Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr, with Trypho, a Jew. (Cont.)
Chap. LXVII. — Trypho Compares Jesus with Perseus; and Would Prefer [to Say] That He Was Elected [to Be Christ] on Account of Observance of the Law. Justin Speaks of the Law as Formerly.
And Trypho answered, “The Scripture has not, ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son,’ but, ‘Behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son,’ and so on, as you quoted. But the whole prophecy refers to Hezekiah, and it is proved that it was fulfilled in him, according to the terms of this prophecy. Moreover, in the fables of those who are called Greeks, it is written that Perseus was begotten of Danae, who was a virgin; he who was called among them Zeus having descended on her in the form of a golden shower. And you ought to feel ashamed when you make assertions similar to theirs, and rather [should] say that this Jesus was born man of men. And if you prove from the Scriptures that He is the Christ, and that on account of having led a life conformed to the law, and perfect, He deserved the honour of being elected to be Christ, [it is well]; but do not venture to tell monstrous phenomena, lest you be convicted of talking foolishly like the Greeks.”
Then I said to this, “Trypho, I wish to persuade you, and all men in short, of this, that even though you talk worse things in ridicule and in jest, you will not move me from my fixed design; but I shall always adduce from the words which you think can be brought forward [by you] as proof [of your own views], the demonstration of what I have stated along with the testimony of the Scriptures. You are not, however, acting fairly or truthfully in attempting to undo those things in which there has been constantly agreement between us; namely, that certain commands were instituted by Moses on account of the hardness of your people’s hearts. For you said that, by reason of His living conformably to law, He was elected and became Christ, if indeed He were proved to be so.”
And Trypho said, “You admitted157 to us that He was both circumcised, and observed the other legal ceremonies ordained by Moses.”
And I replied, “I have admitted it, and do admit it: yet I have admitted that He endured all these not as if He were justified by them, but completing the dispensation which His Father, the Maker of all things, and Lord and God, wished Him [to complete]. For I admit that He endured crucifixion and death, and the incarnation, and the suffering of as many afflictions as your nation put upon Him. But since again you dissent from that to which you but lately assented, Trypho, answer me: Are those righteous patriarchs who lived before Moses, who observed none of those [ordinances] which, the Scripture shows, received the commencement of [their] institution from Moses, saved, [and have they attained to] the inheritance of the blessed?” 232
And Trypho said, “The Scriptures compel me to admit it.”
“Likewise I again ask you,” said I, “did God enjoin your fathers to present the offerings and sacrifices because He had need of them, or because of the hardness of their hearts and tendency to idolatry?”
“The latter,” said he, “the Scriptures in like manner compel us to admit.”
“Likewise,” said I, “did not the Scriptures predict that God promised to dispense a new covenant besides that which [was dispensed] in the mountain Horeb?”
This, too, he replied, had been predicted. Then I said again, “Was not the old covenant laid on your fathers with fear and trembling, so that they could not give ear to God?” He admitted it.
“What then?” said I: “God promised that there would be another covenant, not like that old one, and said that it would be laid on them without fear, and trembling, and lightnings, and that it would be such as to show what kind of commands and deeds God knows to be eternal and suited to every nation, and what commandments He has given, suiting them to the hardness of your people’s hearts, as He exclaims also by the prophets.”
“To this also,” said he, “those who are lovers of truth and not lovers of strife must assuredly assent.”
Then I replied, “I know not how you speak of persons very fond of strife, [since] you yourself oftentimes were plainly acting in this very manner, frequently contradicting what you had agreed to.”
Chap. LXVIII. — He Complains of the Obstinacy of Trypho; He Answers His Objection; He Convicts the Jews of Bad Faith.
And Trypho said, “You endeavour to prove an incredible and well-nigh impossible thing; [namely], that God endured to be born and become man.”
“If I undertook,” said I, “to prove this by doctrines or arguments of man, you should not bear with me. But if I quote frequently Scriptures, and so many of them, referring to this point, and ask you to comprehend them, you are hard-hearted in the recognition of the mind and will of God. But if you wish to remain for ever so, I would not be injured at all; and for ever retaining the same [opinions] which I had before I met with you, I shall leave you.”
And Trypho said, “Look, my friend, you made yourself master of these [truths] with much labour and toil.158 And we accordingly must diligently scrutinize all that we meet with, in order to give our assent to those things which the Scriptures compel us [to believe].”
Then I said to this, “I do not ask you not to strive earnestly by all means, in making an investigation of the matters inquired into; but [I ask you], when you have nothing to say, not to contradict those things which you said you had admitted.”
And Trypho said, “So we shall endeavour to do.”
I continued again: “In addition to the questions I have just now put to you, I wish to put more: for by means of these questions I shall strive to bring the discourse to a speedy termination.”
And Trypho said, “Ask the questions.”
Then I said, “Do you think that any other one is said to be worthy of worship and called Lord and God in the Scriptures, except the Maker of all, and Christ, who by so many Scriptures was proved to you to have become man?”
And Trypho replied, “How can we admit this, when we have instituted so great an inquiry as to whether there is any other than the Father alone?”
Then I again said, “I must ask you this also, that I may know whether or not you are of a different opinion from that which you admitted some time ago.”160
He replied, “It is not, sir.”
Then again I, “Since you certainly admit these things, and since Scripture says, ‘Who shall declare His generation?’ ought you not now to suppose that He is not the seed of a human race?”
And Trypho said, “How then does the Word say to David, that out of his loins God shall take to Himself a Son, and shall establish His kingdom, and shall set Him on the throne of His glory?”
And I said, “Trypho, if the prophecy which Isaiah uttered, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive,’ is said not to the house of David, but to another house of the twelve tribes, perhaps the matter would have some difficulty; but since this prophecy refers to the house of David, Isaiah has explained how that which was spoken by God to David in mystery would take place. But perhaps you are not aware of this, my friends, that there were many sayings written obscurely, or parabolically, or mysteriously, and symbolical actions, which the prophets who lived after the persons who said or did them expounded.” “Assuredly,” said Trypho.
“If therefore, I shall show that this prophecy of Isaiah refers to our Christ, and not to Hezekiah, as you say, shall I not in this matter, too, compel you not to believe your teachers, who venture to assert that the explanation which your 233 seventy elders that were with Ptolemy the king of the Egyptians gave, is untrue in certain respects? For some statements in the Scriptures, which appear explicitly to convict them of a foolish and vain opinion, these they venture to assert have not been so written. But other statements, which they fancy they can distort and harmonize with human actions,161 these, they say, refer not to this Jesus Christ of ours, but to him of whom they are pleased to explain them. Thus, for instance, they have taught you that this Scripture which we are now discussing refers to Hezekiah, in which, as I promised, I shall show they are wrong. And since they are compelled, they agree that some Scriptures which we mention to them, and which expressly prove that Christ was to suffer, to be worshipped, and [to be called] God, and which I have already recited to you, do refer indeed to Christ, but they venture to assert that this man is not Christ. But they admit that He will come to suffer, and to reign, and to be worshipped, and to be God;162 and this opinion I shall in like manner show to be ridiculous and silly. But since I am pressed to answer first to what was said by you in jest, I shall make answer to it, and shall afterwards give replies to what follows.
Chap. LXIX. — The Devil, Since He Emulates the Truth, Has Invented Fables About Bacchus, Hercules, and Aesculapius.
“Be well assured, then, Trypho,” I continued, “that I am established in the knowledge of and faith in the Scriptures by those counterfeits which he who is called the devil is said to have performed among the Greeks; just as some were wrought by the Magi in Egypt, and others by the false prophets in Elijah’s days. For when they tell that Bacchus, son of Jupiter, was begotten by [Jupiter’s] intercourse with Semele, and that he was the discoverer of the vine; and when they relate, that being torn in pieces, and having died, he rose again, and ascended to heaven; and when they introduce wine163 into his mysteries, do I not perceive that [the devil] has imitated the prophecy announced by the patriarch Jacob, and recorded by Moses? And when they tell that Hercules was strong, and travelled over all the world, and was begotten by Jove of Alcmene, and ascended to heaven when he died, do I not perceive that the Scripture which speaks of Christ, ‘strong as a giant to run his race,’ (Psa_19:5) has been in like manner imitated? And when he [the devil] brings forward Aesculapius as the raiser of the dead and healer of all diseases, may I not say that in this matter likewise he has imitated the prophecies about Christ? But since I have not quoted to you such Scripture as tells that Christ will do these things, I must necessarily remind you of one such: from which you can understand, how that to those destitute of a knowledge of God, I mean the Gentiles, who, ‘having eyes, saw not, and having a heart, understood not,’ worshipping the images of wood, [how even to them] Scripture prophesied that they would renounce these [vanities], and hope in this Christ. It is thus written: ‘Rejoice, thirsty wilderness: let the wilderness be glad, and blossom as the lily: the deserts of the Jordan shall both blossom and be glad: and the glory of Lebanon was given to it, and the honour of Carmel. And my people shall see the exaltation of the Lord, and the glory of God. Be strong, ye careless hands and enfeebled knees. Be comforted, ye faint in soul: be strong, fear not. Behold, our God gives, and will give, retributive judgment. He shall come and save us. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall hear. Then the lame shall leap as an hart, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be distinct: for water has broken forth in the wilderness, and a valley in the thirsty land; and the parched ground shall become pools, and a spring of water shall [rise up] in the thirsty land.’ (Isa_35:1-7) The spring of living water which gushed forth from God in the land destitute of the knowledge of God, namely the land of the Gentiles, was this Christ, who also appeared in your nation, and healed those who were maimed, and deaf, and lame in body from their birth, causing them to leap, to hear, and to see, by His word. And having raised the dead, and causing them to live, by His deeds He compelled the men who lived at that time to recognise Him. But though they saw such works, they asserted it was magical art. For they dared to call Him a magician, and a deceiver of the people. Yet He wrought such works, and persuaded those who were [destined to] believe on Him; for even if any one be labouring under a defect of body, yet be an observer of the doctrines delivered by Him, He shall raise him up at His second advent perfectly sound, after He has made him immortal, and incorruptible, and free from grief.
Chap. LXX. — So also the Mysteries of Mithras Are Distorted from the Prophecies of Daniel and Isaiah.
“And when those who record the mysteries of Mithras say that he was begotten of a rock, and call the place where those who believe in him are initiated a cave, do I not perceive here that the utterance of Daniel, that a stone 234 without hands was cut out of a great mountain, has been imitated by them, and that they have attempted likewise to imitate the whole of Isaiah’s164 words?165 For they166 contrived that the words of righteousness be quoted also by them.167 But I must repeat to you the words of Isaiah referred to, in order that from them you may know that these things are so. They are these: ‘Hear, ye that are far off, what I have done; those that are near shall know my might. The sinners in Zion are removed; trembling shall seize the impious. Who shall announce to you the everlasting place? The man who walks in righteousness, speaks in the right way, hates sin and unrighteousness, and keeps his hands pure from bribes, stops the ears from hearing the unjust judgment of blood closes the eyes from seeing unrighteousness: he shall dwell in the lofty cave of the strong rock. Bread shall be given to him, and his water [shall be] sure. Ye shall see the King with glory, and your eyes shall look far off. Your soul shall pursue diligently the fear of the Lord. Where is the scribe? where are the counsellors? where is he that numbers those who are nourished, — the small and great people? with whom they did not take counsel, nor knew the depth of the voices, so that they heard not. The people who are become depreciated, and there is no understanding in him who hears.’ (Isa_33:13-19) Now it is evident, that in this prophecy [allusion is made] to the bread which our Christ gave us to eat,168 in remembrance of His being made flesh for the sake of His believers, for whom also He suffered; and to the cup which He gave us to drink,168 in remembrance of His own blood, with giving of thanks. And this prophecy proves that we shall behold this very King with glory; and the very terms of the prophecy declare loudly, that the people foreknown to believe in Him were fore-known to pursue diligently the fear of the Lord. Moreover, these Scriptures are equally explicit in saying, that those who are reputed to know the writings of the Scriptures, and who hear the prophecies, have no understanding. And when I hear, Trypho,” said I, “that Perseus was begotten of a virgin, I understand that the deceiving serpent counterfeited also this.
Chap. LXXI. — The Jews Reject the Interpretation of the LXX., from Which, Moreover, They Have Taken Away Some Passages.
“But I am far from putting reliance in your teachers, who refuse to admit that the interpretation made by the seventy elders who were with Ptolemy [king] of the Egyptians is a correct one; and they attempt to frame another. And I wish you to observe, that they have altogether taken away many Scriptures from the translations effected by those seventy elders who were with Ptolemy, and by which this very man who was crucified is proved to have been set forth expressly as God, and man, and as being crucified, and as dying; but since I am aware that this is denied by all of your nation, I do not address myself to these points, but I proceed169 to carry on my discussions by means of those passages which are still admitted by you. For you assent to those which I have brought before your attention, except that you contradict the statement, ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive,’ and say it ought to be read, ‘Behold, the young woman shall conceive.’ And I promised to prove that the prophecy referred, not, as you were taught, to Hezekiah, but to this Christ of mine: and now I shall go to the proof.”
Here Trypho remarked, “We ask you first of all to tell us some of the Scriptures which you allege have been completely cancelled.”
Chap. LXXII. — Passages Have Been Removed by the Jews from Esdras and Jeremiah.
And I said, “I shall do as you please. From the statements, then, which Esdras made in reference to the law of the passover, they have taken away the following: ‘And Esdras said to the people, This passover is our Saviour and our refuge. And if you have understood, and your heart has taken it in, that we shall humble Him on a standard, and170 thereafter hope in Him, then this place shall not be forsaken for ever, says the God of hosts. But if you will not believe Him, and will not listen to His declaration, you shall be a laughing-stock to the nations.’171 And from the sayings of Jeremiah they have cut out the following: ‘I [was] like a lamb that is brought to the slaughter: they devised a device against me, saying, Come, let us lay on wood on His bread, and let us blot Him out from the land of the living; and His name shall no more be remembered.’ (Jer_11:19) And since this passage from the sayings of Jeremiah is still written in some copies 235 [of the Scriptures] in the synagogues of the Jews (for it is only a short time since they were cut out), and since from these words it is demonstrated that the Jews deliberated about the Christ Himself, to crucify and put Him to death, He Himself is both declared to be led as a sheep to the slaughter, as was predicted by Isaiah, and is here represented as a harmless lamb; but being in a difficulty about them, they give themselves over to blasphemy. And again, from the sayings of the same Jeremiah these have been cut out: ‘The Lord God remembered His dead people of Israel who lay in the graves; and He descended to preach to them His own salvation.’172
Chap. LXXIII. — [the Words] “from the Wood” Have Been Cut Out of Psa_96:1-13
“And from the ninety-fifth (ninety-sixth) Psalm they have taken away this short saying of the words of David: ‘From the wood.’173 For when the passage said, ‘Tell ye among the nations, the Lord hath reigned from the wood,’ they have left, ‘Tell ye among the nations, the Lord hath reigned.’ Now no one of your people has ever been said to have reigned as God and Lord among the nations, with the exception of Him only who was crucified, of whom also the Holy Spirit affirms in the same Psalm that He was raised again, and freed from [the grave], declaring that there is none like Him among the gods of the nations: for they are idols of demons. But I shall repeat the whole Psalm to you, that you may perceive what has been said. It is thus: ‘Sing unto the Lord a new song; sing unto the Lord, all the earth. Sing unto the Lord, and bless His name; show forth His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all people. For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: He is to be feared above all the gods. For all the gods of the nations are demons but the Lord made the heavens. Confession and beauty are in His presence; holiness and magnificence are in His sanctuary. Bring to the Lord, O ye countries of the nations, bring to the Lord glory and honour, bring to the Lord glory in His name. Take sacrifices, and go into His courts; worship the Lord in His holy temple. Let the whole earth be moved before Him tell ye among the nations, the Lord hath reigned.174 For He hath established the world, which shall not be moved; He shall judge the nations with equity. Let the heavens rejoice, and the earth be glad; let the sea and its fulness shake. Let the fields and all therein be joyful. Let all the trees of the wood be glad before the Lord: for He comes, for He comes to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth.’”
Here Trypho remarked, “Whether [or not] the rulers of the people have erased any portion of the Scriptures, as you affirm, God knows; but it seems incredible.”
“Assuredly,” said I, “it does seem incredible. For it is more horrible than the calf which they made, when satisfied with manna on the earth; or than the sacrifice of children to demons; or than the slaying of the prophets. But,” said I, “you appear to me not to have heard the Scriptures which I said they had stolen away. For such as have been quoted are more than enough to prove the points in dispute, besides those which are retained by us,175 and shall yet be brought forward.”
Chap. LXXIV. — The Beginning of Psa_96:1-13 Is Attributed to the Father [by Trypho]. But [it Refers] to Christ by These Words: “Tell Ye Among the Nations That the Lord,” Etc.
Then Trypho said, “We know that you quoted these because we asked you. But it does not appear to me that this Psalm which you quoted last from the words of David refers to any other than the Father and Maker of the heavens and earth. You, however, asserted that it referred to Him who suffered, whom you also are eagerly endeavouring to prove to be Christ.”
And I answered, “Attend to me, I beseech you, while I speak of the statement which the Holy Spirit gave utterance to in this Psalm; and you shall know that I speak not sinfully, and that we176 are not really bewitched; for so you shall be enabled of yourselves to understand many other statements made by the Holy Spirit. ‘Sing unto the Lord a new song; sing unto the Lord, all the earth: sing unto the Lord, and bless His name; show forth His salvation from day to day, His wonderful works among all people.’ He bids the inhabitants of all the earth, who have known the mystery of this salvation, i.e., the suffering of Christ, by which He saved them, sing and give praises to God the Father of all things, and recognise that He is to be praised and feared, and that He is the Maker of heaven and earth, who effected this salvation in behalf of the human race, who also was crucified and was dead, and who was deemed worthy by Him(God) to reign over all the earth. As [is clearly seen177] also by the land into which [He said] He would 236 bring [your fathers]; [for He thus speaks]: (Deu_31:16-18) ‘This people [shall go a whoring after other gods], and shall forsake Me, and shall break my covenant which I made with them in that day; and I will forsake them, and will turn away My face from them; and they shall be devoured,178 and many evils and afflictions shall find them out; and they shall say in that day, Because the Lord my God is not amongst us, these misfortunes have found us out. And I shall certainly turn away My face from them in that day, on account of all the evils which they have committed, in that they have turned to other gods.’179
Chap. LXXV. — It Is Proved That Jesus Was the Name of God in the Book of Exodus.
“Moreover, in the book of Exodus we have also perceived that the name of God Himself which, He says, was not revealed to Abraham or to Jacob, was Jesus, and was declared mysteriously through Moses. Thus it is written: ‘And the Lord spake to Moses, Say to this people, Behold, I send My angel before thy face, to keep thee in the way, to bring thee into the land which I have prepared for thee. Give heed to Him, and obey Him; do not disobey Him. For He will not draw back from you; for My name is in Him.’ (Exo_23:20, Exo_23:21) Now understand that He who led your fathers into the land is called by this name Jesus, and first called Auses ([Num_13:16]) (Oshea). For if you shall understand this, you shall likewise perceive that the name of Him who said to Moses, ‘for My name is in Him,’ was Jesus. For, indeed, He was also called Israel, and Jacob’s name was changed to this also. Now Isaiah shows that those prophets who are sent to publish tidings from God are called His angels and apostles. For Isaiah says in a certain place, ‘Send me.’ (Isa_6:8) And that the prophet whose name was changed, Jesus [Joshua], was strong and great, is manifest to all. If, then, we know that God revealed Himself in so many forms to Abraham, and to Jacob, and to Moses, how are we at a loss, and do not believe that, according to the will of the Father of all things, it was possible for Him to be born man of the Virgin, especially after we have such180 Scriptures, from which it can be plainly perceived that He became so according to the will of the Father?
Chap. LXXVI. — From Other Passages the Same Majesty and Government of Christ Are Proved.
“For when Daniel speaks of ‘one like unto the Son of man’ who received the everlasting kingdom, does he not hint at this very thing? For he declares that, in saying ‘like unto the Son of man,’ He appeared, and was man, but not of human seed. And the same thing he proclaimed in mystery when he speaks of this stone which was cut out without hands. For the expression ‘it was cut out without hands’ signified that it is not a work of man, but [a work] of the will of the Father and God of all things, who brought Him forth. And when Isaiah says, ‘Who shall declare His generation?’ he meant that His descent could not be declared. Now no one who is a man of men has a descent that cannot be declared. And when Moses says that He will wash His garments in the blood of the grape, does not this signify what I have now often told you is an obscure prediction, namely, that He had blood, but not from men; just as not man, but God, has begotten the blood of the vine? And when Isaiah calls Him the Angel of mighty counsel, ([Isa_9:6, according to LXX.]) did he not foretell Him to be the Teacher of those truths which He did teach when He came [to earth]? For He alone taught openly those mighty counsels which the Father designed both for all those who have been and shall be well-pleasing to Him, and also for those who have rebelled against His will, whether men or angels, when He said: ‘They shall come from the east [and from the west181], and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven: but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness.’ (Mat_8:11) And, ‘Many shall say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not eaten, and drunk, and prophesied, and cast out demons in Thy name? And I will say to them, Depart from Me.’ (Mat_7:22) Again, in other words, by which He shall condemn those who are unworthy of salvation, He said, Depart into outer darkness, which the Father has prepared for Satan and his, angels.’ (Mat_25:41) And again, in other words, He said, ‘I give unto you power to tread on serpents, and on scorpions, and on scolopendras, and on all the might of the enemy.’182 And now we, who believe on our Lord Jesus, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, when we exorcise all demons and evil spirits, have them subjected to us. For if the prophets declared obscurely that Christ would suffer, and thereafter be Lord of all, yet that [declaration] could not be understood by any man until He Himself persuaded the apostles that such statements were expressly related in the Scriptures. For He exclaimed before His crucifixion: ‘The Son of man must suffer many 237 things, and be rejected by the Scribes and Pharisees, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.’ (Luk_9:22) And David predicted that He would be born from the womb before sun and moon,183 according to the Father’s will, and made Him known, being Christ, as God strong and to be worshipped.”
Chap. LXXVII. — He Returns to Explain the Prophecy of Isaiah.
Then Trypho said, “I admit that such and so great arguments are sufficient to persuade one; but I wish [you] to know that I ask you for the proof which you have frequently proposed to give me. Proceed then to make this plain to us, that we may see how you prove that that [passage] refers to this Christ of yours. For we assert that the prophecy relates to Hezekiah.” And I replied, “I shall do as you wish. But show me yourselves first of all how it is said of Hezekiah, that before he knew how to call father or mother, he received the power of Damascus and the spoils of Samaria in the presence of the king of Assyria. For it will not be conceded to you, as you wish to explain it, that Hezekiah waged war with the inhabitants of Damascus and Samaria in presence of the king of Assyria. ‘For before the child knows how to call father or mother,’ the prophetic word said, ‘He shall take the power of Damascus and spoils of Samaria in presence of the king of Assyria.’ For if the Spirit of prophecy had not made the statement with an addition, ‘Before the child knows how to call father or mother, he shall take the power of Damascus and spoils of Samaria,’ but had only said, ‘And shall bear a son, and he shall take the power of Damascus and spoils of Samaria,’ then you might say that God foretold that he would take these things, since He fore-knew it. But now the prophecy has stated it with this addition: ‘Before the child knows how to call father or mother, he shall take the power of Damascus and spoils of Samaria.’ And you cannot prove that such a thing ever happened to any one among the Jews. But we are able to prove that it happened in the case of our Christ. For at the time of His birth, Magi who came from Arabia worshipped Him, coming first to Herod, who then was sovereign in your land, and whom the Scripture calls king of Assyria on account of his ungodly and sinful character. For you know,” continued I, “that the Holy Spirit oftentimes announces such events by parables and similitudes; just as He did towards all the people in Jerusalem, frequently saying to them, ‘Thy father is an Amorite, and thy mother a Hittite. (Eze_16:3)
Chap. LXXVIII. — He Proves That This Prophecy Harmonizes with Christ Alone, from What Is Afterwards Written.
“Now this king Herod, at the time when the Magi came to him from Arabia, and said they knew from a star which appeared in the heavens that a King had been born in your country, and that they had come to worship Him, learned from the elders of your people that it was thus written regarding Bethlehem in the prophet: ‘And thou, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art by no means least among the princes of Judah; for out of thee shall go forth the leader who shall feed my people.’ (Mic_5:2) Accordingly the Magi from Arabia came to Bethlehem and worshipped the Child, and presented Him with gifts, gold and frankincense, and myrrh; but returned not to Herod, being warned in a revelation after worshipping the Child in Bethlehem. And Joseph, the spouse of Mary, who wished at first to put away his betrothed Mary, supposing her to be pregnant by intercourse with a man, i.e., from fornication, was commanded in a vision not to put away his wife; and the angel who appeared to him told him that what is in her womb is of the Holy Ghost. Then he was afraid, and did not put her away; but on the occasion of the first census which was taken in Judaea, under Cyrenius, he went up from Nazareth, where he lived, to Bethlehem, to which he belonged, to be enrolled; for his family was of the tribe of Judah, which then inhabited that region. Then along with Mary he is ordered to proceed into Egypt, and remain there with the Child until another revelation warn them to return into Judaea. But when the Child was born in Bethlehem, since Joseph could not find a lodging in that village, he took up his quarters in a certain cave near the village; and while they were there Mary brought forth the Christ and placed Him in a manger, and here the Magi who came from Arabia found Him. I have repeated to you,” I continued, “what Isaiah foretold about the sign which foreshadowed the cave; but for the sake of those who have come with us to-day, I shall again remind you of the passage.” Then I repeated the passage from Isaiah which I have already written, adding that, by means of those words, those who presided over the mysteries of Mithras were stirred up by the devil to say that in a place, called among them a cave, they were initiated by him.184 “So Herod, when the Magi 238 from Arabia did not return to him, as he had asked them to do, but had departed by another way to their own country, according to the commands laid on them; and when Joseph, with Mary and the Child, had now gone into Egypt, as it was revealed to them to do; as he did not know the Child whom the Magi had gone to worship, ordered simply the whole of the children then in Bethlehem to be massacred. And Jeremiah prophesied that this would happen, speaking by the Holy Ghost thus: ‘A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation and much wailing, Rachel weeping for her children; and she would not be comforted, because they are not.’ (Jer_31:15) Therefore, on account of the voice which would be heard from Ramah, i.e., from Arabia (for there is in Arabia at this very time a place called Rama), wailing would come on the place where Rachel the wife of Jacob called Israel, the holy patriarch, has been buried, i.e., on Bethlehem; while the women weep for their own slaughtered children, and have no consolation by reason of what has happened to them. For that expression of Isaiah ‘He shall take the power of Damascus and spoils of Samaria,’ foretold that the power of the evil demon that dwelt in Damascus should be overcome by Christ as soon as He was born; and this is proved to have happened. For the Magi, who were held in bondage185 for the commission of all evil deeds through the power of that demon, by coming to worship Christ, shows that they have revolted from that dominion which held them captive; and this [dominion] the Scripture has showed us to reside in Damascus. Moreover, that sinful and unjust power is termed well in parable, Samaria.186 And none of you can deny that Damascus was, and is, in the region of Arabia, although now it belongs to what is called Syrophoenicia. Hence it would be becoming for you, sirs, to learn what you have not perceived, from those who have received grace from God, namely, from us Christians; and not to strive in every way to maintain your own doctrines, dishonouring those of God. Therefore also this grace has been transferred to us, as Isaiah says, speaking to the following effect: ‘This people draws near to Me, they honour Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me; but in vain they worship Me, teaching the commands and doctrines of men. Therefore, behold, I will proceed187 to remove this people, and I shall remove them; and I shall take away the wisdom of their wise men, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent men.’” (Isa_29:13-14)
Chap. LXXIX. — He Proves Against Trypho That the Wicked Angels Have Revolted from God.
On this, Trypho, who was somewhat angry, but respected the Scriptures, as was manifest from his countenance, said to me, “The utterances of God are holy, but your expositions are mere contrivances, as is plain from what has been explained by you; nay, even blasphemies, for you assert that angels sinned and revolted from God.”
And I, wishing to get him to listen to me, answered in milder tones, thus: “I admire, sir, this piety of yours; and I pray that you may entertain the same disposition towards Him to whom angels are recorded to minister, as Daniel says; for [one] like the Son of man is led to the Ancient of days, and every kingdom is given to Him for ever and ever. But that you may know, sir,” continued I, “that it is not our audacity which has induced us to adopt this exposition, which you reprehend, I shall give you evidence from Isaiah himself; for he affirms that evil angels have dwelt and do dwell in Tanis, in Egypt. These are [his] words: ‘Woe to the rebellious children! Thus saith the Lord, You have taken counsel, but not through Me; and [made] agreements, but not through My Spirit, to add sins to sins; who have sinned188 in going down to Egypt (but they have not inquired at Me), that they may be assisted by Pharaoh, and be covered with the shadow of the Egyptians. For the shadow of Pharaoh shall be a disgrace to you, and a reproach to those who trust in the Egyptians; for the princes in Tanis189 are evil angels. In vain will they labour for a people which will not profit them by assistance, but [will be] for a disgrace and a reproach [to them].’ (Isa_30:1-5) And, further, Zechariah tells, as you yourself have related, that the devil stood on the right hand of Joshua the priest, to resist him; and [the Lord] said, ‘The Lord, who has taken190 Jerusalem, rebuke thee.’ (Zec_3:1) And again, it is written in Job, (Job_1:6) as you said yourself, how that the angels came to stand before the Lord, and the devil came with them. And we have it recorded by Moses in the beginning of Genesis, that the serpent beguiled Eve, and was cursed. And we know that in Egypt there were magicians who emulated191 the mighty power displayed by God through the faithful servant Moses. And you are aware that David said, ‘The gods of the nations are demons.’” (Psa_96:5) 239
Chap. LXXX. — The Opinion of Justin with Regard to the Reign of a Thousand Years. Several Catholics Reject It.
And Trypho to this replied, “I remarked to you sir, that you are very anxious to be safe in all respects, since you cling to the Scriptures. But tell me, do you really admit that this place, Jerusalem, shall be rebuilt; and do you expect your people to be gathered together, and made joyful with Christ and the patriarchs, and the prophets, both the men of our nation, and other proselytes who joined them before your Christ came? or have you given way, and admitted this in order to have the appearance of worsting us in the controversies?”
Then I answered, “I am not so miserable a fellow, Trypho, as to say one thing and think another. I admitted to you formerly,192 that I and many others are of this opinion, and [believe] that such will take place, as you assuredly are aware;193 but, on the other hand, I signified to you that many who belong to the pure and pious faith, and are true Christians, think otherwise. Moreover, I pointed out to you that some who are called Christians, but are godless, impious heretics, teach doctrines that are in every way blasphemous, atheistical, and foolish. But that you may know that I do not say this before you alone, I shall draw up a statement, so far as I can, of all the arguments which have passed between us; in which I shall record myself as admitting the very same things which I admit to you.194 For I choose to follow not men or men’s doctrines, but God and the doctrines [delivered] by Him. For if you have fallen in with some who are called Christians, but who do not admit this [truth],195 and venture to blaspheme the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; who say there is no resurrection of the dead, and that their souls, when they die, are taken to heaven; do not imagine that they are Christians, even as one, if he would rightly consider it, would not admit that the Sadducees, or similar sects of Genistae, Meristae,196 Gelilaeans, Hellenists,197 Pharisees, Baptists, are Jews (do not hear me impatiently when I tell you what I think), but are [only] called Jews and children of Abraham, worshipping God with the lips, as God Himself declared, but the heart was far from Him. But I and others, who are right-minded Christians on all points, are assured that there will be a resurrection of the dead, and a thousand years198 in Jerusalem, which will then be built, adorned, and enlarged, [as] the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah and others declare.
Chap. LXXXI. — He Endeavours to Prove This Opinion from Isaiah and the Apocalypse.
“For Isaiah spake thus concerning this space of a thousand years: ‘For there shall be the new heaven and the new earth, and the former shall not be remembered, or come into their heart; but they shall find joy and gladness in it, which things I create. For, Behold, I make Jerusalem a rejoicing, and My people a joy; and I shall rejoice over Jerusalem, and be glad over My I people. And the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, or the voice of crying. And there shall be no more there a person of immature years, or an old man who shall not fulfil his days.199 For the young man shall be an hundred years old;200 but the sinner who dies an hundred years old,200 he shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and shall themselves inhabit them; and they shall plant vines, and shall themselves eat the produce of them, and drink the wine. They shall not build, and others inhabit; they shall not plant, and others eat. For according to the days of the tree of life shall be the days of my people; the works of their toil shall abound.201 Mine elect shall not toil fruitlessly, or beget children to be cursed; for they shall be a seed righteous and blessed by the Lord, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call I will hear; while they are still speaking, I shall say, What is it? Then shall the wolves and the lambs feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; but the serpent [shall eat] earth as bread. They shall not hurt or maltreat each other on the holy mountain, saith the Lord.’ (Isa_65:17 to end) Now we have understood that the expression used among these words, ‘According to the days of the tree [of life202] shall be the days of my people; the works of their toil shall abound’ obscurely predicts a thousand years.
For as Adam was told that in the day he ate of the tree he would die, we know that he did not 240 complete a thousand years. We have perceived, moreover, that the expression, ‘The day of the Lord is as a thousand years,’ (Psa_90:4; 2Pe_3:8) is connected with this subject. And further, there was a certain man with us, whose name was John, one of the apostles of Christ, who prophesied, by a revelation that was made to him, that those who believed in our Christ would dwell203 a thousand years in Jerusalem; and that thereafter the general, and, in short, the eternal resurrection and judgment of all men would likewise take place. Just as our Lord also said, ‘They shall neither marry nor be given in marriage, but shall be equal to the angels, the children of the God of the resurrection.’ (Luk_20:35)
Chap. LXXXII. — The Prophetical Gifts of the Jews Were Transferred to the Christians.
“For the prophetical gifts remain with us, even to the present time. And hence you ought to understand that [the gifts] formerly among your nation have been transferred to us. And just as there were false prophets contemporaneous with your holy prophets, so are there now many false teachers amongst us, of whom our Lord forewarned us to beware; so that in no respect are we deficient, since we know that He foreknew all that would happen to us after His resurrection from the dead and ascension to heaven. For He said we would be put to death, and hated for His name’s sake; and that many false prophets and false Christs would appear in His name, and deceive many: and so has it come about. For many have taught godless, blasphemous, and unholy doctrines, forging them in His name; have taught, too, and even yet are teaching, those things which proceed from the unclean spirit of the devil, and which were put into their hearts. Therefore we are most anxious that you be persuaded not to be misled by such persons, since we know that every one who can speak the truth, and yet speaks it not, shall be judged by God, as God testified by Ezekiel, when He said, ‘I have made thee a watchman to the house of Judah. If the sinner sin, and thou warn him not, he himself shall die in his sin; but his blood will I require at thine hand. But if thou warn him, thou shalt be innocent.’ (Eze_3:17, Eze_3:18, Eze_3:19) And on this account we are, through fear, very earnest in desiring to converse [with men] according to the Scriptures, but not from love of money, or of glory, or of pleasure. For no man can convict us of any of these [vices]. No more do we wish to live like the rulers of your people, whom God reproaches when He says, ‘Your rulers are companions of thieves, lovers of bribes, followers of the rewards.’ (Isa_1:23) Now, if you know certain amongst us to be of this sort, do not for their sakes blaspheme the Scriptures and Christ, and do not assiduously strive to give falsified interpretations.
Chap. LXXXIII. — It Is Proved That the Psalm, “the Lord Said to My Lord,” Etc., Does Not Suit Hezekiah.
“For your teachers have ventured to refer the passage, ‘The Lord says to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool,’ to Hezekiah; as if he were requested to sit on the right side of the temple, when the king of Assyria sent to him and threatened him; and he was told by Isaiah not to be afraid. Now we know and admit that what Isaiah said took place; that the king of Assyria desisted from waging war against Jerusalem in Hezekiah’s days, and the angel of the Lord slew about 185,000 of the host of the Assyrians. But it is manifest that the Psalm does not refer to him. For thus it is written, ‘The Lord says to my Lord, Sit at My right hand, till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool. He shall send forth a rod of power over204 Jerusalem, and it shall rule in the midst of Thine205 enemies. In the splendour of the saints before the morning star have I begotten Thee. The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.’ Who does not admit, then, that Hezekiah is no priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek? And who does not know that he is not the redeemer of Jerusalem? And who does not know that he neither sent a rod of power into Jerusalem, nor ruled in the midst of his enemies; but that it was God who averted from him the enemies, after he mourned and was afflicted? But our Jesus, who has not yet come in glory, has sent into Jerusalem a rod of power, namely, the word of calling and repentance [meant] for all nations over which demons held sway, as David says, ‘The gods of the nations are demons.’ And His strong word has prevailed on many to forsake the demons whom they used to serve, and by means of it to believe in the Almighty God because the gods of the nations are demons.206 And we mentioned formerly that the statement, ‘In the splendour of the saints before the morning star have I begotten Thee from the womb,’ is made to Christ. 241
157 We have not seen that Justin admitted this; but it is not to be supposed that the passage where he did admit it has been lost, as Perionius suspected; for sometimes Justin refers to passages at other places, which he did not relate in their own place. — Maranus.
158 [Note the courteous admission of Trypho, and the consent of both parties to the duty of searching the Scriptures.]
160 τέως: Vulg. παρὰ Θεῷ, vitiose. — Otto.
161 The text is corrupt, and various emendations have been proposed.
162 Or, “and to be worshipped as God.”
163 Or, “an ass.” The ass was sacred to Bacchus; and many fluctuate between οἶνον and ὄνον.
164 The text here has ταῦτα ποιῆσαι ὁμοίως. Maranus suggests Ἠσαίου for ποιῆσαι; and so we have translated.
165 Justin says that the priests of Mithras imitated all the words of Isaiah about to be quoted; and to prove it, is content with a single example, namely, the precepts of righteousness, which they were wont to relate to him, as in these words of Isaiah: “He who walks in righteousness,” etc. Justin omitted many other passages, as easy and obvious. For since Mithras is the same as fire, it manifestly answers to the fire of which Isaiah speaks. And since Justin reminded them who are initiated, that they are said to be initiated by Mithras himself, it was not necessary to remind them that the words of Isaiah are imitated in this: “You shall see the King with glory.” Bread and water are referred to by Isaiah: so also in these mysteries of Mithras, Justin testifies that bread and a cup of water are placed before them (Apol. i. lxvi.). — Maranus
166 i.e., the devils.
167 i.e., the priests of Mithras.
168 Literally, “to do,” ποιεῖν. [The horrible charge of banqueting on blood, etc., constantly repeated against Christians, was probably based on the Eucharist. See Kaye’s Illustrations from Tatian, Athenagorus, and Theoph. Antioch., cap. ix. p. 153.]
169 Or, “profess.”
170 Or, “even if we.”
171 It is not known where this passage comes from.
172 This is wanting in our Scriptures: it is cited by Iren., iii. 20, under the name of Isaiah, and in iv. 22 under that of Jeremiah. — Maranus.
173 These words were not taken away by the Jews, but added by some Christian. — Otto. [A statement not proved.]
174 It is strange that “from the wood” is not added; but the audacity of the copyists in such matters is well known. — Maranus.
175 Many think, “you.”
176 In text, “you.” Maranus suggests, as far better, “we.”
177 Something is here wanting; the suggested reading of Maranus has been adopted. [As to omissions between this chapter and the next, critics are not agreed. The Benedictine editors see no proofs of them.]
178 Literally, “for food.”
179 The first conference seems to have ended hereabout. [It occupied two days. But the student must the learned note of Kaye (Justin Martyr, p. 20. Rivingtons, London. 1853).]
180 Or, “so many.”
181 Not in all edd.
182 Luk_10:19. [“And on scolopendras” (i. e. centipedes) not in the original.]
183 Justin puts “sun and moon” instead of “Lucifer.” [Ps. 110:3, Sept, compounded with Pro_8:27.] Maranus says, David did predict, not that Christ would be born of Mary before sun and moon, but that it would happen before sun and moon that He would be born of a virgin.
184 Text has, by “them;” but Maranus says the artifice lay in the priest’s compelling the initiated to say that Mithras himself was the initiator in the cave.
185 Literally, “spoiled.”
186 Justin thinks the “spoils of Samaria” denote spoils of Satan; Tertull. thinks that they are spoils of Christ.
187 Literally, “add.”
188 LXX. “who walk,” πορευόμενοι for πονηρευόμενοι.
189 In E. V. “Zoan.”
190 ἐκδεξάμενος; in chap. cxv. inf. it is ἐκλεξάμενος.
191 Maranus suggests the insertion of ἐποίησαν or ἐπείρασαν before ἐξισοῦσθαι.
192 Justin made no previous allusion to this point, so far as we know from the writing preserved.
193 Or, “so as to believe thoroughly that such will take place” (after “opinion”).
194 [A hint of the origin of this work. See Kaye’s Note, p. 18].
195 i.e., resurrection.
196 Maranus says, Hieron. thinks the Genistae were so called because they were sprung from Abraham (γέ