Chapter 1                   TO INDEX

1.  Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the church at Ephesus in Asia, blessed in the fullness of God the Father, predestined before the world began.  All happiness to you in Jesus Christ, and his undefiled grace.

2.  Dearly beloved in God, I have heard of your name, which you obtained in the habits of righteousness according to the faith, and the love, which is in Jesus Christ our Savior.

3.  How being followers of God you perfectly accomplished the work that was so natural to you stirring yourselves up in the blood of Christ.

4.  You made haste to come and see me when you heard that I came bound from Syria for the name and the common hope that we have.  And I trust with your prayers to fight the beasts at Rome, so that in suffering I might indeed become a disciple of Him who gave Himself for us.

5.  In the name of God therefore I receive your whole multitude in Onesimus, who by an inexpressible love is ours, but according to the flesh is your bishop.

6.  In the name of Christ I ask you to love him, and that all of you strive to be like him, and blessed be God who granted you such a worthy and excellent bishop

7.  And concerning my fellow servant Burrhus, your deacon in things pertaining to God, I entreat you that he may tarry longer, both for your honor and for that of your bishop.

8.  And Crocus whom I received as the image of your love, and being most worthy, has in all things refreshed me as the Father of our Lord Jesus shall also refresh him together with Onesimus and Burrhus.

9.  It is therefore fitting that you should by all means glorify Jesus Christ who has glorified you.  That by a uniform obedience you may be perfectly bound together in the same mind and judgment, all to speak the same thing concerning everything.

10.  These things I prescribe not as if I were someone extra-ordinary, for I am not perfect in Christ Jesus, though I am bound.  But now I begin to learn and speak to you as fellow disciples.

11.  As now Christ Jesus, our very life, was sent by the Father - so the bishops are by the will of Christ.  Wherefore it becomes you to run together to the will of your bishop, as indeed you do.

12.  And your presbyters are fitted to the bishops as strings to the harp.  And so in your agreeing love Christ Jesus is sung and every person among you makes up the chorus.

13.  That consonant in love and taking up the song of God you may sing to God in perfect harmony.  To the end, in Christ Jesus, that He may hear you and perceive your works, that indeed you are members of His Son.

14.  For this reason it is profitable for you to live in blameless unity that thus wise you may always have fellowship with God.


      Chapter 2

1.  For if in this little time that I have known your bishop, in spirit and not carnally, how much more must I not think you to be happy, you who are so joined to him.  And as the church is to Christ Jesus, and Christ to the Father, that so all things may agree in the same unity.

2.  Let no man deceive himself, if a man is not within the altar he is deprived of the bread of God.  For if the prayer of one or two is of so much force as we are told - how much the more powerful shall it be of the bishop and the whole church?

3.  He therefore that does not come together in the same place is proud and has already condemned himself.  For it is written.  "God resists the proud."  Let us thus take heed therefore that we do not set ourselves against the bishop - that accordingly we may be subject to God.

4.  The more silent anyone sees his bishop so much more let him be revered.  For whosoever the Master sends to be over His household - we ought to receive the same as we would the Master that has sent him.  It is therefore evident that we ought to look on the bishop as we would on the Lord Himself.

5.  Omnesimus then indeed greatly commended your good order in God that all of you live according to the truth and that no heresy dwells among you.  For neither do you listen to anyone except Christ Jesus speaking to you in truth.

6.  There are however some that carry the name of Christ in deceitfulness from whom you must flee as you would from wild beasts.  For they are ravenous dogs who bite secretly.  Guard yourselves against these as men hardly to be cured.

7.  There is one Physician both spiritually and in the flesh, made and not made, God incarnate, true life in death, both of Mary and of God, first passable then impassable Jesus Christ our Lord.

8.  Wherefore let no man deceive you as indeed you are not deceived being fully the servants of God.  For in as much as there is neither contention nor strife among you, you must needs be living according to God's will.

9.  They that are of the flesh cannot do the works of the Spirit, nor can they that are of the spirit do the works of the flesh.  For again, he that has faith cannot be an infidel, nor can he that is an infidel have faith.

10.  But as for you, even the things which you do in the flesh are spiritual since you are doing all things in Christ Jesus.

11.  Nevertheless, I heard that some, in passing by, had perverse doctrine, and that you did not suffer them to sow among you.  Instead, you stopped your ears so that you might not receive the things that were sown by them.

12.  Accordingly you did as it becomes the stones of the temple of the Father drawn up on high by the cross of Christ using the Holy Spirit as the rope, with your faith being your support, and your love the way that leads to God.

13.  With all your companions therefore in the same journey you are full of God, His Spiritual temples, full of Christ, full of holiness, and adorned in all things with the commands of Christ.

14.  In whom I also rejoice having been thought worthy to converse with you by means of this letter, and taking joy with you, and looking only to the other life, loving nothing but God only.


      Chapter 3

1.  Pray also without ceasing for other men, for there is hope to repentance in them that they may attain to God.  Or if in no other way let them at least be instructed by your works.

2.  Be mild at their anger, humble at their boasting, and for their blasphemy return prayer.  For their error show firmness in faith, and when they are cruel be yourself gentle not imitating their way.

3.  Let us be brothers in all kindness and moderation, followers of the Lord that no herb of the devil may be found in you.  But that you remain in all holiness and sobriety both of body and in spirit in Christ Jesus.

4.  The end-times are coming on us, let us therefore be reverend and fear the long-suffering of God that it not be to us for condemnation.

5.  Let us either fear the wrath that is to come, or love the grace that we presently enjoy, that by one or the other we may be found in Christ Jesus unto true life.

6.  Let nothing be of any value to you aside of Him, for whom I also bear these bonds, these spiritual jewels in which, God willing, I might arise through your prayers.

7.  Of this I entreat you to always make me a partaker that I may be found in the lot of the Christians of Ephesus who have always agreed with the apostles through the power of Christ Jesus.

8.  I know who I am and to whom I write, I a condemned person one who has obtained mercy, I exposed to danger, and you confirmed against danger.

9.  You are the passage of those that are killed for God, the companions of Paul in the mysteries of the gospel.  Of Paul the holy one, the martyr, the most deserved happy Paul at whose feet may I be found when I shall have attained to God who in all his letters made mention of you in Christ Jesus.

10.  Let it be your care therefore to come more fully together to the praise and glory of God, for when you all meet together in the same place the powers of the devil are destroyed, and his mischief dissolved by the unity of your faith.

11.  There is indeed nothing better than peace by which all wars both spiritual and earthly are abolished.  But these things are not hid to you, for you have perfect faith and love in Christ Jesus which are the beginnings and end of life.

12.  For the beginning is faith, the end is love, and these two joined together are of God, and all other things which concern a holy life are of these.

13.  No man who professes a true faith sins, nor does he who has love hates any, for the tree is manifested by its fruit, so are they that profess themselves to be Christians known by what they do.

14.  For Christianity is not the work of an outward profession but shows itself in the power of faith - if he be found to the end.

15.  It is better for a man to hold his peace and be a Christian, than to say he is a Christian and not be so.  It is indeed good to teach provided he also does what he says.

16.  There is therefore One Master who spoke and it was done, and even the things, which He did without speaking, are worthy of the Father.

17.  He that possesses the word of Jesus is truly able to hear His silence that he may be perfected in doing that which He spoke and of what He spoke silently.

18. There is nothing hid from God, for even our very secrets are near Him, let us therefore do all things as it becomes them that have God dwelling in them.

19. That we may be His temples and He be our God as also He is, and will thus manifest Himself before our faces by those things for which we justly love Him.


      Chapter 4

1.  Be not deceived my brothers those that corrupt families by adultery shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

2.  For if those that perform this according to the flesh will suffer death - how much more shall he not die that by his wicked doctrines corrupt the faith of God for which Christ was crucified?

3.  He that is thus defiled shall depart into the fire that shall not be quenched, and likewise shall it go with them that listen to him.

4.  For this cause did the Lord suffer the ointment to be poured on His head that He might breathe the breath of immortality on His church.

5.  Take care therefore that you not be anointed with the evil flavor of the doctrine of the prince of this world.  Let him not take you captive from the life that is set before you.

6.  And why are we not all wise seeing we all received the knowledge of God, which is Christ Jesus?  Why do we suffer ourselves to foolishly perish not considering the gift, which the Lord has truly sent to us?

7.  Let my life be sacrificed for the doctrine of the cross, which to unbelievers is indeed a scandal but to us salvation and life eternal.

8.  Where is the wise man, where is the disputer?  Where is the boasting of those that are called wise?

9.  For our God Jesus Christ was according to the dispensation of God conceived in the womb of Mary of the seed of David by the Holy Spirit, He was born and baptized that through His passion He might wash away our sin.

10.  The virgin Mary then, and He who was to be born of her was kept in secret from the prince of this world, as was also the death of our Lord.  Mind you - three of the most spoken mysteries throughout the world - and these done in secret by God.

11.  And how then was our Savior manifested to the world?  A star shone in heaven beyond all other stars, and its light was such that cannot be expressed, and its novelty struck terror in the minds of men.

12.  And all the rest of the stars together with the sun and moon were the chorus to this star who sent its light out more exceedingly than all.  And men began to be troubled, to meditate from where this new star so unlike all others had come from.

13.  And all the powers of magic dissolved, and every bond of wickedness was destroyed.  Man's ignorance was taken away and the old kingdom was abolished by God himself appearing in the form of a man for the renewal of eternal life.

14.  From there began what God had prepared and henceforth things were disturbed since He designed to abolish death.

15.  But if Christ Jesus shall give me grace through your prayers, and if it be His will, in a second letter, which I will write to you soon, I plan to manifest more fully the dispensation of which I made a start - unto a new man, namely Christ Jesus both in His faith and love, in His suffering, and in His resurrection.

16.  Especially if the Lord shall make it known to me that all of you by name come together in one common faith in one Jesus Christ who was of the race of David, Son of man, and Son of God.

17.  That you obey your bishop and presbyters with full affection which is the medicine of immortality, our antidote that we should not die, but live forever in Christ Jesus. 

18.  My soul be for yours and theirs that you have sent even to Smyrna to the glory of God from where I am also writing you giving thanks to the Lord.  And you loving Polycarb even as I do, remember me as Christ Jesus remembers you.

19.  Pray for the church that is in Syria from where I am carried to Rome, being the least of all the faithful, yet found worthy to be to the glory of God.

20.  Farewell in God the Father and in Jesus Christ our common hope.  Amen.  



Letter to the Magnesians.

      Chapter 5 

1.  Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus to the blessed church at Magnesia, I salute you in the grace of God the Father and Jesus Christ our Savior.

2.  When I heard of your well ordered love and charity in God, I being full of joy, desired very much to speak to you in the faith of Christ Jesus.

3.  Seeing I was judged worthy by Damas your most excellent bishop to behold you, and by your presbyters Bassus and Apollonius, and by my fellow servant Sotio, the deacon in whom I rejoice.

4.  For he is subject to his bishop as to the grace of God, and to the elders and presbyters according to the law of Christ Jesus.  And so I determined to write to you.

5.  It becomes you that you do not look all too familiar on your bishop on account of his youth, but to reverence him according to the power of God, as I perceive that your presbyters also do.

6.  For they do not look at his age, which indeed appears young, but they submit to him, or rather not to him but to the Father of our Lord Jesus as it becomes those that are prudent in God.

7.  Your obedience to your bishop is very becoming to you in honor of Him whose pleasure it is that you should do so.  For again he who does not so - deceives not the bishop whom he beholds, but he affronts Him that is invisible.

8.  It is thus fitting that we should not only be called Christians, but indeed be so, for there are some who although they call their governor bishop, yet do all things without him.

9.  But I cannot conceive that these shall have a good conscience, seeing they do not gather together according to God's commandment.


      Chapter 6

1.  Seeing then all things have an end, these two things are set before us, namely death and life, and everyone shall depart to his proper place.

2.  For as there are two sorts of coins, the one of God, the other of the world, and each of these has its proper inscription engraved on it, so also it is here.

3.  The unbelievers are of this world, but the faithful in love have the character of God the Father through Christ Jesus, whose life shall not be within us if we are not readily disposed to Him.

4.  And since I have seen all of you in your faith and in your love in the persons which I afore mentioned, I exhort you to study in order to do all things in a divine agreement.

5.  For it is thus, that your bishop presides in the place of God, your presbyters in the place of the counsel of the apostles.  And your deacons, most dear to me, are entrusted with the ministry of Christ Jesus, who was indeed the Father before all the ages, but in the end appeared unto us.

6.  Take therefore the same holy course that you reverence one another, and let no-one look on his neighbor after the flesh, but love each other mutually in Christ Jesus.

7.  Let there not be anything to cause division among you, but be united to your bishop and to those others who preside over you to be your pattern and direction in the way to immortality.

8.  For as the Lord did nothing without the father, nor His apostles without Him, but being united to Him, so you also, let nothing be done without your presbyters and your bishop.

9.  Nor let it appear rational to you to do anything apart, but having come together in the same place - have one common prayer, one supplication, of one mind.  And one in hope, one in charity, one in love, and one in joy undefiled.

10.  There is one Lord Jesus Christ.  Come therefore together as one temple of God, as to one altar to one Jesus who proceeded from the one Father, and who exists in One, and is returned to One.

      Chapter 7

1.  Be not deceived with strange doctrines, or with old fables, which are unprofitable.  For if we still continue to live according to the Jewish law, we then do not confess ourselves to have received grace, for even the most holy prophets lived according to Christ Jesus.

2.  And for this cause were they persecuted being inspired by His grace to convince the unbelievers and disobedient that there is one God who manifested Himself in Christ Jesus His son.  One who is His eternal word, who did not come forth from silence, but He in all things, pleased Him that sent Him.

3.  If thus they who were brought up in these ancient laws came to newness of hope, how shall we live differently?

4.  For these prophets, His disciples in the Spirit expected Him as their Master.  And so it was that He having come, whom they justly waited for, He raised them up from the dead.

5.  Let us then not be insensitive of His goodness, for had He dealt with us according to our works - we would not now have being.

6.  Become therefore His disciples, let us live according to the rules of Christianity, for whosoever is called by another name is not of God.

7.  Lay aside the old bitter and evil leaven, and be changed into a new leaven, which is Christ Jesus.  Be called in Him lest from among you one should be corrupted, for by your Savior you shall be judged.

8.  It is absurd to name Jesus and to Judaism, for the Christian religion did not embrace the Jewish, but the Jewish the Christian so that every tongue that believed might be gathered together to God.

9.  These things, my beloved, I write to you not that I know of any among you that is under this error, but, as one of the least among you, I desire to forewarn you that you do not fall in the snares of false doctrine.

10.  But that you be fully instructed in the birth, the suffering, and the resurrection of our hope Jesus Christ.  The same which was accomplished in the time of the government of Pontius Pilate, and that most truly and certainly, from which God forbid any of you should be turned away.


       Chapter 8

1. May I therefore, if I shall be worthy of it, have joy of you in all things.  For though I am bound yet I am not worthy to be compared to one of you that are at liberty.  I know that you are not puffed up for you have Jesus Christ in your hearts.

2.  And especially when I commend you, you are ashamed, as it is written, the just man condemns himself.

3.  And for this cause they were persecuted being inspired by His grace to convince the unbelievers and disobedient that there is one God who was manifested in Christ Jesus His Son.  Who is His eternal word, and who did not come forth from silence, but in all things He pleased Him that sent Him.

4.  Study therefore to be confirmed in the doctrine of our Lord and of His apostles, so that whatever you do you may prosper.  Both in body and spirit, in faith and in love, in the son, and in the Father, and in the Holy Spirit, in the beginning and to the end.

5.  And knowing you to be full of God I made my exhortation brief.  Be mindful of me in your prayers that I may attain unto God, and also of those of the church that is in Syria.

6.  For I stand in need of your joint prayers in God and of your love that the church, which is in Syria, may be thought worthy to be nourished by your church.

7.  The Ephesians from Smyrna salute you, from which place I am writing you, you have refreshed me together with Polycarb the bishop of the Smyrnaeans.

8.  And the rest of the churches in the honor of Christ Jesus salute you, farewell, and be strengthened in the unity of God enjoying His inseparable Spirit, which is Christ Jesus.




      Chapter 9

1.  Ignatius, also called Theophorus, to the holy church at Tralles in Asia beloved of God the Father and of Jesus Christ, elected and worthy of God having peace in the body the blood and the passion of Christ Jesus our hope in the resurrection which is of Him.

2.  I salute you in your fullness continuing in the character of the apostles wishing joy and happiness to all.

3.  I have heard of your blameless and consistent disposition with patience, which not only appears in your outward conversation, but is naturally rooted and grounded in you.

4.  Just as your bishop Polybius declared to me seeing your whole church in him, who came to me at Smyrna by the will of God and Christ Jesus, and rejoiced together with me in my bonds for Jesus Christ.

5.  And having thus received the testimony of your good will towards me for God's sake I found you, as I knew, to be followers of God.

6.  For just as you were subject to your bishop - as to Jesus Christ, so you appear to me to live not after the manner of men but according to the manner of Christ Jesus who died for us so that believing in His death you might escape death.

7.  It is therefore necessary, since you are currently without your bishop, and you would do nothing outside of him, that you be subject to your presbyters as were they the apostles of Christ Jesus our hope in whom if we walk in Him, we shall be found in Him.

8.  And the deacons being ministers of Jesus Christ, must by all means be pleasing, for they are not ministers of meat and drink but of the church of God wherefore they must avoid all offenses as one shuns from fire.

9.  And let us reverence the deacons as Christ Jesus, and the bishop as the Father, and the presbyters as the Sanhedrin and colleague of God.

10.  Without these there is no church, but I am persuaded that you think after the same manner, for I have received, and even now have with me, the pattern of your love in your bishop whose very look is instructive.

11.  And whose mildness is so powerful that I am convinced that even the very atheist themselves cannot but reverence him.

12.  But because I have love towards you I desire not to write more sharply to you concerning this matter though I very well might, but now I have done so, lest as an condemned man I might seem to be an apostle making prescription to you.

13.  I have great knowledge in God, but I refrain lest I should perish in boasting, for with that I ought to fear the more and not to listen to those that would puff me up.

14.  For they that speak to me praising me - chasten me, for I indeed desire to suffer, but I cannot tell whether I am worthy to do so.

15.  And this desire, though it does not appear to others, is for that very reason more passionate, I therefore have need of moderation by which the prince of this world is destroyed.

16.  Shall I not be able to write of heavenly things?  Indeed I am, but I fear lest I should harm you who are yet but babes in Christ, lest per chance you not being able to receive it, you be choked by it.

17.  For even I, though I am in bonds, am not able to understand heavenly things for that reason, for as to angels and their several companies under their respective princes both visible and invisible - in these I am only a pupil.


      Chapter 10

1.  I exhort you, or not rather I but the love of Jesus, that you use nothing except Christian nourishment abstaining from the pastures that are of another kind, meaning heresy.

2.  For they that are heretics confound the doctrine of Christ Jesus with poison of their own while they pretend to be worthy of faith.

3.  For just as he that drinks of a deadly poison mixed with sweet wine sweetly with that treacherous pleasure drinks his own death.

4. Guard yourselves therefore against such persons, and you shall if you will, if you are not puffed up.  But continue inseparable with Christ Jesus our God, and with your bishop, and with the commands of the apostles.

5.  He that is within the altar - is pure, but he that is outside of it, meaning he that does anything without the bishop the presbyters or the deacons, is not pure in his conscience.

6.  Not that I know of anything of such nature to be among you, but I forewarn you as those greatly beloved by me foreseeing the snares of the devil.

7.  Renew therefore yourselves in meekness and in faith which is the body of Christ the Lord, and in love - which is the blood of Him.

8.  Let no man have any grudge against his neighbor, give no occasion to the Gentiles lest by means of a few foolish men evil will be spoken of the whole congregation.

9.  For woe to that man by whose vanity His name is blasphemed.  Stop therefore your ears as often as anyone speaks contrary to Christ Jesus who was of the race of David, of the virgin Mary, truly born, and ate and drank.

10.  And He was truly presented under Pontius Pilate, was truly crucified and died being witnessed both by those in heaven and on earth.

11.  Who was also truly raised from the dead by His Father, and after the same manner will He raise up us who believe in Him by Christ Jesus without whom we have no true life.

12.  But if we be as some that are atheist, which is to say infidels, who pretend that He only seemed to suffer (they themselves only seeming to exist) why then am I bound?  And why then should I desire to fight with beasts?  For then I would die in vain.  Thus I will not speak vainly against the Lord.

13.  Flee therefore these evil sprouts which bring forth-deadly fruit which if anyone taste of them he shall immediately die.

14.  For these are not the plants of the Father, for if they were - they would appear as branches of the cross, and their fruit would be incorruptible through which He invites you in His passion to be members of Him.

15. For the head cannot be without its members God having promised a union that is Himself.


      Chapter 11

1.  I salute you from Smyrna together with the churches of God that are present with me, who refreshed me in all things both in flesh and spirit.

2.  In my bonds, which I carry for the sake of Christ, I exhort you that you continue in unity among yourselves and in prayer with one another.

3.  For it becomes each one of you, and especially the presbyters, to refresh the bishop to the honor of the Father of Christ Jesus and of the apostles.

4.  I beseech you that you listen to me in love that I may not by the things which I write rise up in witness against you.

5.  Pray also for me who in the mercy of God stands in need of your prayers that I may be worthy of the portion which I am about to obtain that I may not be found a reprobate.

6.  The love of those that are at Smyrna and Ephesus salute you, remember the church of Syria in your prayers of which I am not worthy to be called being one of the least thereof.

7.  Farewell in Christ Jesus being subject to the bishop as to the command of God, and likewise to the presbytery.

8.  Love everyone his brother with an unfeigned heart, my soul be the expiation not only now - but when I shall have attained to God, for I am yet under danger.

9.  But the Father is faithful in Christ Jesus to fulfill both mine and your petition in whom you may thus be found without blame.




       Chapter 12

1. Ignatius also called Theophorus to the church which has obtained mercy from the majesty of the Most High Father and His only begotten Son Jesus Christ, beloved and illuminated in the will of Him who willed all things which are according to the love of Christ Jesus our God.

2.  Who also presides in the place where the Romans are and which I salute in the name of Christ Jesus as being united both in flesh and spirit to all His commands, and filled with the grace of God - all joy in Christ Jesus our Lord.

3.  Since at last through my prayer I have obtained from God to see your faces, which I greatly desired to do being bound in Christ Jesus - I hope before long to salute you if it shall be the will of God to grant me the end unto which I long.

4. The beginning is well disposed if I shall have the grace without hindrance to receive what is appointed for me.

5.  But I fear your love that it may injure me.  For it is easy for you to do what you please, but that will make it difficult for me to attain to God.

6.  I therefore desire that you do not please men but God, for I shall not have such an opportunity hereafter of going to God.  Let thus your silence be a better work, for if you be silent on my behalf I shall be made a partaker of God.

7.  But if you love my body I shall have to run my course again.  For this reason you cannot do me any greater kindness than to suffer me to be sacrificed to God now that the altar is prepared.

8.  When you are gathered together in love give thanks to the Father through Christ Jesus that He purposed to bring a bishop of Syria to you, as one called from the east to the west.

9.  For it is good for me to depart from this world to God that I may rise again to Him.

10.  You have never envied anyone, you have taught others, therefore I now desire that you do these things which in your instructions you prescribed to others.

11.  Only pray for me that God will give me strength both inwards and outwards, that I shall not only speak - but do so, and not only be called a Christian - but found to be one.

12.  For if I shall be found a Christian I may then deserve to be called one and be thought faithful when I no longer appear to the world.

13.   Nothing that is seen is good, for even our Lord Jesus Christ now that He is in the Father unseen - appears so much the more, a Christian is not a work of opinion - but of greatness of mind.


    Chapter 13

1.  In my writing I signify to all the churches that I am willing to die for God unless you hinder me.

2.  I pray therefore that you do not show me un-seasonal good will, suffer me to be food for the wild beasts through which I shall attain to God.

3.  For I am the wheat of God, and I shall be ground by the teeth of the wild beasts that I may be found the pure bread of Christ Jesus.

4.  Encourage the beast rather that they may become my sepulcher leaving nothing of my body, that being dead I may not be troublesome to any.

5.  Then shall I truly be the disciple of Christ Jesus when the world shall no longer see my body.  Pray therefore to Christ for me that by these instruments I may be made the sacrifice of God.

6.  I do not as Peter and Paul command you, they were apostles, I a condemned man, they were free, but I even to this day am a servant.

7.  But if I shall suffer I then shall become the freeman of Jesus Christ and shall rise free, for even in bonds I learn not to desire anything.

8.  From Syria even to Rome I fight with beasts both by sea and land both night and day being bound to ten leopards, that is to say, to such a band of soldiers who although they treat me with all manner of kindness are the worse for it.

9.  But I am all the more instructed by their injuries, yet I am not therefore justified.  May I enjoy the wild beasts that are prepared for me which I wish may exercise their fierceness on me.

10.  And to that end I will encourage them that they may be sure to devour me, and not as some who out of fear were not touched, but-and if they will not do it willingly I will provoke them to it.

11.  Pardon me in this matter, I know what is profitable for me, for now I begin to be a disciple, nor shall anything visible or invisible move me so that I may attain unto Jesus Christ.

12.  Let fire and the cross, let the companies of wild beast break the bones, and tear the members, let them scatter the body in pieces, let all the wicked torments of the devil come on me, only let me enjoy Jesus Christ.

13.  All the ends of the world and the kingdoms of it will profit me nothing; I would rather die for Christ Jesus than rule to the utmost ends of the earth.  Him I seek whom died for us.  Him I desire that rose again for us, this is the gain that is laid up for me.

14.  Pardon me my brothers you shall not hinder me from living, nor since I desire to go to God may you separate me from Him for the sake of the world, nor reduce me by any of the desire of it.

15.  Suffer me to enter into pure light where I shall indeed be the servant of God.  Permit me to imitate the passion of my God if any of you have Him within himself, let him consider what I desire, and let him have compassion on me knowing in what strait I am.


     Chapter 14

1. The prince of this world would fain carry me away and corrupt my resolution towards my God, let none of you therefore help him but rather join me, that is to say join with God.

2.  Do not speak with Christ Jesus and also covet the world, let not envy dwell with you.  So even if I myself, when I have come to you, should exhort you to it, do not in that case listen to me, but rather believe what I now write to you.

3.  For though I am alive at this writing yet my desire is to die, my love is crucified, I take no pleasure in the food of corruption nor in the pleasures of this life.

4.  I desire the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, and His blood, which is incorruptible love.

5.  I have no desire to live any longer after the manner of men, nor shall I - if you consent to it, be therefore willing that you yourselves may also be pleasing to God, I exhort you in few words I pray you believe me.

6.  Jesus Christ will show you that I speak truly, my mouth is without deceit, and the Father has spoken truly by it, pray therefore for me that I may accomplish what I desire.

7.  I have not written to you after the flesh but according to the will of God, if I shall suffer then you have loved me, but if I shall be rejected you have hated me.

8.  Remember the church of Syria in your prayers, which now enjoys God for its shepherd instead of me, let Christ Jesus oversee it and your love.

9.  As for me, I am even ashamed to be reckoned as one of them, for neither am I worthy - being the least among them and as one born out of season, but through mercy I have obtained to be somebody - if I shall attain to God.

10.  My spirit salutes you, and the love of the churches that have received me in the name of Christ Jesus not as a passenger, for even such as were not near to me in the way, have gone before me to the next city to meet me.

11.  These things I write to you from Smyrna by the most worthy church of Ephesus, and with Crocus and me my most beloved, are many others.

12.  And as for those that are come from Syria and gone before me to Rome to the glory of God I suspect you are not ignorant of them.  Signify therefore to them that I draw near, for they are all worthy both of God and of you.

13.  It is therefore fitting that you refresh me in all things, this I have written to you the day before the 9th of September, be strong to the end in the patience of Christ Jesus.




       Chapter 15

1.  Ignatius who is also called Theophorus to the church of God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, which is at Philadelphia in Asia.

2.  Having obtained mercy fixed in the unity of God, and evermore rejoicing in the passion of our Lord fulfilled in the mercy of His resurrection.

3.  I salute you in the blood of Jesus Christ our eternal and undefiled joy.  Which is especially so if they are in harmony with the bishop and the presbyters and deacons appointed according to the mind of Christ Jesus, which He settled according to His, will in all firmness by His Holy Spirit.

4. The bishop, as I know very well, did not obtain this great ministry from among you, nor of himself, nor by men, nor out of vainglory, but by the love of God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

5.  I admire his moderation, for by his silence he is able to do more than others with all their vain speech, for he is fitted to the commands as the harp to the strings.

6.  My soul therefore esteems him most happy towards God, his mind being fruitful in all virtue and perfect, consistent, free from passion, and according to all moderation of the living God.

7.  It therefore becomes you as children of light and truth to flee divisions and false doctrines, for where the shepherd goes the sheep follow, so you follow him.

8.  For there are many wolves who appear worthy of faith but who with a false pleasure lead those captive that run in the course of God, but in your unity they shall find no place.

9.  Abstain therefore from these evil plants which were not dressed by Christ Jesus, for they are not of the plantation of the Father, this is not to say that I have found any such among you but rather as a matter of purity.

10.  For as many as are of God and of Jesus Christ are also with their bishop, and as many as with repentance return to the unity of the church these shall be the servants of God that they may live according to Jesus.

11.  Be not deceived my brothers, for if one follows him that makes a schism in the church - he shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  If anyone walks after any other opinion he agrees not with the passion of Jesus Christ.

12.  Let it be your endeavor therefore to all partake of the same celebration, for there is but one flesh of our Lord and one cup in the unity of His blood, He the One altar.

13.  And there is also but one bishop together with his presbyters and the deacons my fellow servants that whatsoever you do you may do according to the will of God.


     Chapter 16

1.  The love that I have towards you my brothers enlarges me.  And having joy in you I endeavor to secure you against danger, or rather not I but Jesus Christ in whom I being bound I fear so much the more of being only on the way to suffering.

2.  But your prayers to God shall perfect me that I may attain to that portion which is allotted me by God's mercy.

3.  Flee to the gospel as to the flesh of Christ, and to the apostles as to the presbyters of the church, and let us also love the prophets for as much as they led us to the gospel and to hope in Christ - expecting Him.

4.  For these holy men worthy to be loved and wondered at, also in believing were saved in the unity of Christ Jesus, they received the testimony of Christ Jesus and were numbered in the gospel our common hope.

5.  But if anyone shall preach the Jewish law to you - do not listen to him, for it is better to receive the doctrine of Christ from one that has been circumcised than Judaism from one that has not been circumcised

6.   For when any do not speak according to Christ Jesus - to me they appear as monuments and graves on which only the names of men are written.

7.  Flee therefore the wicked arts and the snares of the prince of this world lest being oppressed by his cunning you grow cold in your love, come thus together with an undivided heart in the same place.

8.  And I bless God that I have a good conscience towards you, and that no-one among you has anything of which to boast openly or privately to me that I have been burdensome to him in much or in little

9.  And I wish for all with whom I have spoken that it may not turn as a witness against them.  For while some would have deceived me according to the flesh, the spirit being from God was not deceived, for He knows from where it came and where it goes and reproves the secrets of the heart.

10.  I cried while I was among you, I spoke with a loud voice saying; Attend to the bishop and to the presbytery and to the deacons.

11.  Some then supposed that I spoke this foreseeing that division was to come among you, but He is my witness for whose sake I am in bonds that I knew nothing of any man, but the Spirit spoke to me on this wise saying; "Do nothing without the bishop.

12. Keep your bodies as the temples of God, love unity, flee divisions, be followers of Christ as He was of the Father.

13. I therefore acted, as it becomes a man composed to unity, for where there is division and wrath - God does not dwell.

14.  But the Lord forgives all that repent - if they return to the unity of God and to the counsel of the bishop, for I trust in the grace of Jesus Christ that He will free you from every bond.

15.  I however exhort you nonetheless that you do nothing out of strife but according to the instructions of Jesus Christ.

16.  For I have heard of some who say; "Unless I find it written in the originals I will not believe it to be written in the gospel."  And I answered;

17. "It is written."  They then answered me with what was written before them in their corrupted copies.

18.  But to me the Lord is all of the uncorrupted monuments in the world together with all them that are undefiled, His cross, His death and resurrection, and the faith which is in Him by which I desire through your prayers to be justified.

19.  The priests indeed are good, but better is the High Priest to whom the holy of holies is committed, and who alone has been entrusted with the secrets of God.

20.  He is the door to the Father by which Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets enter in as well as the apostles and the church.

21.  And all these things tend to be unity - which is of God, but the gospel something above them in it, namely; the appearance of our Savior and His passion and resurrection.

22.  For the beloved prophets referred to Him but the gospel is the perfection of incorruption, all together therefore are good if we believe having love.


     Chapter 17

1.  Concerning the church of Antioch in Syria of which I am told that through your love and prayers in Jesus Christ - it has peace.  It becomes you as the church of God to ordain some deacons to go to them as the ambassadors of God that he may rejoice with them when they meet together and glorify God's name.

2.  Blessed be that man in Jesus Christ who shall be found worthy of such a ministry, and you yourselves also shall be glorified.

3.  If you are willing this is not impossible for you to perform in the grace of God as also other neighboring churches have sent either bishops, priests, or deacons.

4.  And concerning Philo, the deacon of Cilicia, a most worthy man still ministering to me in the word of God together with Rheus.  And of Agathopolis, a one of a kind good person, who followed me all the way from Syria not concerning himself for his life, these also bear witness to you.

5.  And myself I give thanks to God for you that you receive them as the Lord shall receive you, but for those that dishonored them may they be forgiven through the grace of Christ Jesus.

6.  The love of the brothers at Troas salute you from where I write you this letter by Burrhus who was sent together with me by those of Ephesus and Smyrna for sake of respect.

7.  May our Lord Jesus Christ in whom they hope both in flesh and soul and in spirit, faith, love, and unity honor them, farewell in Christ Jesus our common hope.  



     Chapter 18

1.  Ignatius also called Theophorus to the church of God the Father and of the beloved Jesus Christ which God has mercifully blessed with every good gift being filled with faith and love.  So that there is no want in any gift most worthy of God and fruitful in saints, the church at Smyrna in Asia, all joy through His immaculate Spirit and the word of God.

2.  I glorify God in Jesus Christ, who has given you such wisdom, for I have observed that you are set in an immovable faith as if you were nailed to the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ both in flesh and in spirit.

3.  You are confirmed in love through the blood of Christ being fully persuaded of these things which relate to our Lord.  Who truly was of the race of David according to the flesh but the Son of God according to the will and power of God, truly born of the virgin and baptized by John that thus all righteousness might be fulfilled in Him.

4.  He was crucified by Pontius Pilate and Herod the tetrarch being nailed for us in the flesh in the fruits of which we are, and that because of His most blessed passion.

5.  That He might put a token for all ages through His resurrection to all His holy and faithful servants whether they be Jew or Gentiles in one body of His church.

6.  All these things He suffered for us that we might be saved, and He truly suffered as He was also truly raised up, and not as some unbelievers say that He only seemed to suffer, for they are themselves only seeming.

7.  And thus as they believe so also it shall happen to them, when divested from their bodies they shall become mere spirits, but I know that even after His resurrection He was in the flesh and I believe that He is still so.

8.  And when He came to those who were with Peter He said to them, "Take, handle Me, and see that I am not merely in the Spirit".  And straightway they felt and believed being convinced both by His flesh and His Spirit.

9.  For this cause they despised death and were found to be above it, but after His resurrection He ate and drank with them since He was flesh yet as in Spirit He was united to the Father. 


       Chapter 19

1. These things my beloved are to remind you not to question' but that you believe that they are so.

2.  But most urgent, I am against certain beasts that are in the shape of men whom you must not only not receive, but if possible not even meet with.

3.  Only you must pray for them that if it be the will of God they may repent, which will be very difficult, but our Lord Jesus Christ who is our true life has the power thereto.

4.  For if these things were done only in show by our Lord, then I also seem to be bound, and why then have I given myself to death, to the fire, the sword, and to wild beasts?

5.  But now the closer I am to the sword the closer I am to God when I shall come among the wild beasts I shall come to God.

6.  It is in the name of Christ Jesus only that I undergo all things to suffer together with Him, but some in ignorance deny Him, or have been denied by Him - seeing they were advocates of death rather than of truth.

7. There were not persuaded by the prophecies, nor by the law of Moses, nor even by the gospel, nor by the sufferings of every one of us, and they think the same thing of us.

8.   But of what profit is a man to me if he blasphemes the Lord - to deny that He was truly made man?  For he that does not concur here - denies Him, and is in death, but I thought it not fitting to write the names of such who do this seeing they are unbelievers.

9.  Yes, in fact God forbid that I should make any mention of them till they shall repent to a true belief of Christ's passion - which is our resurrection.

10.  Let no man deceive himself, for all things that are in heaven, the glorious angels and princes, visible and invisible, if they believe not in the blood of Christ, it shall be to them for condemnation.

11.   He that is able to receive this - let him receive it, let no man's place or state in the world puff him up, love and faith is the only worth, and nothing is preferred to these.

12.  And now consider those who are of a different opinion from us as it concerns the grace of Christ Jesus, and see how contrary they are to the design of God.

13.  They have no regard to charity, no care for the widow, the fatherless, the oppressed, or of them that are in bonds or free, or the hungry or the thirsty.

14.  They abstain from the supper of the Lord and from public office, for they do not confess the sacrament to be the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ which suffered for our sins and which the Father of His goodness raised again from the dead.

15.  And for this cause contradicting the gift of God they die in their disputes while it would have better for them to receive it that they might one-day rise through it.

16.  It becomes you therefore to abstain from such persons, and not to speak with them neither in private nor in public.  But to listen to the prophets and especially to the gospel in which Christ's passion and his resurrection is manifested to us.  Flee thus all divisions as beginnings of evil.


     Chapter 20

1.  See that you follow your bishop as Jesus Christ did the Father, and the presbytery as the apostles, and reverence the deacons as the commands of God.

2.  Let no man do anything of what belongs to the church apart of the bishop, let the Lord's supper be looked upon as well established which is offered by either the bishop or by him to whom the bishop has given his consent.

3.  Wheresoever the bishop shall appear there let the people also be as where Christ Jesus is there is the church.

4.  It is not lawful without the bishop to baptize, or to celebrate the sacrament, but whosoever he shall approve that also is pleasing before God.

5.  It is good to have due regard to God and the bishop; he that honors the bishop shall be honored of God, but he that does anything without his knowledge ministers to the devil.

6.  Let all things thus abound to you in love seeing you are worthy, you have refreshed me in all things, so also shall Christ Jesus refresh you, you have loved me both when I was present and now being absent.

7.  You have done well in that you received Philo, and Rheus of Agothopus who followed me for the word of God as deacons of Christ our Lord.

8.  Who also gave thanks to the Lord for you in as much as you have refreshed them in all things, nor shall anything that you have done be lost to you.

9.  My soul be yours, you did neither despise me nor were you ashamed of my bonds neither therefore shall Jesus Christ our perfect faith be ashamed of you.

10.  Your prayer is come to the church of Antioch in Syria from where I am being sent in chains becoming of God, I as the least among them salute the churches.

11.  Yet though the least by the will of God I have been thought worthy of this honor, not that I think to deserve it, but by the grace of God, which I wish may be perfectly given me, that by your prayers I may attain unto God.

12.  And that your work may be fully accomplished both on earth and in heaven.  And it will be fitting for the honor of God, that your church appoint some worthy delegate (bishop in place of Ignatius) who when he comes to Syria may rejoice together with them that are in peace.  And that they are again restored to their former state having again received their proper body.

13.  Therefore I should think it a worthy action to sent one from among you with a letter to congratulate them in their peace in God, and that through your prayer as they may thus be at their harbor.

14.  For in as much as you are perfect yourselves you ought to think the things that are perfect, for when you desire to do well God is ready to enable you thereto.

15.  The love of the brothers that are at Troas salute you from where I am writing you by Burrhus whom you sent with me together with the Ephesians your brothers who in all things have refreshed me.

16.  And I would to God that in all things you imitate him as being a pattern of the ministry of God may His grace fully reward him.

17.  I salute your very worthy bishop and your honorable presbytery and your deacons my fellow servants.  And all of you in general, and everyone in particular in the name of Jesus Christ and in His flesh and blood, in His passion and resurrection both fleshly and spiritually, and in the unity of God with you.

18.  Grace be with you and mercy and peace and patience forevermore, I salute the families of my brothers with their wives and children, and the virgins that are called widows, be strong in the power of the Holy Spirit.

19.  Philo, who is with me, salutes you also, and I salute the house of Tavias and pray that it may be strengthened in faith and love both in flesh and in spirit.

20.  I salute Alce my well beloved together with the incomparable Daphnus, and Eutechnus, and all by name.  Farewell in the grace of God.




       Chapter 21

1. Ignatius who is also called Theophorus to Polycarb bishop of the church which is at Smyrna their overseer, but himself rather overlooked by God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, all happiness.

2.  Knowing that your mind towards God is fixed as on an immovable rock I give great thanks that I was thought worthy to behold your blessed face in which I may also rejoice in God.

3.  I then ask you by the grace of God with which you are clothed that you press forward in your course and to exhort all others that they may be saved.

4.  Maintain your place with all care both in the flesh and in spirit, make it your endeavor to preserve unity to which there is nothing better, bear up with all men even as the Lord with you.

5.  Support everyone in love as indeed you do, pray without ceasing, ask for more understanding than what you already have, be watchful always having your spirit awake.

6.  Speak to everyone as God shall enable you, bear the infirmities of all as a perfect combatant, for where the labor is great the gain is also more.

7.  If you shall love the good disciples - what is there for thanks?  So then subject yourself to those that are mischievous in all meekness.

8.  Not every wound is healed with the same ointment, if the degree of the disease is vehement - modify them with soft remedies, in all things be wise as a serpent, but harmless as a dove.

9.  For this reason you were composed of flesh and spirit that you might modify all the things that appear before your eyes.

10.  And as for what is not seen pray to God that He reveal them to you that you may not be wanting in anything but abound in every gift.

11.  The time makes demands on you as the wind on pilots that though tossed in the tempest you may reach the haven that you pilot for to attain unto God.

12.  Be sober as the combatant of God, the crown proposed to you is immortality and eternal life concerning which you are fully persuaded.  I will be your surety in all things in my bonds, which you have loved.

13.  Let not them that seem worthy of credit but who also teach other doctrines, disturb you, but stand firm and immovable as an anvil, which is beaten upon.

14.  It is all part of the brave combatant to be wounded and still to overcome, for we ought to endure things for God's sake that He may bear with us.

15.  But every day better than the last consider the times, and expect Him who is above all time, eternal, invisible though made visible for our sakes, impalpable, and impassive yet for us subjected to suffering all manner of ways for our salvation.


      Chapter 22 

1.  Let not wisdom be neglected, be their guardian after God, and let nothing be done without your knowledge and consent, to perform nothing but what is with the will of God, which you also do with all consistency.

2.  Let your assemblies be more full, inquire to all by name, and overlook not the servants, be they male or female, nor let them be puffed up.

3.  But let them be all the more subject to the glory of God that they may attain a better liberty from Him.

4.  Let them not desire to be set free at public cost that they may not be slaves to their own lusts.

5.  Flee evil arts, or rather do not even mention them, and say to my sisters that they love the Lord and to be satisfied with their own husbands both in flesh and in spirit.

6.  In like manner exhort my brothers in the name of Jesus Christ that they love their wives even as the Lord loves the church.

7.  If any man can remain in a virgin state to the honor of the flesh of Christ let him so remain and without boasting, but if he boast he is undone, and if he desires to be more, then take notice of that bishop for he is corrupted.

8.  And as it becomes all who wish to marry men or woman, let it be consummated with the consent of the bishop so their marriage may be according to Godliness and not in lust.

9.  Let all things be done to the honor of God, listen to the bishop so that God may also listen to you, my soul will be surety for them that submit to their bishop with his presbyters and deacons, and may my portion be together with theirs in God.

10.  Labor with one another, contend together, run together, suffer together, sleep together, and rise together as stewards and assessors and ministers of God.

11.  Please Him under whom you are fighting and from whom you receive your wages, let none of you be found a deserter.  But let your baptism remain as your armament and your faith as your helmet, your charity as your spear, and your patience as your whole armor.

12. Let your work be as your charge that so you may receive a suitable reward, be therefore long-suffering towards each other in meekness as God is towards you.

13.  Let me have joy of you in all things.


      Chapter 23 

1.  Since now the church at Antioch in Syria is, as I am told, overseen through your prayers, I have been more comforted for it, if then by suffering I shall attain to God in your prayers I may be found a disciple of Christ.

2.  It will be very fitting O most worthy Polycarb to call a select council and to chose someone whom you particularly love and who is patient of labor that he may be the messenger of God.  And that going to Syria he may glorify your incessant love to the praise of Christ.

3.  A Christian does not have the power of himself, but at all times he must be at leisure for the service of God, for this work is both God's and yours when you shall have perfected it.

4.  For I trust through the grace of God that you are ready to every good work that is fitting for you in the Lord.

5.  Knowing therefore your earnest affection for the truth I have exhorted by this short letter.

6.  But since I have not been able to write to all the churches, for I had to sail suddenly from Troas to Neapolis, (for so is the command of those to whose pleasure I am subject.

7.  Instead write to the churches that are near to you as one instructed in the will of God that they also may do in like manner.

8.  Let those that are able sent messengers and let the rest sent their letters by those who shall be sent by you that you may be glorified to all eternity of which you are worthy.

9.  I salute everyone by name and particularly the wife of Epitropus with all her house and children, I salute Attalus my well beloved.

10.  I salute him who shall be thought worthy to be sent by you to Syria, let grace be ever with him and with Polycarb who sends him.

11.  I wish you all happiness in our God Jesus Christ, continue in Him in the unity with the protection of God.

12.  I salute Alce my well beloved, farewell in the Lord.