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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol I:
JUSTIN MARTYR: Chapter III.—Justin accuses Crescens...

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter III.—Justin accuses Crescens of ignorant prejudice against the Christians.

I too, therefore, expect to be plotted against and fixed to the stake, by some of those I have named, or perhaps by Crescens, that lover of bravado and boasting; 1930 for the man is not worthy of the name of philosopher who publicly bears witness against us in matters which he does not understand, saying that the Christians are atheists and impious, and doing so to win favour with the deluded mob, and to please them. For if he assails us without having read the teachings of Christ, he is thoroughly depraved, and far worse than the illiterate, who often refrain from discussing or bearing false witness about matters they do not understand. Or, if he has read them and does not understand the majesty that is in them, or, understanding it, acts thus that he may not be suspected of being such [a Christian], he is far more base and thoroughly depraved, being conquered by illiberal and unreasonable opinion and fear. For I would have you to know that I proposed to him certain questions on this subject, and interrogated him, and found most convincingly that he, in truth, knows nothing. And to prove that I speak the truth, I am ready, if these disputations have not been reported to you, to conduct them again in your presence. And this would be an act worthy of a prince. But if my questions and his answers have been made known to you, you are already aware that he is acquainted with none of our matters; or, if he is acquainted with them, but, through fear of those who might hear him, does not dare to speak out, like Socrates, he proves himself, as I said before, no philosopher, but an opinionative man; 1931 at least he does not regard that Socratic and most admirable saying: “But a man must in no wise be honoured before the truth.” 1932 But it is impossible for a Cynic, who makes indifference his end, to know any good but indifference.


Footnotes

189:1930

Words resembling “philosopher” in sound, viz. φιλοψόφου καὶ φιλοκόμπου. [This passage is found elsewhere. See note, cap. viii., in the text preferred by Grabe.]

189:1931

φιλόδοξος, which may mean a lover of vainglory.

189:1932

See Plato, Rep., p. 595.


Next: Chapter IV.—Why the Christians do...

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