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]

Scripture among the Apologists: Justin’s Greco-Roman Sources

Greek philosophy plays an unquestionably important role in the thought of Justin Martyr and in the presentation of his Apology. While some scholars have suggested that Justin merely styled himself as a philosopher and was not seriously involved in that enterprise, the number and quality of the Greco-Roman sources employed in the Apology suggests Justin’sContinue reading “Scripture among the Apologists: Justin’s Greco-Roman Sources”

Scripture among the Apologists: Justin Martyr

Justin Martyr is sometimes called the most important Christian of the second century. Born to a man named Priscus in a pagan family between 100 and 110 CE in Flavia Neapolis in Syrian Palestine, Justin eventually became one of the most prominent and influential early Christian writers and defenders of the faith.[i] Justin’s family movedContinue reading “Scripture among the Apologists: Justin Martyr”

Scripture among the Apologists: Method II

Simplicity of Attribution: The criteria of attribution simplicity states that when the wording of any reference may be explained on the basis of a known source, attribution to that source remains preferable to claiming oral tradition or unknown sources.[i] This does not mean a rejection of the possibility of attributing a citation to oral traditionContinue reading “Scripture among the Apologists: Method II”

Scripture among the Apologists: Method I

Standing behind this study is concern for determining how to assess accurately what constitutes the citation of one text by another where no reference is clearly indicated.[i] Unfortunately, many treatments of early Christian writings presume an inexact methodology in addressing possible citations in ancient literature, taking either a minimalist or maximalist perspective. For example, BibliaContinue reading “Scripture among the Apologists: Method I”