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Disciple of Apostle John on Jesus followers practicing Judaism and observing Torah

February 9, 2014

IgnatiusIgnatius of Antioch, who lived between 35 CE and 107 CE, is a famous Apostolic Church father. What makes him so special for followers of Jesus today is that he was one of the five earliest church fathers. However, what makes Ignatius even more special than just being a mere “church father” is that he, along with Polycarp, was a disciple of Apostle John himself. Yes, the very same apostle who is reputed to have authored the Gospel of John, a man who is widely considered to be the disciple whom Jesus loved the most. This historical proximity to Jesus’ inner circle is precisely what makes Ignatius of Antioch, a man who was intimately acquainted with Apostle John and his teachings, a veritable portal into the earliest history of the Christian religion. We get a glimpse into the time when Christianity was gaining a stronghold on the Roman world, while Judaism itself was under attack on all fronts. So, what can this student of Jesus’ own beloved disciple teach us? What did Ignatius learn about Judaism and Torah from his teacher, John, a man who saw and knew Jesus in person?

Be not seduced by strange doctrines nor by antiquated fables, which are profitless. For if even unto this day we live after the manner of Judaism, we avow that we have not received grace.… If then those who had walked in ancient practices attained unto newness of hope, no longer observing Sabbaths but fashioning their lives after the Lord’s day, on which our life also arose through Him and through His death which some men deny … how shall we be able to live apart from Him? … It is monstrous to talk of Jesus Christ and to practice Judaism. For Christianity did not believe in Judaism, but Judaism in Christianity. (Ignatius to the Magnesians 8:1, 9:1-2, 10:3, Lightfoot translation.)

I wonder what would this disciple of Apostle John have thought of today’s Messianic Movement and its attempt at amalgamation of Judaism and Christianity? Would Ignatius’ own teacher, the Apostle John himself, approve?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Joseph permalink
    January 16, 2019 12:31 pm

    What are you trying to say, do you believe the Torah is not relevant for today?

  2. marko permalink
    August 11, 2022 11:37 pm

    Shaliach Yochanan (John) may have already addressed us about such a person (Ignatius) as one of “many anti-Messiahs have arisen now — which is how we know that this is the last hour. They went out from us, but they weren’t part of us; for had they been part of us, they would have remained with us.” (1 Yochanan 2v18-19, CJB) and in verse 26 “I have written you these things about the people who are trying to deceive you.”

    Even Sha’ul warns us when he summoned the elders of the community while he was in Miletus saying, ” ‘Watch out for yourselves, and for all the flock in which the Ruach HaKodesh has placed you as leaders, to shepherd God’s Messianic community, which he won for himself at the cost of his own Son’s blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you; and they won’t spare the flock. Even from among your own number, men will arise and teach perversions of the truth, in order to drag away the talmidim after themselves. So stay alert!’ ” (Acts 20v28-31, CJB)

    Still praying for you, Evgeni.

  3. August 12, 2022 8:26 am

    ” they would have remained with us.”

    Well, Ignatius DID remain part of you, Marko!

  4. marko permalink
    August 12, 2022 4:53 pm

    Unfortunately, and to the shame of the community, steering them in the wrong direction.

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