EPISTLE OF DIOGNETUS PDF

For a considerable period after its publication in , it was generally ascribed to Justin Martyr. In recent times Otto has inserted it among the works of that writer, but Semisch and others contend that it cannot possibly be his. In dealing with this question, we depend entirely upon the internal evidence, no statement as to the authorship of the Epistle having descended to us from antiquity. And it can scarcely be denied that the whole tone of the Epistle, as well as special passages which it contains, points to some other writer than Justin. Accordingly, critics are now for the most part agreed that it is not his, and that it must be ascribed to one who lived at a still earlier date in the history of the Church. Several internal arguments have been brought forward in favour of this opinion.

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For a considerable period after its publication in , it was generally ascribed to Justin Martyr. In recent times Otto has inserted it among the works of that writer, but Semisch and others contend that it cannot possibly be his. In dealing with this question, we depend entirely upon the internal evidence, no statement as to the authorship of the Epistle having descended to us from antiquity.

And it can scarcely be denied that the whole tone of the Epistle, as well as special passages which it contains, points to some other writer than Justin. Accordingly, critics are now for the most part agreed that it is not his, and that it must be ascribed to one who lived at a still earlier date in the history of the Church. Several internal arguments have been brought forward in favour of this opinion.

Supposing chap. More weight is to be attached to those passages in which the writer speaks of Christianity as still being a new thing in the world. Expressions to this effect occur in several places chap. There is certainly nothing in the Epistle which is inconsistent with this opinion; and we may therefore believe, that in this beautiful composition we possess a genuine production of some apostolic man who lived not later than the beginning of the second century. The names of Clement of Rome and of Apollos have both been suggested as those of the probable author.

Such opinions, however, are pure fancies, which it is perhaps impossible to refute, but which rest on nothing more than conjecture. Nor can a single word be said as to the person named Diognetus, to whom the letter is addressed.

We must be content to leave both points in hopeless obscurity, and simply accept the Epistle as written by an earnest and intelligent Christian to a sincere inquirer among the Gentiles, towards the close of the apostolic age. It is much to be regretted that the text is often so very doubtful.

Only three mss. But notwithstanding this drawback, and the difficulty of representing the full force and elegance of the original, this Epistle, as now presented to the English reader, can hardly fail to excite both his deepest interest and admiration.

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Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus

Hence it is not a proper name at all, and its use in the title is strictly conventional. The writer, whoever he or she was, sounds to many like a Johannine Christian , inasmuch as he uses the word "Logos" as a substitute for "Christ" or "Jesus. It is unlikely that he was the tutor of the same name to the emperor Marcus Aurelius , [5]. Manuscripts[ edit ] The epistle survived only in one manuscript from antiquity. It was initially discovered in a 13th-century codex that included writings ascribed to Justin Martyr. It was first published in , and attributed to Justin Martyr because of the context of its discovery. Unfortunately the original was subsequently destroyed in a fire during the Franco-Prussian War in , [7] but numerous transcriptions of the letter survive today.

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Epistle to Diognetus

What is the Letter to Diognetus? Question: "What is the Letter to Diognetus? This type of writing is also called an apologetics letter or an apology. The oldest known manuscript of the Letter to Diognetus, dating from the thirteenth or fourteenth century, was found along with the writings of Justin Martyr ; unfortunately, that manuscript was destroyed in a fire in For a time it was believed that the Letter to Diognetus was composed by Justin Martyr, but that theory has since been discarded. In this Letter to Diognetus, the author describes the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian. They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven.

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Letter to Diognetus

Since I see thee, most excellent Diognetus, exceedingly desirous to learn the mode of worshipping God prevalent among the Christians, and inquiring very carefully and earnestly concerning them, what God they trust in, and what form of religion they observe, so as all to look down upon the world itself, and despise death, while they neither esteem those to be gods that are reckoned such by the Greeks, nor hold to the superstition of the Jews; and what is the affection which they cherish among themselves; and why, in fine, this new kind or practice [of piety] has only now entered into the world, and not long ago; I cordially welcome this thy desire, and I implore God, who enables us both to speak and to hear, to grant to me so to speak, that, above all, I may hear you have been edified, and to you so to hear, that I who speak may have no cause of regret for having done so. Come, then, after you have freed yourself from all prejudices possessing your mind, and laid aside what you have been accustomed to, as something apt to deceive you, and being made, as if from the beginning, a new man, inasmuch as, according to your own confession, you are to be the hearer of a new [system of] doctrine; come and contemplate, not with your eyes only, but with your understanding, the substance and the form of those whom ye declare and deem to be gods. Is not one of them a stone similar to that on which we tread? Is not a second brass, in no way superior to those vessels which are constructed for our ordinary use?

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