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Measuring Justin's Approach to the Spirit: Trinitarian Conviction and Binitarian Orientation

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image of Vigiliae Christianae

Over the last hundred years scholars have debated the degree to which Justin Martyr distinguishes the activity and identity of the Word and the Spirit. The incomplete analyses of previous studies did not perceive Justin's regular failure to distinguish the activity of the Spirit from that of the Word, which reveals the presence of a binitarian orientation. In addition, combining the work of E.R. Goodenough and C. Oeyen permits us to recognize the presence of a Spirit-Christology in 1 Apol 33 and Dial 87-88. The failure to distinguish the identities of the Word and the Spirit in these two passages are instances in which Justin subordinates his Trinitarian convictions to binitarian logic.

Affiliations: 1: Marquette University, Department of Theology, Milwaukee, WI 53201, USA;, Email:


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