Scripture among the Apologists: Justin’s Greco-Roman Sources

Pursuing Veritas

Socrates and Plato Socrates and Plato

Greek philosophy plays an unquestionably important role in the thought of Justin Martyr and in the presentation of his Apology. While some scholars have suggested that Justin merely styled himself as a philosopher and was not seriously involved in that enterprise, the number and quality of the Greco-Roman sources employed in the Apology suggests Justin’s intimate knowledge of philosophical thought.[i] Though he rejected certain features of contemporary philosophical thought, such as imperial ascension and creation myths,[ii] Justin was deeply influenced by Platonism.[iii] His contrast between Socrates and Christ,[iv] allegorical interpretation,[v] and the philosophy of the logos[vi]demonstrate the value which Justin saw in the Greek philosophical tradition.

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