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Saint Justin Martyr. First Apology of Justin Martyr

We know about Saint Justin Martyr, the Philosopher, who was born of pagan parents, probably of Latin origin. He converted to Christianity before 132 and was martyred in Rome. He wrote two apologies, in fact, letters of the plea, the first addressed to Emperor Antonius Pius and his sons, and the second dedicated to Marcus Aurelius, in which he called for tolerance towards Christians at a time when the latter, refusing Roman religious ritual, were accused of disloyalty to the Empire.

Saint Justin Martyr was born around the year 100 and lived in the time of the Roman emperors Antoninus the Pious and Marcus Aurelius. His parents were pagan Greeks. He became a ChHowever, hessian meeting an older man on the seashore who told him about Christ. After this conversation, he confesses: “And suddenly the fire was kindled in my heart, and a great love came over me for the prophets, and for those men were the friends of Christ. Justin’s first apologia is represented by his best-known work, the Dialogue with the Jew Trypho, an imaginary dialogue between a Jew and a Christian, in which Justin recounts how he converted to Christianity. Seeking God and especially feeling the need to be saved, he first tried to approach a stoic.

In addition, he came into conflict with the cynical philosopher Crescens, immoral, who was ignorant and boastful in Rome. Justin crushed this ignoramus, who accused Christians of atheism and immorality without knowing them. Also defeated, Crescens denounced Justin, sentenced to death, and executed in 0165 BC, with six other Christians, under the perfect Junius Rusticus.

Who is Justin the Martyr?

Without a doubt, he was brought up in pagan culture and tradition, receiving a chosen spiritual formation. So after an odyssey of several philosophers, Saint Justin Martyr was encouraged by an older man to read the Prophets. Without a doubt, which led to his conversion to Christianity. For Justin, Christianity is the only safe and practical philosophy.

Saint Justin Martyr was a Christian philistine who died martyred for his faith in Jesus Christ. A flame is kindled in Justin’s soul. And, by his confession, he is filled with love for the Prophets and the friends of Christ. Asked where he draws his wisdom, the older man replied that he is from the Jewish prophets. Whose prophecies were fulfilled by Christianity? Justin would remain convinced and write in his First Apology that what is true in Greek philosophy comes from Moses. And the prophets believed that those who lived a rational life, by the logos. Lived Christian lives, even if they were not aware of it, so even if they lived before Christ.

It is also in Rome that his other works are most likely written, headed by the Dialogue with the Jew Trypho. Justin goes to Rome, where he develops an intense apologetic, literary, and missionary activity. From here he sends to the emperors, the senate, and the Roman people his first Apology in favor of people of all nations, who are unjustly hated and persecuted, and here he also sends his second Apology.

Biography of Justin The Martyr

Full name:Justin Martyr
Date of birth:July 3, 0160 AD
Death day:June 1, 0165 AD
The thread of life:65 years
Place of birth:Nablus, Palestinian Country
Father's name: Priscus
Mother's name:Tanaquil
Spouse:He was never married
Physical appearance:tall, slender, with an angelic allure. His face shone like the sun and his eyes were like almonds
Summary of life:He faithfully served Christian dogma and chose to be the first Christian philosopher
Life lessons:It is worth dying for the faith, and serving God to receive the crown of life
Life accomplishments:He wrote the first Christian apologetic and other Christian-philosophical writings
Rusticus executed him in a trial.

Places from the times of Justin the Martyr

  1. Jerusalem- Exact location of Jerusalem
  2. Judean Mountains- Where we can find them nowadays?
  3. Nablus- Where is Nablus located nowadays?

Saint Justin Martyr

Read more: Emperor Titus. Was Vespasian a good emperor?

What did St Justin Martyr do?

After his conversion, he begins his real life as a philosopher. From then on, our author’s life is a continuous work of preaching and defending Christianity, of philosophizing on its fundamental truths. So the second part of his life is spent in Rome, where he founded a school for spreading Christian doctrine and has Tatian the Assyrian as a pupil. So here, Justin developed an intense apologetic, literary, and missionary activity.

Saint Justin died for the faith and philosophized about it. He wrote many Christian books and the first Christian Apology in 1545. Justin’s works are numerous and of exceptional importance. Some of them he or St. Irenaeus speaks about, most of them Eusebius and Jerome relate, with extracts.

Indeed, Saint Justin Martyr is one of the most gifted and profound minds of his time. He raised new problems in both theology and philosophy. It also tried to bridge the gap between secular Greek and Christian thought. His views were only sometimes strictly orthodox. But they provoked a rich problem that later patristic generations would broaden and deepen. So he sends his first Apology in favor of the people of all nations. Who are unjustly hated and persecuted, to the emperors, the senate? And the Roman people, and it is also from here that he sends his second Apology. It is probably here that his other works are written. He begins with his Dialogue with the Jew Tryphon.

What is Justin Martyr the patron saint of?

The Logos Theory is one of St. Justin’s most original creations. So every reason possesses a seed of Logos. This seed makes it capable of knowing the truth. Indeed, profane sense cannot compare with Christian teaching. And yet those who, before Christ, tried to understand and prove the truth by reason, with the means at man’s disposal, were brought before the tribunals as ungodly and reckless.

Saint Justin Martyr is the patron saint of Christian philosophers. His Odyssey brought him to so many philosophical schools, and his intellectual anchorage in Platonism, which satisfied him through the theory of ideas and the hope of seeing God immediately, gave him, over his inner drama, a philosophical apparatus and some intellectual certainties that spiritually linked him very strongly to paganism.

Justin is a subordinationist. The Son is the Firstborn of the Father, but also the One born. He is adored secondarily: So he is the first power after the Father. The Father gave birth to Him before all creatures to bring them into existence. The Logos, therefore, has a beginning that precedes the world’s face. But God has had his inner Logos from eternity. Besides, The Holy Spirit is the prophetic Spirit, Who breathed out the Holy Scriptures and was carried above the waters at creation. This Spirit has the third place after the Logos.

What was Justin Martyr accused of?

Through his life and writings, Saint Justin the Martyr and Philosopher represents a unique testimony in favor of the collaboration between philosophy and theology. He is, together with St Clement the Alexandrian, one of the most balanced Christian thinkers of the early ages.

Saint Justin Martyr was accused of conversion to Christianity and cannibalism, and sexual immorality. He lived during the reigns of Emperors Antoninus the Pious and Marcus Aurelius. And was called a philosopher because, from childhood, he was devoted to studying pagan philosophy. And later to the philosophy of Truth, the teaching of Christ.

The Romans considered Christians atheists because they refused to worship Roman deities. Christians were also accused of cannibalism because they said they ate the Body of Christ and drank His Blood. Christians had to show the Romans their services to avoid being accused of cannibalism.

Key Verse related to Justin and his first apology

“They said that Athena was the daughter of Zeus not from intercourse, but when the god had in mind the making of the world through a word (logos), his first thought was Athena.”

― Justin Martyr –

Saint Justin Martyr

When did Justin Martyr write his first apology?

Indeed, Saint Justin Martyr, the Philosopher, was one of the defenders of the Christian faith, sending two apologies: one to Emperor Antoninus and the other to the Roman Senate. St. Justin Martyr and Philosopher draws attention to the confusion many people made with the mysteries of the god Mithras, rejecting this view. The wicked demons, imitating this, have conveyed that this also takes place in the mysteries of Mithras because, here, too, in the services performed on the occasion of one’s initiation.

Saint Justin Martyr wrote his first apology in 155-157 A.D. St. Justin argues that a Christian could not face death with such courage if he were not truly honest. Christians at that time were accused of heinous behavior, worship, in particular, being misunderstood altogether.

Justin stands up against unjust judgment and says the following: I, as I found myself partaking of Plato’s teachings, hearing of how Christians were vilified, and seeing them fearless in the face of death and of all those things which men count fearful, I understood that they couldn’t live in wickedness and lust of pleasures.

Did Justin Martyr write in Greek or Latin?

Also, Saint Justin Martyr returned from Ephesus to Italy; on the way, he roamed everywhere he preached Christ apostolically. Indeed, overcoming the Jews and Hellenes in words, he restored them to the holy faith and strengthened the faithful. So when he went again to Rome, Cynic Crescent, the pagan philosopher, turned on him with more hatred and malice; so St Justin, often talking with him, always overcame him and shamed him before all.

According to his writings, Justin first wrote in Latin. Saint Justin is a prophet whose voice echoes through the ages, urging us not to forget how to make the most of today’s cultural models. Honoring the martyrs, Justin was one of the most devoted defenders of the Christian faith, sending two apologies. One was addressed to Emperor Antoninus, and the other to the Roman Senate. In the second Apology, St Justin argues that a Christian could not face death with such courage if he were not truly honest.

He had a father of excellent and glorious birth, but elfin in faith, Justin was in the same wandering of idol worship before he was enlightened with the light of the holy faith. Besides, he had been occupied from his youth with the book’s teaching and was growing in the wisdom of the Hellenists. So, he was like a philistine who had a clever mind. Philosophy has received different acceptances from theology over the centuries. So from the extreme consideration of it as a suppressive illusion of actual knowledge to its representation as a science indispensable to theological creativity.

Why did Justin Martyr write the apology?

So Saint Justin Martyr innovates the group of secular apologists. II. In addition, in a profoundly religious and righteous soul, he searched for truth in all philosophical systems, finding it only in Christianity. Christianity became, for him, the only safe and practical philosophy. So he wrote various works relating the complex problems of the central systems of ancient philosophy, such as Platonism and Stoicism, to those of Christianity: theodicy, the Holy Trinity, cosmology, Christology, and the sacraments.

Justin wrote his apology to demonstrate that the reason for faith supersedes all science and philosophy. Justin built a solid bridge of understanding between the Christian faith and secular philosophy of all times through the Logos theory, the most original creation of his philosophical thought. He, Justin, is a fervent advocate of the resurrection of the dead. Justin’s testimony to celebrating the Holy Mass and practicing Baptism and the Holy Eucharist is very precious.

He was also a great missionary. However, he has specific errors concerning inter-eternal relations, the soul, and demons, so he professes chiliasm. These errors also can be explained by the very novelty of the problems from which they sprang, by the influence of Platonism. And also by the fragility of Christian speculation. Hiliasm is due to the power of Papias.

What was the impact of martyrs on Christianity?

It is hard to estimate the number of those who have sacrificed for the freedom to say: I believe in one God, for two millennia. At first, the difficulties came from the multitude of gods that populated man’s faith, then the world was divided into religions and sects. And the one god was given different names and worshipped according to other rituals. Thus, today, the term Christian martyr is used to describe those who, following Christianity, was killed by crucifixion, burning, and beating. So the word martyr is derived from the Greek word mártys, meaning witness.

The impact of martyrdom on Christians was significant, as Christians began to believe more strongly that they would receive the crown of life for which they had fought on earth at the moment of death. The classical period of Christian martyrdom is the three centuries following Jesus’ coming to earth.

So Christians were persecuted immediately after Jesus’ ascension to heaven. And also, such acts are primarily linked to the name of Emperor Nero. So in 64, a massive fire devastated Rome. It was then rumored that Nero had started the fire on purpose. And to get away with it, the Emperor blamed the Christians. And many of them were found guilty and punished by death: they were fed to wild animals, crucified, or burned.

Prayer to Saint Justin Martyr and Philosopher

Come ye nations, let us sing a song to Christ God.

Who parted the sea and passed over the people,

whom He delivered from the bondage of the Egyptians,

that He glorified Himself.

Being adorned with lights,

you, mucenes, stand before the pure couch of the Lord of all,

giving us remission of sins.

The faithful defenders of the truth,

bowing before the tyrannical couch

with a thought, have overthrown

the deceit of the Veliar by the power of the Spirit.

Glory be to the Father

and the Son and the Holy Spirit.


3 Facts about Justin the Martyr

Justin was a young philosopher who followed the path of Christianity. And who at the age of 30 was baptized in the name of the Father and the Son with the blessing of the Holy Spirit. Scholasticism, whose denomination comes from the fact that it was developed in the Western schools that appeared after Charles the Great, has as its starting point the Sentences of Peter Lombard.

1. He studied Aristotle’s teaching

He became a follower of Aristotle. Christian philosophy only adequately formulates religious content through the concepts of Greek metaphysics. Saint Justin Martyr, or Justin Martyr and Philosopher, was one of the leading apologists of early Christianity.

2. He was like the apostle Paul

Justin the Martyr is an image of the Apostle Paul. Both lived in Jewish areas. Both Christian martyrs were martyred in Rome for spreading Christianity and were well-educated. Having a chosen upbringing, they taught the Jews and Gentiles what they had learned from Christ, namely the true faith.

3. Justin spread the faith everywhere

He traveled worldwide, especially to Rome, to preach the word of the Gospel. St Justin the Martyr and Philosopher was born in the early second century and was formed in the cultural atmosphere of continental Asia, thus before Christianity was recognized as an official religion by Emperor Constantine the Great.

Primary Takeaways

  • Indeed, Saint Justin, the true philosopher of Christians, left the Church of Christ with many valuable writings. Indeed, like some that are full of the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, standing before Christ the Lord, the pupil of neediness, he took the crown of suffering from Him and was ordained into the company of the holy musicians.
  • So Justin returned from Ephesus to Italy. In the way, he roamed everywhere he preached Christ apostolically, and, overcoming the Jews and Hellenes in words, he restored them to the holy faith and strengthened the faithful.
  • He had a father of a good and glorious race, but an Elin in the faith; besides, Justin was in the same error of idol worship. Before, he was enlightened with the light of the holy faith. And he had been occupied from his youth. With the book’s teaching, and was growing in the wisdom of the Hellenists. As one of a clever mind.


Justin also argues that a Christian could not face death with such courage if he were not truly honest. Christians were accused of heinous behavior at that time, and worship was misunderstood.

That is why Saint Justin Martyr stands up against unjust judgment and says the following: I. So as I found myself imparting the teachings of Plato, hearing how Christians were vilified. And also seeing them fearless in the face of death and in the face of all those things which men count fearful. So I understood they couldn’t live in wickedness and lust for pleasure.

Thank you very much for reading our article and being a part of this story. I hope you found answers to your questions. Please play the following quiz to test all your knowledge about The first Apology. Have a good day!

Quizlet about Justin and His First Apology

saint justin martyr

Quizlet about Justin and His First Apology

1 / 10

Who was Justin?

2 / 10

His first teacher was ____?

3 / 10

He lived in the time of the Roman emperors Antoninus the Pious and ______

4 / 10

His parents were pagan _____

5 / 10

Trypho speaks for _____ religio.

6 / 10

The emblems of Saint Justin are _____?

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How many other Christians died with Justin?

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At what age was he baptized?

9 / 10

He sends his first Apology in favor of ________?

10 / 10

Was Justin a Greek?

Your score is

The average score is 58%



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  • Goodenough, E. R. (1968). The Theology of Justin Martyr. Рипол Классик.
  • Martyr, J. (1997). The first apology. Ante-Nicene Fathers1, 163-187.
  • Osborn, E. F. (1973). Justin Martyr (Vol. 47). Mohr Siebeck.
  • Parvis, S. (2007). Justin Martyr and his worlds. Fortress Press.