Justin’s Hortatory Address to the Greeks
Chapter I.—Reasons for addressing the Greeks.
Chapter II—The poets are unfit to be religious teachers.
Chapter III.—Opinions of the school of Thales.
Chapter IV.—Opinions of Pythagoras and Epicurus.
Chapter V.—Opinions of Plato and Aristotle.
Chapter VI.—Further disagreements between Plato and Aristotle.
Chapter VII.—Inconsistencies of Plato’s doctrine.
Chapter VIII.—Antiquity, inspiration, and harmony of Christian teachers.
Chapter IX.—The antiquity of Moses proved by Greek writers.
Chapter X—Training and inspiration of Moses.
Chapter XI.—Heathen oracles testify of Moses.
Chapter XII.—Antiquity of Moses proved.
Chapter XIII.—History of the Septuagint.
Chapter XIV.—A warning appeal to the Greeks.
Chapter XV.—Testimony of Orpheus to monotheism.
Chapter XVI.—Testimony of the Sibyl.
Chapter XVII.—Testimony of Homer.
Chapter XVIII.—Testimony of Sophocles.
Chapter XIX.—Testimony of Pythagoras.
Chapter XX.—Testimony of Plato.
Chapter XXI.—The namelessness of God.
Chapter XXII.—Studied ambiguity of Plato.
Chapter XXIII.—Plato’s self-contradiction.
Chapter XXIV.—Agreement of Plato and Homer.
Chapter XXV.—Plato’s knowledge of God’s eternity.
Chapter XXVI.—Plato indebted to the prophets.
Chapter XXVII.—Plato’s knowledge of the judgment.
Chapter XXVIII.—Homer’s obligations to the sacred writers.
Chapter XXIX.—Origin of Plato’s doctrine of form.
Chapter XXX.—Homer’s knowledge of man’s origin.
Chapter XXXI.—Further proof of Plato’s acquaintance with Scripture.
Chapter XXXII.—Plato’s doctrine of the heavenly gift.
Chapter XXXIII.—Plato’s idea of the beginning of time drawn from Moses.
Chapter XXXIV.—Whence men attributed to God human form.
Chapter XXXV.—Appeal to the Greeks.
Chapter XXXVI.—True knowledge not held by the philosophers.
But since, ye men of Greece, the matters of the true religion lie not in the metrical numbers of poetry, nor yet in that culture which is highly esteemed among you, do ye henceforward pay less devotion to accuracy of metres and of language; and giving heed without contentiousness to the words of the Sibyl, recognise how great are the benefits which she will confer upon you by predicting, as she does in a clear and patent manner, the advent of our Saviour Jesus Christ;85 [The fascinating use made of this by Virgil must not be overlooked:— “Ultima Cumæi venit jam carminis ætas,” etc. Ecl., iv. (Pollio) 4.] who, being the Word of God, inseparable from Him in power, having assumed man, who had been made in the image and likeness of God, restored to us the knowledge of the religion of our ancient forefathers, which the men who lived after them abandoned through the bewitching counsel of the envious devil, and turned to the worship of those who were no gods. And if you still hesitate and are hindered from belief regarding the formation of man, believe those whom you have hitherto thought it right to give heed to, and know that your own oracle, when asked by some one to utter a hymn of praise to the Almighty God, in the middle of the hymn spoke thus, “Who formed the first of men, and called him Adam.” And this hymn is preserved by many whom we know, for the conviction of those who are unwilling to believe the truth which all bear witness to. If therefore, ye men of Greece, ye do not esteem the false fancy concerning those that are no gods at a higher rate than your own salvation, believe, as I said, the most ancient and time-honoured Sibyl, whose books are preserved in all the world, and who by some kind of potent inspiration both teaches us in her oracular utterances concerning those that are called gods, that have no existence; and also clearly and manifestly prophesies concerning the predicted advent of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and concerning all those things which were to be done by Him. For the knowledge of these things will constitute your necessary preparatory training for the study of the prophecies of the sacred writers. And if any one supposes that he has learned the doctrine concerning God from the most ancient of those whom you name philosophers, let him listen to Ammon and Hermes:86 [Hermes Trismegistus. Milton (Penseroso, line 88,) translates this name.] to Ammon, who in his discourse concerning God calls Him wholly hidden; and to Hermes, who says plainly and distinctly, “that it is difficult to comprehend God, and that it is impossible even for the man who can comprehend Him to declare Him to others.” From every point of view, therefore, it must be seen that in no other way than only from the prophets who teach us by divine inspiration, is it at all possible to learn anything concerning God and the true religion.87 [N.B.— This work is not supposed to be Justin’s by modern critics.]
Πλὴν ἀλλ' ἐπειδήπερ, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἕλληνες, οὐκ ἐν ποιητικοῖς μέτροις τὰ τῆς ἀληθοῦς θεοσεβείας πράγματα οὐδὲ ἐν τῇ παρ' ὑμῖν εὐδοκιμούσῃ παιδεύσει, ἀφέμενοι λοιπὸν τῆς τῶν μέτρων καὶ λόγων ἀκριβείας, τοῖς ὑπ' αὐτῆς εἰρημένοις ἀφιλονείκως προσέχοντες γνῶτε πόσων ὑμῖν ἀγαθῶν αἰτία ἔσται, τὴν τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἄφιξιν σαφῶς καὶ φανερῶς προαγορεύουσα: ὃς τοῦ θεοῦ ὑπάρχων λόγος ἀχώρητος δυνάμει, τὸν κατ' εἰκόνα θεοῦ καὶ ὁμοίωσιν πλασθέντα ἀναλαβὼν ἄνθρωπον, τῆς τῶν ἀρχαίων ἡμᾶς προγόνων ἀνέμνησε θεοσεβείας, ἣν οἱ ἐξ αὐτῶν γενόμενοι ἄνθρωποι καταλιπόντες διδασκαλίᾳ βασκάνου δαίμονος ἐπὶ τὴν τῶν μὴ θεῶν ἐτράπησαν θρησκείαν. Εἰ δέ τις ὄκνος ὑμῖν ἐνοχλεῖ πίστεως περὶ τῆς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου πλάσεως, πείσθητε τούτοις οἷς ἔτι προσέχειν οἴεσθε δεῖν, καὶ γνῶτε ὅτι τὸ παρ' ὑμῖν χρηστήριον, ἀξιωθὲν ὑπό τινος ὕμνον τοῦ παντοκράτορος ἐκδοῦναι θεοῦ, οὕτως ἐν μέσῳ τοῦ ὕμνου ἔφη: Ὃς πρῶτον πλάσας μερόπων, Ἀδὰμ δὲ καλέσσας. Καὶ τοῦτον σώζεσθαι τὸν ὕμνον παρὰ πολλοῖς ὧν ἴσμεν συμβαίνει εἰς ἔλεγχον τῶν μὴ πείθεσθαι τῇ ὑπὸ πάντων μαρτυρουμένῃ ἀληθείᾳ βουλομένων. Εἰ τοίνυν, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἕλληνες, μὴ προτιμοτέραν ἡγεῖσθε τῆς ὑμῶν αὐτῶν σωτηρίας τὴν περὶ τῶν μὴ ὄντων θεῶν ψευδῆ φαντασίαν, πείσθητε, ὥσπερ ἔφην, τῇ ἀρχαιοτάτῃ καὶ σφόδρα παλαιᾷ Σιβύλλῃ, ἧς τὰς βίβλους ἐν πάσῃ τῇ οἰκουμένῃ σώζεσθαι συμβαίνει, περὶ μὲν τῶν λεγομένων θεῶν ὡς μὴ ὄντων ἀπό τινος δυνατῆς ἐπιπνοίας διὰ χρησμῶν ὑμᾶς διδασκούσῃ, περὶ δὲ τῆς τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ μελλούσης ἔσεσθαι παρουσίας καὶ περὶ πάντων τῶν ὑπ' αὐτοῦ γίνεσθαι μελλόντων σαφῶς καὶ φανερῶς προαναφωνούσῃ: ἔσται γὰρ ὑμῖν ἀναγκαῖον προγύμνασμα ἡ τούτων γνῶσις τῆς τῶν ἱερῶν ἀνδρῶν προφητείας. Εἰ δέ τις οἴοιτο παρὰ τῶν πρεσβυτάτων παρ' αὐτοῖς ὀνομασθέντων φιλοσόφων τὸν περὶ θεοῦ μεμαθηκέναι λόγον, Ἄμμωνός τε καὶ Ἑρμοῦ ἀκουέτω: Ἄμμωνος μὲν ἐν τοῖς περὶ αὐτοῦ λόγοις πάγκρυφον τὸν θεὸν ὀνομάζοντος, Ἑρμοῦ δὲ σαφῶς καὶ φανερῶς λέγοντος: Θεὸν νοῆσαι μέν ἐστι χαλεπόν, φράσαι δὲ ἀδύνατον, ᾧ καὶ νοῆσαι δυνατόν. Πανταχόθεν τοίνυν εἰδέναι προσήκει, ὅτι οὐδαμῶς ἑτέρως περὶ θεοῦ ἢ τῆς ὀρθῆς θεοσεβείας μανθάνειν οἷόν τε ἢ παρὰ τῶν προφητῶν μόνων, τῶν διὰ τῆς θείας ἐπιπνοίας διδασκόντων ὑμᾶς.