Ignatius, Letters. To the Trallians

LCL 24: 258-259

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Letter of Ignatius


2. ἀναγκαῖον οὖν ἐστίν, ὥσπερ ποιεῖτε, ἄνευ τοῦ ἐπισκόπου μηδὲν πράσσειν ὑμᾶς, ἀλλ᾿ ὑποτάσσεσθαι καὶ τῷ πρεσβυτερίῳ ὡς τοῖς ἀποστόλοις Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τῆς ἐλπίδος ἡμῶν, ἐν ᾧ διάγοντες εὑρεθησόμεθα.

3. δεῖ δὲ καὶ τοὺς διακόνους ὄντας μυστηρίων Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ κατὰ πάντα τρόπον πᾶσιν ἀρέσκειν. οὐ γὰρ βρωμάτων καὶ ποτῶν εἰσιν διάκονοι, ἀλλ᾿ ἐκκλησίας θεοῦ ὑπηρέται. δέον οὖν αὐτοὺς φυλάσσεσθαι τὰ ἐγκλήματα ὡς πῦρ.


Ὁμοίως πάντες ἐντρεπέσθωσαν τοὺς διακόνους ὡς Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν,42 ὡς καὶ τὸν ἐπίσκοπον43 ὄντα τύπον44 τοῦ πατρός, τοὺς δὲ πρεσβυτέρους ὡς συνέδριον θεοῦ καὶ ὡς σύνδεσμον ἀποστόλων. χωρὶς τούτων ἐκκλησία οὐ καλεῖται·

2. περὶ ὧν πέπεισμαι ὑμᾶς οὕτως ἔχειν. τὸ γὰρ ἐξεμπλάριον τῆς ἀγάπης ὑμῶν ἔλαβον καὶ ἔχω μεθ᾿ ἑαυτοῦ ἐν τῷ ἐπισκόπῳ ὑμῶν, οὗ αὐτὸ τὸ κατάστημα μεγάλη μαθητεία, ἡ δὲ πραότης αὐτοῦ δύναμις· ὃν λογίζομαι καὶ τοὺς ἀθέους ἐντρέπεσθαι.

3. ἀγαπῶν ὑμᾶς φείδομαι,45 συντονώτερον δυνάμενος γράφειν ὑπὲρ τούτου. οὐκ46 εἰς τοῦτο ᾠήθην, ἵνα ὢν κατάκριτος ὡς ἀπόστολος ὑμῖν διατάσσωμαι.


To the Trallians 3

by believing in his death.

2. And so—as is already the case—you must not engage in any activity apart from the bishop, but be subject also to the presbytery as to the apostles of Jesus Christ, our hope. If we live in him, we will be found in him.

3. And those who are deacons of the mysteries of Jesus Christ must also be pleasing in every way to all people. For they are not deacons dealing with food and drink; they are servants of the church of God. And so they must guard themselves against accusations as against fire.


So too let everyone respect the deacons like Jesus Christ, and also the bishop, who is the image of the Father; and let them respect the presbyters like the council of God and the band of the apostles. Apart from these a gathering cannot be called a church.

2. I am convinced that you agree about this. For I have received the embodiment of your love and have it with me in the person of your bishop, whose very deportment is a great lesson and whose meekness is power, who is respected, I believe, even by the godless.

3. I am sparing you out of love, though I could write more sharply about this matter. But I have not thought that I, a condemned man, should give you orders like an apostle.12

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.ignatius-letters_trallians.2003