Early Church History 14

Apologists of the Third and Fourth Generation

Can Jesus Christ be good AND yet material?  One answer: Docetism, a phantom, DOKEO

Gospel of Peter (190), popularized by Julius Cassianus, disciple of Valentinus

Theodotus of Byzantium

Theodotus "the Banker"

Natalius v. Pope Zephyrinus

Apologists:                        Dates                    Times cited in Catechism of the Catholic Church

Justin the Martyr                69 - 155                3

Irenaeus of Lyons               100 - 165              9

Clement of Alexandria                - 215            32

Tertullian                            160 - 215             14

Others: Shepherd of Hermes, Quadratus, Aristides, Tatian, Athenagoras, Theophilus of Antioch, Anonymous Letter to Diognetus, Minucius Felix.

Ignatius of Antioch: "It is filling therefore that you should live in harmony with the will of the bishop."

to Polycarp (paragraph 68) "be pleasing to Him whose soldier you are, and whose pay you receive.  May none of you be found to be a deserter (δεσέρτωρ). Let your baptism be your armament; your faith, your helmet; your love, your pilum, your endurance, your full suit of armor.  It your works be as your deposited withholdings. (δεπόσιτα)

so that you may receive the back pay (accepta) (`άκκεπτα) which has accrued to you.  Be long-suffering with one another, and gentle, just as God is with you. May I rejoice in you always."


alms: (10,3) when it is in your power to do good, withhold not, because alms deliver from death.  all of you are subject to one another, having your behavior blameless among the gentiles, that by your good works both you may receive praise, and the Lord may not be blasphemed in you."


Saint Polycarp visits Pope Anicletus "and they disagreed a little about other things, they immediately made peace with one another, not carrying to quarrel over this matter. For neither could Anicletus persuade Polycarp, nor Polycarp Anicletus. But though matters were in this shape, they communed together, and Anicletus conceded the administration of the Eucharist of the Church to Polycarp, manifestly as a mark of respect.  And they parted from each other in peace.

January 155, the Asiarch at Smyrna

Philip of Tralles

Proconsul Quadratus

Phrygians from Philadelphia, Quintus

"When they persecute you in one city, flee to another."

flagellum "and it came to pass in the case of those who were condemned to the wild beasts, or suffered terrible tortures, or whose flesh was scraped off with shells, with the object of turning them, if it were possible, to deny ... for there were many devices which the devil brought against them." (Marcianus)


"Search out Polycarp!"

Polycarp: "I do not propose to do what you advise."

The Dog-Hunt

Proconsul: show some respect for our old age. Swear by the genius of Caesar. Repent and say, "Away with the atheists."

Polycarp: "Away with the atheists!"

Letter of the Symrnaeans, Martyrdom of Polycarp  22:3 "From these papers of Irenaeus then, as has been stated already, Gaius made a copy, and from the copy of Gaius, Isocrates made another in Corinth."

22:4 "and I, Pionius, again wrote it down from the copy of Isocrates, having searched for it in obedience to a revelation of the holy Polycarp, gathering it together, when it was well nigh worn out by age, that the Lord Jesus Christ may gather me also with His elect into his heavenly kingdom; to whom be the glory with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen"


NOTE: An excellent website on apologists and apologetics can be found at Dr. John Gresham of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.