"Charters" in Ignatius to the Philadelphians?

I was reading the letting of St. Ignatius of Antioch to the Philadelphians, and in Chapter 8 he starts talking about people who will only believe the things that they find written in the “charters.”

and I entreat you, Do ye nothing in a spirit of factiousness but after the teaching of Christ. For I heard certain persons saying, If I find it not in the charters, I believe it not in the Gospel. And when I said to them, It is written, they answered me That is the question. But as for me, my charter is Jesus Christ, the inviolable charter is His cross and His death and His resurrection, and faith through Him; wherein I desire to be justified through your prayers.

Does anyone know what he is referring to by the “charters?” My modern mind started to wonder if this passage could have any usefulness or relevance in the discussion over sola scriptura. If anyone could help me understand this passage a little more or tell me what the “charters” are I would greatly appreciate it.

Here’s a link to the full letter:



Here’s another translation:

And I exhort you to do nothing out of strife, but according to the doctrine of Christ. When I heard some saying, If I do not find it in the ancient Scriptures, I will not believe the Gospel; on my saying to them, It is written, they answered me, That remains to be proved. But to me Jesus Christ is in the place of all that is ancient: His cross, and death, and resurrection, and the faith which is by Him, are undefiled monuments of antiquity; by which I desire, through your prayers, to be justified. - biblestudytools.com/history/early-church-fathers/ante-nicene/vol-1-apostolic-with-justin-martyr-irenaeus/ignatius/epistle-of-ignatius-philadelphians.html

Isn’t he saying that Christ was taught in the “ancient Scriptures?”

I know little about him, except that as he was born in 35 AD, if he ever saw anything written down about Christ, then it would be only a few years old.

So my interpretation is that at that time some were saying Jesus is just a fleeting cult, and truth can only be found in the wisdom passed down through the ages. He answers that for him Jesus replaces all of that, all the truth is now in the message of the cross. c.f. 1 Cor 1:18-31.

I was thinking of the Old Testament prophecies that focus on Christ. I’ve only read a little about Ignatius, too. Just wondering.

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