I love Celsus. Here was a very brilliant man! If I were the current pope, I would encourage believers to read such scathing critique of Christianity from antiquity and maybe with time we will move together in the 21st Century free of superstition. Let us here Celsus
If god, like Jupiter in the comedy, being roused from a long sleep, wished to liberate the human race from evils, why did he send only into a corner of the earth this spirit of whom you boast? though he ought in a similar manner to have animated many other bodies, and to have sent them to every part of the habitable globe. The comic poet indeed, in order to excite the laughter of the audience in the theatre, says that Jupiter, after he was roused from his sleep, sent Mercury to the Athenians and Lacadaemonsians:- but don’t you think that it is much more ridiculous fiction to assert that god sent his son to the Jews?
Don’t get me wrong, I just wanted to have your attention.
Here is another gem by Celsus in the hope that you have found the previous provocative.
The Christians are most impiously deceived and involved in error, through the greatest ignorance of the meaning of divine enigmas. For they make a certain being whom they call the Devil, and who in the Hebrew tongue is denominated Satan, hostile to god. It is therefore perfectly stupid and unholy to assert that the greatest god, wishing to benefit mankind, was incapable of accomplishing what he wished, through having one that opposed him and acted contrary to his will. The son of god, therefore, was vanquished by the devil; and being punished by him, teaches us also to despise the punishments inflicted by him; Christ at the same time predicting that Satan would appear on the earth, and, like himself, would exhibit great and admirable works, usurping to himself the glory of god. The son of god also adds, that it is not fit to pay attention to Satan, because he is a seducer, but that himself alone is worthy of belief.
Celsus say this
evidently the language of a man who is an impostor earnestly endeavouring to prevent, and previously guarding himself against, the attempts of those who think differently from and oppose him.
He then concludes this particular argument by saying
it is fit, I think, that the devil should be punished, and not that men should be threatened with punishment who are culminated by him.