A Brief History of Communion: Justin’s Apology

This post is part of an ongoing series on the history of communion. Justin’s Apology Justin Martyr, writing around 150 CE in Rome, provides a unique perspective into the weekly practice of Communion among second century Christians. Toward the end of his First Apology he outlines the liturgy of the Roman Church: Scripture readings followedContinue reading “A Brief History of Communion: Justin’s Apology”

Scripture among the Apologists: Bibliography

Ancient Sources Eccl. Hist. Eusebius. Ecclesiastical History: The History of the Church from Christ to Constantine. Translated by G. A. Williamson. Revised and edited by Andrew Louth. London: Penguin Books, 1989. Lives Jerome. Lives of Illustrious Men. Translated by Ernest Cushing Richardson. Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 3. Edited by Philip Schaff andContinue reading “Scripture among the Apologists: Bibliography”

Scripture among the Apologists: Conclusions

This study has examined the manner in which two early Christian apologists, Justin Martyr in his Apology and Theophilus of Antioch in Ad Autolycum, employed written sources in their writings. This study argues that Justin and Theophilus both demonstrated the authority of specifically Christian writings, especially in their use of the Fourth Gospel and implementationContinue reading “Scripture among the Apologists: Conclusions”

Scripture among the Apologists: Differences

Yet there are also considerable differences in these apologists’ approaches to written sources as well. Concerning Greco-Roman sources, while Justin remained primarily Platonic, Theophilus was more influenced by the Sibylline Oracles, Homer, and Hesiod. Justin’s philosophical background and prowess were considerably superior to Theophilus’ training, and Justin’s innovate recasting of Greco-Roman philosophical motifs was moreContinue reading “Scripture among the Apologists: Differences”

Scripture among the Apologists: Similarities

The argument of this paper, that Justin and Theophilus each view specifically Christian writings as useful authorities for the construction of their apologetic works, has already been demonstrated. To more fully engage the considerations of the authority with which these two second century apologists viewed Christian sources, this study now offers a comparative analysis ofContinue reading “Scripture among the Apologists: Similarities”

Scripture among the Apologists: Theophilus on Scripture

Theophilus of Antioch clearly found numerous sources valuable for the construction of his apologetic Ad Autolycum, drawing upon numerous Greek, Jewish, and Christian sources in this writing. Especially important for his conception of scripture was the doctrine of the Logos, formed in Hellenistic Judaism and applied by Justin Martyr to Christian apologetics, but in TheophilusContinue reading “Scripture among the Apologists: Theophilus on Scripture”

Scripture among the Apologists: Theophilus’s Other Christian Sources

Theophilus also made use of a number of Pauline writings.[i] Evidence is most convincing for reliance on Romans,[ii] 1 Corinthians,[iii] 2 Corinthians,[iv] Philippians,[v] Colossians,[vi] 1 Timothy,[vii] and 2 Timothy.[viii] In addition to these literary connections, Theophilus reflects a broad knowledge of Pauline phraseology, indicated most clearly in his discussion of resurrection in Autolycum 1.8 andContinue reading “Scripture among the Apologists: Theophilus’s Other Christian Sources”

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”