Ignatius was born in Syria around AD 50, and died in Rome sometime between AD 98 and AD 117. He was a devoted disciple of the Apostle Paul and nowhere is this more evident than in his responses in regards to the two fronts of opposition which he faced: legalism and Gnosticism.
He served as the Bishop of Antioch in the very same place in which Paul and Barnabas were sent out, the first Jerusalem council had taken place, and the great Apostle Peter had received his rebuke from none other than Paul himself.
He is most famous for writing seven letters addressing the issues of legalism and Gnosticism while on his way to Rome to be martyred. To the legalists, he charged that to keep the law as a basis for salvation was to reject the very essence of Christianity. To the Gnostics, he wrote, among other things, that their teaching of Docetism was merely an attempt to make Christianity more palatable to the masses.