Defender of True Philosophy In the year 100 A.D., who would now be known as Justin Martyr was born in a Roman town called Flavia Neapolis. His parents were pagan, and he was raised that way. In his youth, he began hunting for the meaning of life and looking at the philosophies of his time.
He became increasingly disappointed with his findings in the beginning. His first teacher was a Stoic said to not know anything about God, along with disregarding knowledge of God as necessary. His following teacher was a Peripatetic and seemed to only be interested in getting money. The third teacher was a Pythagorean, but Justin’s courses felt far too slow for him. Finally, Platonism, though intellectually demanding, couldn’t satisfy him.At last, in the year 130 A.
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D., a conversation with an elderly man changed his life: “A fire was suddenly kindled in my soul. I fell in love with the prophets and these men who had loved Christ; I reflected on all their words and found that this philosophy alone was true and profitable. That is how and why I became a philosopher. And I wish that everyone felt the same way that I do.”For the next thirty years, he became an advocate for Christianity.
However, prior to 313 A.D. in Rome, Christianity was illegal. Justin didn’t care, he even founded a Christian school and wrote two bold statements to the Roman government that defended his faith.One of Justin’s arguments was that Christians were the emperor’s “best helpers and allies in securing good order, convinced as we are that no wicked man ..
. can be hidden from God, and that everyone goes to eternal punishment or salvation in accordance with the character of his actions.”Sadly, in 165 A.D.
, Justin and four of his disciples were killed for their beliefs. When he was on trial before being killed and had been threatened with death, he replied, “If we are punished for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, we hope to be saved.” He had been extremely brave in the face of persecution, and Christians today can surely learn from not only his courage, but his teachings as well.