Ignatius of Antioch: A Martyr Bishop and the Origin of by Allen Brent

By Allen Brent

Ignatius of Antioch (died c. one hundred fifteen) is without doubt one of the Apostolic Fathers of the Christian Church. In his letters to different church buildings he re-interpreted church order, the Eucharist and martyrdom opposed to the backcloth of the second one Sophistic in Asia minor by utilizing the cultural fabric of a pagan society. He so shaped the assumption and theology of the workplace of a bishop within the Christian church. This publication is an account of the situations and the cultural context during which Ignatius developed what turned the historical church order of Christendom.

Allen Brent defends the authenticity of the Ignatian letters by way of displaying how the conditions of Ignatius' condemnation at Antioch and departure for Rome suits good with what we will reconstruct of the inner scenario within the Church of Antioch in Syria on the finish of the 1st century. Ignatius is gifted as a arguable determine coming up within the context of a church at struggle with itself. Ignatius constructs out of the conflicting versions of church order to be had to him one based on a unmarried bishop that he commends to Christian groups in which he passes in chains as a condemned martyr prisoner.

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27 From a redaction-critical perspective, injunctions against groups do not survive out of purely historical interest: they are in the text because of their contemporary relevance against present groups whom their preservers wish to censure. 28 One particular criticism, not exclusive to Matthew but also found in other Gospels, is that the scribes 'love ... 30 This is certainly an anachronism reflecting the writer's own time. In the middle of the second century, in a work coming from Rome, we have Hermas issuing a rebuke to 'those who 25 26 27 28 29 30 Matt.

We shall see in our next chapter that the collective mood of the Christian community seems, from hints Ignatius gives, to have experienced change. They had wanted an end to the intensifying of the conflict between different groups caused by Ignatius' claim to be a single bishop who, in concord {homonoia) with the presbytery and deacons, could alone end the factionalism. But they had wished him simply to stand down from his claim, not to be arrested and condemned to exposure to the wild beasts. Furthermore, despite his removal, the old problems of internal crisis about the nature of church order between charismatics and elected bishops (as a plurality) or presbyters had not been removed.

He is often still accused of producing a monarchical system of authority in which the bishop exercises the supreme power of a political monarch. But his proposal is far more subtle than that. He does claim that the bishop is to be 'pre-eminent' iprokathemenoi) using a different word for 'pre-eminence' than 3 John. But the presbyterate, as a group that in the liturgy will sit in a horseshoe around the enthroned bishop, are also to be 'preeminent' (prokathemenos), and he appears to include the deacons too.

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