Ignatius of Antioch and the Arian Controversy
Gilliam, Paul R.
The goal of this thesis is to demonstrate the presence of a fourth-century controversy surrounding the second-century Christian martyr Ignatius of Antioch. Scholars are well acquainted with the Ignatian controversy of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. This thesis will show that many years before there existed another controversy over Ignatius of Antioch. During the fourth century, representatives of both Nicene and non-Nicene Christologies sought to conscript Ignatius in order to defend their understanding of orthodox Christianity. I will expose this nasty fight via the narrative found in the next five chapters. In the opening chapter, I will marshal textual evidence that leads to the conclusion that the Ignatian middle recension is riddled with textual alterations introduced by proponents of Nicene Christology. In chapters two and three, I will argue that the Ignatian long recension represents a response to these Nicene alterations by a Non- Nicene individual or party that possessed a Christology compatible with the Ekthesis Macrostichos creed of Antioch 344. I will demonstrate that both the Ignatian long reension and the Macrostichos understand Jesus to be equal with God as well as subordinate to God. Chapter four will catalogue the embrace of Ignatius of Antioch by a variety of fourth-century Christian leaders, with a focus on the Nicene Athanasius of Alexandria and the non-Nicene Eusebius of Caesarea. The concluding chapter will direct attention to John Chrysostom‟s sermon In sanctum Ignatium martyrem. The evidence leads me to conclude that by the end of the fourth century Ignatius of Antioch had become such a controversial figure that Chrysostom felt the need to defend Ignatius‟ character before he could put forth Ignaitus as a model for Antiochene Chrisitans to emulate. There has been much scholarly work devoted to Ignatius of Antioch and there has been much scholarly work devoted to the Arian controversy. Until now, this personality and this controversy have not been brought together for close inspection.