Fragments of the Lost Work of Justin on the Resurrection and Other Fragments from the Lost Writings of Justin (The Patristic Summaries Series)

justin_martyr_iconI will here deal with these two fragmentary works in one post.  The first is Justin’s apology for the resurrection of the dead against various arguments opposing this idea.  For instance, against those who argue that a resurrection of the body would necessarily mean a resurrection as well of the body’s sinful passions, Justin points to biblical passages showing that the New Testament idea of the glorified resurrected body has both continuities and discontinuities with our earthly bodies.  In doing so, he rejects the rather silly premise behind this argument and shows that though our bodies will be resurrected, we will not, for instance, be married or engage in sexual relations.  He similarly waves off the argument that a resurrected body would have the same physical infirmities it had before death.  (Thus, in this way of thinking, a blind man would be resurrected as a blind man.)  Here Justin points to the healing miracles of Jesus as having eschatological import and as pointing to the fact that we will be raised in a healed body.  It is also nice to see Justin giving a nod to the goodness of creation in this treatise.  Furthermore, he laughs off the suggestion that resurrection is simply impossible by pointing to the omnipotence of God.  Finally, Justin points to the resurrection of Jesus as a sign that we too will rise.

In the Other Fragments from the Lost Writings of Justin we are given a collection of quotations from Justin’s writings that we do not have.  These are quotations from other writers who are alluding to Justin and these lost writings.  Oftentimes these are simply snippets.  There are some intriguing thoughts here, such as the idea that Satan did not understand that he would be condemned to hell until after the coming of Christ since the prophets only spoke in shadows of his punishment.  He intimates that the devil’s fury against the Church is related to his now-increased knowledge of his coming punishment.  In another fragment, Methodius interestingly refers to Justin as “a man who was not far separated from the apostles either in age or excellence.”  This is an interesting little work that reminded me a bit of Luther’s Table Talk.


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