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Justin Martyr

Introduction Justin is one of the most significant Greek apologists of the second century. No one actually knows his exact date and place of birth. The Apologies (the First and the Second Apology) and Dialogue may indicate his time and place of birth. Most people indicate that he was born around 100 AD. However, his place of birth is not clearly known, some indicates that Justin was born of pagan parents in Palestine around 100 A.D. and died as a martyr in 165 A. D. Others indicate that he was probably born in Flavia Neapolis (Nablus) around the same time. In the Dialogue, he narrates of his conversion to Christianity. This is after he had experimented with several Greek philosophies such as the Pythagorean, Peripatetic, and Stoic1. As a Christian, Justin continued to travel as an itinerant teacher. He was devoted to defend Christianity during his travels. Upon arrival in Rome, Justin established a school there. However, he was denounced by his adversaries and martyred in 165 along with other six companions. It is important to note that only three of Justin’s have survived despite the fact he was a creative writer. These works include his Dialogue with Trypho (the Jew) and his two Apologies against pagans. The Dialogue with Trypho is the most ancient apologetic against the Jews, and it was written after the two Apologies. However, a portion of the introduction has been lost2. Life Justin Martyr’s life, birth, and death details are relatively sketchy and obscure. Any understanding of Justin’s life must be assessed from various sources such as his works (the first apology, the second apology, and the dialogue with Trypho) and from ancient writers (Tatian, Irenaeus, and Eusebius) who mention Justin in their works3. Justin was born probably around 100 CE in Nablus (a Roman colony established when the Second Temple was destroyed near the Shekhem’s ruins). In the Dialogue, he asserted that he was of Samaritan origin; however, he might have been probably indicating his geographical roots. This is because he indicates in the First Apology that he belonged to one of the countries that did not get the revelation given to the Samaritans and the Jews. He also asserts that he was educated and raised as an uncircumcised pagan in the Dialogue4. Justin sought truth in four main philosophical schools (Peripatetic, Platonist, Pythagorean, and Stoic), and he was very much convinced that Christianity led to unambiguous and complete truth. After he was converted, he established an influential school in Rome. He became a devoted educator and defender for Christianity5. In the Dialogue with Tryphon, he states that he first placed himself under the Stoic. However, after sometime he recognized that he did not learn anything about God, and that his master did not have anything to teach him on the subject. The Peripatetic man welcomed him but after a while, he requested for a fee; this scenario proved to him that the man was not a philosopher. The Pythagorean man declined to teach him anything; Justin had to learn first astronomy, music, and geometry before anything else6. Finally, the Platonist delighted Justin for some time. These accounts ...Show more

Summary

Justin Martyr Author’s Number Date Table of Contents Justin Martyr 3 Thesis 3 Introduction 3 Life 4 Work 6 The First Apology 6 The Second Apology 7 Dialogue with Trypho 8 Contribution of the Church Father, Justin 8 Justin’s Perceptions on the Law 10 Justin’s Philosophical Orientation 11 Bibliography 14 Justin Martyr Thesis The life, work, and contribution of Justin Martyr (considered as the first true Christian) to the church has made significant contribution to the understanding the Scripture both from the Old Testament and New Testament perspectives…
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