An extract on #ksmetseolur
Justin quotes many sayings of Jesus in 1 Apol. 1517 and smaller sayings clusters in Dial. 17:34; 35:3; 51:23; and 76:47. The sayings are most often harmonizations of Matthew and Luke that appear to be grouped together topically and organized into sayings collections, including material that probably originated from an early Christian catechism.
The following example of an ethical teaching On Swearing Oaths in 1 Apol. 16:5 shows a combination of sayings material found in Matthew and the Epistle of James:
"Do not swear at all (Mt 5:34). Let your Yes be Yes and your No be No (Jas 5:12). Everything beyond these is from evil (Mt 5:37)."
The saying "Let your Yes be Yes and your No be No" from James 5:12 is interpolated into a sayings complex from Matthew 5:34,37. The text appears in a large number of Patristic quotations and twice in the Clementine Homilies (Hom. 3:55, 19:2). Thus, it is likely that Justin was quoting this harmonized text from a catechism.
The harmonization of Matthew and Luke is evident in the following quotations of Mt 7:2223 and Lk 13:2627, which are used by Justin twice, in 1 Apol. 16:11 and Dial. 76:5:
"Many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not in your name eat and drink and do powerful deeds?' And then I shall say to them, 'go away from me, workers of lawlessness'."
"Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not in your name eat and drink and prophecy and drive out demons?' And I shall say to them, 'go away from me'."
In both cases, Justin is using the same harmonized text of Matthew and Luke, although neither of the quotations includes the entire text of those gospel passages. The last phrase, "workers of lawlessness", has an exact parallel with 2 Clement 4:5. This harmonized text also appears in a large number of quotations by the Church Fathers. 1 Apol. 16:11 is part of a larger unit of sayings material in 1 Apol 16:913 which combines a warning against being unprepared with a warning against false prophets. The entire unit is a carefully composed harmony of parallel texts from Matthew and Luke. This unit is part of a larger collection of sayings found in 1 Apol. 1517 that appear to have originated from a catechism used by Justin's school in Rome, which may have had a wide circulation. Justin excerpted and rearranged the catechetical sayings material to create Apol. 1517 and parallel passages in the Dialogue.