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Dialogue With Trypho
by Justin Martyr
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Outside the New Testament, our earliest complete witness to Christian apologetic against the Jews remains the Dialogue with Trypho, written by Justin Martyr (d. ca. 165), a convert to Christianity from traditional Greek religion. The Dialogue purports to be a two-day dialogue that took place in Asia Minor between Justin and Trypho, a Hellenized Jew. Justin argues extensively on the basis of lengthy Old Testament quotations that Christ is the Messiah and God incarnate, and that the Christian community is the new Israel. In the beginning of the work Justin recounts how he converted to Christianity.
The Dialogue remains of great, and varying, interest. It has important information on the development of Jewish-Christian relations, on the development of the text of the Old Testament, and on the existence and character of the early Jewish Christian community. Justin's story of how he became a Christian is one of our earliest conversion accounts. The Dialogue is an ideal textbook for classes investigating the development of religion in Late Antiquity since it touches on many aspects of religion in the Roman Empire.
This edition of the Dialogue with Trypho is a revision of Thomas B. Falls's translation, which appeared in Fathers of the Church, vol. 6. Thomas P. Halton has emended the translation in light of the 1997 critical edition by Miroslav Marcovich, and he has provided extensive annotation to recent scholarship on the Dialogue. Michael Slusser has edited the volume to bring it into conformity with the new Selections from Fathers of the Church series.
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