Celsus Influenced the Ending of the Synoptic Gospels

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Celsus Influenced the Ending of the Synoptic Gospels

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:14 am

I have always noted that Celsus's criticisms of Christianity - specifically Marcionite Christianity - show up in later Church Fathers (of course without crediting Celsus as the source of the idea). But it is worth noting that Celsus can't have read a gospel where the apostles were 'sent out' to 'all the world' because he clearly criticizes the lack of such an idea as being a fundamental error on the part of the Christian god:
Again, if God, like Jupiter in the comedy, should, on awaking from a lengthened slumber, desire to rescue the human race from evil, why did He send this Spirit of which you speak into one corner (γωνίαν)? He ought to have breathed it alike into many bodies, and have sent them out into all the world (κατὰ πᾶσαν ἀποστεῖλαι τὴν οἰκουμένην) [6.78]
This means that Celsus - who saw at least one copy of a gospel - didn't see the ending as it is contained in Mark:
14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. 15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” 19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
Matthew:
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Luke:
49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” ...
Curious that Luke does not have this idea. But it is certain in my mind that Celsus's criticism of Marcionism or some pre-Catholic Christianity prompts the creation of a narrative that the holy spirit didn't just go into one individual but many.

It is also worth noting that γωνίαν might be mistranslated by the editors. Yes a γωνία can mean 'angle' or 'corner.' It is used this way in mathematical treatises. But it is worth noting that it is also used in the LXX to denote 'leader' or 'chief'

γωνία , ἡ,
A. [select] corner, angle, Hdt.1.51, Pl.Men.84d, etc.; γ. ἐπίπεδος, στερεά, plane, solid angle, Euc.1 Def.8,11Def.11; αἱ πρὸς τῇ βάσει γ. the angles at the base, Id.1.5; ἡ ὑπὸ ΒΑΓ or ὑπὸ τῶν ΒΑΓ γ. the angle ΒΑΓ, Id.1.9,al.
2. [select] metaph., corner, secluded spot, “ἐν γωνίᾳ ψιθυρίζειν” Pl.Grg.485d; “ἐν γ. πεπραγμένον” Act.Ap.26.26.
3. [select] of the four quarters of the compass, Ptol.Tetr.29.
4. [select] joint, Arist.PA 690a13.
II. [select] joiner's square, Pl.Phlb.51c, Plu.Marc.19.
III. [select] cutwater of a bridge, D.S.2.8.
IV. [select] of persons, leader, chief, LXX 1 Ki.14.38. (Akin to γόνυ.)
Saul said, “Draw near here, all you chiefs of the people (πασας τας γωνιας του Ισραηλ); and know and see in which this sin has been this day.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
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Re: Celsus Influenced the Ending of the Synoptic Gospels

Post by FransJVermeiren » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:37 am

Great observation! This corresponds with my recent discussion of John 17 in the thread Whose farewell speech is this? In John 17 the ethnicist Jesus is turned into an universalist, with the help of Paul who was oriented towards the Roman empire, the then ‘universe’. Maybe the author of gJohn was also influenced by Celsus?

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Re: Celsus Influenced the Ending of the Synoptic Gospels

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:42 am

Upon reflection I think Celsus originally meant 'corner' - exactly as the translators have it. The other passage:
The Jews, then, leading a grovelling life in some corner of Palestine (ὡς ἄρα Ἰουδαῖοι ἐν γωνίᾳ που τῆς Παλαισ τίνης συγκύψαντες), and being a wholly uneducated people, who had not heard that these matters had been committed to verse long ago by Hesiod and innumerable other inspired men, wove together some most incredible and insipid stories, viz., that a certain man was formed by the hands of God, and had breathed into him the breath of life, and that a woman was taken from his side, and that God issued certain commands, and that a serpent opposed these, and gained a victory over the commandments of God; thus relating certain old wives' fables, and most impiously representing God as weak at the very beginning (of things), and unable to convince even a single human being whom He Himself had formed.[4.36]
Indeed if you go back through to the beginning of chapter 4 there is a consistent use of the terminology this way:
4.2 - 5 Celsus writes "But that certain Christians and (all) Jews should maintain, the former that there has already descended, the latter that there will descend, upon the earth a certain God, or Son of a God, who will make the inhabitants of the earth righteous, is a most shameless assertion, and one the refutation of which does not need many words. What is the meaning of such a descent upon the part of God? Was it in order to learn what goes on among men? Does he not know all things? Then he does know, but does not make (men) better, nor is it possible for him by means of his divine power to make (men) better, unless he send some one for that special purpose?

Origen responds - But above all these, great was the reformation effected by Jesus, who desired to heal not only those who lived in one corner of the world (ἐν μιᾷ γωνίᾳ τῆς οἰκουμένης), but as far as in Him lay, men in every country, for He came as the Saviour of all men.
Again at 4.23
In the next place, ridiculing after his usual style the race of Jews and Christians, he compares them all to a flight of bats or to a swarm of ants issuing out of their nest, or to frogs holding council in a marsh, or to worms crawling together in the corner of a dunghill (ἐν βορβόρου
γωνίᾳ ἐκκλησιάζουσι), and quarrelling with one another as to which of them were the greater sinners, and asserting that God shows and announces to us all things beforehand; and that, abandoning the whole world, and the regions of heaven, and this great earth, he becomes a citizen among us alone, and to us alone makes his intimations, and does not cease sending and inquiring, in what way we may be associated with him forever. And in his fictitious representation, he compares us to worms which assert that there is a God, and that immediately after him, we who are made by him are altogether like God, and that all things have been made subject to us — earth, and water, and air, and stars — and that all things exist for our sake, and are ordained to be subject to us. And, according to his representation, the worms — that is, we ourselves — say that now, since certain among us commit sin, God will come or will send his Son to consume the wicked with fire, that the rest of us may have eternal life with him. And to all this he subjoins the remark, that such wranglings would be more endurable among worms and frogs than between Jews and Christians.
4.25
Origen: And although a man may be an orator like Demosthenes, yet, if stained with wickedness like his, and guilty of deeds proceeding, like his, from a wicked nature; or an Antiphon, who was also considered to be indeed an orator, yet who annihilated the doctrine of providence in his writings, which were entitled Concerning Truth, like that discourse of Celsus, — such individuals are notwithstanding worms, rolling in a corner of the dung-heap (ἐν βορβόρου γωνίᾳ) of stupidity and ignorance. Indeed, whatever be the nature of the rational faculty, it could not reasonably be compared to a worm, because it possesses capabilities of virtue. For these adumbrations towards virtue do not allow of those who possess the power of acquiring it, and who are incapable of wholly losing its seeds, to be likened to a worm. It appears, therefore, that neither can men in general be deemed worms in comparison with God. For reason, having its beginning in the reason of God, cannot allow of the rational animal being considered wholly alien from Deity. Nor can those among Christians and Jews who are wicked, and who, in truth, are neither Christians nor Jews, be compared, more than other wicked men, to worms rolling in a corner of a dunghill (ἐν βορβόρου γωνίᾳ).
4.30
For instead of treating with respect and accepting the intention of those who have devoted themselves to the investigation of the truth, one might mockingly and revilingly say that such men were worms, who did not measure themselves by their corner of their dung-heap in human life (ἐν γωνίᾳ τοῦ ἐν τῷ βίῳ τῶν ἀνθρώπων βορβόρου ἑαυτοὺς μὴ μετροῦντες), and who accordingly gave forth their opinions on matters of such importance as if they understood them, and who strenuously assert that they have obtained a view of those things which cannot be seen without a higher inspiration and a diviner power.
I think that this is the origin of the sect of the Borborites that we see referenced in Epiphanius. Again note the influence of Celsus.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Re: Celsus Influenced the Ending of the Synoptic Gospels

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:47 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:14 am
I have always noted that Celsus's criticisms of Christianity - specifically Marcionite Christianity - show up in later Church Fathers (of course without crediting Celsus as the source of the idea). But it is worth noting that Celsus can't have read a gospel where the apostles were 'sent out' to 'all the world' because he clearly criticizes the lack of such an idea as being a fundamental error on the part of the Christian god:
Again, if God, like Jupiter in the comedy, should, on awaking from a lengthened slumber, desire to rescue the human race from evil, why did He send this Spirit of which you speak into one corner (γωνίαν)? He ought to have breathed it alike into many bodies, and have sent them out into all the world (κατὰ πᾶσαν ἀποστεῖλαι τὴν οἰκουμένην) [6.78]
This means that Celsus - who saw at least one copy of a gospel - didn't see the ending as it is contained in Mark:
14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. 15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” 19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
Matthew:
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Luke:
49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” ...
Curious that Luke does not have this idea.
Luke-Acts does have the following, though:

Acts 26.26: "For the king knows about these matters, and I speak to him also with confidence, since I am persuaded that none of these things escape his notice; for this has not been done in a corner [ἐν γωνίᾳ]."

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Re: Celsus Influenced the Ending of the Synoptic Gospels

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:51 am

Also 5.50
Celsus, still expressing his opinion regarding the Jews, says: It is not probable that they are in great favour with God, or are regarded by Him with more affection than others, or that angels are sent by Him to them alone, as if to them had been allotted some region of the blessed (οἷον δή τινα μακάρων χώραν λαχοῦσιν). For we may see both the people themselves, and the country of which they were deemed worthy. We shall refute this, by remarking that it is evident that this nation was in great favour with God, from the fact that the God who presides over all things was called the God of the Hebrews, even by those who were aliens to our faith. And because they were in favour with God, they were not abandoned by Him; but although few in number, they continued to enjoy the protection of the divine power, so that in the reign of Alexander of Macedon they sustained no injury from him, although they refused, on account of certain covenants and oaths, to take up arms against Darius. They say that on that occasion the Jewish high priest, clothed in his sacred robe, received obeisance from Alexander, who declared that he had beheld an individual arrayed in this fashion, who announced to him in his sleep that he was to be the subjugator of the whole of Asia. Accordingly, we Christians maintain that it was the fortune of that people in a remarkable degree to enjoy God's favour, and to be loved by Him in a way different from others; but that this economy of things and this divine favour were transferred to us, after Jesus had conveyed the power which had been manifested among the Jews to those who had become converts to Him from among the heathen. And for this reason, although the Romans desired to perpetrate many atrocities against the Christians, in order to ensure their extermination, they were unsuccessful; for there was a divine hand which fought on their behalf, and whose desire it was that the word of God should spread from one corner of the land of Judea throughout the whole human race (κατὰ τὴν Ἰουδαίαν γῆν γωνίας ἐπισπεῖραι ὅλῳ τῷ γένει τῶν ἀνθρώπων).
Note also Origen's response in 6.78:
Celsus next makes certain observations of the following nature: Again, if God, like Jupiter in the comedy, should, on awaking from a lengthened slumber, desire to rescue the human race from evil, why did He send this Spirit of which you speak into one corner (τί δή ποτε εἰς μίαν γωνίαν ἔπεμψε τοῦτο, ὅ φατε, πνεῦμα)? He ought to have breathed it alike into many bodies, and have sent them out into all the world. Now the comic poet, to cause laughter in the theatre, wrote that Jupiter, after awakening, dispatched Mercury to the Athenians and Lacedæmonians; but do not you think that you have made the Son of God more ridiculous in sending Him to the Jews? Observe in such language as this the irreverent character of Celsus, who, unlike a philosopher, takes the writer of a comedy, whose business is to cause laughter, and compares our God, the Creator of all things, to the being who, as represented in the play, on awaking, dispatches Mercury (on an errand)! We stated, indeed, in what precedes, that it was not as if awakening from a lengthened slumber that God sent Jesus to the human race, who has now, for good reasons, fulfilled the economy of His incarnation, but who has always conferred benefits upon the human race. For no noble deed has ever been performed among men, where the divine Word did not visit the souls of those who were capable, although for a little time, of admitting such operations of the divine Word. Moreover, the advent of Jesus apparently to one corner was founded on good reasons ( Ἀλλὰ καὶ ἡ δοκοῦσα εἰς μίαν γωνίαν ἐπιδημία τοῦ Ἰησοῦ εὐλόγως γεγένηται), since it was necessary that He who was the subject of prophecy should make His appearance among those who had become acquainted with the doctrine of one God, and who perused the writings of His prophets, and who had come to know the announcement of Christ, and that He should come to them at a time when the Word was about to be diffused from one corner over the whole world ( ὅτ' ἔμελλεν ἐκχεῖσθαι ἀπὸ μιᾶς γωνίας ὁ λόγος ἐπὶ πᾶσαν τὴν οἰκουμένην).
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
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Re: Celsus Influenced the Ending of the Synoptic Gospels

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:11 am

Yes Ben. I saw that but didn't recognize it's significance. Again a sign that Acts was written or edited in its final form after Celsus:
Luke-Acts does have the following, though:

Acts 26.26: "For the king knows about these matters, and I speak to him also with confidence, since I am persuaded that none of these things escape his notice; for this has not been done in a corner [ἐν γωνίᾳ]."
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Re: Celsus Influenced the Ending of the Synoptic Gospels

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:12 am

This clearly rules out Stuart's attempt to date Celsus to the third century. 180 CE is about the limit for dating Celsus IMHO. The chain of events seems to have been again:

1. Celsus's statement "Again, if God, like Zeus in the comedy, should, on awaking from a lengthened slumber, desire to rescue the human race from evil, why did He send this Spirit of which you speak into one corner (εἰς μίαν γωνίαν)? He ought to have breathed it alike into many bodies, and have sent them out into all the world (κατὰ πᾶσαν ἀποστεῖλαι τὴν οἰκουμένην) [6.78] 178 CE?
2. Mark, Matthew end with apostles being sent out to all the world, Luke-Acts laughs with Celsus that Christianity " has not been accomplished in a corner." [ἐν γωνίᾳ] The passage in full:
19 “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. 20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds. 21 That is why some Jews seized me in the temple courts and tried to kill me. 22 But God has helped me to this very day; so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen— 23 that the Messiah would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would bring the message of light to his own people and to the Gentiles.”

24 At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.”

25 “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable. 26 The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner.
It is worth noting that Chadwick has argued that Clement answers Celsus's objections in the Stromata. Eusebius makes reference to Celsus in multiple works. Origen obviously too. But what's being argued here is something different. Celsus's criticisms prompted the editors of the canon to add a different ending to the gospel(s). Even if it is argued that Celsus is here admonishing the Marcionite ending of the gospel knowing the Catholic gospels (unlikely IMHO) it is still noteworthy.
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Re: Celsus Influenced the Ending of the Synoptic Gospels

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:47 pm

Also Celsus's 'Jew' does mention bits and pieces of a gospel ending but no confirmation as far as I can see of the sending out of the twelve:
Do you imagine the statements of others not only to be myths, but to have the appearance of such, while you have discovered a becoming and credible termination to your drama in the voice from the cross, when he breathed his last? Jesus, while alive, was of no assistance to himself, but that he arose after death, and exhibited the marks of his punishment, and showed how his hands had been pierced by nails. Who beheld this? A half-frantic woman, as ye state and some one else of those engaged in the same sorcery (καὶ εἴ τις ἄλλος τῶν ἐκ τῆς αὐτῆς γοητείας).
So I get the following details from the gospel of Celsus's 'Jew'

1. the voice from the cross when he breathed his last
2. exhibited the stigmata, his hands pierced with nails
3. witness by a female
4 . witness by an important male

It is difficult to see what gospel this is. I get:

1. the voice from the cross when he breathed his last (synoptic)
2. exhibited the stigmata, his hands pierced with nails (John)
3. witness by a female (Mark)
4 . witness by an important male (John)
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Re: Celsus Influenced the Ending of the Synoptic Gospels

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:33 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:47 pm
Also Celsus's 'Jew' does mention bits and pieces of a gospel ending but no confirmation as far as I can see of the sending out of the twelve:
Do you imagine the statements of others not only to be myths, but to have the appearance of such, while you have discovered a becoming and credible termination to your drama in the voice from the cross, when he breathed his last? Jesus, while alive, was of no assistance to himself, but that he arose after death, and exhibited the marks of his punishment, and showed how his hands had been pierced by nails. Who beheld this? A half-frantic woman, as ye state and some one else of those engaged in the same sorcery (καὶ εἴ τις ἄλλος τῶν ἐκ τῆς αὐτῆς γοητείας).
So I get the following details from the gospel of Celsus's 'Jew'

1. the voice from the cross when he breathed his last
2. exhibited the stigmata, his hands pierced with nails
3. witness by a female
4 . witness by an important male

It is difficult to see what gospel this is.
The voice from the cross:

Matthew 27.46, 50: 46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” .... 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.

Mark 15.34, 37: 34 At the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” .... 37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last.

Luke 23.34a, 43a, 46: 34a But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” .... 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” .... 46 And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last.

John 19.26-30: 26 When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He says to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then He says to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household. 28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, says, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth. 30 Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

Peter 5.19: 19 And the Lord screamed out, saying: “My power, O power, you have forsaken me.” And having said this, he was taken up.

Could be any or all of them, perhaps.

The exhibition of wounds:

Luke 24.39: 39 “See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”

Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans 3.2: 2 And, when he came toward those around Peter, he said to them, “Take, feel me and see that I am not a bodiless demon.” And straightway they touched and had faith, being convinced by his flesh and by his blood.

John 20.20, 27: 20 And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. .... 27 Then He says to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.”

Peter 6.21 also mentions the nails being drawn from the body as it is being taken down from the cross, but the gospel ends before it gets to any resurrection appearances to the disciples.

The witness of a frantic woman I imagine would be Mary Magdalene:

John 20.11-18: 11 But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; 12 and she sees two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 And they say to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She says to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and *saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus says to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she says to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” 16 Jesus says to her, “Mary!” She turned and says to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher). 17 Jesus says to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene comes, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.

She and the other women are said to have witnessed the crucifixion, the burial, and the emptiness of the tomb, but I find nothing about any of them witnessing the exhibition of wounds.

The other person, presumably a man, might be Peter, of course:

Luke 24.33-34: 33 And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them, 34 saying, “The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon.”

Or it might be Thomas, who in the gospel of John is given a special audience with the Lord in order to examine his wounds.

Hard to tell.

My best guess would be that Celsus, who is aware of multiple gospels, accessed them already as a textual bundle, since Christians tended either to group the separate gospels into single manuscripts (the fourfold gospel) or to create harmonized versions of multiple gospels (Justin's harmony, the Diatessaron, possibly the gospel of the Ebionites, and so on). So he does not distinguish between the different gospels any more than Justin does. But also, the texts themselves have been changed over the years, "in order to answer objections," as Celsus might say. So he might have access to recensions of which we are unaware.

That the special appearance to Peter — foreshadowed in Mark 16.7, announced both in Luke 24.34 and in 1 Corinthians 15.5, summarized by Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans 3.2, and perhaps alluded to (albeit out of turn) in John 21.15-19 — is given no more than a foothold in our gospel narratives is surprising. My best guess is that it formed part of the lost ending of Mark, where it originally held pride of place. But that ending was lost or suppressed (or both), leaving textual debris instead of a coherent narrative of the event.
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Re: Celsus Influenced the Ending of the Synoptic Gospels

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:50 pm

Reasonable analysis.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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