Scripture among the Apologists: Theophilus’s Use of John

Perhaps the most important Christian writing for Theophilus was the Gospel According to John. There are numerous passages which rely on the Fourth Gospel, including Autolycum 1.4’s reference to the words of Thomas recorded in John 20.27[i] and Autolycum 2.23’s parallelism to John 16.21.[ii]

Scripture among the Apologists: Theophilus’s Christian Sources

Theophilus’ Ad Autolycum has an interesting claim to fame in its use of Christian sources: nowhere do these treatises mention or name the Historical Jesus of Nazareth.[i] While apologetic purposes may help explain this, some have taken this neglect to indicate that Theophilus represented a “Jesus-less” form of heretical Christianity or viewed Jesus as merelyContinue reading “Scripture among the Apologists: Theophilus’s Christian Sources”

Scripture among the Apologists: Theophilus’s Jewish Sources

In the Antiochene context, Jews and Christians existed quite comfortably alongside each other until the seventh century.[i] It is not surprising, then, to see that Theophilus’ thought was indebted to Judaism.[ii] The influence of Jewish Sources on Ad Autolycum may be categorized into four classes: Hellenistic Judaistic Thought, Prophetic Materials, Wisdom Literature, and the CosmogonyContinue reading “Scripture among the Apologists: Theophilus’s Jewish Sources”

Scripture among the Apologists: Theophilus’ Greco-Roman Sources

At face value, Theophilus appears to have had extensive training in Greek philosophy and rhetoric, as he draws upon a host of classical sources including Homer, Plato, Euripides, Orpheus, and the Sibyl.[i] Though he presents a plethora of quotes from a variety of philosophical schools of thought, most of his sources and quotations appear reliantContinue reading “Scripture among the Apologists: Theophilus’ Greco-Roman Sources”

Scripture among the Apologists: Theophilus of Antioch

Theophilus of Antioch remains an underappreciated figure among the Christian writers of the second century. Born along the banks of the Euphrates River in Syria sometime in the early second century, Theophilus was raised in a pagan household and received a Greek education.[i] He converted to Christianity as an adult, became familiar with the JewishContinue reading “Scripture among the Apologists: Theophilus of Antioch”

Scripture among the Apologists: Justin’s Views on Scripture

Before turning to Theophilus of Antioch, it is worth pausing for a moment to reflect on why Justin’s use of scripture does not come across more clearly in his writings. First, there is the possibility that Justin cited some, if not many, of his sources from memory. This does not seem likely for his longerContinue reading “Scripture among the Apologists: Justin’s Views on Scripture”

Scripture among the Apologists: Justin, Logos, and Paul

On Justin’s conception of the logos, much has also been written. Perhaps most important is that prior to the Apology, only in Johannine literature is Jesus identified with the logos.[i] On this Pryor writes that, “Outside the Johannine tradition there is no evidence of an explicit Logos Christology in the first century. Indeed, even hereContinue reading “Scripture among the Apologists: Justin, Logos, and Paul”

Scripture among the Apologists: Justin’s Use of John

Discussions surrounding Justin’s knowledge of the Fourth Gospel typically take place apart from considerations of the Synoptic tradition and catechetical materials.[i] Few have suggested the Apology’s total independence from Johannine thought, primarily due to the intensity of attention which Justin assigns to the logos and his general historical context.[ii] Regarding Justin’s knowledge of the textContinue reading “Scripture among the Apologists: Justin’s Use of John”

Scripture among the Apologists: Justin’s Christian Sources

For Justin, the most important source of authority resided in the words and actions of the Incarnate Logos, Jesus Christ.[i] Christ’s teaching revealed most fully what his action as the Logos had set in motion before time, and his authority reigned supreme over any claim made by Greek philosophy or the Jewish Scriptures.[ii] Among scholars,Continue reading “Scripture among the Apologists: Justin’s Christian Sources”

Scripture among the Apologists: Justin’s Jewish Sources

As important as Greek philosophy was for Justin, the Jewish mind may have been even more influential. Broadly speaking, Justin was indebted to the Philonic interpretive tradition,[i] Jewish haggadah,[ii] and Hebraic monotheism.[iii] More specifically, though, Justin relied upon the Jewish Scriptures as an important foundation for his theology and exegesis.[iv]