Part 4
Chapter 2—Of Redemption

Section 4—Justin. A.D. 150.

Justin Martyr, in many places of his writings, limits an incarnation, sufferings, death, and sacrifice of Christ, and redemption by him, to certain persons whom he describes by repenting sinners, believers, etc. when he says,[1] that Christ "was born according to the will of God the Father uper ton pisteuonton anthropon,for men that believe;" that is, in order to procure salvation, and obtain eternal redemption for such persons, as he elsewhere explains it; saying,[2] that he "became man of a virgin, according to the will of the Father, uper soterias ton pistenonton auto,for the salvation of them that believe in him." And in another place,[3] having cited Isaiah 33:16, Bread shall be given him;he observes, "that is a prophecy concerning that bread which our Christ hath delivered to us in commemoration of his being embodied; dia tous pisteuontas eis auton, dious kai, pathetos gegone,for the sake of them that believe in him, for whom also he became subject to sufferings." And elsewhere he says,[4] that "the offering of fine flour for the leper, was a figure of the bread of the Eucharist, which Jesus Christ our Lord hath delivered unto us to do in commemoration of his sufferings; which he endured uper ton kathairomenon tas psuchas ape pases ponerias anthropon,for those men whose souls are purified from all iniquity;" and this he supposed was done by the blood of Christ; for more than once explaining that text in Genesis 49:11, He washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in theblood of grapes;he says,[5] it "foretold, and manifestly declared the sufferings which Christ should endure, di animatos kathairon tous pisteuontas auto,purifying by his blood them that believe in him." These, he often intimates, share the benefits of, Christ's blood, sufferings, and death; "as," says he,[6] "the blood of the passover saved them that were in Egypt, so the blood of Christ tous pisteuontas rusetai ek thanatou, delivers from death those that believe." In like manner he asserts,[7] that Christ was an offering or sacrifice, uper panton metanoein boulomenon amartolon,"for all sinners that are willing to repent." Yea,[8] that a pallagin de tou thanatou tois metaginoskousin apo ton phaulon kai pisteuousin auto ergazetai, "he has wrought out deliverance from death for those that repent of their evils and believe in him." Now had Justin been of opinion that Christ died for every individual of mankind, would he have used such limitations and restrictions, when treatings of the extent of his sufferings and death? Monsieur Daille indeed cites[9] some passages from him as favoring the doctrine of universal redemption; but his first instance only proves, that Christ was born and crucified uper tou genous ton anthropon,"for the generation of men," or for mankind; but not that he was born and crucified for every individual of mankind. Justin's sense in other places is clear, and his meaning is that Christ died for some of all sorts of men; as when speaking of the scarlet thread that Rahab the harlot was directed to bind to her window, he says,[10] it was a "symbol of the blood of Christ, by which are saved the fornicators of old, and unrighteous persons, ek pantwn twn eqnwn, out of all nations; receiving forgiveness of sins, and sinning no more." And in another place he thus expresses himself,[11] "As Jacob served Laban for the cattle that were spotted, and of various forms, so Christ served even to the cross, uper twn ek pantov genouv poikilwn kai polneidwn anqrwpwn, for men of every kind, of many and various shapes, procuring them by his blood, and the mystery of the cross." Monsieur Daille's second instance only declares that kind and tender manner in which God sent his Son into the world. His third sets forth Justin's sentiments concerning the heathens, which will be considered in a proper place. And his fourth and last only shows, that it is the will of God that all should be saved; meaning, that all men shall be raised from the dead; against those that deny the doctrine of the resurrection; or that it is the will of God that some of all sorts should be saved, referring to the apostle's words and sense in 1 Timothy 2:4.


[1] Apol. Pro Christ. 1, p. 45.

[2] Ib. 2, p. 86.

[3] Dialog. cum Tryph. p. 296, 297.

[4] Ibid. p. 259, 260.

[5] Pro Christ. Apolog. 2, p. 74; Dialog. cum Tryph. p. 273.

[6] Ibid. p. 338.

[7] Ibid. p. 259.

[8] Ibid. p. 327.

[9] Page 754, 755.

[10] Dialog. cum Tryph, p, 338.

[11] Ibid. p. 364.