It is with great pleasure I present to you: The Ignatius Project

In 1998, as a freshman at Cal-State Fullerton, I began to study the Scriptures and Christian history in-depth. Soon I became aware of an Early Church Father by the name of Ignatius of Antioch. He had been a student of John the Apostle, and was a leader in the second generation Church.

Around AD 110 Ignatius was arrested and transported from Syrian Antioch to Rome, where he was destined to die a martyr's death. On his way to Rome, Ignatius penned these seven letters as his farewell and dying testament to six churches and his dear friend, Polycarp.

I was deeply touched by these letters then, and they still resonate with me today. To me they are a valuable tool in understanding the pitfalls so often encountered by second-generation Christians. I believe these letters contain much needed advice and address many of the concerns faced by the modern Church.

The following edition of the Seven Letters of Ignatius is based on the 1693 translation work of William Wake, and has been revised by myself since 2002. However, in the Letter to Smyrna this is only true for the first 7 1/2 verses; the majority has been taken from Cyril Richardson's 1935 translation. Such is the case for now, until I can revise it myself.

I pray these letters are a blessing to your life as they were to mine.

Pastor Mike
January 2013

2 Ignatius: The Letter to the Church at Magnesia

Posted by Michael La Framboise on Friday, January 25, 2013
Chapter 1
FROM Ignatius, also known as Theophorus; to the blessed church near the Meander river in Magnesia, whom I greet by the grace of God the Father in our Savior Jesus Christ. I wish joy to all of you.

    2  When I heard of your well ordered love and compassion in God, I greatly desired in all joy to speak to you concerning the Faith of Jesus Christ.  3  Having been found worthy to obtain a divine name because of my chains, I commend the churches; wishing them a union of the body and Spirit of Jesus Christ, who is our eternal Life: as well as a union of faith and love, for nothing is greater: but more importantly, a union of Jesus and the Father; in whom we shall enjoy God-- if we remain faithful under persecution, escaping all the attacks of the Prince of this present world.

    4  Apparently, I have been judged worthy to see you, according to Damas, your most excellent bishop; and by Bassus and Apollonius, your very worthy presbyters; as well as Sotio the deacon, who is my fellow servant.

    5  I rejoice that you are subject to your bishop as to the grace of God, and to the presbytery as to the law of Jesus Christ; in this I have determined to write to you.  6  It is fitting that you do not handle your bishop too casually, simply because he is young; but yielding all reverence to him according to the power of God the Father; as I perceive that your holy presbyters do: not considering his age, as indeed he is young. But as becomes those who are prudent in God, your presbyters have submitted to him; however, in reality they are submitting to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Bishop of all.

    7  Therefore, I sincerely exhort you to obey your bishop: honoring Him who wills that you do so.  8  Because he that does not do so does not deceive the bishop whom he sees, but rather affronts Him who is invisible. For anything of this nature does not reflect on man, but on God, the One who knows the secrets of our hearts.  9  Certainly it is proper that we should not only be called Christians, but be so.  10  There are those who call their
Shepherd-- "bishop"; yet do everything without him.  11  I do not see how these people can walk in a good conscience, as they are not gathered according to the commandments of God.

Chapter 2  
SEEING that all things come to an end, there are two things indifferently set before us-- Death and Life: and each shall depart to his proper place.  2  Just as if they were two sorts of coins: one of God; the other of the world. Each has it's proper inscription engraved on it.  3  The unbelievers are of this world; but the faithful, through love, have the inscription of God the Father in Jesus Christ: But if we are not prepared to die for Him, as He died for us. His Life is not in us.

    4  In that I have seen your faith and love manifested through Damas, Bassus, Apollonius, and Sotio, as I before mentioned-- I exhort all of you to strive to do all things in divine accord:  5  Your bishop presiding as the minister of God; your presbytery in the place of the council of the Apostles; and the most dear to me, your deacons entrusted with the ministry of Jesus Christ-- who was the Father before all ages, and manifested Himself to us.

    6  As you travel the same holy course, see that all of you respect one another: do not look to your neighbor in the flesh; rather mutually love each other in Jesus Christ.

    7  Do not allow anything which could create a division among you; but unite with your bishop, and those who preside over you. Look to them as your pattern and direction in the Way of immortality.  8  Just as the Lord, being united to the Father, did nothing without Him; neither did He separate Himself from His Apostles: neither should you do anything without your bishop and presbyters.  9  Do not attempt to rationalize anything done apart from the fellowship.  10  Instead come together in the same place: in one common prayer; one supplication; one mind; one hope; one love in undefiled joy.

    11  There is one Lord Jesus Christ, of whom nothing is greater. Understanding this, come together as to one temple of God; to the Altar, who is Jesus Christ-- He proceeded from the One Father, existed in union with Him, and is returned to One.
Chapter 3  
DO not be deceived with heretical doctrines; nor with unprofitable fables: if we continue to live according to the Jewish law, we are confessing that we have never received grace. For even the most holy prophets lived according to Christ Jesus.  2  This is why they were persecuted; as they were inspired by His grace to convince unbelievers and the disobedient: that there is one God who manifested Himself in Jesus Christ, His
Son, His eternal Word, not born in silence, who in all things pleased the One that sent Him.

    3  Yet in spite of being raised in ancient laws, there are some who have come to the newness of hope: no longer observing Sabbaths, but keeping the Lord's Day— in which our life springs up in Him through His death, which some deny.  4  (It is this mystery which we have received, now we wait for the day in which we will be found the disciples of our one Master, Jesus Christ.)  5  How can we live without Him? Even the prophets
themselves, as they were led by the Spirit, waited for the Christ as their Master.  6  Therefore, when the one whom they faithfully waited for came. He raised them from the dead.

    7  In light of this, do not be insensible to His goodness; because if He had dealt with us according to our works, it would have meant oblivion to all.  8  Therefore, as we have become His disciples, let us learn to live according to the law of Christianity; for anyone called by another name is not of God.  9  Lay aside the old, sour, and evil leaven; conforming yourselves to the New Leaven, which is Jesus Christ.  10  Be salted in Him,
lest any among you be corrupted; for by your savor shall you be judged.

11  It is absurd to confess the name Jesus Christ, and to Judaize. For the Christian religion did not embrace the Jewish, but the Jewish religion embraced the Christian: that all who believed might be gathered to God.

    12  I write these things to you, my beloved, not because I am aware of any among you who lie under this error; rather being least among you, I desire to admonish you, lest you be caught by the hooks of false doctrine.  13  I want you to be fully instructed in the birth, suffering, and resurrection of our Hope, Jesus Christ. The latter was truly and certainly accomplished during the time of the government of Pontius Pilate. God forbid
that any among you should be turned aside from this our hope.

Chapter 4  
MAY I have joy in you always, if I should be worthy. Although I am in chains, I am not worthy to be compared with one of you who are free.  2  I know that you are not filled with pride; because you have Jesus Christ in your hearts.  3  Even as I commend you, I know that you are ashamed, as it is written, "the just man condemns himself.

    4  Therefore, study to be confirmed in the doctrine of our Lord and His Apostles; so that whatever you do, you may prosper in body and spirit; in faith and love; in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: in the beginning and in the end.

    5  Remain in fellowship with your most worthy bishop, and the well deserved crown of your presbytery, and your deacons as is the will of God.  6  Be subject to your bishop and to each other, as Jesus Christ— in the flesh— submitted Himself to the Father: as the Apostles were submitted to Christ, the Father, and the Holy Spirit. In this way may you be united, both in body and spirit.

    7  Because you are full of God, I have more briefly exhorted you.

    8  Remember me in your prayers, that I would attain to God; also pray for the church in Syria from whence I came, where also I am not worthy to be called.  9  I stand in need of your corporate prayers in God, as well as your love; that the Church of Syria would be seen as worthy of the nourishment of your church.

    10  The Ephesians who are with me here in Smyrna, greet you. (They are here to the glory of God, just as you are.) They have completely refreshed me, along with Polycarp, the bishop of Smyrna.  11  The rest of the churches greet you in the honor of Jesus Christ.

    12  Farewell, be strengthened in the peace of God: possessing His inseparable Spirit in Jesus Christ.