48 But that not only the Galilaeans of our day but also those of the earliest time, those who were the first to receive the teaching from Paul, were men of this sort, is evident from the testimony of Paul himself in a letter addressed to them. For unless he actually knew that they had committed all these disgraceful acts, he was not, I think, so impudent as to write to those men themselves concerning their conduct, in language for which, even though in the same letter he included as many eulogies of them, he ought to have blushed, yes, even if those eulogies were deserved, while if they were false and fabricated, then he ought to have sunk into the ground to escape seeming to behave with wanton flattery and slavish adulation. But the following are the very words that Paul wrote concerning those who had heard his teaching, and were addressed to the men themselves : Be not deceived : neither idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with men, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And of this ye are not ignorant, brethren, that such were you also; but ye washed yourselves, but ye were sanctified in the name of Jesus Christ [1 Corinthians 6. 9-11]. Do you see that he says that these men too had been of such sort, but that they had been sanctified and had been washed, water being able to cleanse and winning power to purify when it shall go down into the soul? And baptism does not take away his leprosy from the leper, or scabs, or pimples, or warts, or gout, or dysentery, or dropsy, or a whitlow, in fact no disorder of the body, great or small, then shall it do away with adultery and theft and in short all the transgressions of the soul? . . .
49 Now since the Galilaeans say that, though they are different from the Jews, they are still, precisely speaking, Israelites in accordance with their prophets, and that they obey Moses above all and the prophets who in Judaea succeeded him, let us see in what respect they chiefly agree with those prophets. And let us begin with the teaching of Moses, who himself also, as they claim, foretold the birth of Jesus that was to be. Moses, then, not once or twice or thrice but very many times says that men ought to honour one God only, and in fact names him the Highest; but that they ought to honour any other god he nowhere says. He speaks of angels and lords and moreover of several gods, but from these he chooses out the first and does not assume any god as second, either like or unlike him, such as you have invented. And if among you perchance you possess a single utterance of Moses with respect to this, you are bound to produce it. For the words A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; to him shall ye hearken[ 1 Acts 3. 22; Deuteronomy 18. 18], were certainly not said of the son of Mary. And even though, to please you, one should concede that they were said of him, Moses says that the prophet will be like him and not like God, a prophet like himself and bom of men, not of a god. And the words The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a leader from his loins [ 2 Genesis 49. 10], were most certainly not said of the son of Mary, but of the royal house of David, which, you observe, came to an end with King Zedekiah. And certainly the Scripture can be interpreted in two ways when it says until there comes what is reserved for him; but you have wrongly interpreted it until he comes for whom it is reserved. But it is very clear that not one of these sayings relates to Jesus; for he is not even from Judah. How could he be when according to you he was not born of Joseph but of the Holy Spirit? For though in your genealogies you trace Joseph back to Judah, you could not invent even this plausibly. For Matthew and Luke are refuted by the fact that they disagree concerning his genealogy [ Matthew 1. 1-17 with Luke 3. 23-38]. However, as I intend to examine closely into the truth of this matter in my Second Book, I leave it till then. But granted that he really is a sceptre from Judah, then he is not God born of God, as you are in the habit of saying, nor is it true that All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made[ John 1.3]. But, say you, we are told in the Book of Numbers also : There shall arise a star out of Jacob, and a man out of Israel[ Numbers 24. 17]. It is certainly clear that this relates to David and to his descendants; for David was a son of Jesse.