Justin Martyr on the pagan roots of Christianity

In this week’s installment of Justin Martyr’s First Apology, Justin explains to us exactly why so many elements in the Christian faith have pagan antecedents. It’s an argument you may have heard before, but I bet at least some of you would be surprised to find that it goes all the way back to the second century.


  1. khms says

    Umm … given how the story of a resurrected god has been around before the Christ story, I’d say it goes back to the very beginning …

    … except that I believe you can find more such stuff in the OT, so it’s even older.

    • F says

      Well, those pagan influences are far older than the OT, and the OT is full of pagan influences (including those from the people who were supposed to be Hebrew or proto-Hebrew (proto)monotheists). Just by definition, any religion not involving YHWH, and only this god, is pagan, and religion is far older than this monotheism. The roots of the Greek and Roman pagan religions, including the roots of many of the then-current mythologies, are shared widely among many cultures and predate those Greek and Roman cultures of the time and their histories.

      So yeah, right, way older.

  2. Priscilla Parker says

    I had to write about this in college and explain why and how the roots for Christianity, Judaism, and Islam led to similar and different beliefs in the same deity. Obviously it’s cultural but it’s amazing how symbolism is so influential cross-culturally. I think I’m going to read his book.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *