Many times I hve seen this same quotation on the internet.

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.)

The main point Trinitarians make about this is that Jesus is supposedly “...worship[ed]...” in Second Place somehow making him a co-equal, co-eternal, co-all-mighty three-in-one-person Tri[3]ad in this quotation from Justin Martyrs 1st Apology Chapter 13.

Unfortunately this whole position of his is based upon a biased and perhaps deliberate misstranslation by Tri[3]nitarian translators.

The honest truth of the matter is that the common Greek word for “...worship...” is not in this text at all - when referring to Jesus Christ or the holy spirit.

This is easily proven when compared with other translations and when compared with both the Latin & Greek originals.

Below I will give:

  1. The Latin text which is not as authoritive or as old as the Greek version.
  2. The Greek text itself.
  3. Three other more accurate translations of the same text and some of the context.
  4. Dictionary definitions of key words in the Greek & Latin.

The real truth of the matter is that Justin teaches Jesus is to be “...HONOURED...” in "...SECOND PLACE...” and “...RANK...” - “...AFTER...” the Father.

The holy spirit is in third “...THIRD RANK...”


Justin probablly couldn't have used much more explicit language to show Jesus and the holy spirit are not “...held...” on an equality with the “...Real Maker...” the Father.

LATIN TEXT: “...Nostrum autem harum rerum doctorem, natum ad hoc munus Jesum Christum, ac sub Pontio Pilato, Judaeae, temporibus Tiberii Caesaris, praeside crucifixum, veri Dei Filium esse edocti, ipsumque ( secundo loco ), Spiritum autem propheticum ( tertio habentes ordine ), non sine ratione a nobis coli demonstrabimus. Hoc enim ( loco ) insaniae nos accusant, ( post ) immutabilem et sempiternum et Patrem omnium Deum homini crucifixo alterum locum a nobis dictitantes deferri, mysterium hujus rei ignorantes, quod dum exponimus, ut attente a[u]diatis[*] hortamur...” - (Page 11, Justin Martyr 1st Apol. Chapter 13; MPL)
[FOOTNOTE *]: Printed text illegible. Possibly “a[n]diatis”. Either ( u ) or ( n ) print unclear.
[PERSONAL NOTE 1]: ( Secundo ) the Latin equivalent of ( δευτέραν ) is missing in reference to ( δευτέραν χώραν μετὰ ) “...second place after...” etc. It appears to just read “...loco … post...” or “...a place after...” dropping the “...second...” which is in the Greek.
[PERSONAL NOTE 2]: The Latin also has added a reference to the Father in this place. “... immutabilem et sempiternum et Patrem omnium Deum...”

GREEK TEXT: “...τὸν διδάσκαλόν τε τούτων γενόμενον ἡμῖν καὶ εἰς τοῦτο γεννηθέντα Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν, τὸν σταυρωθέντα ἐπὶ Ποντίου Πιλάτου, τοῦ γενομένου ἐν Ἰουδαίᾳ ἐπὶ χρόνοις Τιβερίου Καίσαρος ἐπιτρόπου, υἱὸν αὐτοῦ τοῦ ὄντως θεοῦ μαθόντες καὶ ἐν δευτέρᾳ χώρᾳ ἔχοντες, πνεῦμά τε προφητικὸν ἐν τρίτῃ τάξει ὅτι μετὰ λόγου τιμῶμεν ἀποδείξομεν. ἐνταῦθα γὰρ μανίαν ἡμῶν καταφαίνονται, δευτέραν χώραν μετὰ τὸν ἄτρεπτον καὶ ἀεὶ ὄντα θεὸν καὶ γεννήτορα τῶν ἁπάντων ἀνθρώπῳ σταυρωθέντι διδόναι ἡμᾶς λέγοντες, ἀγνοοῦντες τὸ ἐν τούτῳ μυστήριον, ᾧ προσέχειν ὑμᾶς ἐξηγουμένων ἡμῶν προτρεπόμεθα. ...” - (1st Apology Chapter 13, MPG)

JUSTIN MARTYR (circa. 110-160 C.E.): “...It is Jesus Christ who has taught us these things, having been born for this purpose and crucified under Pontius Pilate, who was procurator in Judea in the time of Tiberius Caesar. We will show that we [ λόγου τιμῶμεν ] ( HONOUR ) HIM IN ACCORDANCE WITH REASON, having learned that he is the Son of the true God himself, and holding him to be in the SECOND [ χώρᾳ ] ( PLACE ) and the prophetic Spirit in the THIRD [ τάξει ] ( RANK ). It is for this that they charge us with madness, saying that we give the SECOND [ χώραν ] ( PLACE ) [ μετὰ ] ( AFTER ) the unchanging and ever-existing God and begetter of all things to a crucified man, not knowing the mystery involved in this, to which we ask you to give your attention as we expound it...” - (1st Apology Chapter 13, Volume I. Early Christian Fathers. Editor: Cyril C. Richardson, Washburn Professor of Church History, Union Theological Seminary, New York. THE LIBRARY OF CHRISTIAN CLASSICS)

JUSTIN MARTYR (circa. 110-160 C.E.): “...Again we have learned, that he, who taught us these things and for this end was born, even Jesus Christ – was the Son of him who is truly God ; and we ( ESTEEM ) him in second ( PLACE ). And that we with reason ( HONOUR ) the prophetic spirit, in third ( PLACE ), we shall hereafter show. For upon this point they accuse us of madness, saying that we give THE SECOND PLACE ( AFTER ) the unchangable and eternal God, the Creator of all things, to a man who was crucified ; (and this they do) being ignorant of the mystery which is in this matter ; to which we exhort you to take heed while we explain it...” - (1st Apology Chapter 13, Page 153; A Translation of the Epistles of Clement of Rome, Polycarp, and Ignatius; and of the Apologies of Justin Martyr and Tertullian: With an Introduction and Brief Notes Illustrative of the Ecclesiastical History of the First Two Centuries. Second Edition. By the Rev. Temple Chevallier, B. D., Published 1851 by Francis & John Rivington, John Deighton in London, Cambridge.)

JUSTIN MARTYR (circa. 110-160 C.E.): “...And that we with reason ( HONOUR ) Jesus Christ, our Teacher of these things, and born for this end ( who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the time of Tiberius Caesar), receiving him as the Son of the True God, and holding him in the second ( PLACE ), and the prophetic Spirit in the third ( RANK ), I shall show. Hence we are accused of madness ; because, as they say, we assign the second ( PLACE – AFTER ) the Immutable and Eternal God, the Creator of all things, to a crucified man...” - (Page 53, Justin Martyr 1st Apol. Chapter 13, THE CHURCH FIRST THREE CENTURIES: OR, NOTICES OF THE LIVES AND OPINIONS OF SOME OF THE EARLY FATHERS, WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY; ILLUSTRATING ITS LATE ORIGIN AND GRADUAL FORMATION. By ALVAN LAMSON, D.D. 1875.)

ōrdō inis, m
1 ”...a row, line, series, order, rank...”
Lewis, Charlton, T. An Elementary Latin Dictionary. New York, Cincinnati, and Chicago. American Book Company. 1890.

I. Adv.
A. Of place, behind, back, backwards (class.): ...
B. Of time, afterwards, after: ...
II. Prep. with acc., behind.
A. Of place:
2. Trop., beneath, inferior to, less important than:
B. Of time, after, since: ...
C. Transf., besides, except: ...
A Latin Dictionary. Founded on Andrews' edition of Freund's Latin dictionary. revised, enlarged, and in great part rewritten by. Charlton T. Lewis, Ph.D. and. Charles Short, LL.D. Oxford. Clarendon Press. 1879.

lŏcus [loco]
I. v. infra), a place, spot.
I. Lit.
B. In partic.
1. A place, seat, in the theatre, the circus, or the forum:
2. So of the lodging, quarters, place of abode assigned to foreign ambassadors for their residence:
3. A piece or part of an estate:
4. A place, spot, locality; a country region:
5. In war or battle, a post, station
6. Loci and loca, of parts of the body:
7. Communis locus,
(a). The place of the dead:
(b). A public place:
II. Trop.
A. A topic of discussion or thought; a matter, subject, point, head or division of a subject.
2. Esp.: loci, the grounds of proof, the points on which proofs are founded or from which they are deduced:
3. Esp.: loci communes, general arguments, which do not grow out of the particular facts of a case, but are applicable to any class of cases:
B. A passage in a book or author;
C. Room, opportunity, cause, occasion, place, time, etc., for any thing: r
D. In aliquo loco esse, to be in any place, position, situation, condition, state, relation:
E. Place, position, degree, rank, order, office, of persons or things:
F. Loco, adverbially, in the place of, instead of, for:
A Latin Dictionary. Founded on Andrews' edition of Freund's Latin dictionary. revised, enlarged, and in great part rewritten by. Charlton T. Lewis, Ph.D. and. Charles Short, LL.D. Oxford. Clarendon Press. 1879.

τιμάω τιμή
I. to pay honour to, hold in honour, to honour, revere, reverence, Hom., Hdt., attic:— absol. to bestow honours, Dem.:—hence, simply, to reward, Hdt., Xen.:—Pass. to be honoured, held in honour, id=Hdt.; c. gen. rei, τιμῆς τετιμῆσθαι to be held worthy of honour, Il.
II. of things, to hold in honour, value, prize, Pind., Eur.:—also = προτιμάω, to prefer, Aesch.
2. c. gen. pretii, to estimate, value or assess at a certain price, Thuc.:—so in Mid., Xen., etc.
3. rarely, to give as an honour, Pind., Soph.
III. as attic law-term:
1. in Act., of the judge, to estimate the amount of punishment due to the criminals, award the penalty, Lat. litem aestimare, Plat.; τ. τὴν μακράν τινι to award him the long line, i. e. sentence of death, Ar.; absol., τιμᾶν βλέπω I carry penalty in my eyes, id=Ar.:—the sentence awarded in gen., τ. τινί θανάτου (sc. δίκην) to give sentence of death against a man, i. e. to condemn him to death, Plat., Dem.; τίνος τιμήσειν αὐτῶι προσδοκᾶις τὸ δικαστήριον; at what do you expect the court to fix his penalty? Dem.:—Pass., τιμᾶσθαι ἀργυρίου to be condemned to a fine, τινος for a thing, Lex ap. Dem., etc.
2. Mid., of the parties before the court (cf. τίμημα 2),
a. of the accuser, τιμᾶταί μοι ὁ ἀνὴρ θανάτου (sc. τὴν δίκην) he estimates the penalty due to me at death (gen. pretii), Plat., etc.
b. of the person accused, τιμήσεσθαι τοιούτου τινὸς ἐμαυτῶι to estimate the penalty due to me at so high a rate, id=Plat.
c. with acc. of the penalty or offence, πέντε μυριάδων τιμησάμενος τὴν δίκην Plut., etc.
Liddell and Scott. An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon. Oxford. Clarendon Press. 1889.

τάξις , εως, Ion. ιος, h(, (τάσσω)
A. arranging, arrangement:
I. in military sense: 1. drawing up in rank and file, order or disposition of an army, ...
II. generally, arrangement, order, ...
III. metaph. from 1.5, post, rank, position, station, ...
IV. order, class of men, ...
Henry George Liddell. Robert Scott. A Greek-English Lexicon. revised and augmented throughout by. Sir Henry Stuart Jones. with the assistance of. Roderick McKenzie. Oxford. Clarendon Press. 1940.

χώρα , Ion. χώρη , h(,
A. = χῶρος, space or room in which a thing is, defined as partly occupied space,
2. generally, place, spot, ...
3. the position, proper place of a person or thing, “ἐνὶ χώρῃ ἕζεται” Il.23.349: esp. a soldier's post, ...
4. metaph., station, place, position, ἐν χώρᾳ τινὸς εἶναι to be in his position, be counted the same as he is, ἐν ἀνδραπόδων or μισθοφόρου χώρᾳ εἶναι to be in the position of slaves or mercenaries, to pass or rank as such, X.An.5.6.13, Cyr.2.1.18; ἐν οὐδεμιᾷ χ. εἶναι to have no place or rank, be in no esteem, ...
Henry George Liddell. Robert Scott. A Greek-English Lexicon. revised and augmented throughout by. Sir Henry Stuart Jones. with the assistance of. Roderick McKenzie. Oxford. Clarendon Press. 1940.

There is no, and cannot be "RANK" in a CO-EQUAL TRI[3]AD OF (PLURAL) ALL-MIGHT-(IES).

ALL THREE would have to be in FIRST PLACE & RANK to share EQUAL glory and perfect equality.

If any one of the three is in lower RANK - that is - "...second after..." or "...third rank..." and not in FIRST PLACE & RANK -



No Trinity here.