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Chapter Five Justin Martyr Encounters Judaism

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Chapter Summary

The concept of tolerance in antiquity cannot be related to the ideals which a modern society respecting pluralism adjudges essential for the establishment of peace and mutual understanding between different religions or cultures. This chapter examines the writings of Justin Martyr and his approach to Judaism in Late Antiquity and discusses the ways in which he differed from other less tolerant Christians. Two authentic works of Justin are extant and both contain an interpretation of the Old Testament: Apology and Dialogue with Trypho. Both these works are apologetic and Justin therein describes Christianity in conjunction with the Greco-Roman world and Judaism. Even though Justin portrays Judaism within the confines of his own, limited prejudice, it should be observed that on many points he opposes anti-Jewish tendencies in Christianity. Finally, the chapter concludes that Justin's approach to Judaism can be regarded after all as a positive light amid the darkness.

Keywords:Christianity; Judaism; Justin Martyr; Testament

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