The Pastoral Epistles in Ignatius, Part VIII

[This post is part of a series on The Pastoral Epistles in the Apostolic Fathers. RWB]


Ign. Trall. 7.2 || 2Ti 1.3



(2) ὁ ἐντὸς θυσιαστηρίου ὢν καθαρός ἐστιν, ὁ δὲ ἐκτὸς θυσιαστηρίου ὢν οὐ καθαρός ἐστιν· τοῦτʼ ἔστιν, ὁ χωρὶς ἐπισκόπου καὶ πρεσβυτερίου καὶ διακόνων πράσσων τι, οὗτος οὐ καθαρός ἐστιν τῇ συνειδήσει. (Ign. Trall. 7.2)
(2) The one who is within the sanctuary is clean, but the one who is outside the sanctuary is not clean. That is, whoever does anything without bishop and presbytery and deacons does not have a clean conscience. (Ign. Trall. 7.2)
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (162, 163). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.


3 Χάριν ἔχω τῷ θεῷ, ᾧ λατρεύω ἀπὸ προγόνων ἐν καθαρᾷ συνειδήσει, ὡς ἀδιάλειπτον ἔχω τὴν περὶ σοῦ μνείαν ἐν ταῖς δεήσεσίν μου νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας, (2Ti 1.3, NA27)
3 I thank God, whom I serve (as did my forbears) in pure conscience, as I have unceasingly remembered you in my prayers night and day, (2Ti 1.3, my own translation)


The concept of a “clean” or “pure” conscience is the link between these two passages. This concept is formed by lexical co-occurrence of the words καθαρός (pure, clean) and συνείδησις (conscience). If the simple presence of these two words in relationship with each other is enough to posit a link, then 1Ti 3.9 (speaking of deacons) should be included as well: “holding to the mystery of faith in clear conscience“.


But any link between Ign. Trall. 7.2 and 2Ti 1.3 is stretched. Ignatius uses “the bishop and presbytery and deacons” as a check against conscience; if one goes against that triad, then one cannot have a “clean conscience” in what he does. This isn’t what 2Ti 1.3 is about. In Second Timothy, the idea is that Paul serves God just like his progenitors (i.e. Jews) did, with a clean or pure conscience. He isn’t falling back on them for authority, he is identifying with his ancestors so his comments in verse 5 — about Timothy’s faithful mother and grandmother — is more effective.


While the line “clear conscience” is definitely used in both Ignatius and 2Ti (and 1Ti, as seen above) there is no reason to think the concept originated with Paul and influenced Ignatius.


Next up: Ign. Rom. 2.2 || 2Ti 4.6

The Pastoral Epistles in Ignatius, Part VII

[This post is part of a series on The Pastoral Epistles in the Apostolic Fathers. RWB]


Ign. Eph. 17.1 || 2Ti 3.6



17.1 Διὰ τοῦτο μύρον ἔλαβεν ἐπὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς αὐτοῦ ὁ κύριος, ἵνα πνέῃ τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ ἀφθαρσίαν. μὴ ἀλείφεσθε δυσωδίαν τῆς διδασκαλίας τοῦ ἄρχοντος τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου, μὴ αἰχμαλωτίσῃ ὑμᾶς ἐκ τοῦ προκειμένου ζῆν. (Ign. Eph. 17.1)
17. The Lord accepted the ointment upon his head for this reason: that he might breathe incorruptibility upon the church. Do not be anointed with the stench of the teaching of the ruler of this age, lest he take you captive and rob you of the life set before you. (Ign. Eph. 17.1)
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (146, 147). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.


6 Ἐκ τούτων γάρ εἰσιν οἱ ἐνδύνοντες εἰς τὰς οἰκίας καὶ αἰχμαλωτίζοντες γυναικάρια σεσωρευμένα ἁμαρτίαις, ἀγόμενα ἐπιθυμίαις ποικίλαις, (2Ti 3.6, NA27)
6 For from these are the ones who sneak into the houses and capture idle women overwhelmed by their sin, led on by various desires, (2Ti 3.7, my own translation)


The similarity here appears to be primarily lexical, and that only based on one word, αἰχμαλωτίζω. The contexts, while similar, are not complete matches. Even BDAG categorizes these instances differently with Ign. Eph. 17.1 as a citation of sense 1b and 2Ti 3.6 as a citation of sense 2 (cf.  BDAG p. 31).


While each instance involves the capturing and destruction of someone, the capturer is different. In Ignatius the capturer is the “ruler of this age” while in 2Ti it is the self-serving non-believers (adequately described in vv. 2-5).


There doesn’t seem to be much to recommend this as an Ignatian reminiscing of Second Timothy.


Next up: Ign. Trall. 7.2 || 2Ti 1.3

Review of Alfons Weiser on Second Timothy

In this week’s Review of Biblical Literature, Raymond F. Collins reviews Alfons Weiser’s Der zweite Brief an Timotheus, which is part of the EKK (Evangelisch-Katholischer Kommentar zum Neuen Testament) commentary series.


Since I’m not able to read German, I’m grateful for the review. Sounds like there is decent interaction with patristic literature (yay!), though it also sounds like Weiser approaches the text as a pseudepigraphon — in both sender and receiver.

The Pastoral Epistles in Ignatius, Part VI

[This post is part of a series on The Pastoral Epistles in the Apostolic Fathers. RWB]


Apologies for the pause in this series of posts. With the arrival of my new daughter, Ella Kathleen, my schedule has been rightly upended. I hope to re-start working through potential citations/allusions/references of the Pastorals in the Apostolic Fathers as I get used to the new demands at home. RWB


Ign. Poly. 6.2 || 2Ti 2.4



(2) ἀρέσκετε ᾧ στρατεύεσθε, ἀφʼ οὗ καὶ τὰ ὀψώνια κομίζεσθε. μήτις ὑμῶν δεσέρτωρ εὑρεθῇ. τὸ βάπτισμα ὑμῶν μενέτω ὡς ὅπλα, ἡ πίστις ὡς περικεφαλαία, ἡ ἀγάπη ὡς δόρυ, ἡ ὑπομονὴ ὡς πανοπλία· τὰ δεπόσιτα ὑμῶν τὰ ἔργα ὑμῶν, ἵνα τὰ ἄκκεπτα ὑμῶν ἄξια κομίσησθε. μακροθυμήσατε οὖν μετʼ ἀλλήλων ἐν πραΰτητι, ὡς ὁ θεὸς μεθʼ ὑμῶν. ὀναίμην ὑμῶν διὰ παντός. (Ign. Poly. 6.2)
(2) Please him whom you serve as soldiers, from whom you receive your wages. Let none of you be found a deserter. Let your baptism serve as a shield, faith as a helmet, love as a spear, endurance as armor. Let your deeds be your deposits, in order that you may eventually receive the savings that are due you. Be, therefore, patient and gentle with one another, as God is with you. May I always have joy in you. (Ign. Poly. 6.2)
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (198, 199). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.


4 οὐδεὶς στρατευόμενος ἐμπλέκεται ταῖς τοῦ βίου πραγματείαις, ἵνα τῷ στρατολογήσαντι ἀρέσῃ. (2Ti 2.4, NA27)
4 No soldier on active duty involves himself in civilian pursuits, so that he may please the one who enlisted him. (2Ti 2.4, my own translation)


This parallel is based on co-occurrence of similar lexical forms promoting similar concept. Note that the portions specified by the Oxford committee (in bold above) do not share στρατ- verbs. Ign. Poly. 6.2 uses στρατευω while the highlighted portion of 2Ti 2.4 uses the NT hapax στρατολογεω (though στρατευω occurs earlier in the verse). Both instances, however, share some form of the word αρεσκω.


While these two instances contain the only co-occurrence of words (something to do with soldering and also some sort of ‘pleasing’), the idea of Christian-as-soldier is not localized to 2Ti 2.4. Second Corinthians 10 speaks of the warfare Christians are to take part in. Ephesians 6 speaks of the armor that a Christian is to gird himself up with; the second part of Ign. Poly. 6.2 may have some allusion to this. The concept of Christian-as-soldier also occurs in First Clement (1Cl 37.1).


What is unique about the current references, however, is notion of soldiering to please the one who as called or enlisted the soldier. This could be Ignatius’ own innovation, or he could be reliant upon 2Ti 2.4. Given other affinities between Ignatius’ writings and the Pastorals, it seems to be within the realm of possibility that Ignatius is influenced by 2Ti 2.3-4 in this portion (as well as perhaps by Eph 6).


Next up: Ign. Eph. 17.1 || 2Ti 3.6

Luke and the Pastorals

Michael Bird (Euangelion) blogs some references about the thought that Luke was the author of the Pastoral Epistles.


The main book to read (which is on my list but haven’t quite got there yet) is $amz(0281036764 S.G. Wilson’s Luke and the Pastorals). Witherington interacts with this one a bit, though Witherington is of the (much more reasonable, IMO) view that Luke is amanuensis, not post-Pauline author.


Check out Mike’s short bibliography.