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“Justin Martyr on the possibility that there may have been Christians before Christ - Original Greek Language Text with English translation”
Apology, 1. 46
Click here to read at earlychurchtexts.com in the original Greek (with dictionary lookup links - with a little more comment on a slightly odd part of the translation below!). The English translation below is from the ANF series.
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Justin Martyr and His Worlds
Early Christian Thought
Justin, Philosopher and Martyr: Apologies
St. Justin Martyr:
Dialogue with Trypho
But lest some should, without reason, and for the
perversion of what we teach, maintain that we say that Christ was born one
hundred and fifty years ago under Cyrenius, and subsequently, in the time of
Pontius Pilate, taught what we say He taught; and should cry out against us as
though all men who were born before Him were irresponsible —let us anticipate
and solve the difficulty. We have been taught that Christ is the first-born of
God, and we have declared above that He is the Word of whom every race of men
were partakers; and those who lived reasonably are Christians, even though they
have been thought atheists; as, among the Greeks, Socrates and Heraclitus, and
men like them; and among the barbarians, Abraham, and Ananias, and Azarias, and
Misael, and Elias, and many others whose actions and names we now decline to
recount, because we know it would be tedious. So that even they who lived before
Christ, and lived without reason, were wicked and hostile to Christ, and slew
those who lived reasonably. But who, through the power of the Word, according to
the will of God the Father and Lord of all, He was born of a virgin as a man,
and was named Jesus, and was crucified, and died, and rose again, and ascended
into heaven, an intelligent man will be able to comprehend from what has been
already so largely said. And we, since the proof of this subject is less needful
now, will pass for the present to the proof of those things which are urgent.
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From Apology 1,46
Were there Christians before Christ
Christ and the Logos and Reason and Socrates
Migne Greek Text
Patrologiae Graecae Cursus Completus
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