Św. Justyn – „sprawiedliwy pośród narodów”
St. Justin – a righteous man among the nations
Languages of publication
This article refers to St. Justin, who was one of the Church Fathers, one of the first Christian philosophers and Greek apologists and also a martyr for the Christian faith when this was spreading throughout the Roman Empire. In the preface, it is shown that a hostile attitude existed at the time of both the Roman Empire and the Jews towards Christianity at its very beginning. Christians were being stultified and sentenced to death. Each part of the article shows Justin in a different cultural role. First, we can see the beginnings of his life. Justin lived in the second century after Christ. He was born in Samaria, which was firmly hellenised and that is why he was well prepared to live in a multinational empire in those times. As a Christian philosopher Justin was entering into relations with the Jews and pagans, always seeking the truth. The next part is about Justin – as a philosopher. He was also the most popular and the most outstanding Christian philosopher of the second century after Christ. He kept a positive attitude towards philosophy. He valued Stoics, Platonics, Socrates and Plato in some areas, so that he could notice elements of truth in the teachings of Greek philosophers. But Justin was against religious syncretism. We owe to Justin the demonstration of Christian true faith through pagan philosophical concepts. He was looking for dialogue between Christianity and pagan philosophy and used its terms to show others the only true wisdom which he had got to know by himself. Since the mid-second century the pastoral purpose of patristic literature was changing to become a means of defence of Christianity against attacks from outside and inside – meaning heretics. He also started the new type of discussion with heretics. Then Justin as a theologian – he refers many times to the Old Testament and Prophets announcing the coming of Jesus – Logos, whose grain of truth Justin noticed in every ancient teaching. Justin also refers to the parallel between Socrates and Christ, something we can find everywhere in the Apology of Justin. He also left us the oldest descriptions of the sacrament of Baptism and the Eucharist. He is the person who created the dialogue between faith and intellect. Another part speaks about apologies which first of all were to demand equality with other religions and philosophies. Then as an apologist – he defended Christianity from unfounded accusations by Roman emperors and cultural elites. He defended the Christian faith through the use of rational arguments. He wanted to show universal truth via rational discourse. Finally Justin as the righteous man , which we can say he was called because of his name (Lat. iustinus – righteous) and which was the way he acted in his life. He was searching for the truth in his life, the true knowledge. He founded a philosophical school in Rome in which he taught one true wisdom and as a true philosopher he did this free of charge. He was accused of being a Christian and brought before the judge, because he did not accept the pagan gods, and did not obey the Emperor. The best apology for Christians was their readiness for martyrdom. As a Christian philosopher he ended his life and sealed it by shedding his blood shed for Christ. He is regarded as one of the early Church Fathers. This early witness of Tradition became one of the first who tried to bring Christian thinking closer to Greek philosophy; Justin became a something of a keystone which linked antiquity with the novelty of Christianity. In conclusion, Justin brought Christianity closer to philosophy by explaining it using philosophical language.
Publication order reference