I rejoiced with you greatly in our Lord Jesus Christ, for that you received the followers of the true Love and escorted them on their way, as befitted you--those men encircled in saintly bonds which are the diadems of them who be truly chosen of God and our Lord;
and that the steadfast root of your faith which was famed from primitive times abides until now and bears fruit unto our Lord Jesus Christ, who endured to face even death for our sins, whom God raised, having loosed the pangs of Hades; on whom,
though you saw Him not, you believe with joy unutterable and full of glory; unto which joy many desire to enter in; forasmuch as you know that it is by grace you are saved, not of works, but by the will of God through Jesus Christ.
Why gird up your loins and serve God in fear and truth, forsaking the vain and empty talking and the error of the many, for that you have believed on Him that raised our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead and gave unto him glory and a throne on His right hand; unto whom all things were made subject that are in heaven and that are on the earth; to whom every creature that has breath does service; who comes as judge of quick and dead; whose blood God will require of them who are disobedient unto Him.
Now He that raised Him from the dead will raise us also; if we do His will and walk in His commandments and love the things which He loved, abstaining from all unrighteousness, covetousness, love of money, evil speaking, false witness; not rendering evil for evil or railing for railing or blow for blow or cursing for cursing;
but remembering the words which the Lord spoke, as He taught; Judge not that you be not judged. Forgive, and it shall be forgiven to you. Have mercy that you may receive mercy. With what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again; and again Blessed are the poor and they who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God.
These things, brothers, I write unto you concerning righteousness, not because I laid this charge upon myself, but because you invited me.
For neither am I, nor is any other like unto me, able to follow the wisdom of the blessed and glorious Paul, who when he came among you taught face to face with the men of that day the word which concerns truth carefully and surely; who also, when he was absent, wrote a letter unto you, into the which if you look diligently, you shall be able to be builded up unto the faith given to you,
which is the mother of us all, while hope follows after and love goes before--love toward God and Christ and toward our neighbor. For if any man be occupied with these, he has fulfilled the commandment of righteousness; for he who has love is far from all sin.
But the love of money is the beginning of all troubles. Knowing therefore that we brought nothing into the world neither can we carry anything out, let us arm ourselves with the armor of righteousness, and let us teach ourselves first to walk in the commandment of the Lord;
and then our wives also, to walk in the faith that has been given unto them and in love and purity, cherishing their own husbands in all truth and loving all men equally in all chastity, and to train their children in the training of the fear of God.
Our widows must be sober-minded as touching the faith of the Lord, making intercession without ceasing for all men, abstaining from all calumny, evil speaking, false witness, love of money, and every evil thing, knowing that they are God's altar, and that all sacrifices are carefully inspected, and nothing escapes Him either of their thoughts or intents or any of the secret things of the heart.
Knowing then that God is not mocked, we ought to walk worthily of His commandment and His glory.
In like manner deacons should be blameless in the presence of His righteousness, as deacons of God and Christ and not of men; not calumniators, not double-tongued, not lovers of money, temperate in all things, compassionate, diligent, walking according to the truth of the Lord who became a minister (deacon) of all. For if we be well pleasing unto Him in this present world, we shall receive the future world also, according as He promised us to raise us from the dead, and that if we conduct ourselves worthily of Him we shall also reign with Him, if indeed we have faith.
In like manner also the younger men must be blameless in all things, caring for purity before everything and curbing themselves from every evil. For it is a good thing to refrain from lusts in the world, for every lust wars against the Spirit, and neither whoremongers nor effeminate persons nor defilers of themselves with men shall inherit the kingdom of God, neither they who do untoward things. Why it is right to abstain from all these things, submitting yourselves to the presbyters and deacons as to God and Christ. The virgins must walk in a blameless and pure conscience.
And the presbyters also must be compassionate, merciful toward all men, turning back the sheep that are gone astray, visiting all the infirm, not neglecting a widow or an orphan or a poor man: but providing always for that which is honorable in the sight of God and of men, abstaining from all anger, respect of persons, unrighteous judgment, being far from all love of money, not quick to believe anything against any man, not hasty in judgment, knowing that we all are debtors of sin.
If then we entreat the Lord that He would forgive us, we also ought to forgive: for we are before the eyes of our Lord and God, and we must all stand at the judgment-seat of Christ, and each man must give an account of himself.
Let us therefore so serve Him with fear and all reverence, as He himself gave commandment and the Apostles who preached the Gospel to us and the prophets who proclaimed beforehand the coming of our Lord; being zealous as touching that which is good, abstaining from offenses and from the false brothers and from them who bear the name of the Lord in hypocrisy, who lead foolish men astray.
For every one who shall not confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is antichrist: and whosoever shall not confess the testimony of the Cross, is of the devil; and whosoever shall pervert the oracles of the Lord to his own lusts and say that there is neither resurrection nor judgment, that man is the firstborn of Satan.
Why let us forsake the vain doing of the many and their false teachings, and turn unto the word which was delivered unto us from the beginning, being sober unto prayer and constant in fastings, entreating the all-seeing God with supplications that He bring us not into temptation, according as the Lord said, The Spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.
Let us therefore without ceasing hold fast by our hope and by the earnest of our righteousness, which is Jesus Christ who took up our sins in His own body upon the tree, who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth, but for our sakes He endured all things, that we might live in Him.
Let us therefore become imitators of His endurance; and if we should suffer for His name's sake, let us glorify Him. For He gave this example to us in His own person, and we believed this.
I exhort you all therefore to be obedient unto the word of righteousness and to practice all endurance, which also you saw with your own eyes in the blessed Ignatius and Zosimus and Rufus, yes and in others also who came from among yourselves, as well as in Paul himself and the rest of the Apostles;
being persuaded that all these ran not in vain but in faith and righteousness, and that they are in their due place in the presence of the Lord, with whom also they suffered. For they loved not the present world, but Him that died for our sakes and was raised by God for us.
1 In his ergo state et domini exemplar sequimini,
firmi in fide et immutabiles, fraternitatis amatores,
diligentes invicem, in veritate sociati, mansuetudine
domini alterutri praestolantes, nullum despicientes.
In these things, therefore, stand fast and follow the example of the Lord, firm and immovable in faith, loving the family of believers, cherishing one another, united in the truth, giving deference to one another in the gentleness of the Lord, despising no one.
2 Cum potestis3 benefacere, nolite differre, quia
elεëmosyna de morte liberat. Omnes vobis invicem
subiecti estote, conversationem vestram irreprensibilem
habentes in gentibus, ut ex bonis operibus
vestris et vos laudem accipiatis et dominus in vobis
When you are able to do good, don't defer because mercy liberates one from death. All of you be subject to one another and maintain a blameless conduct standard among the Gentiles, so that you may be praised for your good deeds and that the Lord may not be blasphemed because of you.
3 Vae autem per quem nomen
domini blasphematur. Sobrietatem ergo docete
omnes in qua et vos conversamini.
But woe to the one through whom the Lord is blasphemed. Therefore to all teach the self-control by which you yourselves live.
1 Nimis contristatus sum pro Valente, qui
presbyter factus est aliquando apud vos, quod sic
ignoret is locum qui datus est ei. Moneo itaque ut
abstineatis vos ab avaritia et sitis casti veraces.
Abstinete vos ab omni malo.
I am very saddened for Valens, who once was an elder among you because he fails to understand the office that was entrusted to him. Therefore I warn you to avoid the love of money and be pure and truthful. Avoid every kind of evil.
2 Qui autem non
potest se in his gubernare, quomodo alii pronuntiat
hoc? Si quis non se abstinuerit ab avaritia, ab
idolotatria coinquinabitur et tanquam inter gentes
iudicabitur, qui ignorant iudicium domini. Aut
nescimus, quia sancti mundum iudicabunt, sicut Paulus docet?
But, how can someone who is unable to be self-controlled in these things preach self-control to anyone else? Anyone who does not avoid love of money will be polluted by idolatry and will be judged as one of the Gentiles who are ignorant of the Lord's judgment. Or don't we know that the saints will judge the world, as Paul teaches?
3 Ego autem nihil tale sensi in vobis
vel audivi, in quibus laboravit beatus Paulus, [τοῖς ἐπαινουμένοις ἐν ἀρχῇ τῆς ἐπιστολῆς αὐτοῦ·] [qui
estis in principio epistulae eius]. de vobis etenim
gloriatur in omnibus ecclesiis, quae solae dominum4
tunc cognoverant; nos autem nondum cognoveramus.
But I have not seen or heard of any such thing among you, in whose midst the blessed Paul laboured, and who are praised in the beginning of his epistle. For he boast about you in all the churches—the ones that at that time had come to know the Lord, for we had not yet come to know him.
4 Valde ergo, fratres, contristor pro illo et
pro coniuge eius, quibus det dominus poenitentiam veram. Sobrii ergo estote et vos in hoc; et non
sicut inimicos tales existimetis, sed sicut passibilia
membra et errantia eos revocate, ut omnium vestrum
corpus salvetis. Hoc enim agentes vos ipsos aedificatis.
I am greatly saddened, brothers, for him and for his wife. May the Lord grant them true repentance. You, therefore, for your part must be sensible in this matter, and do not regard such people as enemies, but as sick and straying members restore them in order that you may save your body in its entirety. For by doing this you build up one another.
1 Confido enim vos bene exercitatos esse in sacris
literis, et nihil vos latet; mihi autem non est
concessum. Modo, ut his scripturis dictum est,
irascimini et nolite peccare, et sol non occidat super
iracundiam vestram. Beatus, qui meminerit; quod
ego credo esse in vobis.
I am convinced that you are all well trained in the sacred Scriptures and that nothing is hidden from you— something not granted to me. Only, as it is said in these Scriptures, "be angry but do not sin," and "do not let the sun set on your anger." Blessed is the one who remembers this which I believe to be the case with you.
2 Deus autem et pater
domini nostri Iesu Christi et ipse sempiternus pontifex, dei filius Iesus Christus, aedificet vos in fide
et veritate et in omni mansuetudine et sine iracundia et in patientia et in longanimitate et tolerantia et
castitate; et det vobis sortem et partem inter sanctos suos, et nobis vobiscum, et omnibus, qui sunt
sub caelo, qui credituri sunt in dominum nostrum et deum Iesum Christum et in ipsius patrem, qui
resuscitavit eum a mortuis.
Now may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the eternal high priest himself, the Son of God Jesus Christ, build you up in faith and truth and in all gentleness and in all freedom from anger and forbearance and steadfastness and patient endurance and purity, and may he give to you a share and a place among his saints, and to us with you, and to all those under heaven who will yet believe in our Lord and God Jesus Christ and in his Father who raised him from the dead.
3 Pro omnibus sanctis orate.
Orate etiam pro regibus et potestatibus et principibus atque pro persequentibus et odientibus
vos et pro inimicis crucis, ut fructus vester manifestus sit in omnibus, ut sitis in illo perfecti.
Pray for all the saints. Pray also for kings and magistrates and rulers, and for those who persecute and hate you, and for the enemies of the cross, so that your fruit may be evident among all people, so that you may be perfect in him.
You wrote to me, both you yourselves and Ignatius, asking that if any one should go to Syria he might carry thither the letters from you. And this I will do, if I get a fit opportunity, either I myself, or he whom I shall send to be ambassador on your behalf also.
ἀνήκουσαν. Et de ipso Ignatio et de his, qui cum eo sunt, quod certius agnoveritis significate.5
The letters of Ignatius which were sent to us by him, and others as many as we had by us, we send unto you, according as you gave charge; the which are subjoined to this letter; from which you will be able to gain great advantage. For they comprise faith and endurance and every kind of edification, which pertains unto our Lord. Moreover concerning Ignatius himself and those that were with him, if you have any sure tidings, certify us.