Athenagoras (133-190)

by Matt Slick

Athenagoras was a Christian apologist for the second century A.D. Not much is known about him except that he was an Athenian philosopher who converted to Christianity. Two of his works have been preserved: "Embassy for the Christians" and a "Treatise on the Resurrection." He went to Alexandria and set up a Christian Academy. He responded to the Emperor Marcus Aurelius and his son who raised accusations against Christianity within the Roman Empire. He developed an argument for the proof that there is only one God and that Christians live peaceable and moral lives within the empire and claimed equal rights for them with other Roman citizens.

He developed an argument against the accusations that Christianity was atheistic, a common charge at the time since Christians did not bow before idols or statues. He developed early doctrinal statements on the Trinity but ignored the incarnation and Resurrection of Christ.

He also argued against the charges of cannibalism and incest, which were also frequently leveled against Christianity at the time. These charges were raised by the critics of Christianity because of the communion supper which critics repeatedly misunderstood and the practice of kissing each other with "a holy kiss."

Athenagoras also defended the Resurrection of the Christian for judgment of works as well as the Resurrection of the wicked unto damnation.




  3. Douglas, J. D., Comfort, P. W., & Mitchell, D. (1997, c1992). Who's who in Christian history. Illustrated lining papers. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House.

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.