The best historical evidence indicates that Ignatius was appointed the third bishop of Antioch by one of the apostles (likely John) and that he was mentored by the apostle John himself. Therefore it makes sense to believe that the theology of Ignatius would be the same theology of the original apostles.
For centuries, Trinitarians have been concerned that the writings of Ignatius “sound like Modalistic Monarchianism” rather than Trinitarianism. Even modern Trinitarian scholars have identified Ignatius’ theology as “Monarchian” and “Modalistic.”
We believe that later Roman Catholics felt a need to compose forgeries and corrupt versions of Ignatius’ seven Epistles because the theology of Ignatius was clearly Modalistic rather than Trinitarian. Textual critics have proven that later Roman Catholic scribes made copies of Ignatius’ seven authentic epistles by adding Trinitarian interpolations. Textual critics know that later spurious additions were added to later copies because scholars have identified seven authentic Epistles composed by Ignatius that do not show evidence of later interpolations.
the theology of Ignatius of Antioch Ignatius is called an apostolic father because he was taught by the original apostles within the first century of the Christian Church although the historical information about Ignatius his background is somewhat vague we can be sure that Ignatius had been taught by some of the original apostles within the first century as scripture informs us that Peter and Paul had ministered in the city of Antioch in Galatians chapter 2 verses 11 through 14 historical sources within early Christian literature also inform us that both Ignatius and Polycarp had been students of the Apostle John in the 1st century this is likely the case as we know that the Apostle John had ministered throughout Asia Minor in about 190 AD clemente of alexandria wrote that the apostle john had traveled from church to church appointing bishops and here's a quote from clemente of alexandria within the 2nd century not long after Ignatius had died when John the Apostle returned to Ephesus from his exile on the island of Patmos he was invited to numerous churches he went from church to church appointing bishops strengthening the people and ordaining others who were marked out by the spirit end quote this was written by clement of alexandria in the late 2nd century Ignatius was the Bishop of Antioch within northern Syria which borders Asia Minor where the Apostle John had ministered from church to church according to Clement of Alexandria although we cannot be certain if Ignatius had been ordained as the Bishop of Antioch by Peter Paul or John as the Ark lifting accounts in later church history no respectable scholar would argue against Ignatius being ordained by one of the first century apostles and that he had heard their teachings firsthand it is therefore highly unlikely that Ignatius did not fully understand the theology of the first century apostles as he sat under their teachings Ignatius his close association with the Apostles would certainly explain why Ignatius was so highly venerated among the churches of Asia Minor and why his seven letters were copied and spread throughout the entire world since most historians and scholars agree that Ignatius was martyred under Emperor Trajan within the timeframe of about 107 to 113 AD it is very unlikely that Peter or Paul could have ordained Ignatius the 3rd Bishop of Antioch as Ignatius would have been more than 80 years old by the time of his death if Peter or Paul ordained Ignatius he would have had to be ordained in the late 50s or early 60s within the 1st century before their martyrdoms therefore I am prone to believe the historical sources pointed to Ignatius being mentored and ordained by the Apostle John would be correct the martyrdom of st. Ignatius and patriarch of Antioch says on this day the Honorable Ignatius patriarch of Antioch was martyred he was a disciple of st. John the Evangelist and traveled with him to many cities st. John ordained him patriarch of Antioch where he preached the life-giving gospel converted many to the knowledge of God baptizing them illumined them and show them the errors of worshipping idols and quote this is from the martyrdom of Ignatius which purports to be from eyewitness Christian accounts the time of ignatius death if Ignatius had been a disciple of the Apostle John and had traveled with him he would have been very familiar with John's theological beliefs Ignatius would have known the precise meaning of John 1:1 where the Apostle John wrote about the log-off's literally meaning expressed thought of God in John chapter 1 being with God along with the precise meaning of John 14 24 when Jesus said that the logos the word was not his word his lagos his express thought but the father's word the father's Lagos expressed thought jesus said the lagos the word what you hear is not mine but the fathers word John 1424 Trinitarian scholars and historians have admitted the modal istic menarche and tenancies of Ignatius of Antioch modal istic menarche nism means that God is one single monarch or ruler who operates in different modes or manifestations of his own self the famed eastern orthodox church historians arras la pelican wrote that many of the passages in ancient christian writers sound like modal istic menarche anism these are the exact words from Rasta pelicans book the emergence of the Catholic tradition volume 1 page 177 pelican wrote that many of the passages in ancient Christian writers sound like modal istic monarchism which is oneness theology then in the same paragraph page 177 of the same page pelicans cited Ignatius of Antioch and Melito of Sardis to show that their writings sounded like modal istic monarchy nism after citing Ignatius of Antioch and Melito of Sardis Pelican admitted that modal istic our cute ism turns out to have been a systemization of popular Christian belief in ancient Christian theology page 179 of the same book if Trinitarian thought had been a popular Christian belief in ancient Christian theology we can be certain that mr. pelikan would have pointed it out to us but to the contrary Pelican wrote that modal istic menorquin ISM was the popular Christian belief as the most ancient Christian theology on record these are the words from a Trinitarian Eastern Orthodox Church historian one of the most famous church historians on record Trinitarian historians such as Jay Andy Kelly and Edmund Fortman have correctly pointed out Ignatius tendency to think of the oneness of God in that the Sun and the spirit are modes of the father's self revelation a direct quote from Jay and a Kelly early Christian doctrines page 93 on the other hand Kelly and Fortman pointed out Ignatius use of the titles Father Son and Holy Spirit listed together in two occurrences within his seven authentic epistles the use of the titles Father Son and Holy Spirit listen together is not problematic for oneness pentecostals as this does not necessitate a belief in three distinct persons within the deity matthew 28:19 lists father son and holy spirit together without proving a trinity of three distinct divine persons oneness adherents believe that God the Father has manifested himself through his own Holy Spirit and that he was later manifested in the flesh as the man Christ Jesus in order to save his people from their sins according to Matthew 1:18 2:23 therefore rather than believing in three co-equal a distinct vine persons oneness adherents can affirm that Ignatius believed that the Sun and the spirit the Holy Spirit are manifestations of the father's own self revelation Catholic scholar Edmund J Fortman wrote in his book the triune God he speaking of Ignatius urges the magnesians to be eager to be confirmed in the commandments of our Lord and His apostles so that whatever you do may prosper in the son and father and spirit magnesians 13 – and in one of his most famous passages he declares Ignatius declares like the stones of a temple cut for a building of God the Father you have been lifted up to the top by the crane of Jesus Christ which is the cross and the Rope of the Holy Spirit end quote Ephesians 91 so oneness believers simply believe there's only one God the Father here who manifested himself as the man Christ Jesus and manifested himself through his own holy spirit according to Ephesians 9 1 thus although there is nothing remotely resembling a doctrine of the Trinity it Ignatius the tree attic pattern of thought is there and quote so here Catholic scholar Edmund J Fortman wrote that although there is nothing remotely resembling a doctrine of the Trinity in Ignatius the tree attic pattern of four is there and quote notice that while acknowledging the three Ness pattern of thought it Ignatius mr. Fortman still acknowledged that there is nothing remotely resembling a doctrine of the Trinity in Ignatius and quote this speaks volumes this is very remarkable how a Trinitarian historian and scholar by the name of Edmund Fortman stated that there nothing even remotely resembling a doctrine of the Trinity and Ignatius because mr. Fortman knew that Ignatius did not teach a Trinitarian doctrine he taught a three Ness to God just like oneness Pentecostals do today he taught a modal istic monarchy and theology there's only one true God the Father who has manifested himself in the flesh as Jesus Christ and through his own Holy Spirit Ignatius his use of the titles Father Son and Holy Spirit does not even remotely resemble a doctrine of the Trinity according to mr. Fortman if Ignatius was a true Trinitarian why is there nothing remotely resembling a doctrine of the Trinity in his writings according to historians Kelly and Luke's the only alternative view describing Ignatius theology is that the Son and the Spirit are merely forms or modes of the father's self revelation and quote so here we find that Kelly and German historian loops describe the theological teaching of Ignatius that the Son and the Spirit are merely forms or modes of the father's self revelation which was clearly the mode allistic Monacan view held by the majority of the earliest Christians within the first 300 years of the Christian era Tertullian and against praxis chapter 3 affirmed that the modal list were always the majority of the faithful in the West while origins commentary of the Gospel of John book 1 chapter 23 affirms that the monist were the general run of Christians in the East so here we have in the early third century into the mid 3rd century we find from around 200 ad to about 250 AD we find that they that always made up the majority of the faithful Christians in the West were modeless they ejected sir Chileans economic idea of a Trinity which was not a co-equal Trinity it was a different Trinity it wasn't the same as trinitarianism today and in the East origin in Alexandria Egypt and later on in Caesarea he wrote that the Mullis were always the general run of Christians in the East that means that the majority of the Christians in the early Christian church in the third century were mola stickmen archaeans Trinitarian church historian J&D Kelly accurately described the theology of Ignatius when he wrote and I quote he speaks of God the Father and Jesus Christ declaring that there is one God who has revealed himself through His Son Jesus Christ who is his word in context who is the father's word emerging from Silence magnesians a-two and then Kelly goes on to write Christ is the father's thought Ephesians three to the on lying mouth by which the father spoke truly at these three to Romans 8:2 so Jay Andy Kelly was actually citing different passages within the writings of Ignatius of Antioch mr. Kelly succinctly described the theology of Ignatius from the following passage within the writings of Ignatius magnesians 8/2 says there is one God who manifested himself through Jesus Christ his son who is his word that proceeded from silence and quote the context proves that the one God the Father manifested himself through Jesus Christ his son who is his word according to Ignatius the son is the father's word rather than a co-equal word person the text does not state that a God the Son manifested himself as an alleged distinct God the word person called the son but rather one God the Father was manifest in the flesh through his word that proceeded from silence we find a 1/2 million that God was manifest the flesh according to Ignatius the God who was manifest in the flesh was the father the father's own word that proceeded from the silence not another god person and again in Ephesians 3 – Ignatius wrote run in harmony with the mind of God for Jesus Christ also our inseparable life is the mind of the Father so according to Ignatius Jesus Christ is the mind of God the Father how could Jesus be the mind of the father while being a co-equal god person could an alleged god the son have been mindless not having his own divine mind while truly being co-equal certainly not if the son is the mind of the father then that makes him the father's log-off's the father's expressed thought as an extension of the father himself revealed God manifest in the flesh as the arm of Yahweh himself revealed the original word order in John 1:1 says in the beginning was the word the logos and the word the logos was with God and God was the word this is the exact word order found in the Greek text not in the beginning was word the Word was with God the Word was God no and God was the word the Greek word logoff simply means the expressed thought of someone according to the Apostle John the lagos is the expressed thought of God which would naturally be the expressed mind or thought of God the Father himself since there are early Christian sources of firming that Ignatius was taught and mentored by the Apostle John himself it is easy to see how Ignatius knew the correct meaning of the logos the word in John 1:1 as Jesus Christ being the mind of the Father and the word of the Father himself according to Romans 8:2 Ignatius wrote Jesus Christ the unerring mouth in whom the father has spoken end quote Jesus said in John 14 24 the word the Greek is Lagos the Lagos what you hear is not mine but the fathers who sent me so according to Jesus Christ he didn't have his own Lagos now if he didn't have his own log-off's he can't be a distinct Lagos person he said that the Lagos which he spoke was not his but he is speaking the expressed thought the father's thought according to John 14 24 not his own divine thought as a divine co-equal godless son but he did not have his own thought he didn't have his own expressed thought as another distinct god person he spoke the Express law of the Father which proves that the law goes in John 1:1 is not a distinct god the son person but the expressed thought of the father himself which is revealed in Jesus Christ God manifest in the flesh as the image of the invisible God the Father himself Kelly goes on to mirror German historian Friedrich Luke's assessment of Ignatius of Antioch as a modal estoy writing and I quote Ignatius regarded God as an undifferentiated monad in his essential being the Son and the Spirit being merely forms or modes of the father's self revelation only distinguishable from him in the process of Revelation end quote now I hope our audience will look at this because here we have J and E Kelly referencing or citing the German historian Friedrich loose to prove that Ignatius regarded God as an undifferentiated monad in his essential being the Son and the Spirit being merely forms or modes of the father's self-revelation only distinguishable from him in the process of revelation and quote this is a perfect description of Mo allistic monarchy nism merriam-webster's succinctly defined mole ism as three modes or forms of activity the Father Son and Holy Spirit under which God manifests himself and quote menorquin ism simply means a belief in one ruler one monarch monarch comes from mono meaning one an ark meaning ruler hence mode allistic menorquin ism is the belief in God as one monarch one ruler who has manifested himself in three modes of activity if Luke's and Kelly's description of Ignatius theology does not sound like modalism I don't know what else does loose and Kelly admitted that Ignatius and the early Christians of Asia Minor who were taught by the original apostles believed in God as an undifferentiated monad monad meaning a single unit or a single entity in his being as the Son and the spirit were to them merely modes of the father's self revelation and quote therefore even Trinitarian historians describe the theology of Ignatius with vocabulary that perfectly fits with the definition of modal istic menorquin ISM why would Trinitarian scholars state that Ignatius believed that the Sun and the spirit were merely modes of the father's self revelation if Ignatius was a true Trinitarian as an honest historian Kelly and also Luce had to admit Ignatius taught that the Son and the Spirit are manifestations of the self revealing father the Vita's 8 2 says for our God Jesus the Christ was conceived in the womb of Mary according to the dispensation of the seed of David but also of the holy spirit the fees is a two in a moderate translation is much easier for us to understand it says for our God Jesus Christ was conceived by Mary according to God's plan both from the seed of David and from the holy spirit and quote Ignatius clearly believed that the humanity of Jesus Christ was of the seed of David from Mary while the divinity of Jesus Christ was of the Holy Spirit matthew 1:20 says that the child which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit therefore Ignatius believed that the Holy Spirit is the divine nature of the son from which he claimed divinity whilst the same omnipresent Holy Spirit is the divinity who fathered the son Ignatius further claimed that the Holy Spirit is the same divine person who is Jesus Christ and I quote from magnesians 15 one written by Ignatius of Antioch Ignatius claim that the Holy Spirit is the same divine person who is Jesus Christ very well in the Harmony of God you who have obtained the inseparable spirit who is Jesus Christ the inseparable spirit who is Jesus Christ and quote according to Ignatius the inseparable spirit is Jesus Christ just as Paul contextually wrote in his second epistle to the Corinthians Christ Jesus the Lord in 2 Corinthians 4:5 and the Lord is the spirit in 2 Corinthians 3:17 so Paul wrote that Christ Jesus is the Lord and the Lord is the spirit so Ignatius faithfully followed the theology of the Apostles by writing the inseparable spirit who is Jesus Christ early first in 2nd century Christian writers often spoke of the Holy Spirit as the spirit who became the son the Virgin because this is precisely what the first century Apostles had taught them in all the churches churches story and Jerusalem Pelican observed that the earliest Christian witness believed that the Lord Jesus Christ is the indwelling Holy Spirit and I'm quoting from Jerusalem pelicans book the emergence of the Catholic tradition page 185 and I quote the use of the Lord for the Spirit in 2 Corinthians 3:17 continue to require explanation even after the Trinitarian issue appeared to have been settled then in the next paragraph on page 185 pelican writes Christ is constantly described as spirit by the father's the early Christian fathers in virtue of his divine nature the use of spirit for the divine in Christ was prominent in those early Christian writings would still show the marks of the Jewish origins of Christianity end quote so here we find that according to pelicans observation and he read all the writings of church history that have survived Pelican actually stated that the earliest Christians spoke of the spirit of god as the divinity of Christ they constantly described the spirit as the divine nature that was in Christ so therefore the early Christians were not Trinitarians because Trinitarians believed that the Holy Spirit is not the Son and the son is not the Holy Spirit but the early Christians identified the Holy Spirit as the divinity in Jesus Christ again I quote from Pelican the use of spirit for the divine in Christ was prominent in those early Christian writings would still show the marks of Jewish origins of Christianity church historian Jay Andy Kelly further went on to write Ignatius even declared that he is our God describing as God incarnate and God made manifest as a man he was in spirit United with the father in his pre-existing being in generate the technical term reserved to distinguish that in create God from creatures he was the timeless invisible impalpable impassable one who for our sakes entered time and became visible palpable and passable his divine sonship dates from the Incarnation and quote here we have Trinitarian church historian J Andy Kelly writing that the divine sonship according to Ignatius was dated from the Incarnation in other words the son wasn't called the Sun until the Incarnation actually occurred this is not trinitarianism at all Ignatius taught oneness modalism Kelly accurately described Ignatius his belief that the timeless and in create invisible spirit of God enter time to become subject to sufferings through his sonship which dates from the Incarnation the Incarnation meaning when the Sun was formed in the Virgin Mary conceived by the Virgin in the Virgin in other words although Ignatius believe that the sonship was dated to the Incarnation to the Virgin having a beginning in time he believed that the timeless eternal Spirit of God became the divine son only in the Incarnation not before the Incarnation but in the Incarnation became the Sun hence Ignatius did not believe in a timeless God the son of a three-person deity Ignatius theology was clearly modal istic as the one spirit of the one God became incarnate as the son in the Incarnation Kelley clearly described Ignatius theology as mode allistic rather than Trinitarian when he wrote and I quote the father was not limited to his earthly sojourn such as the formula of greeting and farewell affixed to the letters and Ignatius his request to his correspondents to address their prayers to Jesus Christ but the only hint he gives of the nature of the distinction within the unity of the Divine Spirit is that Christ is the fathers fought end quote from J Andy Kelly early Christian doctrines page 93 how could a co-equal God the Son be the father's thought while still being coeval there can be no doubt that Ignatius held a oneness mode allistic monarchy and conception of God which even some Trinitarian historians and theologians have pointed out Trinitarian theologian Virginia Corwin stated that Ignatius of Antioch was a monarch in rather than a Trinitarian she said if one term must be chosen to indicate the tenancy of his thought Ignatius must be said to be monarch Ian and quote church historians Kelly and loops concur in their description of the simple theology of Ignatius and of the early 2nd century Christians of Asia Minor who esteemed Ignatius as one of their greatest leaders it would be impossible for nations to be their great leader among the churches of Asia Minor and they didn't believe the same theologian Ignatius that's ridiculous if they received Ignatius they believed his writings which were clearly modal istic in nature then they must have believed the same theology the Apostle John had died only about a decade before Ignatius wrote his seven epistles therefore it is most probable that Ignatius was repeating the simple theological teachings that he had received from the first century apostles themselves such as the Apostle John who had just died about ten years earlier and who had taught and mentored Ignatius of Antioch himself hence the earliest Christian witness indicates that the first century Christians believed that God exists as an undifferentiated monad a single entity and that the Son and the Spirit are merely modes of the father's self revelation Trinitarians often cite Ignatius to the magnesian 6 to show that Jesus was with the father before all ages however Ignatius had taught that Jesus was with the father as the word the log-off's the expressed thought of the Father so Jesus could have been with the father before all ages in God's expressed thought in his mind and plan which is the meaning of the Greek word log-off's so according to Ignatius of Antioch Jesus was the thought of the father Jesus was the mind of the father he was the law Gauss of the Father not another distinct divine person but a manifestation of the father himself which God had for known before the creation of the world Archbishop wake translated the Greek text of magnesian 6 identifying Jesus as the father before all ages who appeared in the end for us it says according to mr. wakes translation Jesus Christ who was the father before all ages and appeared in the end to us so I suspect there might be a variant reading in the Greek text and perhaps this was the original intent of the writings of Ignatius Jesus Christ he could have thought of as being the father before all ages and appear in the end for us if with the father before all ages is correct Jesus can be said to be with the father within the eternal log-off's or mind and thought of the father in John 17:5 with is translated from Greek Pera in the dative case Thayer says that this indicates that something is or is done either in the immediate vicinity of someone or metaphorically in his mind and quote Jesus Christ could be said to be with the father in God's prophetic mind and plan before the creation of the world that certainly fits with 1 Peter 1:20 that Christ was formed known before the creation of the world but was manifest in these last days for us so the son as the man Christ Jesus was foreknown but Ignatius certainly taught that he who was foreknown was also the mighty God the God who was first invisible who for our sakes became visible Ignatius wrote to the Ephesians 1:3 Jesus Christ our inseparable life is the mind of the Father how could a person's mind be another person beside himself if Jesus is the mind of the Father he must be an extension of that father for how could the father exist without his own mind Ignatius personally knew the Apostle John and heard his teachings which confirms that the log-off's in John 1:1 is not spoken of as a pre Incarnate son but as a son who was already conceived in the mind and plan of God the Father before the ages of humanity began in time the testimony of the earliest Christian witness was clearly modal istic Manoukian Ignatius repeatedly called Jesus God without once mentioning him as an alleged god the son in fact no early Christian writers used the words eternal son or eternally begotten son during the first 200 years of Christian history Ignatius of Antioch wrote in Polycarp 3 to look for him who is above time the timeless the invisible who for our sake became visible the impassable who became subject to sufferings on our account and for our sake endured everything end quote Ignatius who was taught by the original Apostles wrote that the God who became visible was first invisible before his birth Trinitarians often affirmed that the Sun was visible as one of the angels of Yahweh or Christ dolphinese in the Hebrew Scriptures while the father was invisible but to Ignatius and the earliest Christian witness the only invisible God later became the visible son who was subject to sufferings on our account after the Incarnation Ignatius wrote to the Ephesian Christians God appeared in the likeness of man unto the newness of everlasting life and that which had been perfected in the counsels of God began to take effect and quote the Roberts Donaldson translation of Ignatius to the Ephesians 19 3 expands on the nuances of meaning from the Greek text God Himself being manifested in human form for the renewal of eternal life and now that took a beginning which had been prepared by God and quote Jesus 19 3 Ignatius wrote God appeared God manifested himself in the likeness of man in human form and that which had been perfected in the counsels of God or had been prepared by God began to take effect or took a beginning according to Robert's and Donaldson Ignatius first identified Jesus as God who appeared as a man in human form before he identified the human aspect of his existence as that which had been perfected in the counsels of God which later began to take effect the Greek text indicates that Jesus as a human child born and son given was a that which took a beginning 1 John 1:1 who was made in the councils of God while the God who manifests himself in human form has always existed as the one who is not made that explains why Ignatius wrote that Jesus the Christ has always existed as the invisible God but had took a beginning by his beginning in the incarnation Ignatius wrote to the Ephesians there is one physician who has possessed both the flesh and spirit both made created and not made not created God existing in the flesh true life in death both of Mary both from humanity and of God from divinity first passable and then impassable even Jesus Christ our Lord Ephesians 7 to ignite the Son of God was made or created as man but was not made not created as God for God as God is not made nor does God as God have a beginning for Ignatius taught that the son was of that which had been perfected in the counsels of God before taking on a beginning by his beginning Lightfoot's translation sheds more light on the nuances of the Greek text in Ephesians 7 – and I quote there is only one position of flesh and of spirit generate' created and in generate' uncreated God in man true life and death son of Mary and son of God first passable capable of feeling or suffering and then impassable incapable of suffering pain Jesus Christ our Lord Ignatius was no trinitarian he believed that the son of God the Messiah was an impersonal VAT which took a beginning he described the word the logos as an impersonal VAT which had been perfected in the counsels of God before it received a beginning as the child born and son given so therefore the word that proves that the son was an impersonal that as far as his humanity the Sun as the Sun had a beginning according to Ignatius Ignatius described the word as an impersonal VAT which had been perfected in the councils or the plans of God before that received a beginning as the child born and as the son given the Apostle John did the same thing in 1st John 1:1 when he opened his first epistle by saying that which was from the beginning rather than a he who was from the beginning here we can see the influence of the Apostle John upon the teaching and theology of Ignatius therefore the son is the man who is new while the God who was manifest in the flesh as a man has always existed as the great I am before being made manifested in the flesh as a human son Ignatius personally knew Peter Paul and John and was an eyewitness to their teachings therefore the testimony of the earliest Christian witness proves that the law goss in John 1:1 is not spoken of as a literal preincarnate distinct god the son person for the child born and the son given who was conceived in the mind and thought of the father before the foundation of the world could not have literally existed as a son before being four known before the creation of the world 1 Peter 1:20 Ignatius and the earliest Christians clearly taught that the God who became the child born and the son given is the same mighty God and everlasting father of eternity past Isaiah 9:6 says unto us a child is born unto us a son is given and his name shall be called wonderful counselor mighty God everlasting father it's a piece for more videos like this one subscribe to our YouTube channel or visit us on the web at apostolic Christian faith calm or blessed you