In a response to my blog-post about early textual transmission of the Gospels, Brent Nongbri points to Justin Martyr in support of the idea that in the early 2nd century we can’t really think of the texts of the Gospels as we know them (or perhaps can’t be sure that these texts were in circulation at the time). Nongbri’s posting is here.
So, indeed, let’s have a look at Justin, whose major writings to consider are his Apology (addressed the Emperor Antoninus Pius) and his Dialogue with Trypho the Jew (presented as a debate/discussion between Justin and three Jewish interlocutors about the validity of the Christian faith, particularly claims about Jesus). I judge that the evidence from Justin works against the line that Nongbri takes.
Justin’s frequent use of the term apomnēmoneumata (15x, often translated “memoirs”) comes in for attention. Nongbri seems to doubt that…
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