I recently finished reading Justin Martyr’s first and second apologies. [Note “apologia” here refers to a defense of a position…not an indication of regret.]For anyone with even a mildly open-minded view on theology, I would heartily recommend them as a good window into how early Christians, prior to the politicization and codification in the church, saw their faith. It is truly a break from either what is considered “liberal” or “conservative” today.Apologies are particularly important because they often assume a certain level of ignorance in their audience, so you get a fairly large picture of how someone views the critical components of a position [in this case, Christianity.] In the case of early followers of Jesus, this is especially the case because the biggest problem Christians had to counter was simple ignorance of what they really believed and did.
The copy I read was translated by Leslie William Barnard [ISBN: 0809104725], but I would hope that almost any decent translation would expose some of the more unorthodox (by today’s standards) views, though various translators might try to soften some of the specifics.
I noticed that the entirety of Justin Martyr’s known work is available at google print (The works now extant of S. Justin the martyr), though some of the work there might be from works now considered spurious.