“Justification” in Second-Century Christian Texts

Larry Hurtado's Blog

It was long thought (especially in some Protestant circles) that second-century Christianity lost track of the Pauline emphasis on “justification” by God through faith.  One of the most influential studies that established this view was by the famous Edinburgh scholar, Thomas F. Torrance, The Doctrine of Grace in the Apostolic Fathers (Eerdmans, 1959).  Several subsequent studies have challenged this view from various angles, and the most recent challenge is by Brian J. Arnold, Justification in the Second Century (De Gruyter, 2017; now available in a more economical paperback from Baylor University Press, 2018).  The Baylor online entry is here.

After a review of previous scholarship, Arnold examines several major second-century texts:  1 Clement, Ignatius of Antioch (epistles), Epistle to Diognetus, the Odes of Solomon, and Justin Martyr’s Dialogue with Trypho.

Granting that these texts don’t necessarily use Pauline language, Arnold makes his case that, nevertheless, they do reflect a…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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