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Chapter LXXX.—The opinion of Justin with regard to the reign of a thousand years. Several Catholics reject it.

And Trypho to this replied, “I remarked to you sir, that you are very anxious to be safe in all respects, since you cling to the Scriptures. But tell me, do you really admit that this place, Jerusalem, shall be rebuilt; and do you expect your people to be gathered together, and made joyful with Christ and the patriarchs, and the prophets, both the men of our nation, and other proselytes who joined them before your Christ came? or have you given way, and admitted this in order to have the appearance of worsting us in the controversies?”

Then I answered, “I am not so miserable a fellow, Trypho, as to say one thing and think another. I admitted to you formerly,22582258    Justin made no previous allusion to this point, so far as we know from the writing preserved. that I and many others are of this opinion, and [believe] that such will take place, as you assuredly are aware;22592259    Or, “so as to believe thoroughly that such will take place” (after “opinion”). but, on the other hand, I signified to you that many who belong to the pure and pious faith, and are true Christians, think otherwise. Moreover, I pointed out to you that some who are called Christians, but are godless, impious heretics, teach doctrines that are in every way blasphemous, atheistical, and foolish. But that you may know that I do not say this before you alone, I shall draw up a statement, so far as I can, of all the arguments which have passed between us; in which I shall record myself as admitting the very same things which I admit to you.22602260    [A hint of the origin of this work. See Kaye’s Note, p. 18]. For I choose to follow not men or men’s doctrines, but God and the doctrines [delivered] by Him. For if you have fallen in with some who are called Christians, but who do not admit this [truth],22612261    i.e., resurrection. and venture to blaspheme the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; who say there is no resurrection of the dead, and that their souls, when they die, are taken to heaven; do not imagine that they are Christians, even as one, if he would rightly consider it, would not admit that the Sadducees, or similar sects of Genistæ, Meristæ,22622262    Maranus says, Hieron. thinks the Genistæ were so called because they were sprung from Abraham (γένος) the Meristæ so called because they separated the Scriptures. Josephus bears testimony to the fact that the sects of the Jews differed in regard to fate and providence; the Pharisees submitting all things indeed to God, with the exception of human will; the Essenes making no exceptions, and submitting all to God. I believe therefore that the Genistæ were so called because they believed the world to be in general governed by God; the Meristæ, because they believed that a fate or providence belonged to each man. Galilæans, Hellenists,22632263    Otto says, the author and chief of this sect of Galilæans was Judas Galilæus, who, after the exile of king Archelaus, when the Romans wished to raise a tax in Judæa, excited his countrymen to the retaining of their former liberty.—The Hellenists, or rather Hellenæans. No one mentions this sect but Justin; perhaps Herodians or Hillelæans (from R. Hillel). Pharisees, Baptists, are Jews (do not hear me impatiently when I tell you what I think), but are [only] called Jews and children of Abraham, worshipping God with the lips, as God Himself declared, but the heart was far from Him. But I and others, who are right-minded Christians on all points, are assured that there will be a resurrection of the dead, and a thousand years22642264    We have translated the text of Justin as it stands. Commentators make the sense, “and that there will be a thousand years in Jerusalem,” or “that the saints will live a thousand years in Jerusalem.” in Jerusalem, which will then be built, adorned, and enlarged, [as] the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah and others declare.


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