Ignatius
35 – 107 A.D.

BISHOP OF ANTIOCH where disciples were first called Christians (Acts 11), he was a native Syrian and a contemporary of John the Apostle and Polycarp. He was the first man to use the term “catholic,” but he never used it in any letter as referring to anything more than the body of born-again believers who were in Christ by the Holy Spirit. At no time does he suggest that such a term applies to anything Roman or connected with Rome, nor does he ever connect it with anyone who thinks that water baptism is a part of salvation.

The attitude of Ignatius was: “I would rather die for Christ than rule the whole earth. Leave me to the beasts that I may by them be a partaker of God . . . welcome nails and cross, welcome broken bones, bruised body, welcome all diabolic torture, if I may but obtain the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Ignatius was thrown to the lions and eaten alive in 107 A.D.