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Justin Martyr, Saint

Saint Justin Martyr, c.AD 100–c.AD 165, Christian apologist, called also Justin the Philosopher. Born in Samaria of pagan parents, he studied philosophy, and after his conversion in Ephesus to Christianity at about the age of 38, he went from place to place trying to convert men of learning by philosophical argument. He opened a school of Christian philosophy at Rome, where he and some disciples were finally martyred under Marcus Aurelius. Of his writings (in Greek), only two undisputed works remain, the Apology (with an appendix called the Second Apology) and the Dialogue. The Apology is a learned defense of Christians against charges of atheism and sedition in the Roman state; it contains an exposition of Christian ethics and invaluable records of the customs and practices of 2d-century Christianity. The Dialogue sets forth in the form of an argument with Trypho (or Tryphon) the Jew a philosophic defense of Christian beliefs, particularly with reference to Jewish writings; it has references to the Gospels that have been of much interest to students of the Bible. Feast: Apr. 14.

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Justin Martyr, St

Justin Martyr, St (c.100–c.165). Early Christian apologist (see APOLOGETICS). A native of Samaria, he became a Christian after a long search for truth in pagan philosophies. According to an authentic record of proceedings, he and some of his disciples were denounced as Christians and, on refusing to sacrifice, they were beheaded. Justin's First Apology (c.155) argues that traces of the truth are to be found in pagan thinkers, since all share in the ‘generative word’ (logos spermatikos), but Christianity alone is rationally credible, because the logos became incarnate to redeem as well as to instruct. His Dialogue with Trypho (R. Tarphon) the Jew is considered one of the more fair-minded of ancient Christian rebuttals of Judaism.

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Justin Martyr, Saint

Justin Martyr, Saint (100–165) Greek philosopher. He was one of the first Christian apologists in the early Church. Raised as a Jew, he converted to Christianity, probably while studying Platonic and Stoic philosophy at Ephesus. He strongly defended Christian doctrine and was put to death in Rome for his faith. His feast day is June 1.

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