Catholic / Protestant Dialogue

The Early Church Was Catholic: Polycarp’s Letter To The Philippians

Polycarp personally knew (and learned from) the Apostle John.

Polycarp was born in 69 AD. He was Bishop of Smyrna, in modern-day western Turkey, and was martyred there in 155 AD. 

This is the third post in an ongoing series showing that the church launched by Jesus and the Apostles was Catholic. Extra-biblical sources are quoted abundantly from today’s Protestant pulpits, but these sources are almost always from the time frame of 1500 AD to today (Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Wesley, Martin Lloyd-Jones, etc.). Suspiciously absent from Protestant pulpits are quotes from the early church. The Catholic content of these early writings cause them to be ignored by Protestantism, which only came into being in the 1500s AD. 

And now, the epistle (letter) of Bishop Polycarp of Smyrna to the Philippians (Philippi is in modern-day Greece).

smyrna-and-philippi_holylandphotos-org-copy-1


Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians

Greeting

Polycarp [Remember, Polycarp was Bishop of Smyrna. The Catholic Church has bishops to this day. The chain of command in every Catholic diocese is bishop above priest and priest above deacon. The English word “bishop” is from the Greek New Testament word “episkope” (ep-is-kop-ay), which appears in the New Testament in Luke 19:44, Acts 1:20, 1 Timothy 3:1, and 1 Peter 2:12.], and the presbyters [The presbytery are the priests, also called “elders” in Protestant Bibles. The English word “priest” contracts the Greek word “presbyteros” from which is derived the Greek word “presbuterion” which appears in the New Testament in 1 Timothy 4:14– “Neglect not the grace that is in thee, which was given thee by prophesy, with imposition of the hands of the priesthood [presbuterion].” ~ 1 Timothy 4:14, Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition Bible.] with him, to the Church of God sojourning at Philippi: Mercy to you, and peace from God Almighty, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour, be multiplied.

Chapter 1. Praise of the Philippians

I have greatly rejoiced with you in our Lord Jesus Christ, because you have followed the example of true love [as displayed by God], and have accompanied, as became you, those who were bound in chains, the fitting ornaments of saints, and which are indeed the diadems of the true elect of God and our Lord; and because the strong root of your faith, spoken of in days long gone by, endures even until now, and brings forth fruit to our Lord Jesus Christ, who for our sins suffered even unto death, [but] whom God raised from the dead, having loosed the bands of the grave. In whom, though now you see Him not, you believe, and believing, rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory; into which joy many desire to enter, knowing that by grace you are saved, not of works, but by the will of God through Jesus Christ. [Catholics and Protestants agree that we are saved by God’s grace. That is, God (not us) initiates our relationship with him, and thus our salvation. Our differences arose when Protestantism (which did not start until 1500 years after Christ) began teaching that a Christian’s faith alone was sufficient cooperation with God’s grace. In other words, Protestantism taught a new doctrine stating that all we must do to cooperate with God’s saving grace is believe that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. This is the Protestant doctrine of “Sola Fide,” Latin for “faith alone.” Again, the doctrine of Sola Fide was established just 500 years ago. The 2,000-year-old Catholic Church has never taught this doctrine– neither is this doctrine anywhere in the Bible.

And there is a glaring contradiction in Sola Fide. That is, while insisting that there is nothing we can do to cooperate with God’s grace, and that we must only believe, the word “believe” is a verb. It is something we must do. It is a “work.” 

Protestantism over-generalizes the word “works” to mean all actions, all verbs. When the New Testament (and Polycarp’s letter) says that we are not saved by works, it means works of the law– the 600+ laws of the Old Testament that Hebrews had to follow. 

… a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ… ~ Galatians 2:16 

“Works” means works of the law. “Works” does not mean all verbs.      

…a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. ~ James 2:24

A man is justified by works– helping old ladies cross the street, not kicking puppies, not stealing your neighbor’s Trump signs, holding the door for people, etc.

trump-yard-sign-copy-1

A man is not justified by works of the law– circumcision (Leviticus 12:3), avoiding clothes weaved of wool and linen together (Deuteronomy 22:11), making sure you have tassles on all four corners of your cloak (Deuteronomy 22:12), etc.

You will see that in Polycarp’s letter (as in the Bible), behavior counts. Our standing with God is not based on faith alone. 

Chapter 2. An exhortation to virtue

Wherefore, girding up your loins, serve the Lord in fear and truth, as those who have forsaken the vain, empty talk and error of the multitude, and believed in Him who raised up our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, and gave Him glory, and a throne at His right hand. To Him all things in heaven and on earth are subject. Him every spirit serves. He comes as the Judge of the living and the dead. His blood will God require of those who do not believe in Him. But He who raised Him up from the dead will raise up us also, if we do His will, and walk in His commandments [God will raise us from the dead if we “walk in his commandments.” But what are these commandments that will get us raised from the dead if we follow them? Here is one.

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up [from the dead] at the last day. ~ Jesus Christ, John 6:54

eucharist-copy-1

Eating Christ’s flesh and drinking his blood are actions, behaviors. To this day, Catholicism teaches that the Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ, and that it has salvational value. Protestantism teaches that the Eucharist is not the body and blood of Christ, and that salvation is by faith alone.] and love what He loved, keeping ourselves from all unrighteousness, covetousness, love of money, evil speaking, false witness; not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing, or blow for blow, or cursing for cursing, but being mindful of what the Lord said in His teaching: Judge not, that you be not judged; forgive, and it shall be forgiven unto you; be merciful, that you may obtain mercy; with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again; and once more, Blessed are the poor, and those that are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God.

Chapter 3. Expressions of personal unworthiness

These things, brethren, I write to you concerning righteousness, not because I take anything upon myself, but because you have invited me to do so. For neither I, nor any other such one, can come up to the wisdom of the blessed and glorified Paul. He, when among you, accurately and steadfastly taught the word of truth in the presence of those who were then alive. And when absent from you, he wrote you a letter [The letter referred to here is the Book of Philippians in the Bible]

book-of-philippians-copy-1

which, if you carefully study, you will find to be the means of building you up in that faith which has been given you, and which, being followed by hope, and preceded by love towards God, and Christ, and our neighbour, is the mother of us all. For if any one be inwardly possessed of these graces, he has fulfilled the command of righteousness, since he that has love is far from all sin.

Chapter 4. Various exhortations

But the love of money is the root of all evils. Knowing, therefore, that as we brought nothing into the world, so we can carry nothing out, let us arm ourselves with the armour of righteousness; and let us teach, first of all, ourselves to walk in the commandments of the Lord. Next, [teach] your wives [to walk] in the faith given to them, and in love and purity tenderly loving their own husbands in all truth, and loving all [others] equally in all chastity; and to train up their children in the knowledge and fear of God. Teach the widows to be discreet as respects the faith of the Lord, praying continually for all, being far from all slandering, evil-speaking, false-witnessing, love of money, and every kind of evil; knowing that they are the altar of God, that He clearly perceives all things, and that nothing is hid from Him, neither reasonings, nor reflections, nor any one of the secret things of the heart.

Chapter 5. The duties of deacons, youths, and virgins

[The English word “deacons” is from the Greek words “diakonos” and “diakoneo” which appear collectively many times in the New Testament and correspond alternately among various Bible versions to the English words “deacon,” “minister,” and “servant.”]

Knowing, then, that God is not mocked, we ought to walk worthy of His commandment and glory. In like manner should the deacons be blameless before the face of His righteousness, as being the servants of God and Christ, and not of men. They must not be slanderers, double-tongued, or lovers of money, but temperate in all things, compassionate, industrious, walking according to the truth of the Lord, who was the servant of all. If we please Him in this present world, we shall receive also the future world, according as He has promised to us that He will raise us again from the dead, and that if we live worthily of Him, we shall also reign together with Him, provided only we believe. [In Chapter 2, Polycarp said we will be raised from the dead if we walk in God’s commandments. But here in Chapter 5, he says we will be raised “provided only we believe.” So which is it? Must we obey, or must we believe? It’s both. Belief includes obedient action. Belief is not faith alone. Unless our hands are nailed to a cross and we are moments from death like the thief next to Jesus, belief is not mere surrender of the intellect and heart and will. Belief includes behavior.

In the New Testament, the opposite of “believe” is “disobey.”  To believe in Jesus Christ for our salvation is to obey his commandments. Here is proof from Protestant Bible versions.

And all who believe in God’s Son have eternal life. Those who don’t obey [disobey] the Son will never experience eternal life [a component of eternal life, as we saw earlier, is eating the flesh of Christ, and drinking his blood, which are actions, behaviors, obedience], but the wrath of God remains upon them.” ~ John 3:36, New Living Translation (NLT) 

By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient. ~ Hebrews 11:31, New International Version (NIV) 

…I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus… who were dead in trespasses and sins… Wherein in time past ye walked according to… the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. ~ Ephesians 1:15-23, 2:1-2, King James Version (KJV) 

Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner. ~ 1 Peter 2:7, King James Version (KJV)

Behavior counts. We are not off the hook by simply praying the sinner’s prayer and accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior at one point in time. Behavior has always counted. It counted in the Old Testament. It counted in the New Testament. It has counted (and continues to count) through 2,000 years of Catholic Christian history. It has counted (and continues to count) through 1,000 years of Eastern Orthodox Christian history. Only in the past 500 years has a new movement (Protestantism) rejected behavior as a component of salvation, replacing it with the new doctrine of Sola Fide (faith alone). Behavior counts.] In like manner, let the young men also be blameless in all things, being especially careful to preserve purity, and keeping themselves in, as with a bridle, from every kind of evil. For it is well that they should be cut off from the lusts that are in the world, since every lust wars against the spirit; and neither fornicators, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, shall inherit the kingdom of God [Behavior counts. Protestantism teaches that inheriting the kingdom of God is a matter of having faith alone. But Polycarp asserts that behavior counts too, and Polycarp’s words echo Paul’s words from the Bible.

Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. ~ 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

Polycarp agrees with Paul that behavior is crucial in inheriting the kingdom of God. Inheriting the kingdom of God is not based on faith alone. But the Protestant will say that if a person has true faith, he or she will stop committing those sins. Really? 

For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out… the evil I do not want to do — this I keep on doing. ~ Romans 7:18-19

That was the Apostle Paul, who God used to write much of the New Testament, and evangelize much of the known world. Am I to believe that Paul’s faith is not true faith because he keeps doing evil? I know many people who have a faith in Christ so true that they would lay down their lives rather than renounce Christ, and who spend their lives seeking and serving him, yet still struggle with sins on that list– sexual immorality and drunkenness for example. 

My view from eleven years of studying Protestantism, and nine years of being a Protestant, is that the Protestant formula for salvation is not Biblical. Citing the thief on the cross (as is very popular in Protestantism) as proof that all one must do for eternal salvation is accept Jesus as Lord and savior at one point in time is misleading. The thief’s hands were nailed to a cross, and he was moments from death. His example does not apply to the millions of able-bodied and free people living in comfortable Western nations. 

Our youth leave Christianity in droves once they encounter the anti-Christian hostility and sensual temptations of the modern university campus. The temptations of peer pressure, Leftism, sex, drugs, and alcohol prove too strong for Christian youth, and understandably so. These youth were told their entire lives that all they must do for eternal salvation is accept Jesus as Lord and Savior at one point in time. They get to college believing they can never lose their salvation. Well if you can’t lose your salvation, why not indulge in the pleasures of this world? Protestantism sets these youth up for failure, and then bemoans the fact that they fail. 

belushi-animal-house-copy-1

John Belushi as John Blutarsky in Animal House

I say all this with great love and respect for my Protestant brethren, with whom I have learned so much about Jesus Christ, the Bible, and the Christian Faith. And I am certainly not saying that today’s Catholic youth as a whole behave any better than Protestant youth in our universities. In fact, I am quite certain that the behavior of both Catholic and Protestant youth in American universities 100 years ago would be a great example for today’s Catholic and Protestant youth. Western civilization (Christendom) has fallen so far so fast. What I am saying is that Catholic doctrine, in line with Biblical doctrine, still asserts that salvation can be lost, and that behavior counts. I am not saying that today’s Catholics follow that doctrine en masse as they once did.

It is my prayer and my goal to bring all my Protestant brethren with me to the Catholic Church– the first and everlasting church. The behavioral trends of society will always go up and down, but the doctrine of the Catholic Church holds steady through all eras of time. What Catholicism needs now is an infusion of zeal, and unashamed representation of Jesus Christ, and love of his word. That’s where Protestants come in. I see your zeal and unashamed representation of Jesus Christ and your love of his word. I experienced it and was honored to be part of it for nine years. I covet those qualities for infusion into today’s Catholic Church, a church that once had those qualities in abundance, and will again, thanks in part to former Protestants such as Scott Hahn, Steve Ray, Tim Staples, and Jimmy Akin coming home to the Catholic Church. 

Experiencing the Mass after having spent a decade diligently studying the Bible as a Protestant was like opening the door to a glorious world I never knew existed. Before I knew the Bible, the Mass did nothing for me. But after I learned the Bible, I saw that the Mass is drenched in the Bible from beginning to end. It is my opinion that Catholics (because they generally do not know the Bible) do not appreciate the Biblical sweetness dripping from the Mass, and the sharp laser-like Christian theology being asserted in the Mass.

It is also my opinion that Protestants (because they generally know the Bible, albeit through the lens of man-made Protestant tradition) would truly appreciate the Biblical beauty of the Mass if they gave it an honest examination by attending and paying attention. To bring these two forces together, the modern Catholic Church with its timeless Biblical forum of worship known as the Mass, and modern Protestants with their Bible knowledge and zeal for Christ, would be Eureka. I’m working on it and praying for it. And to all the Catholics who have held steady all these years, and never left the Church despite the scandals and the apathy, God bless you and please stay strong. I truly believe the cavalry is coming in the form of former Protestants like me. New life is on is way to the Catholic Church. 

I will close this section with more words from Paul. Fittingly, since we are examining Polycarp’s letter to the Philippians, these words are found in Paul’s letter to the Philippians. They are in stark contrast to the overly simplistic method of salvation taught in Protestantism.

…work out your salvation with fear and trembling. ~ Philippians 2:12]

nor those who do things inconsistent and unbecoming. Wherefore, it is needful to abstain from all these things, being subject to the presbyters [priests] and deacons, as unto God and Christ. The virgins also must walk in a blameless and pure conscience.

Chapter 6. The duties of presbyters [priests] and others

And let the presbyters [priests] be compassionate and merciful to all, bringing back those that wander, visiting all the sick, and not neglecting the widow, the orphan, or the poor, but always providing for that which is becoming in the sight of God and man; abstaining from all wrath, respect of persons, and unjust judgment; keeping far off from all covetousness, not quickly crediting [an evil report] against any one, not severe in judgment, as knowing that we are all under a debt of sin. If then we entreat the Lord to forgive us, we ought also ourselves to forgive; for we are before the eyes of our Lord and God, and we must all appear at the judgment-seat of Christ, and must every one give an account of himself. Let us then serve Him in fear, and with all reverence, even as He Himself has commanded us, and as the apostles who preached the Gospel unto us, and the prophets who proclaimed beforehand the coming of the Lord [have alike taught us]. Let us be zealous in the pursuit of that which is good, keeping ourselves from causes of offense, from false brethren, and from those who in hypocrisy bear the name of the Lord, and draw away vain men into error.

Chapter 7. Avoid the Docetae [the Docetae were a heretical sect at the time], and persevere in fasting and prayer

For whosoever does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, is antichrist; and whosoever does not confess the testimony of the cross, is of the devil; and whosoever perverts the oracles of the Lord to his own lusts, and says that there is neither a resurrection nor a judgment, he is the first-born of Satan. Wherefore, forsaking the vanity of many, and their false doctrines, let us return to the word which has been handed down to us from the beginning [You will see in Chapter 10 that this word includes the Book of Tobit, which has been deleted from the Protestant Bible, but remains in the Catholic Bible to this day. The Book of Tobit was also in the Septuagint, the Scriptures in use during the time of Jesus and the Apostles. Neither Jesus nor the Apostles said to remove Tobit from the Scriptures. But 1500 years after Christ, Protestant Reformer Martin Luther decided he did not like the Book of Tobit, so he moved it to the back of the Old Testament in an effort to marginalize and minimalize it. His effort was successful. Protestants eventually removed Tobit from the Bible altogether– along with six other books Luther had moved to the back of the Old Testament. 

Within Protestantism, popes are regularly referred to as antichrist. In fact, the Westminster Confession of Faith formalizes this heresy.

There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ: nor can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof; but is that Antichrist, that man of sin and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the Church against Christ, and all that is called God. ~ Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XXV, #VI

The statement that “there is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ” is a straw man argument– that is, a false argument set up to be blamed on the opponent, which is Catholicism in this case. Catholics know and acknowledge that there is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ. They had known and acknowledged this fact for the millenium-and-a-half before Protestantism even existed. The pope is merely God’s steward, not his equal, as Jesus Christ himself points out by echoing Isaiah 22:22 when he appoints Peter as his steward.

I [Jesus] will give you [Peter] the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. ~ Matthew 16:19

This verse is a direct fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 22:22, the words of which are almost identical.

I [God] will place on his [Eliakim’s] shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. ~ Isaiah 22:22

In the verse just prior to this, God deposed Shebna as the steward of the house of David, and called Eliakim to be the new steward of the house of David. 

“Go, say to this steward, to Shebna, who is in charge of the palace… you will be ousted from your position [I believe this was a prophecy of Jesus taking the chair of Moses from the Pharisees and the teachers of the law]. In that day I [God] will summon my servant, Eliakim [Eliakim is a prophecy of Peter. Jesus took the chair of Moses from the Pharisees and teachers of the law (Shebna), and gave it to Peter (Eliakim)]…”

“I [God] will clothe him [Eliakim] with your [Shebna’s] robe and fasten your sash around him and hand your authority over to him [robes, sashes, and authority– sound like anyone you know?].” 

pope-francis-copy-1

“He will be a father [the english word “pope” comes from the Latin word “papa” which means “father”] to those who live in Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.”

“I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open [this is the verse Jesus echoes in Matthew 16:19, calling our attention back to this passage of Isaiah 22 so that we would see clearly that he was appointing Peter as the steward of His kingdom].”

“I will drive him [the new steward] like a peg into a firm place [the papacy is the longest running office on earth, 2000 years old and going strong, it has survived all the wars and famine and demonic attacks that the world can throw at it, and it will continue to be an anvil that wears out every hammer that strikes it]…”

~ Isaiah 22:15-23

Now, I say all that to say this: Despite the fact that popes are called Antichrist within Protestantism, no pope in the 2,000-year history of the Catholic Church has ever removed a single book from the Bible. Yet in the mere 500-year history of Protestantism, seven whole books (Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabess), and parts of two others (Daniel and Esther), have been removed from the Bible by this movement which formally (and against the Bible) calls the pope the Antichrist. Irony?]; watching unto prayer, and persevering in fasting; beseeching in our supplications the all-seeing God not to lead us into temptation, as the Lord has said: The spirit truly is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Chapter 8. Persevere in hope and patience

Let us then continually persevere in our hope, and the earnest of our righteousness, which is Jesus Christ, who bore our sins in His own body on the tree, who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth, but endured all things for us, that we might live in Him. Let us then be imitators of His patience; and if we suffer for His name’s sake, let us glorify Him. For He has set us this example in Himself, and we have believed that such is the case.

Chapter 9. Patience inculcated

I exhort you all, therefore, to yield obedience to the word of righteousness, and to exercise all patience, such as you have seen [set] before your eyes, not only in the case of the blessed Ignatius, and Zosimus, and Rufus, but also in others among yourselves, and in Paul himself, and the rest of the apostles. [This do] in the assurance that all these have not run in vain, but in faith and righteousness, and that they are [now] in their due place in the presence of the Lord, with whom also they suffered. For they loved not this present world, but Him who died for us, and for our sakes was raised again by God from the dead.

Chapter 10. Exhortation to the practice of virtue

Stand fast, therefore, in these things, and follow the example of the Lord, being firm and unchangeable in the faith, loving the brotherhood, and being attached to one another, joined together in the truth, exhibiting the meekness of the Lord in your intercourse with one another, and despising no one. When you can do good, defer it not, because alms delivers from death. [Protestantism teaches that “Sola Fide” (faith alone) delivers from death. This mention of alms is a reference to the Book of Tobit, which has been deleted from Protestant Bibles, but remains in Catholic Bibles to this day.

Give alms from your possessions. Do not turn your face away from any of the poor, so that God’s face will not be turned away from you. Give in proportion to what you own. If you have great wealth, give alms out of your abundance; if you have but little, do not be afraid to give alms even of that little. You will be storing up a goodly treasure for yourself against the day of adversity. For almsgiving delivers from death and keeps one from entering into Darkness. ~ Tobit 4:7-11

Prayer with fasting is good. Almsgiving with righteousness is better than wealth with wickedness. It is better to give alms than to store up gold, for almsgiving saves from death, and purges all sin. Those who give alms will enjoy a full life, but those who commit sin and do evil are their own worst enemies. ~ Tobit 12:8-10]

Be all of you subject one to another having your conduct blameless among the Gentiles, that you may both receive praise for your good works, and the Lord may not be blasphemed through you. But woe to him by whom the name of the Lord is blasphemed! Teach, therefore, sobriety to all, and manifest it also in your own conduct.

Chapter 11. Expression of grief on account of Valens

I am greatly grieved for Valens, who was once a presbyter among you, because he so little understands the place that was given him [in the Church]. I exhort you, therefore, that you abstain from covetousness, and that you be chaste and truthful. Abstain from every form of evil. For if a man cannot govern himself in such matters, how shall he enjoin them on others? If a man does not keep himself from covetousness, he shall be defiled by idolatry, and shall be judged as one of the heathen. But who of us are ignorant of the judgment of the Lord? Do we not know that the saints shall judge the world? as Paul teaches. But I have neither seen nor heard of any such thing among you, in the midst of whom the blessed Paul laboured, and who are commended in the beginning of his Epistle. For he boasts of you in all those Churches which alone then knew the Lord; but we [of Smyrna] had not yet known Him. I am deeply grieved, therefore, brethren, for him (Valens) and his wife; to whom may the Lord grant true repentance! And be then moderate in regard to this matter, and do not count such as enemies, but call them back as suffering and straying members, that you may save your whole body. For by so acting you shall edify yourselves.

Chapter 12. Exhortation to various graces

For I trust that you are well versed in the Sacred Scriptures, and that nothing is hid from you; but to me this privilege is not yet granted. It is declared then in these Scriptures, Be angry, and sin not, and, Let not the sun go down upon your wrath. Happy is he who remembers this, which I believe to be the case with you. But may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ Himself, who is the Son of God, and our everlasting High Priest, build you up in faith and truth, and in all meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, forbearance, and purity; and may He bestow on you a lot and portion among His saints, and on us with you, and on all that are under heaven, who shall believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, and in His Father, who raised Him from the dead. Pray for all the saints. Pray also for kings, and potentates, and princes, and for those that persecute and hate you, and for the enemies of the cross, that your fruit may be manifest to all, and that you may be perfect in Him.

Chapter 13. Concerning the transmission of epistles

Both you and Ignatius wrote to me, that if any one went [from this] into Syria, he should carry your letter with him; which request I will attend to if I find a fitting opportunity, either personally, or through some other acting for me, that your desire may be fulfilled. The Epistles of Ignatius [Ignatius was another bishop, Bishop of Antioch, which is in modern-day southern Turkey] written by him to us [We previously examined the Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans, in which Ignatius labels as heretics those who deny that the Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ.], and all the rest [of his Epistles] which we have by us, we have sent to you, as you requested . They are subjoined to this Epistle, and by them you may be greatly profited; for they treat of faith and patience, and all things that tend to edification in our Lord. Any more certain information you may have obtained respecting both Ignatius himself, and those that were with him, have the goodness to make known to us.

Chapter 14. Conclusion

These things I have written to you by Crescens, whom up to the present time I have recommended unto you, and do now recommend. For he has acted blamelessly among us, and I believe also among you. Moreover, you will hold his sister in esteem when she comes to you. Be safe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with you all. Amen.


Source of Polycarp’s Epistle to the Philippians: newadvent.org

The Bible is always proven true.

1 reply »

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s