Someone recently brought to my attention chapter 11 of Ignatius of Antioch’s Epistle to the Trallians. It runs like this (shorter and longer recensions included):
Shorter recension(emphasis in bold):
Flee, therefore, those evil offshoots [of Satan], which produce death-bearing fruit, whereof if any one tastes, he instantly dies. For these men are not the planting of the Father. For if they were, they would appear as branches of the cross, and their fruit would be incorruptible. By it He calls you through His passion, as being His members. The head, therefore, cannot be born by itself, without its members; God, who is [the Saviour] Himself, having promised their union.
Do ye also avoid those wicked offshoots of his, Simon his firstborn son, and Menander, and Basilides, and all his wicked mob of followers, the worshippers of a man, whom also the prophet Jeremiah pronounces accursed. Flee also the impure Nicolaitanes, falsely so called, who are lovers of pleasure, and given to calumnious speeches. Avoid also the children of the evil one, Theodotus and Cleobulus, who produce death-bearing fruit, whereof if any one tastes, he instantly dies, and that not a mere temporary death, but one that shall endure for ever. These men are not the planting of the Father, but are an accursed brood. And says the Lord, “Let every plant which my heavenly Father has not planted be rooted up.” For if they had been branches of the Father, they would not have been “enemies of the cross of Christ,” but rather of those who “killed the Lord of glory.” But now, by denying the cross, and being ashamed of the passion, they cover the transgression of the Jews, those fighters against God, those murderers of the Lord; for it were too little to style them merely murderers of the prophets. But Christ invites you to [share in] His immortality, by His passion and resurrection, inasmuch as ye are His members.
I included the longer recension, because while it’s generally agreed that the longer recensions of St. Ignatius’ epistles are spurious, I feel it’s useful to see how the longer recension makes sense of it and expands upon it.
Basically, what the other guy was asking about, does this passage seem to imply that it was the Father Who suffered on the Cross, as well as Christ? If this is the case, then a sort of Sabellianism could be drawn from this passage. Can anyone shed some light on the subject–perhaps why the Father is mentioned, but (presumably) the Son is only mentioned through pronouns, thus making it possible to interpret it as the Father undergoing the Passion?