St. Polycarp learned about Jesus from St. John the Evangelist, who taught him and made him Bishop of Smyrna in present-day Turkey. Therefore any extant writing by Polycarp would be as faithful to the Gospel as it’s possible to get from someone who didn’t meet Jesus himself. And we do have Polycarp’s Letter to the Philippians, as documented by St. Irenaeus (d. 202), who was born in Smyrna and became Polycarp’s disciple. Thus through Irenaeus we have a direct link to the disciple Jesus loved, making Polycarp one of three “Apostolic Fathers” or most reliable witnesses in post-apostolic history. This is of essential importance to us today, all these centuries later; it is one thing to “believe what the Bible says,” but how do we know our Bible is authentic? Because Polycarp taught what John taught, and taught it to Irenaeus, who left a wealth of records. (

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.