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T H E U N I T Y O F G O D A N D T H E D I V I N I T Y O F C H R I S T c h a p t e r 55 “We shall keep this interpretation of yours in mind,” Trypho replied, “if you can reinforce your point with other arguments as well. But now, return to the original topic and prove to us that the prophetic Spirit ever admits the existence of another God, besides the Creator of all things; and do be careful not to mention the sun and moon, which, Scripture tells us, God permitted the Gentiles to worship as gods.1 Even prophets often misuse the word in this sense, when they say, Your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, often adding, the great and mighty and awesome.2 2. “Such words are used, not as if they were really gods, but because the word is instructing us that the true God, the Creator of all, is the sole Lord of all those who are falsely regarded as gods and lords. To convince us of this the Holy Spirit said through David, The gods of the Gentiles [although reputed as gods] are idols of demons, and not gods.3 And he places a curse upon those who make such idols or worship them.”4 3. “Trypho,” I responded, “such are not the proofs I was about to offer, for from your quotations I know that they who worship these and similar objects are justly condemned, but I am ready to adduce arguments that no one can contradict, ar82 1. Dt 4.19 might be interpreted that way by Jews but Justin proves by the words of the Prophets that only God is to be worshipped. See Smit Sibinga, 52–57. 2. Dt 10.17. See Smit Sibinga, 57–58. 3. 1 Chr 16.26; Ps 95 (96).5. See Skarsaune, 213, 368. 4. See Ps 113.16 (115.8). guments which may seem unusual to you, although you read them every day. Hence, we readily understand why, on account of your iniquity, God has hidden from you the power of discerning the wisdom of his words, with the exception of those few to whom, in his infinite mercy, he has left a seed for salvation (to use the words of Isaiah), lest your race perish completely, as did the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.5 Listen, therefore, to these Scriptural quotations which need no explanation, but only a hearing. c h a p t e r 566 “Moses, then, that faithful and blessed servant of God,7 tells us that he who appeared to Abraham under the oak tree of Mamre was God, sent, with two accompanying angels, to judge Sodom by another, who forever abides in the super-celestial regions , who has never been seen by any man, and with whom no man has ever conversed, and whom we call Creator of all and Father. Here are the words of Moses: 2. “And God appeared to him under the oak tree in Mamre, as he was sitting at the door of his tent, at midday. And when he had lifted up his eyes, he saw and beheld three men standing near him. And as soon as he saw them he ran to meet them from the door of his tent, and he bowed toward the ground, and said,8 and so on, down to, And Abraham rose up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the Lord; and he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and the whole land of that country, and behold, he saw a flame go up from the earth as the smoke of a furnace.”9 At this point I asked them if they understood this quotation. 3. They answered that they knew the meaning of the cited passages, but failed to see how they proved that, besides the Creator of the world, any other God or Lord exists or is mentioned by the Holy Spirit. 4. “Then,” I replied, “since you understand these quotations The unity of God and the divinity of Christ 83 5. See Is 1.9. 6. Chapters 56–62 constitute a unity. See G. Visonà, in Justin Martyr, Dialogo con Trifone (Torino: Edizioni Paoline, 1988), 202 n 1, on the introduction here of Justin’s teaching on the pre-existence of the Son, the distinction of the Son...


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