This is where I add notes and thoughts as I study the Bible. Please feel free to comment.
I love stories from the early Church because I want to know who I shall one day meet in heaven! And there is something marvelous about the growth of Christianity during the first few centuries. Plus, I stand amazed at the depth of their thoughts, the strength of their faith, and their humanity that they, like us, wrestled with.
When the apostle John was advanced in years, he trained a disciple named Polycarp. Polycarp later became the Bishop of Smyrna (in present day Turkey). This was critical for the early Church because Polycarp was able to carry John’s message to future generations. Can you imagine sitting near the Apostle and hearing his memories about Jesus?
Polycarp taught a disciple named Irenaeus, passing on to him stories about the apostle John. Much of what we know about Polycarp came from the writings of Irenaeus – he was more of a writer than Polycarp. In the book, “Against Heresies,” Irenaeus wrote stories that Polycarp had told him.
Polycarp was martyred in his old age. There is some question whether Polycarp was 86 years old when he was martyred or whether he’d been a Christian 86 years. His words are, “86 years I have served him, and he never did me any injury” (Martyrdom of Polycarp 9).
More info can be found here: Polycarp