The Early Church Ignatius of Antioch
(c. 35 - c. 107)
The Early Church

Bishop of Antioch, apostolic father, author of seven letters to early Christian congregations, and martyr.

Ignatius 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 Docetism. 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 from Antioch to Rome where he died as a martyr.

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