DB EarlyChristianApologetics Essay

Submitted By arcasillas1
Words: 600
Pages: 3

Describe Christian apologetics in the second century. What were the accusations against Christians? How did apologists like Justin respond? What apologetic principles could be used today in a modern context? Christian apologetics in the second century was mostly a response to attacks and false accusations made against Christians. These responders became to be known as apologists, their writing are apologias, which is a greek word meaning defense. Aristides, Tatian, Justin, Athenagoras, Theophilus, and Minucius Felix were among the first apologists. Their main concern was to demonstrate the fulfillment of old prophecies, to clarify the false accusations and to prove that Christian philosophy was either at same level or superior to Greco-Roman philosophy. Some of their tactics were more of a negative approach, like Tatian’s Oration against the Greeks or Anthenagora’s Supplicatio which “argues the superiority of Christian morality and Christian views of God over pagan descriptions of their gods.” (Ferguson, p.71)

The main accusations against Christians were incest, cannibalism, atheism, and being a subversive group. (Ferguson, p.65-66) These groups of Christians were aloof and with secrecy tendencies which promoted these misconceptions.

The Romans believed in many gods and in “pax deorum”, so having them rejecting their gods and rituals and centering on a god that was not able to be visible made them atheists in their view. Christians were also accused of cannibalism, due to hearing the sharing of the eucharist, sharing the body and drinking the blood of Jesus. Finally, the other main accusation was in regards to sexual immorality, specifically incest as they refered one another as brother and sister when sharing the love feast. (Ferguson, p.66)

The apologists were bold and had to set the trail for the imperative responses of this era. It is necessary to bring up attention to Justin Martyr. He is often referred to as one “of the most important and most influential of the second-century Christian Apologists” (Ferguson, p.71) He centered and based his philosophy in Jesus Christ as the source of all truth (Liftin 2007, Kindle Electronic Edition, Chapter 2, Location 842) He used a common philosophical term, Logos, and leveled it to Jesus Christ. (Liftin 2007, Kindle Electronic Edition, Chapter 2, Location 958) At the same