Wednesday, October 5, 2016

"provided we suffer with him"

"Fly from these wicked offshoots [(παραφυάδας)], which bear deadly fruit [(καρπὸν)], which if a man eat he presently dies.  For these are not the planting [(φυτεία)] of the Father.  For if they were they would appear as branches of the Cross [(κλάδοι τοῦ σταυροῦ)] (and their fruit [(καρπὸς)] would be incorruptible) by which through his Passion he calls you who are his members [(μέλη)].  The head therefore cannot be borne without limbs [(μελῶν)], since God promises union [(ἕνωσιν)], that is himself."

     St. Ignatius, Trallians 11, trans. Lake.  "these wicked offshoots" are those who affirm that Christ's "suffering was only a semblance" (10), that he "was [not] truly persecuted under Pontius Pilate, was [not] truly crucified" and did not truly die (9), and therefore that Ignatius himself is "dying in vain" (10).  Because they do not "appear as branches of the Cross", they are not "the planting of the Father."  Trans. Ehrmann (LCL 24, 267):
Flee therefore the evil offshoots that produce deadly fruit; anyone who tastes it dies at once.  For these are not the Father's planting.  If they were, they would appear as branches of the cross and their fruit would be imperishable.  Through the cross, by his suffering, he calls you who are the parts of his body.  Thus the head cannot be born without the other parts, because God promises unity, which he himself is.

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