Ignatius of Antioch

(c. 35–c. 107)
   Bishop, Theologian and Saint.
   Ignatius was the author of seven letters written in Smyrna and Troas when travelling on his way to execution in Rome. The letters were addressed to the Churches of Ephesus, Magnesia, Tralles, Rome, Philadelphia and Smyrna, and to St polycarp. They emphasise the three-fold ministry of Bishops, priests and Deacons and attack a Judaistic docetic heresy, stressing the full humanity as well as the divinity of Jesus Christ. Ignatius expresses himself anxious for martyrdom, believing that he will thus ‘attain God’ and he describes the Eucharist as ‘the bread that is the flesh of Jesus Christ’. According to origen, Ignatius succeeded peter as the Bishop of Antioch after Euodius and Polycarp records that his wish for martyrdom was fulfilled. The letters were much quoted by early Church Fathers, but there has been considerable scholarly debate about their authenticity. Largely as a result of the work of James ussher and J.B. lightfoot, they are now accepted as genuine.
   V. Corwen, St Ignatius and Christianity in Antioch (1960);
   J.B. Lightfoot, The Apostolic Fathers, Part II (1885).

Who’s Who in Christianity . 2014.

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