Justin Martyr - Logos Doctrine

edited December 1969 in Faith Issues
Agape, All,

I am currently doing some reading into Justin Martyr's logos doctrine. I am having a little bit of trouble with his understanding of "Spermata to Logo" and "Spermatikos Logos." I was wondering if anyone here had sources which could simplify the doctrine. I already understand the idea of "knowing in part" but as I am reading through my sources, it seems that much of Justin's logos doctrine has been misconstrued in its presentation to me.

I know this is deeply theological, and I appologise for that, but I was hoping that someone would have a good source.



  • I made a thread on St. Justin's Logos theology in the link below. Perhaps you can address your questions there.


    +God bless
  • Thanks, all.

    I was wondering if there were any scholarly articles or chapters of books. I guess I should be a little more specific. I am doing some study into the idea of "Logos and Nomos." I need help discerning between "Spermata To Logo" from "Spermatikos Logos." Most people that I have spoken to do not make this distinction, but I feel that there is a huge difference.

    The best way that I can continue this research is through scholarly sources. Thank you :D

  • RO,

    Do you read French? Here is an article I found online in French about the doctrine of the Logos in Justin by Michel Fedou. Don't know who that is, but it seems supported by scholarly sources. There is also a bibliography in the end with further reading on the topic


    Another thing you can do is get any good Patristics textbook that has a good thematic bibliography. You can try looking in Quasten's Patrology, Early Christian Doctrines by J.N.D. Kelly, or The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition vol. 1 by Jeroslav Pelikan to mention a couple. Let me know if you need further help...I happen to do this for a living :)
  • Thank you kindly, Ramez!

    I can't read french unfortunatley. But I will try to use the sources you list to find other English sources. If you come across anything, it would be greatly appreciated!

  • Just from a historical development perspective, you can see the development of this thought in JND Kelly's Early Christian Doctrines. It's been some years since I picked it up, but I recall that the topic was addressed there at some length.
  • could you translate the question into english?
    i don't read greek!
  • Agape,

    You'll have to hunt for these in the library, but have a look:


    Justin Martyr and the Logos Spermatikos. By: Osborn, Eric F.. Source: Studia Missionalia, 42 1993, p 143-159.

    "Hellenization" and Logos doctrine in Justin Martyr. By: Price, R M.. Source: Vigiliae christianae, 42 no 1 Mr 1988, p 18-23.

    (German source) Christus als Logos und Nomos : das Kerygma Petrou in seinem Verhältnis zu Justin.  By: Rordorf, Willy. Source: Kerygma und Logos, p 424-434. Göttingen : Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1979.

    Logos spermatikos : Christianity and ancient philosophy according to St Justin's Apologies. By: Holte, Ragnar. Source: Studia theologica, 12 no 2 1958, p 109-168.

    Justin's Logos and the Word of God. By: Edwards, M J.. Source: Journal of Early Christian Studies, 3 no 3 Fall 1995, p 261-280.

    On the Platonic schooling of Justin Martyr. By: Edwards, M J.. Source: Journal of Theological Studies, ns 42 no 1 Ap 1991, p 17-34.


    Justin Martyr and the Logos Spermatikos. M.A. Thesis by Catherine E. Upchurch. Toronto, 1983.

    Justin Martyr and his worlds. Edited by Sara Parvis and Paul Foster. Minneapolis, MN : Fortress Press, 2007.

    The pre-existence of Christ in the writings of Justin Martyr. Demetrius Christ Trakatellis. Missoula, Mont.: Scholars Press, 1976.

    Justin Martyr. Eric Francis Osborn. Tübingen: Mohr (Siebeck), 1973.

    The theology of Justin Martyr; an investigation into the conceptions of early Christian literature and its Hellenistic and Judaistic influences. Erwin R. Goodenough. Amsterdam: Philo Press, 1968.

    Early Christian thought and the classical tradition; studies in Justin, Clement, and Origen.
    Henry Chadwick. New York: Oxford University Press, 1966.

    These are just some starting points, so you could have a look at their bibliographies to build up your own sources and ideas.
  • Thank you, Bibo :D
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