Justin Martyr and the Trinity: Ken Temple (aka Kennywise the Clown) Caught Lying Again

Over at BloggingTheology, the deceitful missionary Ken Temple (referred to as Kennywise from here on out) tried to defend the trinity by anachronistically forcing this weird and incoherent concept into the earlier church fathers (e.g., Justin Martyr). As proof for his ridiculous claim, Kennywise presented a garbled and edited quote from Justin Martyr’s First Apology:

“the Father of righteousness . . . who is free from all impurity. But both Him, and the Son . . . and the prophetic Spirit, we worship and adore . . . ”

Obviously, this is not the full quote and Kennywise was called out for his deception by Paul Williams. After stalling for a bit, Kennywise gave in to Paul’s criticism and presented the entire passage (emphasis mine):

“Hence are we called atheists. And we confess that we are atheists, so far as gods of this sort are concerned, but not with respect to the most true God, the Father of righteousness and temperance and the other virtues, who is free from all impurity. But both Him, and the Son (who came forth from Him and taught us these things, and the host of the other good angels who follow and are made like to Him),1776 and the prophetic Spirit, we worship and adore, knowing them in reason and truth, and declaring without grudging to every one who wishes to learn, as we have been taught.”

Now, having read this passage, can any honest person reasonably conclude that Justin Martyr was a trinitarian? Of course not. But then again, Kennywise is neither honest nor reasonable. He is a liar, plain and simple. There is no reasoning with liars.

The other interesting thing about this passage is how Justin Martyr described the angels as “made like to Him”. In other words, the angels were made like God! Furthermore, Justin Martyr ended by saying that “we worship and adore”, which includes the angels! So, by no stretch of the imagination could anyone conclude that Justin Martyr was an orthodox trinitarian. There are no hints of the trinity, but several hints of polytheism (note that trinitarianism is just repackaged paganism and polytheism anyway).

Apparently going into damage control, Kennywise made sure to note the “footnote” (#1776) in the passage above, with regards to the “host of the other good angels”. In the footnote, the translator states the following (emphasis mine):

This is the literal and obvious translation of Justin’s words. But from c. 13, 16, and 61, it is evident that he did not desire to inculcate the worship of angels. We are therefore driven to adopt another translation of this passage, even though it be somewhat harsh. Two such translations have been proposed: the first connecting “us” and “the host of the other good angels” as the common object of the verb “taught;” the second connecting “these things” with “the host of,” etc., and making these two together the subject taught. In the first case the translation would stand, “taught these things to us and to the host,” etc.; in the second case the translation would be, “taught us about these things, and about the host of the others who follow Him, viz. the good angels.” [I have ventured to insert parenthetic marks in the text, an obvious and simple resource to suggest the manifest intent of the author. Grabe’s note in loc. gives another and very ingenious exegesis, but the simplest is best.

So, as the translator admits, the “literal” and “obvious” translation shows that Justin Martyr included the angels in his worship. But because this contradicts later chapters, the translator is presented with a conundrum. Therefore, he attempted to correct the apparent contradiction by offering a different translation than the “literal” and “obvious” one. Regardless of whether this alternative translation is correct or not, what is clear is that this passage from Justin Martyr’s First Apology does not discuss the trinity. Kennywise is simply trying to force the trinity into the text anachronistically. It all began with a garbled and dishonest presentation of the passage. Kennywise lied again, and then doubled down on his lie, like a good follower of Paul the false apostle.

15 thoughts on “Justin Martyr and the Trinity: Ken Temple (aka Kennywise the Clown) Caught Lying Again

    1. Keyword in your article Faiz is polytheism, though i must say all instances of Jesus being called God i’ve personally seen in Justin is in anarthrous form but that’s another topic…back to the point, always wondered why he calls Jesus “another” God instead of another person in the Godhead, like you said he seems to lean more towards polytheism…
      JUSTIN MARTYR (circa. 110 to 165 C.E.): “…I will endeavor to convince you of the ( truth ) of what I say ; namely, that there is said to be, and really is another God and Lord ( INFERIOR OR SUBORDINATE TO ) the Creator of all things ; who is also called the Angel ( or Messenger ), because he communicates to mankind all those things, which it is the will of the Creator of all things, ( ABOVE ) whom there is no God, should be communicated to them…” – (Pages 218-219, Chapter 56:4; JUSTIN MARTYR’S: “DIALOGUE with Trypho the Jew,” Translated from the Greek into English, with notes, by Henry Brown, Oxford, 1745.)
      He also RANKS the gods…
      JUSTIN MARTYR (circa. 110-165 C.E.): “…We reasonably worship [Jesus Christ], having learned that He is the Son of the true God Himself, and holding Him in the second place, and the prophetic Spirit in the third…” – (First Apology Chapter 13 Translated by Marcus Dods and George Reith. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885.)
      He was also “God” (though anarthrous) by the will of the Holy Dad
      JUSTIN MARTYR (circa. 110 to 160 C.E.): “…Therefore neither Abraham, nor Isaac, nor Jacob, nor any other man, saw the Father and ineffable Lord of all, and also of Christ, but [saw] Him who was according to His will His Son, being God, and the Angel because He ministered to His will; whom also it pleased Him to be…” – (CHAPTER [ 127 ] CXXVII — THESE PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE DO NOT APPLY TO THE FATHER, BUT TO THE WORD. Roberts & Donaldson ANF.)
      Angel Worship
      Source: Matt13Weedhacker
      JUSTIN MARTYR (circa. 110 to 160 C.E.): “…as ( his ) Father and ( God ) was responsible for his being the mighty one and Lord and God…” – (Page 194. Dialogue with Trypho Chapter 129:1, By Justin (Martyr, Saint.), Translated by THOMAS B. FALLS and Edited by Michael Slusser 2003.)

      Liked by 2 people

  1. stewjo004

    @ Shaad

    Good points raised, dude was definitely an extremist heretic. One thing though, looking back he may have condoned angel worship (why not at this point) however they’re going to argue he wasn’t “ranking” the persons merely saying their place “the Father is the first place”, “the Son is the second”, “the prophetic Spirit is the third” (in the Trinity) how would you respond to this?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. @Stew, not sure if that’s a rhetorical question lol im too dumb to realize it hahahha….we do the same that you taught me 2 years ago i.e when translating anything we should take the whole context into consideration and you already know Justin’s inferior view of Jesus compared to the Father and either way it doesn’t make sense to strictly assign numbered places to a co-equal Godhead

      “….For they proclaim our madness to consist in this, that we give to a crucified man A PLACE SECOND to the unchangeable and eternal God, the Creator of all; for they do not discern the mystery that is herein, to which, as we make it plain to you, we pray you to give heed.” 1st apology 13th chapter


      Why not “third”? Why not “equal to the Father”? Why not simply “next to the father”?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. stewjo004

      @ suninearth

      “Persons” is philosophical shirk mumbo jumbo Christians employ to say they’re not worshipping multiple gods. The “persons” (Father=Allah, Son=Isa(as), Holy Spirit= “Allah’s will” in their minds) while acting independently of one another are equals in authority and never argue while actually all being Allah basically dividing Himself up. The closest movie equivalent I can think of is the 2nd Guardians of the Galaxy and the living planet guy. The “man” their is just a manifestation of the planet. Like I said its a bunch if nonsense to excuse idolatry.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Excellent find! I keep saying that the church fathers’ writings are probably a veritable gold mine of information to use against Christians. They have given a false narrative that all of the ante-Nicene fathers were orthodox trinitarians. This is a lie.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. @Faiz, They sound pretty Arian, especially Justin…for Justin it seems that Jesus was some pre existing high ranking Angel begotten by God, it probably confirms that a gradual mutation certainly happened from Unitarianism to some Arian-like Christology and finally to straight Trinitarian polytheism

        Liked by 1 person

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