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 2 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 2 of 24)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

number of believers, preventing the diffusion of true religion,
and, as far as depended upon them, extinguishing the human
race. The second objection was, " Why, if they were regarded
by God with an eye of favour, He suffered them to be exposed
to injury and oppression ?" •> Justin replies, that the persecu-
tions with which they then were, and with which many virtuous
men among the heathens had before been visited, origuiatcd m
the malignant artifices of demons, the offspring of the apostate
angels, who were permitted to exercise their power until the
desi-ns of the Almighty were finally accomplished. Another
obiection,^ of a difi-erent kind, appears to have been urged
Uinst the Christians : that in exhorting men to live virtuously,

1 '^ '. ^f,.'^(h'Au.:» "we have said before," "as we

1 The words ^/..£^./*£v, «> ^foi^A(^.», we supposes

have said before," occur pp. 43 D, 45 A, 46 Q 47 C Pear °^ "PP
the references to be to the first Apology, pp. 58 B (12), 96 A (80) (perha,
rather to 68 C (31) or 75 A (43)), §3 C (56^^ C (37)-

" ^' 43 C- , ■ ^^ the difterent notions i.f

belief that all actions are mdiffeient, and that
nor punishments after death, p. 48 A.

12 Some Account of the

they insisted, not upon the beauty of virtue, but upon the
eternal rewards and punishments which await the virtuous and
wicked. Justin replies that these are topics on which every
believer in the existence of God must insist, since in that belief
is involved the further belief that He will reward the good and
punish the bad. With respect to direct arguments to prove the
divine origin of Christianity,^ that which Justin principally urges
is drawn from the fact that no man ever consented to die in
attestation of the truth of any philosophical tenets ; whereas
men, even from the lowest ranks of life, braved danger and
death in the cause of the gospel. Towards the conclusion of
the tract,2 Justin states that he was himself induced to em-
brace Christianity by observing the courage and constancy with
which its professors encountered all the terrors of persecution.

The Dialogue with Trypho was posterior to the first Apology^
to which it contains a reference ; ^ but with respect to the
precise date, there is the same difference of opinion among
the critics as in the case of the other treatises. Trypho says
of himself* that he resided principally at Corinth, having
been obliged to quit Judaea by the war which had just
taken place ; in which passage he is usually supposed to
allude to the revolt of Barchochebas ; though Dodwell ^

' P. 48 E. Compare Diet. p. 350 A.

2 P. 50 A. Compare Tertullian's Apology, sub fin.

^ P. 349 C : " For I had no regard for any of my people (I speak of
the Samaritans), when I compelled Caesar by writing ; I spoke to lead
those into error who trust in Simon Magus of their race, whom they
say is God above all rule and power and strength." ovh\ yup ocvo toZ

yivovg rov if/,iiu^ Xiyu 5s tuv 'Safia.ptuv, t/voj (ppovr/ox. Toiovfitvos, lyypa,(pu;
Keiiaapi Tpoffofx.iXuv, t'lTTov vXa.Mora&ex.t uvrov; 'ffit^of/,ivov$ <ru iv rai yivn avrajv
fxu.yui l'if/.u)Vi, ov &iov vTspuvu Tectryi; ocpx^i' "*'' l^ovffixs kou ouvafziu; s'lvoci

Xiyoviri. See A/>ol. i. p. 69 D (33). Compare also A/>o/. ii. p. 52 A.

* P. 217 D. Compare p. 227 A.

^ Diss. Iren. iii. § 14, iv. § 42. See the Bihliotlieca Vetcrum Patnivi^
torn. i. c. 17, § 2.

Writings of Justin Martyr. 13

thinks that the allusion is to a revolt mentioned by Julius
Capitolinus in his Life of A?ito?ii?ms Fius.^ Scaliger inferred,
from the words, "The war that has just taken place," that the
Diaolgue was composed during the reign of Adrian. But even
if we interpret the word vvv strictly, the fair inference is that
the dialogue then took place, not that it was then committed
to writing,^ which was done some time afterwards for the in-
formation of Justin's friend, Marcus Pompeius.^ The revolt of
Barchochebas, however, must have been finally suppressed
before the dialogue took place, since there is a reference ^ to
the decree of Adrian, by which the Jews were prevented from
going up to Jerusalem, and they are said no longer to have
possessed the power of persecuting the Christians. The word
vvv must consequently be interpreted with some degree of
latitude. Some critics have suspected that Justin's Jew is a
fictitious personage, or at least that no such dialogue actually
took place ; nor are there wanting circumstances which give
countenance to the suspicion. The introduction looks like an
imitation of the introductions to Plato's dialogues, and to the
philosophical dialogues of Cicero. It is difficult also to con-
ceive that Justin would have ventured in a real dialogue ^ upon

^ C. 5- ' . . ,

2 Justin mentions in p. 306 D his intention of committing the conversa-
tion to writing, in order to convince the Jews that he really entertained
the sentiments which he had expressed; and that he did not put them
forth merely for the purpose of making converts of Trypho and his friends.
From more than one passage it appears that Justin did not put down all
that was actually said. See pp. 229 A, 278 B, 356 B, 357 K.

3 P. 371 B. Who this ^larcus Pompeius was is unknown. Thulby,
not without reason, ridicules Grabe's conjecture that he was a bishop of

4 P. 234 A, C. T 1 r»
^ I allude particularly to his derivation of the words Israel, p. 354 1^.

and Satan, p. 33r B. Jones, however, infers from the latter denvaUon

that Justin was acquainted with the Syriac. On the Canon, Part I. c. 16,

Thirlby contends that Justin was acquainted with the Hebrew, or rather

that these derivations do not prove the contrary. Note on p. 331 1^-

14 Some Accotint of the

the interpretation of Hebrew words which sometimes occur ;
or if he had so ventured, that his opponents would have
allowed them to pass uncontradicted. The suspicion, how-
ever, had never occurred to Eusebius,i who assigns Ephesus
as the scene of the dialogue ; and Le Nourry thinks that he
discovers in the interruptions, digressions, etc., proofs of its
reality. Whether it was real or not is immaterial to our pur-
pose, which is only to ascertain what were Justin's opinions.
If it was real, it occupied two days ; on the latter of which
some Jews were present, who did not hear the former day's
disputation, and on whose account Justin repeats several argu-
ments which he had before urged. ^ The part containing the
end of the first and the beginning of the second day's dis-
putation is lost, as is proved by the references,^ found in the

1 Hist. Eccl. 1. iv. c. i8. See p. 237 C.

2 See pp. 304 A, 311 D, 320 B, 322 B, 346 D, 351 A, 352 E. The
name of one of those who were present only on the second day was
Mnaseas, p. 312 B.

^ See pp. 306 A, D, 333 A, 364 A. See, however, pp. 288 E, 291 D,
and Grabe's remark, Spicil. tom. ii. p. 162. The Benedictine editors
deny that there is anything wanting, and account for these appearances
by saying that, as Justin wrote down his conversation with Trypho from
memory, he sometimes forgot to insert passages to which he afterwards
referred, supposing that he had inserted them.

It has been remarked to me that I was, in the former edition of this
work, guilty of an omission in taking no notice of the doubt cast upon the
genuineness of the Dialogue with Trypho by Wetstein, in the Prolegomena
to his edition of the Greek Testament. I will now, therefore, supply that
omission. Wetstein's words are — " Ego vero cuperem mihi eximi scrupu-
lum de hujus Dialogi auctore ex diligenti ejus lectione injectum, nimirum,
quod non utalur in Veteris Testamenti locis citandis Versione Tu^t o\ sed
magis accedat ad Origenis Editionem Hexaplarem ; quum quge Origenes
obelis jugulavit omittat, quibusque asteriscos apposuit addat etiam : quum
idem in Daniele alia Versione, nescio an Symmachi, utatur. Si Justinus
mortuus est, antequam Symmachi atque Theodotionis Versio ederetur, et
si integro sseculo prsecessit Origenem, quomodo potuit istius opere uti ?
aut si non usus est, quomodo potuit accidere ut prorsus eadem verba
iisdem in locis adderet vel denieret, ubi ille vel asteriscis quid vel obelis
significaverit ? Quare de hoc auctore quid statuendum sit, doctiores

Writijigs of Justin Martyr, \ 5

latter part of the dialogue, to arguments and quotations which
no longer appear.

viderint ; mihi rem compertam proposuisse sat est." In the eighth chapter
of this work I have shown that Justin frequently quoted from memory.
No inference, therefore, unfavourable to the genuineness of the Dialogue,
could be drawn from the want of agreement between his quotations and
the present text of the Septuagint version, even if that text accurately
represented the text as it stood in his day. But that is not the case. It is
admitted on all hands that we possess no pure copy of that version as it
existed before the time of Origen. Although, therefore, Justin's quota-
tions differ from the present text, they may have agreed with the text of
the edition of the Septuagint version (>i Kotrh) generally used in his time.
The same remark applies to the Hexaplar edition, as corrected by Origen :
we possess v^o pure copy of that edition, and cannot infer from the agree-
ment of Justin's quotations with the present Hexaplar text that they
agreed with that text as framed by Origen. On the supposition, then, that
Wetstein's statements were correct, they would afford very slight ground
for questioning the genuineness of the Dialogue, ascribed, as it is, expressly
to Justin by Eusebius, and containing, as it does, many internal marks of

But M. Krom, minister of the Church, and Professor of Ecclesiastical
History in the College of Middleburgh, in a tract published in 1778 (for
the use of which I am indebted to the kindness of Professor Jeremie of
the East India College) denies the correctness of Wetstein's statements.
He examines several of Justin's quotations, particularly a very long one
from Isaiah lii., liii., liv., and shows that they agree in general with
the present text of the Septuagint version, even in places in which it
differs widely from the versions of Symmachus and Thcodotion ; and that
neither are the words marked with asterisks in the Hexaplar edition gene-
rally inserted, nor those marked with obeli omitted. Thus that which
Wetstein denominates res comperta proves, on a more accurate examina-
tion, to be contrary to fact.

M. Krom, however, admits that Justin's quotations do occasionally
differ from the present text of the Septuagint, and assigns several causes
from which the difference may have arisen. Justin may have either quoted
from memory, or, satisfied with representing the sense of the passage, may
have been careless about the words; or, as I have already suggested, the
text of the Septuagint version which he used may have differed from the
present text. One remarkable instance of such a difference occurs, p.
348 E, where Justin affirms that in the Greek version used by the Jews
the reading of Gen. xlix. 10 was 'U «v 'Uh rk «^«*n>.v« «ur<v, " until

1 6 So7ne Account oj the

The remark which was made upon the first Apology applies
equally to this work : it is not perspicuously written, and we
have difficulty in discovering the train of the author's reasoning.
After an introduction/ in which Justin gives an account of the
manner of his conversion to Christianity, and earnestly exhorts

that which is in store (Shiloh) come," whereas the reading of the Septuagint
was 'iwi av 'ixSri u a.-yroKHTui, " until that which is in store for him shall come."^
In our present text, however, the reading is not u a,-}roxurect, but t« uTOKUf^ivcx.
uvTu. The passage is twice quoted in the first Apology, and in both instances
the reading is o (manifestly an error of the transcriber) ocroKurai. Another
consideration which ought to render us diffident in drawing conclusions from
Justin's quotations is, that in his writings, as well as in those of the other
Fathers, the transcribers appear frequently to have corrected his quotations
by the text of the Septuagint version which they used. This circumstance
will account for the instances in which words marked with asterisks in the
Hexaplar edition are inserted, or words marked with obeli omitted.

With respect to Justin's quotations from Daniel, if (as we suppose) he
quoted the edition of the Septuagint then generally used, his quotations
could not but differ from our present text, wliich is not the text of the
Septuagint, but of Theodotion. M. Krom, however, denies the existence
of that close resemblance between Justin's quotations and the version of
Symmachus, which Wetstein professes to have found ; and states that they
approach more nearly to the readings of the version which was published,
under the title Daniel secundum Septuaginta ex Tetraplis Ofigenis, from
the Codex Chisianus. Justin more than once refers to a Greek version
used by the Jews, pp. 353 C, 360 C, 367 A, and supposed by some to be
the Version of Aquila. In some instances he probably adopted its read-
ings : Symmachus, in framing his version, may have done the same ; and
we may thus account for any occasional agreement which may be found
between Justin's quotations and the version of Symmachus. The con-
clusion, therefore, at which we arrive is, that Wetstein's statements are
incorrect ; and that, even if they were correct, they would furnish very slight
grounds for questioning the genuineness of the Dialogue with Trypho.

Wetstein appears, on nearly similar grounds, to have cast doubts on the
genuineness of nearly the whole of Philo's works. He was answered by
Wesseling in an Epistle to Herman Venema de Aquila in scriptis Philonis
Judcei fragmctttis, published in 1 748, which has not fallen in my way.

The editor of the Bibliotheca Veterum Patrum has also examined
Wetstein's objections in his Prolegomena.

* From the beginning to p. 225 D.

Writings of Justin Martyr. 1 7

Trypho to toUow his example, Trypho replies to the exhorta-
tion by saying that Justin would have acted more wisely in
adhering to any one of the philosophical sects to which he had
formerly been attached, than in leaving God, and placing all
his reliance upon a man.^ In the former case, if he lived
virtuously, he might hope to obtain salvation ; in the latter, he
could have no hope. His only safe course, therefore, was to
be circumcised, and comply with the other requisitions of the
Mosaic law. Justin answers that the Christians had not
deserted God, though they no longer observed the ceremonial
law.^ They worshipped the God who brought the forefathers
of the Jews out of the land of Egypt, and gave the law, but
who had plainly declared by the prophets that He should give
a new law — a law appointing a new mode of purification from
sin by the baptism of repentance and of the knowledge of
God^ — and requiring a spiritual, not a carnal circumcision.^
The ceremonial law^ was in truth given to the Jews on
account of the hardness of their hearts as a mark of God's
displeasure at their apostasy when they made the golden calf

1 P. 225 D. Trypho admits that he did not believe the horrible
charges brought against the Christians ; and says that the morality of the
gospel was of a character so sublime that no man could live up to it,
p. 227 B.

2 P. 227 E. One objection urged against the Christians was, that they
drank hot drinks on the Sabbath. See Thirlby's Note, p. 246 E.

3 P. 229 D. See pp. 251 C, 287 C, 292 B, 351 B.

4 Pp. 229 C, 233 D, 235 E, 236 C, 245 D, 261 D, 341 A, 342 A, 366 D.
Justin states that one design of the rite of circumcision was to distinguish
the Jews from other people, particularly in the latter times, when they
were to suffer the punishment decreed against them for crucifymg the
Messiah, pp. 234 A, 236 B, 238 A, where he quotes Ezek. xx. 19, p.
366 E. Christians had the true circumcision, that of the heart, p. 320 A.
The Jews affixed a carnal meaning to all the ordinances of the law,

^' ' Pp. 235 E, 237 A, 244 C, E, 263 E, 265 B, 291 D. In p. 247 A,
Justin seems to contend that the reasonableness of the ceremonial law
can only be maintained on this supposition. In p. 263 A, he says that

1 8 Some Account of the

in Horeb. All its ordinances, its sacrifices, its Sabbath, the
prohibition of certain kinds of foods, were designed to
counteract the inveterate tendency of the Jews to fall into
idolatry. 1 If, says Justin, we contend that the ceremonial
law is of universal and perpetual obligation, we run the
hazard of charging God with inconsistency, as if He had
appointed different modes of justification at different times ;
since they who lived before Abraham were not circumcised,
and they who lived before Moses neither observed the Sabbath,-
nor offered sacrifices, although God bore testimony to them
that they were righteous. Having, as he thinks, satisfactorily
proved that the ceremonial law is no longer binding, Justin
replies to an argument urged by Trypho, that the prophecy of
Dan. vii. 9 taught the Jews to expect that the Messiah would
be great and glorious ; whereas the Messiah of the Christians
was unhonoured and inglorious, and fell under the extreme
curse of the law — for He was crucified. Justin's answer is,^

some parts of the law were designed to enforce piety and justice ; others
referred mystically to Christ ; others were directed against the hardness of
heart of the Jews. In p. 263 E, he distinguishes between the authority of
the natural and ritual law ; in p. 292 C, between that which is of per-
petual and universal obligation (ra; alavias ko.) (pviru ^ixxio^pa^iet; Kct)
ivffifiiixs, p. 266 B ; ra a,]u'\ta, ^r^cx,iojf/.a.rce,, p. 264 D) and that which was
merely directed against the perversement of the Jewish people. In p.
320 E, he refers to the (pv(riKa) iwoioci, the sense of right and wrong
implanted in our nature. See Apol. ii. p. 52 A.

^ P. 240 E. See also pp. 236 C, 245 B, 261 C, 265 A, 292 A, 319 C,
320 B.

- It has been inferred, as it appears to me erroneously, from Justin's
reasoning in this passage, that he believed the first institution of the
Sabbath and of the rite of sacrifice to have taken place during the so-
journing of the Israelites in the wilderness. I conceive him to have alluded
to the peculiar sacrifices of the Mosaic law, and to the peculiar mode in
which the Jews kept the Sabbath. In p. 236, he speaks of the sacrifices
offered by Abel.

2 P. 249 C. See also pp. 232 D, 245 D, 247 E, 268 B. Jj>o/. i. p.
87 A (p. 63). Justin refers, in proof of the twofold Advent, to Ps. ex., which
the Jews interpreted of Hezekiah, pp. 250 D, 309 L ; to Ps. Ixxii., which

Writings of Jitsti^i Martyr. 19

that the Scriptures of the Old Testament speak of two ad-
vents of the Messiah, — one in humiliation, the other in glory ;
though the Jews, blinded by their prejudices, looked only to
those passages which foretold the latter. He then proceeds
to quote passages of the Old Testament ^ in which the Messiah
is called God and Lord of hosts. In this part of the Dialogue
Justin extracts from the Old Testament several texts in which
he finds allusions to the gospel history. Thus the Paschal
Lamb was a type of Christ's crucifixion ; 2 the offering of fine
flour for those who were cleansed from the leprosy was a
type of the bread in the Eucharist ; ^ the twelve bells attached
to the robe of the high priest, of the twelve apostles.'^

Justin next undertakes to prove that the various prophecies
respecting the Messiah were fulfilled in Jesus.^ But having
quoted Isa. vii. to prove that the Messiah was to be born of a
Virgin,*^ he first runs into a digression caused by an inquiry

they interpreted of Solomon, pp. 251 D, 288 D ; to Gen. xlix., pp. 271 C,
272 C ; iMicah iv., p. 336 A, which the Jews themselves applied to the
Messiah. Justin speaks of the personal appearance of Christ as mean —
an opinion derived from the literal interpretation of Isa. liii. 2, 3, pp.
255 C, 326 E, 316 C, 311 A. The two goats mentioned in Lev. xvi. 7
were also types of the two Advents, pp. 259 D, 338 A.

1 He refers to Ps. xxiv., p. 310 E, which the Jews applied to Solomon,
p. 254 E, or to Hezekiah ; Ps. xlvii. and Ps. xcix., p. 255 D, E ; Ps. xlv.,
p. 256 E. Justin also founds an argument on the fulfilment of the pre-
dictions of Christ Himself respecting the false prophets who would come
in His name, p. 253 B.

2 P. 259 B. ^ P. 259 E.

* P. 260 D. Ex. xxxix. 25. The number of bells is not mentioned.

5 Trypho had called upon Justin to give this proof, pp. 254 C, 258 E.
It was impossible, he contended, that a crucified man should have con-
versed with Moses and Aaron, p. 256 C.

^ P. 262 A. The Jews contended that the word translated •ra/><'ava,-,
"virgin," ought to be translated veSv/j, " yoimg woman," and applied the
prediction to Hezekiah, pp. 291 A, 294 A, 297 D. See also p. 310 C,
where Justin contends that the mere fact of a young woman giving birth
to a son could not be deemed a sign.

20 Some Account of the

from Trypho,^ whether Jews, who led holy hves, like Job,
Enoch, and Noah, but observed the Mosaic law, could be
saved ; and afterwards into a second digression, occasioned by
a remark of Trypho that the Christian doctrine ^ respecting the

^ P. 263 C.

2 P. 267 B. Trypho here expressly asserts that the Jews expected in
their Messiah a mere man whom Elias was to anoint. " For we all look for
Christ the man born of men, and Elias who will anoint Him." xai ykf -rcivTts
VjU.s7s Tov Xpt(TTOV ccv^p&i^ov it o.vSfU'pfwi <ffpo(rooKol)[/,iv yivri(Tiff6ai, kx) tov 'HX/av
XP'O'xi alrov ixSovra.. P. 268 A. Allix, in his Judgment of the Jeivish
Chmxh, c. 25, sub in., had remarked that this was Justin's representation
of the expectation of the Jews in his day. ** A greater objection," he
says, "than all these may be very naturally made by a judicious reader,
concerning what I said of the testimonies of the Jews before Christ
about the distinction of the divine Persons and the divinity of the A'oyos.
On the one side may he say, you own that the Jews after Christ have
opposed the doctrine, as being contrary to the unity of God ; there are
plain proofs of it, even in the second century. And it is certain that
Trypho did not believe that the Messiah was to be any other than a mere
man, and so did the Jews believe, as it is witnessed by Origen, lib. ii.
contr. Cels. p. 79." Burgh also had spoken of Trypho as arguing in the
very spirit of modern Unitarianism, vol. i, p, 86. Yet I find in Dr.
Burton's Testimonies of the Ante-Nicene Fathers, p. 41 (2nd ed. p. 47),
the following statement: "Justin, Dial, cum T7ypho, c, Ixviii. p. 166,
Ed. Bened. The next passage is important, as showing the opinion which
the Jews entertained concerning their Messiah. Justin's words are these :
* As to the Scriptures which we quote to them (the Jews) which expressly
prove tnat Christ was to suffer and to be worshipped, and that He is God,
they are compelled to allow that these were spoken concerning Christ, but
they have the presumption to say that this (Jesus) is not the Christ ; but
they acknowledge that He was to come, and to suffer, and to be a King,
and to be worshipped as God. '

" According to the opinion of the Jews, therefore, who ought to be the
best interpreters of their own prophecies, the human nature and the
humble condition of Jesus were not the obstacles to their believing Him to
be the Messiah ; and it was their belief, as it is that of Christians, that the
Messiah, who was to come, was God. Dr. Priestley was, therefore, entirely
at variance with Justin Martyr when he said ' that the Jews expected
that their Messiah would be a mere man, and even be born as other men
are.* If Justin reported the opinion of the Jews fairly, their expectations
concerning the Messiah were directly opposite to these." (In his second

Writings of Justin Martyr. 2 r

pre-existence and divinity of Christ, and His subsequent
assumption of humanity, was monstrous and absurd.

edition the learned author adds, " And a remarkable expression of Philo-
Judseus may be quoted in this place, who, when he is speaking of the
repugnance felt by the Jews to pay divine honours to Caligula, observes,
that they would more easily believe that God would change into man than
a man into God.") " Origen, however, certainly says that all the Jews
did not expect their Messiah to come as God or Son of God. "We may
observe also that in this and other places already quoted (see No. 25, p. 37,
2nd ed. p. 42) Justin expressly says that Christ is to be worshipped &s God ;

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 2 of 24)