St. Ignatius of antioch
Ignatius of Antioch, also known as Ignatius Theophorus, was an early Christian writer and Bishop of Antioch. He is considered to be one of the three most important of the Apostolic Fathers, together with Clement of Rome and Polycarp. Tradition identifies Ignatius, along with his friend Polycarp, as disciples of John the Apostle. Instead of being executed in his home town of Antioch, Ignatius was escorted to Rome by a company of ten Roman soldiers. While en route to Rome, Ignatius authored seven letters including one to Polycarp, one to the Smyrnaeans, one to the Philadelphians, one to the Romans, one to the Trallians, one to the Magnesians, and one to the Ephesians. At Rome, he was martyred under Emperor Trajan by being “thrown to the beasts” in the coliseum.
Quotes from Ignatius of Antioch:
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Letter to Polycarp:
(translated by J.B. Lightfoot)
0:0 Ignatius, who is also Theophorus, unto Polycarp
who is bishop of the church of the Smyrnaeans or
rather who hath for his bishop God the Father and
Jesus Christ, abundant greeting.
1:1 Welcoming thy godly mind which is grounded as it
were on an immovable rock, I give exceeding glory that
it hath been vouchsafed me to see thy blameless face,
whereof I would fain have joy in God.
1:2 I exhort thee in the grace wherewith thou art
clothed to press forward in thy course and to exhort
all men that they may be saved. Vindicate thine office
in all diligence of flesh and of spirit. Have a care
for union, than which there is nothing better. Bear
all men, as the Lord also beareth thee. Suffer all men
in love, as also thou doest.
1:3 Give thyself to unceasing prayers. Ask for
larger wisdom than thou hast. Be watchful, and keep
thy spirit from slumbering. Speak to each man
severally after the manner of God. Bear the maladies
of all, as a perfect athlete. Where there is more
toil, there is much gain.
2:1 If thou lovest good scholars, this is not
thankworthy in thee. Rather bring the more pestilent
to submission by gentleness. All wounds are not healed
by the same salve. Allay sharp pains by fomentations.
2:2 _Be thou prudent as the serpent_ in all things
_and guileless_ always _as the dove._ Therefore art
thou made of flesh and spirit, that thou mayest humour
the things which appear before thine eyes; and as for
the invisible things, pray thou that they may be
revealed unto thee; that thou mayest be lacking in
nothing, but mayest abound in every spiritual gift.
2:3 The season requireth thee, as pilots require
winds or as a storm-tossed mariner a haven, that it
may attain unto God. Be sober, as God’s athlete. The
prize is incorruption and life eternal, concerning
which thou also art persuaded. In all things I am
devoted to thee — I and my bonds which thou didst
3:1 Let not those that seem to be plausible and yet
teach strange doctrine dismay thee. Stand thou firm,
as an anvil when it is smitten. It is the part of a
great athlete to receive blows and be victorious. But
especially must we for God’s sake endure all things,
that He also may endure us.
3:2 Be thou more diligent than thou art. Mark the
seasons. Await Him that is above every season, the
Eternal, the Invisible, who became visible for our
sake, the Impalpable, the Impassible, who suffered for
our sake, who endured in all ways for our sake.
4:1 Let not widows be neglected. After the Lord be
thou their protector. Let nothing be done without thy
consent; neither do thou anything without the consent
of God, as indeed thou doest not. Be stedfast.
4:2 Let meetings be held more frequently. Seek out
all men by name.
4:3 Despise not slaves, whether men or women. Yet
let not these again be puffed up, but let them serve
the more faithfully to the glory of God, that they may
obtain a better freedom from God. Let them not desire
to be set free at the public cost, lest they be found
slaves of lust.
5:1 Flee evil arts, or rather hold thou discourse
about these. Tell my sisters to love the Lord and to
be content with their husbands in flesh and in spirit.
In like manner also charge my brothers in the name of
Jesus Christ to love their wives, _as the Lord loved
5:2 If any one is able to abide in chastity to the
honour of the flesh of the Lord, let him so abide
without boasting. If he boast, he is lost; and if it be
known beyond the bishop, he is polluted. It becometh
men and women too, when they marry, to unite themselves
with the consent of the bishop, that the marriage may
be after the Lord and not after concupiscence. Let all
things be done to the honour of God.
6:1 Give ye heed to the bishop, that God also may
give heed to you. I am devoted to those who are
subject to the bishop, the presbyters, the deacons.
May it be granted me to have my portion with them in
the presence of God. Toil together one with another,
struggle together, run together, suffer together, lie
down together, rise up together, as God’s stewards and
assessors and ministers.
6:2 Please the Captain in whose army ye serve, from
whom also ye will receive your pay. Let none of you be
found a deserter. Let your baptism abide with you as
you shield; your faith as your helmet; your love as
your spear; your patience as your body armour. Let
your works be your deposits, that ye may receive your
assets due to you. Be ye therefore long-suffering one
with another in gentleness, as God is with you. May I
have joy of you always.
7:1 Seeing that the church which is in Antioch of
Syria hath peace, as it hath been reported to me,
through your prayers, I myself also have been the more
comforted since God hath banished my care; if so be I
may through suffering attain unto God, that I may be
found a disciple through your intercession.
7:2 It becometh thee, most blessed Polycarp, to call
together a godly council and to elect some one among
you who is very dear to you and zealous also, who
shall be fit to bear the name of God’s courier — to
appoint him, I say, that he may go to Syria and
glorify your zealous love unto the glory of God.
7:3 A Christian hath no authority over himself, but
giveth his time to God. This is God’s work, and yours
also, when ye shall complete it: for I trust in the
Divine grace, that ye are ready for an act of well-
doing which is meet for God. Knowing the fervour of
your sincerity, I have exhorted you in a short letter.
8:1 Since I have not been able to write to all the
churches, by reason of my sailing suddenly from Troas
to Neapolis, as the Divine will enjoineth, thou shalt
write to the churches in front, as one possessing the
mind of God, to the intent that they also may do this
same thing — let those who are able send messengers,
and the rest letters by the persons who are sent by
thee, that ye may be glorified by an ever memorable
deed — for this is worthy of thee.
8:2 I salute all by name, and especially the wife of
Epitropus with her whole household and her children’s.
I salute Attalus my beloved. I salute him that shall
be appointed to go to Syria. Grace shall be with him
always, and with Polycarp who sendeth him.
8:3 I bid you farewell always in our God Jesus
Christ, in whom abide ye in the unity and supervision
of God. I salute Alce, a name very dear to me. Fare ye
well in the Lord.
Letter to the Smyrnaeans:
(translated by J.B. Lightfoot)
0:0 Ignatius, who is also Theophorus, to the church
of God the Father and of Jesus Christ the Beloved,
which hath been mercifully endowed with every grace,
being filled with faith and love and lacking in no
grace, most reverend and bearing holy treasures; to
the church which is in Smyrna of Asia, in a blameless
spirit and in the word of God abundant greeting.
1:1 I give glory to Jesus Christ the God who
bestowed such wisdom upon you; for I have perceived
that ye are established in faith immovable, being as
it were nailed on the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ,
in flesh and in spirit, and firmly grounded in love in
the blood of Christ, fully persuaded as touching our
Lord that He is truly of the race of David according
to the flesh, but Son of God by the Divine will and
power, truly born of a virgin and baptized by John
that _all righteousness might be fulfilled_ by Him,
1:2 truly nailed up in the flesh for our sakes under
Pontius Pilate and Herod the tetrarch (of which fruit
are we — that is, of His most blessed passion); that
_He might set up an ensign_ unto all the ages through
His resurrection, for His saints and faithful people,
whether among Jews or among Gentiles, in one body of
2:1 For He suffered all these things for our sakes
[that we might be saved]; and He suffered truly, as
also He raised Himself truly; not as certain
unbelievers say, that He suffered in semblance, being
themselves mere semblance. And according as their
opinions are, so shall it happen to them, for they are
without body and demon-like.
3:1 For I know and believe that He was in the flesh
even after the resurrection;
3:2 and when He came to Peter and his company, He
said to them, _Lay hold and handle me, and see that I
am not a demon without body._ And straightway they
touched Him, and they believed, being joined unto His
flesh and His blood. Wherefore also they despised
death, nay they were found superior to death.
3:3 And after His resurrection He [both] ate with
them and drank with them as one in the flesh, though
spiritually He was united with the Father.
4:1 But these things I warn you, dearly beloved,
knowing that ye yourselves are so minded. Howbeit I
watch over you betimes to protect you from wild beasts
in human form — men whom not only should ye not
receive, but, if it were possible, not so much as meet
[them]; only pray ye for them, if haply they may
repent. This indeed is difficult, but Jesus Christ,
our true life, hath power over it.
4:2 For if these things were done by our Lord in
semblance, then am I also a prisoner in semblance. And
why then have I delivered myself over to death, unto
fire, unto sword, unto wild beasts? But near to the
sword, near to God; in company with wild beasts, in
company with God. Only let it be in the name of Jesus
Christ, so that we may suffer together with Him. I
endure all things, seeing that He Himself enableth me,
who is perfect Man.
5:1 But certain persons ignorantly deny Him, or
rather have been denied by Him, being advocates of
death rather than of the truth; and they have not been
persuaded by the prophecies nor by the law of Moses,
nay nor even to this very hour by the Gospel, nor by
the sufferings of each of us severally;
5:2 for they are of the same mind also concerning
us. For what profit is it [to me], if a man praiseth
me, but blasphemeth my Lord, not confessing that He
was a bearer of flesh? Yet he that affirmeth not this,
doth thereby deny Him altogether, being himself a
bearer of a corpse.
5:3 But their names, being unbelievers, I have not
thought fit to record in writing; nay, far be it from
me even to remember them, until they repent and return
to the passion, which is our resurrection.
6:1 Let no man be deceived. Even the heavenly beings
and the glory of the angels and the rulers visible and
invisible, if they believe not in the blood of Christ
[who is God], judgment awaiteth them also. _He that
receiveth let him receive._ Let not office puff up any
man; for faith and love are all in all, and nothing is
preferred before them.
6:2 But mark ye those who hold strange doctrine
touching the grace of Jesus Christ which came to us,
how that they are contrary to the mind of God. They
have no care for love, none for the widow, none for
the orphan, none for the afflicted, none for the
prisoner, none for the hungry or thirsty. They abstain
from eucharist (thanksgiving) and prayer, because they
allow not that the eucharist is the flesh of our
Saviour Jesus Christ, which flesh suffered for our
sins, and which the Father of His goodness raised up.
7:1 They therefore that gainsay the good gift of God
perish by their questionings. But it were expedient
for them to have love, that they may also rise again.
7:2 It is therefore meet that ye should abstain from
such, and not speak of them either privately or in
public; but should give heed to the Prophets, and
especially to the Gospel, wherein the passion is shown
unto us and the resurrection is accomplished.
8:1 [But] shun divisions, as the beginning of evils.
Do ye all follow your bishop, as Jesus Christ followed
the Father, and the presbytery as the Apostles; and to
the deacons pay respect, as to God’s commandment. Let
no man do aught of things pertaining to the Church
apart from the bishop. Let that be held a valid
eucharist which is under the bishop or one to whom he
shall have committed it.
8:2 Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let
the people be; even as where Jesus may be, there is
the universal Church. It is not lawful apart from the
bishop either to baptize or to hold a love-feast; but
whatsoever he shall approve, this is well-pleasing also
to God; that everything which ye do may be sure and
9:1 It is reasonable henceforth that we wake to
soberness, while we have [still] time to repent and
turn to God. It is good to recognise God and the
bishop. He that honoureth the bishop is houroured of
God; he that doeth aught without the knowledge of the
bishop rendereth service to the devil.
9:2 May all things therefore abound unto you in
grace, for ye are worthy. Ye refreshed me in all
things, and Jesus Christ shall refresh you. In my
absence and in my presence ye cherished me. May God
recompense you; for whose sake if ye endure all
things, ye shall attain unto Him.
10:1 Philo and Rhaius Agathopus, who followed me in
the cause of God, ye did well to receive as ministers
of [Christ] God; who also give thanks to the Lord for
you, because ye refreshed them in every way. Nothing
shall be lost to you.
10:2 My spirit is devoted for you, as also are my
bonds, which ye despised not, neither were ashamed of
them. Nor shall He, who is perfect faithfulness, be
ashamed of you, even Jesus Christ.
11:1 Your prayer sped forth unto the church which is
in Antioch of Syria; whence coming a prisoner in most
godly bonds I salute all men, though I am not worthy
to belong to it, being the very last of them. By the
Divine will was this vouchsafed to me, not of my own
complicity, but by God’s grace, which I pray may be
given to me perfectly, that through your prayers I may
attain unto God.
11:2 Therefore that your work may be perfected both
on earth and in heaven, it is meet that your church
should appoint, for the honour of God, an ambassador
of God that he may go as far as Syria and congratulate
them because they are at peace, and have recovered
their proper stature, and their proper bulk hath been
restored to them.
11:3 It seemed to me therefore a fitting thing that
ye should send one of your own people with a letter,
that he might join with them in giving glory for the
calm which by God’s will had overtaken them, and
because they were already reaching a haven through
your prayers. Seeing ye are perfect, let your counsels
also be perfect; for if ye desire to do well, God is
ready to grant the means.
12:1 The love of the brethren which are in Troas
saluteth you; from whence also I write to you by the
hand of Burrhus, whom ye sent with me jointly with the
Ephesians your brethren. He hath refreshed me in all
ways. And I would that all imitated him, for he is an
ensample of the ministry of God. The Divine grace
shall requite him in all things.
12:2 I salute your godly bishop and your venerable
presbytery [and] my fellow-servants the deacons, and
all of you severally and in a body, in the name of
Jesus Christ, and in His flesh and blood, in His
passion and resurrection, which was both carnal and
spiritual, in the unity of God and of yourselves.
Grace to you, mercy, peace, patience, always.
13:1 I salute the households of my brethren with
their wives and children, and the virgins who are
called widows. I bid you farewell in the power of the
Father. Philo, who is with me, saluteth you.
13:2 I salute the household of Gavia, and I pray
that she may be grounded in faith and love both of
flesh and of spirit. I salute Alce, a name very dear
to me, and Daphnus the incomparable, and Eutecnus, and
all by name. Fare ye well in the grace of God.
Letter to Philadelphians:
(translated by J.B. Lightfoot)
0:0 Ignatius, who is also Theophorus, to the church
of God the Father and of Jesus Christ, which is in
Philadelphia of Asia, which hath found mercy and is
firmly established in the concord of God and rejoiceth
in the passion of our Lord and in His resurrection
without wavering, being fully assured in all mercy;
which church I salute in the blood of Jesus Christ,
that is eternal and abiding joy; more especially if
they be at one with the bishop and the presbyters who
are with him, and with the deacons that have been
appointed according to the mind of Jesus Christ, whom
after His own will He confirmed and established by His
1:1 This your bishop I have found to hold the
ministry which pertaineth to the common weal, not of
himself or through men, nor yet for vain glory, but in
the love of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
And I am amazed at his forbearance; whose silence is
more powerful than others’ speech.
1:2 For he is attuned in harmony with the
commandments, as a lyre with its strings. Wherefore my
soul blesseth his godly mind, for I have found that it
is virtuous and perfect — even the imperturbable and
calm temper which he hath, while living in all godly
2:1 As children therefore [of the light] of the
truth, shun division and wrong doctrines; and where
the shepherd is, there follow ye as sheep.
2:2 For many specious wolves with baneful delights
lead captive the runners in God’s race; but, where ye
are at one, they will find no place.
3:1 Abstain from noxious herbs, which are not the
husbandry of Jesus Christ, because they are not the
planting of the Father. Not that I have found division
among you, but filtering.
3:2 For as many as are of God and of Jesus Christ,
they are with the bishop; and as many as shall repent
and enter into the unity of the Church, these also
shall be of God, that they may be living after Jesus
3:3 Be not deceived, my brethren. If any man
followeth one that maketh a schism, _he doth not
inherit the kingdom of God._ If any man walketh in
strange doctrine, he hath no fellowship with the
4:1 Be ye careful therefore to observe one eucharist
(for there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ and
one cup unto union in His blood; there is one altar,
as there is one bishop, together with the presbtery
and the deacons my fellow-servants), that whatsoever
ye do, ye may do it after God.
5:1 My brethren, my heart overfloweth altogether in
love towards you; and rejoicing above measure I watch
over your safety; yet not I, but Jesus Christ, wearing
whose bonds I am the more afraid, because I am not yet
perfected. But your prayer will make me perfect [unto
God], that I may attain unto the inheritance wherein I
have found mercy, taking refuge in the Gospel as the
flesh of Jesus and in the Apostles as the presbytery
of the Church.
5:2 Yea, and we love the prophets also, because they
too pointed to the Gospel in their preaching and set
their hope on Him and awaited Him; in whom also having
faith they were saved in the unity of Jesus Christ,
being worthy of all love and admiration as holy men,
approved of Jesus Christ and numbered together in the
Gospel of our common hope.
6:1 But if any one propound Judaism unto you, here
him not: for it is better to hear Christianity from a
man who is circumcised than Judaism from one
uncircumcised. But if either the one or the other
speak not concerning Jesus Christ, I look on them as
tombstones and graves of the dead, whereon are
inscribed only the names of men.
6:2 Shun ye therefore the wicked arts and plottings
of the prince of this world, lest haply ye be crushed
by his devices, and wax weak in your love. But
assemble yourselves all together with undivided heart.
6:3 And I give thanks to my God, that I have a good
conscience in my dealings with you, and no man can
boast either in secret or openly, that I was
burdensome to any one in small things or in great. Yea
and for all among whom I spoke, it is my prayer that
they may not turn it into a testimony against
7:1 For even though certain persons desired to
deceive me after the flesh, yet the spirit is not
deceived, being from God; for _it knoweth whence it
cometh and where it goeth,_ and it searcheth out the
hidden things. I cried out, when I was among you; I
spake with a loud voice, with God’s own voice, Give ye
heed to the bishop and the presbytery and deacons.
7:2 Howbeit there were those who suspected me of
saying this, because I knew beforehand of the division
of certain persons. But He in whom I am bound is my
witness that I learned it not from flesh of man; it
was the preaching of the Spirit who spake on this
wise; Do nothing without the bishop; keep your flesh
as a temple of God; cherish union; shun divisions; be
imitators of Jesus Christ, as He Himself also was of
8:1 I therefore did my own part, as a man composed
unto union. But where there is division and anger,
there God abideth not. Now the Lord forgiveth all men
when they repent, if repenting they return to the
unity of God and to the council of the bishop. I have
faith in the grace of Jesus Christ, who shall strike
off every fetter from you;
8:2 and I entreat you, Do ye nothing in a spirit of
factiousness but after the teaching of Christ. For I
heard certain persons saying, If I find it not in the
charters, I believe it not in the Gospel. And when I
said to them, It is written, they answered me That is
the question. But as for me, my charter is Jesus
Christ, the inviolable charter is His cross and His
death and His resurrection, and faith through Him;
wherein I desire to be justified through your prayers.
9:1 The priests likewise were good, but better is
the High-priest to whom is committed the holy of
holies; for to Him alone are committed the hidden
things of God; He Himself being the door of the
Father, through which Abraham and Isaac and Jacob
enter in, and the Prophets and the Apostles and the
whole Church; all these things combine in the unity of
9:2 But the Gospel hath a singular preeminence in
the advent of the Saviour, even our Lord Jesus Christ,
and His passion and resurrection. For the beloved
Prophets in their preaching pointed to Him; but the
Gospel is the completion of immortality. All things
together are good, if ye believe through love.
10:1 Seeing that in answer to your prayer and to the
tender sympathy which ye have in Christ Jesus, it hath
been reported to me that the church which is in
Antioch of Syria hath peace, it is becoming for you,
as a church of God, to appoint a deacon to go thither
as God’s ambassador, that he may congratulate them
when they are assembled together, and may glorify the
10:2 Blessed in Jesus Christ is he that shall be
counted worthy of such a ministration; and ye
yourselves shall be glorified. Now if ye desire it, it
is not impossible for you to do this for the name of
God; even as the churches which are nearest have sent
bishops, and others presbyters and deacons.
11:1 But as touching Philo the deacon from Cilicia,
a man of good report, who now also ministereth to me
in the word of God, together with Rhaius Agathopus, an
elect one who followeth me from Syria, having bidden
farewell to this present life; the same who also bear
witness to you — and I myself thank God on your
behalf, because ye received them, as I trust the Lord
will receive you. But may those who treated them with
dishonour be redeemed through the grace of Jesus
11:2 The love of the brethren which are in Troas
saluteth you; from whence also I write to you by the
hand of Burrhus, who was sent with me by the Ephesians
and Smyrnaeans as a mark of honour. The Lord shall
honour them, even Jesus Christ, on whom their hope is
set in flesh and soul and spirit, by faith, by love,
by concord. Fare ye well in Christ Jesus our common hope.
Letter to Romans:
(translated by J.B. Lightfoot)
0:0 Ignatius, who is also Theophorus, unto her that
hath found mercy in the bountifulness of the Father
Most High and of Jesus Christ His only Son; to the
church that is beloved and enlightened through the
will of Him who willed all things that are, by faith
and love towards Jesus Christ our God; even unto her
that hath the presidency in the country of the region
of the Romans, being worthy of God, worthy of honour,
worthy of felicitation, worthy of praise, worthy of
success, worthy in purity, and having the presidency
of love, walking in the law of Christ and bearing the
Father’s name; which church also I salute in the name
of Jesus Christ the Son of the Father; unto them that
in flesh and spirit are united unto His every
commandment, being filled with the grace of God
without wavering, and filtered clear from every
foreign stain; abundant greeting in Jesus Christ our
God in blamelessness.
1:1 Forasmuch as in answer to my prayer to God it
hath been granted me to see your godly countenances,
so that I have obtained even more than I asked; for
wearing bonds in Christ Jesus I hope to salute you, if
it be the Divine will that I should be counted worthy
to reach unto the end;
1:2 for the beginning verily is well ordered, if so
be I shall attain unto the goal, that I may receive
mine inheritance without hinderance. For I dread your
very love, lest it do me an injury; for it is easy for
you to do what ye will, but for me it is difficult to
attain unto God, unless ye shall spare me.
2:1 For I would not have you to be men-pleasers but
to please God, as indeed ye do please Him. For neither
shall I myself ever find an opportunity such as this
to attain unto God, nor can ye, if ye be silent, win
the credit of any nobler work. For, if ye be silent
and leave me alone, I am a word of God; but if ye
desire my flesh, then shall I be again a mere cry.
2:2 [Nay] grant me nothing more than that I be
poured out a libation to God, while there is still an
altar ready; that forming yourselves into a chorus in
love ye may sing to the Father in Jesus Christ, for
that God hath vouchsafed that the bishop from Syria
should be found in the West, having summoned him from
the East. It is good to set from the world unto God,
that I may rise unto Him.
3:1 Ye never grudged any one; ye were the
instructors of others. And my desire is that those
lessons shall hold good which as teachers ye enjoin.
3:2 Only pray that I may have power within and
without, so that I may not only say it but also desire
it; that I may not only be called a Christian, but
also be found one. For if I shall be found so, then
can I also be called one, and be faithful then, when I
am no more visible to the world.
3:3 Nothing visible is good. For our God Jesus
Christ, being in the Father, is the more plainly
visible. The Work is not of persuasiveness, but
Christianity is a thing of might, whensoever it is
hated by the world.
4:1 I write to all the churches, and I bid all men
know, that of my own free will I die for God, unless
ye should hinder me. I exhort you, be ye not an
unseasonable kindness to me. Let me be given to the
wild beasts, for through them I can attain unto God. I
am God’s wheat, and I am ground by the teeth of wild
beasts that I may be found pure bread [of Christ].
4:2 Rather entice the wild beasts, that they may
become my sepulchre and may leave no part of my body
behind, so that I may not, when I am fallen asleep, be
burdensome to any one. Then shall I be truly a
disciple of Jesus Christ, when the world shall not so
much as see my body. Supplicate the Lord for me, that
through these instruments I may be found a sacrifice
4:3 I do not enjoin you, as Peter and Paul did. They
were Apostles, I am a convict; they were free, but I
am a slave to this very hour. Yet if I shall suffer,
then am I a freed-man of Jesus Christ, and I shall
rise free in Him. Now I am learning in my bonds to put
away every desire.
5:1 From Syria even unto Rome I fight with wild
beasts, by land and sea, by night and by day, being
bound amidst ten leopards, even a company of soldiers,
who only wax worse when they are kindly treated.
Howbeit through their wrong doings I become more
completely a disciple; _yet am I not hereby
5:2 May I have joy of the beasts that have been
prepared for me; and I pray that I may find them
prompt; nay I will entice them that they may devour me
promptly, not as they have done to some, refusing to
touch them through fear. Yea though of themselves they
should not be willing while I am ready, I myself will
force them to it.
5:3 Bear with me. I know what is expedient for me.
Now am I beginning to be a disciple. May nought of
things visible and things invisible envy me; that I
may attain unto Jesus Christ. Come fire and cross and
grapplings with wild beasts, [cuttings and manglings,]
wrenching of bones, hacking of limbs, crushings of my
whole body, come cruel tortures of the devil to assail
me. Only be it mine to attain unto Jesus Christ.
6:1 The farthest bounds of the universe shall profit
me nothing, neither the kingdoms of this world. It is
good for me to die for Jesus Christ rather than to
reign over the farthest bounds of the earth. Him I
seek, who died on our behalf; Him I desire, who rose
again [for our sake]. The pangs of a new birth are
6:2 Bear with me, brethren. Do not hinder me from
living; do not desire my death. Bestow not on the
world one who desireth to be God’s, neither allure him
with material things. Suffer me to receive the pure
light. When I am come thither, then shall I be a man.
6:3 Permit me to be an imitator of the passion of my
God. If any man hath Him within himself, let him
understand what I desire, and let him have fellow-
feeling with me, for he knoweth the things which
7:1 The prince of this world would fain tear me in
pieces and corrupt my mind to Godward. Let not any of
you therefore who are near abet him. Rather stand ye
on my side, that is on God’s side. Speak not of Jesus
Christ and withal desire the world.
7:2 Let not envy have a home in you. Even though I
myself, when I am with you, should beseech you, obey
me not; but rather give credence to these things which
I write to you. [For] I write to you in the midst of
life, yet lusting after death. My lust hath been
crucified, and there is no fire of material longing in
me, but only water living +and speaking+ in me, saying
within me, Come to the Father.
7:3 I have no delight in the food of corruption or
in the delights of this life. I desire the bread of
God, which is the flesh of Christ who was of the seed
of David; and for a draught I desire His blood, which
is love incorruptible.
8:1 I desire no longer to live after the manner of
men; and this shall be, if ye desire it. Desire ye,
that ye yourselves also may be desired.
8:2 In a brief letter I beseech you; believe me. And
Jesus Christ shall make manifest unto you these
things, that I speak the truth — Jesus Christ, the
unerring mouth in whom the Father hath spoken [truly].
8:3 Entreat ye for me, that I may attain [through
the Holy Spirit]. I write not unto you after the
flesh, but after the mind of God. If I shall suffer,
it was your desire; if I shall be rejected, it was
9:1 Remember in your prayers the church which is in
Syria, which hath God for its shepherd in my stead.
Jesus Christ alone shall be its bishop — He and your
9:2 But for myself I am ashamed to be called one of
them; for neither am I worthy, being the very last of
them and an untimely birth: but I have found mercy
that I should be some one, if so be I shall attain
9:3 My spirit saluteth you, and the love of the
churches which received me in the name of Jesus
Christ, not as a mere wayfarer: for even those
churches which did not lie on my route after the flesh
went before me from city to city.
10:1 Now I write these things to you from Smyrna by
the hand of the Ephesians who are worthy of all
felicitation. And Crocus also, a name very dear to me,
is with me, with many others besides.
10:2 As touching those who went before me from Syria
to Rome unto the glory of God, I believe that ye have
received instructions; whom also apprise that I am
near; for they all are worthy of God and of you, and
it becometh you to refresh them in all things.
10:3 These things I write to you on the 9th before
the Kalends of September. Fare ye well unto the end in
the patient waiting for Jesus Christ.
Letter to Trallians:
(translated by J.B. Lightfoot)
CHAPTER 0 0:0 Ignatius, who is also Theophorus, unto her that is beloved by God the Father of Jesus Christ; to the holy church which is in Tralles of Asia, elect and worthy of God, having peace in flesh and spirit through the passion of Jesus Christ, who is our hope through our resurrection unto Him; which church also I salute in the Divine plenitude after the apostolic fashion, and I wish her abundant greeting. CHAPTER 1 1:1 I have learned that ye have a mind unblameable and stedfast in patience, not from habit, but by nature, according as Polybius your bishop informed me, who by the will of God and of Jesus Christ visited me in Smyrna; and so greatly did he rejoice with me in my bonds in Christ Jesus, that in him I beheld the whole multitude of you. 1:2 Having therefore received your godly benevolence at his hands, I gave glory, forasmuch as I had found you to be imitators of God, even as I had learned. CHAPTER 2 2:1 For when ye are obedient to the bishop as to Jesus Christ, it is evident to me that ye are living not after men but after Jesus Christ, who died for us, that believing on His death ye might escape death. 2:2 It is therefore necessary, even as your wont is, that ye should do nothing without the bishop; but be ye obedient also to the presbytery, as to the Apostles of Jesus Christ our hope; for if we live in Him, we shall also be found in Him. 2:3 And those likewise who are deacons of the mysteries of Jesus Christ must please all men in all ways. For they are not deacons of meats and drinks but servants of the Church of God. It is right therefore that they should beware of blame as of fire. CHAPTER 3 3:1 In like manner let all men respect the deacons as Jesus Christ, even as they should respect the bishop as being a type of the Father and the presbyters as the council of God and as the college of Apostles. Apart from these there is not even the name of a church. 3:2 And I am persuaded that ye are so minded as touching these matters: for I received the ensample of your love, and I have it with me, in the person of your bishop, whose very demeanour is a great lesson, while his gentleness is power — a man to whom I think even the godless pay reverence. 3:3 Seeing that I love you I thus spare you, though I might write more sharply on his behalf: but I did not think myself competent for this, that being a convict I should order you as though I were an Apostle. CHAPTER 4 4:1 I have many deep thoughts in God: but I take the measure of myself, lest I perish in my boasting. For now I ought to be the more afraid and not to give heed to those that would puff me up: for they that say these things to me are a scourge to me. 4:2 For though I desire to suffer, yet I know not whether I am worthy: for the envy of the devil is unseen indeed by many, but against me it wages the fiercer war. So then I crave gentleness, whereby the prince of this world is brought to nought. CHAPTER 5 5:1 Am I not able to write to you of heavenly things? But I fear lest I should cause you harm being babes. So bear with me, lest not being able to take them in, ye should be choked. 5:2 For I myself also, albeit I am in bonds and can comprehend heavenly things and the arrays of the angels and the musterings of the principalities, things visible and things invisible — I myself am not yet by reason of this a disciple. For we lack many things, that God may not be lacking to us. CHAPTER 6 6:1 I exhort you therefore — yet not I, but the love of Jesus Christ — take ye only Christian food, and abstain from strange herbage, which is heresy: 6:2 for these men do even mingle poison with Jesus Christ, imposing upon others by a show of honesty, like persons administering a deadly drug with honied wine, so that one who knoweth it not, fearing nothing, drinketh in death with a baneful delight. CHAPTER 7 7:1 Be ye therefore on your guard against such men. And this will surely be, if ye be not puffed up and if ye be inseparable from [God] Jesus Christ and from the bishop and from the ordinances of the Apostles. 7:2 He that is within the sanctuary is clean; but he that is without the sanctuary is not clean, that is, he that doeth aught without the bishop and presbytery and deacons, this man is not clean in his conscience. CHAPTER 8 8:1 Not indeed that I have known of any such thing among you, but I keep watch over you betimes, as my beloved, for I foresee the snares of the devil. Do ye therefore arm yourselves with gentleness and recover yourselves in faith which is the flesh of the Lord, and in love which is the blood of Jesus Christ. 8:2 Let none of you bear a grudge against his neighbour. Give no occasion to the Gentiles, lest by reason of a few foolish men the godly multitude be blasphemed: for _Woe unto him through whom My name is vainly blasphemed before some._ CHAPTER 9 9:1 Be ye deaf therefore, when any man speaketh to you apart from Jesus Christ, who was of the race of David, who was the Son of Mary, who was truly born and ate and drank, was truly persecuted under Pontius Pilate, was truly crucified and died in the sight of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the earth; 9:2 who moreover was truly raised from the dead, His Father having raised Him, who in the like fashion will so raise us also who believe on Him — His Father, I say, will raise us — in Christ Jesus, apart from whom we have not true life. CHAPTER 10 10:1 But if it were as certain persons who are godless, that is unbelievers, say, that He suffered only in semblance, being themselves mere semblance, why am I in bonds? And why also do I desire to fight with wild beasts? So I die in vain. Truly then I lie against the Lord. CHAPTER 11 11:1 Shun ye therefore those vile offshoots that gender a deadly fruit, whereof if a man taste, forthwith he dieth. For these men are not the Father’s planting: for if they had been, they would have been seen to be branches of the Cross, and their fruit imperishable — the Cross whereby He through His passion inviteth us, being His members. Now it cannot be that a head should be found without members, seeing that God promiseth union, and this union is Himself. CHAPTER 12 12:1 I salute you from Smyrna, together with the churches of God that are present with me; men who refreshed me in all ways both in flesh and in spirit. 12:2 My bonds exhort you, which for Jesus Christ’s sake I bear about, entreating that I may attain unto God; abide ye in your concord and in prayer one with another. For it becometh you severally, and more especially the presbyters, to cheer the soul of your bishop unto the honour of the Father [and to the honour] of Jesus Christ and of the Apostles. 12:3 I pray that ye may hearken unto me in love, lest I be for a testimony against you by having so written. And pray ye also for me who have need of your love in the mercy of God, that I may be vouchsafed the lot which I am eager to attain, to the end that I be not found reprobate. CHAPTER 13 13:1 The love of the Smyrnaeans and Ephesians saluteth you. Remember in your prayers the church which is in Syria; whereof [also] I am not worthy to be called a member, being the very last of them. 13:2 Fare ye well in Jesus Christ, submitting yourselves to the bishop as to the commandment, and likewise also to the presbytery; and each of you severally love one another with undivided heart. 13:3 My spirit is offered up for you, not only now, but also when I shall attain unto God. For I am still in peril; but the Father is faithful in Jesus Christ to fulfil my petition and yours. May we be found unblameable in Him.
Letter to Magnesians:
(translated by J.B. Lightfoot)
0:0 Ignatius, who is also Theophorus, unto her which
hath been blessed through the grace of God the Father
in Christ Jesus our Saviour, in whom I salute the
church which is in Magnesia on the Maeander, and I
wish her abundant greeting in God the Father and in
1:1 When I learned the exceeding good order of your
love in the ways of God, I was gladdened and I
determined to address you in the faith of Jesus
1:2 For being counted worthy to bear a most godly
name, in these bonds, which I carry about, I sing the
praise of the churches; and I pray that there may be
in them union of the flesh and of the spirit which are
Jesus Christ’s, our never-failing life — an union of
faith and of love which is preferred before all
things, and — what is more than all — an union with
Jesus and with the Father; in whom if we endure
patiently all the despite of the prince of this world
and escape therefrom, we shall attain unto God.
2:1 Forasmuch then as I was permitted to see you in
the person of Damas your godly bishop and your worthy
presbyters Bassus and Apollonius and my fellow-servant
the deacon Zotion, of whom I would fain have joy, for
that he is subject to the bishop as unto the grace of
God and to the presbytery as unto the law of Jesus
3:1 Yea, and it becometh you also not to presume
upon the youth of your bishop, but according to the
power of God the Father to render unto him all
reverence, even as I have learned that the holy
presbyters also have not taken advantage of his
outwardly youthful estate, but give place to him as to
one prudent in God; yet not to him, but to the Father
of Jesus Christ, even to the Bishop of all.
3:2 For the honour therefore of Him that desired
you, it is meet that ye should be obedient without
dissimulation. For a man doth not so much deceive this
bishop who is seen, as cheat that other who is
invisible; and in such a case he must reckon not with
flesh but with God who knoweth the hidden things.
4:1 It is therefore meet that we not only be called
Christians, but also be such; even as some persons
have the bishop’s name on their lips, but in
everything act apart from him. Such men appear to me
not to keep a good conscience, forasmuch as they do
not assemble themselves together lawfully according to
5:1 Seeing them that all things have an end, and
these two — life and death — are set before us
together, and each man shall go _to his own place;_
5:2 for just as there are two coinages, the one of
God and the other of the world, and each of them hath
its proper stamp impressed upon it, the unbelievers
the stamp of this world, but the faithful in love the
stamp of God the Father through Jesus Christ, through
whom unless of our own free choice we accept to die
unto His passion, His life is not in us: —
6:1 Seeing then that in the aforementioned persons I
beheld your whole people in faith and embraced them, I
advise you, be ye zealous to do all things in godly
concord, the bishop presiding after the likeness of
God and the presbyters after the likeness of the
council of the Apostles, with the deacons also who are
most dear to me, having been entrusted with the
diaconate of Jesus Christ, who was with the Father
before the worlds and appeared at the end of time.
6:2 Therefore do ye all study conformity to God and
pay reverence one to another; and let no man regard
his neighbour after the flesh, but love ye one another
in Jesus Christ always. Let there be nothing among you
which shall have power to divide you, but be ye united
with the bishop and with them that preside over you as
an ensample and a lesson of incorruptibility.
7:1 Therefore as the Lord did nothing without the
Father, [being united with Him], either by Himself or
by the Apostles, so neither do ye anything without the
bishop and the presbyters. And attempt not to think
anything right for yourselves apart from others: but
let there be one prayer in common, one supplication,
one mind, one hope, in love and in joy unblameable,
which is Jesus Christ, than whom there is nothing
7:2 Hasten to come together all of you, as to one
temple, even God; as to one altar, even to one Jesus
Christ, who came forth from One Father and is with One
and departed unto One.
8:1 Be not seduced by strange doctrines nor by
antiquated fables, which are profitless. For if even
unto this day we live after the manner of Judaism, we
avow that we have not received grace:
8:2 for the divine prophets lived after Christ
Jesus. For this cause also they were persecuted, being
inspired by His grace to the end that they which are
disobedient might be fully persuaded that there is one
God who manifested Himself through Jesus Christ His
Son, who is His Word that proceeded from silence, who
in all things was well-pleasing unto Him that sent
9:1 If then those who had walked in ancient
practices attained unto newness of hope, no longer
observing sabbaths but fashioning their lives after
the Lord’s day, on which our life also arose through
Him and through His death which some men deny — a
mystery whereby we attained unto belief, and for this
cause we endure patiently, that we may be found
disciples of Jesus Christ our only teacher —
9:2 if this be so, how shall we be able to live
apart from Him? seeing that even the prophets, being
His disciples, were expecting Him as their teacher
through the Spirit. And for this cause He whom they
rightly awaited, when He came, raised them from the
10:1 Therefore let us not be insensible to His
goodness. For if He should imitate us according to our
deeds, we are lost. For this cause, seeing that we are
become His disciples, let us learn to live as
beseemeth Christianity. For whoso is called by another
name besides this, is not of God.
10:2 Therefore put away the vile leaven which hath
waxed stale and sour, and betake yourselves to the new
leaven, which is Jesus Christ. Be ye salted in Him,
that none among you grow putrid, seeing that by your
savour ye shall be proved.
10:3 It is monstrous to talk of Jesus Christ and to
practise Judaism. For Christianity did not believe in
Judaism, but Judaism in Christianity, wherein _every
tongue_ believed and _was gathered together_ unto
11:1 Now these things I say, my dearly beloved, not
because I have learned that any of you are so minded;
but as being less than any of you, I would have you be
on your guard betimes, that ye fall not into the
snares of vain doctrine; but be ye fully persuaded
concerning the birth and the passion and the
resurrection, which took place in the time of the
governorship of Pontius Pilate; for these things were
truly and certainly done by Jesus Christ our hope;
from which hope may it not befal any of you to be
12:1 Let me have joy of you in all things, if I be
worthy. For even though I am in bonds, yet am I not
comparable to one of you who are at liberty. I know
that ye are not puffed up; for ye have Jesus Christ in
yourselves. And, when I praise you, I know that ye
only feel the more shame; as it is written _The
righteous man is a self-accuser._
13:1 Do your diligence therefore that ye be
confirmed in the ordinances of the Lord and of the
Apostles, that ye may _prosper in all things
whatsoever ye do_ in flesh and spirit, by faith and by
love, in the Son and Father and in the Spirit, in the
beginning and in the end, with your revered bishop,
and with the fitly wreathed spiritual circlet of your
presbytery, and with the deacons who walk after God.
13:2 Be obedient to the bishop and to one another,
as Jesus Christ was to the Father [according to the
flesh], and as the Apostles were to Christ and to the
Father, that there may be union both of flesh and of
14:1 Knowing that ye are full of God, I have
exhorted you briefly. Remember me in your prayers,
that I may attain unto God; and remember also the
church which is in Syria, whereof I am not worthy to
be called a member. For I have need of your united
prayer and love in God, that it may be granted to the
church which is in Syria to be refreshed by the dew of
your fervent supplication.
15:1 The Ephesians from Smyrna salute you, from
whence also I write to you. They are here with me for
the glory of God, as also are ye; and they have
comforted me in all things, together with Polycarp
bishop of the Smyrnaeans. Yea, and all the other
churches salute you in the honour of Jesus Christ.
Fare ye well in godly concord, and possess ye a
stedfast spirit, which is Jesus Christ.
Letter to Ephesians:
(translated by J.B. Lightfoot)
0:0 Ignatius, who is also Theophorus, unto her which
hath been blessed in greatness through the plentitude
of God the Father; which hath been foreordained before
the ages to be for ever unto abiding and unchangeable
glory, united and elect in a true passion, by the will
of the Father and of Jesus Christ our God; even unto
the church which is in Ephesus [of Asia], worthy of
all felicitation: abundant greeting in Christ Jesus
and in blameless joy.
1:1 While I welcomed in God [your] well-beloved name
which ye bear by natural right, [in an upright and
virtuous mind], by faith and love in Christ Jesus our
Saviour — being imitators of God, and having your
hearts kindled in the blood of God, ye have perfectly
fulfilled your congenial work —
1:2 for when ye heard that I was on my way from
Syria, in bonds for the sake of the common Name and
hope, and was hoping through your prayers to succeed
in fighting with wild beasts in Rome, that by so
succeeding I might have power to be a disciple, ye
were eager to visit me: —
1:3 seeing then that in God’s name I have received
your whole multitude in the person of Onesimus, whose
love passeth utterance and who is moreover your bishop
[in the flesh] — and I pray that ye may love him
according to Jesus Christ and that ye all may be like
him; for blessed is He that granted unto you according
to your deserving to have such a bishop: —
2:1 But as touching my fellow-servant Burrhus, who
by the will of God is your deacon blessed in all
things, I pray that he may remain with me to the
honour of yourselves and of your bishop. Yea, and
Crocus also, who is worthy of God and of you, whom I
received as an ensample of the love which ye bear me,
hath relieved me in all ways — even so may the Father
of Jesus Christ refresh him — together with Onesimus
and Burrhus and Euplus and Fronto; in whom I saw you
all with the eyes of love.
2:2 May I have joy of you always, if so be I am
worthy of it. It is therefore meet for you in every
way to glorify Jesus Christ who glorified you; that
being perfectly joined together in one submission,
submitting yourselves to your bishop and presbytery,
ye may be sanctified in all things.
3:1 I do not command you, as though I were somewhat.
For even though I am in bonds for the Name’s sake, I
am not yet perfected in Jesus Christ. [For] now am I
beginning to be a disciple; and I speak to you as to
my school-fellows. For I ought to be trained by you
for the contest in faith, in admonition, in endurance,
3:2 But, since love doth not suffer me to be silent
concerning you, therefore was I forward to exhort you,
that ye run in harmony with the mind of God: for Jesus
Christ also, our inseparable life, is the mind of the
Father, even as the bishops that are settled in the
farthest parts of the earth are in the mind of Jesus
4:1 So then it becometh you to run in harmony with
the mind of the bishop; which thing also ye do. For
your honourable presbytery, which is worthy of God, is
attuned to the bishop, even as its strings to a lyre.
Therefore in your concord and harmonious love Jesus
Christ is sung.
4:2 And do ye, each and all, form yourselves into a
chorus, that being harmonious in concord and taking
the key note of God ye may in unison sing with one
voice through Jesus Christ unto the Father, that He
may both hear you and acknowledge you by your good
deeds to be members of His Son. It is therefore
profitable for you to be in blameless unity, that ye
may also be partakers of God always.
5:1 For if I in a short time had such converse with
your bishop, which was not after the manner of men but
in the Spirit, how much more do I congratulate you who
are closely joined with him as the Church is with
Jesus Christ and as Jesus Christ is with the Father,
that all things may be harmonious in unity.
5:2 Let no man be deceived. If any one be not within
the precinct of the altar, he lacketh the bread [of
God]. For, if the prayer of one and another hath so
great force, how much more that of the bishop and of
the whole Church.
5:3 Whosoever therefore cometh not to the
congregation, he doth thereby show his pride and hath
separated himself; for it is written, _God resisteth
the proud._ Let us therefore be careful not to resist
the bishop, that by our submission we may give
ourselves to God.
6:1 And in proportion as a man seeth that his bishop
is silent, let him fear him the more. For every one
whom the Master of the household sendeth to be steward
over His own house, we ought so to receive as Him that
sent him. Plainly therefore we ought to regard the
bishop as the Lord Himself.
6:2 Now Onesimus of his own accord highly praiseth
your orderly conduct in God, for that ye all live
according to truth,and that no heresy hath a home
among you: nay, ye do not so much as listen to any
one, if he speak of aught else save concerning Jesus
Christ in truth.
7:1 For some are wont of malicious guile to hawk
about the Name, while they do certain other things
unworthy of God. These men ye ought to shun, as wild-
beasts; for they are mad dogs, biting by stealth;
against whom ye ought to be on your guard, for they
are hard to heal.
7:2 There is one only physician, of flesh and of
spirit, generate and ingenerate, God in man, true Life
in death, Son of Mary and Son of God, first passible
and then impassible, Jesus Christ our Lord.
8:1 Let no one therefore deceive you, as indeed ye
are not deceived, seeing that ye belong wholly to God.
For when no lust is established in you, which hath
power to torment you, then truly ye live after God. I
devote myself for you, and I dedicate myself as an
offering for the church of you Ephesians which is
famous unto all the ages.
8:2 They that are of the flesh cannot do the things
of the Spirit, neither can they that are of the Spirit
do the things of the flesh; even as faith cannot do
the things of unfaithfulness, neither unfaithfulness
the things of faith. Nay, even those things which ye
do after the flesh are spiritual; for ye do all things
in Jesus Christ.
9:1 But I have learned that certain persons passed
through you from yonder, bringing evil doctrine; whom
ye suffered not to sow seed in you, for ye stopped
your ears, so that ye might not receive the seed sown
by them; forasmuch as ye are stones of a temple, which
were prepared beforehand for a building of God the
Father, being hoisted up to the heights through the
engine of Jesus Christ, which is the Cross, and using
for a rope the Holy Spirit; while your faith is your
windlass, and love is the way that leadeth up to God.
9:2 So then ye are all companions in the way,
carrying your God and your shrine, your Christ and
your holy things, being arrayed from head to foot in
the commandments of Jesus Christ. And I too, taking
part in the festivity, am permitted by letter to bear
you company and to rejoice with you, that ye set not
your love on anything after the common life of men,
but only on God.
10:1 And pray ye also without ceasing for the rest
of mankind (for there is in them a hope of
repentance), that they may find God. Therefore permit
them to take lessons at least from your works.
10:2 Against their outbursts of wrath be ye meek;
against their proud words be ye humble; against their
railings set ye your prayers; against their errors be
ye _stedfast in the faith;_ against their fierceness
be ye gentle. And be not zealous to imitate them by
10:3 Let us show ourselves their brothers by our
forbearance; but let us be zealous to be imitators of
the Lord, vying with each other who shall suffer the
greater wrong, who shall be defrauded, who shall be
set at nought; that no herb of the devil be found in
you: but in all purity and temperance abide ye in
Christ Jesus, with your flesh and with your spirit.
11:1 These are the last times. Henceforth let us
have reverence; let us fear the long-suffering of God,
lest it turn into a judgment against us. For either
let us fear the wrath which is to come or let us love
the grace which now is — the one or the other;
provided only that we be found in Christ Jesus unto
11:2 Let nothing glitter in your eyes apart from
Him, in whom I carry about my bonds, my spiritual
pearls in which I would fain rise again through your
prayer, whereof may it be my lot to be always a
partaker, that I may be found in the company of those
Christians of Ephesus who moreover were ever of one
mind with the Apostles in the power of Jesus Christ.
12:1 I know who I am and to whom I write. I am a
convict, ye have received mercy: I am in peril, ye are
12:2 Ye are the high-road of those that are on their
way to die unto God. Ye are associates in the
mysteries with Paul, who was sanctified, who obtained
a good report, who is worthy of all felicitation; in
whose foot-steps I would fain be found treading, when
I shall attain unto God; who in every letter maketh
mention of you in Christ Jesus.
13:1 Do your diligence therefore to meet together
more frequently for thanksgiving to God and for His
glory. For when ye meet together frequently, the
powers of Satan are cast down; and his mischief cometh
to nought in the concord of your faith.
13:2 There is nothing better than peace, in which
all warfare of things in heaven and things on earth is
14:1 None of these things is hidden from you, if ye
be perfect in your faith and love toward Jesus Christ,
for these are the beginning and end of life — faith
is the beginning and love is the end — and the two
being found in unity are God, while all things else
follow in their train unto true nobility.
14:2 No man professing faith sinneth, and no man
possessing love hateth. _The tree is manifest from its
fruit;_ so they that profess to be Christ’s shall be
seen through their actions. For the Work is not a
thing of profession now, but is seen then when one is
found in the power of faith unto the end.
15:1 It is better to keep silence and to be, than to
talk and not to be. It is a fine thing to teach, if
the speaker practise. Now there is one teacher, who
_spake and it came to pass:_ yea and even the things
which He hath done in silence are worthy of the
15:2 He that truly possesseth the word of Jesus is
able also to hearken unto His silence, that he may
be perfect; that through his speech he may act and
through his silence he may be known.
15:3 Nothing is hidden from the Lord, but even our
secrets are nigh unto Him. Let us therefore do all
things as knowing that He dwelleth in us, to the end
that we may be His temples and He Himself may be in us
as our God. This is so, and it will also be made clear
in our sight from the love which we rightly bear
16:1 Be not deceived, my brethren. Corrupters of
houses _shall not inherit the kingdom of God._
16:2 If then they which do these things after the
flesh are put to death, how much more if a man through
evil doctrine corrupt the faith of God for which Jesus
Christ was crucified. Such a man, having defiled
himself, shall go into the unquenchable fire; and in
like manner also shall he that hearkeneth unto him.
17:1 For this cause the Lord received ointment on
His head, that He might breathe incorruption upon the
Church. Be not anointed with the ill odour of the
teaching of the prince of this world, lest he lead you
captive and rob you of the life which is set before
17:2 And wherefore do we not all walk prudently,
receiving the knowledge of God, which is Jesus Christ?
Why perish we in our folly, not knowing the gift of
grace which the Lord hath truly sent?
18:1 My spirit is made an offscouring for the Cross,
which is a stumbling-block to them that are
unbelievers, but to us salvation and life eternal.
_Where is the wise? Where is the disputer?_ Where is
the boasting of them that are called prudent?
18:2 For our God, Jesus the Christ, was conceived in
the womb by Mary according to a dispensation, of the
seed of David but also of the Holy Ghost; and He was
born and was baptized that by His passion He might
19:1 And hidden from the prince of this world were
the virginity of Mary and her child-bearing and
likewise also the death of the Lord — three mysteries
to be cried aloud — the which were wrought in the
silence of God.
19:2 How then were they made manifest to the ages? A
star shone forth in the heaven above all the stars;
and its light was unutterable, and its strangeness
caused amazement; and all the rest of the
constellations with the sun and moon formed themselves
into a chorus about the star; but the star itself far
outshone them all; and there was perplexity to know
whence came this strange appearance which was so
19:3 From that time forward every sorcery and every
spell was dissolved, the ignorance of wickedness
vanished away, the ancient kingdom was pulled down,
when God appeared in the likeness of man unto _newness
of_ everlasting _life;_ and that which had been
perfected in the counsels of God began to take effect.
Thence all things were perturbed, because the
abolishing of death was taken in hand.
20:1 If Jesus Christ should count me worthy through
your prayer, and it should be the Divine will, in my
second tract, which I intend to write to you, I will
further set before you the dispensation whereof I have
begun to speak, relating to the new man Jesus Christ,
which consisteth in faith towards Him and in love
towards Him, in His passion and resurrection,
20:2 especially if the Lord should reveal aught to
me. Assemble yourselves together in common, every one
of you severally, man by man, in grace, in one faith
and one Jesus Christ, who after the flesh was of
David’s race, who is Son of Man and Son of God, to the
end that ye may obey the bishop and presbytery without
distraction of mind; breaking one bread, which is the
medicine of immortality and the antidote that we
should not die but live for ever in Jesus Christ.
21:1 I am devoted to you and to those whom for the
honour of God ye sent to Smyrna; whence also I write
unto you with thanksgiving to the Lord, having love
for Polycarp as I have for you also. Remember me, even
as I would that Jesus Christ may also remember you.
21:2 Pray for the church which is in Syria, whence I
am led a prisoner to Rome — I who am the very last of
the faithful there; according as I was counted worthy
to be found unto the honour of God. Fare ye well in
God the Father and in Jesus Christ our common hope.