Gospels[ edit ] Justin uses material from the Synoptic Gospels Matthew, Mark, and Luke in the composition of the First Apology and the Dialogue, either directly, as in the case of Matthew,  or indirectly through the use of a gospel harmony , which may have been composed by Justin or his school. One possible reference to John is a saying that is quoted in the context of a description of Christian baptism 1 Apol. However, Koester contends that Justin obtained this saying from a baptismal liturgy rather than a written gospel. Justin also uses language very similar to that of John and Furthermore, by employing the term "memoirs of the apostles" and distinguishing them from the writings of their "followers", Justin must have been aware of at least two gospels written by actual apostles. Since one of these must be Matthew, the other can be inferred as John.
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Chapter Trypho asks that Christ be proved God, but without metaphor. Justin: I would not bring forward these proofs , Trypho, by which I am aware those who worship these [ idols ] and such like are condemned, but such [ proofs ] as no one could find any objection to. They will appear strange to you, although you read them every day; so that even from this fact we understand that, because of your wickedness , God has withheld from you the ability to discern the wisdom of His Scriptures; yet [there are] some exceptions, to whom, according to the grace of His long-suffering, as Isaiah said, He has left a seed of salvation , lest your race be utterly destroyed, like Sodom and Gomorrha.
Pay attention, therefore, to what I shall record out of the holy Scriptures , which do not need to be expounded, but only listened to. And lifting up his eyes, he saw, and behold, three men stood before him; and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the door of his tent; and he bowed himself toward the ground, and said.
And they said they had understood them, but that the passages adduced brought forward no proof that there is any other God or Lord, or that the Holy Spirit says so, besides the Maker of all things. Justin: I shall attempt to persuade you, since you have understood the Scriptures , [of the truth ] of what I say, that there is, and that there is said to be, another God and Lord subject to the Maker of all things; who is also called an Angel, because He announces to men whatsoever the Maker of all things— above whom there is no other God — wishes to announce to them.
I quoted once more the previous passage. Trypho: Assuredly. Justin: Was He one of those three whom Abraham saw, and whom the Holy Spirit of prophecy describes as men?
Trypho: No; but God appeared to him, before the vision of the three. Then those three whom the Scripture calls men, were angels ; two of them sent to destroy Sodom , and one to announce the joyful tidings to Sarah, that she would bear a son; for which cause he was sent, and having accomplished his errand, went away.
But God said to Abraham , Let it not be grievous in your sight because of the son, and because of the bond- woman. In all that Sarah has said to you, hearken to her voice; for in Isaac shall your seed be called.
You have proved , however, that we were wrong in believing that the three who were in the tent with Abraham were all angels. Justin: If I could not have proved to you from the Scriptures that one of those three is God , and is called Angel, because, as I already said, He brings messages to those to whom God the Maker of all things wishes [messages to be brought], then in regard to Him who appeared to Abraham on earth in human form in like manner as the two angels who came with Him, and who was God even before the creation of the world, it were reasonable for you to entertain the same belief as is entertained by the whole of your nation.
Trypho: Assuredly, for up to this moment this has been our belief. Justin: Reverting to the Scriptures , I shall endeavour to persuade you, that He who is said to have appeared to Abraham , and to Jacob, and to Moses , and who is called God , is distinct from Him who made all things — numerically, I mean, not [distinct] in will.
For I affirm that He has never at any time done anything which He who made the world— above whom there is no other God — has not wished Him both to do and to engage Himself with.
Trypho: Prove now that this is the case, that we also may agree with you. For we do not understand you to affirm that He has done or said anything contrary to the will of the Maker of all things. Justin: The Scripture just quoted by me will make this plain to you. Justin: It is not on this ground solely that it must be admitted absolutely that some other one is called Lord by the Holy Spirit besides Him who is considered Maker of all things; not solely [for what is said] by Moses , but also [for what is said] by David.
A sceptre of equity is the sceptre of Your kingdom: You have loved righteousness and hated iniquity: therefore God , even Your God , has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your fellows. Trypho: Prove this; for, as you see, the day advances, and we are not prepared for such perilous replies; since never yet have we heard any man investigating, or searching into, or proving these matters; nor would we have tolerated your conversation, had you not referred everything to the Scriptures : for you are very zealous in adducing proofs from them; and you are of opinion that there is no God above the Maker of all things.
For I am old. Is anything impossible with God? At the time appointed shall I return to you according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. And the Lord said, I will not conceal from Abraham , my servant, what I do.
I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to their cry which has come unto me; and if not, that I may know. And the men turned away thence, and went to Sodom. But Abraham was standing before the Lord; and Abraham drew near, and said, Will You destroy the righteous with the wicked?
And there came two angels to Sodom at even. And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that they said, Save, save your life. Look not behind you, nor stay in all the neighbourhood; escape to the mountain, lest you be taken along with [them].
And Lot said to them, I beseech [You], O Lord, since Your servant has found grace in Your sight, and You have magnified Your righteousness, which You show towards me in saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountain, lest evil overtake me, and I die. Behold, this city is near to flee unto, and it is small: there I shall be safe, since it is small; and any soul shall live. And He said to him, Behold, I have accepted you also in this matter, so as not to destroy the city for which you have spoken.
Make haste to save yourself there; for I shall not do anything till you have come there. Therefore he called the name of the city Segor Zoar. The sun was risen upon the earth; and Lot entered into Segor Zoar. And the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrha sulphur and fire from the Lord out of heaven; and He overthrew these cities, and all the neighbourhood. And now have you not perceived, my friends, that one of the three, who is both God and Lord, and ministers to Him who is in the heavens, is Lord of the two angels?
For when [the angels ] proceeded to Sodom , He remained behind, and communed with Abraham in the words recorded by Moses ; and when He departed after the conversation, Abraham went back to his place.
And when he came [to Sodom ], the two angels no longer conversed with Lot , but Himself, as the Scripture makes evident; and He is the Lord who received commission from the Lord who [remains] in the heavens, i. The Jew objects, why is He said to have eaten, if He be God?
Answer of Justin Trypho: When I was silent. That Scripture compels us to admit this, is manifest; but there is a matter about which we are deservedly at a loss— namely, about what was said to the effect that [the Lord] ate what was prepared and placed before him by Abraham ; and you would admit this.
So that not even here should we be at a loss about anything, if we are acquainted even slightly with figurative modes of expression, and able to rise above them.
Trypho: It is possible that [the question] about the mode of eating may be thus explained: [the mode, that is to say,] in which it is written, they took and ate what had been prepared by Abraham : so that you may now proceed to explain to us how this God who appeared to Abraham , and is minister to God the Maker of all things, being born of the Virgin, became man, of like passions with all, as you said previously.
Justin: Permit me first, Trypho, to collect some other proofs on this head, so that you, by the large number of them, may be persuaded of [the truth of] it, and thereafter I shall explain what you ask. Trypho: Do as seems good to you; for I shall be thoroughly pleased. Trypho: What you do is worthy of the worship of God ; but you appear to me to feign ignorance when you say that you do not possess a store of artful words. Justin: Be it so, since you think so; yet I am persuaded that I speak the truth.
But give me your attention, that I may now rather adduce the remaining proofs. Trypho: Proceed. Justin: It is again written by Moses , my brethren, that He who is called God and appeared to the patriarchs is called both Angel and Lord, in order that from this you may understand Him to be minister to the Father of all things, as you have already admitted, and may remain firm, persuaded by additional arguments. The word of God , therefore, [recorded] by Moses , when referring to Jacob the grandson of Abraham , speaks thus: And it came to pass, when the sheep conceived, that I saw them with my eyes in the dream: And, behold, the he-goats and the rams which leaped upon the sheep and she-goats were spotted with white, and speckled and sprinkled with a dun color.
And the Angel of God said to me in the dream, Jacob, Jacob. And I said, What is it, Lord? And He said, Lift up your eyes, and see that the he-goats and rams leaping on the sheep and she-goats are spotted with white, speckled, and sprinkled with a dun color.
For I have seen what Laban does unto you. I am the God who appeared to you in Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and vowed a vow unto Me. Now therefore arise, and get you out of this land, and depart to the land of your birth, and I shall be with you. But Jacob was left behind alone, and an Angel wrestled with him until morning. And He said, Let Me go, for the day breaks. But he said, I will not let You go, except You bless me.
And He said to him, What is your name? And he said, Jacob. And He said, Your name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel shall be your name; for you have prevailed with God , and with men shall be powerful.
And Jacob asked Him, and said, Tell me Your name. But he said, Why do you ask after My name? And He blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of that place Peniel, for I saw God face to face, and my soul rejoiced.
And there he built an altar, and called the name of that place Bethel; for there God appeared to him when he fled from the face of his brother Esau. And God said to him, Your name shall be no more called Jacob, but Israel shall he your name. And when all had agreed on these grounds, I continued: Moreover, I consider it necessary to repeat to you the words which narrate how He who is both Angel and God and Lord, and who appeared as a man to Abraham , and who wrestled in human form with Jacob, was seen by him when he fled from his brother Esau.
And he lighted on a spot, and slept there, for the sun was set; and he gathered of the stones of the place, and put them under his head. And he slept in that place; and he dreamed, and, behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, whose top reached to heaven; and the angels of God ascended and descended upon it.
And the Lord stood above it, and He said, I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father, and of Isaac; be not afraid: the land whereon you lie to you will I give it, and to your seed; and your seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and shall be extended to the west, and south, and north, and east: and in you, and in your seed, shall all families of the earth be blessed.
And, behold, I am with you, keeping you in every way wherein you go, and will bring you again into this land; for I will not leave you, until I have done all that I have spoken to you of. And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and said, Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! This is none other than the house of God , and this is the gate of heaven. And Jacob rose up in the morning, and took the stone which he had placed under his head, and he set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it; and Jacob called the name of the place The House of God , and the name of the city formerly was Ulammaus.
God distinct from the Father conversed with Moses Justin: Permit me, further, to show you from the book of Exodus how this same One, who is both Angel, and God , and Lord, and man, and who appeared in human form to Abraham and Isaac, appeared in a flame of fire from the bush, and conversed with Moses.
Opinions of the Jews with regard to Him who appeared in the bush Trypho: We do not perceive this from the passage quoted by you, but [only this], that it was an angel who appeared in the flame of fire, but God who conversed with Moses ; so that there were really two persons in company with each other, an angel and God , that appeared in that vision.
Justin: Even if this were so, my friends, that an angel and God were together in the vision seen by Moses , yet, as has already been proved to you by the passages previously quoted, it will not be the Creator of all things that is the God that said to Moses that He was the God of Abraham , and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, but it will be He who has been proved to you to have appeared to Abraham , ministering to the will of the Maker of all things, and likewise carrying into execution His counsel in the judgment of Sodom ; so that, even though it be as you say, that there were two— an angel and God — he who has but the smallest intelligence will not venture to assert that the Maker and Father of all things, having left all supercelestial matters, was visible on a little portion of the earth.
Trypho: Since it has been previously proved that He who is called God and Lord, and appeared to Abraham , received from the Lord, who is in the heavens, that which He inflicted on the land of Sodom , even although an angel had accompanied the God who appeared to Moses , we shall perceive that the God who communed with Moses from the bush was not the Maker of all things, but He who has been shown to have manifested Himself to Abraham and to Isaac and to Jacob; who also is called and is perceived to be the Angel of God the Maker of all things, because He publishes to men the commands of the Father and Maker of all things.
Justin: Now assuredly, Trypho, I shall show that, in the vision of Moses , this same One alone who is called an Angel, and who is God , appeared to and communed with Moses. And Moses said, I will turn aside and see this great sight, for the bush is not burnt.
And when the Lord saw that he is turning aside to behold, the Lord called to him out of the bush. Wisdom is begotten of the Father, as fire from fire Justin: I shall give you another testimony, my friends, from the Scriptures , that God begot before all creatures a Beginning, [who was] a certain rational power [proceeding] from Himself, who is called by the Holy Spirit , now the Glory of the Lord, now the Son , again Wisdom, again an Angel, then God , and then Lord and Logos ; and on another occasion He calls Himself Captain, when He appeared in human form to Joshua the son of Nave Nun.
The Word of Wisdom, who is Himself this God begotten of the Father of all things, and Word, and Wisdom, and Power, and the Glory of the Begetter, will bear evidence to me, when He speaks by Solomon the following: If I shall declare to you what happens daily, I shall call to mind events from everlasting, and review them.
The Lord made me the beginning of His ways for His works. From everlasting He established me in the beginning, before He had made the earth, and before He had made the deeps, before the springs of the waters had issued forth, before the mountains had been established.
Before all the hills He begets me. God made the country, and the desert , and the highest inhabited places under the sky.
Dialogue with Trypho (Chapters 55-68)
But if you do boast, it is not you who support the root but the root supports you. The basic premise is that the Church has replaced Israel and the Jewish people and Jews have been displaced as the chosen people of the God of Israel. This ideology has been destructive to Jews and to the Christian faith for centuries. Supersessionism has also impacted Gentile Christian relations with Jewish believers in Yeshua.
St. Justin Martyr
Chapter Trypho asks that Christ be proved God, but without metaphor. Justin: I would not bring forward these proofs , Trypho, by which I am aware those who worship these [ idols ] and such like are condemned, but such [ proofs ] as no one could find any objection to. They will appear strange to you, although you read them every day; so that even from this fact we understand that, because of your wickedness , God has withheld from you the ability to discern the wisdom of His Scriptures; yet [there are] some exceptions, to whom, according to the grace of His long-suffering, as Isaiah said, He has left a seed of salvation , lest your race be utterly destroyed, like Sodom and Gomorrha. Pay attention, therefore, to what I shall record out of the holy Scriptures , which do not need to be expounded, but only listened to. And lifting up his eyes, he saw, and behold, three men stood before him; and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the door of his tent; and he bowed himself toward the ground, and said.
Dialogue with Trypho (Justin Martyr)
Information on Justin Martyr Robert M. Grant writes The Anchor Bible Dictionary, v. Later he composed his Apology now divided into two parts. The work is addressed to Antoninus Pius and his two adopted sons. The so-called "second apology" looks like a continuation of the first, perhaps with more emphasis on the philosophy espoused by the future emperor Marcus Aurelius.