IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH ANACHRONISMS IN THE MIDDLE RECENSION
I have been involved in discussions with Trinitarians on the History Channel forum about "The History of the Trinity" and "Is Michael the Arch-Angel Jesus Christ?"
It has been a very interesting learning experience. It has taught me alot about Trinitarians.
Ignatius of Antioch has come down to us through the ages in three or four different forms.
1. LONG recension
2. SHORT recension
3. MIDDLE recension
4. FRAGMENTS in various languages
The LONG RECENSION has the oldest and most abundant MSS authority.
The SHORT RECENSION exists in Syriac from the 7th Century C.E.
The MIDDLE RECENSION exists chiefly in a single Latin MSS from 13th Century C.E. and in part, within a Greek MSS of similar age.
There are some FRAGMENTS in other languages Greek, Syriac, Arabic, Armenian etc, for the different versions. Some of independent MSS tradition.
Scholars (just about all Trinitarians) accept the MIDDLE RECENSION as their received text. This is because supports the Trinity doctrine the most (surprise, surprise).
But things have changed, as shown by the following:
Allen Brent's Ignatius Of Antioch (New York, New York: T & T Clark International, 2009): "...- J.B. Lightfoot and Theodore Zahn's arguments for the authenticity of the seven Ignatian letters commonly accepted today created a widespread scholarly consensus that lasted for about a century. Though the letters are still accepted in most circles today, they became more controversial again in the last quarter of the twentieth century..." (pp. x, 95)
Perhaps this is because of the obvious anachronisms within the MIDDLE recension.
A classic example is the text below.
GREEK TEXT: εἷς ἰατρός ἐστιν σαρκικός τε καὶ πνευματικός γεννητὸς καὶ ἀγέννητος ἐν ἀνθρώπῳ θεός ἐν θανάτῳ ζωὴ ἀληθινή καὶ ἐκ Μαρίας καὶ ἐκ θεοῦ πρῶτον παθητὸς καὶ τότε ἀπαθής Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν
IGNATIUS (30-107 C.E.) [MIDDLE RECENSION TENTH - THIRTEENTH CENTURY] "There is one Physician who is possessed both of flesh and spirit; BOTH BEGOTTEN AND UN-BEGOTTEN; God existing in flesh; true life in death; both of Mary and of God; first passible and then impassible, even Jesus Christ our Lord." (Unknown Translator Ephesians 7:2)
IGNATIUS (30-107 C.E.) [MIDDLE RECENSION TENTH - THIRTEENTH CENTURY] "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 possible and then impossible, even Jesus Christ our Lord." (Roberts-Donaldson English Translation)
IGNATIUS (30-107 C.E.) [MIDDLE RECENSION TENTH - THIRTEENTH CENTURY] "...There is one only physician, of flesh and of spirit, GENERATE AND INGENERATE, God in man, true Life in death, Son of Mary and Son of God, (first passible and then impassible) [CCEL NOTE 534], Jesus Christ our Lord..." (IGNATIUS to the Ephesians from: Apostolic Fathers Lightfoot & Harmer, 1891 translation)
[CCEL FOOTNOTE 534] This clause is wanting in the Greek, and has been supplied from the ancient Latin version.
Now compare this with the paralell reading in the LONG RECENSION as translated in the well known ANF series by Roberts and Donaldson
(LATIN: Ad Ephesios)
(GREEK: ΠΡΟΣ ΕΦΕΣΙΟΥΣ ΙΓΝΑΤΙΟΣ)
LONG GREEK TEXT: "...ἰατρὸς δὲ ἡμῶν ἐστιν ὁ μόνος ἀληθινὸς θεός, ὁ ἀγέννητος καὶ ἀπρόσιτος, ὁ τῶν ὅλων κύριος, τοῦ δὲ μονογενοῦς πατὴρ καὶ γεννήτωρ. ἔχομεν ἰατρὸν καὶ τὸν κύριον ἡμῶν θεὸν Ἰησοῦν τὸν Χριστόν, τὸν πρὸ αἰώνων υἱὸν μονογενῆ καὶ λόγον, ὕστερον δὲ καὶ ἄνθρωπον ἐκ Mαρίας τῆς παρθένου· ὁ λόγος γὰρ σὰρξ ἐγένετο, ὁ ἀσώματος ἐν σώματι, ὁ ἀπαθὴς ἐν παθητῷ σώματι, ὁ ἀθάνατος ἐν θνητῷ σώματι, ἡ ζωὴ ἐν φθορᾷ, ὅπως θανάτου καὶ φθορᾶς ἐλευθερώσῃ καὶ ἰατρεύσῃ τὰς ψυχὰς ἡμῶν καὶ ἰάσηται αὐτὰς νοσηλευθείσας ἐν ἀσεβείᾳ καὶ πονηραῖς ἐπιθυμίαις..." - (ΑΙ ΑΥΤΑΙ ΕΠΙΣΤΟΛΑΙ ΕΠΙΔΙΩΡΘΩΜΕΝΑΙ ΠΡOΣ EΦEΣIOΥΣ)
IGNATIUS (30-107 C.E.) [LONG RECENSION FOURTH - SIX CENTURY]: "...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 passible 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..." - (Roberts-Donaldson English Translation )
FOOTNOTE 537: Or, “before the ages.”
FOOTNOTE 538: John i. 14.
[MIDDLE: Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν]
[LONG: τὸν κύριον ἡμῶν θεὸν Ἰησοῦν τὸν Χριστόν]
θεὸν (theon) I definitely consider a later interpolation and Trinitarian corruption.
IGNATIUS (30-107 C.E.) [SHORT RECENSION SYRIAC VERSION SIX - TENTH CENTURY] Chaps. iv. v. vi. vii. of the Greek are totally omitted in the Syriac.
Heres my own draught translation of the MIDDLE RECENSION
MIDDLE GREEK: VII:2. εἷς ἰατρός ἐστιν, σαρκικός τε καὶ πνευματικός, γεννητὸς καὶ ἀγέννητος, ἐν ἀνθρώπῳ θεός, ἐν θανάτῳ ζωὴ ἀληθινή, καὶ ἐκ Μαριας καὶ ἐκ θεοῦ, πρῶτον παθητὸς καὶ τότε ἀπαθής, Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν.
Draught Literal Translation According to Word Order: "one a physcian is, fleshly also and spiritual, generated/born and/also un-born/un-generated, in (to) a man a god/god, in (to) death life truthfully, and/also out-of Mary and/also out-of (of) God, first suffered and then without-suffering, (of) Jesus (of) Christ the Lord (of) us."
"There is one Physcician, fleshly and-also spiritual, GENERATED AND-ALSO UNGENERATED, a god with-in a man, true life in death, also out of Mary and out of God, at first able to suffer and then incapable of suffereing, Jesus Christ our Lord..." Translated by Matt13weedhacker (3/8/09) revised (6/10/10)
NOTE: The phrase "BOTH BEGOTTEN AND UN-BEGOTTEN" Gk., (γεννητὸς καὶ ἀγέννητος)
I ask what is wrong with this picture?
Most Trinitarians will swallow it down whole without a second thought.
But I seriously question the legitimacy of this phrase as a late 1st early 2nd Century Christian teaching.
1.) It violates common sense
2.) It is self contradictory
3.) It is anachronistic
4.) Smacks of Post-Chanceldon re-editing
5.) Opposite to Long recension
6.) Contradicts the Bible (most important)
One commentator says about this passage:
The Development of Trinitarianism in the Patristic Period by MARK M. MATTISON Page 9: "...To be sure, the Fathers did not see it that way any more than do modern exponents of the metaphysical deity of Christ. Ignatius, for example, writes of both the one God (cf. Mag. 8.2) and the humanity of “Jesus Christ, who was descended from David, and also of Mary; who was truly born, and did eat and drink. He was truly persecuted under Pontius Pilate; he was truly crucified, and died” (Tral. 9; cf. also Sm. 1-3). Yet this insistence on Christ’s humanity, which is calculated to counteract docetic interpretations of Christ (both these passages are written in a polemical context), is of dubious value when he blatantly asserts Christ’s personal preexistence (cf. Eph. 19.2,3; Mag. 6.1; Pol. 3.2) and unmitigated deity (cf. Eph. 1.1; 7.2; 18.2; 19.3; Rom. inscr.; 3.3; Sm. 1.1; Pol. 8.3). Here we are dealing with an incarnational theology in which redemption is only possible once divinity and humanity are drawn together in an ontological union. This soteriology is surely best understood against a hellenistic perception of the gulf between God and man, not against the New Testament which depicts sin as the primary problem. Indeed, Ignatius appears to rely more heavily on philosophy than on primitive Christian tradition when expressing his concept of Christ’s twofold nature, describing him as “both flesh and spirit; both begotten (γεννητος ) and un-begotten (αγεννητος ) God existing in flesh,” and so on (Eph. 7.2; cf. also Pol. 3.2)..." (italics added)
Page 9; Footnote 22: William Schoedel, Ignatius of Antioch: A Commentary on the Letters of Ignatius of Antioch, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985, 61, 267, 268. Schoedel depicts this language as “more precise metaphysically” than “the earlier more or less poetic descriptions of the entrance of Christ into the world (Phil. 2:6-11; cf. 2 Cor. 8:9)” (267). I perceive this language rather as evidencing a fundamental misunderstanding of such Pauline texts."
Not to mention that nearly two Centuries later we have Christians saying:
“We have never heard, my Lord, of two beings unbegotten, nor of one divided into two; nor have we learnt or believed that He could suffer any thing corporeal, but that there is one unbegotten, and another truly from Him,...”
(Letter written by Eusebius of Nicomedia — A Historical View of the Council of Nice, by Isaac Boyle, page 41)
[Not to be confused with Eusebius Pamphili of Ceasarea]
None of his SECOND CENTURY CONTEMPORARIES use this language at all. In fact Ignatius is exceptional in his use of "UN-BEGOTTEN" in reference to Christ.
And also, something often overlooked by Trinitarians, exceptional in calling Jesus "God".
PROTO-TRINITY: The Development of the Doctrine of the Trinity in the First and Second Christian Centuries , By THOMAS EDMUND GASTON (2007 ) Page 91/92: "...Other texts from the (sub-)apostolic period are far more conservative. Jesus is never called θεός in any of the following texts: The Didache, The Epistle of Barnabus, First Clement, The Shepherd of Hermas, Polycarp to the Philippians, The Apology of Aristides or The Epistle to Diognetus. Ignatius’ use of θεός is the exception, not the rule. It is not until Justin Martyr that we find a writer unreservedly call Jesus θεός and he is quite precise that by the use of this title he does not mean Jesus is God (in a Trinitarian sense)..."
NOTE: I will deal with the so-called "Deity" claims in Ignatius in another post in far more detail.
But the same could be said about the MIDDLE recension's "UN-BEGOTTEN".
It is by far the exception, rather than the rule.
Now compare the MIDDLE RECENSION with the following passage in the LONG VERSION.
LONG GREEK TEXT: “...Παρακαλῶ οὖν ὑμᾶς οὐκ ἐγώ, ἀλλ' ἡ ἀγάπη Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ἵνα τὸ αὐτὸ λέγητε πάντες καὶ μὴ ᾖ ἐν ὑμῖν σχίσματα, ᾖτε δὲ κατηρτισμένοι τῇ αὐτῇ γνώμῃ καὶ τῷ αὐτῷ νοΐ. εἰσὶ γάρ τινες ματαιολόγοι καὶ φρεναπάται, οὐ Χριστιανοί, ἀλλὰ χριστέμποροι, ἀπάτῃ περιφέροντες τὸ ὄνομα Χριστοῦ καὶ καπηλεύοντες τὸν λόγον τοῦ εὐαγγελίου καὶ τὸν ἰὸν προσπλέκοντες τῆς πλάνης τῇ γλυκείᾳ προσηγορίᾳ, ὥσπερ οἰνομέλιτι κώνειον κεραννύντες, ἵνα ὁ πίνων τῇ γλυκυτάτῃ κλαπεὶς ποιότητι τὴν γευστικὴν αἴσθησιν ἀφυλάκτως τῷ θανάτῳ περιπαρῇ. παραινεῖ τις τῶν παλαιῶν· Mηδεὶς ἀγαθὸς λεγέσθω κακῷ τὸ ἀγαθὸν κεραννύς. λέγουσι γὰρ Χριστόν, οὐχ ἵνα Χριστὸν κηρύξωσιν, ἀλλ' ἵνα Χριστὸν ἀθετήσωσιν· καὶ οὐ νόμον προφέρουσιν, ἵνα νόμον συστήσωσιν, ἀλλ' ἵνα ἀνομίαν καταγγείλωσιν· τὸν μὲν γὰρ Χριστὸν ἀλλοτριοῦσι τοῦ πατρός, τὸν δὲ νόμον τοῦ Χριστοῦ. τὴν ἐκ παρθένου γέννησιν διαβάλλουσιν, ἐπαισχυνόμενοι τὸν σταυρὸν τὸ πάθος ἀρνοῦνται καὶ τὴν ἀνάστασιν οὐ πιστεύουσι· τὸν θεὸν ἄγνωστον εἰσηγοῦνται, τὸν Χριστὸν ἀγέννητον νομίζουσι, τὸ δὲ πνεῦμα οὐδὲ ὅτι ἔστιν ὁμολογοῦσι. τινὲς δὲ αὐτῶν τὸν μὲν υἱὸν ψιλὸν ἄνθρωπον εἶναι λέγουσι, ταὐτὸν δὲ εἶναι πατέρα καὶ υἱὸν καὶ πνεῦμα ἅγιον, καὶ τὴν κτίσιν ἔργον θεοῦ, οὐ διὰ Χριστοῦ, ἀλλ' ἑτέρου τινός, ἀλλοτρίας δυνάμεως...” (LONG RECENSION) Chapter VI(6) Toward Trallians [ΠΡOΣ TΡAΛΛIANOΥΣ] Patrologiae cursus completus. Series graeca. Edidit Migne, J.P., LIBRARY OF RUSLAN KHAZARZAR.
IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH (Died 115-117 C.E.): “...For there are some vain talkers and deceivers, not Christians, but Christ-betrayers, bearing about the name of Christ in deceit, and “corrupting the word” of the Gospel; while they intermix the poison of their deceit with their persuasive talk, as if they mingled aconite with sweet wine, that so he who drinks, being deceived in his taste by the very great sweetness of the draught, may incautiously meet with his death. One of the ancients gives us this advice, “Let no man be called good who mixes good with evil.” For they speak of Christ, not that they may preach Christ, but that they may reject Christ; and they speak of the law, not that they may establish the law, but that they may proclaim things contrary to it. For they alienate Christ from the Father, and the law from Christ. They also calumniate His being born of the Virgin; they are ashamed of His cross; they deny His passion; and they do not believe His resurrection. They introduce God as a Being unknown; they suppose Christ to be unbegotten; and as to the Spirit, they do not admit that He exists. Some of them say that the Son is a mere man, and that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are but the same person, and that the creation is the work of God, not by Christ, but by some other strange power...” – (LONG RECENSION) Chapter VI(6)—[Let us stand aloof from such] The Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians ANF Roberts & Donaldson
NOTE: Even the LONG recension (I believe) has not come down to us in a pure form. It has undoubtedly been corrupted by successive transcribers. Yet I do think the LONG version is least corrupted out of the three recensions and has the oldest and most abundant MSS testimony on its side.
That was ANF Roberts & Donaldson translation.
That translation is not as accurate as it could be. Unfortunately its the ONLY translation easily available today of the LONG recension.
Below I give the Greek text of that section broken down with:
1.) GREEK TEXT
2.) MT13(a) = my own literal trans according to word order and basic meaning
3.) ANF R&D
4.) MT13(b) = my own trans according to sense
5.) MT13(c) = finished translation
IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH - Died 115-117 C.E. (LONG RECENSION) Chapter VI(6) The Epistle of Ignatius to the TralliansANF R&D embellish and add there own interpretation here. There is no personal pronouns in the Greek. (τὸ πνεῦμα) = "the spriit" is in the NUETER GENDER not male or female, indicating an IT not a "HE". In fact the phrase "He exists" is not in the Greek text at all.
1.) τὸν μὲν γὰρ Χριστὸν ἀλλοτριοῦσι τοῦ πατρός, τὸν δὲ νόμον τοῦ Χριστοῦ.
MT13a: "(To) the (but=contrast comming) (for) to Christ are-belonging to another (of) the Father, (to) (but) (to) law (of) the (of) Christ
ANF R&D: "For they alienate Christ from the Father, and the law from Christ.
MT13b: "But, they portray Christ as belonging to another Father, even the law of the Christ.
2.) τὴν ἐκ παρθένου γέννησιν διαβάλλουσιν,
MT13a: "...(To) the out-of (of) a virgin (to) be born/generated to discredit/to miss-represent/to speak slanderously of
ANF R&D: "...They also calumniate His being born of the Virgin;
MT13b: "...They speak slanderously and missrepresent his being born of a virgin,
3.) ἐπαισχυνόμενοι τὸν σταυρὸν
MT13a: "...ashamed of (to) the (to) stake/stauros
ANF R&D: "...they are ashamed of His cross;
MT13b: "...they are ashamed of the torture stake,
4.) τὸ πάθος ἀρνοῦνται
MT13a: "...the suffering to deny/disown/decline/cast-aside
ANF R&D: "...they deny His passion; and
MT13b: "...they disown and cast aside the suffering,
5.) καὶ τὴν ἀνάστασιν οὐ πιστεύουσι·
MT13: "...and (to) the (to) resurection not having faith
ANF R&D: "...they do not believe His resurrection.
MT13: "...and they are not putting faith in the resurection,
6.) τὸν θεὸν ἄγνωστον εἰσηγοῦνται,
MT13a: "...(to) the (to) God (to) un-known lead in/introducing/to propose
ANF R&D: "...They introduce God as a Being unknown;
MT13b: "...they introduce the idea that God is unknowable,
7.) τὸν Χριστὸν ἀγέννητον νομίζουσι,
MT13a: "...(to) the (to) Christ un-begotten/un-generated are holding to be
ANF R&D: "...they suppose Christ to be unbegotten;
MT13b: "...they hold out the Christ to be unbegotten,
8.) τὸ δὲ πνεῦμα οὐδὲ ὅτι ἔστιν ὁμολογοῦσι.
MT13a: "...the (but) spirit nor/no-but/neither because is are-confessing/are-acknowledging
ANF R&D: "...and as to the Spirit, they do not admit that He exists.
MT13b: "...and the spirit neither are they acknowledging.
9.) τινὲς δὲ αὐτῶν τὸν μὲν υἱὸν ψιλὸν ἄνθρωπον εἶναι λέγουσι,ANF R&D embellish the text here by adding the word "PERSON" which is not in the Greek text. ( ταὐτὸν ) = "identical".
MT13a: "...(of) someone (but) (of) him/them (to) the (but) (to) Son (to) orinary/bare (to) man to be lay down/say/tell
ANF R&D: "...Some of them say that the Son is a mere man,
MT13b: "...Some of them, lay down the Son to be an ordinary man,
10.) ταὐτὸν δὲ εἶναι πατέρα καὶ υἱὸν καὶ πνεῦμα ἅγιον,
MT13a: "...identical (but) to be Father and (to) Son and spirit (to) holiness
ANF R&D: "...and that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are but the same person,
MT13b: "...also that the Father and the Son and spirit of holiness are identical,
11.) καὶ τὴν κτίσιν ἔργον θεοῦ, οὐ διὰ Χριστοῦ, ἀλλ' ἑτέρου τινός, ἀλλοτρίας δυνάμεως.ANF R&D misrepresent the text as saying Christ is the DIRECT AGENT in the creation translating (διά) as "BY".
MT13a: "...and (of) the creation (to) work (of) God, not through (of) Christ, but-instead/contrast (of) another-of-a-differen't-(kind) (of) someone, belonging to another/strange/alien/foriegn (of) power
ANF R&D: "...and that the creation is the work of God, not by Christ, but by some other strange power.”
MT13b: "...and that the creation is not the work of God [διά] through Christ, but instead to be of another strange power of a totally differen't kind."
This is very common and almost standard Trinitarian practice. But it is not accurate and a little bit missleading.
"Dia" (διά) is more accurately translated as "THROUGH".
The Greek shows God to be the DIRECT AGENT who works "THROUGH" Jesus Christ as the INTERMEDIATE AGENT.
The creation was done (διά) "THROUGH" Christ and not (ὑπὸ) "BY" Christ. Note the meanings below.
[ Greek ἐν literally: "in" = locative sphere of activity ]
[ Greek διὰ literally: "through" = intermediate agent ]
[ Greek ὑπὸ literally: "by" = direct agent ] .
MARVIN VINCENT: “The preposition dia, is generally used to denote the working of God through some secondary agency, as dia, tou/ profh,tou, through the prophet (Matt. i. 22, on which see note).” (Marvin Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, 4 Volumes [Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers], 2:37).NOTE: Ignatius is attacking Gnostic teachers in his time who were saying the creation was by "SOME STRANGE POWER" and: Gk., (ἔργον θεοῦ, οὐ διὰ Χριστοῦ) "...[the] work of God, [and] not through Christ..."
DANA AND MANTEY: “Here [in John 1:3] God the Father is thought of as the original cause of creation, and the logos as the intermediate agent.” H.E. Dana and Julius R. Mantey, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1957.), 162.
It was the false teaching that the actual Gk., (ἔργον) "WORK" of Creation was done WITHOUT Christ as the INTERMEDIATE AGENT or as the "Master Worker" but by some other power.
But Roberts and Donaldson by saying: "...not BY Christ..." are trying trick the mind by the use of the word "BY" to make an equivelance between "God" and "Chirst."
This is a subtle mind game done by alot of Trinitarian translators.
Whereas in fact the text is showing "God" as a seperate entity altogether.
God = Source
Christ = Channel of an act
Creation = the result
Source = tunnel = exit
Lake = pipe = water fall
IGNATIUS (30-107 C.E.) [LONG RECENSION FOURTH - SIX CENTURY]: "But, they portray Christ as belonging to another Father, even the law of the Christ. They speak slanderously and missrepresent his being born of a virgin, they are ashamed of the torture stake, they disown and cast aside the suffering, and they are not putting faith in the resurection, they introduce the idea that God is unknowable, they hold out the Christ to be unbegotten, and neither are they acknowledging the spirit. Some of them, lay down the Son to be an ordinary man, also that the Father and the Son and spirit of holiness are identical, and that the creation is not the work of God [διά] through Christ, but instead to be of another strange power of a totally differen't kind." (Translation by Matt13weedhacker)
O. C. KRABBE (circa 1848): "...[Apostolic Constitutions] Book VI (6) Capter 25 where those are reconed as heretics who believe that Jesus is one and the same with God..." - (Essay: Page 275., The work claiming to be the Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, including the Canons : Whiston's version, revised from the Greek : with a prize esssay, at the University of Bonn, upon their origin and contents [by O.C. Krabbe] (1848) [Whiston, William, 1667-1752])
Yes this teaching of an UN-BEGOTTEN CHRIST was being "INTRODUCED" in the time of Ignatius, no doubt by Gnostic false teachers blending Christian teaching with philosophic and pagan specualtions.
Got to go now will finish this later