that His birth of a virgin had been predicted by Isaiah,
quoted again the same prophecy.
13. It is as
follows 'And the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying, Ask for thyself a sign from
the Lord thy God, in the depth or in the height. And Ahaz said I will not ask,
neither will I tempt the Lord. And Isaiah said, Hear then, O house of David; Is
it no small thing for you to contend with men? And how do you contend with the
14. Therefore the
Lord Himself will give you a sign; Behold, the virgin shall conceive, and shall
bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he
eat; before he knows or prefers the evil he will choose out the good.
For before the
child knows ill or good, he rejects evil by choosing out the good. For before
the child knows how to call father or mother, he shall receive the power of
Damascus, and the spoil of Samaria, in presence of the king of Assyria.
And the land
shall be forsaken, which thou shalt with difficulty endure in consequence of the
presence of its two kings. But God shall bring on thee, and on thy people, and
on the house of thy father, days which have not yet come upon thee since the day
in which Ephraim took away from Judah the king of Assyria.'
17. And I
continued: Now it is evident to all, that in the race of Abraham according to
the flesh no one has been born of a virgin, or is said to have been born, save
this our Christ.
18. And Trypho
answered, The Scripture says not, 'Behold “the virgin” shall conceive and
bear a son,' but, 'Behold “the young woman” shall conceive, and bear a son,'
and so on as you quoted. And the whole prophecy refers to Hezekiah, and it is
proven that it was fulfilled in him, according to the terms of this prophecy.
the fables of those who are called Greeks, it is written that Perseus was
begotten of Danae, who was a virgin; he who was called among them Zeus having
descended on her in the form of a golden shower.
20. And you ought
to feel ashamed when you make assertions similar to theirs, and rather say that
this Jesus was born man of men. And if you prove from the Scriptures that He is
the Christ, and that on account of having led a life conformed to the law, and
perfect, He deserved the honor of being elected to be Christ, but do not venture
to tell monstrous phenomena, lest you be convicted of talking foolishly like the
Then I said to
this, Trypho, I wish to persuade you, and all men in short, of this, that even
though you talk worse things in ridicule and in jest, you will not move me from
my fixed design; but I shall always adduce from the words which you think can be
brought forward as proof, the demonstration of what I have stated along with the
testimony of the Scriptures.
22. You are not,
however, acting fairly or truthfully in attempting to undo those things in which
there has been constant agreement between us; namely, that certain commands were
instituted by Moses on account of the hardness of your people's hearts.
23. For you said
that, by reason of His living conformably to law, He was elected and became
Christ, if indeed He were proved to be so.
And Trypho said, You admitted to us that He was both circumcised, and
observed the other legal ceremonies ordained by Moses.
1. And Trypho
said, "You endeavor to prove an incredible and well-nigh impossible thing;,
that God endured to be born and became man. If I undertook, said I, to prove this by doctrines or
arguments of man, you would not bear with me.
But if I
frequently quote Scriptures, and so many of them, referring to this point, and
ask you to comprehend them, you are hard-hearted in the recognition of the mind
and will of God. But if you wish to remain so for ever, I would not be injured
at all; and for ever retaining the same which I had before I met with you, I
shall leave you.
3. And Trypho
said, Look, my friend, you made yourself master of these with much labor and
toil. And we accordingly must diligently scrutinize all that we meet with, in
order to give our assent to those things which the Scriptures compel us to
4. Then I said, I
do not ask you not to strive earnestly in making an investigation of the matters
inquired into; but when you have nothing to reply, nor to contradict those
things which you said you had admitted. And Trypho said, So we shall endeavor to
5. I continued
again: In addition to the questions I have just now put to you, I wish to put
more: for by means of these questions I shall strive to bring the discourse to a
speedy termination. And Trypho
said, Ask the questions.
Then I said, Do
you think that any other one is said to be worthy of worship and called Lord and
God in the Scriptures, except the Maker of all, and Christ, who by so many
Scriptures was proved to you to have become man?
7. And Trypho
replied, How can we admit this, when we have instituted so great an inquiry as
to whether there is any other than the Father alone? Then I again said, I must ask you this also, that I may know
whether or not you are of a different opinion from that which you admitted some
time ago. He replied, It is not,
8. Then again I,
Since you certainly admit these things, and since Scripture says, 'Who shall
declare His generation?' ought you not now to suppose that He is not the seed of
a human race?
9. And Trypho
said, How then does the Word say to David, that out of his loins God shall take
to Himself a Son, and shall establish His kingdom, and shall set Him on the
throne of His glory?
10. And I said,
Trypho, if the prophecy which Isaiah uttered, "Behold, the virgin shall
conceive,' is said not to the house of David, but to another house of the twelve
tribes, perhaps the matter would have some difficulty; but since this prophecy
refers to the house of David, Isaiah has explained how that which was spoken by
God to David in mystery would take place.
11. But perhaps you
are not aware of this, my friends, that there were many sayings written
obscurely, or paradoxically, or mysteriously, and symbolical actions, which the
prophets who lived after the persons who said or did them expounded.
Assuredly, said Trypho.
If therefore, I
shall show that this prophecy of Isaiah refers to our Christ, and not to
Hezekiah, as you say, shall I not in this matter, too compel you not to believe
your teachers, who venture to assert that the explanation which your seventy
elders that were with Ptolemy the king of the Egyptians gave, is untrue in
13. For some
statements in the Scriptures, which appear explicitly to convict them of a
foolish and vain opinion, these they venture to assert have not been so written.
But other statements, which they fancy they can distort and harmonize with human
actions, these, they say, refer not to this Jesus Christ of ours, but to him of
whom they are pleased to explain them.
instance, they have taught you that this Scripture which we are now discussing
refers to Hezekiah, in which, as I promised, I shall show they are wrong. And
since they are compelled, they agree that some Scriptures which we mention to
them, and which expressly prove that Christ was to suffer, to be worshipped, and
to be called God, and which I have already recited to you, do refer indeed to
Christ, but they venture to assert that this man is not Christ.
But they admit
that He will come to suffer, and to reign, and to be worshipped, and to be God;
and this opinion I shall in like manner show to be ridiculous and silly. But
since I am pressed to answer first to what was said by you in jest, I shall make
answer to it, and shall afterwards give replies to what follows.
16. Be well
assured, then, Trypho, I continued, that I am established in the knowledge and
faith in the Scriptures by those counterfeits which he who is called the devil
is said to have performed among the Greeks; just as some were wrought by the
Magi in Egypt, and others by the false prophets in Elijah's days.
17. For when they
tell that Bacchus, son of Jupiter, was begotten by intercourse with Semele, and
that he was the discoverer of the vine; And when they relate, that being torn in
pieces, and having died, he rose again, and ascended to heaven; and when they
introduce wine into his mysteries, do I not perceive that
the devil has imitated the prophecy announced by the patriarch Jacob, and
recorded by Moses?
18. And when they
tell that Hercules was strong, and traveled over all the world, and was begotten
by Jove of Alcmena, and ascended to heaven when he died, do I not perceive that
the Scripture which speaks of Christ, 'strong as a giant to run his race,' has
been in like manner imitated?
19. And when he
brings forward sculapius as the raiser of the dead and healer of all diseases,
may I not say that in this matter likewise he has imitated the prophecies about
Christ? But since I have not quoted to you such Scripture as tells that Christ
will do these things;
20. I must
necessarily remind you of one such: from which you can understand, how that to
those destitute of a knowledge of God, I mean the Gentiles, who, 'having eyes,
saw not, and having a heart, understood not,' worshipping the images of wood,
with Scripture prophesying that
they would renounce these, and hope in this Christ.
21. It is thus
written: 'Rejoice, thirsty wilderness: let the wilderness be glad, and blossom
as the lily: the deserts of the Jordan shall both blossom and be glad: and the
glory of Lebanon was given to it, and the honor of Carmel. And my people shall
see the exaltation of the Lord, and the glory of God.
22. Be strong, ye
careless hands and enfeebled knees. Be comforted, ye faint in soul: be strong,
fear not. Behold, our God gives, and will give retributive judgment. He shall
come and save us. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of
the deaf shall hear.
23. Then the lame
shall leap as an hart, and the tongue of the stammered shall be distinct: for
water has broken forth in the wilderness, and a valley in the thirsty land; and
the parched ground shall become pools, and a spring of water shall rise up in
the thirsty land.
24. The spring of
living water which gushed forth from God in the land destitute of the knowledge
of God, namely the land of the Gentiles, was this Christ, who also appeared in
your nation, and healed those who were maimed, and deaf, and lame in body from
their birth, causing them to leap, to hear, and to see, by His word.
25. And having
raised the dead, and causing them to live, by His deeds He compelled the men who
lived at that time to recognize Him. But though they saw such works, they
asserted it was magical art. For they dared to call Him a magician, and a
deceiver of the people.
26. Yet He wrought
such works, and persuaded those who were to believe on Him; for even if any one
be laboring under a defect of body, yet be an observer of the doctrines
delivered by Him, He shall raise him up at His second advent perfectly sound,
after He has made him immortal, and incorruptible, and free from grief.
27. And when those
who record the mysteries of Mithra say that he was begotten of a rock, and call
the place where those who believe in him are initiated, a cave, do I not
perceive here that the utterance of Daniel, that a stone without hands was cut
out of a great mountain, has been imitated by them, and that they have attempted
likewise to imitate the whole of Isaiah's words?
28. For they
contrived that the words of righteousness be quoted also by them. But I must
repeat to you the words of Isaiah referred to, in order that from them you may
know that these things are so. They are these: 'Hear, ye that are far off, what
I have done; those that are near shall know my might. The sinners in Zion are
removed; trembling shall seize the impious.
announce to you the everlasting place? The man who walks in righteousness,
speaks in the right way, hates sin and unrighteousness, and keeps his hands pure
from bribes, stops the ears from hearing the unjust judgment of blood closes the
eyes from seeing unrighteousness: he shall dwell in the lofty cave of the strong
30. Bread shall be
given to him, and his water sure. Ye shall see the King with glory, and your
eyes shall look far off. Your soul shall pursue diligently the fear of the Lord.
Where is the scribe? Where are the counsellors? Where is he that numbers those
who are nourished,--the small and great people, with whom they did not take
counsel, nor knew the depth of the voices, so that they heard not, and there was
no understanding in him who heard.'
31. Now it is
evident, that in this prophecy allusion is made to the bread which our Christ
gave us to eat, in remembrance of His being made flesh for the sake of His
believers, for whom also He suffered; and to the cup which He gave us to drink,
in remembrance of His own blood, with giving of thanks.
32. And this
prophecy proves that we shall behold this very King with glory; and the very
terms of the prophecy declare loudly, that the people foreknown to believe in
Him were fore-known to pursue diligently the fear of the Lord.
Scriptures are equally explicit in saying, that those who are reputed to know
the writings of the Scriptures, and who hear the prophecies, have no
understanding. And when I hear that Perseus was begotten of a virgin, I
understand that the deceiving serpent counterfeited this also.
1. But I am far
from putting reliance in your teachers, who refuse to admit that the
interpretation made by the seventy elders who were with Ptolemy of the Egyptians
is a correct one; and they attempt to frame another.
2. And I wish you
to observe, that they have altogether taken away many Scriptures from the
translations effected by those seventy elders who were with Ptolemy, and by
which this very man who was crucified is proved to have been set forth expressly
as God, and man, and as being crucified, and as dying.
3. But since I am
aware that this is denied by all of your nation, I do not address myself to
these points, but I proceed to carry on my discussions by means of those
passages which are still admitted by you. For you assent to those which I have
brought before your attention, except that you contradict the statement,
virgin shall conceive,' and say it ought to be read, 'Behold, the young woman
shall conceive.' And I promised to prove that the prophecy referred, not, as you
were taught, to Hezekiah, but to this Christ of mine: and now I shall go to the
remarked, We ask you first of all to tell us some of the Scriptures which you
allege have been completely cancelled.
· Passages removed by the Jews from
Esdras and Jeremiah.
6. And I said, I
shall do as you please. From the statements, then, which Esdras made in
reference to the law of the Passover, they have taken away the following: 'And
Esdras said to the people,
Passover is our Savior and our refuge. And if you have understood, and your
heart has taken it in, that we shall humble Him on a standard, and thereafter
hope in Him, then this place shall not be forsaken for ever, says the God of
hosts. But if you will not believe Him, and will not listen to His declaration,
you shall be a laughing-stock to the nations.”
8. And from the
sayings of Jeremiah they have cut out the following:
9. “I was like a
lamb that is brought to the slaughter: they devised a device against me, saying,
Come, let us lay on wood on His bread, and let us blot Him out from the land of
the living; and His name shall no more be remembered.”
10. And since this
passage from the sayings of Jeremiah is still written in some copies in the
synagogues of the Jews, and since from these words it is demonstrated that the
Jews deliberated about the Christ, to crucify and put Him to death.
11. He Himself is
both declared to be led as a sheep to the slaughter, as was predicted by Isaiah,
and is here represented as a harmless lamb. But being in a difficulty about them, they give
themselves over to blasphemy.
12. And again, from
the sayings of the same Jeremiah these have been cut out: 'The Lord God
remembered His dead people of Israel who lay in the graves; and He descended to
preach to them His own salvation.'
13. And from the
ninety-sixth Psalm they have taken away this short saying of the words of David:
'From the wood.' For when the passage said, 'Tell ye among the nations, the Lord
hath reigned from the wood,' they have left, 'Tell ye among the nations, the
Lord hath reigned.'
14. Now no one of
your people has ever been said to have reigned as God and Lord among the
nations, with the exception of Him only who was crucified, of whom also the Holy
Spirit affirms in the same Psalm that He was raised again, declaring that there
is none like Him among the gods of the nations: for these are idols of demons.
15. But I shall
repeat the whole Psalm to you, that you may perceive what has been said. It is
thus: 'Sing unto the Lord a new song; sing unto the Lord, all the earth. Sing
unto the Lord, and bless His name; show forth His salvation from day to day.
16. Declare His
glory among the nations, His wonders among all people. For the Lord is great,
and greatly to be praised: He is to be feared above all the gods. For all the
gods of the nations are demons but the Lord made the heavens.
17. Confession and
beauty are in His presence; holiness and magnificence are in His sanctuary.
Bring to the Lord, O ye countries of the nations, bring to the Lord glory and
honor, bring to the Lord glory in His name. Take sacrifices, and go into His
courts; worship the Lord in His holy temple.
Let the whole
earth be moved before Him tell ye among the nations, the Lord hath reigned. For
He hath established the world, which shall not be moved; He shall judge the
nations with equity. Let the heavens rejoice, and the earth be glad; let the sea
and its fullness shake.
19. Let the fields
and all therein be joyful. Let all the trees of the wood be glad before the
Lord: for He comes, for He comes to judge the earth. He shall judge the world
with righteousness, and the people with His truth.'
20. Here Trypho
remarked, "Whether the rulers of the people have erased any portion of the
Scriptures, as you affirm, God knows; but it seems incredible. Assuredly, said
I, it does seem incredible.
21. For it is more
horrible than the calf which they made, when satisfied with manna on the earth;
or than the sacrifice of children to demons; or than the slaying of the
22. But, so I said,
you appear to me not to have heard the Scriptures which I said they had stolen
away. For such as have been quoted are more than enough to prove the points in
dispute, besides those which are retained by us, and shall yet be brought
1. Then Trypho
said, We know that you quoted these because we asked you. But it does not appear
to me that this Psalm which you quoted last from the words of David refers to
any other than the Father and Maker of the heavens and earth.
2. You, however,
asserted that it referred to Him who suffered, whom you also are eagerly
endeavoring to prove to be Christ." And I answered, Attend to me, I beseech
you, while I speak of the statement which the Holy Spirit gave utterance to in
this Psalm; and you shall know that I speak not sinfully.
3. And that we
are not really bewitched; for so you shall be enabled of yourselves to
understand many other statements made by the Holy Spirit. 'Sing unto the Lord a
new song; sing unto the Lord, all the earth: sing unto the Lord, and bless His
name; show forth His salvation from day to day, His wonderful works among all
4. He bids the
inhabitants of all the earth, who have known the mystery of this salvation,
i.e., the suffering of Christ, by which He saved them, sing and give praises to
God the Father of all things, and recognize that He is to be praised and feared.
5. And that He is
the Maker of heaven and earth, who effected this salvation in behalf of the
human race, who also was crucified and was dead, and who was deemed worthy by
Him to reign over all the earth as is seen also by the land into which He would
6. For He speaks
thus: 'This people shall go a whoring after other gods, and shall forsake Me,
and shall break my covenant which I made with them in that day; and I will
forsake them, and will turn away My face from them; and they shall be devoured,
and many evils and afflictions shall find them out.
7. And they shall
say in that day, Because the Lord my God is not amongst us, these misfortunes
have found us out. And I shall certainly turn away My face from them in that
day, on account of all the evils which they have committed, in that they have
turned to other gods.
· It is proven that Jesus was the
name of God in the book of Exodus.
8. Moreover, in
the book of Exodus we have also perceived that the name of God Himself which, He
says, was not revealed to Abraham or to Jacob, was Jesus, and was declared
mysteriously through Moses.
9. Thus it is
written: And the Lord spoke to Moses, Say to this people, Behold, I send My
angel before thy face, to keep thee in the way, to bring thee into the land
which I have prepared for thee. Give heed to Him, and obey Him; do not disobey
Him. For He will not draw back from you; for My name is in Him.'
that He who led your fathers into the land is called by this name Jesus, and
first called Auses. For if you shall understand this, you shall likewise
perceive that the name of Him who said to Moses, 'for My name is in Him,' was
Jesus. For, indeed, He was also called Israel, and Jacob's name was changed to
11. Now Isaiah
shows that those prophets who are sent to publish tidings from God are called
His angels and apostles. For Isaiah says in a certain place, 'Send me.' And that
the prophet whose name was changed, Jesus [Joshua], was strong and great, is
manifest to all.
12. If, then, we
know that God revealed Himself in so many forms to Abraham, and to Jacob, and to
Moses, how are we at a loss, and do not believe that, according to the will of
the Father of all things, it was possible for Him to be born a man of the
after we have such Scriptures, from which it can be plainly perceived that He
became so according to the will of the Father?
From other passages the same
majesty and government of Christ are proven.
14. For when Daniel
speaks of One like unto the Son of man who received the everlasting kingdom,
does he not hint at this very thing? For he declares that, in saying 'like unto
the Son of man,' He appeared, and was man, but not of human seed.
15. And the same
thing he proclaimed in mystery when he speaks of this stone which was cut out
without hands. For the expression 'it was cut out without hands' signified that
it is not a work of man, but of the will of the Father and God of all
things, who brought Him forth.
16. And when Isaiah
says, 'Who shall declare His generation?' he meant that His descent could not be
declared. Now no one who is a man of men has a descent that cannot be declared.
17. And when Moses
says that He will wash His garments in the blood of the grape, does not this
signify what I have now often told you is an obscure prediction, namely, that He
had blood, but not from men; just as not man, but God, has begotten the blood of
18. And when Isaiah
calls Him the Angel of mighty counsel, did he not foretell Him to be the Teacher
of those truths which He did teach when He came? For He alone taught openly
those mighty counsels which the Father designed both for all those who have been
and shall be well-pleasing to Him, and also for those who have rebelled against
His will, whether men or angels.
19. When He said:
'They shall come from the east and from the west, and shall sit down with
Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven: but the children of the
kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness.'
20. And many shall
say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not eaten and drunk, and prophesied,
and cast out demons in Thy name? And I will say to them, Depart from Me.' Again,
in other words, by which He shall condemn those who are unworthy of salvation,
He said, Depart into outer darkness, which the Father has prepared for Satan and
21. And again, in
other words, He said, 'I give unto you power to tread on serpents, and on
scorpions, and on all the might of the enemy.' And now we, who believe on our
Lord Jesus, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, when we exorcise all demons
and evil spirits, have them subjected to us.
For if the
prophets declared obscurely that Christ would suffer, and thereafter be Lord of
all, yet that declaration could not be understood by any man until He Himself
persuaded the apostles that such statements were expressly related in the
He exclaimed before His crucifixion: 'The Son of man must suffer many things,
and be rejected by the Scribes and Pharisees, and be crucified, and on the third
day rise again.' And David predicted that He would be born from the womb before
sun and moon, according to the Father's will, and made Him known, being Christ,
as God strong and to be worshipped."
returns to explain the prophecy of Isaiah.
1. Then Trypho
said, I admit that such and so great arguments are sufficient to persuade one;
but I wish you to know that I asked you for the proof which you have frequently
proposed to give me. Proceed then to make this plain to us, that we may see how
you prove that it refers to this Christ of yours. For we assert that the prophecy relates to Hezekiah.
2. And I replied,
I shall do as you wish. But show me yourselves first of all how it is said of
Hezekiah, that before he knew how to call father or mother, he received the
power of Damascus and the spoils of Samaria in the presence of the king of
3. For it will not
be conceded to you, as you wish to explain it, that Hezekiah waged war with the
inhabitants of Damascus and Samaria in presence of the king of Assyria. 'For
before the child knows how to call father or mother,' the prophetic word said,
'He shall take the power of Damascus and spoils of Samaria in presence of the
king of Assyria.'
4. For if the
Spirit of prophecy had not made the statement with an addition, 'Before the
child knows how to call father or mother, he shall take the power of Damascus
and spoils of Samaria,' but had only said, 'And shall bear a son, and he shall
take the power of Damascus and spoils of Samaria,' then you might say that God
foretold that he would take these things, since He fore-knew it.
5. But now the
prophecy has stated it with this addition: 'Before the child knows how to call
father or mother, he shall take the power of Damascus and spoils of Samaria.'
And you cannot prove that such a thing ever happened to any one among the Jews.
But we are able
to prove that it happened in the case of our Christ. For at the time of His
birth, Magi who came from Arabia worshipped Him, coming first to Herod, who then
was sovereign in your land, and whom the Scripture calls king of Assyria on
account of his ungodly and sinful character.
know," continued I, "that the Holy Spirit oftentimes announces such
events by parables and similitude’s; just as He did towards all the people in
Jerusalem, frequently saying to them, 'Thy father is an Amorite, and thy mother
· He proves that this prophecy
harmonizes with Christ alone.
Now this king
Herod, at the time when the Magi came to him from Arabia, and said they knew
from a star which appeared in the heavens that a King had been born in your
country, and that they had come to worship Him, learned from the elders of your
people that it was thus written regarding Bethlehem in the prophet:
9. And thou,
Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art by no means least among the princes of
Judah; for out of thee shall go forth the leader who shall feed my people.'
Accordingly the Magi from Arabia came to Bethlehem and worshipped the Child, and
presented Him with gifts, gold and frankincense, and myrrh; but returned not to
Herod, being warned in a revelation after worshipping the Child in Bethlehem.
10. And Joseph, the
spouse of Mary, who wished at first to put away his betrothed Mary, supposing
her to be pregnant by intercourse with a man, i.e., from fornication, was
commanded in a vision not to put away his wife; and the angel who appeared to
him told him that what is in her womb is of the Holy Ghost.
11. Then he was
afraid, and did not put her away; but on the occasion of the first census which
was taken in Jud a, under Cyrenius, he went up from Nazareth, where he lived, to
Bethlehem, to which he belonged, to be enrolled; for his family was of the tribe
of Judah, which then inhabited that region.
Then along with
Mary he is ordered to proceed into Egypt, and remain there with the Child until
another revelation warn them to return into Jud a. But when the Child was born
in Bethlehem, since Joseph could not find a lodging in that village, he took up
his quarters in a certain cave near the village;
13. And while they
were there Mary brought forth the Christ and placed Him in a manger, and here
the Magi who came from Arabia found Him. I have repeated to you," I
continued, "what Isaiah foretold about the sign which foreshadowed the
cave; but for the sake of those who have come with us to-day, I shall again
remind you of the passage."
I repeated the passage from Isaiah which I have already written, adding that, by
means of those words, those who presided over the mysteries of Mithras were
stirred up by the devil to say that in a place, called among them a cave, they
were initiated by him.
So Herod, when
the Magi from Arabia did not return to him, as he had asked them to do, but had
departed by another way to their own country, according to the commands laid on
them; and when Joseph, with Mary and the Child, had now gone into Egypt, as it
was revealed to them to do; as he did not know the Child whom the Magi had gone
to worship, ordered simply the whole of the children then in Bethlehem to be
prophesied that this would happen, speaking by the Holy Ghost thus: 'A voice was
heard in Ramah, lamentation and much wailing, Rachel weeping for her children;
and she would not be comforted, because they are not.'
17. Therefore, on
account of the voice which would be heard from Ramah, wailing would come on
the place where Rachel the wife of Jacob called Israel, the holy patriarch, has
been buried, i.e., on Bethlehem; while the women weep for their own slaughtered
children, and have no consolation by reason of what has happened to them.
18. For that
expression of Isaiah 'He shall take the power of Damascus and spoils of
Samaria,' foretold that the power of the evil demon that dwelt in Damascus
should be overcome by Christ as soon as He was born; and this is proved to have
19. For the Magi,
who were held in bondage for the commission of all evil deeds through the power
of that demon, by coming to worship Christ, shows that they have revolted from
that dominion which held them captive; and this the Scripture has showed us to
reside in Damascus.
20. Moreover, that
sinful and unjust power is termed well in parable, Samaria. And none of you can
deny that Damascus was, and is, in the region of Arabia, although now it belongs
to what is called Syro-phoenicia.
Hence it would
be becoming for you, sirs, to learn what you have not perceived, from those who
have received grace from God, namely, from us Christians; and not to strive in
every way to maintain your own doctrines, dishonoring those of God.
22. Therefore also
this grace has been transferred to us, as Isaiah says, speaking to the following
effect: 'This people draws near to Me, they honor Me with their lips, but their
heart is far from Me; but in vain they worship Me, teaching the commands and
doctrines of men.
behold, I will proceed to remove this people, and I shall remove them; and I
shall take away the wisdom of their wise men, and bring to nothing the
understanding of the prudent men.' "
Prove against Trypho that the wicked angels have revolted from God.
Trypho, who was somewhat angry, but respected the Scriptures, as was manifest
from his countenance, said to me, The utterances of God are holy, but your
expositions are mere contrivances, as is plain from what has been explained by
you; nay, even blasphemies, for you assert that angels sinned and revolted from
2. And I, wishing
to get him to listen to me, answered in milder tones, thus: I admire, sir, this
piety of yours; and I pray that you may entertain the same disposition towards
Him to whom angels are recorded to minister, as Daniel says; for like the Son of
man is led to the Ancient of days, and every kingdom is given to Him for ever
3. But that you
may know, sir, continued I, that it is not our audacity which has induced us to
adopt this exposition, which you reprehend, I shall give you evidence from
Isaiah himself; for he affirms that evil angels have dwelt, and do dwell in
Tanis, in Egypt.
4. These are his
words: 'Woe to the rebellious children! Thus saith the Lord, You have taken
counsel, but not through Me; and agreements, but not through My Spirit, to add
sins to sins; who have sinned in going down to Egypt, that they may be assisted
by Pharaoh, and be covered with the shadow of the Egyptians.
5. For the shadow
of Pharaoh shall be a disgrace to you, and a reproach to those who trust in the
Egyptians; for the princes in Tanis are evil angels. In vain will they labor for
a people which will not profit them by assistance, but for a disgrace and a
6. And, further,
Zechariah tells, as you yourself have related, that the devil stood on the right
hand of Joshua the priest, to resist him; and the Lord said, 'The Lord, who has
taken Jerusalem, rebuke thee.' And again, it is written in Job, as you said
yourself, how that the angels came to stand before the Lord, and the devil came
7. And we have it
recorded by Moses in the beginning of Genesis, that the serpent beguiled Eve,
and was cursed. And we know that in Egypt there were magicians who emulated the
mighty power displayed by God through the faithful servant Moses. And you are
aware that David said, 'The gods of the nations are demons.
8. And Trypho
replied, I remarked to you sir, that you are very anxious to be safe in all
respects, since you cling to the Scriptures.
But tell me, do you really admit that this place, Jerusalem, shall be
rebuilt; and do you expect your people to be gathered together.
9. And made joyful
with Christ and the patriarchs, and the prophets, both the men of our nation,
and other proselytes who joined them before your Christ came? Or have you given
way, and admitted this in order to have the appearance of wresting us in the
10. Then I
answered, I am not so miserable a fellow Trypho as to say one thing and think
another. I admitted to you formerly, that I and many others are of this opinion,
and that such will take place, as you assuredly are aware of; but on the other
hand, I signified to you that many who belong to the pure and pious faith, and
are true Christians, think otherwise.
pointed out to you that some who are called Christians, but are godless, impious
heretics, teach doctrines that are in every way blasphemous, atheist, and
foolish. But that you may know that I do not say this before you alone.
I shall draw up
a statement, so far as I can, of all the arguments which have passed between us;
in which I shall record myself as admitting the very same things which I admit
13. For I choose to
follow not men or men's doctrines, but God and His doctrines. For if you have
fallen in with some who are called Christians that do not admit this, and
venture to blaspheme the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of
14. Who say there
is no resurrection of the dead, and that their souls when they die, are (not)
taken to heaven; do not imagine that these are Christians, even if one, rightly
considering, would not admit to the Sadducees, or similar sects.
Thousand year reign.
15. But I and
others, who are right-minded Christians on all points, are assured that there
will be a resurrection of the dead, and a thousand years in Jerusalem, which
will then be built, adorned, and enlarged, as the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah
and others declare.
spoke thus concerning this space of a thousand years: 'For there shall be the
new heaven and the new earth, and the former shall not be remembered, or come
into their heart; but they shall find joy and gladness in it, which things I
17. For behold, I
make Jerusalem a rejoicing, and My people a joy; and I shall rejoice over
Jerusalem, and be glad over My I people. And the voice of weeping shall be no
more heard in her, or the voice of crying. And there shall be no more a person
of immature years, or an old man who shall not fulfill his days.
18. For the young
shall be an hundred years old; and the sinner who dies a hundred years old,
shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and shall themselves inhabit
them; and they shall plant vines, and themselves shall eat the produce of them,
and drink the wine. They shall not build, and others inhabit; they shall not
plant, and others eat.
19. For according
to the days of the tree of life shall be the days of my people; the works of
their toil shall abound. Mine elect shall not toil fruitlessly, or beget
children to be cursed; for they shall be a seed righteous and blessed by the
Lord, and their offspring with them.
20. And it shall
come to pass, that before they call I will hear; while they are still speaking,
I shall say, What is it? Then shall the wolves and the lambs feed together, and
the lion shall eat straw like the ox; but the serpent the earth for bread. They
shall not hurt or maltreat each other on the holy mountain, saith the Lord.'
21. Now we have
understood that the expression used among these words, 'According to the days of
the tree shall be the days of my people; the works of their toil shall abound'
obscurely predicts a thousand years.
22. For as Adam was
told that in the day he ate of the tree he would die, we know that he did not
complete a thousand years. We have perceived, moreover, that the expression,
'The day of the Lord is as a thousand years,' is connected with this subject.
23. And further,
there was a certain man with us, whose name was John, one of the apostles of
Christ, who prophesied, by a revelation that was made to him, that those who
believed in our Christ would dwell a thousand years in Jerusalem;
24. And that
thereafter the general, and, in short, the eternal resurrection and judgment of
all men would likewise take place. Just as our Lord also said, 'They shall
neither marry nor be given in marriage, but shall be equal to the angels, the
children of the God of the resurrection.'
The prophetical gifts of the Jews transferred to the Christians.
1. For the
prophetical gifts remain with us, even to the present time. And that these,
formerly among your nation, have been transferred to us. And just as there were
false prophets contemporary with your holy prophets, so are there now many false
teachers amongst us.
2. Of whom our
Lord forewarned us to beware; so that in no respect are we deficient, since we
know that He foreknew all that would happen to us after His resurrection from
the dead and ascension to heaven.
For He said we
would be put to death, and hated for His name's sake; and that many false
prophets and false Christ’s would appear in His name, and deceive many: and so
has it come about.
4. For many have
taught godless, blasphemous, and unholy doctrines, forging them in His name;
have taught, too, and even yet are teaching, those things which proceed from the
unclean spirit of the devil, and which were put into their hearts.
5. Therefore we
are most anxious that you be persuaded not to be misled by such persons, since
we know that every one who can speak the truth, and yet speaks it not, shall be
judged by God, as God testified by Ezekiel, when He said, 'I have made thee a
watchman to the house of Judah.
6. If the sinner
sin, and thou warn him not, he himself shall die in his sin; but his blood will
I require at thine hand. But if thou warn him, thou shalt be innocent.' And on
this account we are, through fear, very earnest in desiring to converse
according to the Scriptures, but not from love of money, or of glory, or of
7. For no man can
convict us of any of these vices. No more do we wish to live like the rulers of
your people, whom God reproached when He says, 'Your rulers are companions of
thieves, lovers of bribes, followers of the rewards.'
Now, if you
know certain amongst us to be of this sort, do not for their sakes blaspheme the
Scriptures and Christ, and do not assiduously strive to give falsified
teachers have ventured to refer the passage, 'The Lord says to my Lord, Sit at
my right hand, till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool,' to Hezekiah; as if he
were requested to sit on the right side of the temple, when the king of Assyria
sent to him and threatened him; and he was told by Isaiah not to be afraid.
Now we know and
admit that what Isaiah said took place; that the king of Assyria desisted from
waging war against Jerusalem in Hezekiah's days, and the angel of the Lord slew
about 185,000 of the host of the Assyrians.
11. But it is
manifest that the Psalm does not refer to him. For thus it is written, 'The Lord
says to my Lord, Sit at My right hand, till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.
He shall send forth a rod of power over Jerusalem, and it shall rule in the
midst of Thine enemies.
In the splendor
of the saints before the morning star have I begotten Thee. The Lord hath sworn,
and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.'
Who does not admit, then, that Hezekiah is no priest for ever after the order of
And who does
not know that he is not the redeemer of Jerusalem? And who does not know that he
neither sent a rod of power into Jerusalem, nor ruled in the midst of his
enemies; but that it was God who averted from him the enemies, after he mourned
and was afflicted?
14. But our Jesus,
who has not yet come in glory, has sent into Jerusalem a rod of power, namely,
the word of calling and repentance for all nations over which demons held sway,
as David says, 'The gods of the nations are demons.'
15. And His strong
word has prevailed on many to forsake the demons whom they used to serve, and by
means of it to believe in the Almighty God because the gods of the nations are
demons. And we mentioned formerly that the statement, 'In the splendor of the
saints before the morning star have I begotten Thee from the womb,' is made to
That prophecy, "behold, a
virgin," etc., suits Christ alone.
16. Moreover, the
prophecy, 'Behold, the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son,' was uttered
respecting Him. For if He to whom Isaiah referred was not to be begotten of a
virgin, of whom did the Holy Spirit declare, 'Behold, the Lord Himself shall
give us a sign: behold, the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son?'
17. For if He also
were to be begotten of sexual intercourse, like all other first-born sons, why
did God say that He would give a sign which is not common to all the first-born
sons? But that which is truly a sign, and which was to be made trustworthy to
mankind,--namely, that the first-begotten of all creation should become
incarnate by the Virgin's womb, and be a child.
18. This he
anticipated by the Spirit of prophecy, and predicted it, as I have repeated to
you, in various ways; in order that, when the event should take place, it might
be known as the operation of the power and will of the Maker of all things; just
as Eve was made from one of Adam's ribs, and as all living beings were created
in the beginning by the word of God.
19. But you in
these matters venture to pervert the expositions which your elders that were
with Ptolemy king of Egypt gave forth, since you assert that the Scripture is
not so as they have expounded it, but says, 'Behold, the young woman shall
conceive,' as if great events were to be inferred if a woman should beget from
sexual intercourse: which indeed all young women, with the exception of the
20. But even then,
God, if He wills, is able to cause to bear forth. For Samuel's mother, who was
barren, brought forth by the will of God; and so also the wife of the holy
patriarch Abraham; and Elisabeth, who bore John the Baptist, and other such.
So that you
must not suppose that it is impossible for God to do anything He wills. And
especially when it was predicted that this would take place, do not venture to
pervert or misinterpret the prophecies, since you will injure yourselves alone,
and will not harm God.
Christ is Lord
1. Moreover, some
of you venture to expound the prophecy which runs, 'Lift up your gates, ye
rulers; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors, that the King of glory may
enter,' as if it referred likewise to Hezekiah, and others like of Solomon.
2. But neither to
the latter nor to the former, nor, in short, to any of your kings, can it be
proved to have reference, but to this our Christ alone, who appeared without
comeliness, and inglorious, as Isaiah and David and all the Scriptures said;
3. Lord of hosts,
conferred on Him by the will of the Father. who also rose from the dead, and
ascended to heaven, as the Psalm and the other Scriptures manifest when they
announce Him to be Lord of hosts; and of this you may, if you will, easily be
persuaded by the occurrences which take place before your eyes.
For every demon
is overcome and subdued, when exorcised in the name of this very Son of God--who
is the First-born of every creature, who became man by the Virgin, who suffered,
and was crucified under Pontius Pilate by your nation, who died, who rose from
the dead, and ascended into heaven.
But though you
exorcise any demon in the name of any of those who were amongst you--either
kings, or righteous men, or prophets, or patriarchs--it will not be subject to
you. But if any of you exorcise it in the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac,
and the God of Jacob, it will perhaps be subject to you.
your exorcists, I have said, make use of craft when they exorcise, even as the
Gentiles do, and employ fumigations and incantations. But that they are angels
and powers is evident from the word of prophecy, as, to lift up the gates, that
He who rose from the dead, Jesus Christ, the Lord of hosts might enter.
7. The word of
David likewise shows; which I shall again recall for the sake of those who were
not with us yesterday, for whose benefit, moreover, I sum up many things that I
8. And now, if I
say this to you, although I have repeated it many times, I know that it is not
absurd to do so. For it is a ridiculous thing to see the sun, and the moon, and
the other stars, continually keeping the same course, and bringing around the
9. And to behold
the computer who may be asked how much twice times two is, because it has
frequently said that they are four, not ceasing to say that they lack four; and
equally so many other things, which are continually mentioned and admitted in
10. Yet that he who
founds his discourse on the prophetic Scriptures should leave them, and abstain
from constantly referring to the same Scriptures, thinking that he can bring
forth something better than Scripture.
11. The passage,
then, by which I proved that God reveals that there are both angels and hosts in
heaven is this: 'Praise the Lord from the heavens: praise Him in the highest.
Praise Him, all His angels: praise Him, all His hosts.'
Then one of
those who had come with them on the second day, whose name was Masias, said, We
are greatly pleased that you undertake to repeat the same things on our account.
And I said, Listen, my friends, to the Scripture which induces me to act
13. Jesus commanded
to love even our enemies, as was predicted by Isaiah in many passages, in which
also is contained the mystery of our own regeneration, as well as the
regeneration of all who expect that Christ will appear in Jerusalem, and by
their works endeavor earnestly to please Him.
These are the
words spoken by Isaiah: 'Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at His word.
Say, our brethren, to them that hate you and detest you, that the name of the
Lord has been glorified. He has appeared to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.
A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the Lord who
renders recompense to the proud.
Before she that
travailed brought forth, and before the pains of labor came, she brought forth a
male child. Who hath heard such a thing? and who hath seen such a thing? Has the
earth brought forth in one day? And has she produced a nation at once? For Zion
has travailed and borne her children. But I have given such an expectation even
to her that does not bring forth, said the Lord.
Behold, I have
made her that begot, and her that is barren, saith the Lord. Rejoice, O
Jerusalem, and hold a joyous assembly, all ye that love her. Be glad, all ye
that mourn for her, that ye may suck and be filled with the breast of her
consolation, that having suck ye may be delighted with the entrance of His
Various figures in the old
testament of the cross.
17. And when I had
quoted this, I added, Hear, then, how this Man, of whom the Scriptures declare
that He will come again in glory after His crucifixion, was symbolized both by
the tree of life, which was said to have been planted in paradise.
18. And by those
events which should happen to all the just. Moses was sent with a rod to effect
the redemption of the people; and with this in his hands at the head of the
people, he divided the sea.
By this he saw
the water gushing out of the rock; and when he cast a tree into the waters of
Marah, which were bitter, he made them sweet.
putting rods into the water-troughs, caused the sheep of his uncle to conceive,
so that he should obtain their young. With his rod the same Jacob boasts that he
had crossed the river.
21. He said he had
seen a ladder, and the Scripture has declared that God stood above it. But that
this was not the Father, we have proved from the Scriptures. And Jacob, having
poured oil on a stone in the same place, is testified to by the very God who
appeared to him, that he had anointed a pillar to the God who appeared to him.
22. And that the
stone symbolically proclaimed Christ, we have also proved by many Scriptures;
and that the unguent, whether it was of oil, or of stacte, or of any
other compounded sweet balsams, had reference to Him, we have also proved,
inasmuch as the word says: 'Therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with
the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.'
23. For indeed all
kings and anointed persons obtained from Him their share in the names of kings
and anointed: just as He Himself received from the Father the titles of King,
and Christ, and Priest, and Angel, and such like other titles which He bears or
24. Aaron's rod,
which blossomed, declared him to be the high priest. Isaiah prophesied that a
rod would come forth from the root of Jesse, which was Christ.
25. And David says
that the righteous man is 'like the tree that is planted by the channels of
waters, which should yield its fruit in its season, and whose leaf should not
fade.' Again, the righteous is said to flourish like the palm-tree. God appeared
from a tree to Abraham, as it is written, near the oak in Mature.
26. The people
found seventy willows and twelve springs after crossing the Jordan. David
affirms that God comforted him with a rod and staff.
27. Elisha by
casting a stick into the river Jordan, recovered the iron part of the axe with
which the sons of the prophets had gone to cut down trees to build the house in
which they wished to read and study the law and commandments of God.
Even as our
Christ, by being crucified on the tree, and by purifying with water, has
redeemed us, though plunged in the direst offences which we have committed, and
has made a house of prayer and adoration. Moreover, it was a rod that pointed
out Judah to be the father of Tamar's sons by a great mystery."
Trypho maintains objection
Trypho, after I had spoken these words, said, Do not now suppose that I am
endeavoring, by asking what I do ask, to overturn the statements you have made;
but I wish to receive information respecting those very points about which I now
2. Tell me, then,
how, when the Scripture asserts by Isaiah, 'There shall come forth a rod from
the root of Jesse; and a flower shall grow up from the root of Jesse; and the
Spirit of God shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the
spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and piety, and the spirit
of the fear of the Lord shall fill Him:'
3. How He can be
demonstrated to have been pre-existent, who is filled with the powers of the
Holy Ghost, which the Scripture by Isaiah enumerates, as if He were in lack of
Then I replied,
You have inquired most discreetly and most prudently, for truly there does seem
to be a difficulty; but listen to what I say, that you may perceive the reason
of this also. The Scripture says that these enumerated powers of the Spirit have
come on Him, not because He stood in need of them, but because they would rest
5. That is they
would find their accomplishment in Him, so that there would be no more prophets
in your nation after the ancient custom: and this fact you plainly perceive. For
after Him no prophet has arisen among you.
6. Now your
prophets, each receiving some one or two powers from God, did and spoke the
things which we have learned from the Scriptures. Solomon possessed the spirit
of wisdom, Daniel that of understanding and counsel, Moses that of might and
7. Elijah that of
fear, and Isaiah that of knowledge; and so with the others: each possessed one
power, or one joined alternately with another; also Jeremiah, and the twelve
prophets, and David, and, in short, the rest who existed amongst you.
8. He imparts to
those who believe in Him, according as He deems each man worthy thereof. As I
have already said, and do again, that it had been prophesied that this would be
done by Him after His ascension to heaven.
9. It is
accordingly said, 'He ascended on high, He led a captivity captive, He gave
gifts unto the sons of men.' And again, in another prophecy it is said: 'And it
shall come to pass after this, I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh, and on My
servants, and on My handmaids, and they shall prophesy.'
10. Now, it is
possible to see among our women and men who possess gifts of the Spirit of God;
so that it was prophesied that the powers enumerated by Isaiah would come upon
Him, not because He needed power, but because these would not continue after
11. And let this be
a proof to you, namely, what I told you was done by the Magi from Arabia, who as
soon as the Child was born came to worship Him, for even at His birth He was in
possession of His power; and as He grew up like all other men, and waited for
thirty years, more or less, until John appeared before Him as the herald of His
approach, and preceded Him in the way of baptism, as I have already shown.
12. And then, when
Jesus had gone to the river Jordan, where John was baptizing, and when He had
stepped into the water, an event was kindled in the Jordan; and when He came out
of the water, the Holy Ghost lighted on Him like a dove, so the apostles of this
very Christ of ours wrote.
13. Now, we know
that he did not go to the river because He stood in need of baptism, or of the
descent of the Spirit like a dove; even as He submitted to be born and to be
crucified, not because He needed such things, but
because of the human race, which from Adam had fallen under the power
of death and the guile of the serpent, and each one of which had committed
14. For God,
wishing both angels and men, who were endowed with freewill, and at their own
disposal, to do whatever He had strengthened each to do, made them so, that if
they chose the things acceptable to Himself, He would keep them free from death
and from punishment; but that if they did evil, He would punish each as He sees
15. For it was not
His entrance into Jerusalem sitting on an ass, which we have showed was
prophesied, that empowered Him to be Christ, but it furnished men with a proof
that He is the Christ; just as it was necessary in the time of John that men
have proof, that they might know who is Christ.
16. For when John
remained by the Jordan, and preached the baptism of repentance, wearing only a
leathern girdle and a vesture made of camels' hair, eating nothing but locusts
and wild honey, men supposed him to be Christ; but he cried to them, 'I am not
the Christ, but the voice of one crying; for He that is stronger than I shall
come, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear.'
17. And when Jesus
came to the Jordan, He was considered to be the son of Joseph the carpenter; and
He appeared without comeliness, as the Scriptures declared; and He was deemed a
carpenter; but then the Holy Ghost, and for man's sake, as I formerly stated,
lighted on Him in the form of a dove.
18. And there came
at the same instant from the heavens a voice, which was uttered also by David
when he spoke, personating Christ, what the Father would say to Him: 'Thou art
My Son: this day have I begotten Thee.
19. Then Trypho
remarked, Be assured that all our nation waits for Christ; and we admit that all
the Scriptures which you have quoted refer to Him. Moreover, I do also admit
that the name of Jesus, by which the son of Nun was called, has inclined me very
strongly to adopt this view.
Christ should be so shamefully crucified, this we are in doubt about. For
whosoever is crucified is said in the law to be accursed, so that I am
exceedingly incredulous on this point. It is quite clear, indeed, that the
Scriptures announce that Christ had to suffer; but we wish to learn if you can
prove it to us whether it was by the suffering cursed in the law.
I replied to
him, If Christ was not to suffer, and the prophets had not foretold that He
would be led to death on account of the sins of the people, and be dishonored
and scourged, and reckoned among the transgressors, and as a sheep be led to the
slaughter, whose generation, the prophet says, no man can declare, then you
would have good cause to wonder.
22. But if these
are to be characteristic of Him and mark Him out to all, how is it possible for
us to do anything else than believe in Him most confidently? And will not as
many as have understood the writings of the prophets, whenever they hear merely
that He was crucified, say that this is He and no other?"
1. Bring then,
said Trypho, by the Scriptures, that we may also be persuaded by you; for we
know that He should suffer and be led as a sheep. But prove to us whether He
must be crucified and die so disgracefully and so dishonorably by the death
cursed in the law. For we cannot bring ourselves even to think of this.
You know, said
I, that what the prophets said and did they veiled by parables and types, as you
admitted to us; so that it was not easy for all to understand, since they
concealed the truth by these means, that those who are eager to find out and
learn it might do so with much labor.
3. They answered,
We admitted this. Listen, therefore to what follows; for Moses first exhibited
this seeming curse of Christ's by the signs which he made.
Of what signs do you speak? said he.
I replied; When the people waged war with Amalek, and the son of Nun,
Joshua led the fight, Moses himself prayed to God, stretching out both hands,
and He with Aaron supported them during the whole day, so that they might not
hang down when he got wearied.
4. For if he gave
up any part of this sign, which was an imitation of the cross, the people were
beaten, as is recorded in the writings of Moses; but if he remained in this form
Amalek was proportionally defeated in prevalence of the cross. For it was not
because Moses so prayed that the people were stronger, but because, while one
who bore the name of Jesus (Joshua) was in the forefront of the battle, he
himself made the sign of the cross.
5. For who of you
knows not that the prayer of one who accompanies it with lamentation and tears,
with the body prostrate, or with bended knees, propitiates God most of all? But
in such a manner neither he nor any other one, while sitting on a stone, prayed.
Nor even the stone symbolized Christ, as I have shown.
6. And God by
Moses shows in another way the force of the mystery of the cross, when He said
in the blessing wherewith Joseph was blessed, 'From the blessing of the Lord is
his land; for the seasons of heaven, and for the dews, and for the deep springs
7. And for the
seasonable fruits of the sun, and for the coming together of the months, and for
the heights of the everlasting mountains, and for the heights of the hills, and
for the ever-flowing rivers, and for the fruits of the fatness of the earth.
8. And let the
things accepted by Him who appeared in the bush come on the head and crown of
Joseph. Let him be glorified among his brethren; his beauty is like the
firstling of a bullock; his horns the horns of an unicorn: with these shall he
push the nations from one end of the earth to another.'
9. Now, no one
could say or prove that the horns of an unicorn represent any other fact or
figure than the type which portrays the cross. For the one beam is placed
upright, from which the highest extremity is raised up into a horn, when the
other beam is fitted on to it, and the ends appear on both sides as horns joined
on to the one horn.
10. And the part
which is fixed in the centre, on which are suspended those who are crucified,
also stands out like a horn; and it also looks like a horn conjoined and fixed
with the other horns.
11. And the
expression, 'With these shall he push as with horns the nations from one end of
the earth to another,' is indicative of what is now the fact among all the
nations. For some out of all the nations, through the power of this mystery,
having been so pushed, that is, pricked in their hearts, have turned from vain
idols and demons to serve God.
12. But the same
figure is revealed for the destruction and condemnation of the unbelievers; even
as Amalek was defeated and Israel victorious when the people came out of Egypt,
by means of the type of the stretching out of Moses' hands, and the name of
Jesus (Joshua), by which the son of Nave (Nun) was called.
And it seems
that the type and sign, which was erected to counteract the serpents which bit
Israel, was intended for the salvation of those who believe that death was
declared to come thereafter on the serpent through Him that would be crucified.
14. But salvation
to those who had been bitten by him and had betaken themselves to Him that sent
His Son into the world to be crucified.
15. For the Spirit
of prophecy by Moses did not teach us to believe in the serpent, since it shows
us that he was cursed by God from the beginning; and in Isaiah tells us that he
shall be put to death as an enemy by the mighty sword, which is Christ.
therefore, a man by God's great grace receives the power to understand what has
been said and done by the prophets, the appearance of being able to repeat the
words or the deeds will not profit him, if he cannot explain the argument of
17. And will they
not assuredly appear contemptible to many, since they are related by those who
understood them not? For if one should wish to ask you why, since Enoch, Noah
with his sons, and all others in similar circumstances, who neither were
circumcised nor kept the Sabbath, pleased God,
18. And by other
God by the giving of the law after the lapse of so many generations, to those
who lived between the times of Abraham and of Moses be justified by
circumcision. And that those who
lived after Moses be justified by circumcision and the other ordinances--to wit,
the Sabbath, and sacrifices, and libations, and offerings.
as I have already said, that God who foreknew was aware that your nation would
deserve expulsion from Jerusalem, and that none would be permitted to enter into
it. For you are not distinguished
in any other way than by the fleshly circumcision, as I remarked previously. For
Abraham was declared by God to be righteous, not on account of circumcision, but
on account of faith.
For before he
was circumcised the following statement was made regarding him: 'Abraham
believed God, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness.' And we,
therefore not circumcised of our
flesh, believing God through Christ, and having that circumcision which is of
advantage to us who have acquired it.
21. Namely, that of
the heart--we hope to appear righteous, and well-pleasing to God: since already
we have received His testimony through the words of the prophets.
if this is not the case, God will be slandered, as having no foreknowledge, and
as not teaching all men to know and to do the same acts of righteousness; and
the Scripture would not be true which affirms that 'God is true and righteous,
and all His ways are judgments, and there is no unrighteousness in him.'
23. But since the
Scripture is true, God is always willing that such even as you be neither
foolish nor lovers of yourselves, in order that you may obtain the salvation of
Christ, who pleased God, and received testimony from Him, as I have already
said, by alleging proof from the holy words of prophecy.
1. For God sets
before every race of mankind that which is always and universally just, as well
as all righteousness; and every race knows that adultery, and fornication, and
homicide, and such like, are sinful; and though they all commit such practices.
2. Yet they do not
escape from the knowledge that they act unrighteously whenever they so do, with
the exception of those who are possessed with an unclean spirit, and who have
been debased by education, by wicked customs, and by sinful institutions, and
who have lost, or rather quenched their natural ideas.
For we may see
that such persons are unwilling to submit to the same things which they inflict
upon others, and reproach each other with hostile consciences for the acts which
they perpetrate. And hence I think that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ spoke
well when He summed up all righteousness and piety in two commandments.
They are these:
'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy strength,
and thy neighbor as thyself.' For the man who loves God with all the heart, and
with all the strength, being filled with a God-fearing mind, will reverence no
And since God
wishes it, he would reverence that angel who is beloved by the same Lord and
God. And the man who loves his neighbor as himself will wish for him the same
good things that he wishes for himself, as no man will wish evil things for
who loves his neighbor would pray and labor that his neighbor may be possessed
of the same benefits as himself. Now nothing else is neighbor to man than that
similarly-affected and reasonable being--man.
since all righteousness is divided into two branches, namely, in so far as it
regards God and men, whoever, says the Scripture, loves the Lord God with all
the heart, and all the strength, and his neighbor as himself, would be truly a
8. But you were
never shown to be possessed of friendship or love either towards God, or towards
the prophets, or towards yourselves, but, as is evident, you are ever found to
be idolaters and murderers of righteous men, so that you laid hands even on
Christ Himself; and to this very day you abide in your wickedness, execrating
those who prove that this man who was crucified by you is the Christ.
9. Nay, more than
this, you suppose that He was crucified as hostile to and cursed by God, which
supposition is the product of your most irrational mind.
10. For though you
have the means of understanding that this man is Christ from the signs given by
Moses, yet you will not; but, in addition, fancying that we can have no
arguments, you put whatever question comes into your minds, while you yourselves
are at a loss for arguments whenever you meet with some firmly established
11. For tell me,
was it not God who commanded by Moses that no image or likeness of anything
which was in heaven above or which was on the earth should be made, and yet who
caused the brazen serpent to be made by Moses in the wilderness, and set it up
for a sign by which those bitten by serpents were saved?
12. Yet is He free
from unrighteousness, for by this, as I previously remarked, He proclaimed the
mystery, by which He declared that He would break the power of the serpent which
occasioned the transgression of Adam, and to them that believe on Him by this
sign, i.e., Him who was to be crucified, salvation from the fangs of the
serpent, which are wicked deeds, idolatries, and other unrighteous acts.
13. Unless the
matter be so understood, give me a reason why Moses set up the brazen serpent
for a sign, and bade those that were bitten gaze at it, and the wounded were
healed; and this, too, when he had himself commanded that no likeness of
anything whatsoever should be made.
14. On this,
another of those who came on the second day said, You have spoken truly: we
cannot give a reason. For I have frequently interrogated the teachers about this
matter, and none of them gave me a reason: therefore continue what you are
speaking; for we are paying attention while you unfold the mystery, on account
of which the doctrines of the prophets are falsely slandered.
15. Then I replied,
Just as God commanded the sign to be made by the brazen serpent, and yet He is
blameless; even so, though a curse lies in the law against persons who are
crucified, yet no curse lies on the Christ of God, by whom all that have
committed things worthy of a curse are saved.
Christ took upon himself the curse
due to us.
16. For the whole
human race will be found to be under a curse. For it is written in the law of
Moses, 'Cursed is every one that continues not in all things that are written in
the book of the law to do them.' And no one has accurately done all, nor will
you venture to deny this;
17. But some more
and some less than others have observed the ordinances enjoined. But if those
who are under this law appear to be under a curse for not having observed all
the requirements, how much more shall all the nations appear to be under a curse
who practice idolatry, who seduce youths, and commit other crimes?
If, then, the
Father of all wished His Christ for the whole human family to take upon Him the
curses of all, knowing that, after He had been crucified and was dead, He would
raise Him up, why do you argue about Him, who submitted to suffer these things
according to the Father's will, as if He were accursed, and do not rather bewail
19. For although
His Father caused Him to suffer these things on behalf of the human family, yet
you did not commit the deed as in obedience to the will of God. For you did not
practice piety when you slew the prophets.
20. And let none of
you say: If His Father wished Him to suffer this, in order that by His stripes
the human race might be healed, we have done no wrong.
If indeed you repent of your sins, and recognize Him to be Christ, and
observe His commandments, then you may assert this;
21. For as I have
said before, remission of sins shall be yours. But if you curse Him and them
that believe on Him, and having the power you put them to death, how is it
possible that requisition shall not be made of you, as of unrighteous and sinful
men, altogether hard-hearted and without understanding, because you laid your
hands on Him?
statement in the law, 'Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree,' confirms our
hope which depends on the crucified Christ, not because He who has been
crucified is cursed by God, but because God foretold that which would be done by
you all, and by those like to your, who do not know that this is He who existed
before all, who is the eternal Priest of God, and King, and Christ.
23. And you clearly
see that this has come to pass. For you curse in your synagogues all those who
are called from Him Christians; and other nations effectively carry out the
curse, putting to death those who simply confess themselves to be Christians; to
all of whom we say, You are our brethren; rather recognize the truth of God.
24. And while
neither they nor you are persuaded by us, but strive earnestly to cause us to
deny the name of Christ, we choose rather to submit death, in the full assurance
that all the good which God has promised through Christ He will reward us with.
25. And in addition
to all this we pray for you, that Christ may have mercy upon you. For He taught
us to pray for our enemies also, saying, 'Love your enemies; be kind and
merciful, as your heavenly Father is.'
For we see that
the Almighty God is kind and merciful, causing His sun to rise on the
un-thankful and on the righteous, and sending rain on the holy and on the
wicked; all of whom He has taught us He will judge.
27. For it was not
without design that the prophet Moses, when He and Aaron upheld his hands,
remained in this form until evening. For indeed the Lord remained upon the tree
almost until evening, and they buried Him at eventide; then on the third day He
declared by David thus: 'With my voice I cried to the Lord, and He heard me out
of His holy hill. I laid me down, and slept; I awaked, for the Lord sustained
29. And Isaiah
likewise mentions concerning Him the manner in which He would die, thus: 'I have
spread out My hands unto a people disobedient, and gainsaying, that walk in a
way which is not good.'
30. And that He
would rise again, Isaiah himself said: 'His burial has been taken away from the
midst, and I will give the rich for His death.' And again, in other words, David
in the twenty-first Psalm thus refers to the suffering and to the cross in a
parable of mystery:
31. They pierced
my hands and my feet; they counted all my bones. They considered and gazed on
me; they parted my garments among themselves, and cast lots upon my vesture.'
For when they crucified Him, driving in the nails, they pierced His hands and
feet; and those who crucified Him parted His garments among themselves, each
casting lots for what he chose to have, and receiving according to the decision
of the lot.
32. And this very
Psalm you maintain does not refer to Christ; for you are in all respects blind,
and do not understand that no one in your nation who has been called King or
Christ has ever had his hands or feet pierced while alive, or has died in this
mysterious fashion--to wit, by the cross--save this Jesus alone.