In honor of St. Justin, today we post selected quotes from his writings.
Reason directs those who are truly pious and philosophical to honor and love only what is true, refusing to follow the opinions of the ancients, if these be worthless.
– 1st Apology, Chapter 2
This quote, while quite agreeable to Reform Unitarianism, is ironic in light of Justin’s strong reliance on Hebrew prophets and praise of them as more ancient than European philosophers.
[God] accepts those only who imitate the excellence which are in Him: temperance, justice, charity, and the virtues which are peculiar to a God who is called by no proper name.
– 1st Apology, Chapter 10
This is one of the many quotes in which Justin asserts the central principle of AUR: that God can have no proper name.
We reasonably worship him [Jesus], having learned that he is the Son of the true God Himself, and holding him in the second place, and the prophetic Spirit in the third.
– 1st Apology, Chapter 13
This expresses in good pre-Nicene language, the sequential triplicity of the One God, the Son of God, and the Spirit, rather than any sort of coeval trinity.
The Word, who is the first-born of God, was produced without sexual union.
– 1st Apology, Chapter 21
No one can utter the name of the ineffable God; and if anyone dares to say there is a name, he raves with hopeless insanity.
– 1st Apology, Chapter 61
To the Father of all, who is unbegotten, there is no name given, because if He were called any sort of name, the person who gives Him the name would be his elder. These words—Father, God, Creator, Lord, Master—are not names but appelations derived from His true deeds and functions.
– 2nd Apology, Chapter 6
There is, and there is said to be, another God and Lord subject to the Maker of all things, who is also called a messenger [angel] because he announces to humanity what the Creator of everything—above Whom there is no other God—wishes to announce to them.
– Dialogue with Tryphon, Chapter 56
AUR understands the “first God” to be the true Unitary God while the so-called second “God” is merely called that due to its divine nature, as in the first verse of The Gospel of John, and in Philo’s theology. As Justin himself asserts, “God” is merely an appelation; terminology is not as important as the distinction between the single uncreated Creator and creatures. It is very clear from Justin’s writings that Christians of his day understood this “second God” (the Logos/Word/Son) to be subordinate to, and derived from, God the Father.