Polycarp was born in Smyrna and later became bishop there. He
was a disciple of the Apostle John and also a friend of
Ignatius. He was a very dedicated student of the Pauline
Epistles and the Gospel of John. He had very little to say
about sacraments or ritual. He maintained that each church
was independent of any outside human authority. He never re-
ferred to the ministers as priests, and he never taught that
water baptism had anything to do with salvation.
As a very old man, he was arrested, tried and con-
demned. When asked to renounce his faith in Christ, he re-
plied, “Eighty-six years have I served Him, and He hath done
me no wrong. How can I speak evil of my King who saved me?”
Polycarp was burned alive, and when the flames refused to
consume him, he was killed with the sword and then burned.