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.