Friday, October 19, 2012

Evidence of tampering in Justin's works?

It is believed that Justin established a school in Rome around 150 AD and that he wrote an apology to the Emperor Antoninus Pius and his sons Marcus Aurelius (who he calls Verisimmus, a name I have never seen attached to him) and Lucius Verus. He makes the mistake of calling Lucius "the natural son" of Pius. This mistake aside, this work is universally recognized as a work of Justin, mainly because it is quoted by Eusebius of Caesarea. There are quite a few works attributed to Justin that survive though.

  1. Discourse to the Greeks (disputed)
  2. On the Resurrection (disputed)
  3. On the Sole Government of God (disputed)
  4. Hortatory address to the Greeks (disputed, may be by Tatian)
  5. Second Apology (highly disputed)
  6. Dialogue with Trypho (acknowledged, partially disputed)
  7. First Apology (universally acknowledged)
  8. Various fragments of his works (disputed)
  9. A lost work on Heresies (invented by Irenaeus)
  10. Epistle to Diognetus (disputed)
  11. An exposition of the true faith (false work used by Calvin)
  12. Martyrdom of Justin (not by Justin but included in AnteNicene Fathers vol. 1 under Justin)

Only two of the above are recognized as indisputably Justin's. The Second Apology mentions Urbicus and the First mentions the Emperor and his sons. Trypho was a "Hebrew" from Judea who had escaped the bar Kokhba revolt around 136 AD under Hadrian. He was living in Corinth, Greece. This means that Justin was writing between 132 AD when the war started and 160 AD when Urbicus was prefect. This man became Prefect of Rome around 146 AD.

Around the time Justin was writing, a work was composed against him titled "Treatise on the Resurrection". Many other works like "The Epistle of the Apostles" and "3Corinthians" likely date to this time. Valentinus had not been to Rome until the time of Hyginus who somehow became Bishop because the Bishop before him was martyred (see Tertullian).

Justin is know for his defense of the carnal resurrection and the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. The problem rests on the virgin birth. He had first said that the Logos was born of a virgin, without sexual union in chapter 21 of his First Apology. This is the Valentinian doctrine taken from the Gospel of John. However, Justin goes on to state in chapter 32 where Mary is the virgin and Jesus Christ is the one begotten without sexual union. This comes from the gospel of the Hebrews which states Mary was the mother of Jesus, and possibly from other infancy gospels, and the gospel of the Lord used by Valentinus and Marcion.

Thus, we see that Jesus Christ's flesh was the Logos for Justin. His God may as well be the virgin Mary herself. It seems to be evidence of later tampering by Irenaeus of Lyon from whose library we have received the writings attributed to Justin. Tertullian claims to have used both these men as a source alongside two other writers whose works are not extant.

Justin was from Flavia Neapolis in Samaria near Jacob's well. He is the first to speak of men believing in two gods (Marcion and Cerdon's error) and of Simon Magus. Justin shows a contempt for the deified Hadrian and Antinous and yet a contempt for Jews. The date of Justin's death (165 AD) given in the Chronicon Paschale cannot be maintained one bit. The latest possible date is 160 AD. Ptolemaeus the Valentinian is said by Justin to have died before him and it is likely that Marcion and Valentinus may have died alongside Justin. Polycarp likely died in 142 AD.

Justin is the first to attempt to find Jesus in every old testament prophecy. The martyrdom of Justin is the first to mention him dying under the Prefect Rusticus. Justin claimed to have been a member of the church of Martinus, this being the only meeting of Christians he was aware of in Rome. Chariton, Charito, Euelpistus, Hierax, Paeon, and Liberianus were with him confessing to be Christians. Some were from Iconium and Cappadocia and either learned Christianity from Justin or their parents. All of them were decapitated because they were citizens.

In reply to Trypho, Justin has to invent the second coming based on Daniel. Trypho objected that Daniel had said Christ would be glorious and claims he upholds the law and prophets. Daniel saying Christ would be glorious could thus be seen as contradicting Isaiah 53. No Jew in the lifetime of Jesus considered Daniel a prophet. This was done to test Justin's true knowledge, which was no knowledge at all.

Justin is claimed to have lived above the Timotinian baths at Rome and knew not of any other Christians than those he died with and Martinus' house where Christians met. There was no mention of a Pope or any of this. Justin actually calls the man he met Father. No bishops or Popes were from Flavia Neapolis!

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