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Three Millennia of Greek Literature


Epistle to Diognetus : THE CHRISTIAN WAY

from the Epistle to Diognetus (Full Text), * 5.1-6.10, translated by A. Roberts and J. Donaldson
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Page 2

They have a common table, but not a common bed. They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh. They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven. They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives. They love all men, and are persecuted by all. They are unknown and condemned; they are put to death, and restored to life. They are poor, yet make many rich; they are in lack of all things, and yet abound in all; they are dishonoured, and yet in their very dishonour are glorified. They are evil spoken of, and yet are justified; they are reviled, and bless; they are insulted, and repay the insult with honour; they do good, yet are punished as evil-doers. When punished, they rejoice as if quickened into life; they are assailed by the Jews as foreigners, and are persecuted by the Greeks; yet those who hate them are unable to assign any reason for their hatred.

Τράπεζαν κοινὴν παρατίθενται͵ ἀλλ΄ οὐ κοίτην. Ἐν σαρκὶ τυγχάνουσιν͵ ἀλλ΄ οὐ κατὰ σάρκα ζῶσιν. Ἐπὶ γῆς διατρίβουσιν͵ ἀλλ΄ ἐν οὐρανῷ πολιτεύονται. Πείθονται τοῖς ὡρισμένοις νόμοις͵ καὶ τοῖς ἰδίοις βίοις νικῶσι τοὺς νόμους. Ἀγαπῶσι πάντας καὶ ὑπὸ πάντων διώκονται. Ἀγνοοῦνται καὶ κατακρίνονται· θανατοῦνται καὶ ζωοποιοῦνται. Πτωχεύουσι καὶ πλουτίζουσι πολλούς· πάντων ὑστεροῦνται καὶ ἐν πᾶσι περισσεύουσιν. Ἀτιμοῦνται καὶ ἐν ταῖς ἀτιμίαις δοξάζονται· βλασφημοῦνται καὶ δικαιοῦνται. Λοιδοροῦνται καὶ εὐλογοῦσιν· ὑβρίζονται καὶ τιμῶσιν. Ἀγαθοποιοῦντες ὡς κακοὶ κολάζονται· κολαζόμενοι χαίρουσιν ὡς ζωοποιούμενοι. Ὑπὸ Ἰουδαίων ὡς ἀλλόφυλοι πολεμοῦνται͵ καὶ ὑπὸ Ἑλλήνων διώκονται͵ καὶ τὴν αἰτίαν τῆς ἔχθρας εἰπεῖν οἱ μισοῦντες οὐκ ἔχουσιν.

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