Ten Hostile Leopards

Ignatius Under Arrest

Ignatius of Antioch led the Christians of one of the largest cities in the Empire. We first meet him, though, after he’s already been arrested. An impressive guard seems to have escorted him to Rome; he refers to himself as “being bound amidst ten leopards, even a company of soldiers, who only wax worse when they are kindly treated.” On his way, he wrote a number of letters that have survived the centuries — to the Ephesians, the Magnesians, the Trallians, the Romans, the Philadelphians, the Smyrnaeans, and one to Bishop Polycarp of Smyrna. Tradition (and decent probability) indicate that he was executed in Rome, apparently being fed to lions.

(The execution scene is yet to come, and I’ll probably work up a frame or two of doctrinal illustrations.)

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