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

5 Ignatius: The Letter to the Church at Philadelphia

Posted by Michael La Framboise on Friday, January 25, 2013
Chapter 1
FROM Ignatius, also known as Theophorus, to the Church of God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, which is located at Philadelphia in Asia; which being steadfast in unity, has obtained mercy in God; rejoicing always in the passion of our Lord, and fulfilled in His resurrection.

   2 I greet you in the blood of Jesus Christ, which is our pure and eternal joy; especially if you remain in unity with your bishop and presbytery, along with your deacons who are appointed according to the will of Jesus Christ. These have been put in place by His will, confirmed by His Holy Spirit.

   3 I know that your bishop has been given a great ministry among you: not for vain glory through himself or men; but through the love of God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 It is the moderation of your bishop that amazes me; he accomplishes more through his silence than others do in all of their vain speech. Indeed he is fitted to the commandments as a harp to its strings. 5 For this reason my soul esteems the mind which
your bishop has toward God, which causes me to have joy, as I know that he is fruitful and perfect in all virtue; fully consistent, free from lust; according, in all moderation, to the Living God.

  6 In this way, as is fitting to the children of Light and Truth; flee from divisions and false doctrines; instead you should be with your shepherd, following him as would sheep. 7 Because there are many wolves who appear worthy of belief, and with an evil pleasure they take captive those who would run in the race of God; however in the congregation they should find no place. 8 Therefore abstain from those evil herbs which are not tended
by Jesus Christ; because such are not of the Father's plantation. Not that I have found any divisions among you, rather in your midst I have found all manner of purity. 9 For those who are of God and Jesus Christ, are also united with their bishop. And those who will return in repentance to the unity of the Church, shall once again be called the servants of God, that they may live according to Jesus. 10 Do not be deceived, brothers:
those who follow a person who creates a schism in the Church will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Anyone who disagrees with this, disagrees with the passion of Christ.

   11 Understanding this, endeavor to partake together in the same Holy Communion. 12 Because there is but one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, one cup in the unity of His blood, and one altar; 13 just as there is one bishop, together with his presbytery, and my fellow servants the deacons: so whatever you do, do it according to the will of God.

Chapter 2 
MY BROTHERS, I pour out the love which I have for you; and with great joy I endeavor to keep you safe from harm; rather not I, but Jesus Christ; whom I fear all the more, as I am chained and on my way to suffering. 2 But your prayers shall perfect me, that I may attain the portion, which God in His mercy has allotted to me.

   Run to the Gospel as to the body of Christ; and to the Apostles as to the presbytery of the Church. 3 Let us love the prophets also, because they have preached the Gospel, and putting their hope in the Christ, they waited for Him. 4 Believing in Him, they were saved through the unity of Jesus Christ; as they were holy men, worthy of love, and received in awe. 5 These were testified of by Jesus Christ, and they are numbered in the
Gospel of our common Hope.

   6 If anyone comes preaching the Jewish Law to you, do not listen to him; for it is better to receive the Doctrine of Christ from one who has been circumcised, than Judaism from one who has not. 7 However if either one does not testify of Christ Jesus, as far as I am concerned, they are nothing more than grave stones and tombs for the dead, which only bear in writing the names of men.

   8 Therefore run from the cunning arts and traps of the Prince of this world; lest in time you should become weak in your love. Instead, you should all come together with an undivided heart in the same place.

   9 Furthermore I bless my God that my conscience is pure regarding you; that no one among you has any complaint, whether public or private, to say that I have burdened him in little or much. 10 Having said this, I hope for the sake of all whom I have spoken, that my testimony may not be used against them. 11 Even so, some have attempted to deceive me in the flesh; yet the Spirit of God is not deceived. He knows where deception comes from, and where it goes-- He rebukes the secrets of the heart.

   12 When I was in your midst, I cried out, I declared with a loud voice: "Pay attention to the bishop, to the presbytery, and to the deacons". 13 After saying this, some of you assumed that I spoke these things prophetically of divisions that would come between you. 14 But with the One for whose sake I am chained as my witness, I knew nothing of the kind from any man. It was the Spirit who spoke to me these things: "Do nothing without the bishop; 15 Keep your bodies as the temples of God; love unity; run from divisions; be followers of Christ, as He was of His Father". 16 Therefore I have acted asa man composed to unity. Because God will not dwell where there is division and wrath. 17 However the Lord forgives all who repent, if they return in the unity of God to the council of the bishop. 18 For this I trust in the grace of Jesus Christ, that He will free
you from all bondage.

   19 Nevertheless I exhort you not to do anything out of strife, rather do all things according to the instruction of Christ. 20 I have heard people who say. "Unless I find it written in the original Jewish scriptures. I will not believe the Gospel to be authentic". But when I declared. "It is written!", they refitted me with what lay before them in their corrupted texts. 21 But this is how I see it: instead of some testament claimed by the world to be pure, Jesus Christ was given to instruct us. He was presented with His own pure testimony: His cross, death, and resurrection, as well as the Faith which has come to us through Him (By which, through your prayers, I desire to be justified). 22 Indeed the priests of old were good, but far superior is the High Priest to whom the
Holy of Holies has been committed; the only One who has been entrusted with the secrets of God. 23 He is the Door to the Father: through whom Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, along with all the prophets, as well as the Apostles and the Church entered in. 24 Certainly all of these things express the unity of God. However there are aspects of the Gospel which manifest it far above the previous dispensation: the appearance of our Savior and Lord. Jesus Christ, as well as His passion and resurrection. 25 The beloved prophets referred to Him, but the Gospel has perfected that which was incomplete. Therefore all of these things together are good, if you believe them in love.
Chapter 3  
NOW concerning  the Church of Antioch, in Syria. I am told that through your prayers and deep the love of Jesus Christ, which you have expressed towards that church, that it is in peace. It would be fitting to you, as a church of God, to prepare a minister to be sent to them as an ambassador of God; someone to rejoice with them when they meet together to glorify the Name of God. 2 Blessed in Jesus Christ, is the man who is found worthy of such a ministry; not to mention that your church will be glorified by it as well. 3 Indeed this is nothing too difficult to be accomplished by the grace of God, that is if you are willing to do so; just as the other neighboring churches have already sent ministers: some bishops, others presbyters or deacons.

   4 In regards to Philo, the deacon of Cilicia, who is indeed a faithful man, he continues to minister the Word of God to me; along with Rheus of Agathopolis, such a wonderful person, who followed me all the way from Syria without care for his own life: may these men be a testimony to you. 5 I would give thanks to God if you would receive them as the Lord will also receive you. As for those who have dishonored these men,
may Jesus Christ in His grace forgive them.

   6 The fellowship at Troas greets you in love; from where I now dictate this letter to Burrhus, who was sent to me by those of Ephesus and Smyrna, to pay me their respects. 7 May our Lord Jesus Christ honor them, as they have their hope in Him: by their flesh, soul, and spirit; in faith, love, and unity.

   Farewell in Christ Jesus, who is our common hope.