Dialogue with Trypho some questions..

I saw an atheist claim that Jesus never existed, and he went on to quote from "Dialogue with Trypho"Justin Martyr who was martyred around 165 AD

any way this atheist quoted the following

“…do all things which have been written in the law: and then perhaps you shall obtain mercy from God. But Christ — if He has indeed been born, and exists anywhere — is unknown, and does not even know Himself, and has no power until Elias come to anoint Him, and make Him manifest to all. And you, having accepted a groundless report, invent a Christ for yourselves, and for his sake are inconsiderately perishing.”" (Justin Martyr-Dialogue with Trypho-chapter 8)

can anyone shed some light as to what Martyr was talking about here?

ProChrist,

Those are actually not the words of Justin Martyr, but of Trypho, a Jewish philosopher that he was talking with in the “Dialogue with Trypho”. You can see this here:

newadvent.org/fathers/01281.htm (Scroll down to chapter 8)

Justin Martyr tells him that the “philosophy” of Christ is the only profitable one, and that if one believes in God, then can come to know Christ. Trypho responds that it would be better to study the philosophies of Plato instead, and that Justin Martyr should get circumcised, observe the Sabbath, the feasts, and the new moons of God, and then he can gain God’s mercy. He then goes on to say what was quoted above, that even if Christ existed, He has no power.

When someone, whether Catholic or not, quotes from the Early Church Fathers, it’s best to go back to the source and see exactly what is being said by who, and what the context is.

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