This type of writing is also called an apologetics letter or an apology. Although neither author nor recipient is known for certain, the Letter to Diognetus purports . Letter to Diognetus, an early Christian apologetic work probably dating from the 2nd or 3rd century ad. It is often included with the works of the Apostolic Fathers, . The Epistle TO Diognetus. CHAPTER 1 Since I see, most excellent Diognetus , that thou art exceedingly anxious to understand the religion of the Christians.

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Epistle of Diognetus quote

By no means, but under the influence of clemency and meekness. A stone, however, readily bears it, seeing it is insensible. There are two schools as to its dating, one which favors a date approximately CE and the other which favors a date approximately CE or even later in the third century.

Was it then, as one might conceive, for the purpose of exercising tyranny, or of inspiring fear and terror? So Christians have their abode in the world, and yet they are not of the world. From Ante-Nicene FathersVol. Or, how will you love Him who has first so loved you? Some have ascribed these additions to Hippolytusbased on similarities of thought and style.

They suffer dishonor, but that is their glory. This page was last edited on 16 Septemberat The body hates the soul and wars against it, not because of any injury the soul has done it, but because of the restriction the soul places on its pleasures.

Christian Literature Publishing Co. 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. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Any country can be their homeland, but for them their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country. I do not speak of things strange to me, nor do I aim at anything inconsistent with right reason; but having been a disciple of the Apostles, I have become a teacher of the Gentiles.

And when you have attained this knowledgewith what diogjetos do you think you will be filled? Any text you add should be original, not copied from other sources.

To sum up all in one word — what the soul is in the body, Christians are in the world. Nay, not so much as a single individual will willingly submit to such punishment, for he has sensibility and reason; but a stone submits, because it is insensible.


Unfortunately, our editorial approach may not be able to accommodate all contributions. For whatever things we are moved to utter by the will of the Word commanding us, we communicate to you with pains, and from a love of the things that have been revealed to us.

I minister the things delivered to me to those that are disciples worthy of the truth. But in gentleness [and] meekness has He sent Him, as a king might send his son who is a king.

Then the fear of the law is chanted, and the grace of the prophets is knownand the faith of the gospels is established, and the tradition of the Apostles is preserved, and the grace of the Church exults; which grace if you grieve not, you shall know those things which the Word teaches, by whom He wills, and when He pleases. There was a problem with your submission.

Come, then, after you have freed yourself from all prejudices possessing your mindand laid aside what you have been accustomed to, as something apt to deceive you, and being made, as if from the beginning, a new man, inasmuch as, according to your own confession, you are to be the hearer of a new [system of] doctrine; come and contemplate, not with your eyes only, but with your understanding, the substance and the form of those whom you declare and deem to be gods.

Voltaire, one of the greatest of all French writers. Christianity Hinduism Islam Jainism Judaism. 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.

It is often included with the works of the Apostolic Fathers, Greek Christian writers of the late 1st and early 2nd centuries, but it more accurately is associated with diongetos early Apologists primarily 1st century.

They love all menand are persecuted by all. I can see that you deeply desire to learn how Christians worship their God. Contact our editors with your feedback. 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.

As a king sends his son, who is also a king, so sent He Him; as God He sent Him; as to men He sent Him; as a Saviour He sent Him, and as seeking to persuade, not to compel us; for violence has no place in the character of God. The Greek writer and recipient are not otherwise known; estimates of dating based djognetos the language and other textual evidence have ranged from AD [1] which would make it one of the earliest examples of apologetic literatureto the late 2nd century, with the latter often preferred in modern scholarship.


Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight.

What is the Letter to Diognetus?

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.

Is not a third wood, and that already rotten? See not only with thine eyes, but with thine intellect also, of what substance or of what form they chance to be whom ye call and regard as gods. Are they not blind? Keep Exploring Britannica Lord Byron.

Did not the sculptor make one, and the brass-founder another, and the silversmith another, and the potter another?

Epistle to Diognetus

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, as I said, this was no mere earthly invention which was delivered to them, nor is it a mere human system of opinion, which they judge it right to preserve so carefully, nor has a dispensation of mere human mysteries been committed to them, but truly God Himself, who is almighty, the Creator of all things, and invisible, has sent from heaven, and placed among men[Him who is] the truthand the holy and incomprehensible Word, and has firmly established Him in their hearts.

For it is not by ruling over his neighbours, or by seeking to hold the supremacy over those that are weaker, or by being rich, and showing violence towards those that are inferior, that happiness is found; nor can any one by these things become an imitator of God.

The first 10 chapters of the letter discuss pagan and Jewish religions, the life of a Christian as contrasted with the life of a non-Christian, and a review of the Christian faith as the unique revelation of God. Apologetics, in Christianity, the intellectual defense of the truth of the Christian religion, usually considered a branch of theology.

In Protestant usage, apologetics can be distinguished from polemics, in which the beliefs of ciognetos particular Christian church are defended. O benefits surpassing all expectation!

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