Thoughts for the Day

Wednesday, 1st June 2022: Justin, Apologist and Martyr (c165 CE)

Justin Martyr Martyr John 15 Jesus Saint

Reading : Verses from John, Chapter 15

Justin, Martyr, Apologist, Saint

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.

(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Stndard Version)


We may not face persecution because of our faith today, but we do often receive ignorant comments and slurs about our faith. We also have to make choices about what to say or how to act at which the world sneers. So today we look at an extremely important Apologist (one who defends and explains the faith), Justin who was also a Martyr. We looked at him a year ago (click on "Justin Martyr" at the top of the page).

Justin was born c100 CE in Palestine and died in 165 CE in Rome. Perhaps the most important apologist of the early Church after St Paul, he was a pagan, brought up in a Jewish environment. He studied the pagan philosophies but became a Christian in 132 CE, after which he travelled the area converting others to the faith. He was evenually beheaded along with six of his students for subversive speech, in Rome.

Justin left three works, and had an impressive knowledge of the Scriptures. He quotes some 155 verses from memory, and frequently uses the Greek word Logos as found in St John's Gospel: "In the beginning was the Word (Logos) and the Word (Logos) was with God. And the Word (Logos) was God." Justin argues that Jesus Christ is the human face of God - he is the Word. He also describes the early Christian Eucharfist and Baptism Service, and mentions three of the Gospels, as well as the letters of St Paul and Peter. But perhaps his most important legacy is the way he melds God's work with the Jews as seen in the Hebrew Scriptures and its continuance in the new Christian Church.


Lord God,
You called Justin to the work of an Apologist,
and he faithfully continued Your mission
during his life-time.
May we appreciate his work as
one of the early Church Fathers,
and continue his legacy to
to teach others about
Your Son Jesus Christ,
who reconciles us to Yourself.

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