Sunday, May 18, 2014

Justin Martyr – Church Father Biobit

Justin Martyr was an early church father who was seen as a trailblazer because he was among the first to engage the Greco-Roman culture with the Christian message. He was born in Samaria around the year AD 100 near the site where Jesus had met the woman at the well. He was eventually martyred by being tied to a pole, whipped and beheaded.

He is considered to be the church’s first Christian philosopher because of his attempts to correlate the claims of Christ and the Scriptures to the philosophical principles of the time. Unlike Ignatius, whose writings were warm and aimed at the church, Justin’s audience was the pagan world around him, and thus his writings had a very stern emphases and were extremely intellectual. Unlike the heretical sects all around him, he was able to do it in such a way that the Christian faith was uncompromised. His First and Second Apologies are still considered to be the greatest examples of Christian apologetics in the history of the church.

Ignatius of Antioch - Church Father Biobit

Ignatius was born in Syria around AD 50, and died in Rome sometime between AD 98 and AD 117. He was a devoted disciple of the Apostle Paul and nowhere is this more evident than in his responses in regards to the two fronts of opposition which he faced: legalism and Gnosticism.

He served as the Bishop of Antioch in the very same place in which Paul and Barnabas were sent out, the first Jerusalem council had taken place, and the great Apostle Peter had received his rebuke from none other than Paul himself.

He is most famous for writing seven letters addressing the issues of legalism and Gnosticism while on his way to Rome to be martyred. To the legalists, he charged that to keep the law as a basis for salvation was to reject the very essence of Christianity. To theGnostics, he wrote, among other things, that their teaching of Docetism was merely an attempt to make Christianity more palatable to the masses.