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T H E M E S S I A H M U S T B E J E S U S c h a p t e r 48 “We have now heard your opinion on these matters,” interposed Trypho. “Resume your discourse where you left off, and bring it to an end, for it seems to me to be entirely absurd and utterly incapable of proof. Your statement that this Christ existed as God before all ages, and then that he consented to be born and become man, yet that he is not of human origin, appears to me to be not only paradoxical, but preposterous.” 2. “I am aware,” I replied, “that my assertion must seem paradoxical , especially to you Jews, who were never in the least interested in knowing or doing the things of God, but only the things of your teachers, as God himself testifies.1 However, Trypho, the fact that this man is the Christ of God is not to be denied, even if I were unable to prove that he, being God, preexisted as the Son of the Creator of the universe and became man through a virgin. 3. “But since it has been proved beyond all doubt that he is the Christ of God, whatever that Christ eventually is to be, even if I fail to show that he pre-existed, and consented to become man with a body and feelings like our own, according to the will of the Father; only in this last regard could you rightly claim that I have been wrong.2 But you cannot deny that he is the Christ, even though he apparently is of human origin, and evidently became the Christ by the Father’s choice. 4. “For, my friends, there are some of your race,3 who ac73 1. See Is 29.13; Mk 7.7. 2. See Trakatellis, 14. 3. Some earlier editors emend this to “our race”; either way, Justin may have knowledge that he is the Christ, but claim that he has a merely human origin. I naturally disagree with such persons, nor would I agree with them even if the majority of those who share my opinions were to say so. For we have been told by Christ himself not to follow the teachings of men, but only those which have been announced by the holy prophets and taught by himself.” c h a p t e r 49 “It appears to me,” said Trypho, “that they who assert that he was of human origin, and was chosen to be anointed and became the Christ, propose a doctrine much more credible than yours. We [Jews] all expect that Christ will be a man of human origin,4 and that Elijah will come5 to anoint him. If this man appears to be the Christ, he must be considered to be a man of human origin, yet, from the fact that Elijah has not yet come, I must declare that this man is not the Christ.”6 2. Then I asked him, “Does not the Word say through Zechariah that Elijah shall come before the great and terrible day of the Lord?”7 “Most assuredly,” he replied. “If, therefore, Scripture forces you to admit that it was predicted that there would be two advents of Christ—one in which he will appear in suffering and without honor or beauty, and the second in which he will return in glory to judge all men, as has been proved by the many previously quoted passages from Scripture—must we not conclude that the word of God has foretold that Elijah will be the forerunner of the great and terrible day, namely, of his second advent?” “Certainly,” was his answer. 3. “We have been taught,” I continued, “by our Lord himself that this would be so, namely, that Elijah also would come; and 74 st. justin martyr some Jewish Christians in mind. See Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 3.27. On the Ebionites and their modifications of Scriptures see Daniélou, 55–64, 372–74. 4. Markovich proposes this emendation, a[nqrwpon , based on Dial. 48.1. 5. See Skarsaune, 195. 6. See B. Dehandschutter (cited above, Dial. 31.7 n 1). 7. Not Zechariah, but Mal 3.23 (4.4). we know that this will take place when our Lord Jesus Christ will be about to come from heaven in glory, just as the Spirit of God that was in Elijah, in the person of John, who...


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