POLYCARP'S WITNESS TO IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH BY WILLIAM R. SCHOEDEL Polycarp's letter to the Philippians in its present form provides (as is well known) a strong early witness to Ignatius of Antioch and the letters written by him as he journeyed to Rome under guard. Polycarp alludes to the reception of Ignatius and others in Philippi at the beginning of his letter ( 1.1 ); he mentions them by name later (9.1 ); and finally toward the end of his communication he discusses a request addressed to him by Ignatius and the Philippians ( 13.1 ) and refers to a collection of Ig- natius' letters for which he himself was responsible (13.2). Those who deny the authenticity of the middle recension of the letters of Ignatius (M) have little choice but to deny the authenticity also of Polycarp's let- ter or (since that seems hardly convincing) to treat some or all of the references to Ignatius in it as interpolations. The burden of proof for such radical surgery would seem to rest on those who practice it. Yet since the letters of Ignatius themselves represent a confusing tangle of textual and literary problems, and since Polycarp seems to
Vigiliae Christianae – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1987
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