A reappraisal of the Christology of St. Justin Martyr

Carl Francis Baechle, Fordham University


St. Justin the Martyr is the most famous of the Christian Apologists of the second century. The twentieth century witnessed the production of a wide range of studies on various aspects of his Christology. These works examined Justin's relationship to philosophy, his exegetical method, and understanding of redemption. There has not been, however, a work devoted exclusively to Justin's Christology since Alfred Feder's Justins des Märtyrers Lehre von Jesus Christus, dem Messias and dem menschgewordenen Sohne Gottes (Freiburg i.B.: Herdersche Verlagshandlung) in 1906. This dissertation seeks to reexamine the Christology of Justin Martyr in light of the hundred years of scholarship that has occurred since Feder's 1906 work. The aim of this dissertation is fourfold. First, it emphasizes the importance of Justin's conversion as signaling the beginning of a new existential phase in his life: one where he believed in and had true knowledge of a personal God who cared providentially for all people. Second, it separates Justin's logos doctrine from an overly philosophical context and thus reclaims this area as a Logos Christology. This is done in part by a comprehensive word study of the term logos in Justin's writings. Third, this dissertation shows how Justin consistently uses the idea of the Logos as the principal agent of revelation, specifically in how he quotes from the Jewish Scriptures. Fourth, it explains how Justin presents Christ in the figure of the Logos as the main agent of redemption both in his revelatory mode in the Jewish Scriptures and in his earthly existence as the person of Jesus of Nazareth.

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Recommended Citation

Baechle, Carl Francis, "A reappraisal of the Christology of St. Justin Martyr" (2009). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3377038.