The edition of the works of Justin Martyr I read (see above) included the following: -The First Apology -The Second Apology -Dialogue with Trypho, a Jew -The Discourse to the Greeks -Hortatory Address to the Greeks -On the Sole Government of God -On the Resurrection, Fragments -Other Fragments -Martyrdom As the editor points out, it is very likely that only the first three are genuinely the writings of Justin Martyr, so I'll keep the bulk of my reviews focused on those. This leads into the second point of the Apology: that Christianity is the true religion because it alone embodies true Reason. Justin ends with a description of the Christian worship service (reading of Scripture, the sermon, prayer, the Lord's Supper, and the offering), including the sacraments (baptism and the Lord's Supper). This time, he argues that it is wrong to persecute Christians not only because they are obedient to the law, but because they cling to Christ, who is Reason embodied. Christians are so unafraid of death that the threat of it cannot force them to give up their allegiance to the Word of God. Justin's conclusion: Henceforth we shall be silent, having done as much as we could, and having added the prayer that all men everywhere may be counted worthy of the truth. 2) Justin's thoughts on philosophy and the relationship between faith and reason. Then they are of some value and should be approved; if they are devoid of philosophy and not connected with it in any way, they then become base and coarse pursuits to those who practice them." Dialogue with Trypho is Justin's attempt to prove to the Jews that Christ is the truth, just as his Apologies are his attempts to prove the same to the Greeks. Thus, Justin concludes the dialogue I can wish you no greater blessing than this, gentlemen, that, realizing that wisdom is given to every man through this way the Gospel, you also may one day come to believe entirely as we do that Jesus is the Christ of God. The Discourse to the Greeks/Hortatory Address to the Greeks/On the Sole Government of God Since these three works are probably spurious (maybe even post-Nicene documents), I'll quickly summarize them and move on: In the Discourse and Address, Justin highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the pagan writers. In pagan writings, Justin argues, you can see shadows and glimmers of the truth of the coming Messiah. They work best as signposts pointing to Jesus, which, once used, are left behind (my example, not Justin's). Justin ends with a challenge to return to the worship of the one true God. Fragments of the Lost Work of Justin on the Resurrection/Other Fragments Most of these are probably not really by Justin, which is unfortunate since there's some good material here. The Other Fragments are mostly bits and pieces drawn from either other ancient writers or marginalia (notes by ancient editors left in the margins of editions of Justin's works). Overall, these readings are a fascinating look at the early church, and how it really is a preview of the coming debates within Christianity.
In his extant works, St. Justin defends the Christian faith against the Romans, the Greek and the Jews. In his two apologies addressed to the Roman emperor himself, St. Justin lays out the case for tolerating the Christian faith and ending the persecutions. I would highly recommend the works of St. Justin Martyr for any Christian who wants to better understand how to defend the Christian faith against secular and cultural objections.
"Justin Martyr, also known as Saint Justin (c.100 165 CE), was an early Christian apologist, and is regarded as the foremost interpreter of the theory of the Logos in the 2nd century.