Polycarp–Bishop of Smyrna

As we near the end of the New Testament, we naturally see the end of the apostolic era. These apostles, and others closely associated with them, have given us the Scriptures of the New Testament. Tradition tells us that most of them were martyred for their faith and their obedience to Christ’s command to make disciples.

Church history properly starts at Pentecost, as a community of faith is produced through Peter’s apostolic preaching. They are a community of one baptism, signifying their allegiance to one Lord, Jesus Christ. The apostles are the primary foundation builders of the universal church and the first generation of churches is characterized by something that future generations have longed for: apostolic authority.

What would happen to the church once these men pass from the scene? We get a glimpse of this in Paul’s letters to Timothy, his son in the faith. Timothy is to entrust the deposit of doctrine and the life that accompanies true belief to faithful men of future generations who are also able to teach others. It is a simple strategy, but on a human level, one of utmost importance if we are to see Christ continuing to build His church.

From Apostles to Fathers

At the turn of the first century, all the apostles have passed away. Their Lord’s command to make disciples of all nations is now officially passed on to the next generation. There is a clear void to fill. Not only must the gospel continue its spread across the world, but existing churches need to be strengthened so that the church can remain the pillar and support of the truth. Who will fill this considerable void left by the apostles? Who will continue to pass the torch for the gospel to succeeding generations? Who will carry the baton and continue to feed the sheep of Jesus?

We often have a romanticised view of what the early churches must have been like: “they are so close to the time of the apostles” we say. And even though this is true and providentially a unique privilege for those early churches, the reality is that these were still infant churches so to speak. The simplicity we imagine for these second generation churches is too simplistic. The church had yet to fight some of the major theological battles that would help her to mature and be purified, and yes, to separate from those who would undermine and even deny the faith as it was handed down once for all for the saints.

So we too are in a very privileged position. We have the benefit of standing on some pretty broad shoulders, leveraging off the wisdom of those battles already fought throughout church history. These early churches did not have this comfort. Given these immense challenges that second generation churches would face, who would take up the task?

Poly-who?

Enter Polycarp: one of the most significant characters in the early history of the church during the patristic era (the word patristic is derived from the Latin word for ‘father’—thus denoting the era of the early church fathers). Polycarp, along with other prominent figures such as Clement of Rome and Ignatius, plays a major role in helping the church transition from the apostolic era to the post-apostolic era. He exemplifies Paul’s instruction to Timothy mentioned earlier, by passing down the faith of the saints to future generations. Irenaeus of Lyons, one of the foremost early apologists of the Christian faith, was mentored by Polycarp.


Polycarp plays a major role in helping the church transition from the apostolic era to the post-apostolic era.


Polycarp, born around 65 AD, himself discipled by the apostle John, became the renowned Bishop of Smyrna. Of his life little is known, but the little we have is highly interesting.[1] Irenaeus paints this picture of his mentor in a few sentences:

I could describe the very place in which the blessed Polycarp sat and taught; his going out and coming in; the whole tenor of his life; his personal appearance; how he would speak of the conversations he had held with John and with others who had seen the Lord. How did he make mention of their words and of whatever he had heard from them respecting the Lord.[2]

Irenaeus, who would later make his own significant contribution to church history, even eclipsing his mentor, was a fervent admirer of Polycarp throughout his life.[3] He was instructed by John, along with his good friend and contemporary Ignatius.

The fact that Polycarp “was instructed by the apostles and was brought into contact with many who had seen Christ”[4] stirs our curiosity. Polycarp was therefore considered a living link with the disciples of Jesus and the apostles. In the absence of the Bible as we know it, men like Polycarp were considered the best and most authoritative sources of information about what the apostles taught and how they led churches.[5] Instinctively we are drawn to Polycarp because he lived in such close proximity to the apostles. We anticipate a purity to his doctrine since he was instructed by an apostle. And even though this is true, we must remember that he is serving an infant church. As we will see, Polycarp lived in a time of persecution. As with many other ancient writers, the meaning of suffering became a central concern. Without seeking suffering, they has their share of it.[6]

We may not have as much information on Polycarp as we might have wanted, especially regarding his conversations with the apostles. It is still evident that he was not a one-dimensional follower of the Lord. It is therefore with much excitement that we look at Polycarp’s life.

We will survey Polycarp’s life along the following lines: first, Polycarp as bishop; and second, Polycarp in Smyrna. These first two sections will cover some historical background that will provide the context for three further aspects of his life: Polycarp as theologian; Polycarp as martyr; and finally, Polycarp as example—we will explore the ways in which Polycarp can still be an example to us today as we live out the Christian life.

Polycarp as Bishop

For those in an autonomously governed local church, perhaps when we hear the word ‘bishop’ we may be tempted to twitch and even to be suspicious of those with such a title. Give me elders any day of the week; bishops belong to Anglicanism or worse to Roman Catholicism. Not only is this kind of thinking anachronistic, but it also betrays our ignorance of the complexity of church history. To understand Polycarp’s role as the Bishop of Smyrna we need to trace what a bishop was in the New Testament era and then follow the progression of this church office into the post-apostolic era.

A bishop is an overseer of the flock of God. He is to pastor and shepherd the church. During the New Testament era, the title ‘bishop’ describes the function of an elder—one who oversees. [7] In passages like Titus 1:5-7, the terms ‘overseer’ and ‘elder’ seem to be interchangeable. The qualifications of a bishop and his duties are supplied in 1 Timothy 3 and in Titus 1. In a nutshell, a bishop needs to be a man of godly character, blameless and able to teach. Although the New Testament refers to bishops and elders, it never mentions these terms as distinct from one another, as to indicate separate functions, despite the best efforts of some historians who try to claim that a distinction between elder and bishop is of apostolic origin.[8]

The pattern of appointing elders is clear from the practice of Paul and Barnabas. They appointed elders in all the churches they founded on their missionary journeys. It is clear that elders had a decisive place in church life. The stability and purity of the flock depended largely on them in times of temptation or crisis. Their position of authority by extension was ripe for abuse.[9]

Now, by the time we come to the post-apostolic era in the 2nd-century, there are clearly three distinct positions of leadership in the church: bishop, elder and deacon.[10] In the letters of Polycarp’s contemporary, Ignatius, we see a clear distinction between the offices of bishop and elder[11], this includes a letter written by Ignatius to Polycarp himself. By association it is clear that Polycarp as bishop practices a threefold order of ministry ordination. He is the bishop, possibly assisted by several elders and deacons. For the church in Smyrna, Polycarp functions as its chief pastor and administrator.

This process of creating a distinction between the office of bishop and elder becomes important in the development of the doctrine of apostolic succession in the early church. By about 150 AD it is widely held that bishops and not elders were the direct successors of the apostles and they were therefore the chief guardians of the apostolic teaching.[12]

Even though this introduction of hierarchy into church leadership is unwarranted in light of biblical prescriptions, it is evident that Polycarp was qualified to be a bishop according to biblical requirements. He was a man of godly character and he possessed the ability to teach. Herein lies some of the complexity of exploring saints from church history. Here we have a man characterized by godliness, yet he operates within a deviation from the New Testament blueprint. And since we have perfect hindsight, we are well aware of the trouble this distinction between bishop and elder caused throughout church history, chiefly among the hierarchical structures of the Roman Catholic Church.

Before we are too eager to pass judgment on Polycarp and his generation, and thereby reveal our chronological snobbery, we would do well to understand why they introduced this distinction between bishop and elder, although these reasons do not suffice to overturn or undermine the biblical template for church governance.

The distinction may be accounted for by identifying sociological pressures from within and from outside the church.[13] For practical reasons it may have seemed beneficial, even necessary, for a single man to be the chief administrator in a city consisting of various house churches or groups of fellowship. In these circumstances, the bishop became the chief pastor ruling over several churches in one geographical area.[14] Additionally, as the church became more Gentile-orientated, the danger of heresies increased and therefore greater emphasis was placed on the authority of the bishop.[15]

By all accounts Polycarp was a respected bishop, someone who performed his duties with excellence and thereby gained a fine reputation as an ambassador of Christ. We are always to pursue doctrinal purity through following biblical instruction faithfully. What this aspect of Polycarp’s ministry teaches us is that we probably all have blind spots we do not recognize. And yet, Christ continues to build His church, and continues to feed His sheep through imperfect human instruments.

Polycarp in Smyrna

What do we know about the church in Smyrna, where Polycarp served as bishop? Available historical information is silent on how Polycarp ascended to the role of bishop in this city. We will therefore piece together the information we have to paint a picture of the kind of church Polycarp was the overseer of.

Smyrna was a Greek city located at a strategic point on the Aegean coast of Asia Minor. Due to its advantageous port conditions, its ease of defense and its good inland connections, Smyrna rose to prominence. Today Smyrna is known as Izmir in Turkey. Around 130 BC, Smyrna was organized into the Roman province of Asia. This happened as Roman influence started to increase in the ancient Mediterranean world and the Greek influence started to decrease. Smyrna is said to have created the cult of the goddess Roma to build ties with the city of Rome. Even though Pergamum was made the capital of this newly constituted Roman province, Smyrna, as a major seaport, became a leading city in the province. As one of the principal cities in the area, Smyrna competed with Pergamum and Ephesus to be the leading city of Asia Minor.

The church in Smyrna was likely founded by Paul or someone associated with Paul on his third missionary journey during the time where he used Ephesus as the base for his ministry. Paul proclaimed the gospel in the synagogue in Ephesus for a period of three months (Acts 19:8). Paul subsequently withdrew his disciples and started teaching them in the hall of Tyrannus for the next two years (Acts 19:9-10). Acts 19:10 provides a clue that the Smyrnaean church may have been founded during this two-year period: This (Paul’s teaching of the gospel) continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks. Luke’s mention of Asia here most likely refers to the province of Asia, and since Smyrna is about 35 miles from Ephesus it is highly probable that this city was reached with the gospel during this time. As with many of the other churches that Paul and his companions planted, this church probably originated among a Jewish colony of the dispersion to which Greeks were then added.

Smyrna is also one of the seven churches in the book of Revelation to whom the John writes, probably during the closing decade of the first century. At this point it is unclear if Polycarp had already come under the tutelage of John. We could, however, speculate along with others in church history that Polycarp may have been the “angel of the church in Smyrna” to whom the Master says, “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”[16]

The words of our Lord Jesus to the church in Smyrna were as follows:

And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life. “‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’

Rev. 2:8-11 (ESV)

Through John, Christ delivered a message meant to encourage them in light of what they were facing presently and were about to face in the future. The church at Smyrna was to undergo some intense persecution and tribulation. Jesus wanted to encourage them to stand strong, even if it meant physical death.

As we move into the post-apostolic era we know that Ignatius, who was the Bishop of Antioch, visited Smyrna and wrote a letter to them and to Polycarp, their bishop. From the letter of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans we can reconstruct some of what the pressing concerns were in this church, concerns that Polycarp as their bishop would have to deal with.[17]

Ignatius clearly expresses the gospel of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In His death, Christ truly suffered on our behalf, not in appearance only. In His resurrection, Christ possesses a human body. Ignatius thanks God that the church in Smyrna holds to the gospel faith as he does. Ignatius warns them to guard themselves against heretics, especially those who say that Jesus was human in appearance only. This is an early heresy known as Docetism. They are to pray that these heretics would repent; since they deny Christ’s incarnation, they altogether deny Christ. In no uncertain terms, those who do not believe that Jesus came in the flesh and shed His blood for the salvation of the world will be condemned and do not have eternal life. He instructs them to separate from these heretics who are ashamed of the cross, who mock Christ’s passion and make jest of the resurrection. They are not even to talk with them, publicly or privately. Such abominable heresies just lead to schisms and evils. Ignatius encourages the church to honour their bishop. They are not to baptize or celebrate communion without Polycarp, for it is then unlawful. All marriages should also take place with Polycarp’s knowledge.[18] To do anything without the bishop is to destroy the unity of the church and to replace order with confusion. The laity should be subject to the deacons; the deacons to the elders, and the elders to the bishop who submits to Christ. Ignatius commends the church for receiving servants of Christ and giving them refreshment. He thanks them for their prayers on behalf of the saints at Antioch and encourages them to send an envoy to Antioch for mutual edification. After saluting Polycarp by name, he greets various individuals of the church and commends the whole church to the grace of God. He prays that they would be filled with the Holy Spirit and sacred wisdom.

Polycarp as Theologian

With the historical background in place concerning Polycarp’s role as bishop and the development of the church in Smyrna he shepherded, we can now turn to his writings to learn from his theological insights.

Unfortunately for us, only one of his letters is available to study today. Polycarp wrote a letter to the church at Philippi, which will be the source of our theological exploration. His letter to Philippi is not a theological treatise, but as with many of the epistles of the New Testament, it serves as an occasional letter. This reality leaves us with two options: we can decide to neglect this letter’s contribution to theology along the lines of one writer who says that it lacks theological sophistication or significance for the story of theology,[19] or we can decide to embrace it and see the glimpses and anticipations of future theological developments. At the same time we will see that orthodox beliefs were always present, even if they are conveyed in embryonic form. Let’s follow the second option.

Based on Polycarp’s letter to the Philippians, the theologian Thomas Oden was able to identify the following theological insights:

  • Polycarp was more concerned with the proclamation of the love, power and the justice of God the Father through the Son, than with the bare existence of God.[20] Our doctrine of God should emphasize what God has done in the gospel and we should not be fixated on proving His existence.
  • Christ’s descent into Hades between his death and resurrection was assumed, confessed and affirmed by Polycarp.[21]
  • The saving work of redemption that Christ accomplished is applied and embodied in our temporal lives by the Holy Spirit.[22] Polycarp reveals an early and accurate understanding of the Spirit’s role in salvation.  
  • That faith is accompanied by hope and led by love.[23] Polycarp understood that genuine faith produces a sure expectation in the promises of God.
  • Believers are called to imitate Christ and grow in maturity.[24] Polycarp understood that the love of Christ compels us to love others and that this grace is effectual in transforming our lives.

These theological insights are certainly significant and we neglect them at our own peril. Additionally, a reading of Polycarp’s letter[25] also reveals some practical insights that demonstrate that he was not only concerned with doctrine, but also with practice. Believers are to live out what they believe in the church and in the world at large.

Some of these practical insights include:

  • In light of the coming judgement believers are to live virtuously: the way we live in obedience demonstrates whether we really love Christ.
  • We should teach ourselves to walk in the commandments of the Lord by forsaking the love of the things of the world.
  • Wives are to love their husbands in tenderness and purity, raising children in the knowledge of the Lord.
  • Widows should act in accordance with the faith of the Lord by steering clear of slandering and evil speech.
  • Deacons should be blameless before the Lord, exercising compassion and walking according to the truth as servants of all.
  • Young men should be blameless, preserving their purity and forsaking the lusts of the world.
  • Elders should be merciful to all, seeking those who wander, visiting the sick, not neglecting the widows or the poor, not too severe in judgment, and eager to restore.
  • The church should be zealous in pursuit of what is good by pursuing unity and keeping themselves from false believers and hypocrisy.
  • The church is to persevere in fasting, praying, hoping in the promises of God, and enduring with patience.
  • The church is to remain steadfast in the truth and conduct themselves blamelessly before outsiders so that God may be glorified.
  • Members of the congregation should not harbour anger towards one another.

Polycarp understood that the love of Christ compels us to love others and that this grace is effectual in transforming our lives.


Polycarp’s letter overflows with practical wisdom which demonstrates that pastoral concerns were never far from his mind. We close this section by mentioning two features of his letter that should serve as encouragement to us who hold to the authority of scripture.

Firstly, Polycarp’s letter is characterized by humility. He does not claim authority to impose his instructions, but rather implores the Philippian church to only obey him as far as he represents the apostolic witness.

Secondly, Polycarp’s letter, which is not more than four pages long, contains more than 50 scriptural references. The heart of good theology always has been and always will be a saturation with God-breathed scripture.

Polycarp as Martyr

We now turn to one of the most famous incidents of second century Christianity: the martyrdom of Polycarp. The circumstances surrounding his martyrdom and the details of his execution have been preserved for us in a document known as “The Encyclical Epistle of the Church at Smyrna Concerning the Martyrdom of the Holy Polycarp.” Scholars are generally in agreement that some of the more miraculous events contained in this epistle have been embellished.[26] Still, we can have confidence that most of the core details of this eye witness account are indeed authentic.

Before we get into the details of Polycarp’s martyrdom, it is important for us to understand persecution in the second century. About 40 years earlier a correspondence took place between the then emperor Trajan and one of his governors, Pliny the Younger. The emperor’s instructions to Pliny were brief, but they provide clarity about the reality of persecution in that era. In a nutshell, the state was not to waste time in seeking out Christians for punishment. If they were accused, though, of being Christian and refused to recant, they would face punishment. Those who do recant and worship the gods should be pardoned without further inquiries. Anonymous accusations should be completely disregarded.[27]

In around 155 AD, some Christians were brought before the authorities in Smyrna and withstood all attempts to renounce their faith. This instigated the anger of a mob who were calling for Polycarp’s life. Polycarp initially fled and, on the advice of his flock, hid himself for several days. Upon being discovered, he decided to flee no more as he decided that his arrest was according to the will of God.[28]

Even though Polycarp was not hounded throughout his life, the mob which included Jews had now accused him and he had to defend himself. What followed would have a considerable impact on the understanding of martyrdom within the church. As one writer concludes concerning the epistle of Polycarp’s martyrdom, “Other than its possible influence on the growing ‘cult of martyrs’ among Christians (that is, the tendency to venerate martyrs as ‘saints’), this document has no theological significance.”[29] This may be too harsh an assessment of its impact, but there is no doubt that these kinds of events instilled a desire for the glory of the martyrs among Christians under persecution. This was also true of Polycarp’s friend Ignatius.

Still, this document and Polycarp’s martyrdom are not theologically insignificant, as we will see with how ingrained Trinitarian teaching was in Polycarp’s prayer before his martyrdom.[30] Polycarp in his martyrdom exemplifies what it means to confess Jesus Christ as Lord; this confession must be spoken where necessary among the enemies of Christ, precisely where it brings danger and reproach.[31]

What follows is an extended quotation from the Martyrdom of Polycarp.[32] We really cannot improve upon the vividness and dramatic impact of eyewitness testimony.

Now, as soon as he had ceased praying, having made mention of all that had at any time come in contact with him, both small and great, illustrious and obscure, as well as the whole Catholic Church throughout the world, the time of his departure having arrived, they set him upon an ass, and conducted him into the city, the day being that of the great Sabbath. And the Irenarch Herod, accompanied by his father Nicetes (both riding in a chariot), met him, and taking him up into the chariot, they seated themselves beside him, and endeavoured to persuade him, saying, “What harm is there in saying, Lord Caesar, and in sacrificing, with the other ceremonies observed on such occasions, and so make sure of safety?” But he at first gave them no answer; and when they continued to urge him, he said, “I shall not do as you advise me.” So they, having no hope of persuading him, began to speak bitter words unto him, and cast him with violence out of the chariot, insomuch that, in getting down from the carriage, he dislocated his leg [by the fall]. But without being disturbed, and as if suffering nothing, he went eagerly forward with all haste, and was conducted to the stadium, where the tumult was so great, that there was no possibility of being heard.

Now, as Polycarp was entering into the stadium, there came to him a voice from heaven, saying, “Be strong, and show thyself a man, O Polycarp!” No one saw who it was that spoke to him; but those of our brethren who were present heard the voice. And as he was brought forward, the tumult became great when they heard that Polycarp was taken. And when he came near, the proconsul asked him whether he was Polycarp. On his confessing that he was, [the proconsul] sought to persuade him to deny [Christ], saying, “Have respect to thy old age,” and other similar things, according to their custom, [such as],” Swear by the fortune of Caesar; repent, and say, Away with the Atheists.” But Polycarp, gazing with a stern countenance on all the multitude of the wicked heathen then in the stadium, and waving his hand towards them, while with groans he looked up to heaven, said, “Away with the Atheists.” Then, the proconsul urging him, and saying, “Swear, and I will set thee at liberty, reproach Christ;” Polycarp declared, “Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me any injury: how then can I blaspheme my King and my Saviour?”

And when the proconsul yet again pressed him, and said, “Swear by the fortune of Caesar,” he answered, “Since thou art vainly urgent that, as thou sayest, I should swear by the fortune of Caesar, and pretendest not to know who and what I am, hear me declare with boldness, I am a Christian. And if you wish to learn what the doctrines of Christianity are, appoint me a day, and thou shalt hear them.” The proconsul replied, “Persuade the people.” But Polycarp said, “To thee I have thought it right to offer an account [of my faith]; for we are taught to give all due honour (which entails no injury upon ourselves) to the powers and authorities which are ordained of God. But as for these, I do not deem them worthy of receiving any account from me.”

The proconsul then said to him, “I have wild beasts at hand; to these will I cast thee, except thou repent.” But he answered, “Call them then, for we are not accustomed to repent of what is good in order to adopt that which is evil; and it is well for me to be changed from what is evil to what is righteous.” But again the proconsul said to him, “I will cause thee to be consumed by fire, seeing thou despisest the wild beasts, if thou wilt not repent.” But Polycarp said, “Thou threatenest me with fire which burneth for an hour, and after a little is extinguished, but art ignorant of the fire of the coming judgment and of eternal punishment, reserved for the ungodly. But why tarriest thou? Bring forth what thou wilt.”

While he spoke these and many other like things, he was filled with confidence and joy, and his countenance was full of grace, so that not merely did it not fall as if troubled by the things said to him, but, on the contrary, the proconsul was astonished, and sent his herald to proclaim in the midst of the stadium thrice, “Polycarp has confessed that he is a Christian.” This proclamation having been made by the herald, the whole multitude both of the heathen and Jews, who dwelt at Smyrna, cried out with uncontrollable fury, and in a loud voice, “This is the teacher of Asia, the father of the Christians, and the overthrower of our gods, he who has been teaching many not to sacrifice, or to worship the gods.” Speaking thus, they cried out, and besought Philip the Asiarch to let loose a lion upon Polycarp. But Philip answered that it was not lawful for him to do so, seeing the shows of wild beasts were already finished. Then it seemed good to them to cry out with one consent, that Polycarp should be burnt alive. For thus it behooved the vision which was revealed to him in regard to his pillow to be fulfilled, when, seeing it on fire as he was praying, he turned about and said prophetically to the faithful that were with him,” I must be burnt alive.”

This, then, was carried into effect with greater speed than it was spoken, the multitudes immediately gathering together wood and fagots out of the shops and baths; the Jews especially, according to custom, eagerly assisting them in it. And when the funeral pile was ready, Polycarp, laying aside all his garments, and loosing his girdle, sought also to take off his sandals,–a thing he was not accustomed to do, inasmuch as every one of the faithful was always eager who should first touch his skin. For, on account of his holy life, he was, even before his martyrdom, adorned with every kind of good. Immediately then they surrounded him with those substances which had been prepared for the funeral pile. But when they were about also to fix him with nails, he said, “Leave me as I am; for He that giveth me strength to endure the fire, will also enable me, without your securing me by nails, to remain without moving in the pile.”

They did not nail him then, but simply bound him. And he, placing his hands behind him, and being bound like a distinguished ram [taken] out of a great flock for sacrifice, and prepared to be an acceptable burnt-offering unto God, looked up to heaven, and said, “O Lord God Almighty, the Father of thy beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, by whom we have received the knowledge of Thee, the God of angels and powers, and of every creature, and of the whole race of the righteous who live before thee, I give Thee thanks that Thou hast counted me, worthy of this day and this hour, that I should have a part in the number of Thy martyrs, in the cup of thy Christ, to the resurrection of eternal life, both of soul and body, through the incorruption [imparted] by the Holy Ghost. Among whom may I be accepted this day before Thee as a fat and acceptable sacrifice, according as Thou, the ever-truthful God, hast fore-ordained, hast revealed beforehand to me, and now hast fulfilled. Wherefore also I praise Thee for all things, I bless Thee, I glorify Thee, along with the everlasting and heavenly Jesus Christ, Thy beloved Son, with whom, to Thee, and the Holy Ghost, be glory both now and to all coming ages. Amen.

Polycarp as Example

Up to this point we have seen Polycarp in his role as bishop. We also have an understanding of the church in Smyrna he ministered to. We have discovered some of his theological insights and we saw that his doctrine was both practical and that it anticipated some of the future formulations of orthodoxy. We have also been drawn to the remarkable event of his martyrdom and how this event reveals his true allegiance to his Lord.

What church history does is that it fashions for us examples. If the saints of the past were faithful in imitating Christ, it fashions examples for us to emulate. If some of these saints have wandered, it is often perplexing to us, but it offers us an opportunity to understand their contexts and to apply some proper self-evaluation on ourselves. In this concluding section, we will highlight four aspects of Polycarp’s life that serve as examples and help us grow in Christlikeness.

  • Polycarp was serious about making disciples. We saw that Polycarp was diligent in handing over apostolic tradition. A prime example of this is through his disciple Irenaeus, a man who would go on to eclipse Polycarp.
  • Polycarp pledged steadfast allegiance to Christ. Polycarp’s martyrdom should encourage us that it is possible to face adversaries in any area of life without the need to compromise our commitment to Christ. Additionally, we come to understand that God truly is faithful to His children and He provides the grace and strength that causes them to persevere.
  • Polycarp was serious about letting the Bible speak. Polycarp’s dependence on Scripture in his letter is noteworthy. He did not claim authority, but derived authority from the teaching and application of Scripture. This fashions a model for us on how to encourage and admonish one another. Our words have authority if they align with the Bible.
  • Polycarp was serious about purity. Whether it be personal holiness in the lives of his flock or purity in doctrine as a means to maintain the unity of the church, Polycarp’s instruction regarding purity is vital if we want to preserve what is righteous about the church and if we want to grow in the image of Christ.

God is to be glorified for such men as Polycarp! Amen.


[1] A. Roberts, J. Donaldson & A. C. Coxe. eds. The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Volume I. New York: Cosimo Books, 2007, 32.

[2] Roberts, et al., The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Volume I, 31.

[3] Justo Gonzalez, The Story of Christianity. New York: HarperCollins, 2010, 84.

[4] Roberts, et al., The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Volume I, 32.

[5] R. E. Olson, The Story of Christian Theology. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1999, 40.

[6] Thomas C. Oden, Classic Christianity. New York: HarperCollins, 1992, 436.

[7] W. A. Elwell, ed. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2001, 170.

[8] Gonzalez, The Story of Christianity, 113.

[9] Elwell, ed. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, 369.

[10] Gonzalez, The Story of Christianity, 113.

[11] Elwell, ed. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, 170.

[12] Elwell, ed. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, 171.

[13] Elwell, ed. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, 171.

[14] Elwell, ed. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, 262.

[15] Gonzalez, The Story of Christianity, 114.

[16] Roberts, et al., The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Volume I, 31.

[17] What follows is a summary of this letter. Roberts, et al., The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Volume I, 86-92.

[18] Gonzalez, The Story of Christianity, 115.

[19] Olson, The Story of Christian Theology, 48.

[20] Oden, Classic Christianity, 80.

[21] Oden, Classic Christianity, 450.

[22] Oden, Classic Christianity, 564.

[23] Oden, Classic Christianity, 608.

[24] Oden, Classic Christianity, 677.

[25] Roberts, et al., The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Volume I, 33-36.

[26] Roberts, et al., The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Volume I, 37.

[27] Gonzalez, The Story of Christianity. 50.

[28] Gonzalez, The Story of Christianity. 54.

[29] Olson, The Story of Christian Theology, 48.

[30] Oden, Classic Christianity, 118.

[31] Oden, Classic Christianity, 581.

[32] Roberts, et al., The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Volume I, 39-44.

1 Comment

  1. Please excuse this intrusion upon your time. But the presentation about to occur might interest you. Have a nice day.

    The kabbala of chariot mysticism stands on the distinction that, unlike a wagon, a chariot rolls upon two wheels – daat & t’shuva. Daat separates and distinguishes external events from internal feelings and reactions. T’shuva struggles to define how a person dedicates his or her life before HaShem in the coming year, based upon contrition upon previous errors committed in this last year. The wheels within wheels within the Shemone Esri have gone full circle with the annual reading of the Torah beginning anew with בראשית ונח. The dedication of middot blocks directly learns from the annual weekly reading of the Torah. Both the Torah and tefilla begin with the k’vanna of the general Big Picture concepts of faith, prior to delving into the specifics of the Cohen family of Avraham.“The Existence of God.” What evidence do atheists accept as valid? The Koran, the New Testament, the Hebrew T’NaCH, or perhaps the faiths as taught from India, Japan, and China?

    The Koran declares “Only one God lives”. This bold declaration, blatantly negates the Sinai 2nd commandment: “Do not worship other Gods”. By logical inference: if only one God lives, which the Muslims name as Allah, why does the Sinai revelation command not to worship other Gods? Shall we attempt to declare that Par’o of ancient Egypt worshiped only Allah? Therefore based upon the false declaration of Monotheism made by “the prophet”, who declared himself a prophet on the order of T’NaCH prophets, the Koran strict monotheism stands totally debunked.

    The title: New Testament makes reference to the foundation of Torah faith known as “the brit”. The first word of the Torah בראשית this word contains within its 6 letters ברית אש\brit fire. The translation of brit into English, based upon the stories of the Avot: alliance. The opening Book of the Torah directly and repeatedly addresses the subject of cutting political alliances. The skill required to cut a political alliance with others, applies equally to us as it did to them.

    The problem with the ”New Testament”, that collection of books never once brings the Name revealed in the 1st Commandment at Sinai. The Name – exists as the living Spirit, and not just another word. Despite the declaration otherwise, as found in the opening pages of the book of John’s gospel. Moshe the prophet forbade pronunciation of the Name, according to the grammar of its four letters. The opening account of Creation, the Name blew his Spirit unto clay, transforming this clay into the living man – named Adam – and Israel at Sinai heard the sound of the Shofar. Pronouncing the Name, as revealed at the Sinai revelation, perverts and defiles the Spirit of the Name. It demotes the Name a common word. The kabbalah of writing a Safer Torah stands upon this fundamental distinction.

    Never in all the pages of the New Testament do any of these Greek books bring the Name as revealed at Sinai. Translation of words from language to language, compares words with other words. But you can not translate a Spirit by making it into a word. It requires great skill to define the nature of a color using word metaphors. HaShem does not compare to anything in the earth, heavens or Seas. Words simply do not breath life. Quote Shakespeare to dead person and the corpse remains dead. To cut a Torah brit alliance requires swearing a Torah oath using the Name. This kabbalah learns directly from Moshe the prophet. Therefore both the New Testament & the Koran, stand totally debunked. Both counterfeit faiths failed to discern that brit means alliance.

    A proof that brit does not translate into covenant: Where do the Gods ‘Father’ & Allah live? The counterfeit religions teach that their Gods live in the Heavens. The brit alliance, this faith by contrast teaches that HaShem lives within the hearts of the Cohen nation. The mitzva of tefilla, based upon the authority of the halacha, exists as a duty of the heart. The halacha requires that a Yechudi face toward Jerusalem, in order to teach the mussar that a Man must turn unto his heart. Torah faith teaches that HaShem lives within the hearts of his Cohen people. The brit faith established by Avram at the brit between the pieces, our father made an oath alliance which sets the pre-condition that HaShem lives within the hearts of the Cohen seed of Avram. This brit faith defines the idea of the ‘Chosen People’.

    Torah commands the opposite of Muslim Monotheism, it validates the existence of many Gods. Clearly the Hindus and Chinese peoples never swore a Torah brit alliance. Atheists in Russia, or Europe, or America, shall they make unilateral declarations which negate the Gods which these billions of people worship? Hubris arrogance, every atheist I ever met from Russia, Europe, or America does not speak the language of Hindu, Japan, or China, much less Vietnam or Korea etc etc etc. The Books these millions upon millions of people, upon which they base their beliefs in their Gods, these above mentioned hubris arrogant atheists from Russia, Europe, and America, their negative worship, it only validates their self centered Ego beliefs; which seeks to invalidate the traditions of peoples whom they do not know. Atheism for this reason stands totally debunked by simple humility and logic.

    What בראשית ב:ז – ויפח באפיו נשמת חיים ויהי האדם לנפש חיה … ועץ החיים בתוך הגן ועץ הדעת טוב ורע faith does this teach touching the chosen Cohen nation? It seems to me, by the sh’itta taught to me from my Rav, that rabbi Akiva derived his kabbala of פרדס from

    ב: י – ונהר יצא מעדן להשקות את הגן ומשם יפרד והיה לארבעה ראשים. [The concept of פרדס, the logic system format known as p’shat, drosh, remez, and sod].

    The פרדס kabbala taught by rabbi Akiva and all his students, addresses the meaning of the revelation of the Oral Torah logic system revealed unto Moshe at Mt Horev, 40 days after the sin of the Golden Calf; specifically: Moshe has died, who will teach us the rest of the Torah revelation at Sinai? Moshe derived through logical inference the 611 commandments which he commanded, as his primary source commentary to the opening two Sinai commandments, which the Cohen nation accepted upon the soul lives of all generations of our children, as our faith worship unto HaShem who brought the Cohen nation out of Egypt. This פרדס foundation defines and gives purpose to all scholarship within the pages of the Talmud.

    The Big Picture concept of faith as taught by the Parsha of בראשית which defines the k’vanna of the opening daat blessing of the first ברכה within the 13 middle blessings of the Shemone Esri, [wheels within wheels], this concept of faith, weighs the commitment of the generations to walk in tohor before HaShem. The subject of tohor applies strictly and only unto the Cohen nation. Neither Goyim or Yidden who assimilate and kiss the calves of foreign non Jewish cultures and customs, this huge branch of Humanity has no concept or idea what tohor means. Keeping the commandments as the ‘sign’ of the brit, most essentially requires that the Cohen people commit before HaShem only to do avodat HaShem while breathing tohor spirits – as acts of holiness.

    Doing mitzvot לשמה understands that the din of כרת comes and cuts Israel off from Israel when ever the Cohen people behave with hubris arrogance and attempt to do avodat HaShem while breathing tuma spirits. On par with a woman, attempting tohorat ha’biet, who goes to the mikveh while holding a dead rat in her hand; comes out of the mikveh and declares to her husband that she has made herself tohor. As this example invalidates the mitzva of tohorat ha’biet, so too tuma spirits invalidates observance of all the תרי”ג mitzvot.

    ג: יד – ויאמר ה’ אלהים אל הנחש כי עשית זאת ארור אתה מכל הבהמה ומכל חית השדה וכו’.

    The נחש teaches a central Torah משל. The נמשל which interprets that משל, the tuma Yatzir Ha’Ra lives within the hearts of all bnai brit – unto all eternity – together and likewise with the tohor Yatzir Ha’Tov spirits within our hearts. HaShem judges the struggle of the 2 Yatzirot within our hearts in each and every generation. The story of king David and Bathsheba, teaches as similar mussar משל. Learning Torah requires that students ask: What mussar does the Torah\NaCH command each and every generation?
    דכתיב ג:יט – כי עפר אתה ואל עפר תשוב.

    Xtian theology preaches on a physical resurrection from the dead. The daat of “soul”, by Torah faith, by contrast refers to the generations of the bnai brit offspring, as the Olam Ha’Bah of the Cohen nation. How many children did Avram have when he cut the brit between the pieces? None.

    The story of Cain teaches the mussar of the tuma inheritance which the first murderer caused his children to inherit. The identical tuma which women who abort their children, they cause their seed to inherit; the most basic and fundamental of Torah curses, denounces an earth filled with violence and injustice. A simple proof: all women who abort their babies, such women never kept the mitzva of tohorat ha’biet. T’shuva, no regret or remorse can ever atone for the crime of abortion. In like din, the same applies to gross European guilt during the 20th Century.

    בראשית ה:כט – ויקרא את שמו נח לאמר זה ינחמנו ממעשנו ומעצבון ידינו מן האדמה אשר אררה ה’.

    The 2nd wheel of the mystic Divine Chariot – t’shuva. The dedication within our hearts to keep the commandments לשמה, meaning through the dedication of tohor middot unto HaShem, do the generations of the Cohen nation validate t’shuva from g’lut? The Cohen nation commits to restrict avodat HaShem to tohor middot, which we breathe from within our hearts. Tefilla – strictly a matter of the heart. A man who does not discern between the tohor/tuma spirits within his heart, such a man cannot do t’shuva לשמה – meaning in the Name of tohor middot dedicated unto HaShem.

    Tonight Yidden light the first of the Hanukkah lights. The Gemara of Shabbat teaches the famous dispute between Bet Shammai and Bet Hillel concerning lighting the lights of Hanukkah. This famous dispute always puzzled me, what difference does it make whether one begins with lighting 8 candles the first night or only one? What does lighting the lights of Hanukkah have to do with the life and death struggle against Greek cultural domination of the tiny Jewish State?

    The B’hag, whose Torah shined during the waning domination of the Gaonim schools. Reshonim scholarship followed the lights of the Gaonim schools. The B’hag holds that the rabbinic mitzvot of both Purim and Hanukkah, that their “light” shines as part of the 613 Commandments which Israel received from HaShem and Moshe Rabbenu.

    The Rambam denounced the “light” by which the B’hag directed the generations of Israel. The B’hag links Hanukkah, as does the Talmud to the mitzva of Shabbat. He held that lighting the lights of Shabbat – this mitzva – too a Torah commandment; its light shines on par with the Torah mitzvot of Purim and Hanukkah. To comprehend the leadership direction, or “light”, as revealed by the Torah of the B’hag, Yidden must discern the common denominator between the Houses of Hillel and Shammai in their debates over lighting the lights of Shabbot. Their Talmudic debate within the Mesechta of Shabbot, teaches the halachic k’vanna of the mitzva of lighting the lights of Hannukah throughout the generations.

    The Greek empire conquered the Persian empire, which uprooted the Babylonian empire, who destroyed Jerusalem and expelled the Yechudim from the lands ruled by the king of Yechuda of the House of David. Greek hostility to the Torah centered, not upon the Written Torah, but rather the Oral Torah. This latter Torah logic format/“light”, expresses itself through a unique t’shuva, by which Yechudim, following the error of the golden calf, dedicate their souls, meaning their children, how the generation will interpret the language of the Written Torah. The t’shuva made by post golden calf Israel, we rely strictly upon the Oral Torah logic format alone to interpret the k’vanna of the Written Torah. This logic format/Oral Torah/“light”, it alone guides how the Cohen nation, throughout the generations, understands the k’vanna of the Written Torah Constitution of the Jewish Republic.

    The Greek schools of philosophy taught completely different logic formats. The logic of Plato and Aristotle philosophers overshadow the ancient Greek contribution of knowledge to humanity unto the present day. Yidden, humiliated from our disgrace of the avoda zarah of the Golden Calf, the t’shuva made by our forefathers, we swear the same Torah oath, in all generations. The Yechudim people sanctify as our eternal dedication unto the Sinai Torah revelation — to interpret the Written Torah by the “lights” of Oral Torah middot logic, which Moshe the prophet orally heard at Horev, 40 days after the golden calf on Yom Kippor.

    The lights of Shabbot, the dedication to strive to achieve shalom among family and friends. The lights of reading the Megillah on Purim, the dedication of tohor, as opposed by tuma middot – unto HaShem. The Book of Ester, the only Book of the T’NaCH which lacks the Name of HaShem. The Name המן and המלך their numerical equality teaches a רמז Gematria of tohor as opposed to tuma middot. The k’vanna of “kingship” (To make a Torah blessing requires both Name and Kingship), as a king stands at the head of a nation, so too the sanctification of tohor, as opposed to tuma, middot unto HaShem – middot blocks of logic, expresses the faith touching the revelation of the Torah, throughout each and every generation. The mussar of the Book of Ester teaches middot, the contrast the middot expressed which contrasts the behavior of Mordecai and Haman and their social interactions with others..

    In similar fashion the Gemara of Shabbot, teaches the k’vanna of lighting the lights of Hannukah, expressed through the contrast of opinions taught through conflicting opinions of Bet Shammai and Bet Hillel. What defines the Oral Torah? Logic middot blocks serve as the יסוד/foundation of Oral Torah ordered thought and analysis. The Order of the middot block logic system contrasts with the ancient Greek mathematical logic formats, developed by Plato and Aristotle.

    An example of the Oral Torah middot blocks logic system: You can not achieve justice, when Western leaders refer to civilian ‘colored’ casualties as “collateral damage”. The great powers ‘police actions’ have shaped the internal affairs of foreign societies – not just limited to the post WW2 Cold War, that pits the West against the East. A fundamental issue of the Western interventions and imperialism in the Middle East and North Africa, Western society dominates, even and has even conquers Arab and Muslim societies.

    But the stark contrast: Arabs and Muslims faith, to a large degree, remain strong in the Koran; whereas Western societies to an ever growing percentage embrace the scientific mathematical secular model as their central supporting column of faith. Western civilization has abandoned Xtian theology, perhaps due to the corrupt reputation the church’s evil and perverse actions of oppression, violent murder throughout the Ages. Today, Western societies view the Church on par with ancient Greek and Roman polytheism and the worship of mythical Gods. The question stands: How did the unfaithful conquer and defeat the faithful? A fundamental question that has no easy answers for the folks, which the West refers simply as “collateral damage”.

    What causes the disaster of internal revolution and Civil War, to rank as the worst natural disaster to any people or civilization throughout history? When the “ethical containment force” that makes a peoples’ culture and customs, separate and unique, from all other peoples and societies, when this “social fabric” rips apart and becomes a tattered rag blowing in the winds of war, generally – the first American Civil War excluded – with the collapse and anarchy of the Central Government. The consequences of social and political chaos, foreign governments intervene in the internal operations and government of such a collapsed society torn apart by internal revolution and Civil War.

    Lincoln, his illegal decision to initiate and invade the Confederate States, takes the first American Civil War out of the picture of virtually all other internal revolutions and Civil Wars. Because Civil War, by general definition, effectively means the collapse of Central Government order and stability. Even still, without the leadership of Henry Seward as Lincoln’s Secretary of State, Britain’s Prime Minister Palmerston at the time, would most probably have recognized the Confederate, ‘States Rights’ revolt against Lincoln’s extreme anti-Jeffersonian ideas of democracy. Judge the wrestle which both enemies & allies build strength, dignity, and respect. In all Judicial matters of Capital Crimes Cases/din’a nefshot – Torah law requires no less than 2 witnesses. One witness in any Capital Crimes case – acceptance or reliance upon a single witness – tuma. Tuma, commonly expressed as l’shon ha’rah or mo’zteh shem rah.

    The Torah middot logic blocks, as expressed through every page of the Talmud, stuggles to understand a “Case”, by making similar but different “Case” studies from different subjects. The Case/Rule format style of the Mishna establishes this legal code upon a judicial format of Common Law. Jewish common law justice, attempts to resolve conflicts through analysist of similar precedential prior Court Case rulings. For example: How does Israel differ from other nations who experience a terrorist attack?

    “DUHOK, Iraqi Kurdistan region,— A convoy of KDP Peshmerga
    militants came under attack by PKK militants when trying to enter
    PKK areas in the Chamalke district in Duhok province in Iraqi
    Kurdistan following a roadside bomb that exploded next to the
    KDP forces. The attack resulted in one death and three injuries,
    KDP-affiliated Kurdistan24 TV. Head of Culture and Media Culture
    Department at the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG ) Peshmerga
    Affairs Ministry Babkir Faqe Ahmed told the KDP official media outlet
    that the PKK fighters fired from far distance and it was not a direct attack
    on Peshmerga forces”.

    A different “Case”: the ‘blood libels’ & pogroms came after the 1st crusade war crimes. Church mobs slaughtered German Jewry across, perhaps most, the kingdoms or fiefdoms; the soul of the German people, the Romans viewed them as – barbarians. What contrasts/opposes, perhaps mirrors or opposites, criminal violence? The Talmud aswers this question by proscribing lateral 3 Justices common law Courts . Prosecution and Defense, 2 of the 3 court judges. These Court Judges comprise the opposing Court system of all Talmudic legal understanding, in both Torts and Capital Crimes Courts. Two Yatzirot “wrestle” within the hearts of the bnai brit Cohen nation – light unto the nations — includes all Yechudim residing in g’lut. Yaacov wrestled with the angel of Esau. The Torah defines ‘angel’ in that case, as the agent who has power of attorney for Esau. Meaning prior to meeting his brother, Yaacov struggled within his heart. Torah logic interprets the k’vanna of the written word.

    Justice judges l’shon ha’rah/motze sham-rah contrasted by tohor middot. In order to determine who has an obligation to compensate for damages. Who leads the hearts of men? Upon these scales — all Nations – throughout all generations – stand in judgment. The above case compares an act of terrorism.

    Another hypothetical possible example: this Talmudic Cohen Court system judges the domains of a North African Trade Route. Israel calls to all Sahara nations, help build a deep river/canal that connects the Mediterranean Sea unto the Salt Sea. This action would not only bless both Israel and Jordan; the canal which connects the Mediterranean to the salt sea, ocean acidification permits easy electrolysis which converts water into hydrogen and oxygen gases. Israel and Egypt, both countries could cut a salt canal from the Mediterranean Sea, and form an inland salt sea.

    Bring rain water to the Sahara desert, and make North Africa bloom. While building such a deep canal, remember Mark Twain’s tales of the Mississippi. Israel dedicates to train the refugee Balestinians, in agriculture farm work. Revert the electrolysis gases back to water in the atmosphere, make it rain upon the Sahara. Build a topsoil upon those desert lands, plant trees upon all and every hilltop. Cause a rainforest to dominate the Sahara.

    Such a work requires the dedication of multiple generations – no less than three. No less than 3 generations qualifies as a strong connection alliance. Shalom requires Trust. Trust among nations never begins till a ‘good eye’ prevails. An act of honor, Israel shall never unilaterally expel the Arab stateless refugees from any lands of our Republic, like as did the Europeans; they oppressed Jewish stateless refugees for over 2000 years, and no European court has ever condemned the Church fathers. Justice means providing a tohor medium which facilitates airing disputes over damages, and both opposing parties accepting the Judicial rulings, g’lut Jewry never received such an option by any European court of law.

    Justice has a definition of – determining restitution for damages. Something similar to ‘insurance’. All mine or partially mine? Jerusalem – just for example. Israel rejects the Nazi consequence which resulted in the post war division of Berlin. How many Germans fought and died in Hitler’s War? Arabs, by comparison, rejected both the UN, prestate of Israel, mandate alternatives – Republic or 2 nations. Arabs lost two major wars to throw the Jews into the Sea, both 1948 and 1967 which they started.

    Honor: Arafat declared that the forefathers of Arab refugees in Israel, as the Philistines. Balestinian rhetoric declares that these non Arabs Philistines, that they fathered the Balestinian people? Shaking my head, since when did Europeans sire Arabs? The post war mandate given to Britain by the League of Nations, an international assembly established after WW1. The League named this mandate, based upon the 1917 Balfour Declaration ‘Palestine’. A European name.

    During the British mandate, the only folk who called themselves Palestinians, the Jews. Arabs ‘settlers’ likewise moved to the mandate territories searching for work. Had they referred to themselves as Palestinians, this would imply that Arabs validated the Balfour Agreement, which all Arab leaders fervently rejected. Important to repeat, the League of Nations established the Balfour Agreement as the foundation by which it awarded the ‘Palestine” mandate unto Britain.

    Britain, after receiving the League awarded mandate, almost immediately there after the British government took steps to negate the Balfour treaty. Churchill imposed the Churchill White Paper, June 3rd 1922. Shaking my head. Two points, straight line. Judge. 23rd of May 1939, Neville Chamberlain and his response to the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine – 2nd White Paper which totally negated the Balfour agreement mandate. The Balfour Declaration came as a result of Weizman’s success at making acetone from the starch, found in cereal grains. This solvent the British Army and Royal Navy desperately required to fire their artillery shells.

    Having won the war, Britain now abandoned their Balfour Declaration ally. A sacrificial gift dedicated to the Nazi Gods of War. In like and similar fashion, Xtian nations of Europe over and again broke faith with the sermon on the mount ideal. By comparison, if a mother has the right to kill a 9 month pre-born baby, then that same mother has the same right to kill that 9 month post-birth baby. Better for a new born mother to see and reject her child, than to vacuum abort her child, which she shall never behold. Responsibility requires accountability. Because accountability builds a reputation. Post Shoah seals the evil reputation, the bad name of Europe. Chamberlain imposed a two state solution upon Czechoslovakia in 1938. Two points equals a straight line. Third witness: Pope Pius XII surrendered the Jews of Rome to the Nazis. Western secularism has rejected the God of the New Testament throughout the bloody history of Church European ‘darkness’.

    Since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, Beijing has vehemently opposed separatist movements abroad. Its opposition to secessionist activities within China: Beijing officially considers separatism as one of the “three evil forces” besides terrorism and extremism. This reflects China’s uncompromising devotion to maintaining its territorial integrity at all costs, primarily concerning Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang, and Inner Mongolia. China avers that self-determination should not necessarily involve national independence and that stateless nations should not necessarily form or be given states.

    Contrast the cases of Chinese domestic rhetoric against its imperialist foreign policy toward the Middle East. China upholds the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful co-existence! Yet concerning Middle East hot-spots, the Chinese system promotes “peace and the reasonable settlement of disputes through dialogue and negotiation”, emphasizing the role of the UN Security Council. China promotes the intervention of foreign powers to determine the borders of foreign countries. Chinese revisionist map making supports an independent state of Balestine with full sovereignty, based on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. This obvious double standard, likewise expresses EU Middle East hypocrisy as well.

    Nietzsche teaches that God is dead. Which God? The Xtian God. Mythology has an enduring popularity. But mythical persons, by definition, have never lived. Allah? The prophet of that God, thought Jesus physically lived as a T’NaCH prophet. The Koran repeatedly uses & reuses that word, prophet. Alas like all other religious rhetoric, the Koran failed, even once, to define the critical term upon which its entire faith hinges – prophet. The New Testament in similar fashion failed to understand the Torah definition for the key term brit. The faith of the Hebrew T’NaCH likewise hinges upon this key term. The New Testament, in a similar comparison likewise never defined rhetoric word: love – upon which the New Testament faith stands. Both of these alien theologies about God, neither this nor that ever once brings, or acknowledges, the Name revealed to Israel at Sinai: the 1st Commandment. Proof: that both theologies profane the 2nd Sinai commandment. What do either of these foreign theologies give as their defense?

    Bill Kerr Sr. used to tell me that a Man did not know any subject which he debated, if he could not argue persuasively, on both sides of the dispute. Both alien theologies excluded the Name, the first Sinai commandment. Neither gives as their reason, their fear of the kabbala of Moshe the prophet, which forbids the pronunciation of the Name according to its letters. These rival belief systems about God, they do not teach that their scriptures bring pronouns of the unpronounceable Name, which the Torah calls middot. If the Name revealed at Sinai exists as a noun, then the middot which Moshe the prophet orally heard at Horev, they function as pronouns to that Name. Why the command not to pronounce this Name?

    The defense of both religious rhetoric systems, both fail to validate the revelation of the Name as the Spirit of Life. Both, this writer submits therefore introduce new Gods, based upon the belief that the 1st commandment Name, that this Sinai Name exists, as but only another word; and can therefore be translated as either ‘Father’ or Allah.

    Alas this ‘religious rhetoric’, expressed by the ‘daughter religions’ has no foundation. Both mythologies do not know, much less even consider, the basic reason why Moshe the prophet forbade all persons to pronounce the Name? According to the Gospel of John: the Word and the Name are one, the Word was God. Therefore the defense of the Gospels employment of the metapphor: ‘the Father’, employment of this pronoun takes a hard blow, because HaShem breaths the Spirit of his Name into the flesh, causing all generations of Man to live.

    But ‘the Father’ has the counter: Do not middot, such as ‘King’ serve as pronoun metaphors of the Name? This defense of the Gospels story of Jesus, makes Jesus simply a משל/parable metaphor? Jesus after all taught by means of parables. This parable of Jesus instructs on the subject of leadership … or light. This defense transforms the Gospel narrative unto prophetic mussar.

    But this defense, it collapses because both ‘daughter religions’ teach as fundamental faith, that Jesus physically lived on this earth. The comparison to middot does not hold because middot most essentially functions – expressed through logic – Church dogma, by contrast stands upon Dogma and Belief. The unique logic system known as Oral Torah. The Name – the Spirit of life, lives not as a word. The Name breaths Spirit unto all generations of Adama clay. ‘HaShem’ breathes the Spirit of His Name, causing all life to live. Therefore the Name exemplifies the Spirit of life. Try to pronounce the Spirit of Life, and cause inanimate clay to live.

    The Name lives as Spirit, and not a simple word printed upon a page. This basic distinction separates a Safer Torah, the Name written by the Sofer לשמה, from a printed Torah book which writes the Name, as if it exists comparable to just another word. In similar fashion the k’vanna requirement to daa’ven/pray. This mitzva of tefilla, most essentially requires that a man distinguishes the Name Spirit from all other words. The substitute word employed by the pronunciation by the tongue for the Name, Adonoi. But tefilla requires k’vanna. What distinguishes the tefilla from Psalms? What difference separates praying a blessing from praying a praise? Praying a blessing requires the k’vanna of swearing a Torah oath. Praying a Psalm praise does not require the k’vanna of not swearing a Torah oath. A Torah brit requires swearing a Torah oath. A Torah oath requires swearing in the Name of HaShem. Brit as defined as ‘alliance’, stands apart from covenant as defined as personable belief.

    The mitzva of blowing the shofar – serves as a second witness. Mitzvot learn from other mitzvot. The dedication of spirit within our hearts, learns from the Akada ram’s horn. Life not death. The question that Yitzak asked Avraham … this same question Ishmael likewise asked the servant of Avraham, circumcised 2nd after Avraham? The blowing of the shofar signaled that the Name provided a ram in the place of Avramham’s son – Yitzak. The mitzva of blowing the shofar on Rosh HaShanna announces the din of life rather than death. This mitzva teaches how to pronounce the Spirit of the Name of life – Tekiah, Teruah, Shevarim. Tefilla requires the dedication of blowing the spirit within the heart dedicated unto God, just like Avraham dedicated the life of Yitzak unto El Shaddai. The study of kabbala requires an active knowledge of the Divine Names, as well as the ‘middot logic blocks’ pronouns.

    Pardon implies a successful defense. Does this mean that these two counterfeit religions, both based upon mythology, that the worship of either Xtian or Islamic God does not violate the 2nd Sinai commandment: not worship other Gods? The ‘prophet’ Mohammad permits eating camel flesh. The Torah directly forbids consumption of both camel flesh, together with any of its by-products, such as milk. In the order of succession tuma foods, camel precedes hog.

    The Torah establishes the foundation of the Cohen people upon tohora. Muslims do not eat pork, but do eat camel, or camel by-products, like milk. Muslim theology teaches a strict monotheism. Neither Xtianity nor Islam teach the faith of the Cohen nation, the basis of the Chosen People faith. The faith of the Cohen nation stands upon the foundation of tohor middot. The strict monotheism of Islam violates the Sinai 2nd commandment. If only one God, then no reason to command: do not worship other Gods. Neither of the ‘daughter religions’, grasped the seminal importance of how middot defines the meaning of tohor.

    בראשית\\ברית אש this רמז, words within words, helps to define the k’vanna of the 1st word of the Torah. The first word of the Torah contrasts with the revelation of the Spirit Name at Sinai. Words, so to speak, set the destiny course of the Cohen nation: ראש בית/Head of House, ב’ ראשית/Two Beginnings. The Sinai Spirit revelation, by contrast, inspires the conscious Will to act. The genesis of two opposing Yatzirot ב’ ראשית, within the Cohen people’s heart – Brit – an alliance requires no less than two partners.

    The ‘daughter religions’ never once refers to the spirituality of the oath alliance. Both religions of avoda zara confuse the meaning of brit. Brit does not translate as – covenant. An oath requires swearing in the Name. How does a person swear in the Name? Since the Name does not live as a word. Mitzvot defines mitzvot, comparable to metal sharpens metal.

    A mitzva originates back to the prophets, it teaches mussar. Mussar requires the 13 tohor middot blocks which Moshe the prophet heard from the Spirit//Name, at Horev: on Yom Kippor – 40 days after the avoda zarah of the Golden Calf. The counterfeit religions do not teach mussar, but rather theology. Both tuma faiths deny the Oral Torah revelation of middot, blocks of logic. Our Sages teach that Israel approached Aaron at the crisis of the golden calf. But what happened to the other judges of the Great Sanhedrin? The people asked Aaron, because he alone remained alive of the Great Sanhedrin judges!

    Both Aggadita and Midrash teach that the people thought Moshe the prophet had died. Up to this point, the Sinai revelation … Israel had only accepted only the first 2 Commandments. Therefore the people said to Aaron, Moshe has passed from the world, who shall teach us the rest of the Torah? All of the other 611 Torah commandments, Moshe the prophet logically derive from the first two Sinai commandments. Based on how he employed these tohor middot logic blocks, Moshe the prophet derived the rest of the Torah. All Torah commandments teach mussar, because mussar applies equally to all generations. This oral Torah logic system, Moshe the prophet, heard at Mt. Horev – forty days after the Golden Calf avoda zarah. From this Oral Torah logic system of middot blocks, Moshe the prophet, derived the other 611 commandments.

    Neither this nor that religious rhetoric belief system(s) can discern the distinction between Torah commandments from prophetic mitzvot. How much more so the distinction between prophetic mitzvot and rabbinic mitzvot//halachot. Do either this and that religious rhetoric theology belief formats – deserve pardon for their transgression of Avodah Zarah? Based upon the 2nd Sinai commandment, multiple Gods live. Yet Nietzsche declares God is dead. Which God died? Post Shoah, judging the behavior of believers from both tenets of faith, both Jesus son of Zeus and Allah have died.

    The Lies Conflating the Holocaust and The Promised Land – by FirstOneThrough.

    Quote/UnQuote:

    Many people believe that the world endorsed the notion of a Jewish State because of the terrible tragedy which befell the Jews. While some countries may have indeed voted at the United Nations in favor of recognizing Israel because of the Holocaust, its reestablishment was sponsored by the global community years before World War II.

    Response:

    2/3rds of the UN member states voted in favor of Jewish self determination. Arab rejection of the Partition Plans demonstrated that Arab States did not care a less about the Shoah war crimes against humanity. Arab countries national interests did not concern the establishment of a Balestinian state. Rather, Arab interests simply opposed the existence of the Jewish state within the League of Nations Palestine Mandate borders.

    Quote/UnQuote:

    First by the British in the 1917 Balfour Declaration, then by the League of Nations in the 1920 San Remo Agreement and the 1922 Mandate of Palestine, the leading countries of the world supported Jews reestablishing their homeland. In the late 1930’s the British specifically called for creating a distinct Jewish State in Palestine. All of these actions were taken before the genocide of European Jewry.

    Response:

    These examples fail to address the imperialism interests by which Britain systematically negated the Balfour Declaration; specifically the Churchill White Paper followed by the Chamberlain White Paper, both of which uprooted and totally negated the League of Nations mandate awarded to post war Britain. The attempt to justify modern history based upon Biblical “prophecy”, merits no response whatsoever because neither ‘daughter religion’, either rhetoric has ever defined from the Torah the key term ‘prophet’.

    Quote/UnQuote:

    Yet people confuse the nature of the Jewish State and how it came to be reestablished in 1948. The global community did not create Israel as a safe haven for Jews after the Holocaust; it voted to reestablish the Jewish homeland years before the Holocaust. Further, Zionists do not aspire for a Greater Israel from “the Nile to the Euphrates” the way anti-Semites at the United Nations claim; they want to live, pray and have autonomy in their small patch of the world promised to them by God.

    Response:

    The ‘global community’ did not fight the Israeli Independence War. Europe, the US, and the USSR maintained neutrality during that war. Jewish leaders who directed Jewish defenses against Arab invasions of the newly declared Jewish State, lived their lives as secular non religious Jews. The 1948 Independence War shares nothing in common with the Xtian Crusades.

    Quote/UnQuote:

    The relevance of the Holocaust to Israel today is about underscoring the absolute imperative of Israel’s security, which means ensuring that the country’s neighbors cannot threaten it.

    Response:

    Nonsense. The Shoah emphatically proves the utter depravity and barbarism of the defiled European soul. Europe has abandoned the Xtian faith, their God died long ago. Hitler and his evil minions based their criminal barbarism upon ever repeated Church slanders, ghetto imprisonment war crimes against humanity, torture, and murder of Jews. No European Court, to this day, has ever condemned Church immorality throughout the Ages spanning over 2000 years of cruelty and oppression.

    Justice – a concept which lies outside of European consciousness – actively entails fair compensation for damages. Only post WW2 defeated Germany, did the Allied victors agree to punish Germany and force it to pay some form of compensations for the Nazi war crimes which resulted in the violent torture and murder of 75% of European Jewry in less than 4 years.

    A bit more history of corrupt vile European barbarity and proof that their God has died long ago: based upon a poem written by T. S. Eliot -‘ Murder in the Cathedral.

    KNIGHTS!
    Where is Becket, the traitor to the King?
    Where is Becket, the meddling priest?
    Come down Daniel to the lions’ den,
    Come down Daniel for the mark of the beast.

    Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
    Are you marked with the mark of the beast?

    Come down Daniel to the lions’ den,
    Come down Daniel and join in the feast.

    Where is Becket the Cheapside brat?
    Where is Becket the faithless priest?
    Come down Daniel to the lions’ den,
    Come down Daniel and join in the feast.

    In 1532 Henry VIII broke with Rome and proclaimed himself the head of the Anglican church. Henry VIII, during the Protestant Reformation, desecrated Becket’s shrine, destroyed his bones, and ordered that all mention of his name cease. The Protestant Reformation began in 1517. The Catholic Church started its Counter-Reformation in 1545. These conflicts culminated in the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648), which devastated Germany and killed one-third of its population, a mortality rate twice that of World War I.

    In 1517, Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses upon the church doors. It took only two months for the ideas expressed in his revolt to spread throughout Europe. The newly developed printing press overwhelmed the abilities of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and the papacy to conceal and revoke Luther’s rejection of the Church in Rome. In 1524–1525 peasants rose in revolt across southern and western Germany. Luther condemned the peasants and that revolt ended with the slaughter of those peasants by both Lutheran and Catholic armies.

    Calvinism emerged in Geneva in the 1540s, preserved from its Catholic neighbors chiefly by Bern’s military strength. (Zurich, Bern and Glarus did not have treaties among themselves and were linked to each other only through the original cantons). Genevan Calvinism fused with the reformation of Zurich and northern Switzerland, which had been led by Zwingli and Heinrich Bullinger, to produce what became known as Reformed (with a capital R) Protestantism. Calvinism qualifies in some ways as a confession faith made for war. This “movie” rated R faiths, viewed the Catholic religion, specifically the Papacy, as the antichrist.

    The extraordinary extent, duration, bitterness, and bloodiness of the wars that raged across France, the Low Countries, the British Isles, and Germany in the 90 years after 1560, all stems from strikingly evil competing theologies of faith. In 1572 with a targeted group of assassinations, Catholic mob violence, comparable to pogroms, directed against the Huguenots (French Calvinist Protestants). A leopard doesn’t change its spots, and an apple never falls far from its tree. The genetic inherited nature of European cruelty and barbarism merits nothing but utter contempt.

    Paris August 1572, some 3,000 Huguenots slaughtered, and probably another 7,000 more slain in a dozen massacres that followed in provincial cities across France. Periodically from 1612 to 1629. English, German, Scottish, Dutch, and Swiss troops aided the Huguenots; Spanish, Italian, German, and Swiss troops aided the Catholics.

    By the seventeenth century the R rated Church effectively ruled as the state church of the Netherlands; the Reformed agenda drove national policy. This meant that foreign Reformed communities aided their fellow Calvinists. Sebastian I of Portugal, his 1578 “crusade” against Muslims in Morocco ruined Portugal. Emperor Ferdinand II, the Holy Roman emperor of Bohemia, and of Hungary, his policies brought about the Thirty Years’ War—“Europe’s tragedy.”

    A war so destructive of both human life and property that it probably qualifies as the greatest disaster to affect Europe between the Black Death and the First World War. Confessional divisions eventually helped to spawn the British civil wars that began in 1640 and lasted from 1641 to 1651, wreaking destruction across the whole of the British Isles. This era of religious debauchery culminated in the Cromwell ‘Round Heads’ Civil War. In 1653 Cromwell dismissed the Rump Parliament by force. This conflict started a completely different round of State imposed oppression and rule. And serves as validation of Nietzsche’s philosophy that the Xtian God is dead.

    Deicide, as expressed through the Gospels, does it command mussar? The Church chose theology over mussar. None the less, an interpretation of the Deicide Gospel story, it teaches a restatement\elaboration of the Cain and Abel first murder. Those who pursue violence and murder they kill God just as depicted in the slaughter and cross Gospel story.

    Those who honor the sermon on the mount, they witness the resurrection from the dead of Jesus their God. Da’at and t’shuva, upon these two wheels drives Divine Chariot mysticism. Blessing and Curse. The curse – Deicide guilt upon all generations of baptized believers – this Torah curse clings to all who pursue cruel violence, oppression and criminal murder. Those generations, one and all, guilty of Deicide, on par with and similar too, the plot to murder the Jesus messiah rebel who lead a revolt against Oral Torah based halacha, as told in the Gospel accounts. As the Reformation witnessed a rebellion against the mother faith, so too the religion repressed through the New Testament depicts a similar event during the closing days of the 2nd Jewish Commonwealth under Roman tyranny.

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