22 February Feast of the Martyrdom of Polycarp of Smyrna – Jewish involvement questionable #otdimjh
Polycarp’s life is known mainly from the writings of his disciple Irenaeus of Lyons, made familiar to a wide audience by the extensive quotations in Eusebius. Irenaeus is depicted as the heir to the Johannine tradition; his uncompromising opposition to the heretic Marcion is equated with the evangelist’s to Cerinthus. Polycarp was also a defender of the Johannine Easter date of the 14th of Nisan, and late in life made a visit to Rome for inconclusive talks on the subject with Pope Anicetus. Besides John, Polycarp was connected with another outstanding figure of the apostolic church: Ignatius of Antioch addressed an epistle to him.
Polycarp was the bishop of Smyrna (modern Izmir) in western Asia Minor. Members of his flock wrote an extremely detailed account of their aged hierarch’s martyrdom, one of the most famous documents…
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