John, Polycarp, and Irenaeus: A Fascinating Page from Church History

Published on July 24, 2014 by Fred Zaspel

Evangelical Press, 2004 | 192 pages

Here is a delightful page from the early church that you will surely enjoy.

First, the quick background. Irenaeus (c. 130-200) was a disciple of Polycarp (died c. 155), who, in turn, was a disciple of the apostle John.
The following is from Michael Haykin’s wonderful little book, Defence of the Truth: Contending for the Faith Yesterday and Today, page 32:

“The magnitude of Polycarp’s influence on Irenaeus is evident in a letter he wrote many years after his youth to a former friend by the name of Florinus. In it he recalled:

“I remember events from those days more clearly than those that happened recently – what we learn in childhood adheres to the mind and grows with it – so that I can even picture the place where the blessed Polycarp sat and conversed, his comings and goings, his character, his personal appearance, his discourses to the crowds, and how he reported his discussions with John and others who had seen the Lord. He recalled their very words, what they reported about the Lord and his miracles and his teaching – things that Polycarp had heard directly from eyewitnesses of the Word of life and reported in full harmony with Scripture. I listened eagerly to these things at that time and, through God’s mercy, noted them not on paper but in my heart. By God’s grace I continually reflect on them….”

An excellent resource on the early church and a delightful read throughout, Hakin’s Defence of the Truth is no longer in print, but you can find new and used copies at Amazon here.


Buy the books

Defense Of The Truth: Contending For The Faith Yesterday And Today

Evangelical Press, 2004 | 192 pages

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