Ignatius, who is also Theophorus, unto her which hath been blessed in
greatness through the plentitude of God the Father; which hath been
foreordained before the ages to be forever and unto abiding and
unchangeable glory, united and elect in a true passion, by the will of
the Father and of Jesus Christ our God; even unto the church which is
at Ephesus [of Asia], worthy of all felicitation; abundant greeting in
Christ Jesus and in blameless joy.  

   While I welcomed in God [your] well beloved name which ye bear by
natural right, [in an upright and virtuous mind], by faith and love in
Christ Jesus our Savior--being imitators of God, and having your hearts
kindled in the blood of God, ye have perfectly fulfilled your congenial
work-- for when ye heard that I was on my way from Syria, in bonds for
the sake of the common Name and hope, and was hoping through your
prayers to succeed in fighting the wild beasts in Rome, that by so
succeeding I might have power to be a disciple, ye were eager to visit
me-- seeing then in God's name I have received your whole multitude in
the person of Onesimus, whose love passeth utterance and who is
moreover your bishop [in the flesh] and I pray that ye may love him
according to Jesus Christ and that ye all may be like him; for blessed
is He that granted unto you according to your deserving to have such a

   But as touching my fellow servant Burrhus, who by the will of God is
your deacon blessed in all things, I pray that he may remain with me to
the honor of yourselves and of your bishop. Yea, and Crocus also, who
is worthy of God and of you whom I received as an ensample of the love
which ye bear me, hath relieved me in all ways--even so may the Father
of Jesus Christ refresh him--together with Onesimus and Burrhus and
Euplus and Fronto; in whom I saw you all with the eyes of love. May I
have joy of you always, if so be I an worthy of it. It is therefore
meet for you in every way to glorify Jesus Christ who glorified you;
that being perfectly joined together in one submission, submitting
yourselves to your bishop and presbytery, ye may be sanctified in all

   I do not command you, as though I were somewhat. For even though I
am in bonds for the Name's sake, I am not yet perfected in Jesus
Christ. [For] now am I beginning to be a disciple; and I speak to you
as to my school-fellows. For I ought to be trained by you for the
contest in faith, in admonition, in endurance, in long-suffering. But,
since love doth not suffer me to be silent concerning you, therefore
was I forward to exhort you, that ye run in harmony with the mind of
God: for Jesus Christ also, our inseparable life, is the mind of the
Father, even as the bishops that are settled in the farthest parts of
the earth are in the mind of Jesus Christ. 

   So then it becometh you to run in harmony with the mind of the
bishop; which thing also ye do. For your honorable presbytery, which is
worthy of God, is attuned to the bishop, even as its strings to a lyre.
Therefore in your concord and harmonious love Jesus Christ is sung. And
do ye, each and all, form yourselves into a chorus, that being
harmonious in concord and taking the key note of God ye may in unison
sing with one voice through Jesus Christ unto the Father, that He may
both hear you and acknowledge you by your good deeds to be members of
His Son. It is therefore profitable for you to be in blameless unity,
that ye may also be partakers of God always. 

   For if I in a short time had such converse with your bishop, which
was not after the manner of men but in the Spirit, how much more do I
congratulate you who are closely joined with him as the Church is with
Jesus Christ and as Jesus Christ is with the Father, that all things
may be harmonious in unity. Let no man be deceived. If any one be not
within the precinct of the altar, he lacketh the bread [of God]. For,
if the prayer of one and another hath so great force, how much more
that of the bishop and of the whole Church. Whosoever therefore cometh
not to the congregation, he doth thereby show his pride and hath
separated himself; for it is written, God resisteth the proud. Let us
therefore be careful not to resist the bishop, that by our submission
we may give ourselves to God. 

   And in proportion as a man seeth that his bishop is silent, let him
fear him the more. For every one whom the Master of the household
sendeth to be steward over His own house, we ought so to receive as Him
that sent him. Plainly therefore we ought to regard the bishop as the
Lord Himself. Now Onesimus of his own accord highly praiseth your
orderly conduct in God, for that ye all live according to truth, and
that no heresy hath a home among you: nay, ye do not so much as listen
to any one, if he speak of aught else save concerning Jesus Christ in

   For some are wont of malicious guile to hawk about the Name, while
they do certain other things unworthy of God. These men ye ought to
shun, as wild-beasts; for they are mad dogs, biting by stealth; against
whom ye ought to be on your guard, for they are hard to heal. There is
one only physician, of flesh and of spirit, generate and in- generate,
God in man, true Life in death, Son of Mary and Son of God, first
passible and then impassible, Jesus Christ our Lord. 

   Let no one therefore deceive you, as indeed ye are not deceived,
seeing that ye belong wholly to God. For when no lust is established in
you, which hath power to torment you, then truly ye live after God. I
devote myself for you, and I dedicate myself as an offering for the
church of you Ephesians which is famous unto all the ages. They that
are of the flesh cannot do the things of the Spirit, neither can they
that are of the Spirit do the things of the flesh; even as faith cannot
do the things of unfaithfulness, neither unfaithfulness the things of
the faith. Nay, even those things which ye do after the flesh are
spiritual; for ye do all things in Jesus Christ. 

   But I have learned that certain persons passed through you from
yonder, bringing evil doctrine; whom ye suffered not to sow seed in
you, for ye stopped your ears, so that ye might not receive the seed
sown by them; forasmuch as ye are stones of a temple, which were
prepared beforehand for a building of God the Father, being hoisted up
to the heights through the engine of Jesus Christ, which is the Cross,
and using for a rope the Holy Spirit; while your faith is your
windlass, and love is the way that leadeth up to God. So then ye are
all companions in the way, carrying your God and your shrine, your
Christ and your holy things, being arrayed from head to foot in the
commandments of Jesus Christ. And I too, taking part in the festivity,
am permitted by letter to bear you company and to rejoice with you,
that ye set not your love on anything after the common life of men, but
only on God. 

   And pray ye also without ceasing for the rest of mankind (for there
is in them a hope of repentance), that they may find God. Therefore
permit them to take lessons at least from your works. Against their
outbursts of wrath be ye meek; against their proud words be ye humble;
against their railings set ye your prayers; against their errors be ye
steadfast in the faith; against their fierceness be ye gentle. And be
not zealous to imitate them by requital. Let us show ourselves their
brothers by our forbearance; but let us be zealous to be imitators of
the Lord, vying with each other who shall suffer the greater wrong, who
shall be defrauded, who shall be set at nought; that no herb of the
devil be found in you: but in all purity and temperance abide ye in
Christ Jesus, with your flesh and with your spirit. 

   These are the last times. Henceforth let us have reverence; let us
fear the long-suffering of God, lest it turn into a judgment against
us. For either let us fear the wrath which is to come or let us love
the grace which now is--the one or the other; provided only that we be
found in Christ Jesus unto true life. Let nothing glitter in your eyes
apart from Him, in whom I carry about my bonds, my spiritual pearls in
which I would fain rise again through your prayer, whereof may it be my
lot to be always a partaker, that I may be found in the company of
those Christians of Ephesus who moreover were ever of one mind with the
Apostles in the power of Jesus Christ. 

   I know who I am and to whom I write. I am a convict, ye have
received mercy: I am in peril, ye are established. Ye are the high-road
of those that are on their way to die unto God. Ye are associates in
the mysteries with Paul, who was sanctified, who obtained a good
report, who is worthy of all felicitation; in whose foot-steps I would
fain be found treading, when I shall attain unto God; who in every
letter maketh mention of you in Christ Jesus. 

   Do your diligence therefore to meet together more frequently for
thanksgiving to God and for His glory. For when ye meet together
frequently, the powers of Satan are cast down; and his mischief cometh
to nought in the concord of your faith. There is nothing better than
peace, in which all warfare of things in heaven and things on earth is

   None of these things is hidden from you, if ye be perfect in your
faith and love toward Jesus Christ, for these are the beginning and end
of life--faith is the beginning and love is the end--and the two being
found in unity are God, while all things else follow in their train
unto true nobility. No man professing faith sinneth, and no man
possessing love hateth. The tree is manifest from its fruit; so they
that profess to be Christ's shall be seen through their actions. For
the Work is not a thing of profession now, but is seen then when one is
found in the power of faith unto the end. 

   It is better to keep silence and to be, than to talk and not to be.
It is a fine thing to teach, if the speaker practice. Now there is one
teacher, who spake and it came to pass: yea and even the things which
He hath done in silence are worthy of the Father. He that truly
possesseth the word of Jesus is able also to hearken unto His silence,
that he may be perfect; that through his speech he may act and through
his silence he may be known. Nothing is hidden from the Lord, but even
our secrets are nigh unto Him. Let us therefore do all things as
knowing that He dwelleth in us, to the end that we may be His temples
and He Himself may be in us as our God. This is so, and it will also be
made clear in our sight from the love which we rightly bear towards

   Be not deceived, my brethren. Corrupters of houses shall not
inherit the kingdom of God. If then they which do these things after
the flesh are put to death, how much more if a man through evil
doctrine corrupt the faith of God for which Jesus Christ was crucified.
Such a man, having defiled himself, shall go into the unquenchable
fire; and in like manner also shall he that hearkeneth unto him. 

   For this cause the Lord received ointment on His head, that He might
breathe incorruption upon the Church. Be not anointed with the ill odor
of the teaching of the prince of this world, lest he lead you captive
and rob you o the life which is set before you. And wherefore do we not
all walk prudently, receiving the knowledge of God, which is Jesus
Christ? Why perish we in our folly, not knowing the gift of grace which
the Lord hath truly sent? 

   My spirit is made an offscouring for the Cross, which is a
stumbling-block to them that are unbelievers, but to us salvation and
life eternal. Where is the wise? Where is the disputer? Where is the
boasting of them that are called prudent? For our God, Jesus the
Christ, was conceived in the womb by Mary according to a dispensation,
of the seed of David but also of the Holy Ghost; and He was born and
was baptized that by His passion He might cleanse water. 

   And hidden from the prince of this world were the virginity of Mary
and her child-bearing and likewise also the death of the Lord--three
mysteries to be cried aloud--the which were wrought in the silence of
God. How then were they made manifest to the ages? A star shone forth
in the heaven above all the stars; and its light was unutterable, and
its strangeness caused amazement; and all the rest of the
constellations with the sun and moon formed themselves into a chorus
about the star; but the star itself far outshone them all; and there
was perplexity to know whence came this strange appearance which was so
unlike them. From that time forward every sorcery and every spell was
dissolved, the ignorance of wickedness vanished away, the ancient
kingdom was pulled down, when God appeared in the likeness of man unto
newness of everlasting life; and that which had been perfected in the
counsels of God began to take effect. Thence all things were
perturbed, because the abolishing of death was taken in hand. If Jesus
Christ should count me worthy through your prayer, and it should be the
Divine will, in my second tract, which I intend to write to you, I will
further set before you the dispensation whereof I have begun to speak,
relating to the new man Jesus Christ, which consisteth in faith towards
Him and in love towards Him, in His passion and resurrection,
especially if the Lord should reveal aught to me. Assemble yourselves
together in common, every one of you severally, man by man, in grace,
in one faith and one Jesus Christ, who after the flesh was of David's
race, who is Son of Man and Son of God, to the end that ye may obey the
bishop and the presbytery without distraction of mind; breaking one
bread, which is the medicine of immortality and the antidote that we
should not die but live for ever in Jesus Christ. I am devoted to you
and to those whom for the honor of God ye sent to Smyrna; whence also I
write unto you with thanksgiving to the Lord, having love for Polycarp
as I have for you also. Remember me, even as I would that Jesus Christ
may also remember you. Pray for the church which is in Syria, whence I
am led a prisoner to Rome-- I who am the very last of the faithful
there; according as I was counted worthy to be found unto the honor of
God. Fare ye well in God the Father and in Jesus Christ our common