2007 Archive Edition - See the Archive Notice on the Project Homepage for more information.
Justin Martyr (d c 165 CE) was a Christian Apologist and Martyr. He was born around the turn of the century in modern day Palestine. He claimed to have been raised a Gentile, and in his search for truth he studied with the Stoics, Aristotelians, Pythagoreans, and Platonists. Impressed by the devotion of Christian martyrs, he was eventually converted to Christianity by an old Christian who taught him about the Hebrew prophets. According to Justin, Christianity filled the highest aspirations of Platonic philosophy and was, therefore, the "true philosophy." During the reign of Antoninus Pius (131-161) he taught in Rome, influencing Tatian and Irenaeus. He was one of the first to consistently use Greek philosophy (especially Platonism) to explain Christian doctrine, thereby setting himself in dramatic opposition to Tertullian, who would ask "what does Athens have to do with Jerusalem?" The Logos (God immanent), he believed, was "other than" the Father (God transcendent) in number, but not in will. Three of his writings, The First Apology, The Second Apology, and The Dialogue with Trypho, the Jew, exist in complete form, though there is some question about the precise relationship between the First and Second Apology. Justin, a central figure in the history of second century Christian thought, suffered martyrdom early in the reign of Marcus Aurelius under Junius Rusticus (prefect 162-168).
Elise M. Bender
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