Monday, September 10, 2007

The Epistle to Diognetus

This is an excerpt from a letter written around 150 A.D. The Epistle to Diognetus describes second century Christianity.

"For Christians are distinguished from the rest of men neither by country, language, nor customs. They do not dwell in cities of their own, nor do they use some strange language, nor practice a peculiar kind of life. Their teaching indeed has not been discovered by any speculation or consideration of men full of curiosity, nor do they busy themselves with human doctrine as some do. While dwelling in Greek or barbarian cities, as each has received his lot, and following the local customs in dress, food, and the rest of life, they display the marvellous and admittedly unusual constitution of their own citizenship. They live in their own countries, but as sojourners. They share all things, as citizens; and they endure all things, as foreigners. Every foreign land is their fatherland, and every fatherland is a foreign land to them. They marry as do all men; they bear children; but they do not abandon their offspring. They furnish a common table, but not a common bed. Their lot is cast in the flesh, but they do not live according to the flesh. They pass their time upon the earth, but their citizenship is in heaven. They are obedient to the appointed laws, but they surpass the laws in their own lives. They love all men and are persecuted by all. They are not understood, and they are condemned. They are put to death, and they are made alive. They are poor, and they make many rich. They lack all things, and they abound in everything. They are dishonored, and they are glorified in their dishonor. They are evil spoken of, and they are justified. They are reviled, and they bless. They are insulted, and they give honor. While doing good, they are punished as evil. Being punished, they rejoice as being made alive. They are fought against as foreigners by the Jews, and they are persecuted by the Greeks. And those who hate them cannot state a reason for their enmity."


NaNcY said...

this is very interesting to read. thank you for posting it.

Terry said...

Thanks, Nancy. I like to read about the early years of Christianity. In many cases, the early followers of Christ lived inspiring lives.

preacherman said...

Yes, this is very interesting. Yes, early Christian is very inspiring to see how the early Christians lived their lives faithfully to God. Thanks Trey for sharing this with us all to read. I hope you have a great day.

Terry said...

Thanks for your comments, Preacherman. I hope you have a great day, too. (And I hope that your recovery is still going well.)