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

7 Ignatius: The Letter To Polycarp

Posted by Michael La Framboise on Friday, January 25, 2013
Chapter 1
FROM Ignatius, also known as Theophorus, to Polycarp, the bishop of the church at Smyrna; although their overseer, he is overseen by God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

  All joy to you.

  2  I know that your mind is set upon God as it were set upon an immovable rock; and I am so grateful that I have been thought worthy to know you, and for this privilege I continually rejoice in God.

  3  Considering this, I exhort you by the grace of God in which you have been clothed, to press forward in your course, and to exhort everyone that they may be saved. 4  Be careful to keep your place, both in flesh and spirit; and make it your aim to preserve unity, which is better than anything else. Bear with all men, even as the Lord bears with you. 5  Continue as you have done, to lovingly support all those under your care. Pray without ceasing, asking for more and more understanding, even beyond what you already possess. Be watchful with an ever vigilant spirit. 6  Speak to all as God has enabled you.

  As a completely disciplined athlete, bear the infirmities of all who depend on you; for where the labor is great, the reward is greater. 7  Besides, if you just love the good disciples, what reward is there? But patiently strive with the troublesome, and teach them godly submission. 8  Every wound is not healed with the same prescription; and if the disease vehemently progresses, adjust the medication gently. So in all things be wise as a serpent, but harmless as a dove. 9  For this reason you are made up of both flesh and spirit, that you might adjust the assessment of those things that are brought before you. 10  As for those unruly ones who go unseen, pray to God that He would reveal them to you; and pray that you would be lacking nothing, but abounding in every spiritual gift.

  11  The times call for you as pilots call for the winds; they call for you as one who is tempest tossed calls for the port of his destination. The calling is that you would attain to God. 12  As God’s athlete be sober, for the crown promised to you is immortality and eternal life; of these things you are certainly convinced. In everything I will be your surety, even my chains, for which you have shown compassion. 13  Do not be surprised by those who teach false doctrines, after they initially  seemed so worthy of respect. Stand firmly against them, immovable as an anvil when it is beaten. 14  It is the part of the noble athlete to overcome even when injured; even so for the glory of God, should we not all the more endure all things, that He may bear with us.

  15  Day by day continue to increase in diligence, considering the times, and ever expecting Him who is beyond time and eternal, who is invisible, though was made visible for our sake; the intangible and invincible One, who yet for us subjected Himself vulnerable to suffering; and who endured every affliction for our salvation.

Chapter 2
DO not allow widows to be neglected: even as God protects them, be their guardian.

Do not allow anything to be done without your knowledge and consent; neither should you do anything unless it is according to God's will, just as you have, being so stable.  3  Allow more people into your services, but be sure to become familiar with the names of those who attend.  4  Do not overlook the servants and maids; yet do not favor them with flattery lest they grow arrogant; instead let them be subject all the more to the glory of God that they might receive from Him true freedom.  5  Teach them not to desire freedom at the cost of their public testimony, for they should not be slaves to their own lusts.  6  Flee evil things, and do not even speak of them. 

7  Tell my sisters to love the Lord by being content, both in flesh and spirit, with their own husbands.  8  Likewise, in the Name of Jesus Christ, tell my brothers to love their wives even as Christ loved His Church.  9  If any person is able to remain single to the honor and glory of the flesh of Christ, let him do so without boasting; because in his bragging he is undone, and if he desires to be paid special attention for his abstinence, even over that of the bishop, he is corrupt.  10  But it certainly becomes such as would be married, whether a man or woman, to engage in matrimony with the counsel of the bishop, that their marriage may be proved to be according to godliness, and not simply of lust.  11  All things should be done to honor God. 

12  Listen to the bishop that God may listen to you when you pray. My soul is surety for them who submit to their bishop, with their presbyters and deacons; and may my portion be joined with theirs in God.  13  Labor together, contend together, run togethe, suffer together, sleep and rise as one: as stewards, assessors, and ministers of God.  14  Please the One whom you serve under in war, the One from whom your benefits come. Let none of you abandon your post, but may your baptism remain upon you to arm you: faith as your helmet, love as your spear, and your patience as armor.  15  Keep your good works as security, that you may receive a well-earned reward. Therefore, have patience with one another in meekness, just as God has with you.  16  Allow me to rejoice over you in everything!

Chapter 3

Now, it is a comfort to me that, as I am told, the church of Antioch in Syria is at peace through your prayers; and finding such relief in God at this news, it leaves me ready, if through my suffering I should to go to Him. Through your prayers may I also be found a true disciple of Christ. 

2  It would be most fitting, most worthy Polycarp, to call a council of godly men, and from among them to lovingly choose one in particular who is patient in the work, that he might be a representative of God for me, and sending him to my church in Syria, he may bring honor to your loving choice to the praise of Christ.  3  A Christian does not have power over his own life, but must always be at the service of God's will. When this work is completed, you shall discover that it was both God's and yours together.  4  I trust through God's grace that you are ready to do every good work that is designed for you in the Lord. 

5  Therefore, as I know your sincere love of the truth, I have exhorted you in these short letters.  6  However, since
I must soon set sail from Troas to Neapolis
(For such is the command of those at whose whim I am subject), I have not been able to write to every church; and so I must ask that you write to the churches nearby, that being instructed in the will of God they might follow in like manner.  7  Those who can should send messengers, while the rest should send letters with those who are sent by you, that you may bring glory to the eternal work, for which you are distinguished. 

8  I greet all by name, in particular Epitrophus' wife, along with all her house and children.

I greet my dearly beloved Attalus. 

9  I applaud the man who shall be thought worthy by you to be sent to my church in Syria. May grace ever be with him, and with you, Polycarp, who sends him. 

10  I wish all of you Joy in our God, Jesus Christ, in whom may you continue in unity under God's protection.

11  I greet my dear and beloved Alce.

Farewell in the Lord.