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Ignatius to the Philadelphians

(from: _Apostolic Fathers_ Lightfoot & Harmer, 1891 translation)

IGNATIUS to the Philadelphians

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
Holy Spirit.

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
His Father.

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.

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