Talk:Martyrdom of Polycarp

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Author was an Apostolic father or is the author unknown?[edit]

The sentences quoted below appear in the first two paragraphs of the article:

"The Martyrdom of Polycarp is one of the works of the Apostolic Fathers, and as such is one of the very few eyewitness writings from the actual age of the persecutions. ..."

"Though the author of the "Martyrdom of Polycarp" is unknown, the story is recorded by Eusebius, who claims to have received it through a letter addressed to the Church of Philomelium by the Church of Smyrna."

These sentences don't seem consistent. The first sentence claims that is the work of an Apostolic Father and one paragraph later the article claims the authorship is unknown.

The claim in the second paragraph that the author is unknown seems correct. If the Martyrdom of Polycarp was written by an apostolic father presumably it wasn't Polycarp, that leaves Clement or Ignatius. It seems like they would both be dead by the time of the alleged martyrdom of Polycarp. So based on that the claim that the Martyrdom of Polycarp is the work of an Apostolic Father seems unlikely. The later sections of the article add further support for the claim that the author is unknown, therefore it appears that the claim in the first sentence is wrong. --Davefoc (talk) 20:15, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Clement and Ignatius both died before Polycarp. They couldn't be the authors. "Apostolic Fathers" never referred to a set of known authors. All it means is that the included texts were presumably some of the earliest post-apostolic writings in history and so, as the thinking went when the term was coined, their authors received their traditions from apostolic sources. I've noticed you've been editing a lot of AF articles. Might I suggest you read Clayton Jefford's Reading the Apostolic Fathers. It is a nice, basic introduction. Whole Wheat Ιγνάτιος (talk) 17:08, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree with the first post here, calling the Martyrdom of Polycarp "one of the works of the Apostolic Fathers" certainly needs a reference at least. I think it is just plain wrong, it is an anonymous text. Also just because a text claims to be an eyewitness report that does not mean that it necessarily really is one.The article is generally very poor and needs to be re-written.Smeat75 (talk) 14:12, 11 May 2013 (UTC)