The Epistle TO Diognetus. CHAPTER 1 Since I see, most excellent Diognetus , that thou art exceedingly anxious to understand the religion of the Christians. Answer: The Letter (or Epistle) to Diognetus is a second- or third-century work the Letter to Diognetus purports to be written by a student of the apostles who. The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus is probably the earliest example of Christian apologetics, writings defending Christianity from its accusers.

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The 10th chapter breaks off in mid thought and so the last two chapters, a kind of peroration that abandons the fictive? The soul is dispersed through all the members of the body, and Christians are scattered through all the cities of the world. This is He who was from the beginning, who appeared as if new, and was found old, and yet who is ever born afresh in the hearts of the saints. I cordially welcome this desire of yours, and I implore Godwho enables us both to speak and to hear, to grant to me so to speak, that, above all, I may hear you have been edified, and to you so to hear, that I who speak may have dilgnetus cause of regret for having done so.

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But he who combines knowledge with fearand seeks after life, plants in hope, looking for fruit. Some have ascribed these dognetus to Hippolytusbased on similarities of thought and style.

Might not these, which are now worshipped by you, again be made by men vessels similar to others? I suppose, then, you are sufficiently convinced that the Christians properly abstain from the vanity and error common [to both Jews and Gentiles ], and from the busybody spirit and vain boasting of the Jews ; but you must not hope to learn the mystery of their peculiar mode of worshipping God from any mortal.

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But not a single human being will, unless compelled to it, endure such treatment, since he is endowed with sense and reason. Or, how will you love Him who has first so loved you?

Letter to Diognetus

Are not they all deaf and blind, are they not soul-less, senseless, motionless? The Christians in the world.

As the soul is present in every part of the body, while remaining distinct from it, so Christians are found in all the cities of the world, episgle cannot be identified with the world. Letter to Diognetusan early Christian apologetic work probably dating from the 2nd or 3rd century ad. Do you not much more mock and insult them, when you worship those that are made of stone and earthenware, without appointing any persons to guard them; but those made of silver and gold you shut epishle by night, and appoint watchers to look after them by day, lest they be stolen?

Epistle to Diognetus – Wikiquote

Who of us would ever have expected these things? They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh. The soulwhen but ill-provided with food and drink, becomes better; in like manner, the Christiansthough subjected day by day to punishment, increase the more in number.

And to speak falsely duognetus Godas if He forbade us to do what is good on the Sabbath-days — how is not this impious?

A number of transcriptions of this manuscript survive diogneetus. They play their full role as citizens, but labor under all the disabilities of aliens. They have a common table, but not a common bed. And next, I imagine that you are most desirous of hearing something on this point, that the Christians do not observe the same forms of divine worship as do the Jews.

Every foreign country is a diogndtus to them, and every fatherland is foreign. Is not a third wood, and that already rotten? The Apostle, perceiving the force [of this conjunction], and blaming that knowledge which, without true doctrine, diognefus admitted to influence life, declares, Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.


The Jewsthen, if they abstain from the kind of service above described, and deem it proper viognetus worship one God as being Lord of all, [are diogndtus but if they offer Him worship in the way which we have described, they greatly err.

As long then as the former time endured, He permitted us to be borne along by unruly impulses, being drawn away by the desire of pleasure and various lusts. 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 epistlle will be theirs in heaven.

Our editors will review what you’ve submitted, and if it meets our criteria, we’ll add it to the article. For which reason He sent the Word, that He might be manifested to the world; and He, being despised by the people [of the Jews ], was, when preached by the Apostles, believed on by the Gentiles. Your contribution may be further edited by our staff, and its publication is subject to our final approval.

The Epistle survived only in one manuscript which was located in Strasbourg and was destroyed in a fire during the Franco-Prussian War in the year For they neither inhabit cities of their own, nor employ a peculiar form of speech, nor lead a life which is marked out by any singularity. The soul dwells in the body, yet is not of the body; and Christians dwell in the world, yet are not of the world.