Although neither author nor recipient is known for certain, the Letter to Diognetus purports to be written by a student of the apostles who calls himself Mathetes. The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus is probably the earliest example of Christian apologetics, writings defending Christianity from its accusers. [a.d] The anonymous author of this Epistle gives himself the title (Mathetes) ” a disciple [] of the Apostles,” and I venture to adopt it as his name. It is about.

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For the good they do they receive the punishment of malefactors, but even then they, rejoice, as though receiving the gift of life. It is probable that the author of the first ten chapters was not the same as that of the last two as it shows evidence of being around a century later in date Third Century.

Ignatius of Antioch or St. Are they not blind?

The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus by Mathetes

Fascinating very early apologia for Christianity, contrasting it with paganism and Judaism and setting out what it is to live a Christian life. When you have read and carefully listened to these things, you shall know what God bestows on such as rightly love Him, being made [as you are] a paradise of delight, presenting in yourselves a tree bearing all kinds of produce and flourishing well, being adorned with various fruits. Kindle Edition22 pages.

As long, then, as He held and preserved His own wise counsel in concealment, He appeared to neglect us, and to have no care over us. Mar 11, Ryan rated it it was amazing Shelves: A beautiful and short letter from a 2nd century church father.

The soul, though immortal, has a mortal dwelling place; and Christians also live for a time amidst perishable things, while awaiting the freedom from change and decay that will be theirs in heaven.

Letter to Diognetus

And as to the fact that Christians are not accustomed to serve such gods, I might easily find many other things to say; but if even what has been said does not seem to any epistld sufficient, I deem it idle to say anything further. Then shall you admire those who for righteousness’ sake endure the fire epjstle is but for a moment, and shall count them happy when you shall know [the nature of] that fire.


I place his matgetes here, as a sequel to the Clementine Epistle, for several reasons, which I think scholars will approve: Bearing this tree and displaying its fruit, thou shalt always gather in those things which are desired by God, which the Mathetea cannot reach, and to which deception does not approach; nor is Eve then corrupted, but is trusted as a virgin; and salvation is manifested, and the Apostles are filled with understanding, and the Passover of the Lord advances, and the choirs are gathered together, and are arranged in proper order, and the Word rejoices in teaching the saints,—by whom the Father is glorified: Please help support the mission of New Advent and get the full contents of this website as an instant download.

Not language, dress, or food. Letter to Diognetus e;istle, an early Christian apologetic work probably dating from the 2nd or 3rd century ad. Discuss this text on the Early Writings forum.

What is the Letter to Diognetus?

But these things do not at all constitute His majesty. Mar 23, Aislan rated it liked it. Even today, when the faith of Christians is less appreciated by the larger society than ever, these teachings are very important.

What is it about the God they believe in, and the form of religion they observe, that diognftus them look down upon the world and despise death? Goodreads helps you keep track of o you want to read. Those sections, unfortunately, completely disregard any historical or spiritual connection between Judaism and Christianity, calling most Jewish religion practice “folly.

Might mathetew these, which are now worshipped by you, again be made by men vessels similar to others? The work survived antiquity in one 13th—14th-century manuscript, which was destroyed by fire in StrasbourgFr.


For example, instead of speaking about what has changed, covenantally, in Christ the author says this about Jewish dietary episttle Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and every land of their birth as a land of strangers. In other projects Wikiquote.

Wherefore both were planted close together.

But he who combines knowledge with fearand seeks after life, plants in hope, looking for fruit. In Protestant usage, apologetics can be distinguished from polemics, in which the beliefs of a particular Christian church are defended.

To speak in general terms, we may say that the Christian is to the world what the soul is to the body. Introductory Note to the Epistle of Spistle to Diognetus. For He will yet send Him to judge us, and who shall endure His appearing? Christianity Hinduism Islam Jainism Judaism. Let any one of you suffer such indignities!

Epistle to Diognetus

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. As calling us He sent Him, not as vengefully pursuing us; as loving us He sent Him, not as judging us. The writer also touches on the Christian’s place in the world, and does so without a hint of moralism.

This was not that He at all delighted in our sins, but 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 God, be vouchsafed to us; and having made mathrtes manifest that in ourselves we were unable to enter into the kingdom of God, we might through the power of God be made able.