Polycarp Research Paper

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Polycarp was born in 69 AD, and was killed in 155 AD. We get the history of his life from two main sources: a letter written by the Smyrnaeans about Polycarp’s martyrdom, and writings by Irenaeus in Adversus Haereses. Irenaeus, when he was young, listened to Polycarp preach. Some other texts we get his history from are the Epistles of Ignatius and Polycarp’s letter to the Philippines. Tertullian noted that he was a follower of John, and Saint Jerome says that he was ordained by John as well. Irenaeus writes that Polycarp was a friend of and travelled with Papias. Polycarp had directly spoken to John and had many conversations with him. The apostles converted Polycarp and made him a bishop. Irenaeus also writes that Polycarp travels to Rome…show more content…
Some of the topics they debated on were resolved quickly, however, Easter was not. Polycarp wanted to follow the eastern tradition of celebrating Easter on the day of the Jewish Passover. Anicetus said that Easter should be celebrated on the day of the first full moon after the Spring equinox. Each decided to follow his own tradition while still being friendly with each other. In 155 AD, while the persecution of Marcus Aurelius was going on, soldiers came to arrest Polycarp. He offered them dinner and most of them converted to Christianity. In the Martyrdom, Polycarp says, “How then can I blaspheme my King and Savior? You threaten me with a fire that burns for a season.../ but you are ignorant of the fire of everlasting punishment that is prepared for the wicked”. Polycarp was supposed to be burned at a stake. The Soldiers saw that the flames did not harm him, so they stabbed him to death with their spears. Enough blood leaked out of his wounds that it put out the fire. Early tradition would compare the deaths of Polycarp with his teacher, John the Apostle. John was not martyred, but instead he was in exile. Many people had tried to kill John for being

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