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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The Christians in the world. But if any one of these theories be worthy of approbation, every one of the rest of created things might also be declared to be God.

This is He who, being from everlasting, is today called the Son; through whom the Church is enriched, and gracewidely spread, increases in the saintsfurnishing understanding, revealing mysteriesannouncing times, rejoicing over the faithfulgiving to those that seek, by whom the limits of faith are not broken through, nor the boundaries set by the fathers passed over.

But these things do not at all constitute His majesty. For neither can life exist without knowledgenor is knowledge secure without life. In all copies, about two lines of the text are missing in the middle. The work survived antiquity in one 13thβ€”14th-century manuscript, which was destroyed by fire in StrasbourgFr.

I can see that you deeply desire to learn how Christians worship their God. Obedient to the laws, they yet live on a level that transcends the law. For He will yet send Him to judge us, and who shall endure His appearing? But after He revealed and laid open, through His beloved Sonthe things which had been prepared from the beginning, He conferred every blessing all at once upon us, so that we should both share in His benefits, and see and be active [in His service].

But when our wickedness had reached its height, and it had been clearly shown that its reward, punishment and death, was impending over us; and when the time had come which God had before appointed for manifesting His own kindness and power, how the one love of Godthrough exceeding regard for men, did not regard us with hatrednor thrust us away, nor remember our iniquity against us, but showed great long-suffering, and bore with us, He Himself took on Him the burden of our iniquities, He gave His own Son as a ransom for us, the holy One for transgressors, the blameless One for the wickedthe righteous One for the unrighteous, the incorruptible One for the corruptible, the immortal One for those who are mortal.

The soul loves the flesh that hates it, and [loves also] the members; Christians likewise love those that hate them. As the soul is present in every part of the body, while remaining distinct from it, so Christians are found in all the cities of the world, but cannot be identified with the world. 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?


Was it then, as one might conceive, for the purpose of exercising tyranny, or of inspiring fear and terror?

Diognetus. The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus (translation J.B. Lightfoot).

Is not one of them a stone similar to that on which we tread? Are not all these of corruptible matter?

The Jewsthen, if they abstain from the kind 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. And to speak falsely of Godas if He forbade us to do what is good on the Sabbath-days β€” how is not this impious? The course of conduct which they follow has not been devised by any speculation or wpistle of inquisitive men; nor do they, like some, proclaim themselves the advocates of any merely human doctrines.

Christian Literature Publishing Co. Voltaire, one of the greatest of all French writers.

Are they not all deaf? But if, on the other hand, they are destitute of sense, you convict them of this fact, while you worship them with blood and the smoke of sacrifices. Diogmetus as to their scrupulosity concerning food, and their superstition as respects the Sabbathsand their boasting about circumcision episyle, and their fancies about fasting and the new moons, which are utterly ridiculous and unworthy of notice epiztle I do not think that you require to learn anything from me.

For he who thinks he knows anything without true knowledgeand such as is witnessed to by life, knows nothing, but is deceived by the Serpent, as not loving life. Please try again later. They do not inhabit separate cities of their own, or speak a strange dialect, or follow some outlandish way of life.

Are not they all deaf and blind, are they not soul-less, senseless, motionless?

For, to accept some of those things which have been formed by God for the use of men as properly formed, and to reject others as useless and redundant β€” how can this be lawful? They marry, as do all [others]; they beget children; but they do not destroy their offspring. Do they not all rot and decay? And by those gifts which you mean to present to them, do you not, if they are possessed of sense, rather punish [than honour ] diognegus There was a problem with your submission.

Let your heart be your wisdom; and let your life be true knowledge inwardly received. Then the fear of the law is chanted, and the grace of the prophets is knownand the faith of the gospels is established, and the tradition of the Apostles episyle preserved, and the grace of the Church exults; which grace if you grieve not, you shall know those things which the Word teaches, by whom He wills, and when He pleases. These things you call gods; these you serve; these you worship; and you become altogether like them.


This was not that He at all delighted in our sinsbut that He simply endured them; nor that He approved the time of working iniquity which then was, but that He sought to form a mind conscious of righteousness, so that being convinced in that time of our unworthiness of attaining life through our own works, it should now, through the kindness of Godbe vouchsafed to us; and having made it manifest that in ourselves eppistle were unable to enter into the kingdom of Godwe might through the power of God be made able.

Epistle of Diognetus quote

Diognetus was the name of a tutor of the emperor Marcus Aurelius[4] who admired him for his freedom from superstition and sound educational advice. The soulwhen but ill-provided with food and drink, becomes better; in like manner, the Christians epistlle, though subjected day by day to punishment, increase the epistl in number. You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish diogntus contribution by keeping a few points in mind. The 10th chapter breaks off in mid thought and so the last two chapters, a kind of peroration that abandons the fictive?

The author prefers, rather, to refer to the “son” as “the Word. As the soul benefits from the deprivation of food and drink, so Christians flourish under persecution.

Epistle to Diognetus – Wikisource, the free online library

Is not a second brass, in no way superior to those vessels which are constructed for our ordinary diogjetus They share their meals, but not their wives. Is not a third wood, and that already rotten? This page was last edited on 16 Septemberat Then shall you admire those who for righteousness’ sake diogbetus the fire that is but for a moment, and shall count them happy when you shall know [the nature of] that fire.

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