Thu, 16 April 2020
In this episode, we continue our discussion of Justin Martyr's account of ancient Christian worship, focusing this time on the Lord's Supper (eucharist) and Lord's Day worship.
Justin Martyr wrote an early account of ancient Christian worship. It was written by a believer for an unbeliever. He does not assume that his intended reader—the Emperor Antoninus Pius (138–161)—knows anything about Christian worship. Second, while Pliny describes the worship practices of the Christians in Pontus, Justin describes the liturgical customs of the church in Rome. Justin lived and worshiped in Rome, but he didn’t convert in Rome. He most likely converted to Christianity in Ephesus around 130 A.D. So he was familiar with the liturgical customs of both Western and Eastern Christians. Third, Justin’s account is descriptive not prescriptive. It’s not a church order (e.g. Didache, Apostolic Tradition). It is simply a description of what Christians were already doing not what Justin thought they ought to do.