Irenaeus, Polycarp and John..
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25-05-2016, 06:16 PM
Irenaeus, Polycarp and John..
So I'm having a discussion with a guy who was an atheist but converted to christianity partly because of the connection between Polycarp who is said to be a disciple of the apostle John. I'm about to point out that Irenaeus had not been born yet to witness any relationship, if indeed there was one, between Polycarp and John and that Irenaeus is getting this information second hand from Polycarp. I'm going with the "lying for jesus" crap that seemed to be so prevalent then.

Any other suggestions refuting the Polycarp and John connection would be welcome?

(And Girlyman....I already have the Abraham, Martin and John music in my head so please don't post that song. Tongue )

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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26-05-2016, 10:06 AM
RE: Irenaeus, Polycarp and John..
(25-05-2016 06:16 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  So I'm having a discussion with a guy who was an atheist but converted to christianity partly because of the connection between Polycarp who is said to be a disciple of the apostle John. I'm about to point out that Irenaeus had not been born yet to witness any relationship, if indeed there was one, between Polycarp and John and that Irenaeus is getting this information second hand from Polycarp. I'm going with the "lying for jesus" crap that seemed to be so prevalent then.

Any other suggestions refuting the Polycarp and John connection would be welcome?

(And Girlyman....I already have the Abraham, Martin and John music in my head so please don't post that song. Tongue )

Welp. Guess no early religious historian is going to reply so I'll just mosey on down the line. Maybe read a book..... drink some tea...whatever.......

Drinking Beverage

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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26-05-2016, 10:57 AM
RE: Irenaeus, Polycarp and John..
(25-05-2016 06:16 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  So I'm having a discussion with a guy who was an atheist but converted to christianity partly because of the connection between Polycarp who is said to be a disciple of the apostle John.

That seems like such a weird reason to convert to Christianity. So, he's convinced because of something said by a guy who knew a guy who knew Jesus? My first two thoughts are:
  • Why doesn't Jesus show himself anymore? Why does he just resort to toast and cult leaders?
  • If you had a direct connection to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, would you suddenly become more credible than Polycarp? It's not like he has to see the FSM if he's already convinced by claims of people two degrees away. Why not believe the claims of someone one degree away?
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26-05-2016, 11:16 AM
RE: Irenaeus, Polycarp and John..
My first thought was, "cool handle, Polycarp... is that short for polymer inedible fish?"
Laugh out load

[Image: dnw9krH.jpg?4]
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26-05-2016, 01:09 PM
RE: Irenaeus, Polycarp and John..
I've seen several similar Facebook posts from my parents' Christian circles, some quite-aggressive "I used to be an atheist, but then I did some actual research" videos clearly designed to try to shore up their hemorrhaging membership in the cult. All of them make some reference to the early church father writings, and all say "but when I began to look into it...", implying that the only reason we're atheists is that we just don't know enough.

The funny part is that, if I recall correctly from my History of the Bible course, the whole Polycarp->John connection was written about by others specifically as a way of trying to shore up the rising "Orthodoxy" (as it would come to be called) among the other versions of "things Jesus said" theology, and it read to me exactly like someone who was pimping the Gospel of John's "Jesus is the Son of God" version of the story by seeking to establish that it had "always been the real story".

But even giving benefit of the doubt, and saying the second-person (or third-person) "witness" establishes that Irenaeus really did "in [his] youth" hear Polycarp saying that he had been a direct disciple of John, and we take this as a 100% reliable statement with no poooossssible political motivations, it still only establishes the existence of the Christ-cult in the late first century... hardly a surprise to anyone, given that we have Tacitus' Annals definitively placing the Christ-cult in Rome during the reign of Nero. It's also hardly a surprise that every new leader in the young church would be (or claim to be) brought into the religion by the teaching of an early evangelist...that's how all religions form and are spread. It strikes me as especially on-point to note that the only instance we have of Polycarp's writing (the Letter to the Philippians) is recorded by Iranaeus as being written to combat heresies arising in the many new versions of the church that were popping up. The battle for the dominance of Orthoxody was still being waged.

Since I'm not a Mythicist, I find the evidence of the claims of Polycarp (through others who came after him and through the letter they say he penned) right in line with the view that disappointed followers of the man they thought was the Davidic Messiah turned the story into a new version in the wake of his execution, and that the politics of theology that followed led to a lot of work by the majority (who may or may not have been an original majority) to establish their legitimacy.

The notion that it's a reason to abandon atheism and jump on the Christian bandwagon just screams the same sort of propaganda work, today, to me. I suspect we'll start seeing a lot more of these types of "conversion after researching" stories, pretty soon, from the apologetics factories.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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26-05-2016, 01:47 PM
RE: Irenaeus, Polycarp and John..
(26-05-2016 01:09 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  I've seen several similar Facebook posts from my parents' Christian circles, some quite-aggressive "I used to be an atheist, but then I did some actual research" videos clearly designed to try to shore up their hemorrhaging membership in the cult. All of them make some reference to the early church father writings, and all say "but when I began to look into it...", implying that the only reason we're atheists is that we just don't know enough.

The funny part is that, if I recall correctly from my History of the Bible course, the whole Polycarp->John connection was written about by others specifically as a way of trying to shore up the rising "Orthodoxy" (as it would come to be called) among the other versions of "things Jesus said" theology, and it read to me exactly like someone who was pimping the Gospel of John's "Jesus is the Son of God" version of the story by seeking to establish that it had "always been the real story".

But even giving benefit of the doubt, and saying the second-person (or third-person) "witness" establishes that Irenaeus really did "in [his] youth" hear Polycarp saying that he had been a direct disciple of John, and we take this as a 100% reliable statement with no poooossssible political motivations, it still only establishes the existence of the Christ-cult in the late first century... hardly a surprise to anyone, given that we have Tacitus' Annals definitively placing the Christ-cult in Rome during the reign of Nero. It's also hardly a surprise that every new leader in the young church would be (or claim to be) brought into the religion by the teaching of an early evangelist...that's how all religions form and are spread. It strikes me as especially on-point to note that the only instance we have of Polycarp's writing (the Letter to the Philippians) is recorded by Iranaeus as being written to combat heresies arising in the many new versions of the church that were popping up. The battle for the dominance of Orthoxody was still being waged.

Since I'm not a Mythicist, I find the evidence of the claims of Polycarp (through others who came after him and through the letter they say he penned) right in line with the view that disappointed followers of the man they thought was the Davidic Messiah turned the story into a new version in the wake of his execution, and that the politics of theology that followed led to a lot of work by the majority (who may or may not have been an original majority) to establish their legitimacy.

The notion that it's a reason to abandon atheism and jump on the Christian bandwagon just screams the same sort of propaganda work, today, to me. I suspect we'll start seeing a lot more of these types of "conversion after researching" stories, pretty soon, from the apologetics factories.

Thank you Rocket. You're a treasure trove of information. I've been wanting to delve more seriously into the very early christian cult but it's hard to find books that don't have a strong Christian bias to them. I have read almost all of Bart Ehrman's books. There MUST be some other books by serious historians on the early Christian church leaders.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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26-05-2016, 04:10 PM
RE: Irenaeus, Polycarp and John..
Use Wikipedia to establish a time line. This will refute everything.

Sorry not to be in better shape to answer.

I also call BS on the so called 'former atheist.' Xians use this line often and it's always a lie.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
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