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Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions Part 151

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In the oldest Gospel extant, that attributed to Matthew, we read that Jesus said unto his disciples, "Whom say ye that I am?" whereupon Simon Peter answers and says: "Thou art THE CHRIST, the Son of the living G.o.d.

. . . Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus THE Christ." (Matt. xvi. 15-20.)

This clearly shows that "_the Christ_" was simply a _t.i.tle_ applied to the man Jesus, therefore, if a _t.i.tle_, it cannot be a _name_. All pa.s.sages in the New Testament which speak of _Christ_ as a _name_, betray their modern date.

[567:3] "This name (Christian) occurs but three times in the New Testament, and is never used by Christians of themselves, only as spoken by or coming from those without the Church. The general names by which the early Christians called themselves were 'brethren,' 'disciples,'

'believers,' and 'saints.' The presumption is that the name _Christian_ was originated by the _Heathen_." (Abbott and Conant: Dic. of Relig.

Knowledge, art. "Christian.")

"We are called Christians (_not_, we call ourselves Christians). So, then, _we are the best of men_ (Chrestians), and it can never be just to hate what is (Chrest) _good and kind_;" [or, "therefore to hate what is _Chrestian_ is unjust."] (Justin Martyr: _Apol._ 1. c. iv.)

"Some of the ancient writers of the Church have not scrupled expressly to call the Athenian _Socrates_, and some others of the _best_ of the heathen moralists, by the name of _Christians_." (Clark: Evidences of Revealed Relig., p. 284. Quoted in Ibid. p. 41.)

"Those who lived according to the Logos, (_i. e._, the _Platonists_), were really _Christians_." (Clemens Alexandrinus, in _Ibid._)

"Undoubtedly we are called _Christians_, for this reason, _and none other_, than because _we are anointed with the oil of G.o.d_." (Theophilus of Antioch, in Ibid. p. 399.)

"Christ is the Sovereign Reason of whom the whole human race partic.i.p.ates. _All those who have lived comformably to a right reason, have been Christians_, notwithstanding that they have always been looked upon as Atheists." (Justin Martyr: _Apol._ 1. c. xlvi.)

Lucian makes a person called Triephon answer the question, whether the affairs of the _Christians_ were recorded in heaven. "All nations are there recorded, since Chrestus exists even among the Gentiles."

[568:1] "Egypt, which you commended to me, my dearest Servia.n.u.s, I have found to be wholly fickle and inconsistent, and continually wafted about by every breath of fame. The wors.h.i.+pers of SERAPIS (here) are called _Christians_, and those who are _devoted_ to the G.o.d Serapis (I find), call themselves _Bishops of Christ_." (The Emperor _Adrian_ to Servia.n.u.s, written A. D. 134. Quoted by Dr. Giles, vol. ii. p. 86.)

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