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Ignatius of Antioch and Polycarp of Smyrna - A New Translation and Theological Commentary

Item Number: 23536

Catalog Code: IAPS

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Ignatius of Antioch and Polycarp of Smyrna

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Ignatius of Antioch and Polycarp of Smyrna: A New Translation and Theological Commentary by Dr. Kenneth Howell

Ignatius of Antioch and Polycarp of Smyrna were two of the greatest leaders of Christianity in the first half of the second century.  Both suffered martyrdom: Ignatius in Rome during the reign of Trajan, and Polycarp in Smyrna some time in the mid-century.  The letters of Ignatius advance the teachings of Christ and the apostles on such important subjects as church unity, the Eucharist, and the governmental structure of the church.  The Martyrdom of Polycarp represents one of the earliest and most inspiring accounts of a Christian martyr that we possess.  Their combined writings provide a unique window on the faith, life and practice of Christians in the second century.  Careful reading of these writings demonstrates the unique place that the early fathers of the church hold in establishing the foundations of historic Christianity.  Their relevance for contemporary ecumenical discussions is beyond dispute.

Dr. Kenneth J. Howell is a seasoned scholar of ancient Greek whose translations of Ignatius and Polycarp are accurate, vivid, and illuminating. His commentary in the accompanying notes on each document draws out the connections between Ignatius, Polycarp, and the New Testament. The six introductory essays in this book explain the context and content of these eastern fathers in language accessible to moderns.


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St. Ignatius of Antioch

Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 10/17

Patron Of: Against Throat Diseases, Church in Eastern Mediterranean, Church in North Africa

Also known as

    17 October
    formerly 1 February

    Convert from paganism to Christianity. Succeeded Peter as bishop of Antioch, Syria. Served during persecution of Domitian. During the persecution of Trajan, he was ordered taken to Rome to be killed by wild animals. On the way, a journey which took months, he wrote a series of encouraging letters to the churches under his care. First writer to use the term the Catholic Church. Apostolic Father. Martyr. His name occurs in the "Nobis quoque peccatoribus" in the Canon of the Mass. Legend says he was the infant that Jesus took into his arms in Mark 9.

    c.50 in Syria

    thrown to wild animals c.107 at Rome; relics at Saint Peter's, Rome

    against throat diseases
    Church in eastern Mediterranean
    Church in North Africa

All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

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