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Old 04-11-2009, 08:30 AM   #1
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Default Jesus Died For Your... Education

In Book 2, chapter 38, of "Against Celsus" Celsus says the following:

"You, O sincere believers, find fault with us, because we do not recognise this individual as God, nor agree with you that he endured these (sufferings) for the benefit of mankind, in order that we also might despise punishment."
Celsus is giving the reason for Jesus' death, that he wanted people "to despise punishment," to be unafraid of dying through torture. Like the death of Socrates, for Christians at this time, Jesus' death is an educational tool -- teaching people how to die honorably.

What Celsus does not know at all is that Jesus died for mankind's sins. He is unaware of the concept that Jesus' death was part of some kind of cosmic plan for salvation.

We can be relatively certain that Celsus wrote around 180 C.E. We can also be sure that Tertullian, writing around 200 C.E. was aware that Jesus' death was part of a cosmic salvation plan. We may conclude that sometime between 180 and 200, the idea that Jesus' death had cosmic significance was invented or popularized.


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