Matt Slick of CARM cited Forged Writings of Ignatius

 

The CARM Trinitarian apologetic website posted two non-authentic writings, falsely attributed to Ignatius of Antioch to make people think he was a Trinitarian.

 

Ignatius of Antioch who lived in the first century and was taught by the apostles, wrote to Polycarp 3:2,


"Look for Him who is above time - the Timeless, the Invisible, who for our sake became visible, the Impassible, who became subject to suffering on our account and for our sake endured everything." Notice that Ignatius wrote that the God who became visible in the incarnation was first “invisible” before his birth. This sheds light on Paul’s meaning of Christ Jesus existing in the form of God in Philippians 2:6. Jesus had existed in the visible form of God on the earth, but before becoming visible, He was first invisible. Thus proving that Jesus could not have eternally existed in an alleged visible form of God before his birth.

 

Trinitarians do greatly err by alleging that the Son could be seen in the OT but the Father could not be seen. Yet Ignatius of Antioch wrote that the God who became incarnate was first “INVISIBLE, who for our sake became VISIBLE.” Therefore Ignatius believed that the only invisible Father became the visible Son who was “subject to suffering on our account.”

 

Ignatius, the Bishop of Antioch in Asia Minor (A.D. 67-117) - Ignatius was appointed the Bishop of Antioch by the apostle Peter himself in about A.D. 67. Ignatius taught the full deity of Christ without adding any of the later Trinitarian terminology.

 

Church history says that Ignatius was one of the children that Jesus blessed in Mark 9:35 and was personally taught by Peter and John. Hence, Ignatius was likely a Jew who personally heard the apostles teach at Antioch where he became a Bishop.

Ignatius wrote to the Ephesians 1:3 "Jesus Christ our inseparable life, is the mind of the Father."


“... God appeared in the likeness of man unto the newness of everlasting life.” Ignatius to the Ephesians 19:3

“There is one only Physician, of flesh and of spirit, generate [created] and ingenerate [uncreated], GOD IN MAN, true life in death, Son of Mary and Son of God, first passible [capable of feeling or suffering] and then impassible [incapable of suffering pain], Jesus Christ our Lord.” Ignatius to the Ephesians 7:2 


Ignatius taught that Jesus was generated [created] as the Son of God. How could the Son be eternal if he was created? Ignatius also revealed the identity of the One who became flesh by also stating that as God He was also ingenerate [uncreated] as the pre-existent Spirit of God who fills heaven and earth. After the Son was created (made of a woman) he was first passible [capable of suffering pain] but after his resurrection He returned to His original impassible state [incapable of suffering pain]. Ignatius was taught and mentored by the Apostle John himself so it is likely that the teachings of Ignatius are identical with the teachings of the original apostles.

 

Archbishop Wake translated Vossius' 1646 Greek text of Magnesians 6 in a VERY MODALISTIC FASHION:

"Jesus Christ, who was the Father before all ages, and appeared in the end to us." (The Lost Books of the Bible and the Forgotten Books of Eden, 173). If "with the Father before the beginning of time" is correct, Jesus can be said to be with the Father within the eternal Logos or Mind of the Father. In John 17:5 "With" translated from Greek is "PARA" in the dative case. Thayer says that this "indicates that something is or is done either in the immediate vicinity of someone, or (metaph) in his mind." (Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, 477).

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 Him? If Jesus is the Mind of the Father, He must be that Father. For how could the Father exist without His own mind?

Ignatius personally knew the apostle John and heard his teachings which proves that the logos in John 1:1 is not spoken of as a literal pre-incarnate Son but as a Son who was already conceived in the mind (logos) of the Father.CATHOLIC TRINITARIANS LATER INTERPOLATED TEXTS INTO THE WRITINGS OF IGNATIUS

 

Most reputable scholars admit that there are seven authentic epistles of Ignatius (the 7 authentic epistles are called the shorter versions), while the longer versions are considered non-authentic because they contain later Trinitarian interpolations. Oneness apologists point out that later Roman Catholic Trinitarians must have felt a need to add some Trinitarian texts to the writings of Ignatius to make him sound Trinitarian. Oneness apologists affirm that it would be nonsensical for Trinitarians to add Trinitarian texts to the writings of Ignatius if the Trinitarian interpolators were not concerned about the writings of Ignatius sounding to Modalistic. 

 

It is shameful to see so many unscholarly Trinitarians who have posted some of the eight forged epistles attributed to Ignatius, along with texts from the longer interpolated versions of Ignatius’ Epistles on Trinitarian websites to try to make people think Ignatius was a Trinitarian. Trinitarian apologetic ministries such as CARM have posted a known spurious end portion of the Martyrdom of Ignatius along with a longer interpolated version of Ignatius’ Epistle to try to make Ignatius look like a Trinitarian.

 

Under the heading, “Early Trinitarian Quotes, by Matt Slick”, CARM posted the words of a later Roman Catholic prayer under the spurious belief that Ignatius had appeared in a vision after his martyrdom. It turns out that Matt Slick cited the spurious portion of the manuscript entitled “The Martyrdom of Ignatius” which could not have been written by Ignatius. For Ignatius could not have written or prayed the words in the quote used by CARM, as he had already suffered martyrdom.

 

Although most scholars agree that the last portion of the Martyrdom of Ignatius is a forgery, CARM posted the forged prayer of later Roman Catholics anyway to make people think that Ignatius was a Trinitarian. Here is the quote that Mr. Slick falsely attributed to Ignatius.

"In Christ Jesus our Lord, by whom and with whom be glory and power to the Father with the Holy Spirit forever" (n. 7; PG 5.988).

 

The source of the quote is from “The Martyrdom of Ignatius.” The introductory notes to the Martyrdom of Ignatius in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume I,” Pages 127-128 states,

“… the weightiest objection is found in the fact that no reference to this narrative is to be traced during the first six centuries of our era. This is certainly a very suspicious circumstance, and may well give rise to some hesitation in ascribing the authorship to the immediate companions and friends of Ignatius.” (Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume I., Page 127)

 

“Some critics, such as Usher and Grabe, have reckoned the latter part of the narrative spurious …” (Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume I., Pages 128) St

 

Even scholars Usher and Grabe who believed that the first six chapters of the Martyrdom of Ignatius appear authentic, went on to state that the “latter portion of the narrative (chapter 7)” is “spurious.”

 

Mr. Matt Slick conveniently posted the “latter portion” (chapter 7) of the Martyrdom of Ignatius which most reputable scholars unanimously believe to be spurious. Here is the spurious quote taken from the Martyrdom of Ignatius which appears at the very end of the document.

 

Martyrdom of Ignatius Chapter 7, Ignatius appears in a vision after his death.

 

“Now these things took place on the seventeenth day of November (the Orthodox Churches celebrate his martyrdom on the twentieth of December), Sura and Senecio being then the consuls of the Romans for the second time. Having ourselves been eye-witnesses of these things, and having spent the whole night in tears within the house, and having entreated the Lord, with bended knees and much prayer, that He would give us weak men, full assurance respecting the things which were done, it came to pass, on our falling into a brief slumber, that some of us saw the blessed Ignatius suddenly standing by us and embracing us, while others beheld him again praying for us, and others still saw him dropping with sweat, as if he had just come from his great labor, and standing by the Lord. When, therefore, we had with great joy witnessed these things, and had compared our several visions together, we sang praise to God, the giver of all good things, and expressed our sense of the happiness of the holy martyr; and now we have made known to you both the day and the time when these things happened, that, assembling ourselves together according to the time of his martyrdom, we may have fellowship with the champion and noble martyr of Christ, who trod underfoot the devil, and perfected the course which, out of love to Christ, he had desired, in Christ Jesus our Lord; by whom, and with whom, be glory and power to the Father, with the Holy Spirit, forevermore!”

(Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol I: IGNATIUS: Chapter VII, Page 131)

 

Here we can clearly see that Matt Slick posted the same forged last portion of the Martyrdom of Ignatius (chapter 7).

 

"In Christ Jesus our Lord, by whom and with whom be glory and power to the Father with the Holy Spirit forever" (n. 7; PG 5.988).

 

Anyone can see that Mr. Slick posted a latter Roman Catholic prayer of those who “assembled” themselves “together according to the time of his martyrdom” in order to “have fellowship with the champion and noble martyr of Christ.” Does Matt Slick also believe that we are to assemble ourselves “according to the time” of Ignatius’ martyrdom to “have fellowship with” the departed saint? 

 

Matt Slick posted, “Ignatius of Antioch (died 98/117).  Bishop of Antioch.  He wrote much in defense of Christianity.” Then Mr. Slick (an appropriate name for him), attributed the words of an interpolated Roman Catholic prayer that did not appear in any known source for about 500 years after the Martyrdom of Ignatius was allegedly written. Yet Mr. Slick attributed the quote to Ignatius.

 

The Trinitarian apologetic ministry known as CARM should take down this known spurious version of the Martyrdom of Ignatius in which later Roman Catholics expressed their desire to “have fellowship” with the martyred saint.

 

The very next alleged quote from Ignatius posted on the CARM website was not written by Ignatius either. Mr. Slick apparently does not know the difference between the recognized authentic seven letters of Ignatius from the non-authentic longer versions which are filled with later Trinitarian and Arian interpolations.

 

Anyone can go to earlychristianwritings.com and view Roberts and Donaldson’s translation of Ignatius to the Ephesians in which the translators expose the added interpolated longer versions from the non-interpolated shorter versions. The shorter versions are recognized by reputable scholars as being the authentic epistles of Ignatius, while the longer versions contain the known interpolated additions.

 

CARM POSTED “Early Trinitarian Quotes By Matt Slick,” “Ignatius of Antioch (died 98/117). Bishop of Antioch. He wrote much in defense of Christianity.” Then Mr. Slick cited this non-authentic version of Ignatius to the Ephesians chapter 7 highlighted in yellow.

 

THE NON-AUTHENTIC LONGER VERSION OF IGNTIUS CHAPTER 7

 

“But some most worthless persons are in the habit of carrying about the name [of Jesus Christ] in wicked guile, while yet they practice things unworthy of God, and hold opinions contrary to the doctrine of Christ, to their own destruction, and that of those who give credit to them, whom you must avoid as ye would wild beasts. For "the righteous man who avoids them is saved for ever; but the destruction of the ungodly is sudden, and a subject of rejoicing." For "they are dumb dogs, that cannot bark," raving mad, and biting secretly, against whom ye must be on your guard, since they labour under an incurable disease. But our Physician is the only true God, the unbegotten and unapproachable, the Lord of all, the Father and Begetter of the only-begotten Son. We have also as a Physician the Lord our God Jesus the Christ the only-begotten Son and Word, before time began, but who afterwards became also man, of Mary the virgin.  For ‘the Word was made flesh.' Being incorporeal, He was in the body; being impassible, He was in a passable body; being immortal, He was in a mortal body; being life, He became subject to corruption, that He might free our souls from death and corruption, and heal them, and might restore them to health, when they were diseased with ungodliness and wicked lusts."

 

THE COMPLETE AUTHENTIC EPISTLE OF IGNATIUS CHAPTER 7

 

“For some are in the habit of carrying about the name [of Jesus Christ] in wicked guile, while yet they practice things unworthy of God, whom ye must flee as ye would wild beasts. For they are ravening dogs, who bite secretly, against whom ye must be on your guard, inasmuch as they are men who can scarcely be cured. There is one Physician who is possessed both of flesh and spirit; both made and not made; God existing in flesh; true life in death; both of Mary and of God; first passible and then impassible, - even Jesus Christ our Lord.”

 

Anyone can clearly see that Mr. Slick cited the corrupted version of Ignatius to the Ephesians and not the authentic version. Other eager Trinitarians have copied and pasted the same forged words appearing on the CARM website all over the internet, causing many to be deceived.  I certainly hope that Matt Slick and others who have copied and pasted this spurious information will have the integrity to take down these spurious quotes which were never written by Ignatius of Antioch. This is just the proverbial drop in the bucket, as I am exposing much more of this kind of poor scholarship in videos, articles, and in my new hard copy book I am currently working on.

 

Trinitarian Church historian, J. N. D. Kelly, accurately described the theology of Ignatius when he wrote,

“… 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 emerging from silence (Magnesians 8:2)'. Christ is the Father's 'thought' (gnome – Ephesians 3:2), 'the un-lying mouth by which the Father spoke truly'(Ephesians 3:2; Romans 8:2).” (JND Kelly Early Christian Doctrines, Pg. 92)

 

“... there is one God who manifested Himself through Jesus Christ His Son, who is His Word that proceeded from silence ...” (Magnesians 8:2, J.B. Lightfoot).

 

The context proves that 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 coequal 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 manifested in the flesh” (1 Tim. 3:16) through “His Word that proceeded from silence.”

 

“… run in harmony with the mind of God: for Jesus Christ also, our inseparable life, is the mind of the Father …” (Ephesians 3:2, J.B. Lightfoot)

 

How could Jesus be “the mind of the Father” while being a coequal God Person? Could an alleged God the Son have been mindless, not having His own divine mind? If the Son is “the mind of the Father,” then that makes Him the Father’s Logos (the Father’s “expressed thought”) as an extension of the Father Himself revealed (“the arm of Yahweh” - Isaiah 53:1).

 

The original word order of John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the word (logos) and the word (logos) was with God, and God was the word (logos).” The Greek word “logos” simply means the “expressed thought” of someone. According to the apostle John, the “logos” 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 affirming 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 in John 1:1 as “Jesus Christ” being “the mind of the Father” and the word of the Father Himself (John 14:24 “the logos (word) which you hear IS NOT MINE, BUT THE FATHER’S”).

 

Ignatius further claimed that the Holy Spirit is the same divine person “who is Jesus Christ.”

“Fare ye well in the harmony of God, ye who have obtained the inseparable Spirit, who is Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 3:17; Romans 8:9; John 14:16-18).” (Magnesians 15:1, Roberts-Donaldson Translation)


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 (2 Cor. 4:5)” and “the Lord is the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:17),” so Ignatius faithfully followed the theology of the Apostles by writing, “the inseparable Spirit, who is Jesus Christ.” Early first and second century Christian writers often spoke of the Holy Spirit as the Spirit who became the Son through the virgin (Hermas, Clement, Mathetes, Aristides, Irenaeus, Melito) because this is precisely what the first century apostles had taught in all the churches.

 

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