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Saint Ignatius

QUESTION: Who was Saint Ignatius?


Saint Ignatius was a Bishop in the last part of the first century. He held to the writings of the apostles and like the apostles, he wrote letters to the various churches. He wrote seven of these letters while under Roman guard. Scholars believe that Ignatius may not have had a clear view of Christ's atonement. They suggest that he believed his martyrdom to be sacrificial.

Ignatius was born about A.D. 50. He was believed to have known some of the apostles. Ignatius is thought to have succeeded Peter as the bishop or ruling elder of Antioch, Syria. Scholars refer to Ignatius as the "God-Bearer" or Theophorus. They claim that Ignatius was the child that is referred to in Mark chapter nine. However, the proposed dates do not support this.

Saint Ignatius used the phrase "catholic" and was believed to be the first to use it in a universal sense to describe the early Christian churches. Ignatius did not hold to keeping the law of the Jews for salvation. Nor did he hold to the teaching of Docetism, which believed that Jesus' passion, His living, and being resurrected were figurative. Simply put, Docitism believed that Jesus did not actually live and die, nor was He raised from the dead.

Ignatius believed that Christ's death and resurrection paved the way for his (Ignatius) being martyred. Ignatius was a man who essentially held to much of the New Testament writings and teachings. Ignatius also taught about the virgin birth of Jesus. Saint Ignatius was believed to have been martyred in about A.D. 107.

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