I beleive the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated, copied, and interpreted correctly. In the course of my studies of the Bible, I've discovered that it has a long and convoluted history. So, these are my discoveries and my musings of Christian history and doctrines.

Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Epistles of Ignatius. Some are Forgeries.

Other examples of deliberate tampering include the writings of Ignatius, bishop of Antioch (30 - 70 A.D.). There are at least 15 letters existing today that bear his name. Regarding the first eight letters, it is the general consensus among scholars that these letters are counterfeit. Among those letters, or epistles, mentioned by Eusibius, there are seven that have two versions, a long and a short. It should be obvious that either the long or the short versions are the forged versions, but scholars are divided as to which of the two is the most authentic. I say the "most authentic" because neither version can be regarded as absolutely free of unauthorized alterations. (1)

You may be asking yourself why this would be important, considering that his writings are not found in the Bible itself. There are two reasons why this would be important. The first is to show that during the course of history, there have been many, many deliberate attempts to change Christian doctrines by writing documents under the alias of a reputable leader or changing the contents of the originals and passing them on to unsuspecting individuals. The second reason is that his letters discuss issues or doctrines that have divided the Christian community for ages. Tradition has it that he and Polycarp were disciples of, sitting in the actual presence of, the Apostle John himself. The writings of Ignatius, could they be proven without a doubt to be accurate and authentic, would give much credence to and help to verify the beliefs and doctrines of some Christian denominations and their particular interpretation of certain Bible verses thereby casting a shadow of doubt on those of other, differing, denominatins.

  1. Introduction Note, Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians, vol 1, the Ante Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids, Michigan: WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., ), pages 46-47.


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