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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol 1
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Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 > Justin Martyr: Discourse to the Greeks and Martyrdom

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message 1: by Nemo (last edited Jan 18, 2017 02:48PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1400 comments
For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
1 Corinthians 1:22-24

In these writings, Justin defends and explains Christianity to the Greeks, a people who pride themselves on reason and culture.


Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1400 comments Justin's interpretation of Plato's theology is very interesting.

I've heard people argue that Plato didn't believe in the existence of gods, but only appeared so to avoid persecution by the Athenians, and he used religious myths only to support his ethical and political theories.

Justin argues that Plato was influenced by Moses, who predated him, and whose teachings he learned during his visit to Egypt, and that Plato's belief in Monotheism was reflected in his writings, though he disguised it in the language of philosophy and mythology, to avoid the death that befell his beloved teacher, Socrates.


message 3: by Nemo (last edited Feb 03, 2017 12:54AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1400 comments Truth Carries its Own Authority

THE word of truth is free, and carries its own authority, disdaining to fall under any skilful argument, or to endure the logical scrutiny of its hearers. But it would be believed for its own nobility, and for the confidence due to Him who sends it. Now the word of truth is sent from God; wherefore the freedom claimed by the truth is not arrogant. For being sent with authority, it were not fit that it should be required to produce proof of what is said; since neither is there any proof beyond itself, which is God.

For every proof is more powerful and trustworthy than that which it proves; since what is disbelieved, until proof is produced, gets credit when such proof is produced, and is recognised as being what it was stated to be. But nothing is either more powerful or more trustworthy than the truth; so that he who requires proof of this is like one who wishes it demonstrated why the things that appear to the senses do appear.
-- Justin, On the Resurrection



message 4: by Nemo (last edited Feb 04, 2017 12:29PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1400 comments Justin was perhaps the first philosopher to realize that no man can provide legitimate proof of the existence of God-- though he didn't state it directly--for all the proofs man can produce must necessarily fall short of the nobility, power and trustworthiness of God.

To put it in another way, the only legitimate proof of the existence of God is God Himself, and this proof is the Incarnation. As Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." “He who has seen Me has seen the Father”."

In his essay Nature, Ralph Waldo Emerson writes, “All science has one aim, namely, to find a theory of nature…Whenever a true theory appears, it will be its own evidence. Its test is, that it will explain all phenomena.”

Emerson, the soul of the Transcendentalist movement, believes in the deity of man, but not the Divinity of Jesus. It is ironic that he gives one of the most succinct explanations of Incarnation, that is, Truth is its own Evidence.

Justin anticipates Emerson and writes (after the passage quoted above):
And God, the Father of the universe, who is the perfect intelligence, is the truth. And the Word, being His Son, came to us, having put on flesh, revealing both Himself and the Father, giving to us in Himself resurrection from the dead, and eternal life afterwards. And this is Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord. He, therefore, is Himself both the faith and the proof of Himself and of all things. Wherefore those who follow Him, and know Him, having faith in Him as their proof, shall rest in Him.

But since the adversary does not cease to resist many, and uses many and divers arts to ensnare them, that he may seduce the faithful from their faith, and that he may prevent the faithless from believing, it seems to me necessary that we also, being armed with the invulnerable doctrines of the faith, do battle against him in behalf of the weak.
-- Justin, On the Resurrection



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