JUSTIN: A Gnostic writer refuted by Hippolytus (Haer., v. 18-22, x. 11; ANF, v. 69-73, 145). According to him there are three principles in the universe. two male--the Good and the Father of
[The facts of the life of Justin Martyr, the famous Christian apologist of the second century, so far as they are known, are gathered chiefly from his own writings. He was born at Flavia Neapolis (the ancient Shechem and modern Nablus) in Palestine probably about 114. He suffered martyrdom at Rome under Marcus Aurelius when Rusticus was prefect of the city (i.e., between 162 and 168). He calls himself a Samaritan, but his father and grandfather were doubtless Greek or Roman, and he was brought up in heathen customs. It seems that he had property, studied philosophy diligently, became converted to Christianity (see below, § 5), and thenceforth devoted his life to teaching what he considered the true philosophy, still wearing his philosopher's gown to indicate that he had attained to the truth. He probably traveled widely and ultimately settled in Rome as a Christian teacher.] The earliest mention of Justin is found in Tatian (Oratio ad Graecos, xviii., xix.), who calls him "the most admirable Justin," quotes a saying of his, and says that the Cynic Crescens laid snares for him. Irenaeus (Haer. I., xxviii. 1) speaks of his martyrdom, and of Tatian as his disciple; he quotes him twice (IV., vi. 2, V., xxvi. 2), and shows his influence in other places. Tertullian (Adversus Valentinianos, v.) calls him a philosopher and martyr, and the earliest antagonist of heretics. Hippolytus and Methodius also mention or quote him. Eusebius deals with him at some length (Hist. eccl., iv. 18), and names the following works: (1) The "Apology" addressed to Antoninus Pius, his sons, and the senate; (2) a second "Apology" addressed to Marcus Aurelius and Verus; (3) the "Discourse to the Greeks," a discussion with Greek philosophers on the character of their gods; (4) a "Hortatory Address to the Greeks "; (5) a treatise "On the Sovereignty of God," in which he makes use of pagan authorities as well as Christian; (6) a work entitled "The Psalmist"; (7) a treatise in scholastic form "On the Soul "; (8) the " Dialogue with Trypho." He implies that a number of other works were in circulation; from Irenaeus he knows of the apology "Against Marcion," and from Justin's "Apology" (i. 26) of a "Refutation of all Heresies " (Hist. eccl., IV., xi. 10). Epiphanius (Haer., xlvi. 1) and Jerome (De vir. ill., ix.) mention Justin. Rufinus borrows from him the Latin original of Hadrian's letter. After Rufinus Justin was not known in the West for a long time, and the Eastern writers got their knowledge of him mainly from Irenaeus and Eusebius, or from spurious works. The Chronicon Paschale is possibly independent in assigning his martyrdom to the year 165. A considerable number of other works are given as Justin's by Arethas, Photius, and other writers; but their spuriousness is now generally admitted. The Expositio rectae fidei has been assigned by Dräseke to Apollinaris of Laodicea, but it is probably a work of as late as the sixth century. The Cohortatio ad Graecos has been attributed to Apollinaris of Laodicea, Apollinaris of Hierapolis, and others. The Epistola ad Zenam et Serenum, an exhortation to Christian living, is dependent upon Clement of Alexandria, and is assigned by Batiffol to the Novatian Bishop Sisinnius (c. 400). The extant work under the title "On the Sovereignty of God" does not correspond with Eusebius' description of it, though Harnack regards it as still possibly Justin's, and at least of the second century. The author of the smaller treatise "To the Greeks " can not be Justin, because he is dependent on Tatian; Hanack places it between 180 and 240. For another work wrongly attributed to Justin, see DIOGNETUS, EPISTLE TO.
On the other hand, the authenticity of the two "Apologies" and the "Dialogue with Trypho" is universally admitted. They are preserved only in the Sacra parallela; but, besides that they were known by Tatian, Methodius, and Eusebius, their influence is traceable in Athenagoras, Theophilus, the pseudo-Melito, and especially Tertullian. Eusebius speaks of two "Apologies," but he quotes them both as one, which indeed they are in substance. The identity of authorship is shown not only by the reference in the "Dialogue," cxx., to the "Apology," but by the unity of treatment. Zahn has shown that the "Dialogue" was originally divided into two books, that there is a considerable lacuna at chap. lxxiv., as well as at the beginning, and that it is probably based on an actual
Of the date of the "Dialogue" it can only be said that it was later than the "Apology"; the time of composition of the latter, however, can be determined with comparative closeness. From the fact that it was addressed to Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius, and Verus, its composition must fall between 147 and 161. The reference to Felix as governor of Egypt, since this can only be the Lucius Munatius Felix whom the Oxyrhynchus papyri give as prefect Sept. 13, 151, fixes the date still more exactly. Its occasion is evidently a recent occurrence, and the Chronicon of Eusebius gives 152-153 as the date of the attacks of Crescens. What is designated as the "Second Apology" was written as a supplement to the first, on account of certain proceedings which had in the mean time taken place in Rome before Lollius Urbicus as prefect of the city, which must have been between 150 and 157.
The purpose of the "Apology" is to prove to the emperors, renowned as upright and philosophical men, the injustice of the persecution of the Christians, who are really the representatives of true philosophy. Chaps. i.-xii. give the preliminary negative proof; chap. xiii. begins a positive exposition of what Christianity really is. Christians are the true worshipers of God, the Creator of all things; they offer him the only sacrifices worthy of him, those of prayer and thanksgiving, and are taught by his Son, to whom they assign a place next in honor to him. This teaching leads them to perfect morality, as shown in their teacher's words and their own lives, and founded on their belief in the resurrection. The doctrine of the Logos made flesh is specially emphasized in xxi., xxii. What interferes with belief in this fact is the deceitful work of demons (xxiii-xxvi.), in contrast with which Christian righteousness is still further described (xxvii-xxix.). Then follows the proof that Christ is the Son of God from Old-Testament prophecy, fulfilled in every detail (xxx.-l.), no matter what evil spirits may pretend (liv.-lvii.); even Plato learned from Moses (lviii.-lx.). The remaining chapters (lxi.-lxvii.) give a glimpse of the daily life of Christians at the time--baptism, communion, and Sunday worship. The supplementary or "Second Apology" depicts the behavior of the Christians under persecution, of which the demons are again set forth as the instigators.
In the "Dialogue," after an introductory section (i.-ix.), Justin undertakes to show that Christianity is the new law for all men (x.-xxx.), and to prove from Scripture that Jesus is the Christ (xxxi.-cviii.). The concluding section (cix.-cxlii.) demonstrates that the Christians are the true people of God. The fragments of the work "On the Resurrection" begin with the assertion that the truth, and God the author of truth, need no witness, but that as a concession to the weakness of men it is necessary to give arguments to convince those who gainsay it. It is then shown, after a denial of unfounded deductions, that the resurrection of the body is neither impossible nor unworthy of God, and that the evidence of prophecy is not lacking for it. Another fragment takes up the positive proof of the resurrection, adducing that of Christ and of those whom he recalled to life. In another the resurrection is shown to be that of what has gone down, i.e., the body; the knowledge concerning it is the new doctrine in contrast with that of the old philosophers; the doctrine follows from the command to keep the body in moral purity.
Flacius discovered "blemishes" in Justin's theology, which he attributed to the influence of pagan philosophers; and in modern times Semler and S. G. Lange have made him out a thorough Hellene, while Semisch and Otto defend him from this charge. In opposition to the school of Baur, who considered him a Jewish Christian, A. Ritschl has pointed out that it was precisely because he was a Gentile Christian that he did not fully understand the Old-Testament foundation of Paul's teaching, and explained in this way the modified character of his Paulinism and his legal mode of thought. M. von Engelhardt has attempted to extend this line of treatment to Justin's entire theology, and to show that his conceptions of God, of free will and righteousness, of redemption, grace, and merit prove the influence of the cultivated Greek pagan world of the second century, dominated by the Platonic and Stoic philosophy. But he admits that Justin is a Christian in his unquestioning adherence to the Church and its faith, his unqualified recognition of the Old Testament, and his faith in Christ as the Son of God the Creator, made manifest in the flesh, crucified, and risen, through which belief he succeeds in getting away from the dualism of pagan and also of Gnostic philosophy.
In the opening of the "Dialogue," Justin relates his vain search among the Stoics, Peripatetics, and Pythagoreans for a satisfying knowledge of God; his finding in the ideas of Plato wings for his soul, by the aid of which he hoped to attain the contemplation of the God-head; and his meeting on the sea-shore with an aged man who told him that by no human endeavor but only by divine revelation could this blessedness be attained, that the prophets had conveyed this revelation to man, and that their words had
Justin is confident that his teaching is that of the Church at large. He knows of a division among the orthodox only on the question of the millennium and on the attitude toward the milder Jewish Christianity, which he personally is willing to tolerate as long as its professors in their turn do not interfere with the liberty of the Gentile converts; his millenarianism seems to have no connection with Judaism, but he believes firmly in a millennium, and generally in the primitive Christian eschatology.
His use of the idea of the Logos has always attracted attention. It is probably too much to assume a direct connection with Philo in this particular. The idea of the Logos was widely familiar to educated men, and the designation of the Son of God as the Logos was not new to Christian theology. The significance is clear, however, of the manner in which Justin identifies the historical Christ with the rational force operative in the universe, which leads up to the claim of all truth and virtue for the Christians and to the demonstration of the adoration of Christ, which aroused so much opposition, as the only reasonable attitude. It is mainly for this justification of the worship of Christ that Justin employs the Logos-idea, though where he explicitly deals with the divinity of the Redeemer and his relation to the Father, he makes use of the Old Testament, not of the Logos-idea, which thus can not be said to form an essential part of his Christology.
The importance which he attaches to the evidence of prophecy shows his estimate of the Old Testament Scriptures, which are to Christians absolutely the word of God, spoken by the Holy Ghost, and confirmed by the fulfilment of the prophecies. Not less divine, however, is the teaching of the apostles, which is read in the assembly every Lord's Day-- though he can not use this in his "Dialogue" as he uses the Old Testament. The word of the apostles is the teaching of the Divine Logos, and reproduces the sayings of Christ authentically. As a rule he uses the synoptic Gospels, but has a few unmistakable references to John. He quotes the Apocalypse as inspired because prophetic, naming its author. The opposition of Marcion prepares us for an attitude toward the Pauline epistles corresponding to that of the later Church. Distinct references are found to Romans, I Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, and II Thessalonians, and possible ones to Philippians, Titus, and I Timothy. It seems likely that he also knew Hebrews and I John. The apologetic character of Justin's habit of thought appears again in the Acts of his martyrdom (ASB, Apr., ii. 108 sqq.; Ruinart, Acta martyrum, Regensburg, 1859, 105 sqq.), the genuineness of which is attested by in ternal evidence.(N. BONWETSCH.)
BIBLIOGRAPHY; Lists of literature are given in ANF, Bibliography, pp, 21-26 and in J. M. Baldwin, Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology, iii. 1, pp. 285-286. The best edition of the Opera is by J. C. T. Otto, 2 vols., Jens, 1843, reproduced by W. Trollope, 3 vols., London, 1845-1847, and in Corpus apologetarum christianorum, 3 vols., Jens, 1876-81, and in MPG, vi. 227-800, 1571-1600, cf. 1181-1564. The editio princeps was by R. Stephanus, Paris, 1551 (Greek), followed by one by F Sylburg, Heidelberg , 1593 and often (Greek and Latin); and that by P. Maranus, Paris, 1742 (the best before Otto, critical). There have been many editions of the single works. The best Eng.
Calvin College. Last modified on 10/03/03. Contact the CCEL.