Why did Celsus talk about an Ass?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Giuseppe
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Why did Celsus talk about an Ass?

Post by Giuseppe » Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:51 am


He gives it as his opinion, that the controversy between Jews and Christians is a most foolish one, and asserts that the discussions which we have with each other regarding Christ differ in no respect from what is called in the proverb, 'a fight about the shadow of an ass.' and thinks that there is nothing of importance in the investigations of the Jews and Christians: for both believe that it was predicted by the Divine Spirit that one was to come as a Saviour to the human race, but do not yet agree on the point whether the person predicted has actually come or not.

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/04163.htm

The Alexamenos graffito shows Jesus himself as an Ass.


In the Pagan mythology the Ass is symbol of evil and destruction.


So it is not coincidential the fact that Celsus identifies the intra-Jewish polemic about the Christ as a discussion about ''the shadow of an ass''.

So I think that the same historicist belief of a pagan as Celsus is in the same his anti-Christian interest: one despises better Jesus if he reduces him to a mere man, to a sub-human, to a degrading feature of the nature, an Ass.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

andrewcriddle
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Re: Why did Celsus talk about an Ass?

Post by andrewcriddle » Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:06 am


Giuseppe
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Re: Why did Celsus talk about an Ass?

Post by Giuseppe » Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:10 am

Thanks. So the point is totally sarcastic.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Joseph D. L.
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Re: Why did Celsus talk about an Ass?

Post by Joseph D. L. » Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:43 am

Remember in The Golden Ass, the ass symbolized the lower state of being.
Niente è ingannevole o depravato come Guiseppe.

Charles Wilson
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Re: Why did Celsus talk about an Ass?

Post by Charles Wilson » Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:05 am

It may be an oblique reference to Galba.

Giuseppe
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Re: Why did Celsus talk about an Ass?

Post by Giuseppe » Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:23 am

'a fight about the shadow of an ass' is really a polemic between Judaizers and Gnostics about the true identity of Jesus.

The two more radical views of Jesus in all the NT are connected to an ass:

11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

KING OF KINGS AND
LORD OF LORDS.

Revelation 19:11-16 New King James Version (NKJV)

12 On the next day the large crowd who had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet Him, and began to shout, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel.” 14 Jesus, finding a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written, 15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your King is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” 16 These things His disciples did not understand at the first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things to Him. 17 So the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead, continued to testify about Him. 18 For this reason also the people went and met Him, because they heard that He had performed this sign.

(John 12:12-18)

Another evidence that the gospel of John was based on the Book of Revelation.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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