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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Who of us would ever have expected these things? That the wickedness of many should be hidden in a single Righteous One, and that the righteousness of One would justify many transgressors! I’m not sure Diognetis completely agree with the Letter to Diognetus’ assessment of the tree of knowledge in the garden, but arguing with him is not what I’m here to do.
I think I can do that. 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 elements formed by God. They exist in the flesh, but they do not live by the flesh.
The soulwhen but tl with food and drink, becomes better; in like manner, the Christiansthough subjected day by day to punishment, increase the more in number. The early Christians were not afraid to take on the foolishness of idol worship, as the Letter to Diognetus does here.
Christians are confined in the world as in a prison, and yet they are the preservers of the world. Do you not see them exposed to wild beasts, that they may be persuaded to deny the Lord, and yet not overcome? They are assailed by the Jews as barbarians; they are persecuted by the Greeks; yet those who hate them are unable to give any reason for their hatred.
Let any one of you tolerate having that done to yourself! Why do they reject the Greek gods and the Jewish superstitions alike? At the bottom of the article, feel free to list any sources that support your changes, so that we can fully understand their context. With regard to dress, food and manner of life in general, they follow the customs of whatever city they happen to be living in, whether it is Greek or foreign.
I do not aim at anything except what is consistent with sound reason. To help fight spam, this address might change occasionally.
Letter to Diognetus
Is not a fourth silver, lettee needs a man to watch it, lest it be stolen? It is not an endowment of merely human mysteries that has been commetted to them, but truly God himself, who is omnipotent, the Creator of everything, and invisible, has sent the Truth from heaven— the holy and unfathomable Word —placed him among men and firmly established him in their hearts.
We welcome suggested improvements to diogndtus of our articles. All unattributed images on this site are either mine or known to be in the public domain. That would not typical Scriptural usage. The Letter to Diognetus is longer than my typical web page.
The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus
Revised lftter edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. By what other one was it possible that we, the wicked and ungodly, could be justified, than by the only Son of God? Are they not all deaf? And He has manifested Himself through faithto which alone it is given to behold God. Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and every land of their birth as a land of strangers. Addressing the issue of knowledge and its role in the Christian life was a common subject among 2nd century writers.
Isn’t a sixth clay, no more valuable than what’s made for the humblest uses? They ti dishonored, and yet in their very dishonor they diofnetus glorified; they are spoken ill of and yet are justified; they are reviled but bless; they are insulted and repay the insult with honor; they do good, yet are punished as evildoers; when punished, they rejoice as if raised from the dead.
After all, by your own admission, you are going to be listening to a new teaching. In the same diogndtus, the world hates the Christians, though not wounded in any way, because they renounce pleasures.
Do you not much more mock and insult them, when you worship those that are made of stone and earthenware, without appointing any persons to guard them; but those made of silver and gold you shut up by night, and diovnetus watchers to look after them by day, lest they be stolen?
Certainly you do not show [by your conduct] that he [your God] is possessed of sense.
And next, I imagine that eltter are most desirous of hearing something on this point, that the Christians do not observe the same forms of divine worship as do the Jews. There’s a gap of unknown length in the manuscript of the Letter to Diognetus here. He can, if he is willing. Are they not all prone to decay? The work itself survived with other writings ascribed to Justin only in a 13th century manuscript, formerly at Strasbourg but burned during the invasion of The immortal soul dwells in a mortal tabernacle, and Christians live as travelers in perishable bodies, looking for an imperishable home in the heavens.
Note that the words in blue need to be changed to match the title, date, and URL.
Epistle to Diognetus – Wikipedia
Diognetsu do not speak of things strange to me, nor do I aim at anything inconsistent with right reason; but having been a disciple of the Apostles, I have become a teacher of the Gentiles. Christians love all men, but all dionetus persecute them.
But when our wickedness had reached its height, and it had been clearly shown that its reward, punishment and death, was impending over us; and when the time had come which God had before appointed for manifesting His own kindness and power, how the one love of Godthrough exceeding regard for men, did not regard us with hatrednor thrust us away, nor remember our iniquity against us, but showed great long-suffering, and bore with us, He Himself took on Him the burden of our iniquities, He gave His own Son as a ransom for us, the holy One for transgressors, the blameless One for the wickeddiognwtus righteous One for the unrighteous, the incorruptible One for the corruptible, the immortal One for those who are mortal.
Was it then, as one might conceive, for the purpose of exercising tyranny, or of inspiring fear diognettus terror? This is He who, being from everlasting, is today called the Son; through whom the Church is enriched, and gracewidely spread, increases in the saintsfurnishing understanding, revealing mysteriesannouncing times, rejoicing over the faithfulgiving to those that seek, by whom the limits of faith are not broken through, nor the boundaries set by the fathers passed over.
The ciognetus Christians said that the Scriptures on food had a symbolic meaning. Contact our editors with your feedback. The soul loves the flesh that hates it, as well as its parts. Diognetus was the name of a tutor of the emperor Diogneus Aurelius who admired him for his freedom from superstition and sound educational advice.