• johned@aibi.ph



Translated by J.B. Lightfoot. Adapt. and mod. (c) 1990. ATHENA DATA PRODUCTS

Polycarp prologue:1

Polycarp and the presbyters that are with him unto the Church of God

which sojourneth at Philippi; mercy unto you and peace from God

Almighty and Jesus Christ our Savior be multiplied.

Polycarp 1:1

   I rejoiced with you greatly in our Lord Jesus Christ, for that ye

received the followers of the true Love and escorted them on their

way, as befitted you--those men encircled in saintly bonds which are

the diadems of them that be truly chosen of God and our Lord;

Polycarp 1:2

and that the steadfast root of your faith which was famed from

primitive times abideth until now and beareth fruit unto our Lord

Jesus Christ, who endured to face even death for our sins, whom God

raised, having loosed the pangs of Hades; on whom, 

Polycarp 1:3 

though ye saw Him not, ye believe with joy unutterable and full of

glory; unto which joy many desire to enter in; forasmuch as ye know

that it is by grace ye are saved, not of works, but by the will of

God through Jesus Christ.

Polycarp 2:1 Wherefore gird up your loins and serve God in fear and truth,

forsaking the vain and empty talking and the error of the many, for

that ye have believed on Him that raised our Lord Jesus Christ from

the dead and gave unto him glory and a throne on His right hand;

unto whom all things were made subject that are in heaven and that

are on the earth; to whom every creature that hath breath doeth

service; who cometh as judge of quick and dead; whose blood God

will require of them that are disobedient unto Him.

Polycarp 2:2

Now He that raised Him from the dead will raise us also; if we

do His will and walk in His commandments and love the things which He

loved, abstaining from all unrighteousness, covetousness, love of

money, evil speaking, false witness; not rendering evil for evil or

railing for railing or blow for blow or cursing for cursing;

Polycarp 2:3

but remembering the words which the Lord spake, as He taught; Judge

not that ye be not judged. Forgive, and it shall be forgiven to

you. Have mercy that ye may receive mercy. With what measure ye

mete, it shall be measured to you again; and again Blessed are

the poor and they that are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for

theirs is the kingdom of God.

Polycarp 3:1

   These things, brethren, I write unto you concerning righteousness,

not because I laid this charge upon myself, but because ye invited


Polycarp 3:2

For neither am I, nor is any other like unto me, able to follow the

wisdom of the blessed and glorious Paul, who when he came among you

taught face to face with the men of that day the word which

concerneth truth carefully and surely; who also, when he was absent,

wrote a letter unto you, into the which if ye look diligently, ye

shall be able to be builded up unto the faith given to you, 

Polycarp 3:3 

which is the mother of us all, while hope followeth after and love

goeth before--love toward God and Christ and toward our neighbor. For

if any man be occupied with these, he hath fulfilled the commandment

of righteousness; for he that hath love is far from all sin.

Polycarp 4:1 But the love of money is the beginning of all troubles. Knowing

therefore that we brought nothing into the world neither can we

carry anything out, let us arm ourselves with the armor of

righteousness, and let us teach ourselves first to walk in the

commandment of the Lord;

Polycarp 4:2

and then our wives also, to walk in the faith that hath been given

unto them and in love and purity, cherishing their own husbands in

all truth and loving all men equally in all chastity, and to train

their children in the training of the fear of God.

Polycarp 4:3

Our widows must be sober-minded as touching the faith of the Lord,

making intercession without ceasing for all men, abstaining from all

calumny, evil speaking, false witness, love of money, and every evil

thing, knowing that they are God's altar, and that all sacrifices are

carefully inspected, and nothing escapeth Him either of their

thoughts or intents or any of the secret things of the heart.

Polycarp 5:1

   Knowing then that God is not mocked, we ought to walk worthily of

His commandment and His glory.

Polycarp 5:2

In like manner deacons should be blameless in the presence of His

righteousness, as deacons of God and Christ and not of men; not

calumniators, not double-tongued, not lovers of money, temperate in

all things, compassionate, diligent, walking according to the truth

of the Lord who became a minister (deacon) of all. For if we be

well pleasing unto Him in this present world, we shall receive the

future world also, according as He promised us to raise us from the

dead, and that if we conduct ourselves worthily of Him we shall

also reign with Him, if indeed we have faith.

Polycarp 5:3

In like manner also the younger men must be blameless in all things,

caring for purity before everything and curbing themselves from every

evil. For it is a good thing to refrain from lusts in the world, for

every lust warreth against the Spirit, and neither whoremongers

nor effeminate persons nor defilers of themselves with men shall

inherit the kingdom of God, neither they that do untoward things.

Wherefore it is right to abstain from all these things, submitting

yourselves to the presbyters and deacons as to God and Christ. The

virgins must walk in a blameless and pure conscience.

Polycarp 6:1

   And the presbyters also must be compassionate, merciful towards all

men, turning back the sheep that are gone astray, visiting all the

infirm, not neglecting a widow or an orphan or a poor man: but

providing always for that which is honorable in the sight of God

and of men, abstaining from all anger, respect of persons,

unrighteous judgment, being far from all love of money, not quick to

believe anything against any man, not hasty in judgment, knowing that

we all are debtors of sin.

Polycarp 6:2

If then we entreat the Lord that He would forgive us, we also ought

to forgive: for we are before the eyes of our Lord and God, and we

must all stand at the judgment-seat of Christ, and each man must

give an account of himself.

Polycarp 6:3

Let us therefore so serve Him with fear and all reverence, as He

himself gave commandment and the Apostles who preached the Gospel to

us and the prophets who proclaimed beforehand the coming of our Lord;

being zealous as touching that which is good, abstaining from

offenses and from the false brethren and from them that bear the name

of the Lord in hypocrisy, who lead foolish men astray.

Polycarp 7:1

   For every one who shall not confess that Jesus Christ is come in

the flesh, is antichrist: and whosoever shall not confess the

testimony of the Cross, is of the devil; and whosoever shall pervert

the oracles of the Lord to his own lusts and say that there is

neither resurrection nor judgment, that man is the firstborn of


Polycarp 7:2

Wherefore let us forsake the vain doing of the many and their false

teachings, and turn unto the word which was delivered unto us from

the beginning, being sober unto prayer and constant in fastings,

entreating the all-seeing God with supplications that He bring us

not into temptation, according as the Lord said, The Spirit is

indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.

Polycarp 8:1

   Let us therefore without ceasing hold fast by our hope and by the

earnest of our righteousness, which is Jesus Christ who took up our

sins in His own body upon the tree, who did no sin, neither was

guile found in His mouth, but for our sakes He endured all things,

that we might live in Him.

Polycarp 8:2

Let us therefore become imitators of His endurance; and if we should

suffer for His name's sake, let us glorify Him. For He gave this

example to us in His own person, and we believed this.

Polycarp 9:1

   I exhort you all therefore to be obedient unto the word of

righteousness and to practice all endurance, which also ye saw with

your own eyes in the blessed Ignatius and Zosimus and Rufus, yea and

in others also who came from among yourselves, as well as in Paul

himself and the rest of the Apostles;

Polycarp 9:2

being persuaded that all these ran not in vain but in faith and

righteousness, and that they are in their due place in the presence

of the Lord, with whom also they suffered. For they loved not the

present world, but Him that died for our sakes and was raised by

God for us.

Polycarp 10:1

   Stand fast therefore in these things and follow the example of the

Lord, being firm in the faith and immovable, in love of the

brotherhood kindly affectioned one to another, partners with the

truth, forestalling one another in the gentleness of the Lord,

despising no man.

Polycarp 10:2 When ye are able to do good, defer it not, for Pitifulness

delivereth from death. Be ye all subject one to another, having

your conversation unblamable among the gentiles, that your good

works both ye may receive praise and the Lord may not be

blasphemed in you.

Polycarp 10:3

But woe to him through whom the name of the Lord be blasphemed.

Therefore teach all men soberness, in which ye yourselves also walk.

Polycarp 11:1

   I was exceedingly grieved for Valens, who aforetime was a presbyter

among you, because he is so ignorant of the office which was given

unto him. I warn you therefore that ye refrain from covetousness, and

that ye be pure and truthful. Refrain from all evil.

Polycarp 11:2

But he who cannot govern himself in these things, how doth he enjoin

this upon another? If a man refrain not from covetousness, he shall

be defiled by idolatry, and shall be judged as one of the Gentiles

who know not the judgment of the Lord, Nay, know we not, that the

saints shall judge the world, as Paul teacheth?

Polycarp 11:3

But I have not found any such thing in you, neither have heard

thereof, among whom the blessed Paul labored, who were his letters

in the beginning. For he boasteth of you in all those churches 

which alone at that time knew God; for we knew Him not as yet.

Polycarp 11:4

Therefore I am exceedingly grieved for him and for his wife, unto

whom may the Lord grant true repentance. Be ye therefore yourselves

also sober herein, and hold not such as enemies but restore them

as frail and erring members, that ye may save the whole body of you.

For so doing, ye do edify one another.

Polycarp 12:1

   For I am persuaded that ye are well trained in the sacred writings,

and nothing is hidden from you. But to myself this is not granted.

Only, as it is said in these scriptures, Be ye angry and sin not,

and Let not the sun set on your wrath. Blessed is he that

remembereth this; and I trust that this is in you.

Polycarp 12:2

Now may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the eternal

High-priest Himself the [Son of God Jesus Christ, build you up in

faith and truth, and in all gentleness and in all avoidance of wrath

and in forbearance and long suffering and in patient endurance and in

purity; and may He grant unto you a lot and portion among His saints,

and to us with you, and to all that are under heaven, who shall

believe on our Lord and God Jesus Christ and on His Father that

raised him from the dead. 

Polycarp 12:3 

Pray for all the saints. Pray also for kings and powers and

princes and for them that persecute and hate you and for the

enemies of the cross, that your fruit may be manifest among all

men, that ye may be perfect in Him.

Polycarp 13:1

Ye wrote to me, both ye yourselves and Ignatius, asking that if any

one should go to Syria he might carry thither the letters from you.

And this I will do, if I get a fit opportunity, either I myself, or

he whom I shall send to be ambassador on your behalf also.

Polycarp 13:2

The letters of Ignatius which were sent to us by him, and others as

many as we had by us, we send unto you, according as ye gave charge;

the which are subjoined to this letter; from which ye will be able to

gain great advantage. For they comprise faith and endurance and every

kind of edification, which pertaineth unto our Lord. Moreover

concerning Ignatius himself and those that were with him, if ye have

any sure tidings, certify us.

Polycarp 14:1

I write these things to you by Crescens, whom I commended to you

recently and now commend unto you: for he hath walked blamelessly

with us; and I believe also with you in like manner. But ye shall

have his sister commended, when she shall come to you. Fare ye well

in the Lord Jesus Christ in grace, ye and all yours. Amen.

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