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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You’ve seen these people who have a high blood pressure of creeds and an anemia of deeds. Christians of the second century presented the most amazing Scriptural argumentsbased on Jer.

Those who imagine that they are offering sacrifices to him with blood and the smoke of sacrifices and burnt offerings, and who think that by such “honors” they are showing him respect—well, these people who suppose diotnetus they can letted anything to the One who stands in need of nothing appear to me to be no different than those who studiously confer the same honor on things that are destitute of feeling and therefore incapable of enjoying such honors.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. He promised us a kingdom in heaven, and he will give it to those who have letted him. The course of conduct they follow has not been devised by the speculation and deliberation of inquisitive men.

Diognehus a few are well known—men like Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates as well as Pythagoras and Euclid of geometry fame. Philosophy thrived in Greece and Rome at that time, and knowledge was everything.

Let any one of you suffer such indignities! For He that made heaven and earth, and all that is therein, and gives to us all the things of which we stand in need, certainly requires none of diognteus things which He Himself bestows on such as think of furnishing them to Him.

This web site, like all published works, can be quoted without permission as long as the quote constitutes “fair use,” an undefined legal term. He has shown himself through faith, which is the only thing to which it has been granted to behold God. For, who of letetr at all understood before His coming what God is? Unlike some other people, they champion no purely human doctrine.

Letter to Diognetus | early Christian work |

And yet there is something extraordinary about their lives. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. The work survived antiquity in one 13th—14th-century manuscript, which was destroyed by fire in StrasbourgFr. They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh.


But if, on the other hand, they are destitute of sense, you convict them of this fact, while you worship them with blood and the smoke of sacrifices. There are two schools as to its dating, one which favors a date approximately CE and the other which favors a date approximately CE or even later in the third century. Their work, however, is over a century old, so you’ll find this version much easier to read. Do you accept of the vain and silly doctrines of those who are deemed trustworthy philosophers?

Google Search Privacy Statement. When you’ve read these things and listened carefully to them, then you will know what he bestows on those who love him correctly. Isn’t it much rather a demonstration of foolishness to let the changing of the seasons determine whether you are festive or mourning?

But such declarations are simply the startling and erroneous utterances of deceivers; and no man has either seen Him, or made Him knownbut He has revealed Himself. In this place the tree of knowledge and the tree of life have been planted.

To sum it all up in one word, what the soul is in the body, that is what Christians are in the world. When our wickedness had reached its height, when it had been clearly shown that the its reward, punishment and death, was hanging over our heads, and when the time had come which had appointed for manifesting his own kindness and power, then the one love God, out of exceptional care for mankind, did not regard us with hatred, nor thrust us away, nor remember our iniquity against us.

For who that is rightly taught and begotten by the loving Word, would not seek to learn accurately the things which have been clearly shown by the Word to His disciplesto whom the Word being manifested has revealed them, speaking plainly [to them], not understood indeed by the unbelieving, but conversing with the discipleswho, being esteemed faithful by Him, acquired a knowledge of the mysteries of the Father? The flesh hates the soul and wars against it, even though it is not harmed, because it is prevented from enjoying pleasures.

I have to admit I find these attacks on idolatry interesting as well as powerful. By what other one was it possible that we, the wicked and ungodly, could be justified, than by the only Son of God? For example, Hebrews 4: Are they not all blind?

For this reason you hate the Christiansbecause they do not deem these to be gods.

The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus

Are they not all deaf? Please help support the mission of New Advent and get the full contents of this website as an instant download.


There’s a gap of unknown length in the manuscript of the Letter to Diognetus here. My email address is feedback at newadvent. The apostle understood the significance of this, and he criticizes the knowledge which we let influence our lives without true doctrine. Thus, the early Christians, knowing the power of the Word of God planted in a heart like a seed through obediencewere not afraid to call their hearers to repent and follow him, even if the words were “imitate his kindness” as here rather than “repent and turn to God” Acts The Word is seen in the Letter to Diognetus as guiding those who teach.

I cordially welcome this desire of yours, and I implore Godwho enables us both to speak and to hear, to grant to me so to speak, that, above all, I may hear you have been edified, and to you so to hear, that I who speak may have no cause of regret for having done so.

At the bottom of the article, feel free to list any sources that support your changes, so that we can fully understand their context. For He will yet send Him to judge us, and who shall endure His appearing? The Jewsthen, if they abstain from the kind of service above described, and deem it proper to worship one God as being Lord of all, [are right]; but if they offer Him worship in the way which we have described, they greatly err.

Letter to Diognetus

Which of us could have ever expected these things? More likely, Paul is referring to God’s Word in any form, especially in the form of being the living Word in our hearts Jam. In fact, if you’re reading this site and are edified in any way by it, then you are benefitting from knowledge they worked to gain over 18 centuries ago.

I made the last sentence of their chapter six the first sentence of my Letter to Lettet chapter seven. And do not wonder that a man may become an imitator of God.

Keep Exploring Britannica Lord Byron. Why do they reject the Greek gods and the Jewish superstitions alike? Are they not all corruptible? Instead, they inhabit both Greek and barbarian cities, however things have fallen to each of them.