What did Justin Martyr teach?

Justin Martyr was born around 100 AD and was martyred around 165 AD.  He has two complete surviving literary works. He teaches a lot about understanding John ch1 and the Logos.  He has the earliest and most detailed description of how the earliest
church functioned in an organized manner.  He had a very good debate
with a highly popular Jewish scribe (The Dialog) and wrote letters to
the Emperor of Rome and a Senate member.  Fragments of another letter specifically about The Resurrection remains as well.

He is within the time frame of speaking with eye witnesses, family members recounting eye witness testimonies, and the disciples of the Apostles.  Thus his insights are extremely important.

Justin was the mentor for other predominate Christan church leaders such as Tatian the Assyrian and Irenaeus. 

Summery of what he taught:

  • Jesus is God
  • Christology of the Old Testament
  • Jesus was a man.
  • Jesus was the Son of God
  • The Trinity
  • Jesus’ Virgin Birth
  • Jesus’ bodily death, resurrection, and ascension
  • Unconditional Election
  • Limited Atonement
  • Salvation through Faith Alone
  • Actual place of Hell and Heaven
  • Actual Demons and Satan
  • Symbolism of Baptism and Communion
  • The essential  elements of the Gospel message

Read his writings in their entirety here:  

  1. Roberts-Donaldson English Translation: On the Resurrection
  2. Roberts-Donaldson English Translation: Dialogue with Trypho 
  3. Roberts-Donaldson English Translation: First Apology

His teachings are systematically organized by subject and topic: 

The crucifixion

1:12was crucified under Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judaea, in the times of
Tiberius Caesar
1:21was
crucified and died
1:32 ”
crucified, and dying, and rising again, 
1:33 “Jesus Christ stretched forth His hands, being
crucified by the Jews speaking against Him, and denying that He was the Christ.
And as the prophet spoke, they tormented Him, and set Him on the judgment-seat,
and said, Judge us. And the expression, “They pierced my hands and my feet,” was
used in reference to the nails of the cross which were fixed in His hands and
feet. And after He was crucified they cast lots upon His vesture, and they that
crucified Him parted it among them. And that these things did happen, you can
ascertain from the Acts of Pontius Pilate.”

The Resurrection:

1:21 “and died, and rose again
1:32 ”
crucified, and dying, and rising again,
1:45 “God the Father of all would bring Christ to heaven after He had
raised Him from the dead
Fragments on a while work on the bodily Resurrection of Jesus.

Public profession of faith

1:4 “For as some who
have been taught by the Master, Christ, not to deny Him, give encouragement to
others when they are put to the question”

Sexual Immorality

1:5 “the poets
who have flourished among you raise a laugh out of the uncleanness of Jupiter
with his own children. And those who now adopt such instruction are not
restrained by you; but, on the contrary, you bestow prizes and honours upon
those who euphoniously insult the gods”
1:14 “-we who formerly
delighted in fornication, but now embrace chastity alone”
1:27 “we have been taught that to expose newly-born children is the
part of wicked men; and this we have been taught lest we should do any one an
injury, and lest we should sin against God, first, because we see that almost
all so exposed (not only the girls, but also the males) are brought up to
prostitution. And as the ancients are said to have reared herds of oxen, or
goats, or sheep, or grazing horses, so now we see you rear children only for
this shameful use; and for this pollution a multitude of females and
hermaphrodites, and those who commit unmentionable iniquities, are found in
every nation… any one who uses such
persons, besides the godless and infamous and impure intercourse, may possibly
be having intercourse with his own child, or relative, or brother. And there are
some who prostitute even their own children and wives, and some are openly
mutilated for the purpose of sodomy… Indeed, the things which you do
openly and with applause, as if the divine light were overturned and
extinguished, these you lay to our charge; which, in truth, does no harm to us
who shrink from doing any such things, but only to those who do them and bear
false witness against us.

Humanity of Jesus

1:4 also among the Barbarians were they condemned
by Reason (or the Word, the Logos) Himself, who took shape, and became man, and
was called Jesus Christ

Jesus, Son of God

1:6 ” the most true God, the
Father of righteousness and temperance and the other virtues, who is free from
all impurity. But both Him, and the Son”
1:12 ” the Word, than whom, after God who begat Him… Teacher foretold, He who is both Son and Apostle of God the
Father of all and the Ruler, Jesus Christ; from whom also we have the name of
Christians… follow the only unbegotten God through His Son”
1:22 “the Son of God called Jesus, even if only a man by ordinary
generation, yet, on account of His wisdom, is worthy to be called the Son of
God”
1:23 Jesus
Christ is the only proper Son who has been begotten by God, being His Word and
first-begotten, and power; and, becoming man according to His will, He taught us
these things for the conversion and restoration of the human race

Divinity of Jesus

1:5 also among the Barbarians were they condemned
by Reason (or the Word, the Logos) Himself, who took shape, and became man, and
was called Jesus Christ
D33, 35

Accountability 

1:5  in obedience to Him, we not only deny that they who
did such things as these are gods, but assert that they are wicked and impious
demons, whose actions will not bear comparison with those even of men desirous
of virtue

1:7 “For all are called Christians. Wherefore we demand that the
deeds of all those who are accused to you be judged, in order that each one who
is convicted may be punished as an evil-doer, and not as a Christian;”

The Trinity

1:6 “respect to the most true God, the
Father of righteousness and temperance and the other virtues, who is free from
all impurity. But both Him, and the Son (who came forth from Him and taught us
these things, and the host of the other good angels who follow and are made like
to Him), and the prophetic Spirit, we worship”
1:12 “Our
teacher of these things is Jesus Christ, who also was born for this purpose, and
was crucified under Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judaea, in the times of
Tiberius Caesar; and that we reasonably worship Him, having learned that He is
the Son of the true God Himself, and holding Him in the second place, and the
prophetic Spirit in the third, we will prove”
1:52 in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the
universe, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit,

God’s All Seeing

1:12 “all other men are we your helpers and allies in promoting
peace, seeing that we hold this view, that it is alike impossible for the
wicked, the covetous, the conspirator, and for the virtuous, to escape the
notice of God”

Prosperity

1:10 “we have received by tradition that God does not need the material
offerings which men can give, seeing, indeed, that He Himself is the provider of
all things.”
1:14 “we who valued
above all things the acquisition of wealth and possessions, now bring what we
have into a common stock, and communicate to every one in need”

Election

1:11 ” For the coming into being at first was
not in our own power; and in order that we may follow those things which please
Him, choosing them by means of the rational faculties He has Himself endowed us
with, He both persuades us and leads us to faith”
1:45 “until the number of those who are foreknown by Him as
good and virtuous is complete, on whose account He has still delayed the
consummation”

Salvation through faith not works

 1:12 “demons whom we have been
accusing should deceive you, and quite diver you from reading and understanding
what we say. For they strive to hold you their slaves and servants; and
sometimes by appearances in dreams, and sometimes by magical impositions, they
subdue all who make no strong opposing effort for their own salvation.”
D:10 “[jewish response] this is what we are most at a loss about: that you,
professing to be pious, and supposing yourselves better than others, are not in
any particular separated from them, and do not alter your mode of living from
the nations, in that you observe no festivals or sabbaths, and do not have the
rite of circumcision; and further, resting your hopes on a man that was
crucified, you yet expect to obtain some good thing from God, while you do not
obey His commandments.”
D:26 Trypho remarked, “What is this you say? that none of us shall inherit
anything on the holy mountain of God?”And I replied, “I do not say so; but those who have persecuted and do
persecute Christ, if they do not repent, shall not inherit anything on the holy
mountain.

Actual Heaven and Hell

1:12 “each man goes to everlasting punishment or salvation”
1:18 “hell is a place where those are to be punished who have
lived wickedly, and who do not believe that those things which God has taught us
by Christ will come to pass.”

Actual demons

1:12 ” we are persuaded
that these things are prompted by evil spirits, who demand sacrifices and
service even from those who live unreasonably… demons whom we have been
accusing should deceive you, and quite diver you from reading and understanding
what we say. For they strive to hold you their slaves and servants; and
sometimes by appearances in dreams, and sometimes by magical impositions, they
subdue all who make no strong opposing effort for their own salvation.”
1:28 “the prince of the wicked spirits is called the serpent, and
Satan, and the devil, as you can learn by looking into our writings.”

The Gospel

1:12 “Our
teacher of these things is Jesus Christ, who also was born for this purpose, and
was crucified under Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judaea, in the times of
Tiberius Caesar; and that we reasonably worship Him, having learned that He is
the Son of the true God Himself, and holding Him in the second place, and the
prophetic Spirit in the third, we will prove”
1:21 “the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was
produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was
crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven”
1:32 “In
these books, then, of the prophets we found Jesus our Christ foretold as coming,
born of a virgin, growing up to man’s estate, and healing every disease and
every sickness, and raising the dead, and being hated, and unrecognised, and
crucified, and dying, and rising again, and ascending into heaven, and being,
and being called, the Son of God.”
1:56 “Jesus Christ our Saviour on the
same day rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of
Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the
Sun, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them these things,
which we have submitted to you also for your consideration.”

Virgin Birth

1:21 “the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was
produced without sexual union
1:32 “In
these books, then, of the prophets we found Jesus our Christ foretold as coming,
born of a virgin, 
1:33 “Isaiah in express words foretold that He should be born of
a virgin; for he spoke thus: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bring forth a
son, and they shall say for His name, ‘God with us.’… the power of God having come upon the virgin, overshadowed
her, and caused her while yet a virgin to conceive. And the angel of God who was
sent to the same virgin at that time brought her good news, saying, “Behold,
thou shalt conceive of the Holy Ghost, and shalt bear a Son, and He shall be
called the Son of the Highest, and thou shalt call His name Jesus; for He shall
save His people from their sins,”–as they who have recorded all that concerns
our Saviour Jesus Christ

Atonement

D:13 “”For Isaiah did not send you to a bath, there to wash away murder and other
sins, which not even all the water of the sea were sufficient to purge; but, as
might have been expected, this was that saving bath of the olden time which
followed s those who repented, and who no longer were purified by the blood of
goats and of sheep, or by the ashes of an heifer, or by the offerings of fine
flour, but by faith through the blood of Christ, and through His death, who died
for this very reason,”

Future Bodily Resurrection

1:18 “firmly than they believe in God; since
we expect to receive again our own bodies, though they be dead and cast into the
earth… should in God’s appointed time rise again and put on
incorruption”

Unbelievers doing signs and wonders

1:26 “There was a
Samaritan, Simon, a native of the village called Gitto, who in the reign of
Claudius Caesar, and in your royal city of Rome, did mighty acts of magic, by
virtue of the art of the devils operating in him.

Name dropping

1:48 And, as we said before, the devils put forward Marcion of Pontus, who is even
now teaching men to deny that God is the maker of all things in heaven and on
earth, and that the Christ predicted by the prophets is His Son, and preaches
another god besides the Creator of all, and likewise another son.

Fasting, Baptism, Communion

1:56 As many as are persuaded and believe that what we
teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly, are
instructed to pray and to entreat God with fasting, for the remission of their
sins that are past, we praying and fasting with them. Then they are brought by
us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were
ourselves regenerated.
1:55 ”
bread and a cup of wine mixed with water; and he taking them, gives praise and
glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy
Ghost, and offers thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to
receive these things at His hands… this food is called among us Eukaristia [the Eucharist],
of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things
which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for
the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has
enjoined. ”

Church

1:55 “to the place where those who are called brethren are
assembled, in order that we may offer hearty prayers in common for ourselves and
for the baptized [illuminated] person, and for all others in every place… Having ended the prayers, we salute one
another with a kiss. There is then brought to the president of the brethren
bread and a cup of wine mixed with water; and he taking them, gives praise and
glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy
Ghost, and offers thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to
receive these things at His hands. And when he has concluded the prayers and
thanksgivings, all the people present express their assent by saying Amen. “
1:56 “on the day called Sunday, all who live
in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the
apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits;
then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts
to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and,
as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are
brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings,
according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a
distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been
given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons… Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common
assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in
the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the
same day rose from the dead. ”

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