THE EPISTLE OF IGNATIUS TO THE TRALLIANS
SHORTER AND LONGER VERSIONS
Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the holy Church which is at Tralles, in Asia, beloved of God, the Father of Jesus Christ, elect, and worthy of God, possessing peace through the flesh, and blood, and passion of Jesus Christ, who is our hope, through our rising again to Him, which also I salute in its fulness, and in the apostalical character, and wish abundance of happiness. lgnatius, who is also called Theaphorus, to the holy Church which is at Tralles, beloved by God the Rather, and Jesus Christ, elect, and worthy of God, possessing peace through the flesh and Spirit of Jesus Christ, who is our hope, in His passion by the cross and death, and in His resurrection, which also I salute in its fulness, and in the apostolical character, and wish abundance of happiness.
CHAP. I.--ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THEIR EXCELLENCE.
I know that ye possess an unblameable and sincere
mind in patience, and that not only in present practice,
but according to inherent nature, as Polybius your
bishop has shown me, who has come to Smyrna by the
will of God and Jesus Christ, and so sympathized in
the joy which I, who am bound in Christ Jesus, possess,
that I beheld your whole multitude in him. Having therefore
received through him the testimony of your good-will,
according to God, I gloried to find you, as I knew
you were, the followers of God.
I know that ye possess an unblameable and sincere mind in patience, and that not only for present use, but as a permanent possession, as Polybius your bishop has shown me, who has come to Smyrna by the will of God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, His Son, with the cooperation of the Spirit, and so sympathized in the joy which I, who am bound in Christ Jesus, possess, that I beheld your whole multitude in Him. Having therefore received through him the testimony of your good-will according to God, I gloried to find that you were the followers of Jesus Christ the Saviour.
CHAP. II.--BE SUBJECT TO THE BISHOP, ETC.
For, since ye are subject to the bishop as to Jesus
Christ, ye appear to me to live not after the manner
of men, but according to Jesus Christ, who died for
us, in order, by believing in His death, ye may escape
from death. It is therefore necessary that, as ye indeed
do, so without the bishop ye should do nothing, but
Be ye subject to the bishop as to the Lord, for "he watches for your souls, as one that shall give account to God." Wherefore also, ye appear to me to live not after the manner of men, but according to Jesus Christ, who died for us, in order that, by believing in His death, ye may by baptism be made partakers of His resurrection. It is therefore necessary, whatsoever things ye do, to do nothing without the bishop. And be ye subject also to the presbytery, as to the apostles of Jesus Christ, who is
be subject to the presbytery, as to the apostle of Jesus Christ, who is our hope, in whom, if we live, we shall [at last] be found. It is fitting also that the deacons, as being [the ministers] of the mysteries of Jesus Christ, should in every respect be pleasing to all.(1) For they are not ministers of meat and drink, but servants of the Church of God. They are bound, therefore, to avoid all grounds of accusation [against them], as they would do fire. Our hope, in whom, if we live, we shall be found in Him. It behoves you also, in every way, to please the deacons, who are [ministers] of the mysteries of Christ Jesus; for they are not ministers of meat and drink, but servants of the Church of God. They are bound, therefore, to avoid alI grounds of accusation [against them], as they would a burning fire. Let them, then, prove themselves to be such.
CHAP. III.--HONOUR THE DEACONS, etc.
In like manner, let all reverence the deacons as
an appointment(2) of Jesus Christ, and the bishop as
Jesus Christ, who is the Son of the Father, and the
presbyters as the sanhedrin of God, and assembly of
the apostles. Apart from these, there is no Church.(4)
Concerning all this, I am persuaded that ye are of
the same opinion. For I have received the manifestations
of your love, and still have it with me, in your bishop,
whose very appearance is highly instructive,(6) and
his meekness of itself a power; whom I imagine even
the ungodly must reverence, seeing they are(7) also
pleased that I do not spare myself. But shall I, when
permitted to write on this point, reach such a height
of self-esteem, that though being a condemned(8) man,
I should issue commands to you as if I were an apostle?
And do ye reverence them as Christ Jesus, of whose place they are the keepers, even as the bishop is the representative of the Father of all things, and the presbyters are the sanhedrim of God, and assembly(3) of the apostles of Christ. Apart from these there is no elect Church, no congregation of holy ones, no assembly of saints. I am persuaded that ye also are of this opinion. For I have received the manifestation s of your love, and still have it with me, in your bishop, whose very appearance is highly instructive, and his meekness of itself a power; whom I imagine even the ungodly must reverence. Loving you as I do, I avoid writing in any severer strain to you, that I may not seem harsh to any, or wanting [in tenderness]. I am indeed bound for the sake of Christ, but I am not yet worthy of Christ. But when I am perfected, perhaps I shall then become so. I do not issue orders like an apostle.
CHAP. IV.--I HAVE NEED OF HUMILITY.
I have great knowledge in God,(9) but I restrain
myself, lest, I should perish through boasting. For
now it is needful for me to be the more fearful; and
not give heed to those that puff me up. For they that
speak to me [in the way of commendation] scourge me.
For I do indeed desire to suffer, but I know not if
I be worthy to do so. For this longing, though it is
not manifest to many, all the more vehemently assails
me.(13) I therefore have need of meekness, by which
the prince of this world is brought to nought.
But I measure myself, that I may not perish through boasting: but it is good to glory in the Lord.(10) And even though I were established(11) in things pertaining to God, yet then would it befit me to be the more fearful, and not give heed to those that vainly puff me up. For those that commend me scourge me. [I do indeed desire to suffer(12)], but I know not if I be worthy to do so. For the envy of the wicked one is not visible to many, but it wars against me. I therefore have need of meekness, by which the devil, the prince of this world, is brought to nought.
CHAP. V.--I WILL NOT TEACH YOU PROFOUND DOCTRINES.
Am I not able to write to you of heavenly things?
But I fear to do so, lest I should inflict injury on
you who are but babes [in Christ]. Pardon me in this
respect, lest, as not being able to receive [such doctrines],
ye should be strangled by them. For even I, though
I am bound [for Christ], yet am not on that account
able to understand heavenly things, and the places(4)
of the angels, and their gatherings under their respective
princes, things visible and invisible. Without reference
to such abstruse subjects, I am still but a learner
[in other respects(5)]; for many things are wanting
to us, that we come not short of God.
For might(1) not I write to you things more full of mystery? But I fear to do so, lest I should inflict injury on you who are but babes [in Christ]. Pardon me in this respect, lest, as not being able to receive their weighty import,(2) ye should be strangled by them. For even I, though I am bound [for Christ], and am able to understand heavenly things, the angelic orders, and the different sorts(3) of angels and hosts, the distinctions between powers and dominions, and the diversities between thrones and authorities, the mightiness of the Aeons, and the pre-eminence of the cherubim and seraphim, the sublimity of the spirit, the kingdom of the Lord, and above all, the incomparable majesty of Almighty God--though I am acquainted with these things, yet am I not therefore by any means perfect; nor am I such a disciple as Paul or Peter. For many things are yet wanting to me, that I may not fall short of God.
CHAP. VI.--ABSTAIN FROM THE POISON OF HERETICS.
I therefore, yet not I, but the love of Jesus Christ,
entreat you that ye use Christian nourishment only,
and abstain from herbage of a different kind; I mean
heresy. For those(7) [that are given to this] mix(11)
up Jesus Christ with their own poison, speaking things
which are unworthy of credit, like those who administer
a deadly drug in sweet wine, which he who is ignorant
of does greedily(13) take, with a fatal pleasure(14)
leading to his own death.
I therefore, yet not l, out the love of Jesus Christ, "entreat you that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment."(6) For there are some vain talkers(8) and deceivers, not Christians, but Christ-betrayers,(9) bearing about the name of Christ in deceit, and "corrupting the word"(10) of the Gospel; while they intermix the poison of their deceit with their persuasive talk,(12) as if they mingled aconite with sweet wine, that so he who drinks, being deceived in his taste by the very great sweetness of the draught, may incautiously meet with his death. One of the ancients gives us this advice, "Let no man be called good who mixes good with evil."(15) For they speak of Christ, not that they may preach Christ, but that they may reject Christ; and they speak(16) of the law, not that they may establish the law, but that they may proclaim things contrary to it. For they alienate Christ from the Father, and the law from Christ. They also calumniate His being born of the Virgin; they are ashamed of His cross; they deny His passion; and they do not believe His resurrection. They introduce God as a Being unknown; they suppose Christ to be unbegotten; and as to the Spirit, they do not admit that He exists. Some of them say that the Son is a mere man, and that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are but the same person, and that the creation is the work of God, not by Christ, but by some other strange power.
CHAP. VII.--THE SAME CONTINUED.
Be on your guard, therefore, against such persons.
And this will be the case with you if you are not puffed
up, and continue in intimate union with(17) Jesus Christ
our God, and the
Be on your guard, [therefore, against such persons, that ye admit not of a snare for your own souls. And act so that your life shall be without offence to all men, lest ye become as "a snare upon a watch-tower, and as a net which is spread out."(18) For" he that does not heal him-
bishop, and the enactments of the apostles. He that is within the altar is pure, but(2) he that is without is not pure; that is, he who does anything apart from the bishop, and presbytery, and deacons,(4) such a man is not pure in his conscience. Self in his own works, is the brother of him that destroys himself."(1) If, therefore, ye also put away conceit, arrogance, disdain, and haughtiness, it will be your privilege to be inseparably united to God, for "He is nigh unto those that fear Him."(3) And says He, "Upon whom will I look, but upon him that is humble and quiet, and that trembles at my words?"(5) And do ye also reverence your bishop as Christ Himself, according as the blessed apostles have enjoined you. He that is within the altar is pure, wherefore also he is obedient to the bishop and presbyters: but he that is without is one that does anything apart from the bishop, the presbyters, and the deacons. Such a person is defiled in his conscience, and is worse than an infidel. For what is the bishop but one who beyond all others possesses all power and authority, so far as it is possible for a man to possess it, who according to his ability has been made an imitator of the Christ Of God?(6) And what is the presbytery but a sacred assembly, the counsellors and assessors of the bishop? And what are the deacons but imitators of the angelic powers,(7) fulfilling a pure and blameless ministry unto him, as the holy Stephen did to the blessed James, Timothy and Linus to Paul, Anencletus and Clement to Peter? He, therefore, that will not yield obedience to such, must needs be one utterly without God, an impious man who despises Christ, and depreciates His appointments.
CHAP. VIII.--BE ON YOUR GUARD AGAINST THE SNARES OF THE DEVIL.
Not that I Know there is anything of this kind among
you; but I put you on your guard, inasmuch as I love
you greatly, and foresee the snares of the devil. Wherefore,
clothing(11) yourselves with meekness, be ye renewed(12)
in faith, that is the flesh of the Lord, and in love,
that is the blood of Jesus Christ. Let no one of you
cherish any grudge against his neighbour. Give no occasion
to the Gentiles, lest by means of a few foolish men
the whole multitude [of those that believe] in God
be evil spoken of. For, "Woe to him by whose vanity
my name is blasphemed among any."(17)
Now I write these things unto you, not that I know there are any such persons among you; nay, indeed I hope that God will never permit any such report to reach my ears, He "who spared not His Son for the sake of His holy Church."(8) But foreseeing the snares of the wicked one, I arm you beforehand by my admonitions, as my beloved and faithful children in Christ, furnishing you with the means of protection(9) against the deadly disease of unruly men, by which do ye flee from the disease(10) [referred to] by the good-will of Christ our Lord. Do ye therefore, clothing(11) yourselves with meekness, become the imitators of His sufferings, and of His love, wherewith(13) He loved us when He gave Himself a ransom(14) for us, that He might cleanse us by His blood from our old ungodliness, and bestow life on us when we were almost on the point of perishing through the depravity that was in us. Let no one of you, therefore, cherish any grudge against his neighbour. For says our Lord, "Forgive, and it shall be forgiven unto you."(15) Give no occasion to the Gentiles, lest "by means of a few foolish men the word and doctrine [of Christ.] be blasphemed."(16) For says the prophet, as in the person of God, "Woe to him by whom my name is blasphemed among the Gentiles."(17)
CHAP. IX,--REFERENCE TO THE HISTORY OF CHRIST.
Stop your ears, therefore, when any one speaks to
you at variance with(18)
Stop your ears, therefore, when any one speaks to you at variance with(18) Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was
Jesus Christ, who was descended from David, and was also of Mary; who was truly born, and did eat and drink. He was truly persecuted under Pontius Pilate; He was truly crucified, and [truly] died, in the sight of beings in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth. He was also truly raised from the dead, His Father quickening Him, even as after the same manner His Father will so raise up us who believe in Him by Christ Jesus, apart from whom we do not possess the true life. Descended from David, and was also of Mary; who was truly begotten of God and of the Virgin, but not after the same manner. For indeed God and man are not the same. He truly assumed a body; for "the Word was made flesh,"(1) and lived upon earth without sin. For says He, "Which of you convicteth me of sin?"(2) He did in reality both eat and drink. He was crucified and died under Pontius Pilate. He really, and not merely in appearance, was crucified, and died, in the sight of beings in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth. By those in heaven I mean such as are possessed of incorporeal natures; by those on earth, the Jews and Romans, and such persons as were present at that time when the Lord was crucified; and by those under the earth, the multitude that arose along with the Lord. For says the Scripture, "Many bodies of the saints that slept arose,"(3) their graves being opened. He descended, indeed, into Hades alone, but He arose accompanied by a multitude; and rent asunder that means(4) of separation which had existed from the beginning of the world, and cast down its partition-wall. He also rose again in three days, the Father raising Him up; and after spending forty days with the apostles, He was received up to the Father, and "sat down at His right hand, expecting till His enemies are placed under His feet."(5) On the day of the preparation, then, at the third hour, He received the sentence from Pilate, the Father permitting that to happen; at the sixth hour He was crucified; at the ninth hour He gave up the ghost; and before sunset He was buried.(6) During the Sabbath He continued under the earth in the tomb in which Joseph of Arimathaea had laid Him. At the dawning of the Lord's day He arose from the dead, according to what was spoken by Himself, "As Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of man also be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."(7) The day of the preparation, then, comprises the passion; the Sabbath embraces the burial; the Lord's Day contains the resurrection.
CHAP. X.--THE REALITY OF CHRIST'S PASSION.
But if, as some that are without God, that is, the
unbelieving, say, that He only seemed to suffer (they
themselves only seeming to exist), then why am I in
bonds? Why do I long to be exposed to s the wild beasts?
Do I therefore die in vain?(9) Am I not then guilty
of falsehood(10) against [the cross of] the Lord?
But if, as some that are without God, that is, the unbelieving, say, He became man in appearance [only], that He did not in reality take unto Him a body, that He died in appearance [merely], and did not in very deed suffer, then for what reason am I now in bonds, and long to be exposed to(8) the wild beasts? In such a case, I die in vain, and am guilty of falsehood(10) against the cross of the Lord. Then also does the prophet in vain declare, "They shall look on Him whom they have pierced, and mourn over themselves as over one beloved."(11) These men, therefore, are not less unbelievers than were those that crucified Him. But as for me, I do not place my hopes in one who died for me in appearance, but in reality. For that which is false is quite abhorrent to the truth. Mary then did truly conceive a
body which had God inhabiting it. And God the Word was truly born of the Virgin, having clothed Himself with a body of like passions with our own. He who forms all men in the womb, was Himself really in the womb, and made for Himself a body of the seed of the Virgin, but without any intercourse of man. He was carried in the womb, even as we are, for the usual period of time; and was really born, as we also are; and was in reality nourished with milk, and partook of common meat and drink, even as we do. And when He had lived among men for thirty years, He was baptized by John, really and not in appearance; and when He had preached the Gospel three years, and done signs and wonders, He who was Himself the Judge was judged by the Jews, falsely so called, and by Pilate the governor; was scourged, was smitten on the cheek, was spit upon; He wore a crown of thorns and a purple robe; He was condemned: He was crucified in reality, and not in appearance, not in imagination, not in deceit. He really died, and was buried, and rose from the dead, even as He prayed in a certain place, saying, "But do Thou, O Lord, raise me up again, and I shall recompense them."(1) And the Father, who always hears Him,(2) answered and said, "Arise, O God, and judge the earth; for Thou shall receive all the heathen for Thine inheritance."(3) The Father, therefore, who raised Him up, will also raise us up through Him, apart from whom no one will attain to true life. For says He, "I am the life; he that believeth in me, even though he die, shall live: and every one that liveth and believeth in me, even though he die, shall live for ever."(4) Do ye therefore flee from these ungodly heresies; for they are the inventions of the devil, that serpent who was the author of evil, and who by means of the woman deceived Adam, the father of our race.
CHAP. XI.--AVOID THE DEADLY ERRORS OF THE DOCETAE.
Flee, therefore, those evil offshoots [of Satan],
which produce death-bearing fruit, whereof if any one
tastes, he instantly dies. For these men are not the
planting of the Father. For if they were, they would
appear as branches of the cross, and their fruit would
be incorruptible. By it(9) He calls you through His
passion, as being His members. The head, therefore,
cannot be born by itself, without its members; God,
who is [the Saviour] Himself, having promised their
Do ye also avoid those wicked offshoots of his,(5) Simon his firstborn son, and Menander, and Basilides, and all his wicked mob of followers,(6) the worshippers of a man, whom also the prophet Jeremiah pronounces accursed.(7) Flee also the impure Nicolaitanes, falsely so called,(8) who are lovers of pleasure, and given to calumnious speeches. Avoid also the children of the evil one, Theodotus and Cleobulus, who produce death-bearing fruit, whereof if any one tastes, he instantly dies, and that not a mere temporary death, but one that shall endure for ever. These men are not the planting of the Father, but are an accursed brood. And says the Lord, "Let every plant which my heavenly Father has not planted be rooted up."(11) For if they had been branches of the Father, they would not have been "enemies of the cross of Christ,"(12) but rather of those who "killed the Lord of glory."(13) But now, by denying the cross, and being ashamed of the passion, they cover the transgression of the Jews, those fighters against God, those murderers of the Lord; for it were too little to style them merely
murderers of the prophets. But Christ invites you to [share in] His immortality, by His passion and resurrection, inasmuch as ye are His members.
CHAP. XII.--CONTINUE IN UNITY AND LOVE.
I salute you from Smyrna, together with the Churches
of God which are with me, who have refreshed me in
all things, both in the flesh and in the spirit. My
bonds, which I carry about with me for the sake of
Jesus Christ (praying that I may attain to God), exhort
you. Continue in harmony among yourselves, and in prayer
with one another; for it becomes every one of you,
and especially the presbyters, to refresh the bishop,
to the hon-our of the Father, of Jesus Christ, and
of the apostles. I entreat you in love to hear me,
that I may not, by having written, be a testimony against
you. And do ye also pray for me, who have need of your
love, along with the mercy of God, that I may be worthy
of the lot for which I am destined, and that I may
not be found reprobate.
I salute you from Smyrna, together with the Churches of God which are with me, whose rulers have refreshed me in every respect, both in the flesh and in the spirit. My bonds, which I carry about with me for the sake of Jesus Christ (praying that I may attain to God), exhort you. Continue in harmony among yourselves, and in supplication; for it becomes every one of you, and especially the presbyters, to refresh the bishop, to the honour of the Father, and to the honour of Jesus Christ and of the apostles. I entreat you in love to hear me, that I may not, by having thus written, be a testimony against you. And do ye also pray for me, who have need of your love, along with the mercy of God, that I may be thought worthy to attain the lot for which I am now designed, and that I may not be found reprobate.
The love of the Smymaeans and Ephesians salutes you. Remember in your prayers the Church which is in Syria, from which also I am not worthy to receive my appellation, being the last(1) of them. Fare ye well in Jesus Christ, while ye continue subject to the bishop, as to the command [of God], and in like manner to the presbytery. And do ye, every man, love one another with an undivided heart. Let my spirit be sanctified(2) by yours, not only now, but also when I shall attain to God. For I am as yet exposed to danger. But the Father is faithful in Jesus Christ to fulfil both mine and your petitions: in whom may ye be found unblameable.
The love of the Smyrnaeans and Ephesians salutes you. Remember our Church which is in Syria, from which I am not worthy to receive my appellation, being the last(1) of those of that place. Fare ye well in the Lord Jesus Christ, while ye continue subject to the bishop, and in like manner to the presbyters and to the deacons. And do ye, every man, love one another with an undivided heart. My spirit salutes you,(2) not only now, but also when I shall have attained to God; for I am as yet exposed to danger. But the Father of Jesus Christ is faithful to fulfil both mine and your petitions: in whom may we be found without spot. May I have joy of you in the Lord.
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The Real Jesus:
Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archaeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the "historical Jesus" -- a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archaeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regretably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
This presentation explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views.
Presented in ten parts -- perfect for individual, family and classroom study -- viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history -- "the same yesterday, today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
|The Beast of Revelation: IDENTIFIED
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation? Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry's insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation -- and even more importantly -- amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue -- but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study -- for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John's famous letter "... to the seven churches which are in Asia." (Revelation 1:4)
(Available in DVD only)
INCLUDES A FREE
Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misperceptions related to this volatile issue:
Download the free
Perfect for group instruction as well as personal
Bible study. Speakers include: George Grant, Howard Phillips,
R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, R.J. Rushdoony,
Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!
Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!
Watch over 60 streaming videos from God's Law and Society at:
|Amazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism
Over four hours of instruction!
Just what is “Calvinism?” Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
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