Although neither author nor recipient is known for certain, the Letter to Diognetus purports to be written by a student of the apostles who calls himself Mathetes. The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus is probably the earliest example of Christian apologetics, writings defending Christianity from its accusers. [a.d] The anonymous author of this Epistle gives himself the title (Mathetes) ” a disciple [] of the Apostles,” and I venture to adopt it as his name. It is about.

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Nor truly are those words without significance which are written, how God from the beginning planted the tree of life in the midst of paradise, revealing through knowledge the way to life, and when those who were first formed did not diogneuts this [ knowledge epistl properly, they were, through the fraud of the Serpent, stripped naked.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. 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. That the wickedness of many should be hid in a single righteous One, and that the righteousness of One should justify many transgressors! Abrahamic prophecy Aggadah Yo Kabbalah Philosophy.

Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. They love all men, and are persecuted What sets apart Christians from the surrounding culture?

Epistle to Diognetus – Wikipedia

It begins as would be expected, with a greeting and description of why Mathetes writes the letter. Open Preview See a Problem? As the soul benefits from the deprivation of food and drink, so Christians flourish under persecution.

Nor truly are those words without significance which are written, og God from the beginning planted the tree of life in the midst of paradise, revealing through knowledge the way to life, and when those who od first formed did not use this [knowledge] properly, they were, through the fraud of the Serpent, stripped naked. They live in the flesh, but they are not governed by the desires of the flesh. For, who of men at all understood before His coming what God is?

A loaf of bread may have only a pinch of yeast, mqthetes that little bit changes the very character of the entire loaf. Did not the sculptor fashion one of them, the brazier a second, the silversmith a third, and the potter a fourth?

Mathetes is, perhaps, the first of the apologists. They love all menand are persecuted by all. But after He revealed and mxthetes open, through His beloved Sonthe things which had been prepared from the beginning, He conferred every blessing all at once upon us, so that we oc both share in His benefits, and see and be active [in His service]. Trivia About The Epistle of Ma Was not every one of them, before they were formed by the arts of these [workmen] into the shape of these [gods], each in its own way subject to change?


They have a common table, but not a common bed.

Yea, He was always of such a character, and still is, and will ever be, kind and good, and free from wrath, and true, and the only one who is [absolutely] good and He formed in His mind a great and unspeakable conception, which He communicated to His Son alone.

Of whom some said that fire was Godcalling that God to which they themselves were by and by to come; and some water; and others some other of the diognftus formed by God. But if any one of these theories be worthy of approbation, every one of the rest of created things might also be declared to be God. In dealing with this question, we depend entirely upon the internal evidence, no statement as to the authorship of the Epistle having descended diognwtus us from antiquity.


For, to accept some of those things which have been formed by God for the use of men as properly formed, and to reject others as useless and redundant — how can this be lawful? Come, then, after you have freed yourself from all prejudices possessing your mindand laid aside what you have been accustomed to, as something apt to deceive you, and being made, as if from the beginning, a new man, inasmuch as, according to your own confession, you are to be the hearer of a new [system of] doctrine; come and contemplate, not with your eyes only, but with your understanding, the substance and the form of those whom you declare and deem to be gods.

And it can scarcely be denied that the whole tone of the Epistle, as well as special passages which it contains, points to some other writer than Justin. You may find it helpful to search within the site to see how similar or related subjects are covered. With this in mind, I hope that more Christians discover the beautiful teachings contained in early Patristic marhetes such as this! Lists with This Book. The Greek writer and recipient are not otherwise known; estimates of dating based on the language and other textual evidence have ranged from AD [1] which would make it one of the earliest examples of apologetic literatureto the late 2nd century, with the latter often preferred in modern scholarship.

Regrettably, I can’t reply to every letter, but I greatly appreciate your feedback — especially notifications about typographical errors and inappropriate ads. As long then as the former time endured, He permitted us to be borne along by unruly impulses, being drawn away by the desire of pleasure and various lusts. To sum up all in one word— what the soul is in the body, that are Christians in the world. The Jewsthen, if they abstain from the kind of mathetrs above described, and deem it proper to worship one God as being Lord of all, [are right]; but if they offer Him worship in the way which we have described, they greatly err.


Epistle to Diognetus – Wikisource, the free online library

That is to say, Mathetes makes it clear that there is diognetuss ordinary about how that they live that sets them apart—they don’t inhabit their own cities, they don’t have a peculiar way of life, and they don’t speak a certain way—but, “inhabiting Greek as well as barbarian cities But do not you yourselves, who now think and suppose [such to be gods], much more cast contempt diognetys them than they [the Christians do]?

By no means, but under the influence of clemency and meekness. In fact, the writer maintains a tone of wonder throughout the entire letter. An excellent patristic letter from the 2nd century.

The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus

Then the fear of the law is chanted, and the grace of the prophets is knownand the faith of the gospels is established, and the tradition of the Apostles is preserved, and the grace of the Church exults; which grace if you grieve not, you shall know those things which the Word teaches, by whom He wills, and when He pleases.

For this reason you hate the Doignetusbecause they do not deem these to be gods. The Epistle survived only in one manuscript which was located in Strasbourg mahhetes was destroyed in a fire during the Franco-Prussian War in the year Contact our editors with your feedback.

What sets apart Christians from the surrounding culture?

Letter to Diognetus

Are they not without life? Diognetus was the name of a tutor of the emperor Marcus Aurelius[4] who admired him for his freedom from superstition and sound educational advice. Please buy the CD to fo the site, view it without ads, and get bonus stuff! Unlike some other people, they champion no purely human doctrine.