Galen, [129 - c. 199] (Aelius Galenus or Claudius Galenus, Galen of Pergamon) was a great Greek physician and philosopher, member of the Roman Imperial court and friend to Marcus Aurelius. Galen admired Christians for their faith, virtue, sexual purity, and justice. Christians should be similar examples of virtue today. 'Virtue signaling' is not a bad thing. There are a variety of worldviews in the world. Despite what some would claim, not all worldviews are created equal. Some are better than others. A good example demonstrates the supperiority and practicality of one worldview over the others. Even those who claim all worldviews (religions) are equal, are evangelizing their own worldview. However, l would invite them to demonstrate the fruits of their religion reminding them that some worldviews endorse bacha bazi and female circumcision, etc.
From Galen, Πλατωνικῶν διαλογων συνόψεις(=Summary of Platonic dialogues), in 8 books; from part 3. The work is listed in De libris propriis c. 14.17
This work is lost, but a quotation is found in Arabic authors in somewhat different forms. Hunain ibn Ishaq records that he translated a work in four parts, written by Galen in eight parts, containing summaries of works by Plato.18
Galen ... says at the end of his summary of Plato's Republic: "In the religious community of the followers of Christ there are most admirable people who frequently act according to perfect virtue; and this is to be seen not only in their men but in their women as well." And I see that he admires them for their virtue, and although he is a man whose position is known and whose opposition to Judaism and Christianity is manifest and clear to everybody who has studied his books and knows what he states in them, he nevertheless cannot deny the excellent qualities which the Christians display in their virtuous activities.
Ibn Abi Usaibiah (d.1270) quoting an earlier writer, `Ubayd Allāh ibn Jibrā`īl:22
"...Evidence that Christ lived quite some time before Galen is contained in the following passage of Galen's commentary on Plato's "Republic." 'From this we may infer that the people called Christians derive their faith from signs and miracles. Also, sometimes, they show such behavior as is adopted by philosophers; for fearlessness of death and the hereafter is something we witness in them every day. The same is true of abstention from sexual intercourse. Some of them, both men and women, go their whole life without sexual intercourse. There are among them those who possess such a measure of self-control with regard to food and drink and who are so bent on justice, that they do not fall short of those who profess philosophy in truth.'
The last version is Abu'l Fida', Universal Chronicle, book 3, chapter 3. This covers history down to 1329 AD. Latin translation:27
Secundum El-Camil, regnante illo vixit Galenus, quamquam prima vita ejus pars in extremam Ptolemaei aetatem incidit. Galeni tempore religion Christianorum magna jam incrementa ceperat, eorumque mentionem fecit in libro de sententiis Politiae Platonicae, his verbis: Hominem perique orationem demonstrativam continuam mente assequi nequeunt; quare indigent, ut instituantur, parabolis (narrationes dicit de praemiis et poenis in vita futura exspectandis). Veluti nostro tempore videmus, homines illos, qui Christiani vocantur, fidem suam e parabolis petiisse. Hi tamen interdum talia faciunt, qualia qui vere philosophantur. Nam quod mortem contemnunt, id quidem omnes ante oculos habemus; item quod verecundia quadam ducti ab usu rerum venerearum abhorrent. Sunt enum inter eos, et foeminae et viri, qui per totam vitam a concubitu abstinuerint; sunt etiam, qui in animis regendis coercendisque et in acerrimo honestatis studio eo progressi sint, ut nihil cedant vere philosophantibus. Haec Galenus.
Most people are unable to follow any demonstrative argument consecutively; hence they need parables, and benefit from them and he (Galen) understands by parables tales of rewards and punishments in a future life -- just as now we see the people called Christians drawing their faith from parables [and miracles], and yet sometimes acting in the same way [as those who philosophize]. For their contempt of death [and of its sequel] is patent to us every day, and likewise their restraint in cohabitation. For they include not only men but also women who refrain from cohabiting all through their lives; and they also number individuals who, in self-discipline and self-control in matters of food and drink, and in their keen pursuit of justice, have attained a pitch not inferior to that of genuine philosophers.
According to the Kâmil [of Ibn Athîr] Galen lived in the days of this Commodus, having been born before the death of Ptolemy [literally: "and Galen lived to the time of Ptolemy"]. In his [i.e. Galen's] time the religion of the Christians had become manifest, and Galen mentions them [i.e. the Christians] in his book Remarks on the book of Plato on the Republic, where he says: "The mass of the people are not able to follow the thread of an apodictic discourse, wherefore they need allusive (enigmatic) sayings, so that they may enjoy instruction thereby (by allusive sayings he means the tales concerning rewards and punishments in the world to come). Of this sort we now see the people who are called Christians deriving their faith from such allusive sayings. Yet on their part deeds have been produced equal to the deeds of
those who are in truth philosophers. For example, that they are free from the fear of death is a fact which we all have observed; likewise their abstinence from the unlawful practice of sexual intercourse. And, indeed, there are some among them, men, and women, also, who during the whole of their natural life refrain altogether from such intercourse. And some of them have attained to such a degree of severe self-control and to such earnestness in their desire for righteousness, that they do not fall short of those who are in truth philosophers. Thus far the words of Galen.
Galen expresses criticism, of the God of Judaism and Christianity sometimes giving commandments without explainations. But according to Moses 5:6, we see that this can be an accurate observation. The angel of God does give an explainations, but we see that Adam's faith was tested first before the explaination was given. Sometimes you have to first do things and see that they work, before the explaination will even make sense. Unfortunately, sometimes Christianity gets intself into trouble by speculating (with faithful intention) why an unpopular commandment is true. But, ofttimes the speculation ends up being more damaging to faith than the unpopular practice itself ever was.
Moses 5:6 And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me.
Galen also seems critical of Christian teaching method of "needing parables," miracles strengthing faith, or relying on promised future blessings. However, Galen recognized that the common man was common and likely not educated in Greek philosophy and reasoning like His students. But what Galen couldn't argue with was the results. Galen acknowledges that God's way of teaching the common man, while inferior to his Greek methods, while inferior in his opinion, was nonetheless very effective.
From Galen, Εἰς τὸ πρῶτον κινοῦν ἀκίνητον (=On the prime mover). The work is listed in De libris propriis14, so must have been composed before that work was written in 192 A.D.14
The work is lost, but it was translated into Arabic by Hunain ibn Ishaq.15 The Arabic translation is not known to us today, but material from it is quoted by Ibn Abi Usaibia (d. 1270 AD), in chapter 5 of his work The History of Physicians.4
If I had in mind people who taught their pupils in the same way as the followers of Moses and Christ teach theirs — for they order them to accept everything on faith — I should not have given you a definition.
Galen further mentions Moses and Christ in his treatise on "The Primum Movens," where he says: "If I had seen people who taught their disciples in the same way as the disciples of Moses and Christ were taught — that is, who ordered them to accept everything on trust — would not have given you any definitions."