Chapter II.—The Same Subject Continued.
“I heard that you promised yesterday to Faustus to prove this day, giving out your arguments in regular order, and beginning with Him who is Lord of the universe, that we ought to say that He alone is God, and that we ought neither to say nor to think that there are other gods, because he that acts contrary to this will be punished eternally. But, above all, I am truly amazed at your madness in hoping to convert a wise man, and one far advanced in years, to your state of mind. But you will not succeed in your designs; and all the more that I am present, and can thoroughly refute your false arguments. For perhaps, if I had not been present, the wise old man might have been led astray, because he has no critical acquaintance 1249 with the books publicly believed in amongst the Jews. 1250 At present I shall omit much, in order that I may the more speedily refute that which you have promised to prove. Wherefore begin to speak what you promised to say before us, who know the Scriptures. But if, fearing our refutation, you are unwilling to fulfil your promise in our presence, this of itself will be sufficient proof that you are wrong, because you did venture to speak in the presence of those who know the Scriptures. And now, why should I wait till you tell me, when I have a most satisfactory witness of your promise in the old man who is present?” And, saying this, he looked to my father, and said: “Tell me, most excellent of all men, is not this the man who promised to prove to you to-day that God is one, and that we ought not to say or think that there is any other god, and that he who acts contrary to this will be punished eternally, as committing the most heinous sin? Do you, then, refuse to reply to me?”
τῶν παρὰ ᾽Ιουδαίοις δημοσίᾳ πεπιστευμένων βίβλων. The literal translation, given in the text, means that the Jews as a community believed in these books as speaking the truth. Cotelerius translates: “the books which were publically entrusted to the Jews.” One ms. reads, πεπιστωμενων, which might mean, “deemed trustworthy among the Jews.”