69 – 155 A.D.

Polycarp was born in Smyrna and later became bishop there. He was a disciple of the Apostle John and also a friend of Ignatius. He was a very dedicated student of the Pauline epistles and the Gospel of John. He had very little to say about sacraments or ritual. He maintained that each church was independent of any outside human authority. He never referred to the ministers as priests, and he never taught that water baptism had anything to do with salvation. As a very old man he was arrested, tried, and condemned. When asked to renounce his faith in Christ, he replied, “Eighty and six years have I served Him and He hath done me no wrong. How can I speak evil of my King who saved me?” Polycarp was burned alive, and when the flames refused to consume him, he was killed with the sword and then burned.

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