Are the letters of Ignatius genuine?

 
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STEVE7150



Joined: 19 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:10 am    Post subject: Are the letters of Ignatius genuine? Reply with quote

There are 15 letters from Ignatius but only seven are generally considered genuine by scholars although some even consider all 15 as frauds. I was watching EWTN a RCC channel and they were interviewing a fellow who converted from being with the Assemblies of God to Catholicism. One of the reasons he gave was the content of Ignatius's letters which strongly support the power and authority of bishops over the congregation plus he suggests the eucharist to be the real body and blood of Christ. What seems to give credence to Ignatius is that he probably knew John the Apostle so therefore you can conclude that Ignatius received his understanding from John.
So is anyone familar with Ignatius's letters with regards to their authenticity and credibility because his letters are considered almost gospel by the RCC, yet they seem to contradict the NT with regards to the structure of the church.
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Allyn



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doesn't it just boggle the mind how people choose bondage over freedom?
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STEVE7150



Joined: 19 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Allyn, I guess what you and i see as bondage others see as structure and certainty, after all God made us all unique.
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Paidion



Joined: 25 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have read some of the letters of Ignatius. There is both a shorter and longer recension of each letter considered by some as genuine.

Although I think Ignatius wrote these letters, I think they were heavily interpolated by later writers. They make an elder-overseer distinction, which the NT does not, and ask the churches to whom they were written to do all things the overseer commands, and to regard him as they would Jesus Christ Himself.

I wish we had the genuine words of such an early writer, but unhappily, although there is much good instruction in the extant writings of Ignatius, there seems to be so much interpolation, that I think we cannot make any firm decisions from it concerning Christian practice and belief as it was in his day.
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STEVE7150



Joined: 19 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If we deny that episcopal government has an apostolic origin, I think we have a historical dilemna that goes beyond whether we have Ignatius' epistles or not.

Thanks for your response, but the idea of episcopal government is really not found in the NT as far as i know so should the structure of the church go beyond the NT guideline?
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Paidion



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Dean that the overseers (literal meaning of "episkopos") governed the CHURCH from the beginning. The CHURCH never had a democratic expression in the early days.

1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in expression and teaching;

Where the writings ascribed to Ignatius swerve from the early practice was to consider elders and overseers as two separate positions in the church. The early church and the NT writers do not distinguish the two.
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