Against the Galileans 31


58 However this evil doctrine did originate with John; but who could detest as they deserve all those doctrines that you have invented as a sequel, while you keep adding many corpses newly dead to the corpse of long ago? You have filled the whole world with tombs and sepulchres, and yet in your scriptures it is nowhere said that you must grovel among tombs and pay them honour. But you have gone so far in iniquity that you think you need not listen even to the words of Jesus of Nazareth on this matter. Listen then to what he says about sepulchres : Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres; outward the tomb appears beautiful, but within it is full of dead men`s bones, and of all uncleanness[ Matthew 23. 27]. If, then, Jesus said that sepulchres are full of uncleanness, how can you invoke God at them?...[ Matthew 8. 21, 22]

59 Therefore, since this is so, why do you grovel among tombs? Do you wish to hear the reason? It is not I who will tell you, but the prophet Isaiah : They lodge among tombs and in caves for the sake of dream visions[ Isaiah 65. 4]. You observe, then, how ancient among the Jews was this work of witchcraft, namely, sleeping among tombs for the sake of dream visions. And indeed it is likely that your apostles, after their teacher`s death, practised this and handed it down to you from the beginning, I mean to those who first adopted your faith, and that they themselves performed their spells more skilfully than you do, and displayed openly to those who came after them the places in which they performed this witchcraft and abomination.

60 But you, though you practise that which God from the first abhorred, as he showed through Moses and the prophets, have refused nevertheless to offer victims at the altar, and to sacrifice. Yes, say the Galilaeans, because fire will not descend to consume the sacrifices as in the case of Moses. Only once, I answer, did this happen in the case of Moses [ Leviticus 9. 24]; and again after many years in the case of Elijah the Tishbite [ I Kings 18. 38]. For I will prove in a few words that Moses himself thought that it was necessary to bring fire from outside for the sacrifice, and even before him, Abraham the patriarch as well. . . [ Genesis 22]

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