(from: _Apostolic Fathers_, Lightfoot & Harmer, 1891 translation)
IGNATIUS to the Smyrnaeans
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.
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