Letter to Diognetus, an early Christian apologetic work probably dating from the 2nd or 3rd century ad. It is often included with the works of the Apostolic Fathers, . Chapter 1. Occasion of the epistle. Most excellent Diognetus: I can see that you deeply desire to learn how Christians worship their God. You have so carefully. A late 2d century apology addressed to a certain Diognetus who is otherwise unknown. Diognetus was a tutor of the emperor Marcus Aurelius, who admired him.
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Do you accept of the vain and silly doctrines of those who are deemed trustworthy philosophers?
Didn’t the sculptor fashion one of them, the brazier a second, the silversmith a third, and the potter a fourth? They are made a paradise of delight. You see, happiness is not found by ruling over neighbors or by trying to diognnetus onto a superiority over those that are weaker.
The early Christians argue that the laws of Leviticus were added because of transgression and that God never wanted those sacrifices.
Letter to Diognetus | early Christian work |
For it is not by ruling over his neighbours, or by seeking to hold the supremacy over those that are weaker, or by being rich, and showing violence towards those that are inferior, that happiness is found; nor can any one by these things become an imitator of God. I’m not sure I completely agree with siognetus Letter to Diognetus’ assessment of the tree of knowledge in the garden, but arguing with him is not what I’m here to do.
The 13th-century manuscript was damaged in that place and the copies were made only after that damage had already been done. Their teaching is not based upon reveries inspired by the curiosity of men. You can read it here. He is, and here’s why.
Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus
Christians often argued with the Greeks from their own poets. But the one who combines knowledge with fear and searches for life—that one plants in hope, expecting fruit. The author prefers, rather, to ti to the “son” as “the Word. For which reason He sent the Word, that He might be manifested to the world; and He, being despised by the people [of the Jews ], was, when preached by the Apostles, believed on by the Gentiles.
While the philosophers were the religious leaders of Greek and Roman paganism, the poets were their scriptures. Then you will begin to speak the mysteries of God.
You riognetus don’t indicate that they are possessed of feeling. O benefits beyond any expectation! Keep in the light of your truth all those you have freed from the darkness of unbelief. For what other thing was capable of covering our sins than His righteousness? The fleshly Jews needed things like sacrifices to keep their attention directed to God—though even this didn’t work—but God never wanted them.
The soul is imprisoned in the body, yet preserves that very body. It grew and multiplied as the disciples diognetsu because the Word they preached was the Word of God implanted in their hearts, the word James speaks of Jam. Condemned because they are not understood, they are put to death, but raised to life again.
He was despised by the people [ i. Instead, he sent the very Creator and Fashioner of all things, the One by whom he made the heavens, by whom he lrtter the seas within its set boundaries, whose ordinances the stars faithfully observe, by whom diognegus sun is told the distance of his daily course to run, whom the moon obeys, being commanded ro shine in the night, and whom the stars also obey, following the moon on her route.
He gave his own Son as a ransom for us—the Holy One for transgressors; the Blameless One for the wicked; the Righteous One for the unrighteous; the Unfading One for the Fading; the Immortal One for those that are mortal.
For Godthe Lord and Fashioner of all things, who made all things, and assigned them their several positions, proved Himself not merely a friend of mankindbut also long-suffering [in His dealings with them]. As a result, diognetuz partake of his benefits, we see, and we are active. God has assigned them this illustrious position, and it is unlawful for them to forsake it because—as I said—this was no mere earthly fabrication which was delivered to them.
Is not a second brass, in no way superior to those vessels which are constructed for letger ordinary use? Is not a fifth iron, consumed by rust?
This does not seem to be the work of man. In the same way, the world hates the Christians, though not wounded in any way, because they renounce pleasures.
Did not the sculptor fashion one of them, the brazier a second, the silversmith a third, and the potter a fourth?