Martyr Justin.

The first apology of Justin Martyr, addressed to the Emperor Antoninus Pius : prefaced by some account of the writings and opinions of Justin Martyr online

. (page 1 of 24)
Online LibraryMartyr JustinThe first apology of Justin Martyr, addressed to the Emperor Antoninus Pius : prefaced by some account of the writings and opinions of Justin Martyr → online text (page 1 of 24)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook



Presented by










Justin Martyr,







[ The Rights of Translation and Reproduction are Reserved.^


The references in Bishop Kaye's Introduction are to the
Paris Edition of Justin's Works, pubHshed in 1636. They
have been collated afresh with a coi)y of that Edition in

Sion College.

Where these references are followed by another in brackets,
it should be understood that such bracketed reference is to
the page in our own translation, which is that of William
Reeves, pubHshed in 1717.






III. Justin's opinions respecting original sin, Tiiii free-


IV. Justin's opinions respecting baptism and the eucha-

RisT, wnii A particular reference to a passagf

IN THE first apology, 63

angels — DEMONS, "4




vlii Contents.

cnAr. PAGE



MARKS, 112

These pages contain the substance of pa)'t of a Course of Lect^ires,
delivered at Cambridge in the Lent Term of 1S21.







Among the Fathers, Justin Martyr is the earliest of whose
works we possess any considerable remains. He marks the
commencement of what may be termed the ecclesiastical, in
contradistinction from the apostolic period. Hence the care
with which his opinions have been examined, and the import-
ance which has been attached to them. One party appeals to
him as expressing the sentiments of the primitive Christians
on some of the fundamental articles of our faith ; while
another regards him as having exerted a most fatal influence
over the interests of religion, by introducing into the Church
a confused medley of Christianity and Platonism, to the
exclusion of the pure and simple truths of the gospel. The
object of the present work is to enable the theological student
to pronounce between these contradictory representations, l\v
laying before him an accurate account of Justin's opinions.

It is not my intention to engage in the discusM\)n of the

2 Some Account of the

different hypotheses which have been framed respecting the
chronology of Justin's life. The data are too few and too
uncertain to justify us in coming to any decided conclusion.
We know from himself ^ that he was born at Flavia Neapolis,
in Samaria, of Gentile parents ; "^ and we are told by Eusebius,^
who refers to Tatian, Justin's scholar, that he suffered martyr-
dom at Rome, in the reign of Marcus Antoninus.* One
important circumstance, from its connexion with the history
of his opinions, is that he had carefully studied the tenets of
the different philosophical sects ; ^ having successively attached
himself to the Stoics, the Peripatetics, the Pythagoreans, and
the Platonists. To the last he manifestly gave the preference ;
but, not deriving from any of them the entire satisfaction
which he had expected, he was induced to examine and,
having examined, to embrace Christianity; finding it, as he
himself states, the only sound and useful philosophy.^ He
appears, however, after his conversion, to have retained a

1 Apol. i. sub initio. See also Apol. ii. p. 52 A ; Dial, p. 349 C.
Ed. Paris, 1636.

2 "Did we not see Christians in greater number and of greater sincerity
from among the Gentiles than from the Jews and Samaritans." \u.urovi
hf^eis ocuvrii <prXiiovoi; ts xa) a.Xnhffr'ipovi tov; II iheiJv rciv xvo 'lovdaiajv Kcci
1ay.apiuv XpitrTtxvov; (uloTi;). Apol. i. p. 88 B (p. 65). See also Dial.
pp. 226 A, 245 C, 348 C, 531 D.

3 Eccl. Hist. 1. iv. c. 16. Tatian, Oratio ad Grcecos, p. 157 D. Ed.
Paris, 1636.

* See also Jerome in Catalogo. Dodwell, Diss. iii. in Irenaum, § 19,
Diss. iv. § 34, supposes him to have suffered martyrdom in the year 149,
at the age of thirty ; this inference he draws from an account, manifestly
erroneous, given by Epiphanius, Har. 26 or 46.

^ See the commencement of the Dialogue ivith Trypho ; and with
respect to the Platonists, Apol. ii. p. 50 A.

® T«UT»iv /novtiv tilpxTxav (piXaiTo<pieiv a,ff(pxXri ri xct) <rv/x^opov, p. 225 ^*
Justin gives an interesting account of the manner in which he was induced
to study the Prophetic Writings, by the arguments of an aged man, whom
he accidentally met on the sea-shore, p. 219 E, and to whom he appears to
allude, p. 241 B. " I will preach the Divine Word which I heard from
that man." Knpv^u lyu hTov X'oyov, ov •zap' Iki'ivov l^xovffa, rov ocvOpo;.

Writings of Jttstin Martyr. 3

fondness for his former pursuits, which he evinced by con-
tinuing to wear the philosophic habit. ^

Of the works printed in the Paris edition, it is now generally
admitted that the Confutation of Certain Tenets of Aristotle,
the Christian Questions to the Greeks, the Greek Questions to
the Christians, the A?iswers to the Orthodox., the Exposition
of the True Faith 7'especting the Trinity, the Epistle to
Diognetus, and the Epistle to Zenas and Serenus, were not
composed by Justin. The following circumstances induce
me also to entertain doubts respecting the genuineness of
the Hortatory Address to the Greeks. In p. 20 B,'^ where
the author is endeavouring to show that Plato, having met
with the writings of Moses in Egypt, had embraced the
doctrine of the divine unity, but was deterred from openly
declaring his sentiments by dread of encountering the same
fate which befell Socrates, he mentions the appearance of God
to Moses out of the burning bush, and speaks as if God had
Himself appeared ; whereas Justin, not only in his Dialogue
with Trypho, where he might be supposed to hold a different
language from that in which he addressed the Gentiles, but in
his first Apology,^ maintains that it was Christ AMio, on tliat

1 Dialog, aim Try ph. p. 217 B, C.

2 ''Therefore God, knowing that the false belief of polytheism, like a
disease, disturbs men's minds, and wishing to abolish and overthrow it,
when He first appeared to Moses, said to him, *I am that I am.'
For it behoved, I think, the future prince and leader of the Hebrew
people first of all to know the living God. Wherefore appearing to lum
first, since indeed it was possible for God to appear to man, He saul t..
him, 'I am that I am.'" u'^^j toUv. i etl; r^v r« TcXvh.mrof f.n

iiy. nu yup, clf.0^,, 'rh iipz^^r^ ^«J crrp^^rnyoy tov t^v 'E/J/.a/o.v yi.m i^i'f»>

^uvi);, m h ^uv^riv iv^p^^c. ^a,mu> @to>, Uv ^ph ulr,., h'^ «'^' <> '-'•

3 P. 96 B. (p. 80.)

4 Some Account of the

occasion, appeared to Moses. The account also of the origin
of polytheism, which is given in p. 19 D, does not correspond
with the statement in the second Apology. In the former
passage,^ we are told that the serpent, when he assured our
first parents that if they ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge
they should be as gods, impressed them with the persuasion
that there were other gods besides the Creator of heaven and
earth ; and that they, retaining this persuasion after their
expulsion from Paradise, transmitted it to their posterity.
But in the latter passage ^ the statement is, that the angels,
to whom God had committed the superintendence of this
lower world, transgressing His commands, became connected
with women ; and that from this intercourse sprang demons,
who were the authors of idolatry and polytheism. The
accounts of the Septuagint translation in p. 13 D, and in
the first Apology^ p. 72 C (p. 39), do not appear to me to have
proceeded from the same pen ; and in p. 21 C,^ the author of

^ See also pp. 34 C, 36 C. In p. 32 B, the author says that the heathen
were induced to represent their gods under human forms, by the statement
in the Book of Genesis, that God made man in His own likeness after
His image, from which they inferred that man is in form like unto God.
" The book of Moses saying of the appearance of God, ' Let us make man
in our image,'" etc. tj?? ykf Muffius IffTopias Ix Tpoau'Trov rod @iov Xiyoua-yn,
'Xoin(fu(ji'iv ot,v6fw<ro'» kcct ilxovce. », r. I, See also p. 36 C. Compare this
with the mode in which the same text is applied in the Dialogue with
Trypho, p. 285 A. In the fragment of the Tract on the Resurrection,
ascribed to Justin, the author applies this text to the fleshly man. ** For
does not the Word say, f Let us make man in our own image, and after
our likeness?' What? He clearly refers to the carnal man." ^ ya-p oh
(ptiffiv "koyoi •xoino'ct)[/,iv kvSpuTtov kolt tixova '/iftiripav, xx) Ka,6 ofioiuffiv ', voiov ;
^f)y.ovori tfocpKixov xiyn uvSpwrov. Grabe, Spicil, t. ii. p. 187.

a P. 44 A. Compare Apol i. pp. 55 E (7), 67 D (30), 69 C {n).

^ "There is a great difference between these according to the opinion
of Plato himself. For the maker produces that which he makes, without
the need of anything else ; but the creator constructs his work, having
received the power of workmanship from his material." kkitoi -jroXXrn
oix<popoi; IV TouToi; ovtrn;, holtk rhv aurou YlKuruvo; ho^ocv, o f/,\\i yap Toinrhs,
eu}ivof iripov ^porltofAivo;, i« t?; iuutov ^vvci/uius xai i^avffins TrenT to "zrotouf^ivov


Writings of Justin Martyr.

the Hortatory Address makes after Plato a distinction between
7rot7;T>;s, "Maker," and SyjixLovpyos, "Creator" — words which
Justin uses indiscriminately.^ To evade the inference drawn
from these discrepancies, it may be said that Bishop Bull (Be/.
Fid. Nic. sec. iii. chap. 2) has pointed out a coincidence of sen-
timent in this work and in the second Apology, The author
of the former says of Plato, that " having heard in Egypt that
God, when He sent Moses to the Hebrews, said, ' I am that I
am,' he (Plato) knew that God had not declared His proper
name ; since no proper name can be assigned to God. For
names are given for the purpose of describing and distinguishing
things, inasmuch as they are many and various. But no one
existed before God who could give Him a name ; nor did He
deem it right to give Himself a name, inasmuch as He is one
and alone; as He Himself testifies through His prophets,
saying, ' I God am the first, and I am the last, and beside me
is no other God ' (Isa. xliv. 6). On this account, therefore, as I
said before, God, when He sent Moses to the Hebrews, did not
mention any name; but mystically declared Himself to be the one
and only God, by means of a participle, eyw yap ^ryo-ti' ciVt o
wv, ' I, He said, am He that liveth.' " - With this passage Bull

TO yiyvofcivov.

1 Thus Apt. i. p. 57 A (p. 10), "With God the Father ami Creator
of all things." (/.ito, &iov rov 'ttuvtuv ^XTpos Kou 'hfifJ^iovfyov. And p. 66 C
(p. 28), "God the Creator of the universe." tov 'ra.yruv Toir.rh* «!'».
See also pp. 60 C (16), 66 E (29), 70 A, B (35), 92 A (71). ^ ^ , , .

2 axyiKo^s yap iv Alyv^rco tov @iov 7^ Muffri ilpuKivxi, lyu ilfi, «v, «T«»i*«
•rpn; Tov;'Y,p>poc'iovi ccvtov i^o^rrU^uv 'iftiXXiv, 'iy^u en ov >ivp,ov o^of^it i»vr»ui
Qilt -rpk cchr'ov 'i(pr,. cLTiv yup ovof^x W) Btod Kvp„Xoyi7<r6cct Iv^ccrif. ric ykf
Ivifx-ccrcc US l^Xuxriv ku) ^.iyvaxnv r^v i*««£i^ev«v xurx, ^puyf^drc^v,^ TtXkm*
««; ha.(popc,v ovT«v 0£« Se ol^ri '0 nhU cyof^cc -^pov^Tipx^^, oCri cthri; \»ut»j

k'Xoar'iXXm ^pii rovs 'Efipcciou; rev M«««^ ^v^v„t«/, «aa« ./x .-v., ,^.,.^., ._-


6 Some Account of the

compares one in the second Apology} to which reference will
hereafter be made, and which is as follows : " But no name has
been given to the Father of all things, inasmuch as He is unbe-
gotten ; for by whatever name any one is called, he must be
posterior to him who gave the name ; and Father, God, Creator,
Lord, Master are not names, but appellations given from His
benefits and works. But His Son, who alone is properly called
Son, the Word, Who was with Him before the creation, and
begotten when in the beginning He created and adorned all
things by Him, is called Christ, because He was anointed, and
because God adorned all things by Him ; a name which also con-
tains in itself an unknown signification ; like as the appellation
' God ' is not a name, but the notion of an ineffable thing
implanted in the nature of men." Between these passages
there is undoubtedly one point of coincidence ; in both it is
said that no name could be given to God, because no one
existed before God to give the name. But here the coincidence
ends. We have already observed the discrepancy respecting
the Divine Person who appeared to Moses. We may add
that the word KvptoXoyacrOaL, " to give God a name," are used
in the former passage in a sense totally different from that in
which Justin uses it in the Dialogue with Trypho^ where it

^ ovofjbo, oi <Tu '^ra.vTcav 'Tfarfi 6itov, a.y'iVv/i'rw ov7i, oux iffriv ai yctp av XKi
ovof/,aTi (f. ovo/xari ri;) -prpoffccyopivtiTXi, Tpifffovripov ix,^i 'S'ov 6ifjt,ivov to ovof/,a,' to
Ti Hocrnp, xai &ios, xa) 'KTiffTViS, kou Kvpio;, xoci AiffToT'/js, ovk ovof^UToi iffriv,
aXX IK Tuv tvToti'uv xa.1 tcjv 'ipywn "ffpoffp'/iffin. o di vlo; ixtivov, o /u,ovos ktyofiives
KVpiui vto;, /.oyo? <rpo tuv ' xoti (xvvuv xoci yivvufjcivo?,, oti T>jy ocp^riv ot
avTov TavTCi sxtio'i xu.\ ixofffji-viffi, "KpiffTos filv, xaTo, to xi^pi(r^ai xcti xoa'//,tio'cn
TO. "^dvTct ^/ avTov Tov 0£ov, kiysTXi, o'vofix Koc) avTO -^Tipi's^ov a.yvua'Tov^
fftj/jtottTixv. ov TpoTov xu) TO @ios "^poffayoptvfici ovK ovof^ci iiTTiv, aXXcc Tpxyf^aTo;
^vai^nyrsTov 'i/u,(puTos t>j (fivtni tuv uvSpu<ffuv Vo^/x,. P. 44 D. Compare Apol.
i. pp. 58B(i2), 94D(i6).

^ P. 277 B. " That besides the All- wise Father of the universe, another
is called Lord by the Holy Spirit." 'oti xk) ^recpx tov voov/>e,ivov -roitiThv vuv
ekuv eiXXos ti; xvpioXoyuTUi v'tto tov uyiov 9evivfji,a,To;, Compare also the USC
of the word (toXoyilv in the Hortatory Address, p. 20 E, where it signifies

Writings of Justin Martyr. 7

signifies to apply the title ^^ Lord'^ to Christ. These circum-
stances, though minute, appear to me to confirm the suspicions
respecting the spuriousness of the work which Dupini seems
to have formed from the difference between the style and that
of Justin's acknowledged writings. I shall, therefore, in the
following pages, confine my references to the two Apologies
and to the Dialogue with Trypho ; the fragment of the
Treatise on Monarchy, and the Address to the Greeks, whether
genuine or not, affording nothing which can assist me in the
prosecution of my present design.

The first Apology, which stands second in the Paris edition,
was addressed to Antoninus Pius, Marcus Antoninus, Lucius
Verus, the Senate and the people of Rome. Authors differ
respecting the date. Justin, in the course of the work, speaks
of Christ as having been born one hundred and fifty years
before,^ evidently using round numbers. There are allusions to
the death and deification of Antinous,^ as to events which had
recently occurred ; as well as to the revolt of Barchochebas ■*
and the decree of Adrian,^ by which the Jews were forbidden
to set foot in Jerusalem under pain of death. These notices,
however, will not assist us in determining the precise year in

to discourse on divine things^ to play the theologian, and in the Diahque
with Trypho, p. 277 C, where it signifies to apply the title Siis to Christ,

$/ oZv Mat ciXXov rivoi hoXeyiTv xa) KUpioXoyiTv to Wiv/ax to Syiov <pitr\ u/itif.

It is used, however, in the former sense, p. 340 B. " You learn by dis-
coursing on divine things why at first an A was added to the name
Abram." akXa ^/a t/ jWSv iv ccX<px -rpuTCfi -TTpoaiTiSn tZ 'Afipaifi evi/ixTi

1 Bihliotheque, torn. i. p. 58. Casimir Oudin also expressed doubts
respecting the genuineness of the work, De Script. Eccl. tom. 1. p. 187.
His arguments are stated by the Benedictine editors in their preface,
where the reader will also find their reasons for believing the work to
be the same as that mentioned by Eusebius under the title of "iUyx'i^

"refutation." « „ „ t. / v

2 P. 83 B (56). 3 p. 72 A (38). ' P. 72 E (39). » P. 84 B (59).

8 V Some Account of the

which the treatise was composed. DodwelP supposed it to
have been written in the very commencement of the reign
of Antoninus Pius, before Marcus Antoninus received the
appellation of Caesar, because he is not designated by that title
in the introduction ; but many critics, among them the Bene-
dictine editors, place it as late as 150. The treatise itself
highly deserves our attention, as the earliest specimen which
has reached our times of the mode in which the Christians
defended the cause of their religion. It is not remarkable for
the lucid arrangement of the materials of which it is com-
posed ; its contents, however, may be reduced to the following
heads : — I. Appeals to the justice of the ruling powers, and
expostulations with them on the unfairness of the proceedings
against the Christians, who were condemned without any
previous investigation into their lives or opinions, merely
because they were Christians ; and were denied the liberty,
allowed to all the other subjects of the Roman Empire, of
worshipping the God whom they themselves preferred. ^
II. Refutations of the charges of atheism, immorality, dis-
affection towards the Emperor, which were brought against the
Christians.^ These charges Justin refutes by appealing to the
purity of the gospel precepts, and to the amelioration produced
in the conduct of those who embraced Christianity; and by

^ Diss. iii. in Irenmim, § 14. See the Prolegomena to the Bibliotheca
Veterum Paij'um^ Venice 1775, torn. i. c. I7> § !•

Sub in. 54 D (4), 56 E (9), 68 D (32). Justin plays upon the words
XpiffTos (Christ) and ;^/)^(7'toj (good), p. 55 A (5). He contends that the
evil "lives of some professing themselves Christians ought not to be urged as
an argument against Christianity itself, inasmuch as the same argument
might be urged with still greater force against philosophy, 55 B (6),
56 C (9).

3 Tp. 56 B (8), 70 B (36), 58 E (13), 59 A (14), 60 C (16), 61 B (18),
64 C (25), 78 B (47); yiJ>ol. ii. p. 51 B, In the second passage Justin
seems to insinuate that the charges of gross sensuality and cruelty, which
were falsely alleged against the orthodox, might possibly be truly alleged
against the heretics. See Dodwell, Diss, in Iren. iv. § 26.

Writings of Justin Martyr. 9

stating that the kingdom to which Christians looked forward
was not of this world, but a heavenly kingdom. III. Direct
arguments in proof of the truth of Christianity, drawn from
miracles and prophecy. With respect to the former, Justin
principally occupies himself in refuting the objection that the
miracles of Christ were performed by magical arts.^ With
respect to the latter, he states in forcible terms the general
nature of the argument from prophecy,^ and shows the accom-
plishment of many particular prophecies ^ in the person of
Jesus : inferring, from their accomplishment, the reasonable-
ness of entertaining a firm persuasion that the prophecies yet
unfulfilled — that, for instance, respecting Christ's second
advent — will in due time be accomphshed.'* IV. Justin does
not confine himself to defending Christianity, but occasionally
becomes the assailant, and exposes with success the absurdities
of the Gentile polytheism and idolatry.^ In further confir-
mation of the innocuous, or rather beneficial character of
Christianity, Justin ^ concludes the treatise with a description

1 P. 72 A (38).

2 P. 88 A (65) : "For what motive could ever possibly have persuaded
us to believe a crucified man to be the first begotten of the unbegolten
God, and that He should come to be the Judge of all the world, had we
not met with those prophetic testimonies of Him proclaimed so long before
His incarnation, and were we not eye-witnesses to the fulfilment of them?"

X. T. t.

See pp. 60 A (16), 72 B {38), and some remarks on the inter-
pretation of prophecy, 76 D (45), ^i^^- ^^^ Trypli. p. 34| C.

3 Among the prophecies specified are Gen. xlix., Ps. i. iii. xix. xxu. xcvi.
ex., Isa. i. ii. vii. ix. xi. xxxv. 1. liii. Ixiv. Ixv., Micah v., Zech. ix. Sec
from p. 73 to p. 2>^ (40-65).

^ P. 87 A (62).

* P. 57 C (11), where Justin speaks of the immoral lives of the artisans
who were employed in making idols. 58 A (12), 67 A (29). In p. 93 I>
(73), Justin observes that the most unlearned Christians were well instructed
in the knowledge of divine things,

•^ P. 93 D in).

lo Some Account of the

of the mode in which proselytes were admitted into the
Church, of its other rites and customs, and of the habits and
manner of Hfe of the primitive Christians. At the end of this
treatise, in the Paris edition, is found a rescript of Adrian in
favour of the Christians, as translated by Eusebius ^ from the
Latin. Justin alludes to such a document towards the con-
clusion of the Apology^ and its genuineness is generally
admitted. There is, moreover^ an edict,^ addressed by
Antoninus Pius to the Common Council of Asia, respecting
which doubts are entertained; and a letter of Marcus Antoninus
to the, Senate of Rome, ascribing his victory during the German
War to the prayers of the Christian soldiers in his army. This
letter is manifestly spurious.

According to Eusebius,^ the second Apology was presented to
Marcus Antoninus; but Pearson, and after him Thirlby, thought
that it was addressed, as well as the former, to Antoninus
Pius, relying on the passage in p. 43 B : " You do not think it
fitting for a pious Emperor, nor for the son of a philosophic
Caesar, nor for a sacred Senate." In the title it is said to be
addressed to the Roman Senate ; in the beginning of the
treatise, as it at present stands, we find the words " O
Romans," and, subsequently, the expressions, " It is manifest
to you," " I wish to know you." ^ But we also find, '' To thee,
O Emperor,"^ from which we might be induced to suppose
that it was addressed to the Emperor. It has been inferred,
from the expectation expressed by Justin, p. 46 E, that he

* Eccl. Hist. 1. iv. c. 9.

^ See Lardner's Heathen Testimonies, c. 14. He defends its genuineness.

' L. iv. c. 16. See the Note of Valesius on c. 17, and the Prolegomena
to the Blbliotheca Veterum Patrum, torn. i. c, 17, § 3. We find in p. 46 C
the expression, Maviruvtov Tt Iv roi; x.a.0^ hf^a.;, *' Musonius, who was among
those who belonged to us," but it affords no clue to the date,

* P. 47 C, B.

P. 42 C. See also p. 47 B, fix(n>,i»ov y civ xx) rovro 'ipyav t'l'n, "and
this also may be a kingly work."

Writings of Justin Martyr. 1 1

should become the victim of the artifices and calumnies of the
philosopher Crescens, that he composed this treatise not long
before his martyrdom. This is the statement of Eusebius,
1. iv. c. 1 6. Lardner supposes that the beginning is lost; and
it appears to be in other respects imperfect.^ It was occasioned
by the punishment inflicted on three persons at Rome, whom
Urbicus, the prefect of the city, had put to death merely
because they were Christians. After exposing the gross in-
justice of this proceeding, Justin rephes to two objections
which the enemies of the gospel were accustomed to urge.
The first was, " Why, if the Christians were certain of being
received into heaven, they did not destroy themselves, and
save the Roman governors the trouble of putting them to
death ? " - Justin's answer is, that if they were so to act they
would contravene the designs of God, by diminishing the

Online LibraryMartyr JustinThe first apology of Justin Martyr, addressed to the Emperor Antoninus Pius : prefaced by some account of the writings and opinions of Justin Martyr → online text (page 1 of 24)