The relationship of the son to the father in Justin Martyr

Herbert, John (1979). The relationship of the son to the father in Justin Martyr. PhD thesis The Open University.



The Introduction contains a discussion on the manuscripts of the works of Justin Martyr and draws attention to inaccuracies in previous authors. The texts of recent editors have been considered and the works of even more recent scholars on Justin have been assessed. To set the entire book in perspective has needed a general comment and this has involved a consideration of the sitz im leben of the works of Justine.

We tried to describe the being of God as we thought Justin imagined Him, Middle Platonist as our author was. We failed to find here the person of a beloved Father who cared deeply in a profoundly personal way for his children. Retribution seemed to be the way in which the Supreme Principle commanded obedience. The Incarnation of the Christ-Locos also drew upon the concepts of Middle Platonism. We were inclined to associate a Subordinate Son with ideas of the Gnostics and could not find escape from a conclusion that an intimate relationship between the Son and the Father played an insignificant part in Redemption. The sacrifice of Christ was interpreted as a penal substitution where there was some exorcistic; stress on the nature of the sacrifice. Although Christ was a Mediators there were elements present of magic exorcism and certainly Gnostic ideas. The will of God was the greatest element in the relationship between the Father and the Son. We concluded that the tolerance for Gnostic ideas was so great in Justin that there were serious implications for what was considered 'orthodoxy' in the second century A.D.

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