Early Church Fathers
1 Literally, "the opinions of the ancients."
2 Thirbly regarded the clause in brackets as an interpolation. There is considerable variety of opinion as to the exact meaning of the words amongst those who regard them as genuine.
3 Plat. Rep., v. 18.
4 That is to say, if the Christians refused or neglected to make their real opinions and practices known, they would share the guilt of those whom they thus kept in darkness.
5 Justin avails himself here of the similarity in sound of the words Xristoj (Christ) and xrhstoj (good, worthy, excellent). The play upon these words is kept up throughout this paragraph, and cannot be always represented to the English reader. [But Justin was merely quoting and using, ad hominem, the popular blunder of which Suetonius (Life of Claudius, cap. 25) gives us an example, "impulsore Chresto." It will be observed again in others of these Fathers.]
6 [1 Cor. x. 20. Milton's admirable economy in working this truth into his great poem (i. 378) affords a sublime exposition of the mind of the Fathers on the origin of mythologies.]
7 The word daimwn means in Greek a god, but the Christians used the word to signify an evil spirit. Justin uses the same word here for god and demon. The connection which Justin and other Christian writers supposed to exist between evil spirits and the gods of the heathens will be apparent from Justin's own statements. The word diaboloj, devil, is not applied to these demons. There is but one devil, but many demons.
8 The word daimwn means in Greek a god, but the Christians used the word to signify an evil spirit. Justin uses the same word here for god and demon. The connection which Justin and other Christian writers supposed to exist between evil spirits and the gods of the heathens will be apparent from Justin's own statements. The word diaboloj, devil, is not applied to these demons. There is but one devil, but many demons.
9 This is the literal and obvious translation of Justin's words. But from C. 13, 16, and 61, it is evident that he did not desire to inculcate the worship of angels. We are therefore driven to adopt another translation of this passage, even though it be somewhat harsh. Two such translations have been proposed: the first connecting "us" and "the host of the other good angels" as the common object of the verb "taught;" the second connecting "these things" with "the host of," etc., and making these two together the subject taught. In the first case the translation would stand, "taught these things to us and to the host," etc.; in the second case the translation would be, "taught us about these things, and about the host of the others who follow Him, viz. the good angels." [I have ventured to insert parenthetic marks in the text, an obvious and simple resource to suggest the manifest intent of the author. Grabe's note in loc. gives another and very ingenious exegesis, but the simplest is best.]
10 i.e., according to Otto, "not on account of the sincere Christians of whom we have been speaking." According to Trollope, "not on account of (or at the instigation of) the demons before mentioned."
11 Or, "as a Christian who has done no wrong."
12 Compare the Rescript of Adrian appended to this Apology.
13 Literally, "persuaded God."
14 [Isa. xliv. 9-20; Jer. x. 3.]
15 pompaj kai umnouj. "Grabe, and it should seem correctly, understands pompaj to be solemn prayers. . . . He also remarks, that the umnoi were either psalms of David, or some of those psalms and songs made by the primitive Christians, which are mentioned in Eusebius, H. E., v. 28."-Trollope.
16 Literally, "would not use the same hearth or fire."
17 See the end of chap. xii.
18 The reader will notice that Justin quotes from memory, so that there are some slight discrepancies between the words of Jesus as here cited, and the same sayings as recorded in our Gospels.
19 Matt. v. 28, 29, 32.
20 Matt. xix. 12.
21 digamiaj poioumenoi, lit. contracting a double marriage. Of double marriages there are three kinds: the first, marriage with a second wife while the first is still alive and recognized as a lawful wife, or bigamy; the second, marriage with a second wife after divorce from the first, and third, marriage with a second wife after the death of the first. It is thought that Justin here refers to the second case.
22 Matt. ix. 13.
23 Matt. v. 46, 44; Luke vi. 28.
24 Luke vi. 30, 34; Matt. vi. 19, xvi. 26, vi. 20.
25 Luke vi. 36; Matt. v. 45, vi. 25, 26, 33, 21.
26 Matt. vi. 1.
27 Luke vi. 29; Matt. vi. 22, 41, 16.
28 i.e., Christian neighbours.
29 Matt. v. 34, 27.
30 Mark xii. 30.
31 Matt. xix. 6, 17.
32 Matt. vii. 21, etc.; Luke xiii. 26; Matt. xiii. 42, vii. 15, 16, 19.
33 forouj kai eisforaj. The former is the annual tribute; the latter, any occasional assessment. See Otto's Note, and Thucyd. iii. 19.
34 Matt. xxii. 17, 19, 20, 21.
35 Luke xii. 48.
36 ermaion, a piece of unlooked-for luck, Hermes being the reputed giver of such gifts: vid. Liddell and Scott's Lex.; see also the Scholiast, quoted by Stallbaum in Plato's Phaed., p. 107, on a passage singularly analogous to this.
37 Boys and girls, or even children prematurely taken from the womb, were slaughtered, and their entrails inspected, in the belief that the souls of the victims (being still conscious, as Justin is arguing) would reveal things hidden and future. Instances are abundantly cited by Otto and Trollope.
38 This form of spirit-rapping was familiar to the ancients, and Justin again (Dial. c. Tryph., c. 105) uses the invocation of Samuel by the witch of Endor as a proof of the immortality of the soul.
39 Valesius (on Euseb. H. E., iv. 7) states that the magi had two kinds of familiars: the first, who were sent to inspire men with dreams which might give them intimations of things future; and the second, who were sent to watch over men, and protect them from diseases and misfortunes. The first, he says, they called (as here) oneiropompouj, and the second paredrouj.
40 Justin is not the only author in ancient or recent times who has classed daemoniacs and maniacs together; neither does he stand alone among the ancients in the opinion that daemoniacs were possessed by the spirits of departed men. References will be found in Trollope's note. [See this matter more fully illustrated in Kaye's Justin Martyr, pp. 105-111.]
41 See the Odyssey, book xi. line 25, where Ulysses is described as digging a pit or trench with his sword, and pouring libations, in order to collect around him the souls of the dead.
42 Matt. xix. 26.
43 Matt. x. 28.
44 The Sibylline Oracles are now generally regarded as heathen fragments largely interpolated by unscrupulous men during the early ages of the Church. For an interesting account of these somewhat perplexing documents, see Burton's Lectures on the Ecclesiastical History of the First Three Centuries, Lect. xvii. The prophecies of Hystaspes were also commonly appealed to as genuine by the early Christians. [See (on the Sibyls and Justin M.) Casaubon, Exercitationes, pp. 65 and 80. This work is a most learned and diversified thesaurus, in the form of strictures on Card. Baronius. Geneva, 1663.]