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