The Epistle to Diognetus


This epistle, known from a sole 14th century copy, is full of puzzles.


The addressee is unknown, though a tutor to Marcus Aurelius and a 2/3 century Procurator of Alexandria have both been suggested.


Equally the writer is unknown.  He uses language that is very close to the Pauline epistles, and also to the Gospel of John.


The document is in letter form, but is similar to Third Century apologetics.


The opening condemns "idol-worshippers" and Jews in simplistic terms, but the core of the document powerfully puts forward the concept of Christians as temporary sojourners who are citizens of a heavenly kingdom.  We theorised that this might not be the best way to approach a Roman official; third century persecutions fixated on the "disloyalty" of Christians.