Athanasius next addresses the unbelief of the Jews and the scoffing of the Greeks. If you hear echoes of St. Paul, that’s hardly surprising. The Incarnation and the Resurrection were always unbelievable proclamations. They aren’t things that our more credulous and “primitive” ancestors believed which we, in our more “rational” and enlightened state, have somehow grown beyond. I like the blunt way Bishop N.T. Wright put it when criticizing the Jesus Seminar on this point. He said that everyone in the ancient world, from Plato to a field slave, knew that dead people stayed dead. That’s not a truth we’ve only recently learned through the illumination of modern science.
These things being so, and the Resurrection of His body and the victory gained over death by the Saviour being clearly proved, come now let us put to rebuke both the disbelief of the Jews and the scoffing of the Gentiles. 2. For these, perhaps, are the points where Jews express incredulity, while Gentiles laugh, finding fault with the unseemliness of the Cross, and of the Word of God becoming man. But our argument shall not delay to grapple with both especially as the proofs at our command against them are clear as day.
In this section, Athanasius goes on to list some of the specific prophecies from the Jewish Scripture, which came to be called the Old Testament among Christians. Most Christians, especially if they’ve read or listened to the Acts of the Apostles, are probably familiar with these, but they are still worth reading. Take a moment to read the whole section.