Ignatius, Letters. To the Philadelphians

LCL 24: 284-285

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Letters of Ignatius


Ὃν ἐπίσκοπον ἔγνων οὐκ ἀφ᾿ ἑαυτοῦ οὐδὲ δι᾿ ἀνθρώπων κεκτῆσθαι τὴν διακονίαν τὴν εἰς τὸ κοινὸν ἀνήκουσαν οὐδὲ κατὰ κενοδοξίαν, ἀλλ᾿ ἐν ἀγάπῃ θεοῦ πατρὸς καὶ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ· οὗ καταπέπληγμαι τὴν ἐπιείκειαν, ὃς σιγῶν πλείονα δύναται τῶν μάταια87 λαλούντων.

2. συνευρύθμισται γὰρ ταῖς ἐντολαῖς ὡς χορδαῖς κιθάρα. διὸ μακαρίζει μου ἡ ψυχὴ τὴν εἰς θεὸν αὐτοῦ γνώμην, ἐπιγνοὺς ἐνάρετον καὶ τέλειον οὖσαν, τὸ ἀκίνητον αὐτοῦ καὶ τὸ ἀόργητον αὐτοῦ ἐν πάσῃ ἐπιεικείᾳ θεοῦ ζῶντος.


Τέκνα οὖν φωτὸς ἀληθείας, φεύγετε τὸν μερισμὸν καὶ τὰς κακοδιδασκαλίας· ὅπου δὲ ὁ ποιμήν ἐστιν, ἐκεῖ ὡς πρόβατα ἀκολουθεῖτε.

2. πολλοὶ γὰρ λύκοι ἀξιόπιστοι ἡδονῇ κακῇ αἰχμαλωτίζουσιν τοὺς θεοδρόμους· ἀλλ᾿ ἐν τῇ ἑνότητι ὑμῶν οὐχ ἕξουσιν88 τόπον.


Ἀπέχεσθε τῶν κακῶν βοτανῶν, ἅστινας οὐ γεωργεῖ Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, διὰ τὸ μὴ εἶναι αὐτοὺς φυτείαν πατρός· οὐχ ὅτι παρ᾿ ὑμῖν μερισμὸν εὗρον, ἀλλ᾿ ἀποδιϋλισμόν.

2. ὅσοι γὰρ θεοῦ εἰσιν καὶ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, οὗτοι μετὰ τοῦ ἐπισκόπου εἰσίν· καὶ ὅσοι ἂν

  • 87μάταια G L C: πλέον g: om. A
  • 88ἕξουσιν G g (C): ἔχουσιν L (A)

To the Philadelphians 3


I have learned that your bishop did not obtain his ministry to the community from himself, nor through humans, nor according to pure vanity, but by the love of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I have been amazed at his gentleness; by being silent he can do more than those who speak idle thoughts.

2. For he is attuned to the commandments like a lyre to the strings. For this reason my soul blesses his mind fixed in God—knowing it to be virtuous and perfect—along with his solid and anger-free character, manifest in all gentleness, which comes from the living God.


Therefore, children of the light of truth, flee division and evil teachings. Where the shepherd is, there you should follow as sheep.

2. For many seemingly trustworthy wolves use wicked pleasure to capture those who run in God’s race; but they will have no place in your unity.


Abstain from evil plants which Jesus Christ does not cultivate, since they are not a planting of the Father. Not that I found a division among you, but a filter.

2. For all who belong to God and Jesus Christ are with the bishop; and all

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.ignatius-letters_philadelphians.2003