Jesus in Proverbs

Rick Brannan

Justin Martyr (100–165 AD) was a philosopher and an apologist. His major works are the Dialogue with Trypho (135 AD) and his First and Second Apologies (155 and 161 AD). 1

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You might not immediately see Christ in Proverbs 8:22–25. But Justin Martyr, pagan philosopher turned Christian apologist, drew on the New Testament tradition to show Jesus as Wisdom personified. In his Dialogue with Trypho, Martyr uses this passage to show Christ as the firstborn of the Father—born before all of creation.

“And it is written in the book of Wisdom: ‘If I should tell you daily events, I would tell them from the beginning. The LORD created me at the beginning of His ways for His works. From everlasting He established me in the beginning, before He formed the earth, and before He made the depths, and before the springs of waters came forth, before the mountains were settled; He created me before all the hills’ (Prov 8:22–25). When I repeated these words, I added: ‘You perceive, my hearers, if you pay attention, that Scripture has declared Christ was begotten by the Father before all things created; and that which is begotten (brought about) is numerically distinct from that which begets (brings about), anyone will admit.’ ” 2

To read more works by this apologist, pick up The Major Works of Justin Martyr in Greek (3 vols.) at Logos.com/JMartyr

For more resources on the church fathers, visit Logos.com/ChurchHistory.

Pick up Rick Brannan’s The Apostolic Fathers Greek-English Interlinear at Logos.com/AFInterlinear.

Article courtesy of Bible Study Magazine published by Faithlife Corporation. Originally published in print, Vol. 4 No. 4


1. F. L. Cross and Elizabeth A. Livingstone, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (3rd ed. rev.; Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 920.

2. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho §129. Adapted from Alexander Roberts et al., The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. 1: Translations of the Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D. 325 (Bellingham: Logos Bible Software, 1997), 264.