Trinitarian Formulations in St. Justin Martyr

Permit me, further, to show you from the book of Exodus how this same One, who is both Angel, and God, and Lord, and man, and who appeared in human form to Abraham and Isaac, appeared in a flame of fire from the bush and conversed with Moses. (Dialogue with Trypho LIX, ANF1.226b)

…So that even though it be as you say, that there were two—an angel and God—he who has but the smallest intelligence will not venture to assert that the Maker and Father of all things, having left all supercelestial matters, was visible on a little portion of the earth. (Dialogue with Trypho LX, ANF1.227a)

“I shall give you another testimony, my friends,” said I, “from the Scriptures, that God begat before all creatures a Beginning, [who was] a certain rational power [proceeding] from Himself (ὅτι ἀρχὴν πρὸ πάντων τῶν κτισμάτων ὁ Θεὸς γεγέννηκε δύναμίν τινα ἐξ ἑατοῦ λογικὴν), who is called by the Holy Spirit, now the Glory of the Lord, now the Son, again Wisdom, again an Angel, then God, and then Lord and Logos; and on another occasion he calls Himself Captain, when He appeared in human form to Joshua the son of Nave (Nun). For he can be called by all those names, since He ministers to the Father’s will, and since He was begotten of the Father by an act of will; just as we see happening among ourselves: for when we give out some word, we beget the word (λόγον γάρ τινα προθάλλοντες, λόγον γεννῶμεν); yet not by abscission, so as to lessen the word [which remains] in us, when we give it out (οὐ κατὰ ἀποτομὴν, ὡς ἐλαττωθῆναι τὸν ἐν ἡμῖν λόγον προθαλλόμενοι): and just as we see also happening in the case of a fire, which is not lessened when it has kindled [another], but remains the same; and that which has been kindled by it likewise appears to exist by itself, not diminishing that from which it was kindled. The Word of Wisdom, who is Himself this God begotten of the Father of all things (αὐτὸς ὢν οὗτος ὁ Θεὸς ἀπὸ τοῦ Πατρὸς τῶν ὅλων γεννηθεὶς), and Word, and Wisdom, and Power, and the Glory of the Begetter, will bear evidence to me, when He speaks by Solomon the following… (Dialogue with Trypho LXI, ANF1.227b)

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From which we can indisputably learn that [God] conversed with someone who was numerically distinct from Himself, and also a rational Being (ἐξ ὧν ἀναμφιλέκτως πρὸς τινὰ καὶ ἀριθμῷ ὄντα ἕτερον, λογικὸν ὑπάρχοντα, ὡμιληκέναι αὐτὸν ἐπιγνῶναι ἔχομεν). These are the words: “And God said, Behold, Adam has become as one of us, to know good and evil.” In saying, therefore, “as one of us,” [Moses] has declared that [there is a certain] number of persons associated with one another, and that they are at least two (καὶ ἀριθμὸν τῶν ἀλλήλοις συνόντων, καὶ τὸ ἐλάχιστον δύο). For I would not say that the dogma of that heresy which is said to be among you is true or that the teachers of it can prove that [God] spoke to angels, or that the human frame was the workmanship of angels. But this Offspring, which was truly brought forth from the Father, was with the Father before all the creatures, and the Father communed with Him (Ἀλλὰ τοῦτο τὸ τῷ ὄντι ἀπὸ τοῦ Πατρὸς προθληθὲν γέννημα, πρὸ πάντων τῶν ποιημάτων συνῆν τῷ Πατρὶ, καὶ τούτῳ ὁ Πατὴρ προσομιλεῖ); even as the Scripture by Solomon has made clear, that He whom Solomon calls Wisdom, was begotten as a Beginning before all His creatures and as Offspring by God. (Dialogue with Trypho LXII, ANF1.228b)

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[When the scripture says things like “The Lord came down”] you must not imagine that the unbegotten God Himself (αὐτὸν τὸν ἀγέννητον Θεὸν) came down or went up from any place. For the ineffable Father (ἄρρητος Πατὴρ) and Lord of all neither has come to any place, nor walks, nor sleeps, nor rises up, but remains in His own place, wherever that is, quick to behold and quick to hear, having neither eyes nor ears, but being of indescribable might….Therefore neither Abraham, nor Isaac, nor Jacob, nor any other man, saw the Father and ineffable Lord of all (τὸν Πατέρα καὶ ἄρρηρον Κύριον τῶν πάντων ἁπλῶς), and also of Christ, but [saw] Him who was according to His will His Son, being God (Θεὸν ὄντα Ὑιὸν), and the Angel because He ministered to His will; whom also it pleases Him to be born man by the Virgin; who also was fire when He conversed with Moses from the bush. (Dialogue with Trypho CXXVII, ANF1.263b)

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When the Scripture says, “the Lord rained fire from the Lord out of heaven,” the prophetic word indicates that there were two in number (δύο ὄντας ἀριθμῷ): One upon the earth, who, it says, descended to behold the cry of Sodom; another in heaven, who also is Lord of the Lord on earth (ὅς καὶ τοῦ ἐπὶ γῆς Κυρίου Κύριός ἐστιν), as He is Father and God (ὡς Πατὴρ καὶ Θεὸς); the cause of His power and of His being Lord and God (αἰτιός τε αὐτῷ τοῦ εἶναι καὶ δυνατῷ, καὶ Κυρίῳ, καὶ Θεῷ). Again, when the Scripture records that God said in the beginning, “Behold, Adam has become like one of Us,” this phrase, “like one of Us,” is also indicative of number; and the words do not admit of a figurative meaning….You perceive, my hearers, if you bestow attention, that the Scripture has declared that this Offspring was begotten by the Father before all things created (γεγεννῆσθαι ὑπὸ τοῦ Πατρὸς τοῦτο τὸ γέννημα πρὸ πάντων ἁπλῶς τῶν κτισμάτων); and that that which is begotten is numerically distinct from that which begets (καὶ τὸ γεννώμενον τοῦ γεννῶντος ἀριθμῷ ἕτερόν ἐστι), any one will admit. (Dialogue with Trypho CXXIX, ANF1.264a–b)

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