Monday, November 14, 2005

Justin Martyr and the Trinity Doctrine

<>The writings of Justin Martyr indicate that the pre-Nicenes almost universally thought the Son was subordinate to the Father in an immanent sense. That is, the Son was subordinated to the Father ontologically as well as economically: “What has provided historians of doctrine for more than a century with an occasion for discussion has been the fact that Justin could conceive in one category the Logos-Son together with the ‘host of the other good angels, of like being to him’, and that he set this angel-host, together with the Logos-Christ, before the (prophetic) Spirit” (Werner 135). Additionally, when commenting on the writings of Justin Martyr and his Christologically significant statements, Demetrius C. Trakatellis observes: “The differentiation in divinity between the Father and the Son is so pronounced that one wonders what exactly Justin meant when he used the term theos for both of them” (52). Justin himself highlights the chasm between the Father and the Son that Trakatellis mentions, when he writes:

These and other such sayings are recorded by the lawgiver and by the prophets; and I suppose that I have stated sufficiently, that wherever God says, 'God went up from Abraham,' or, 'The Lord spake to Moses,' and 'The Lord came down to behold the tower which the sons of men had built,' or when 'God shut Noah into the ark,' you must not imagine that the unbegotten God Himself came down or went up from any place. For the ineffable Father and Lord of all neither has come to any place, nor walks, nor sleeps, nor rises up, but remains in His own place, wherever that is, quick to behold and quick to hear, having neither eyes nor ears, but being of indescribable might; and He sees all things, and knows all things, and none of us escapes His observation; and He is not moved or confined to a spot in the whole world, for He existed before the world was made. (Dialogue with Trypho 127)

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