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Cody Strecker: A Brief Summary

Decent Essays
Against the backdrop of a dismissive reception history, Cody Strecker offers a constructive reading of Pseudo-Justin’s Cohortatio ad Graecos as a theologically and hermeneutically rich text. Making use of something like his own version of a Pseudo-Justin critique of the philosophers’ inconsistency, Strecker observes that the lack of agreement in two of the critics is indicative of an inadequate reading of Pseudo-Justin’s text. Where Marcovich foregrounds the theme of the mediation of truth by means of the Holy Spirit, and Riedweg emphasizes the theme of leaving false traditions in light of an imminent judgment, Strecker finds a more coherent center of gravity in Pseudo-Justin’s exhortation to read the prophets (Strecker, 2). Attending to the…show more content…
Pseudo-Justin, according to Strecker, argues that the original divine revelation was received by the prophets “wholly unmediated by human agents” (8). Developing a pneumatology, Pseudo-Justin envisions the Holy Spirit acting upon the prophets “as a harpist does on the strings of an instrument” (8). The transmission of divine truth through the prophets means that those coming after the prophets can learn the truth as it is mediated through their writings. Strecker acutely writes, for Pseudo-Justin, their writings “could be more accurately described as the writings of the Holy Spirit” (8). Does this entail that the Holy Spirit continues to remain present in the writings of the prophets? Or, was the Holy Spirit only present at the original moment of inspiration? Strecker offers further clarification: “[s]ince their author is in a deep sense the Holy Spirit, their composition involves no corruption and in reading them there is no opportunity for corruption” (9). On this reading, it appears that Pseudo-Justin’s doctrine of inspiration by the Holy Spirit means that the Holy Spirit remains present in the writings of the prophets, disenabling the possibility of corruption or misunderstanding their truth. With this doctrine up and running, it becomes clearer why Pseudo-Justin pleas for others to read the prophets. By doing so, one will be taught the truth by the Holy Spirit in their writings. But is this view of…show more content…
Where the philosophers contradict one another and even themselves, the prophets are harmonious. On this point, Strecker insightfully identifies Pseudo-Justin’s criteria for truth as non-contradiction. Strecker comments, “because the prophets are all taught by the very same Holy Spirit, they possess the single quality that Pseudo-Justin identifies as the principal mark of truth—non-contradiction” (9). The internal harmony of the prophetic writings is further attestation, over against the contradictions of the Greeks, that the prophets are trustworthy sources of divine truth. A question, in this regard, concerning Pseudo-Justin’s pneumatology is: for Pseudo-Justin, is the move simply to say that even by the Greeks own standards of non-contradiction the prophets are superior? Or, is the work of the Holy Spirit identical with logical consistency? That is, is non-contradiction another name for the doctrine of inspiration? Can Pseudo-Justin be read as tacitly revising Aristotle who articulated the law of non-contradiction as a first principle of logic, but could not himself keep from contradiction? In this case, the prophets were able to write harmoniously because of the presence of the Holy
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