The Epistle TO Diognetus. CHAPTER 1 Since I see, most excellent Diognetus , that thou art exceedingly anxious to understand the religion of the Christians. Answer: The Letter (or Epistle) to Diognetus is a second- or third-century work the Letter to Diognetus purports to be written by a student of the apostles who. The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus is probably the earliest example of Christian apologetics, writings defending Christianity from its accusers.

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And yet there is something extraordinary about their lives. You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind. Are they not idognetus of motion? To speak in general terms, we may say that the Christian is viognetus the world what the soul is to the body.

The Apostle, perceiving the force [of this conjunction], and blaming that knowledge which, without true doctrine, is admitted to influence life, diognettus, Knowledge puffs up, but love dognetus. Unfortunately, our editorial approach may not be able to accommodate all contributions. For God has loved mankindon whose account He made the world, to whom He rendered subject all the things that are in it, to whom He gave reason and understanding, to whom alone He imparted the privilege of looking upwards to Himself, whom He formed after His own image, to whom He sent His only-begotten Son, to whom He has promised a kingdom in heaven, and will give it to those who have loved Him.

From a letter to Diognetus: The Christian in the world

By no means, but under the influence of clemency and meekness. But he who combines knowledge with fearand seeks after life, plants in hope, looking for fruit. The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus Greek: They are put to death, and yet they are endued with life. Are they not all corruptible? By what other one was it possible that we, the wicked and ungodly, could be justified, than by the only Son of God? In Protestant usage, apologetics can be distinguished from polemics, in which the epistlle of a particular Christian church are defended.

The course of conduct which they follow has not been devised by any speculation or deliberation of inquisitive men; nor do they, like some, proclaim themselves the advocates of any merely human doctrines.

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But those who imagine that, by means of blood, and the smoke of sacrifices and burnt-offerings, they offer sacrifices [acceptable] to Him, and that by such honours they show Him respect, — these, by supposing that they can give anything to Him who needs nothing, appear to me in no respect to differ from those who studiously confer the same honour on things destitute of sense, and which therefore are unable to enjoy such honours.


When you have read and carefully listened to these things, you shall know what God bestows on such as rightly love Him, being made [as you are] a paradise of delight, presenting in yourselves a tree bearing all kinds of produce and flourishing well, being adorned with various fruits. Might not the vessels which are now made out of the same material, if they met with the same artificers, be made like unto such as these?

As long then as the former time endured, He permitted us to elistle borne along by unruly impulses, being drawn away by the desire of pleasure and various lusts. For neither can life exist without knowledgenor is knowledge secure without life. These things you call gods; these you serve; these you worship; and you become altogether like them. Father of all holiness, guide our hearts to you. And by those gifts which you mean to present to diofnetus, do you not, if they are possessed of sense, rather punish [than dionetus ] them?

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 doignetus 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?

Views Read Edit View history. Are not they all deaf and blind, are they not soul-less, senseless, motionless? And marvel not that a man can be an imitator of God. Gospels Matthew Mark Luke John.

It is often included with the works of the Apostolic Fathers, Greek Christian writers of the late 1st and early 2nd centuries, but it more accurately is associated with the early Apologists primarily 1st century. Translated by Alexander Roberts viognetus James Donaldson. Or, how will you love Him who has first so loved you?

Are they not forged by iron and fire? Was not every one of them, before they were formed by the arts of these [workmen] into the shape of these [gods], each in its own way subject to change?

Come, then, after you have freed yourself from all prejudices possessing your mindand laid aside what you have been accustomed to, as something apt to deceive you, and being made, as if from the beginning, a new man, inasmuch as, according to your own confession, you are eepistle be the hearer of a new [system of] doctrine; come and contemplate, not with your eyes only, but with your understanding, the substance and the form of those whom you declare and deem to be gods.

Christian Literature Publishing Co. For in this place the tree of knowledge and the tree of life have been planted; but it is not the tree of knowledge that destroys — epiistle is disobedience that proves destructive. They are in want of all things, and yet they abound in all things. Wherefore both were planted close together.


The body hates the soul and wars against it, not because of any injury the soul has done it, epitle because of the restriction the soul places on its pleasures. Is not a second brass, in no way superior to those vessels which are constructed for our ordinary use?

The author prefers, rather, to refer to the “son” as “the Word. When ddiognetus, they rejoice as if quickened into life; they are assailed by the Jews as foreigners, and are persecuted by diognetuus Greeks; yet those who hate them are unable to assign any reason for their hatred.

Letter to Diognetus

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. Do ye not much rather mock and insult them, worshipping those that are of stone and earthenware unguarded, but shutting up those that are of silver and gold by night, and setting guards over them by day, to prevent their being stolen?

Do they not all rot and decay? Regrettably, I can’t reply to every letter, but I greatly appreciate your feedback — especially notifications about typographical errors and inappropriate ads.

To help fight spam, this address might change occasionally. We welcome suggested epiatle to any of our articles. Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. Let your heart be your wisdom; and let your life be true knowledge inwardly received. And why has this new dioggnetus and their practices come to life only now, and not long ago? For it is not by ruling over his neighbours, or by seeking to hold the supremacy over those that are weaker, or by being rich, and showing violence towards those that are inferior, that happiness is found; nor can any one by these things become an imitator of God.

The Jewsthen, if they abstain from the diogneths 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. Was it then, as one might conceive, for the purpose of exercising tyranny, or of inspiring fear and terror?

The 10th chapter breaks off in mid thought and so the last two chapters, a kind of peroration that abandons the fictive? Did not the sculptor fashion one of them, the brazier a second, the silversmith a epistel, and the potter a fourth?