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IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH - HIS JESUS WAS NOT KNOWN UNTIL HE "ROSE FROM THE DEAD"

We have the New Testament, the only body of writings that come from the early Christians. The next oldest writings are those of the Apostolic Fathers. These works hail from the late first to early second century. Ignatius is one of the most important fathers.  He allegedly had links to John the Apostle.  He was the first to mention Catholic Church.  What he writes is very important.

Ignatius had to contend with heretics, the Docetists, who held that Jesus was a spirit or symbol not a man. They denied that Jesus’ human life and his death were real. Ignatius argued that if this is so, then everything else must be an illusion as well! (Smyrnaeans 4). Such an argument is simply dreadful. It shows that he was not very bright and careless in matters of religious dispute. The heretics were saying creation was real enough but Jesus was a vision acting like a man or a symbol or illusion.

He advised his people not to speak to heretics and to simply say a prayer for them although he later disclosed that he didn’t even want to remember that they existed! The hypocrite!  What was he afraid of - that some of them knew the truth about Jesus?

Worse he writes that the virginity of Mary, her baby and Jesus' death were done in silence by God and were the three mysteries in Ephesians 19. 

Let us read it. 

"Now the virginity of Mary was hidden from the prince of this world, as was also her offspring, and the death of the Lord; three mysteries of renown, which were wrought in silence by God. How, then, was He manifested to the world? A star shone forth in heaven above all the other stars, the light of which was inexpressible, while its novelty struck men with astonishment. And all the rest of the stars, with the sun and moon, formed a chorus to this star, and its light was exceedingly great above them all. And there was agitation felt as to whence this new spectacle came, so unlike to everything else [in the heavens]. Hence every kind of magic was destroyed, and every bond of wickedness disappeared; ignorance was removed, and the old kingdom abolished, God Himself being manifested in human form for the renewal of eternal life. And now that took a beginning which had been prepared by God. Henceforth all things were in a state of tumult, because He meditated the abolition of death."

Nobody knew of Jesus then until he appeared in the sky like a human star and he was manifested to show eternal life - he proved the resurrection by appearing in the sky.  The star is not our star of Bethlehem and Ignatius gives no hint that he is thinking of it.  He excludes it completely for this start happened after the tree mysteries and involved the sun and moon worshipping it.  The star destroyed magic.  The star of Bethlehem did not destroy magic for we read that even after it came Satan was busy promoting the occult and its power.

Back to the three mysteries or secrets - they were the virginity of Mary, her giving birth and the death of her son.  This means that nobody not even Satan knew of these things.  The absence of the resurrection from the list matches the theory that alleged visions of an obscure man started Christianity off.  The resurrection, as in visionary experiences of a risen man, which should have been more entitled to be secret than the death of Jesus or Mary's virginity was a public event. 

Church Father mentioned the letter to the Ephesians as if it were authentic.  It is clear from the above passage that if there was tampering going on the above is too far away from Catholic doctrine to be a Catholic insertion.

The gospels were not published even in the early second century for Ignatius of Antioch could do no better against the Docetists who believed that Jesus was a ghost not a man than to illogically say if Jesus was an illusion so is everything else. He would have told them to listen to the historical records and why they should but there were none. There was no evidence for the existence of Christ. Nobody considers apparitions to be good evidence!