E. The passing of Christian beliefs

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If you’re reading these in order you’ll note that we have investigated the oral traditions, explored these early creeds, seen what teachings they preserve from the beginning. One could say the task is done, but it would be worthwhile seeing how these Christian doctrines were preserved across border, what happened to the teachings after the death of the disciples? We could talk here about the manuscripts, but that’s another topic in itself, what did the disciples of the disciples preserve in their own works? How far from the cross can we follow these chains?

We’re going to explore a few chains of command to which I’m indebted to J. Warner Wallace and his book Cold Case Christianity which I strongly recommend you buy (He’s not paying me to say that, it just makes sense). They begin and are routed in the Apostles John, Paul & Peter primarily.

Apostle John

Ignatius was taught by the disciple of the Apostle John

Ignatius who was active 35–117 AD is someone we don’t know a tremendous amount about in his early life, but tradition has him as one of the children Jesus blessed. What we do know however is that Ignatius was a student of John and eventually became the bishop at Antioch (Turkey), following the apostle Peter. 

He wrote several important letters to the early church, and seven letters from Ignatius considered authentic by scholars survive today (six to local church groups and one to Polycarp who we’ll get to). [1] Some of these letters were corrupted in later centuries and amended with additional passages. Fortunately we do possess copies of the shorter, genuine versions of each epistle, and these brief writings reveal the influence of John (and other apostles) on Ignatius (AKA we know what the additions were and we now know the originals in full with confidence). Ignatius goal wasn’t to retell the Gospel, they were already in circulation, but to encourage churches in his locale. He certainly did refer to New Testament documents and the nature of Jesus. 

The letters written believed between 105-115AD observe that Ignatius quoted (or alluded to) seven to sixteen New Testament books (including the gospels of Matthew, John, and Luke, and several, if not all, of Paul’s letters). While this establishes the fact that the New Testament concepts and documents existed very early in history, Ignatius’s letters also provide us with a picture of Jesus and a glimpse of how the apostle John (as an eyewitness) described Him. J Warner Wallace, through study of the letters gleaned these Facts Ignatius preserves at a possible minimum:

  1. The prophets predicted and waited for Jesus. [2] 
  2. Jesus was in the line of King David. [3] 
  3. He was (and is) the “Son of God.” [4] 
  4. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit. [5] 
  5. A star announced His birth. [6] 
  6. He came forth from God the Father. [7]
  7. He was born of the virgin Mary. [8]
  8. He was baptized by John the Baptist. [9]
  9. He was the “perfect” man. [10]
  10. He manifested the will and knowledge of God the Father. [11]
  11. He taught and had a “ministry” on earth. [12] 
  12. He was the source of wisdom and taught many commandments. [13] 
  13. He spoke the words of God. [14] 
  14. Ointment was poured on Jesus’s head. [15] 
  15. He was unjustly treated and condemned by men. [16] 
  16. He suffered and was crucified. [17] 
  17. He died on the cross. [18] 
  18. Jesus sacrificed Himself for us as an offering to God the Father. [19]
  19. This all took place under the government of Pontius Pilate. [20] 
  20. Herod the Tetrarch was king. [21] 
  21. Jesus was resurrected. [22] 
  22. He had a physical resurrection body. [23] 
  23. He appeared to Peter and the others after the resurrection. [24] 
  24. He encouraged the disciples to touch Him after the resurrection. [25] 
  25. He ate with the disciples after the resurrection. [26] 
  26. The disciples were convinced by the resurrection appearances. [27] 
  27. The disciples were fearless after seeing the risen Christ. [28] 
  28. Jesus returned to God the Father. [29] 
  29. Jesus now lives in us. [30] 
  30. We live forever as a result of our faith in Christ. [31] 
  31. He has the power to transform us. [32] 
  32. Jesus is the manifestation of God the Father. [33] 
  33. He is united to God the Father. [34] 
  34. He is our only Master [35] 
  35. and the Son of God. [36] 
  36. He is the “Door,” [37] 
  37. the “Bread of Life,” [38] 
  38. and the “Eternal Word.” [39] 
  39. He is our High Priest. [40] 
  40. Jesus is “Lord.” [41] 
  41. Jesus is “God.” [42]
  42. He is “our Savior” [43] 
  43. and the way to “true life.” [44]
  44. His sacrifice glorifies us. [45] 
  45. Faith in Christ’s work on the cross saves us. [46] 
  46. This salvation and forgiveness are gifts of grace from God. [47] 
  47. Jesus loves the church. [48] 
  48. We (as the church) celebrate the Lord’s Supper in Jesus’s honor. [49] 

This in just his letters is what Ignatius believed and mirrors a Historical Gospel Jesus and they demonstrated these beliefs existed in early history and are written at the turn of the 1st century, with him holding them prior likely to 100AD. Ignatius appears to be very familiar with many passages from the Gospels and the letters of Paul. In addition, Ignatius echoed John’s description of Jesus.

Polycarp was taught by the disciple of the Apostle John

Polycarp estimated living 69–155 AD, so to an old age, was a friend of Ignatius and a fellow student of John, a much younger one, young perhaps like John was to Jesus. Irenaeus testified that he once heard Polycarp talk about his conversations with John, and Polycarp was known to have been converted to Christianity by the eyewitness apostles themselves (whichever ones were still alive, Andrew and John perhaps?). Polycarp eventually became the bishop of Smyrna [50] (now Izmir in Turkey) and wrote a letter to the church in Philippi, in response to its letter to him. 

The content of Polycarp’s letter (an ancient document written from AD 100 to 150 and well attested in history) refers to Ignatius personally and is completely consistent with the content of Ignatius’s letters. Polycarp also appears to be familiar with the other living apostles and eyewitnesses to the life of Jesus. He wrote about Paul, recognising Paul’s relationship with the church at Philippi and confirming the nature of Paul’s life as an apostle. 

Polycarp’s letter is aimed at encouraging the Philippians and reminding them of their duty to live in response to the New Testament teaching with which they were clearly familiar. In fact, Polycarp mentioned that the Philippians were well trained by the “sacred Scriptures” and quoted Paul’s letter to the Ephesians as an example of these Scriptures. 

Polycarp quoted or referenced fourteen to sixteen New Testament books (including Matthew, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 1 Peter, and 1 John, with some scholars observing additional references to 2 Timothy and 2 Corinthians). Along the way, Polycarp also presented the image of Jesus he gleaned from his teacher, the apostle John, describing Jesus in the following ways (Again thanks to J Warner Wallace for producing these lists:

  1. Jesus was sinless. [51] 
  2. He taught commandments. [52] 
  3. He taught the Sermon on the Mount. [53] 
  4. He suffered and died on a cross. [54]
  5.  He died for our sins. [55]
  6.  His death on the cross saves us. [56]
  7. Our faith in Jesus’s work on the cross saves us. [57] 
  8. We are saved by grace. [58] 
  9. Jesus was raised from the dead. [59] 
  10. His resurrection ensures that we will also be raised. [60]
  11.  Jesus ascended to heaven and is seated at God’s right hand. [61]
  12. All things are subject to Jesus. [62]
  13.  He will judge the living and the dead. [63]
  14.  Jesus is our “Savior.” [64] 
  15. Jesus is “Lord.” [65]

Polycarp’s writing also affirms the early appearance of the New Testament canon and echoes the teachings of John related to the nature and ministry of Jesus. Ignatius and Polycarp are an important link in the New Testament chain of custody, connecting their testimony and words to the next generation. The Apostles gave us the initial picture and this has been carefully handled on. Seeing the value of such truth, Polycarp and Ignatius preserved the Gospel in it’s fullness and passed it down to Irenaeus.

Irenaeus was taught by the disciples of the apostles Ignatius and Polycarp

Irenaeus living 120–202 AD was born in Smyrna, the city where Polycarp served as a bishop. He was raised in a Christian family (one of the early few who can claim that sentence!) and was someone who learned from Polycarp; he later recalled that Polycarp talked about his conversations with the apostle John. 

Irenaeus eventually became the bishop of Lugdunum in Gaul (now Lyons, France) many miles away from his home. [66] Irenaeus matured into a theologian and guardian of Christianity and wrote an important work called Against Heresies. This thorough defense of Christianity provided Irenaeus with the opportunity to address the issue of scriptural authority, and he specifically identified as many as twenty-four New Testament books as Scripture (including Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, 1 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, and Revelation). Irenaeus provides us with the next connecting line in our chain of authority which will take us into the heart of the third century to Hippolytus.

Hippolytus was taught by Irenaeus

Hippolytus active between AD 170–236 and was born in Rome and was a student and disciple of Irenaeus. [67] As he grew into a position of leadership, he opposed Roman bishops who modified their beliefs to accommodate the large number of “pagans” who were coming to faith in the city (Being a student of Irenaeus will generate that caution!). In taking a stand for orthodoxy, Hippolytus became known as the first “antipope” or “rival pope” in Christian history. 

He was an accomplished speaker of great learning, influencing a number of important Christian leaders such as Origen of Alexandria. Hippolytus wrote a huge ten-volume treatise called Refutation of All Heresies (Definitely of Irenaeus stock). In this expansive work, Hippolytus identified as many as twenty-four New Testament books as Scripture (including Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, 1 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, and Revelation). 

Unfortunately, Hippolytus was persecuted under Emperor Maximus Thrax and exiled to Sardinia, where he most likely died in the mines. The writings of Hippolytus (like the writings of Irenaeus before him) confirm that the New Testament accounts were already well established in the earliest years of the Christian movement.

Who were the students of Hippolytus? We do not know and the chain ends 220AD around a time where many of our manuscripts come from with a collection from the second century. This chain provides all the Christian doctrines preserved in their works or the books they endorse. This chain is just short of +200 years from Christ. 

Apostle Paul

Paul taught his students

Paul had a teacher and studied under the great Gamaliel  and is said to have lived 5-67AD (death dates fluctuates but it’s always in the 60’s) and wrote the largest portion of the New Testament and was closely associated with several key apostles, historians, and eyewitnesses who helped to document and guard the Scripture we have today. Paul’s friend Luke, for example, was a meticulous historian with access to the eyewitnesses and a personal involvement in the history of the New Testament church. 

Paul quotes from Luke’s material in 1 Timothy 5: 17–18 and 1 Corinthians 11: 23–25. 

Paul had several key students and disciples who protected and transmitted his writings (along with the emerging writings of other eyewitnesses, including Luke) to the next generation of Christian leaders. Pauls chain of testimony is harder to follow than John’s but we can certainly see his influence in those he taught.

Linus & Clement of Rome were taught by Paul

Paul spent his final years in Rome under house arrest, awaiting trial. While this was happening he had access to believers to come to him who’d eventually lead in the church. Irenaeus describes a man named Linus, born in Tuscany to Herculanus and Claudia, one of Paul’s coworkers (Paul identifies a coworker named Linus specifically in 2 Timothy 4: 21 along with Eubulus, Pudens, and Claudia).

Clement was another coworker of Paul (mentioned in Philippians 4:3), and he became an important assistant to Paul and Peter in the first years in Rome. [68] Peter seems to have promoted both Linus and Clement to positions of leadership so that he could focus on prayer and preaching. 

Clement wrote several letters, and one of these letters (The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians) survives as the earliest Christian document outside the New Testament. Clement’s letter (written in AD 80–140) was written to encourage the Corinthian church and call it to holy living. Clement referenced a number of examples from the Old Testament and also referred to the life and teaching of Jesus as it was passed on to him from Paul and Peter. 

Clement even discussed the chain of custody that existed from the apostolic eyewitnesses to his own second-generation readers. Clement told the Corinthian believers that 

the Apostles for our sakes received the gospel from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ was sent from God. Christ then is from God, and the Apostles from Christ. Both therefore came in due order from the will of God.” [69] 

Clement understood the “appointed order” of the eyewitness “chain of custody.” When examining the letter carefully, scholars have observed that Clement quoted or alluded to seven New Testament books (Mark, Matthew or John, Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, and Philippians) as he penned his work. Clement also described the person and work of Jesus, echoing the description of Jesus that was first communicated by the eyewitnesses. Clement’s descriptions line up nicely with Ignatius and Polycarp. Many thanks again for J Warner Wallace’s gathered lists.

  1. The prophets predicted the life and ministry of Jesus. [70] 
  2. Jesus provided His disciples with important instruction. [71]
  3.  He taught principles as described by Mark and Luke. [72]
  4.  He was humble and unassuming. [73]
  5. He was whipped. [74]
  6. He suffered and died for our salvation. [75]
  7.  He died as a payment for our sin. [76] 
  8. He was resurrected from the dead. [77] 
  9. He is alive and reigning with God. [78] 
  10. His resurrection makes our resurrection certain. [79] 
  11. We are saved by the “grace” of God [80] 
  12. through faith in Jesus. [81]
  13.  He is “Lord” [82] 
  14. and the Son of God. [83] 
  15. He possesses eternal glory and majesty. [84] 
  16. All creation belongs to Him. [85] 
  17. He is our “refuge” [86] 
  18. and our “High Priest.” 
  19.  He is our “defender” and “helper.” 
  20. The church belongs to Him. [87]

This letter testifies further evidence of a passed down testimony. Now we can turn our attention to Evaristus.

Clements passing chain of testimony

Linus and Clement of Rome taught, discussed, and passed the eyewitness Scripture along to their successors, from Evaristus (dies around 109AD) to Alexander I (dies around 115AD) to Sixtus I (Dies around 125) to Telesphorus (Dies around 136AD) to Hyginus (Dies around 140AD), to the Pius I (AD 90–154) who we have a little more knowledge about. 

The writings of Ignatius, Polycarp, and Clement demonstrate that the second generation of Christian leaders already considered the writings of the eyewitnesses to be precious Scripture. The papal leaders, “Pope’s” if you will, were possibly via Peter, Paul & Clement were raised to appreciate and honor the primacy of the eyewitness accounts as well; they understood the importance of guarding these accounts for future generations which is quite different from the role of a modern Pope.

Justin Martyr

Tatian was the disciple of Tatian

Not everyone who played a role in the scriptural chain of custody had the standard orthodox beliefs. Many recognized (and wrote about) the eyewitness accounts, while misinterpreting them for themselves and their followers. Tatian the Assyrian (AD 120–180) was an example of this. [88]

Tatian was born in Assyria. He came to Rome, however, for some period of time and studied the Old Testament. He met and became a student of Justin Martyr and converted to Christianity. He studied in Rome with Justin for many years and eventually opened a Christian school there. Unfortunately, as time went on, he developed a strict form of Christianity that forbade marriage and the eating of meat. When Justin died, Tatian was forced from the church in Rome. He traveled to Syria which is where he wrote his most valuable work, the Diatessaron. This is a biblical paraphrase, or harmony, which recognized the existence of the four eyewitness accounts of the Gospels, even as it sought to combine them into one document. The earliest church records of this document put it in Syria (traced back to Tatian) and identified an early canon that included the Diatessaron, the letters of Paul, and the book of Acts. 

Tatian’s work, combined with this ancient canonical list, acknowledges the early formation of the canon in the chain of custody from Paul to the late second century. The value of this chain is the acknowledgement of eyewitness testimony existing and that specifically there were four as far reaching as Syria toward the end of the second century and that they were considered sacred by the early Christian church. 

Wallace, J. Warner. Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels (p. 225). David C Cook. Kindle Edition. 

Apostle Peter

Peter established the church in Antioch and served there as the bishop for seven years. He eventually traveled to Rome and became the bishop there as well. As discussed in my article on the Gospel according to Mark, these are Peter’s words and they were passed down carefully as eyewitness texts from the first century.

Mark was the disciple of Peter

John Mark (Also known as just “Mark”) who wrote Peter’s Gospel, was the cousin of Barnabas, and his childhood home was well known to Peter (Acts 12:12–14). Mark became so close to Peter that the apostle described him as “my son” (1 Pet. 5:13). Peter preserved his eyewitness testimony through his primary disciple and student, who then passed it on to the next generation in what we now recognize as the “gospel of Mark.” 

Mark taught his students

John Mark established the church in Alexandria and immediately started preaching and baptizing new believers. History records the fact that he had at least five disciples, and these men eventually became church leaders in North Africa.[89] Mark discipled and taught Anianus (died 82AD), Avilius (died 95AD), Kedron (died 106AD), Primus (died 118AD), and Justus (died 135AD), passing on his gospel along with the other early New Testament accounts from apostolic eyewitnesses. These five men eventually became bishops of Alexandria (one after the other) following the death of Mark. They faithfully preserved the eyewitness accounts and passed them on, one generation to another. Justus is the chain of interest from these five students.

Pantaenus was entrusted by Justus

While Mark was still living, he appointed his disciple Justus as the director of the Catechetical School of Alexandria. This important school became an esteemed place of learning where the eyewitness accounts and Scriptures were collected and guarded. A key figure in the early development of this school was an ex-Stoic philosopher who converted to Christianity known as Pantaenus. [90] Pantaenus became an important teacher and missionary, traveling east of Alexandria (perhaps as far as India some suggest) and reporting that believers were already established in the East and were using the gospel of Matthew written in Hebrew letters! In any event, Pantaenus provided another important link in the chain of custody because the writing of one of his students survives to this day. Pantaenus accepted the eyewitness accounts of Scripture as authoritative, expressing his confidence in these documents to his own pupils.

Eusebius of Caesarea was a student of Pamphilus

This link in the chain brings us into the 4th century and beyond the first ecumenical council of Nicaea (which has been butchered all forms of modern awful myth). Eusebius of Caesarea (Living AD 263–339) was a man who later became an important church historian, church father, and devoted student who documented Pamphilus’s career in a three-volume work called Vita.[91] 

Eusebius was a brilliant writer, and much of his work survives to this day, including his Church History. A close survey of Eusebius’s work reveals that he recognized and identified twenty-six New Testament books as Scripture. He strongly affirmed Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, 1 Peter, 1 John, and Revelation, and less-strongly affirmed James, Jude, 2 Peter, 2 John, and 3 John. This chain of scriptural custody, from Peter to Eusebius, brings us well into the period of time in which the Codex Sinaiticus and Vaticanus was penned and to the doorstep of the Council of Laodicea. It is clear that the eyewitness accounts and writings of the apostles were collected, preserved, and transmitted from generation to generation during this span of time.

What we can summarise and know

If we imagine all the Christian eyewitness accounts were destroyed or disappeared this instant, imagine if we only had these chains of custody of teaching from Mark, Ignatius, Polycarp, and Clement. Remove Mark from the scenario, what would we have from the other non-canonical letters? Would what they preserve affirm what the modern Bible tells us?

From the earliest non biblical records, we would learn the following (With thanks for J Warner Wallace for generating these lists): 

  1. Jesus had been predicted by the Old Testament prophets
  2. He was a man in the line of David, 
  3. Conceived by the Holy Spirit as the only begotten Son of God, 
  4. Born of the virgin Mary, 
  5. Birth announced with a star 
  6. He came forth from God and manifested God’s will and knowledge 
  7. He was baptized by John the Baptist
  8. Lived a humble, unassuming, perfect, and sinless life, 
  9. Spoke the words of God, and taught people many important divine truths (including the principles we recognize from the Sermon on the Mount). 
  10. Although Jesus was anointed with oil, 
  11. He was unjustly treated and condemned, whipped, and ultimately executed on the cross. 
  12. This execution took place during the government of Pontius Pilate 
  13. and the reign of Herod the Tetrarch. 
  14. Jesus’s death was a personal sacrifice He offered to God in our behalf as a payment for the debt of our sin. 
  15. Jesus proved His divinity by physically resurrecting from the dead, 
  16. He appeared to Peter and the other disciples, eating with them, and encouraging them to touch Him and see for themselves. 
  17. The disciples were so emboldened by their observations of the risen Jesus that they became fearless, understanding that Jesus’s resurrection ensured eternal life and the resurrection for all of those who placed their faith in Him. 
  18. Jesus returned to God the Father and now reigns in heaven, 
  19. Even as He lives in everyone who has accepted His offer of forgiveness and salvation. 
  20. Jesus is the “Door,” 
  21. Jesus is the “Bread of Life,” 
  22. Jesus is the “Eternal Word,” 
  23. Jesus is the “Son of God,” 
  24. Jesus is our “High Priest,” 
  25. Jesus is “Savior,” 
  26. Jesus is “Master,” 
  27. Jesus is “Guardian,” 
  28. Jesus is “Helper,” 
  29. Jesus is “Refuge,” 
  30. Jesus is “Lord.” 
  31. Jesus and the Father are one; 
  32. Jesus possesses eternal glory and majesty. 
  33. All creation belongs to Him and is subject to Him. 
  34. Jesus will judge the living and the dead. 
  35. Jesus is “God.” 

We would learn all of this, not on the basis of what is taught in the gospel accounts, but on the basis of what is taught by the earliest first-century students of the gospel writers (and only three of them, at that)! The letters of Ignatius, Polycarp, and Clement confirm the accuracy of the Gospels. Even if sceptics were to pose certain details were missing from the Gospels, you could not fault that the core of Christianity is there.

Jesus was described as 

  1. God 
  2. Walked with His disciples 
  3. Taught the masses
  4. Died on a cross
  5. Rose from the dead

This version of Jesus is not a late invention or exaggeration; it is the version of Jesus that existed from the very first telling. 

Global Transmission and movement

One of the observations that has rightly been made is how spread out this continuous teaching is, that it’s not contained to one corner of the empire. Well we know the traditions that Thomas went to India, as far as Chennai. According to Syrian Christian tradition, Saint Thomas was allegedly killed at St.Thomas Mount, in Chennai, in 72 A.D. and his body was interred in Mylapore. Ephrem the Syrian states that the Apostle was martyred in India, and that his relics were taken then to Edessa. This is the earliest known record of his martyrdom [92]. 

But looking to the first century onwards there are some remarkable patterns, some of which align with the three Textual transmission types discussed in the textual criticism articles. We have Johns line of tradition spreading from east to west Turkey, up into France and then Rome which is the eastern path. Paul’s line of authority, we know Mediterranean Europe, and likely a larger congruent in Rome forming certainly a Mediterranean/Roman tradition. Justin Martyr, coming after the time of Clement of Rome certainly creates Syrian routes through Tatian, creating a far eastern tradition if it wasn’t already in its infancy (Perhaps Thomas was there first?). Peter’s path takes us through to Rome with routes still established in the Middle East with Eusebius in Caesarea. 

There are other chains of history that take us through Europe, manuscript traditions have been traced to Carthage like Tertullian in Carthage or Clement of Alexandria (Alexandrian), Byzantine (Byzantium) and Rome (Western). This article, read in collaboration with the journey the manuscripts took helps form a historical picture or cross-border transmission and travel. This again adds to the problem of trying to state a single authority could change the text. It just doesn’t seem possible.

Sources

  1. For more information about Ignatius, refer to Early Christian Writings: The Apostolic Fathers (London: Penguin, 1968). Kindle edition. 
  2. Ignatius of Antioch, The Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians (OrthodoxEbooks), Google eBook, 126. 
  3. Ignatius of Antioch, The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians (OrthodoxEbooks), Google eBook, 114. 
  4. Ignatius of Antioch, The Epistle of Ignatius to the Romans (OrthodoxEbooks), Google eBook, 154. 
  5. Ignatius, The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians, 114. 
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  7. Ignatius, The Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians, 124. 
  8. Ignatius, The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians, 114. 
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  10. Ignatius of Antioch, “The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrneans,” A Collection of Gospels, Epistles, and Other Pieces Extant from the Early Christian Centuries but Not Included in the Commonly Received Canon of Scripture (Glasgow: Thomson, 1884), 85. 
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  13. Ignatius, The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians, 105. 
  14. Ignatius, The Epistle of Ignatius to the Romans, 154. 
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  20. Ignatius, The Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians, 128. 
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  22. Ignatius, The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians, 116. 101. Ignatius, “The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrneans,” 85. 
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  24. Ignatius, “The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrneans,” 85. 
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  27. Ignatius, “The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrneans,” 85. 
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  36. Ignatius, The Epistle of Ignatius to the Philadelphians, 167. 
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  45. Ignatius of Antioch, The Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians (OrthodoxEbooks), Google eBook, 139. 
  46. Ignatius, The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians, 116. 
  47. Ignatius, “Epistle of Ignatius to Polycarp,” quoted in The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Translations of the Writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325, eds. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, vol. 1, The Apostolic Fathers—Justin Martyr—Irenaeus (Buffalo: Christian Literature, 1885), 95. 
  48. Ignatius, “The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrneans,” 86. 
  49. For more information about Polycarp, refer to Early Christian Writings: The Apostolic Fathers (London: Penguin, 1968), Kindle edition. 
  50. Polycarp, “The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians,” The Epistle to the Philippians, ed. J. J. S. Perowne (Cambridge University Press, 1895), 26. 
  51. Polycarp, “The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians,” 25. 
  52. Polycarp, “The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians,” 26. 
  53. Polycarp, “The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians,” 25. 
  54. Polycarp, “The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians,” 27. 
  55. Polycarp, “The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians,” 25. 
  56. Polycarp, “The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians,” 25. 
  57. Polycarp, “The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians,” 26. 
  58. Polycarp, “The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians,” 25. 
  59. Polycarp, “The Epistle of S. Polycarp,” quoted in Apostolic Fathers, eds. J. B. Lightfoot and J. R. Harmer (Whitefish, MT: Kessinger), 95. 
  60. Polycarp, “The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians,” 25. 
  61. Polycarp, “The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians,” 25. 
  62. Polycarp, “The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians,” 24. 
  63. Polycarp, “The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians,” 24. 
  64. For more information about Irenaeus, see Robert M. Grant, Irenaeus of Lyons, The Early Church Fathers (London: Routledge, 1996). 
  65. For more information about Hippolytus, see Christopher Wordsworth, St. Hippolytus and the Church of Rome in the earlier part of the third century. From the newly-discovered Philosophumena (Charleston: Nabu Press, 2010). 
  66. For more information about Clement, refer to Early Christian Writings: The Apostolic Fathers (London: Penguin, 1968), Kindle edition. 
  67. Clement of Rome, “Epistle to the Corinthians,” Documents of the Christian Church, eds. Henry Bettenson and Chris Maunder (Oxford University Press, 2011), 67. 
  68. Clement of Rome, The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians (Whitefish, MT: Kessinger), 12. 
  69. Clement, The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, 10. 
  70. Clement, The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, 27. 
  71. Clement, The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, 11. 
  72. Clement, The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, 11. 
  73. Clement, The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, 11. 
  74. Clement, The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, 11. 
  75. Clement, The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, 16. 
  76. Clement, The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, 22. 
  77. Clement, The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, 16. 
  78. Clement, The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, 7. 
  79. Clement, The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, 15. 
  80. Clement, The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, 10. 
  81. Clement, The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, 22. 
  82. Clement, The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, 14. 
  83. Clement, The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, 22. 
  84. Clement, The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, 14. 
  85. Clement, The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, 22. 
  86. Clement, The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, 22. 
  87. Clement, The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, 27. 
  88. For more information about Tatian, see Emily J. Hunt, Christianity in the Second Century: The Case of Tatian, Routledge Early Church Monographs (London: Routledge, 2003). 
  89. For more information about the early popes in North Africa, see Stephen J. Davis, The Early Coptic Papacy: The Egyptian Church and Its Leadership in Late Antiquity, Popes of Egypt (The American University in Cairo Press, 2005). 
  90. For more information about Pantaenus, see Vincent J. O’Malley, Saints of Africa (Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor 2001). 
  91. For more information about Eusebius of Caesarea, see Robert Van De Weyer, Eusebius: The First Christian Historian, Early Christian Writings (Berkhamsted, UK: Arthur James Ltd, 1997). 
  92. Source:  “Ser Marco Polo; notes and addenda to Sir Henry Yule’s edition, containing the results of recent research and discovery”. Internet Archive. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  93. Wallace, J. Warner. Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels (pp. 226-230). David C Cook. Kindle Edition.

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