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Posts Tagged ‘Polycarp’

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Irenaeus (it is thought) died 4/6/202 AD, probably at Lugdunum, Gaul (now Lyon, France).  Historians estimate his birth as 125-130.  He appears connected to Smyrna, a town near Ephesus ,located in what is now Turkey.  One of the things that rivets attention on Irenaeus is that he heard (was a student of?) Polycarp and – – – Polycarp heard (was a student of?) the Apostle John.   In a sense we might call Polycarp a “spiritual son” of John & Irenaeus a “spiritual grandson” of John.  What a linage.   

Irenaeus went west to what today is southern France (perhaps while a young man).  He seems to have been sent on a trip to Rome in 177.   Before he could return persecution took the lives of several believers including the man who had been bishop there, Pothinus.  Irenaeus became bishop in his place.  He penned the Refutation of Heresies, and Proof of the Apostolic Preaching. (As an aside, he seems to have seen the earth as a sphere.)

Irenaeus Quotes:

“Error never shows itself in its naked reality, in order not to be discovered. On the contrary, it dresses elegantly, so that the unwary may be led to believe that it is more truthful than truth itself.”

“The business of the Christian is nothing else but to be ever preparing for death.”

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“Eighty and six years have I served Him, and he never did me any injury; how then can I blaspheme my King and my Savior.”

“Eighty and six years I have served Christ and He has done me nothing but good; how then could I curse Him, my Lord and Savior?”

“Eighty and six years have I now served Christ, and he has never done me the least wrong: How then can I blaspheme my King and my Savior?”

                (The essence of the above quotes – three different on-line sources – is the same

                                but the variation is interesting to observe.)

Polycarp was burned at stake this date 2/23/155.  His “crime”?  refusing to deny Christ. He was a disciple of the Apostle John.  Rome arrested him at age 86.  He was burned alive.

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