Although neither author nor recipient is known for certain, the Letter to Diognetus purports to be written by a student of the apostles who calls himself Mathetes. The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus is probably the earliest example of Christian apologetics, writings defending Christianity from its accusers. [a.d] The anonymous author of this Epistle gives himself the title (Mathetes) ” a disciple  of the Apostles,” and I venture to adopt it as his name. It is about.
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I assume that his correspondent was the tutor of M. Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and every land of their birth as a land of strangers. My email address is feedback at newadvent. Similarly, the world hates the Christians, not because they have done it any wrong, but because they are opposed to its enjoyments.
Jan 17, Christopher Hall rated it really liked it. 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, epist,e will give it to those who have loved Him.
William Shakespeare, English poet, dramatist, and actor, often called the English national poet and considered…. Are they not all deaf? Expressions to this effect occur in several places chap. While the epistle has its good points and gets a bit better as it goes oninstead of emphasizing Gospel from the start, it employs diobnetus logic for apologetic goals.
For example, in one place Mathetes admonishes the reader that Christians are to the society in which they live as yeast is to the bread. I highly recommend this letter to you if you are a Christian.
Nor can a single word be said as to the person named Diognetus, to whom the letter is addressed. The first 10 chapters of the letter discuss pagan and Jewish religions, the life of a Christian as contrasted with the life of a non-Christian, and a review of the Christian faith as the unique revelation of God.
Do you accept of the vain and silly doctrines of those who are deemed trustworthy philosophers? Do you not see them exposed to wild beasts, that they may be persuaded to deny the Lord, diognnetus yet not overcome? To sum up all in one word— what the soul is in the body, that are Christians in the world.
Epistle to Diognetus
Condemned because they are not understood, they are put to death, but raised to life again. Some scholars speculate that the author may actually be St. One of the things that stood out to me was that the life mathdtes the early Christians were markedly different from those with whom they lived. Are they not all prone to decay? Altogether, the Epistle is a gem of purest ray; and, while suggesting some difficulties as to interpretation and exposition, it is practically diognegus as to argument and intent.
The author known as “Mathetes” has had only one text ascribed to them, and is believed to have been writing around the Second Century.
For a considerable period after its publication init was generally ascribed to Justin Martyr. The 10th chapter breaks off in mid thought and so the last two chapters, a kind of peroration that abandons the fictive? But as to their scrupulosity concerning food, and their superstition as respects the Sabbathsand their boasting about circumcisionand their fancies about fasting and the new moons, which are utterly ridiculous and unworthy of notice — I do not think that you require to learn anything from me.
But he who combines knowledge with fearand seeks after life, plants in hope, looking for fruit.
Epistle to Diognetus – Wikisource, the free online library
My favorite passages are the ones on how Christians were reported to live, which gives quite a beautiful portrait of their life in the world. Let your heart be your wisdom; and let your life be true knowledge inwardly received. Some have ascribed these additions to Hippolytusbased on similarities of thought and style.
Here are the passages that caught my attention. Are they not all corruptible? They are defamed, but vindicated. Mathetes is, perhaps, the first of the apologists. Father of all holiness, guide our hearts to you. For He will yet send Him to judge us, and who shall endure His appearing?
They share their meals, but not their wives. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Would not those things which are now vessels, formed of the same materials, become like to such, if they met with the same artificers? The soul dwells in the body, yet is not of the body; and Christians dwell in the world, yet are not of the world.
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 to 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.
Are they not destitute of feeling? The Greek writer and recipient are not otherwise known; estimates of dating based on the language and other textual evidence have ranged from AD  which would make it one of the earliest examples of apologetic literatureto the late 2nd century, with the latter often preferred in modern scholarship.
Even today, when the faith of Christians is less appreciated by the larger society than ever, these teachings are very important.
Lightfoot translation This early apology for the Christian epostle is interesting to me more in terms of the development of apologetics than in its content, although there are some very interesting and creative bits that I have not read elsewhere. Trevor rated it really liked it Nov 21, Please try again later.