LUCIAN OF SAMOSATA
Lucian of Samosata was a popular Greek author who wrote about various topics, including many well-known people of his time. It is estimated that Lucian wrote at least 80 pieces of literature during his lifetime. During the second century, Greek (Hellenistic) influence on society was very great. Therefore, many new religions and philosophical views emerged. Lucian was a satirical and doubting man, so he was not easily convinced by philosophers and their beliefs. Likewise, although Lucian did not question whether Jesus existed, he was not convinced that Jesus was God.
In “The Passing of Peregrinus,” Lucian wrote about the lead character taking advantage of the giving and unsuspecting Christians. This was one of the earliest non-Christian writings that provides a different perspective on early Christians and their way of life.
Lucian wrote, “The Christians, you know, worship a manto this day – the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account… You See, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws.”
In this text, Lucian affirmed that Christians worshiped Jesus, who was crucified for His teachings. Additionally, even though Jesus was crucified, his followers continued to live by His words and abandoned their Greek influences at their conversion. Christians also displayed upright character and treated one another as family, as Jesus suggests in the Bible. Because of their faith, Christians also believed in eternal life, which Jesus frequently taught his disciples, as recorded in the Bible.