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The Apologists

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Chapter Summary

It was not until the 2nd century that strenuous and systematic efforts were made to present the salient points of the Christian message to audiences whose basic view of the world was based on the accumulated tradition of Greek philosophical thought. The first group to attempt this task is generally known under the collective title of the Apologists. Their interest in philosophical and theological questions naturally brings them much closer to Philo Christianus than the New Testament writers and the Apostolic Fathers. The address of Aristides is made to the Emperor Hadrian, making it most likely the oldest of the Apologists' writings. Justin Martyr is the best-known and most influential of the Apologists. Martín puts forward a number of parallels between Philo and Athenagoras. Theophilus' work discloses extensive contacts with Greek-speaking Judaism. Irenaeus is a link in the chain of tradition that connects Philo to later Christian monasticism.

Keywords: Apologists; Aristides; Athenagoras; Irenaeus; Justin Martyr; Philo Christianus; Theophilus

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