Written on January 01st, 2007 by Shawn Anthony
Justin Martyr’s Second Apology is totally dedicated to a philosophical and moral justification of the Christian existence within the overarching and majority pagan culture of Rome. The need for an apology from Justin is important. It represents a literary/historical acknowledgment of and protest against the continued persecution of Christians by the members of the majority culture. A portion of the Apology’s closing prayer is revealing: “Because it is the nature of man to know good and evil, and by their condemning us, whom they do not understand, for actions which they say are wicked, and by delighting in the gods which did such things, and even now require similar actions from people, and by inflicting on us death or imprisonment or some other such punishment, as if we were guilty of such things, they condemn themselves, so that there is no need of other judges” (Martyr, Justin. Second Apology. Readings in World Christian History. Ed. Andrea Sterk. Maryknoll, N.Y. Orbis Books, 165. p. 43).