Patristics Revision Essay example

Submitted By wskol87
Words: 3285
Pages: 14


• ‘Bishop’ of Syria/Antioch – writing to various churches on way to martyrdom in Rome

• Lightfoot-Zahn middle rescension (recently argued by A. Brent)

• Cause of arrest

o External persecution?

o Harrison: internal strife flowing from attempt to impose 3-fold order

▪ Peace = unity restored under orthodox bishop

o Eager for martyrdom – only way out would be apostasy

• Heretics

o Proto-Gnostic influences

o Molland: docetists claiming OT support (hence Judaisers)

o Marshall: soft Judaising to avoid persecution

• Source of Episcopal office

o Brent: secular political background to ‘concord’ (homonoia)

o Bauer: desperate struggle against heterodox majority -> authoritarian bishop

o Clement of Rome: John from Patmos, organising churches, setting up bishops

o So Ignatius seeks to normalise + maximise bishop’s role beyond NT

• Qualifications compared to later developments

o Ministry still collegial

o No use of apostolic succession (unlike Clement of Rome)

o No comparison with OT priesthood

o Bishop’s authenticity: chosen by God (not laying on of hands)

o Not primacy of Rome

▪ ‘Presiding over love’ – flatters them to stop them preventing his martyrdom

o Minister of word and sacraments, and pastor of local congregation

▪ Polycarp: exhortation to salvation, constant prayer, firm against error, preaching on pertinent moral issues

o Authority resides in gospel (even more than OT Scriptures) and God

• Typology

o Respect bishop – God the Father; deacons – Jesus; presbyters – council of God, band of apostles (preaching office)

o Obedience: laity to bishop and presbyters; never tells presbyters to obey bishop

• Church unity: submission to bishop (& presbyters)

o Flows from obedience to God = submission to bishop in everything

o Participation in unity is prerequisite for salvation

o Repentance – coming under rule of bishop

o Meeting frequently (powers of Satan broken)

o Jesus is model of unity: he did nothing without the Father

o Bishop’s role almost mediatorial – danger of OT priesthood

o Represents congregation to others

o Bishop has fundamental role in defining church: unity, extent and character

• Catholic church (first use of this term)

o Wherever Jesus is

o Focus on local congregations linked not by structures but by bonds of friendship

• Christology

o Knows Matt, 1 Cor and perhaps Eph, John, as well as Gospel of Peter (non-canonical)

o Pre-existence

▪ He is God and Lord (Smyr 1), but perhaps adopted?

▪ ‘by’ (para) the Father before the ages Magn 6 cf Prov 8:30

▪ Distinguished from Spirit (Magn 13), but inseparable (Magn 15)

▪ Does not cite OT theophanies as proof of Christ’s pre-incarnate ministry

• Therefore pre-dates Marcion

▪ ‘Archives’ of Christ’s teaching are accounts of his life (little use of OT)

o “Son of man and Son of God” (Eph 20:2)

▪ Truly born of a virgin as a man (Smyr 1 cf Matthew), contra Docetists

▪ Therefore had suffered in the flesh – example for martyrdom

▪ Also truly resurrected (Smyr 2), not in appearance only

o Eph 7 ‘creed’: one-ness/unity of Christ

▪ Both flesh and spirit

▪ Born and unborn

▪ “God in man” (Greek text, Holmes)

• Can be read as adoptionist in the Latin: “in flesh having come to be god”

• Perhaps Jesus and Logos only fully united on/after the cross

▪ True life in death

▪ From Mary and from God

▪ First subject to suffering, then beyond it (first passible, then impassible)

• Smyr 1 – son of God by will (John 1:13 sons by the will of God)

▪ Jesus Christ our Lord

o Soteriology

▪ Died so we might be saved (Smyr 2)

▪ Fulfilled all