Lucian was referring to Chrestians and Chrestianity


Above: Nabataean carving from c. 100 CE depicting the goddess Atargatis, the subject of Lucian's treatise On the Syrian Goddess

Lucian of Samosata is a second-century Syrian whom scholarship claims wrote twice about Christianity:

If these claims were true, then they would seriously undermine the historical context provided by myself, that the original New Testament - first appearing in the fourth century - is explicitly Chrestian, and that "Jesus Christ" and thus Christianity appear much later.

Above: Monument commemorating Lucian of Samosata from Nordkirchen, Germany

In fact - and by scholarly consensus - we have nothing belonging to the time of Lucian, nor until many centuries later:

Chief manuscripts :--  
g group-- 
Vaticanus 90 (G), 9/10th century.
Harleianus 5694 (E), 9/10th century.
Laurentianus C. S. 77 (F), 10th century.
Marcianus 434 (W), 10/11th century.
Mutinensis 193 (S), 10th century.
Laurentianus 57, 51(L), 11th century (?).
ß group-- 
Vindobonensis 123 (B), 11th century (?).
Vaticanus 1324 (U), 11/12th century.
Vaticanus 76 (P).
Vaticanus 1323 (Z).
Parisinus 2957 (N). 
Principal editions :-- 
Florentine, of 1496, the first edition by J. Lascaris, from the press of L. de Alopa.
Hemsterhuys-Reitz, Amsterdam 1743, containing a Latin translation by Gesner, critical notes, variorum commentary and a word-index (C. C. Reitz, 1746).
Lehmann, Leipzig 1822-1831, a convenient variorum edition which contains Gesner’s translation but lacks Reitz’s index.
Jacobitz, Leipzig 1836-1841, with critical notes, a subject-index and a word-index; it contains the scholia.
Jacobitz, Leipzig 1851, in the Teubner series of classical texts.
Bekker, Leipzig 1853.
Dindorf, Leipzig 1858, in the Tauchnitz series.
Fritzsche, Rostock 1860-1882, an incomplete edition containing only thirty pieces; excellent critical notes and prolegomena.
Sommerbrodt, Berlin 1886--1899, also incomplete, but lacking only fifteen pieces; with critical appendices.
Nilén, Leipzig 1906- , the new Teubner text, with very full critical notes, and part of the Prolegomena in a separate gathering; the text is to appear in eight parts.
In the context of all the other reliable archaeology for Chrestianity in that early period, the total lack of anything explicitly Christian, and the later, monkish alterations to make Chrest into Christ, it is safe to assume that Lucian was referring to Chrestians and Chrestianity.
Lucian is said to have been highly critical of this religion and especially its followers. What we see of Chrestians in the early period - warmongers, commercial magicians, financiers and arsonists - such critiques is reasonable.

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