ANF – The Epistle of Ignatius to Polycarp

This post is one of a series of reviews of the early Church Fathers, who are technically referred to as the Ante-Nicene Fathers (before the Council of Nicaea).  To find other reviews of these ancient writings, use the search bar on my blog and search for ANF.


Polycarp is reputed to be a disciple of St. John, and the last link between the Apostles and those who were taught by them.  He was the bishop of Smyrna.  Ireneaus writes a letter of encouragement to Polycarp, exhorting him to continued faithfulness and the promotion of unity in the faith.  He also exhorts him to various other Scriptural mandates, including an equal love of all people regardless of their sex or status.  His letter concludes with admonitions to the people under Polycarp, that husbands should love their wives (Ephesians 5) and that the congregation should follow the leadership of their bishop, Polycarp.

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