The Epistle Of Ignatius To The Magnesians

IgnMag prologue:1

Ignatius, who is also Theophorus, unto her which hath been blessed

through the grace of God the Father in Christ Jesus our Savior, 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 Jesus Christ.

IgnMag 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 Christ.

IgnMag 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--and 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.

IgnMag 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 Christ:--

IgnMag 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.

IgnMag 3:2

For the honor 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.

IgnMag 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, for as much as they do not assemble

themselves together lawfully according to commandment.

IgnMag 5:1

Seeing then 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; 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:--

IgnMag 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.

IgnMag 6:2

Therefore do ye all study conformity to God and pay reverence one to

another; and let no man regard his neighbor 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.

IgnMag 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 unblamable, which is Jesus Christ, than whom there is

nothing better.

IgnMag 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.

IgnMag 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:

IgnMag 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 Him.

IgnMag 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--

IgnMag 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 one, raised them from the dead.

IgnMag 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.

IgnMag 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 savor ye shall be proved.

IgnMag 10:3

It is monstrous to talk of Jesus Christ and to practice Judaism. For

Christianity did not believe in Judaism, but Judaism in Christianity,

wherein every tongue believed and was gathered together unto


IgnMag 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 befall any of you to be turned aside.

IgnMag 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


IgnMag 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.

IgnMag 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 spirit.

IgnMag 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.

IgnMag 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

honor of Jesus Christ. Fare ye well in godly concord, and possess ye

a steadfast spirit, which is Jesus Christ.

Translated by J.B. Lightfoot.
Adapt. and mod. (c) 1990. ATHENA DATA PRODUCTS

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