Justin Martyr - Epistle to Diognetus

Steven Avery

Justin Martyr

Dialogue with Trypho - Volume 1 (1745)
Henry Brown

NOTE: This is Henry Brown, NOT Justin Martyr


John Berriman


Last edited:



Summary Analysis​

Epistle to Diognetus​

The Epistle of Diognetus is no longer attributed as a work of Justin Martyr (as in Berriman, the Christian Observer and the Unitarian Minister John Pope), but is considered of almost equal antiquity. The author of the anonymous epistle (or, at least it now is to us), dated 140-200 (usually 140), is generally referred to as Mathetes (the disciple). As do many other early Christian writers, the author associates 1 Timothy 3:16 with John 1:1, 14. When they spoke of Jesus as the Word, it was to emphasize His Deity, in accordance with John 1:1, 14: "and the Word was God . . . and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us."

The Epistle to Diognetus deserves a fuller reading than the author of the Christian Observer article or John Pope provide: "For who that is rightly taught and begotten by the loving Word, would not seek to learn accurately the things which have been clearly shown by the Word to His disciples, to whom the Word being manifested has revealed them, speaking plainly [to them], not understood indeed by the unbelieving, but conversing with the disciples, who, being esteemed faithful by Him, acquired a knowledge of the mysteries of the Father? For which reason He sent the Word, that He might be manifested to the world; and He, being despised by the people [of the Jews], was, when preached by the Apostles, believed on by the Gentiles. This is He who was from the beginning, who appeared as if new, and was found old, and yet who is ever born afresh in the hearts of the saints. This is He who, being from everlasting, is today called the Son."

Dialogue With Trypho​

Section XLV in the link Steven provides.

Note on John Pope​

John Pope, a Unitarian Minister, quotes Sir Isaac Newton and therefore carries over all of Newton's (myriad) mistakes that were ultimately refuted by Berriman in his Dissertation. His remarks can generally be dismissed as unreliable.

Note on The Classical Journal​

A thoroughly one sided and woefully inaccurate presentation of the manuscripts and ancient writers in order to advance a particularly absurd word division for the text.
Last edited:



Dialogue With Trypho (Greek)​

Section 45.4. The Greek is καὶ διὰ τῆς παρθένου ταύτης τῆς ἀπὸ τοῦ γένους τοῦ Δαυῒδ γεννηθήναι σαρκοποιηθεὶς ὑπέμεινεν, ἵνα διὰ τῆς οἰκονομίας ταύτης ὁ πονηρευσάμενος τὴν ἀρχὴν ὄφις καὶ οἱ ἐξομοιωθέντες αὐτῷ ἄγγελοι κατα λυθῶσι, καὶ ὁ θάνατος καταφρονηθῇ καὶ ἐν τῇ δευτέρᾳ αὐτοῦ τοῦ Χριστοῦ παρουσίᾳ ἀπὸ τῶν πιστευόντων αὐτῷ καὶ εὐαρέστως ζώντων παύσηται τέλεον. (https://scaife.perseus.org/reader/urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0645.tlg003.perseus-grc2:45)

I feel that the initial impression of the English translation is promising in terms of favorable evidence, but I don't see any firm connection in the Greek beyond the concept. I believe the Roberts-Donaldson translation for Section XLV (45) (https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/01283.htm) more accurately reflects the Greek, and that the translator in the edition above rendered the passage with familiarity of 1 Timothy 3:16.