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Abstract

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. THE MIDDLE PLATONISTS
  4. THE EARLY APOLOGISTS
  5. CONCLUSION

The influence of Platonism upon the development of Christianity is well-documented, particularly with regard to the deliberations that took place in the fourth and fifth centuries regarding the nature of Trinity. A topic that has received less attention is the philosophies of the (so-called) ‘Middle Platonists’ and their influence upon the earliest apologies, such as the Apology of Aristides and the Epistle to Diognetus. Yet tracing these influences is integral to explaining the development of the Christian conception of God.

Scholars sometimes object to the term ‘Middle Platonism’ as being rather loosely defined. The term is used to cover the period between the Old Academy and Plotinus, but Platonists of this period do not conform to a single category. This period has failed to generate much academic interest; J. Dillon compares it to ‘those tedious tracts of the Mid-Western United States through which one passes with all possible haste, in order to reach the excitements of one coast or the other’.1 As such, there is little literature about the period; Dillon's The Middle Platonists has become almost definitive, if only for want of competition.2 Even the copious volumes written about Philo of Alexandria have failed to do justice to his significance as a Platonist, usually dwelling on his significance as a Hellenized Jew.

The influence of Platonism upon Christianity, particularly upon the apologists, has previously been noted. Yet commentators often expose no greater influence than that which the apologists themselves acknowledge.3 There has been little exploration of the influence of Middle Platonism on the earliest apologies and little explanation of the development of the doctrine of God from the Apostles to the Apologists.

THE MIDDLE PLATONISTS

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. THE MIDDLE PLATONISTS
  4. THE EARLY APOLOGISTS
  5. CONCLUSION

One of the difficulties Plato left his followers was how to reconcile his various accounts of the origins of the world and the various powers to which he ascribed creation. In the Republic he contrasts the physical world with the ideal world (or the Realm of the Forms), which it imitates. He states that all things proceed from the Form of the Good. In the Timaeus Plato describes the world as being created from chaotic matter by a divinity he calls the ‘Demiurge’ (lit. ‘the Craftsman’). The Demiurge is not omnipotent; he cannot create the world as he chooses but is limited by his dependence of pre-existent matter. Plato explains the imperfections in the world as a result of its origins in chaotic matter. In the Timaeus Plato also introduces the World-Soul, which relates to the world in the same way that the human soul relates to the body and is created by the Demiurge.

In the writings of Aristotle we find reference to later views of Plato, influenced particularly by Pythagoreanism and the idea of a mathematical model for the world. As first principles, Plato adopts the Pythagorean One (or Monad) and the Indefinite Dyad. The One acts upon the Dyad to produce the Forms, which are now identified as ‘numbers’. The World-Soul has become ‘the supreme mediating entity’ between the Realm of the Forms and the physical world.4 The numbers are taken in by the World-Soul and become ‘mathematicals’. The World-Soul projects the mathematicals upon matter and thus forms the physical world.5

It is not clear whether Plato intended his latter views to supplant the earlier, but his successors seemed to regard them all as part of the Platonic canon. Plato does not seem to have left any explanation of the relationship between the Form of the Good and the Demiurge; some commentators have supposed that he identified them but this is nowhere stated.6 The relationship between these two, and the World-Soul, was an issue of considerable discussion in the Middle Platonic period. Many of the reconciliations proposed were moulded by the mysterious reference in Plato's Letters to the Three Kings:

It is like this. Upon the king of all do all things turn; he is the end of all things and the cause of all good. Things of the second order turn upon the second principle, and those of the third order upon the third. Now the soul of man longs to understand what sort of things these principles are, and it look toward the things that are akin to itself, though none of them is adequate; clearly the king and the other principles mentioned are not of that sort.7

Although, as materialists, the doctrines of the Stoics were opposed to the views of Plato, Middle Platonists were influenced by Stoicism. Some, like Antiochus, adopted a Stoic materialism, but most emphasized the duality between the material and ideal realms. This duality created the necessity for intermediaries between the transcendent One and the material world. Despite this the Forms received relatively little consideration during this period. Instead the Stoic term ‘Logos’ was adopted for the active force which mediated for the One. Influenced by Plato's letter, thinkers like Moderatus posited the World-Soul as the third principle. We will consider Philo and Numenius, who had the greatest influence on Christian thinkers, in greater depth.

Philo of Alexandria

There is some dispute amongst scholars as to whether Philo's thought is essentially Jewish, expressed in Greek concepts, or essentially Platonic, maintaining only cultural allegiance to Judaism. In some sense, both categories are constricting. On the one hand, Philo remains loyal to Jewish monotheism and would strenuously deny the plurality of gods (though he uses polytheistic language). On the other, he is profoundly influenced by Platonic teaching to the extent that many of his ideas would have been entirely foreign to other contemporary Jews.

Philo identifies YHWH as the Platonic One and thus has ‘an emphatic doctrine of divine transcendence’.8 God is ‘qualityless’, ‘unnameable’ and ‘unutterable’, and thus altogether incomprehensible to the human mind.9 The perfect transcendence of YHWH entails that he cannot relate directly to the world. Following other Middle Platonic systems, Philo proposes a hierarchy of intermediaries. Philo cannot deny that YHWH is Creator, since the OT describes him as such, therefore he posits two creations.10 First, YHWH creates the intelligible (immaterial) world (the Realm of the Forms), which Philo also identifies as the Logos.11 Then, through the mediation of the Logos, the sensible (material) world is created in the image of the intelligible world.12

Though Philo calls the Logos both ‘the Son of God’13 and ‘the second god’,14 it is not clear whether he regarded the Logos as a person. Philo was not a binitarian,15 and it is difficult to reconcile the idea of a personal Logos with his monotheism.16 He is also not clear on the origins of the Logos; for instance he says ‘neither unbegotten as God, nor begotten as you [man], but midway between the two extremes’.17 The Logos was not created18 but God ‘gives forth a Stream from himself’. Philo uses the analogy of the Sun (God) and its rays (Logos), which can be both identified and distinguished.19 It is, therefore, likely that the Logos should be understood as an emanation, personified though not personal. However we should be careful of imposing an artificial consistency upon the Philonic corpus.

Numenius of Apamea

Some scholars have proposed that Numenius is dependent upon Philo,20 though there is not sufficient evidence of this.21 Dillon identifies Numenius as a Neopythagorean and he is clearly influenced by Pythagorean concepts. Unlike Philo, Numenius posits three gods whom he sometimes names ‘kings’, clearly influenced by Plato's letter.22 The First God is the Form of the Good and is concerned only with the ideal realm. He identifies the Second God as the Demiurge, who creates the world. The Third God is analogous to the World-Soul, governing the material world. The Third God proceeds from the Second; the Demiurge is divided ‘as a result of his concern for the world’ and the lower aspect becomes the Third God.23

The relationship between the First and Second Gods is not clear. Unlike Philo, Numenius sharply distinguishes between them, the First God being utterly transcendent.24 Numenius describes the Second God as being the ‘imitator’ and ‘image’ of the First God (frag.25:3) and elsewhere describes the First God as ‘the Father of the Creating Divinity’ (frag. 27a).

Justin Martyr (c.150)

In his Dialogue with Trypho, Justin recounts how he studied Platonism before becoming a Christian.25 Platonist concepts pervade Justin's works. He does not disown the Christian writers but evidently reinterprets them in the light of Platonic concepts. His understanding of the Logos is a case in point.26

No doubt the term ‘Logos’ derived some appeal from the prologue of John's Gospel where Jesus is described as the Logos made flesh. However, John's use of the term derives from Jewish considerations of Wisdom and the Logos never rises above the level of personification until it is incarnated (John 1:14).27 In contrast, Justin's Logos is a ‘power’28 and a necessary mediator between God and the material world.29 Though he does not use the terms ‘emanation’ or ‘hypostasis’, the fact that Justin regarded the Logos in this way is demonstrated by his use of Platonic analogies to describe its origin.30 He describes the Logos as light from the Sun, both inseparable from God yet ‘distinct in real number’.31 He uses an analogy of fire (borrowed from Numenius) to explain how God remains undiminished by the issue of the Logos.32

Justin's doctrine of God also shows signs of dependence upon Middle Platonic discourse. He views God as being utterly transcendent ‘unbegotten’,33‘ineffable’,34 unchanging,35 and unnameable.36 These are Platonic terms, inconsistent with the NT doctrine of God.37 Nevertheless, in contrast to Numenius, Justin identifies God, not the Logos, with the Demiurge of the Timaeus. Justin appears to identify the Son with the World-Soul.38

Like Numenius, Justin posits a hierarchy of three principles: God, Son and Spirit:

We have learned that he is the Son of the Living God Himself, and believe him to be in the second place, and the Prophetic Spirit in the third39

In positing this hierarchy Justin, like Numenius, is dependent upon Plato's Letter, which he quotes.40 Justin's third principle is the Holy Spirit though he does not seem to have a consistent doctrine about it; Goodenough writes ‘there is no doctrine of Justin more baffling than his doctrine of the Holy Spirit’.41 The Holy Spirit is often described impersonally as the inspirer of the prophets, but it is sometimes identified with the Logos.42 It is possible that this inconsistency is due to his dependence on Numenius: it may be that the Holy Spirit is considered to be the lower aspect of the Logos, the same way Numenius' Third God is the lower aspect of the Second.

THE EARLY APOLOGISTS

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. THE MIDDLE PLATONISTS
  4. THE EARLY APOLOGISTS
  5. CONCLUSION

Justin is not an isolated case; there are clear instances of Platonic influence upon other second century Christian writers. Justin's pupil Tatian uses the same analogies to describe the emanation of the Logos43 and ascribes the role of interaction with the world to the Holy Spirit, probably because he equates the Spirit with the World-Soul.44 Athenagoras uses the Platonic terms ‘Nous’ and ‘Logos’ to describe the Son, and identifies the Logos with the sum of Forms (cf. Philo).45 Both Athenagoras and Clement of Alexandria quote Plato's Letter to demonstrate the necessity of three principles.46 From the end of the second century Platonism became engrained in Christian discourse about God.

This syncretism with Platonism did not originate with the Apostles. Paul, well-versed in Greek literature,47 rejects outright the idea that ‘philosophy’ can be means of revelation about God and His actions.48 Paul boasts in the apparent ‘foolishness’ of the cross and makes no attempt to reconcile it to the ‘wisdom’ of the Greeks.

The Christian appeal to Platonism is often explained as an apologetic device; with the increasing Roman persecution of Christians Apologists attempted to defend Christianity as ‘the true philosophy’, appealing to the Emperors as ‘philosophers’.49 At best, this is only part of the explanation. Apologists, like Justin, did not adopt Platonism cynically but seem to have genuinely believed that Platonism was true. The formative effect of Platonism upon Christian doctrine demonstrates that Platonism was widely accepted amongst Christianity's ‘Fathers’, if not amongst the laity. Similar syncretic approaches had been adopted by other religious groups without apologetic motivation. We have seen that Philo reinterpreted Jewish tradition in a Platonic scheme. Plutarch combined Egyptian mythology with his Platonic world-view.50 Yet Philo and Plutarch are exceptional in their religious traditions; we do not find the same Platonic watershed that occurred in Christianity.

The acceptance of Platonism by Christians in the second century needs to be explained by a doctrinal shift that took place in Christianity around this time. Tracing the trends through the earliest apologists gives us some clues as to how this came about.

The Epistle to Diognetus (c.130)

In common with other early apologies, the Epistle to Diognetus decries both the worship of idols51 and the rituals of Jews.52 Neither of these is particularly peculiar, being rooted in the words of either the OT prophets or the apostles. However, the fact that Greek philosophy is not victim to similar bombardment is significant.

Another significant aspect is the emphasis placed upon the transcendence of God. He is considered to be incomprehensible, and a mediator is required to reveal Him to men.53

The Epistle to Diognetus is the earliest Christian writing extant to name the Son of God as ‘the Demiurge’.54 It is not clear whether there is an intentional reference to the Timaeus.

The Apology of Aristides (c.125)

Another apology from around this time is the Apology of Aristides. It too criticises the worship of idols55 and the rituals of the Jews.56 There is far more explicit dependence on Greek philosophical discourse, for instance Aristides’ objections to the traditional Greek gods mirror those of Plato.57 Yet though Aristides makes use of philosophical concepts, there is no indication that he has a structured Platonic system or hierarchy. Jesus is not called ‘Demiurge’, or associated with the Platonic Logos, or ascribed divinity.

Aristides begins his apology with a cosmological argument for the existence of God:

When I saw that the universe and all that is therein is moved by necessity, I perceived that the mover and controller is God. For everything which causes motion is stronger than that which is moved, and that which is moved, and that which controls is stronger than that which is controlled58

The parallels with Aristotle's Metaphysics are unmistakable.59 On this foundation, he argues for the perfect transcendence of God:

I say, then, that God is not born, not made, an ever-abiding nature without beginning and without end, immortal, perfect, and incomprehensible. Now when I say that He is ‘perfect’ this means that there is not in Him any defect, and He is not in need of anything but all things are in need of Him. And when I say that He is ‘without beginning’, this means that everything which has beginning has also an end, and that which has an end may be brought to an end. He has no name, for everything which has a name is kindred to things created. Form He has none, nor yet any union of members; for whatsoever possesses these is kindred to things fashioned. He is neither male nor female60

The Preaching of Peter (c.115)

Several commentators have noted the similarity, and possible interdependence, between the Epistle to Diognetus and the Apology of Aristides, and with a third text, the Preaching of Peter.61 Though we only know the text through quotations, the usual criticisms of idolatry and of Jewish rituals are present.62

From the fragments available to us, the major emphasis of the Preaching seems to have been upon the transcendence of God, who is described as being ‘invisible’, ‘uncontainable’, ‘incomprehensible, perpetual, incorruptible, uncreated’.63 This terminology is rooted in Greek thought. In fact, the Preaching identifies the Christian God with the God worshipped by the ‘good Greeks’ (i.e. the philosophers, not the polytheists), though the knowledge of the Greeks is incomplete because ‘they had not learned the tradition of the Son’.64 What precisely is entailed in the ‘tradition of the Son’ that the Greeks did not know is not specified (at least, is not extant). If the writer felt that the Greek philosophers knew nothing of the Son then it is unlikely that he made any effort to identify the Son with the second divinity; he does describe the Son as the ‘Word’ (Logos).

Two Key Shifts

These three early apologies provide important witness to the development of Christianity prior to Justin. Though they are aware of and make use of some Greek concepts, they do not attempt to impose a Middle Platonic system upon Christian thought. However they do provide the basis for the Platonic speculations of Justin, and others, by identifying the Christian God with the God of the philosophers, and by emphasizing the transcendence of God. If philosophers, like Plato, could discover through reason what Jesus had revealed then their thought and writings could also provide knowledge about God. Further, if God is utterly transcendent then some explanation is needed to explain His influence upon the world, particularly Creation, such as the meditation of a lesser divinity. These aspects represent key shifts in early Christian theology.

The apostolic doctrine of God, epitomized by the teaching of Paul, is significantly different from that of the Apologists. Paul had an immanent view of God. Contrary to his contemporary Philo, Paul taught that God was both nameable65 and knowable.66 A recurring theme of the epistles is that God dwells in the midst of the believers.67 He says that ‘He is actually not far from each one of us’– a seemingly ridiculous statement to a Platonist.68 Jesus, though needed as spiritual intercessor and High Priest, does not act as a metaphysical mediator; God is able to act directly in the physical world.69

This shift in Christian thought from an immanent to a transcendent view of God is explicable as a result of another doctrinal shift towards a universal view of God, as demonstrated by the identification of the Christian God with the God of the philosophers. This universal view of God, though a shift from Christianity's Jewish roots, was already evident in the teaching of Paul. The identification of the Christian God with the ‘Unknown God’ on Mars Hill, though perhaps a rhetorical device, may be prompted by the view that God is accessible to all nations. This view is more clearly stated the epistle to the Romans, where Paul states that Creation manifests God to all nations such that ‘they are without excuse’.70 Though Paul would have stopped short of ascribing the knowledge of God to the philosophers, there is within his writings a universalism that would later enable a degree of syncretism with the prevalent contemporary philosophies.

CONCLUSION

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. THE MIDDLE PLATONISTS
  4. THE EARLY APOLOGISTS
  5. CONCLUSION

The influence of Middle Platonism upon the development of Christianity, particularly on the development of the doctrine of God, is undeniable. Despite Paul's warnings about the ‘wisdom of the world’, Christians found natural allies in the monotheistic Platonists. However the influence of Platonism had greater impact than the early apologists could have realised. Not only did they introduce the triadic conception of the God-head but, eventually, the Neo-Platonists would be instrumental in establishing the coequality of the members of the Trinity.71

Footnotes
  1. 1 J. Dillon, The Middle Platonists, (London: Gerald Duckworth & Co., 1977) xiii.

  2. 2 Moore provides a useful summary of Middle Platonism in the Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, which is clearly based upon Dillon's book (Online: http://www.iep.utm.edu/m/midplato.htm).

  3. 3 More detailed study: R. M. Grant, Greek Apologists of the Second Century, (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1988) 61f.

  4. 4 Dillon, Middle Platonists, 6

  5. 5 Dillon, Middle Platonists, 3–6

  6. 6 D. J. Zeyl, Plato: Timaeus, (Cambridge: Hackett Publishing, 2000) xxii. There may be a reference to the Forms in Timaeus 53d (cf. A. E. Taylor, A Commentary on Plato's Timaeus, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1928) 32). There may be a reference to the Demiurge in Republic VII 530a (cf. R. D. Mohr, The Platonic Cosmology, (Leiden: Brill, 1985) 10).

  7. 7 Letters II 312e-313a. ‘Are these letters, or any of them genuine? We have no way of knowing for sure. We have no record of any Platonic letters existing before the end of the third century BC, some one hundred fifty years or more after the nominal date of composition … Our manuscripts report a doubt (perhaps going back to Thrasyllus) about Letter XII's authenticity, and from their content others can hardly be by Plato’ (J. M. Cooper (ed.), Plato: Complete Works, (Cambridge: Hackett Publishing, 1997) 1634–5).

  8. 8 D. Winston, Philo of Alexandria: The Contemplative Life, The Giants and Selections, (Ramsey: Paulist Press, 1981) 22.

  9. 9 Winston, Philo, 23, citing: LA 3:36, 1:36, 51, 3:206; Deus. 55:56; Cher. 67; cf. Dillon, Middle Platonists, 155.

  10. 10 Philo believes that both creations can be found in Genesis.

  11. 11 Wolfson proposed that Philo adopted the term due to Stoic influence (H. A. Wolfson, Philo: Foundations of Religious Philosophy in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, (Harvard University Press, 1947), 253), but Goodenough objected that Philo's Logos is ‘essentially unlike anything in Stoicism except the term’ (E. R. Goodenough, An Introduction of Philo Judaeus, (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1962) 94). The probability is that Philo took the term from other Platonists, such as Eudorus of Alexandria (Dillon, Middle Platonists, 128, contra R. M. Grant, Gods and the One God: Christian Theology in the Graeco-Roman World, (London: SPCK, 1986) 85). In Jewish Wisdom literature (Proverbs, Ben Sira, Wisdom of Solomon) the creative function is ascribed to Wisdom, which is also named the Logos. This probably explains Philo's reason for identifying the Logos as the creative principle.

  12. 12 Dillon, Middle Platonists, 157–9; also see D. Winston, Philo, 22–3.

  13. 13 Wolfson, Philo, 256; Goodenough, Philo, 102.

  14. 14 e.g. On Providence (frag.1).

  15. 15 pace F. Young, ‘Two Roots or a Tangled Mess’, in The Myth of God Incarnate, (ed. J. Hick, London: SCM Press, 1977) 114.

  16. 16 Dillon, Middle Platonists, 367

  17. 17 Philo, Quis Her.205

  18. 18 Philo, Quis Her.234

  19. 19 Goodenough, Philo, 100–2

  20. 20 K. S. Guthrie, Numenius of Apamea: The Father of Neo-Platonism, (George Bell & Sons, 1917) 191.

  21. 21 Numenius does refer to Plato as ‘a Moses who reveals Greek tendencies’ (frag.13) but his fragments, preserved by Christian writers, may well have been the victim of interpolation.

  22. 22 Numenius frag.27a:8

  23. 23 Dillon, Middle Platonists, 374

  24. 24 ‘The First God, who exists in himself, is simply; for as he absolutely deals with none but himself, he is in no way divisible’ (frag.26:3). ‘The First God may not undertake creation’ (frag.27a). ‘The First God is free from all labour, inasmuch as he is King’ (frag.27a:8)

  25. 25 Dialogue ch2

  26. 26 Price questions Justin's dependence on Middle Platonism, stating that ‘Logos’ was a Stoic term and not used frequently by the Platonist. He proposes that Justin, like John, derives his Logos doctrine from Jewish sources. ( R. M. Price, ‘‘Hellenization’ and Logos Doctrine in Justin Martyr’, Vigiliae Christianae 42.1, 1988). However, we know that the term ‘Logos’ was used by Philo, Eudorus and Plutarch. In any case, Justin's dependence on the Platonist is not determined solely by his use of the term ‘Logos’ but also the origins and function he ascribes to the Logos. (Dillon notes that the absence of the term in other Middle Platonic literature ‘may be a function of the inadequate evidence we possess for the period’– Dillon, Middle Platonists, 4).

  27. 27 T. Gaston, ‘Wisdom and the Goddess’, Christadelphian EJournal of Biblical Interpretation 2.1, 2008, 4653.

  28. 28 First Apology 32; Dialogue 61;

  29. 29 Dialogue 60

  30. 30 E. R. Goodenough, The Theology of Justin Martyr, (Amsterdam: Philo Press, 1968) 148.

  31. 31 Dialogue 128

  32. 32 ‘Though it ignites many other fires, [it] still remains the same undiminished fire.’ (Dialogue 61; 128;); cf. ‘This can be seen when one candle receives light from another by mere touch; the fire was not taken away from the other, but its component Matter was kindled by the fire of the other.’ (Numenius, frag.29.16).

  33. 33 First Apology 53; Second Apology 6; Dialogue 127;

  34. 34 First Apology 63; Dialogue 127;

  35. 35 ‘God is the Being who always has the same nature in the same manner.’ (Dialogue 3)

  36. 36 ‘No proper name has been bestowed upon God, the Father of all, since He is unbegotten. For whoever as a proper name received it from a person older than himself.’ (Second Apology 6)

  37. 37 Dillon suggests that Philo may have been the first writer to describe God as ineffable and unnameable (Dillon, Middle Platonists, 155).

  38. 38 First Apology 13, 58, 63; Second Apology 60 (cf. Timaeus 36b-c); R. A. Norris, God and World in Early Christian Theology: A Study on Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian and Origen, (London: Adam & Charles Black, 1966), 48; T. B. Fall, Writings of Saint Justin Martyr, (Catholic University of America Press, 1948) 97n.

  39. 39 First Apology 13

  40. 40 First Apology 60 (cf. Plato, Letters II.312e). Grant proposes that Justin's was acquainted with this passage through Numenius, rather than direct acquaintance with Plato's writings (Grant, Apologists, 60). However, Justin also quotes from the Timaeus, so we cannot rule out direct acquaintance with Plato's works.

  41. 41 Goodenough, Justin Martyr, 176

  42. 42 First Apology 36; ‘Sometimes the Spirit which inspired is called the Holy Spirit, sometimes the Prophetic Spirit, sometimes the Logos and sometimes God.’ (Goodenough, Justin Martyr, 180).

  43. 43 Address to the Greeks 4

  44. 44 Address to the Greeks 4; cf. Grant, Apologists, 144

  45. 45 Athenagoras, Embassy for the Christians 10.2; cf. Grant, Apologists, 157

  46. 46 Grant, Apologists, 62

  47. 47 Menander (I Corinthians 15:33); Epimenides (Titus 1:12–13); Aratus (Acts 17:28);

  48. 48 Colossians 2:8; I Corinthians 1:18–25

  49. 49 Grant, Gods and the One God, 12f; F. Young, ‘Greek Apologists of the Second Century’, in Apologetics in the Roman Empire, (M. Edwards, M. Goodman & S. Price (eds.), Oxford University Press, 1999) 83f.

  50. 50 Dillon, Middle Platonists, 204

  51. 51 Diognetus 2:1–10

  52. 52 Diognetus 3:1–4; 4

  53. 53 Diognetus 7:2

  54. 54 ‘He sent the Craftsman and maker of all things.’ (Diognetus 7:2)

  55. 55 Apology III [Syriac]

  56. 56 Apology XIV [Syriac]

  57. 57 Republic II.377d–391d

  58. 58 Apology I [Greek]

  59. 59 cp. Aristotle, Metaphysics XII.6–9

  60. 60 Apology I [Syriac], cp. Greek

  61. 61 ‘J. Armitage Robinson marshals evidence to show that the Preaching lies behind both the Apology of Aristides and our Epistle’ (H. G. Meecham, The Epistle to Diognetus, (Manchester University Press, 1949) 58). ‘Douket and Kihn advocated the view that the Apology of Aristides and the Epistle to Diognetus came from the same hand.’ (Meecham, Diognetus, 59).

  62. 62 Preaching of Peter 2, quoted Stromata 6.5.39

  63. 63 Preaching of Peter 1, quoted Stromata 6.5.39

  64. 64 Preaching of Peter 2, quoted Stromata 6.5.39

  65. 65 Romans 2:24, (I Timothy 6:1),

  66. 66 Paul argues that Creation itself manifests God's ‘invisible attributes’ and so all men can know God (Romans 1:18–21)

  67. 67 I Corinthians 3:16, II Corinthians 6:16, Ephesians 2:2, 4:6,

  68. 68 Acts 17:27

  69. 69 Philippians 2:13

  70. 70 Romans 1:20–21

  71. 71 J. Dillon, ‘Logos and Trinity: Patterns of Platonist Influence on Early Christianity’, in The Philosophy in Christianity, (G. Vesey (ed.), Cambridge University Press, 1989).