St. Justin Martyr is considered a Church Father and a martyr, one of the first academics of his time to convert to Christianity. Born around 100 A.D. or possibly around 110 A.D. in Flavia Neapolis (modern day Nablus in the occupied West Bank in the Middle East, which is under the Palestinian Authority’s rule), he became a professional philosopher. It is not known exactly when he converted to Christianity, but it most likely occurred in the 130s; he was martyred around 165. Only three of his known writings have survived: First Apology, Second Apology, and Dialogue with Trypho the Jew. Some of his other works are mentioned in other Church Fathers’ writings, like St. Irenaeus’ Against the Heresies and St. Eusebius of Caesarea’s Church History. Some works have been falsely attributed to St. Justin. The editors of this collection of essays by scholars from various countries and denominations, Sara Parvis and Paul Foster, provide an introduction to the three parts to this book: Justin and his text, Justin and his Bible, and Justin and his tradition.
Justin Martyr and His Worlds includes a list of abbreviations and a list of the contributors, St. Justin’s timeline, his writings, and a map. Part One comprises three chapters – “Justin scholarship: trends and trajectories” by Michael Slusser; “Justin, philosopher and martyr: the posthumous creation of the Second Apology” by Paul Parvis; and “The Rescript of Hadrian” by Denis Minns. Part two’s five chapters include “Justin and his Bible” by Oskar Skarsaune; “Justin and Israelite prophecy” by Bruce Chilton; “Was John’s Gospel among Justin’s Apostolic Memoirs?” by C. E. Hill; “Interpreting the Descent of the Spirit: a comparison of Justin’s Dialogue with Trypho and Luke-Acts” by Susan Wendel; and “The relationship between the writings of Justin, Martyr and the so-called Gospel of Peter by Paul Foster.
The third and final section of the book on Justin and his tradition features essays by Sara Parvis (“Justin Martyr and the apologetic tradition”), Larry W. Hurtado (“‘Jesus’” as God’s name, and Jesus as God’s embodied name in Justin Martyr), Will Rutherford (“Altercatio Jasonis et Papisci as a Testimony source for Justin’s ‘Second God’ argument?”), Sebastian Moll (“Justin and the Pontic Wolf”), Colin Buchanan (“Questions liturgists would like to ask Justin Martyr”), and Rebecca Lyman (“Justin and Hellenism: Some postcolonial perspectives”). There are endnotes, a bibliography, an index of names, and an index of ancient sources.
In addition to the academic essays, the centerfold contains four plates with images on both sides in color; the last plate shows two icons of St. Justin. This book is recommended to those interested in the Church Fathers, especially St. Justin Martyr, and those interested in Christianity and philosophy.