of Antioch, apostolic father, author of seven letters to early Christian
congregations, and martyr.
was condemned to be martyred
by beasts at Rome
Ancient Christian stonework
The letters of Ignatius
are notable for their emphasis on the humanity of Christ in contrast to
Ignatius also expounds
the duty of Christians to follow Christ and if necessary to imitate him
in suffering and death. Ignatius presents a highly developed early understanding
of the office of bishop.
It is not clear whether these views represent those of the wider church
or not. Ignatius contends that the church cannot function without the
presence of a bishop, that the worship of the church depends on the presence
of the bishop, and that the church is to be ruled by the bishop who is
appointed by Christ himself. Ignatius wrote these letters en route
where he died as a martyr.