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The following quotation is from Justin Martyr’s book Dialogue with Trypho, written in Rome between a.d. 155 and 161. It includes a dialogue between a Christian (Justin) and a Jew (Trypho) following the failed Bar Kochba revolt of a.d. 135. Considering the fact that the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in the fighting and rebuilt upon it Aelia Capitolina (complete with a temple to Jupiter on the old temple site), Trypho’s question must have been ringing in the ears of many Jews and Christians. Is God really still going establish his kingdom on earth with its capital in Jerusalem? Justin replies in the affirmative and indicates that most, but not all, Christians agree with him.


Dialogue with Trypho chapter 80 by Justin Martyr

“Sir,” replied Trypho, “as I already remarked, you steadfastly cling to the Scriptures in all your statements. But, tell me truthfully, do you really believe that this place Jerusalem shall be rebuilt, and do you actually expect that you Christians will one day congregate there to live joyfully with Christ, together with the patriarchs, the prophets, the saints of our race, or even those who became proselytes before your Christ arrived? Or did you come to this admission only so that you might seem to prevail over us in the investigations?”

And I replied, “Trypho, I am not such a wretch as to say one thing and to think another. I have declared to you earlier that, with many others, I feel that such an event will take place. I did, however, point out that there are many pure and pious Christians who do not share our opinion.

Moreover, I also informed you that there are some who are called Christians, but in reality are godless and impious heretics, whose doctrines are entirely blasphemous, atheistic, and senseless. However, that you may be assured that I am not making this admission only in your presence, I promise to write up our whole debate as best I can, and there I will inscribe the admission I just made to you, for I do not desire to be a follower of men and their teachings, but of God and his doctrines.

If you have ever encountered any nominal Christians who do not admit this doctrine, but dare to blaspheme the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob by asserting that there is no resurrection of the dead, but that their souls are taken up to heaven at the very moment of their death, do not consider them to be real Christians; just as one, after careful examination, would not acknowledge as Jews the Sadducees or the similar sects of the Genistae, Meristae, Galileans, Hellenians and the Baptist Pharisees (please take no offense if I say everything that I think), but would realize that they are Jews and children of Abraham in name only, paying lip service to God, while their heart, as God himself declared, is far from him.

Whereas I, and all other wholeheartedly orthodox Christians, feel certain that there will be a resurrection of the flesh, followed by a thousand years in the rebuilt, embellished, and enlarged city of Jerusalem, as was announced by the prophets Ezekiel, Isaiah, and the others.

[Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, trans. Thomas B. Falls, ed. Michael Slusser, (Washington DC: Catholic University Press 2003), pp. 125-126]


In the next chapter, Justin goes on to quote Ezekiel 37.12-14, Isaiah 65.17-25, Revelation 20.4-6, and Luke 20.35-36.

18 Responses to “Justin Martyr on the Kingdom of God”

  1. on 09 Nov 2012 at 1:22 pmJas

    It been a while since i read this writing of Justin but brings to mind after reading it again how Justin is almost totally unaware of the NT writings. He never qoutes from John but as a worshiper of Plato and Philo John 1 would of backed his belief on philosophies but was totaly ignorant of its existance. He was also totally ignorant of Matthew’s birth narrative so only provides his opinion on Isaiah using the greek OT. Both these things would of been great references in this discussion to support his beliefs. Could it be that Justin in after thought of this discussion invented the proofs he lacked. He quotes verse after verse from the OT almost always revealing the author but not once on NT writings even though he quoted from Matthew and maybe a few other writings and was familiar with Rev.
    I believe Justin is the author of John, the Protoevangelium of James, used the proto to add to Luke and Matthew the witness he was lacking in this discussion and no telling what else since He and his school had acesss to several letters of Paul that Marcion brought to Rome and probably others not saying he did alter them but he could of. He did have the motive because of his hatred for the jewish for crucifying Jesus and the effects of a very costly war

  2. on 09 Nov 2012 at 2:06 pmWolfgang

    @Jas

    He never qoutes from John but as a worshiper of Plato and Philo John 1 would of backed his belief on philosophies …

    I don’t quite understand your comment above … what is the genitive “of” supposed to indicate ?

  3. on 09 Nov 2012 at 2:12 pmJas

    Wolgang
    Are you pulling my leg or what. I (would of )done a better job of writing if I knew I was being critiqued .

  4. on 09 Nov 2012 at 4:14 pmWolfgang

    @Jas

    I am not pulling anyone’s leg … just wondering what you were writing. I am used to folks trying to express themselves correctly and accurately when participating in discussions concerning Biblical topics

    Btw, your above

    I (would of )done a better job of writing if I knew I was being critiqued

    makes no sense

  5. on 09 Nov 2012 at 4:28 pmJas

    Wolfgang
    I am sorry but I really thought you were joking.
    I dont know what or why you are asking because my whole life I have used would of,could of and should of this way and as far as I know everyone around me has too. My english teachers never mentioned i was butchering the english language by doing so.
    What State are you from that doesnt use this form.

  6. on 09 Nov 2012 at 5:45 pmtimothy

    Wolfgang,

    I know what you mean…here is the reason:

    “would of” instead of “would have” or “would’ve” Pain in the English

    “could of” instead of “could have” or “could’ve” ditto

    “should of” instead of “should of” or “should’ve” ditto

    These are easy:

    “can not” or “can’t”

    “will not” or “won’t”

    “could not” or “couldn’t”

    “should not” or “shouldn’t”

    “shall not” or “shan’t”

  7. on 09 Nov 2012 at 5:52 pmJas

    Wolfgang
    I clicked on the link in your name and see that you english is even poorer than mine. Thats a joke because I recognize german when i see it. My guess is german is your first language then english wich would explain why you have a problem with the form i was using but find it diificult to believe you didnt understand what i was saying when i used that form. Where i live the american language is not the queens english or even the english that was the norm here 200 years ago. Our language like other english countries morphs through the years and we take on idioms and slangs that might be different from country to country or even area to area within our own.
    So to get you unconfused I will explain that would of is slang for would’ve but pronouncing would of outloud should of told you that.
    if you are going to converse with us in the states please continue your education on our language and maybe that is what you were doing when you asked me to explain but i failed to recognize that

  8. on 10 Nov 2012 at 2:04 amWolfgang

    @Timothy

    thank you for the information to clear up my lack of understanding of my failure with certain English style expressions

    Btw, I am very familiar with “can’t”, “don’t” or “couldn’t”, etc. since these shortened forms are part of recoginzed proper English grammar and style.

    However, is “would of” proper English (American or British or any other form)? Or is it incorrect English (which should thus not be used)? “I would of course not encourage the use of slang and incorrect English when writing in a blog like this … “

  9. on 10 Nov 2012 at 10:40 amtimothy

    Wolfgang,

    I wrote: “I know what you mean…here is the reason:” because I totally agree with you about “slurred” contractions.

    You have learned English from a higher standard of education. And I believe you would rejoiced for a correct correction.

    Speaking correctly and writing correctly should be the duty of a qualified English professor. Their students receive grades reflecting the instruction.

    I most assuredly agree with you: “I would of course not encourage the use of slang and incorrect English when writing in a blog like this … ”

    Charity/agape love=is not easily provoked

    🙂

  10. on 10 Nov 2012 at 10:49 amJas

    However, is “would of” proper English (American or British or any other form)? Or is it incorrect English (which should thus not be used)? “I would of course not encourage the use of slang and incorrect English when writing in a blog like this … “

    Wolfgang
    What is proper english? Is it that of the 21th,20th,19th,18th,17th,16th or maybe 15th century?
    Is it that of the UK, AU, NZ, SA or US?
    It is up to you to understand our language which most of the time requires a simple search in google.

  11. on 10 Nov 2012 at 12:54 pmWolfgang

    @Jas

    why do you apparently want to refuse to use normal English but rather some type of slang ?

  12. on 10 Nov 2012 at 12:55 pmWolfgang

    @Jas

    oops … hit the wrong button a bit to early with the above post ..
    it should have read:

    “why do you apparently refuse to use normal English but rather want to use some type of slang ?”

  13. on 10 Nov 2012 at 4:49 pmJas

    Wolfgang
    This has been a very senseless conversation, but if you must know why then understand I live in a country where men and woman have died protecting my right.
    But why are you making such a big deal when you are intellegent enough to flll in the blank if I worded it would _____. I also dont understand why you want to cast stones when in your last post you couldnt even use proper english by using “to early” instead of “too early”. Should someone make a federal case out of that!!
    My choice is my choice and yours is yours so why not just respect it

  14. on 11 Nov 2012 at 2:47 amWolfgang

    @Jas

    equating a typing error with the incorrect use of language is not only inappropriate but incorrect as well …

    Also, I don’t think pointing out something you might want to learn is senseless .. but then, everyone can do as they please …

    Btw, do you really think people have died to protect having in mind the type of right you are claiming for yourself? I would venture to say that they had some other rights in mind

  15. on 11 Nov 2012 at 9:58 amJas

    Wolfgang
    Yes I do think those pople died so I would have that choice and also believe many of them have died to protect your choice there in Germany but you must Have forgot that.I dont care if you feel the need to exalt yourself over others who may or may not have your education but I know many very well educated people who still choose to use idioms and slang because they feel it a part of their environment and heritage.

  16. on 11 Nov 2012 at 10:23 amJas

    Wolfang
    Should we also take your legalistic view on proper language to apply to all areas so that to make it a requirement to ask questions on this blog, or in church or anywhere educated people are???

  17. on 11 Nov 2012 at 5:08 pmWolfgang

    @Jas

    well … trying to learn something and then trying to help someone else learn something brings on the accusation that I exalt myself because of my education … 🙁
    I am not the native English speaker … yet I endeavor to use proper English in communicating to others. Isn’t it you who is exalting yourself, seeing that you insist on sticking to your slang and trying to justify yourself with some political and patriotic type slogan out of context …

    Fine with me … do what you like to do. BTW, what’s your real name ? do we know each other from somewhere?

  18. on 11 Nov 2012 at 5:46 pmJas

    Wolfgang
    My use of language is my choice not my only option. I was taught the same as you but I dont impose it on other people. I also find that relating to people is more important than looking highly educated or being judgemental.
    My given name is James but I go by Jas.
    As far as I know we have never met but its a small world sometimes

  

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