Ignatius of Antioch

Henry Chadwick

in The Church in Ancient Society

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780199246953
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600463 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of the Christian Church

 Ignatius of Antioch

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The letters of Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, written some time in the early second century while he was being taken to Rome and martyrdom, illustrate in a lively and idiosyncratic way themes such as the power of bishops, martyrdom, heresies, Biblical interpretation, the heresy known as ‘docetism’, Judaizers, and the eucharist. His letters to Rome show the existence of influential Christians there in the first or second decade of the second century. The correspondence between Pliny, governor of Bithynia, and the emperor Trajan, at roughly the same time as Ignatius’ letters, shows that Christians were now being persecuted ‘not for what they had done but for what they now were’.

Keywords: bishops; docetism; eucharist; heresies; Ignatius of Antioch; martyrdom; Rome

Chapter.  9105 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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