What does Smyrna mean in the Bible?

Greek / Hebrew Translation Occurance
σμύρναν an Ionian city of Asia Minor 1
σμύρνῃ an Ionian city of Asia Minor 1

Definitions Related to Smyrna

G4667


   1 an Ionian city of Asia Minor, on the Aegean Sea, 40 miles (65 km) north of Ephesus.
   Additional Information: Smyrna = “myrrh”.
   

Frequency of Smyrna (original languages)

Frequency of Smyrna (English)

Dictionary

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Smyrna
SMYRNA (also and more strictly Zmyrna ) was founded as a colony from Greece earlier than b.c. 1000, but the early foundation, which had been Æolian, was captured by its southern neighbours the Ionian Greeks and made an Ionian colony. This second foundation became a powerful State, possessing territory far to the E., and as late as the 7th cent. b.c. fought on equal terms against the great Lydian power (see Sardis). It gradually gave way, however, and was captured and destroyed about b.c. 600 by Alyattes, king of Lydia. It now ceased to be a Greek city, and it was not till the 3rd cent. b.c. that it became so again. There was a State called Smyrna between 600 and 290, but it was mainly a loose congeries of villages scattered about the plain and the surrounding hills, and not in the Greek sense a polis (city-State). Alexander the Great intended to re-found the city, but did not carry out his plan. It was left for one of his successors, Lysimachus, who accomplished it in b.c. 290. The old city had been on a steep high hill on the N. side of the extreme eastern recess of the gulf; the new was planted on the S.E. shore of the gulf, about 2 miles away. The object of the change was to obtain a good harbour and a suitable point for the starting of a land trade-route to the E. There were in reality two ports a small inner one with a narrow entrance, and a mooring ground; the former has gradually filled up through neglect. Its maritime connexion brought it into contact with the Romans, who made an alliance with Smyrna against the Seleucid power. In b.c. 195 Smyrna built a temple to Rome, and ever afterwards remained faithful to that State through good fortune and bad. Rome showed a thorough appreciation of this friendship and loyalty, and in a.d. 26 this city was preferred before all others in Asia as the seat of the new temple to be dedicated by the confederacy of that province to Tiberius.
The city was of remarkable beauty. Its claim to be the chief city of Asia was contested by Ephesus and Pergamum, but in beauty it was easily first. In addition to its picturesque situation it was commended by its handsome and excellently paved streets, which were fringed by the groves in the suburbs. The city was well wailed, and in the pagos above possessed an ideal acropolis, which, with its splendid buildings in orderly arrangement, was known as the crown or garland of Smyrna. The protecting divinity of the city was a local variety of Cybele, known as the Sipylene Mother, and the towers and battlements of her head-dress bore an obvious resemblance to the appearance of the city. (The Greeks identified her with Nemesis, who here alone in the Greek world was worshipped, and not as one but as a pair of goddesses.) There was one street known as the Street of Gold. It went from W. to E., curving round the sloping hill, and had a temple on a hill at each end. For its length and fine buildings it was compared to a necklace of jewels round the neck of a statue. The life of the city was and is much benefited in the hottest period of the day by a west wind which blows on it with great regularity, dying down at sunset. This was counterbalanced by a disadvantage, the difficulty of draining the lowest parts of the city, a difficulty accentuated by this very wind. Smyrna boasted that it was the birthplace of Homer, who had been born and brought up beside the river Meles. This stream is identified by local patriotism with the Caravan Bridge River, which flows northwards till it comes below the pagos , then flows round its eastern base and enters the sea to the N.E. of it. But this is a mistaken view. The Meles is undoubtedly to be identified with the stream coming from the Baths of Diana and called Chalka-bounar, as it alone satisfies the minute description of the Smyrnæan orator Aristides (flourished 2nd cent. a.d.) and other ancient writers. It rises in the very suburbs of the city, and is fed by a large number of springs, which rise close to one another. Its course is shaped-shaped at first, and afterwards it flows gently to the sea like a canal. Its temperature is equable all the year round, and it never either overflows or dries up. The city has suffered from frequent earthquakes (for instance, in a.d. 180), but has always risen superior to its misfortunes. It did not become a Turkish city till Tamerlane captured it in a.d. 1402. Even now the Christian element is three times as large as the Mohammedan, and the Turks call the city Infidel Smyrna. It has always been an important place ecclesiastically.
The letter to the Church at Smyrna ( Revelation 2:8-11 ) is the most favourable of all. The writer puts its members on a higher plane than any of the others. They have endured persecution and poverty, but they are rich in real wealth. They are the victims of calumny, but are not to be afraid. Some are even to be sent to prison as a prelude to execution, and to have suffering for a time. If they are faithful they shall receive real life. The church was dead and yet lived, like the city in former days. The Jews in Smyrna had been specially hostile to the Christians, and had informed against them before the Roman officials. Most of them were probably citizens of Smyrna, but became merged in the general population and were not confined to a certain tribe, since the Romans ceased to recognize the Jews as a nation after a.d. 70. The hatred of the Jews there can be explained only by the supposition that many of the Christians were converted Jews. Similarly they helped in the martyrdom of Polycarp (a.d. 155). The city and its Christianity have survived all attacks.
A. Souter.
Easton's Bible Dictionary - Smyrna
Myrrh, an ancient city of Ionia, on the western coast of Asia Minor, about 40 miles to the north of Ephesus. It is now the chief city of Anatolia, having a mixed population of about 200,000, of whom about one-third are professed Christians. The church founded here was one of the seven addressed by our Lord (Revelation 2:8-11 ). The celebrated Polycarp, a pupil of the apostle John, was in the second century a prominent leader in the church of Smyrna. Here he suffered martyrdom, A.D. 155.
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Smyrna
The port of Smyrna was in the Roman province of Asia, not far north of Ephesus. (For map see ASIA.) The church there was probably formed during Paul’s three-year stay in Ephesus, when the Ephesian converts took the gospel to the surrounding area (Acts 19:8-10; Revelation 2:8).
John’s letter to the church in Smyrna shows that the Christians were very poor. Spiritually, however, they were rich (Revelation 2:9). They were also persecuted, mainly by the Jews, who throughout Asia were bitterly anti-Christian (Revelation 2:9; cf. Acts 21:27). God encouraged them with the promise that, no matter how much they might suffer in the present world, he would preserve the faithful for his heavenly kingdom (Revelation 2:10-11).
Holman Bible Dictionary - Smyrna
(ssmihr' nuh) A large and important port city on the western side of Asia Minor. Although several pagan cults were among its religions, the official stance was toward worship of the emperor of Rome. A large contingent of Jews lived there, and out of these people sprang the Christian church. In Revelation 2:8-11 , the Lord praised the believers for their perseverance in the face of poverty and satanic attacks by the Jews. See Asia Minor.
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Smyrna
(Σμύρνα)
Smyrna has been an important city for at least 3000 years. Occupying one of the most beautiful and commanding positions in the eastern aegean coastland, at the head of a deep and sheltered gulf, it has had a very chequered but honourable history, and it is to-day by far the most prosperous city in Asia Minor having a quarter of a million inhabitants. ‘Old Smyrna’-ἡ παλαιὰ Σμύρνα (Strabo, XIV. i. 37)-was colonized by the aeolians, captured from them by the Ionians, and almost destroyed (in the 7th cent. b.c.) by the Lydians. It lay under Mt. Sipylos, 2 or 3 miles N. of ‘New Smyrna,’ which was founded by Lysimachus (circa, about 290 b.c.), and built along the southern shore of the Gulf and up the slopes of Mt. Pagos, the westernmost spur of the Tmolus range.
Smyrna was the emporium for the trade of the fertile Hermus valley, and the terminus of one of the great roads from the interior of Asia Minor. It was noted for its carefully-planned streets-one of them called ‘Golden Street’-and splendid public buildings. Its citizens owed much to their sagacious friendship with Rome. As early as 195 b.c. they dedicated a shrine to Roma, and in all the struggles of the next two centuries Smyrna was invariably on the Roman-that is, the winning-side. She was rewarded for her fidelity by being constituted a civitas libera et immunis, and under Tiberius she was chosen from among twelve keen rivals, of whom Sardis was the most powerful, to have the honour of building a temple to the Emperor (Tacitus, Ann. iv. 55f.).
The message to Smyrna in Rev. (Revelation 2:8-11) is at once the briefest and the most eulogistic of all the Seven Letters. Like the others, it unquestionably contains a number of pointed local allusions. Words which may now seem pale and neutral were deeply significant to the first readers. St. John knew each of his churches almost as a living personality, and no touch is superfluous or irrelevant in his clearly-conceived and carefully-etched portraits. The title which he chooses for the Sender of the letters is in every instance apposite. The message to Smyrna comes from ‘the First and the Last’ (Revelation 2:8). Smyrna was the most ambitious of all the cities of Asia, and her municipal self-consciousness was inordinately developed. She could brook no rivals; she coveted all the honours and prizes; she appropriated the title πρώτη Ἀσίας. Her claim to be first in beauty was scarcely disputed, Strabo (XIV. i. 37) calling her καλλίστη πασῶν. She counted the greatest of poets one of her sons-though many other cities questioned the claim-and built a Homereion in his honour. She convinced the Roman Senate that she ‘first reared a temple to the city of Rome’ (Tacitus, Ann. iv. 56), and she wished to be first, as a νεωκόρος or temple-warden, to pay divine honours to the Emperor. She was like the Homeric hero whom nothing would Satisfy but αἰὲν ἀριστεύειν, καὶ ὑπείροχον ἔμμεναι ἄλλων (Il. vi. 208). To this ‘First City’ comes a letter from the First and the Last. Let her but once recognize His primacy, and she is likely to revise all her civic ideals, to renounce all her self-centred ambitions. Her first and most illustrious citizens will be her martyrs. Her standard of comparison will no longer be Ephesus or Sardis or Pergamos or even Rome, but the City of God, in which the last is first.
The Smyrniote Church, for which St. John has not a single word of blame, is thus led to welcome Christian paradoxes. She is in poverty, but she is rich (v. 9); she is reviled by a powerful synagogue of Jews, but they are only ‘a synagogue of Satan’ (v. 9). Just because she is so faithful, she is chosen for the most difficult tasks; because she is so brave, she is exposed to the greatest dangers. She has to face suffering, imprisonment, trial; but it is only a ten days’ tribulation. Death by violence comes within her horizon, but it is transfigured: the martyr is not to be pitied but emulated, for fidelity unto death wins the crown which is life (v. 10). When man has done his worst to the body, there is no more that he can do; no second death shall hurt the spirit that overcomes (v. 11).
‘The crown of life’ (ὁ στέφανος τῆς ζωῆς) may have been suggested by one of the most familiar elements in the life of Smyrna, the athletic contests and the presentation of the garlands of victory; or it may be an allusion to the fact that the lovely city itself, on its mountain slope, was commonly likened to a garland, as some of its coins prove (B. V. Head, Historia Nummorum, 1887, p. 509). It was not for intellectual errors that the name of ‘Jews’ was denied to the synagogue of Smyrna, while that of ‘synagogue of Satan’ was attached to it (Revelation 2:9). An honest scepticism regarding the claims of the Nazarene to be the Messiah could have been understood and forgiven. It was because the Jews of Smyrna were morally wrong-hating instead of loving-that they forfeited their traditional titles and privileges (cf. Romans 2:28-29). That they were often fanatically hostile to the Christians is shown by the narrative of the martyrdom of Polycarp. When he was sentenced to death ‘the whole multitude both of the heathen and Jews, who dwelt in Smyrna, cried out with uncontrollable fury and in a loud voice,’ and the sentence ‘was carried into effect with greater speed than it was spoken, the multitudes immediately gathering together wood and faggots out of the shops and baths, the Jews especially, according to custom, eagerly assisting them in it’ (προθύμως, ὡς ἤθος αὐτοῖς). It was ‘at the suggestion and urgent persuasion of the Jews’ that the body of the martyr was refused to the Christians, ‘lest, forsaking Him that was crucified, they should begin to worship this one’ (Mart. Polyc. xii. f., xvii.). Modern Smyrna, being predominantly Greek Christian, is called by the Turks Giaour Ismir.
Literature.-C. Wilson, in Murray’s Handbook to Asia Minor, 1895. p. 70 f.; W. M. Ramsay, The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia, 1904, p. 251 f.
James Strahan.
Fausset's Bible Dictionary - Smyrna
A city on the coast of Ionia, at the head of the gulf, having a well sheltered harbour; N. of Ephesus; beautified by Alexander the Great and Antigonus, and designated "the beautiful." Still flourishing, and under the same name, after various vicissitudes, and called "the Paris of the Levant," with large commerce and a population of 200,000. The church here was one of the seven addressed by the Lord (Revelation 2:8-11). Polycarp, martyred in A.D. 168, 86 years after conversion, was its bishop, probably "the angel of the church in Smyrna." The Lord's allusions to persecutions accord with this identification. The attributes of Him "which was dead and is alive" would comfort Smyrna under persecution. The idol Dionysus at Smyrna was believed to have been killed and come to life; in contrast to this lying fable is Christ's title, "the First and the Last, which was dead and is alive" (Revelation 2:8).
As death was to Him the gate of life, so it is to His people. Good "works," "tribulation," "poverty" owing to "spoiling of goods," while she was "rich" in grace (contrast Laodicea, "rich" in her own eyes and the world's, poor before God), were her marks. The Jews in name, really "the synagogue of Satan," blasphemed Christ as "the Hanged One." At Polycarp's martyrdom they clamoured with the pagan for his being cast to the lions; the proconsul opposed it, but, impotent to restrain the fanaticism of the mob, let them He him to the stake; the Jews with their own hands carried logs for the pile which burned him. The theater where he was burned was on a hill facing the N. It was one of the largest in Asia. Traces of it may be seen in descending from the northern gateway of the castle. A circular letter from the church of Smyrna describes his martyrdom.
When urged to recant he said, "four-score years and six I have served the Lord, and He never wronged me; how then can I blaspheme my King and Saviour?" The accuser, the devil, cast some of the Smyrna church into prison, and "it had tribulation ten days," a short term (Genesis 24:55; Numbers 11:19), whereas the consequent joy is eternal (many Christians perished by wild beasts or at the stake because they refused to throw incense into the fire to sacrifice to the genius of the emperor): a sweet consolation in trial. Ten is the number of the world powers hostile to the church (Revelation 13:1). Christ promises Smyrna "a crown of life" (compare James 1:12; 2 Timothy 4:8 "of righteousness," 1 Peter 5:4 "of glory") in reward for "faithfulness unto death."
The allusion is to the "crown-wearing" (stefanofori ), leading priests at Smyrna It was usual to present the superintending priest with a crown at the end of his year of office; several persons of both sexes are called "crown bearers" in inscriptions. The ferocity of the populace against the aged Polycarp is accounted for by their zealous interest in the Olympian games celebrated here, in respect to which Christianity bore an antisocial aspect. Smyrna ("myrrh") yielded its perfume in being bruised to death. Smyrna's faithfulness is rewarded by its candlestick not having been wholly removed; from whence the Turks call it "infidel Smyrna." Persecuted Smyrna and Philadelphia are the only churches which the Lord does not reprove. (See PHILADELPHIA.)
Morrish Bible Dictionary - Smyrna
Ancient city in the west of Asia Minor, about forty miles north of Ephesus. No mention is made of Paul having visited the city; but we know an assembly was gathered there by its being one of the seven churches in Asia, to which addresses were sent through the apostle John. See Revelation 2 . History calls Polycarp the first bishop of Smyrna, and it was there he suffered martyrdom. Christian writers have often pointed out in connection with the allusion to "the synagogue of Satan" in Revelation 2:9 , the eagerness with which the Jews sought to aid in the martyrdom of Polycarp. It was of old an important city, and modern Smyrna is a large town. Revelation 1:11 ; Revelation 2:8 . The name means 'myrrh.'
Whyte's Dictionary of Bible Characters - the Angel of the Church in Smyrna
IF Polycarp was indeed the angel of the Church of Smyrna, then we know some most interesting things about this angel over and above what we read in this Epistle addressed to him. All John Bunyan's readers have heard about Polycarp. "Then said Gaius, is this Christian's wife and are these his children? I knew your husband's father, yea, also, and his father's father. Many have been good of this stock. Stephen was the first of them who stood all trials for the sake of the truth. James was another of the same generation. To say nothing of Peter and Paul, there was Ignatius, who was cast to the lions. Romanus, also, whose flesh was cut by pieces from his bones. And Polycarp, that played the man in the fire." You possess Polycarp's whole history in a nutshell in that single sentence of John Bunyan about him. And if you but add that one sentence to this Epistle you will have a full-length and a perfect portrait of the angel of the Church of Smyrna.
Polycarp was born well on in the first century. And it must have been a matter of constant regret to Polycarp that he had not been born just a little earlier in that century so as to have seen his Lord with his own eyes and so as to have heard Him with his own ears. But as it was, Polycarp was happy enough to have been born, and born again, quite in time to enjoy the next best thing to seeing and hearing his Saviour for himself. For Polycarp was a disciple of the Apostle John, and he must have often heard the Fourth Gospel from John's lips long before it had as yet come from John's pen. And that was surely a high compensation to Polycarp for not having seen and heard the Divine Word Himself. And then we are very thankful to possess a circular-letter which the elders of the Church of Smyrna sent round to the Seven Churches telling the brethren everywhere how well their old minister had played the man in the fire. After narrating some remarkable incidents connected with Polycarp's apprehension the circular-epistle proceeds:-
'When Polycarp was brought to the tribunal the pro-consul asked him if he was Polycarp. Have pity on thy great age, said the humane Roman officer. Swear but once by the fortunes of Cæsar. Reproach this Christ of thine with but one word, and I will set you free. "Eighty-and-six years," answered Polycarp, "I have served Jesus Christ, and He has never once wronged or deceived me, how then can I reproach Him!" And then as some of the executioners were binding the aged saint, and others were lighting the fire, certain who stood by took down this prayer from his lips: "O Father of Thy well-beloved Son Jesus Christ. I bless Thee that Thou hast counted me worthy of this day and this hour. I thank Thee that I am permitted to put my lips to the cup of Christ. And I thank Thee for the sure hope of the resurrection and for the incorruptible life of heaven. I praise Thee, O Father, for all Thy soul-saving benefits. And I glorify Thee through our eternal High-Priest, Jesus Christ, through whom, and in the Holy Ghost, be glory to Thee, both now and ever, Amen." Eleven brethren from the Church of Philadelphia suffered with Polycarp, but he is famous above them all; the very heathen venerate his name. He was not only an eminent teacher and an illustrious martyr, but in all he did he did it out of a truly apostolical and evangelical spirit. Polycarp suffered his martyrdom on the great Sabbath, at the eighth hour of the day. I, Pionius, have transcribed and posted this letter to all the Churches round about. So may our Lord gather my soul among His elect, Amen.'
Apostolical, evangelical, and most illustrious, martyr, as Polycarp proved himself to be at the last, yet, when he began his ministry in Smyrna he was a man of like fears and flinchings of heart as we are ourselves. You may depend upon it, Polycarp was for a long time in as great bondage through fear of death as any of yourselves. And every syllable of this Epistle is the proof of that. His Master dictated every syllable of this Epistle with the most direct and the most pointed bearing on Polycarp and on his ministry in Smyrna. Every iota of this Epistle shows us that it was addressed to a minister who was at that time of a timid heart and one whose continual temptation it was to flinch and flee. The very name that Polycarp's Master here selects for Himself in writing to Polycarp spoke straight home to Polycarp's trembling heart. "These things saith He which was dead and is alive." Polycarp was in constant danger of death and in constant fear of death. But after this Epistle, and especially after that opening Name of His Master, Polycarp became another man and another minister. Till this was Polycarp's song every day till the day when he played the man in the fire-
Death! thou wast once an uncouth, hideous thing!But since my Master's deathHas put some blood into thy face,Thou hast grown sure a thing to be desiredAnd full of grace!We found the litotes device in the first of these Seven Epistles, and we find here the parenthesis device in the second of the Seven. When the Spirit speaks to the Seven Churches He does not despise to make use of the rhetorician's art. He recognises and sanctifies that ancient accomplishment by His repeated employment of it, and in His repeated employment of it He gives us so many lessons in our employment of it. "The parenthesis is the delight of all full minds and quick wits." Now though these exact words have never before been applied to Him whose Epistle to Polycarp we are now engaged upon; at any rate, we may surely go on to apply these so expressive words to His so-talented amanuensis. And this full-minded and quick-witted parenthesis comes in here in this way. Polycarp's poverty was one of his many trials and temptations as the minister of Smyrna. And just as the ever-present image of his Divine Master's death and resurrection nerved Polycarp to overcome all fear of his own death, so in like manner his poverty is here put to silence for ever by this parenthesis, ("but thou art rich"). And not only have we a parenthesis here, but a paradox as well. And both of these rhetorical devices are demanded here in order to give utterance to the fulness of the mind and the quickness of the wit both of the true Author of this Epistle and of the highly privileged amanuensis of it. So he was. Polycarp was both poor and at the same time rich. As many of his best successors in the ministry still are. They are almost as poor as he was as far as gold and silver go. But they are even richer than he was in many things that gold and silver cannot command. For one thing, they are far richer than Polycarp could possibly be in the riches of the mind. They are surpassingly rich in so far as they possess the talents and the trainings and the tastes of cultivated and refined Christian scholars. Money is greatly coveted because it gives its possessor the entrance into the best society of the day. But a well-educated and a well-read minister has entrance not only into the very best society of his own day, but of every day, and he will deign to enter no society of any day but the very best. He keeps company with the aristocracy only. Again, riches are to be desired for what they enable their possessor to be and to do and to enjoy. Riches enable their possessor to the true enjoyment of life, to the true use of life, to true power in life, and to the opportunity and the ability of attaining to the true end of life. Unchallengeably, riches in the right owner's hand immensely assist in the attainment of all these high ambitions. But sure I am, there is no class of men among us who are so rich in all these respects as just our well-educated, well-read, hard-working, absolutely-devoted, ministers. No doubt the parenthesist had in his eye Polycarp's riches toward God exclusively. But had he written in our day he would certainly have extended his arms to embrace a poor minister's few but fit books, and his select friendships, as well as many other things that go to alleviate and even to make affluent his remote and arduous life. Money brings troops of friends also, so long as it lasts. But when Polycarp was robing for presentation at Court, so Pionius tells us, his young men would not let him so much as touch his own shoe-latchet. Now you may have your shoes put on and taken off for money, but you cannot have them tied with heart-strings, as Polycarp's shoes were tied that day.
Malicious and abusive language was another of Polycarp's tribulations. I have not enough ancient Church History to be able to inform you just what outlets they had for their malice in that sub-apostolic day. We have Letters to the Editor among the resources of our civilisation. And neither do I know beyond a guess just what Polycarp did when he was again ill-used by the tongues and pens of his day. But if you will hear it I will tell you what Santa Teresa did. And it is because she did what I am to invite you to do, that I for one entirely, and with acclamation, acquiesce in her canonisation. "After my vow of perfection I spoke not ill of any creature, how little soever it might be. I scrupulously avoided all approaches to detraction. I had this rule ever present with me, that I was not to wish, nor assent to, nor say such things of any person whatsoever, that I would not have them say of me. Still, the devil sometimes fills me with such a harsh and cruel temper; such a spirit of anger and hostility at some people, that I could eat them up and annihilate them. At the same time, concerning things said of myself in detraction, and they are many, and are very prejudicial to me, I find myself much improved. It is a mark of the deepest and truest humility to see ourselves condemned without cause, and to be silent under it. Indeed, I never heard of any one speaking evil of me, but I immediately saw how far short he came of the full truth. For, if he was wrong or exaggerated in his particulars, I had offended God much more in other matters that my detractor knew nothing about. O my Lord, when I remember in how many ways Thou didst suffer detraction and misrepresentation, I know not where my senses are when I am in such haste to defend and excuse myself. What is it, O Lord? what do we imagine to get by pleasing worms like ourselves, or by being praised by them! What about being blamed by all men, if only we stand at last blameless before Thee." The slander of the synagogue of Satan in Smyrna was not met, I am sure, with a mind more acceptable to the First and the Last than that.
The last thing that He which was dead and is alive said to Polycarp was this mysterious utterance of His, "Thou shalt not be hurt of the second death." Did Polycarp fully understand that assurance, I wonder? Do you fully understand it? At any rate, you understand what the first death is. In our first death our souls will leave our bodies, and then corruption will so set in upon our dead bodies that those who loved us best will be the first to bury us out of their sight. Now, whatever else and whatever beyond that the second death is, it begins with God leaving our souls. God is the soul of our souls. He is the life, the strength, the support, the light, the peace, the fountain, of all kinds of life in soul and body. And when He leaves our souls that is the beginning of the second death. Only, God does not, properly speaking, leave the soul. He is driven out of the soul. In spite of all that God could do, in spite of all that love and grace and truth could do, the lost soul has banished God for ever out of itself. It has insulted and despised God in every way. It has trampled upon Him in every way. It has shut its door in His face ten thousand times, and has taken in and has held revels with His worst enemies. Had Polycarp feared death more than he feared Him who was now alive; had he feared the fires in the market-place of Smyrna more than the fires that are not quenched; had he deserted his post in Smyrna because of its difficulties; had his soul soured at God and man because of his poverty; when he was reviled, had he reviled back again; when he suffered, had he threatened; and had he reproached Christ when he was bribed with his life so to do,-Polycarp is here told plainly that he would have died the second death with all that it involves. But as it was, he died neither the first death nor the second. Polycarp was changed, rather than died. Polycarp had such a Master that He died both deaths for His servant. It was not for nothing that He said to Polycarp that He was once dead but is now alive. For He was dead with both deaths for Polycarp. It was when He was hurt of the second death for Polycarp that, under the soreness of the hurt, He cried out first in the garden, and then on the Cross. Have we not seen that in the second death the soul is forsaken of God? And was He not forsaken till Golgotha for the time was like Gehenna itself to Him? He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the Churches: He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. I will ransom them from the power of the grave. I will redeem them from the fear of death. O death, I will be thy plague. O grave, I will be thy destruction.
Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Smyrna
a city of Asia Minor, and one of the finest in all the Levant. It contended for the honour of giving birth to Homer, and its title is by many thought to be the best founded. The Christian church in Smyrna was one of the seven churches of Asia to which the Apostle John was commanded to address an epistle, Revelation 2:8-10 . The present Smyrna, which the Turks call Esmir, is about four miles in circumference, and contains a population of about a hundred thousand souls. It, is less remarkable for the elegance of its buildings than for the beauty of its situation, the extent of its commerce, and the riches of its inhabitants.
People's Dictionary of the Bible - Smyrna
Smyrna (smir'nah), myrrh. An ancient Ionian city on the western coast of Asia Minor. Revelation 1:11; Revelation 2:8. Smyrna has been repeatedly overthrown by earthquakes. Some few of the ruins of ancient Smyrna are still visible to the south of the modern city. The first cotton-seeds were conveyed to the United States from Smyrna, and planted in 1621.
Holman Bible Dictionary - Smyrna
(ssmihr' nuh) A large and important port city on the western side of Asia Minor. Although several pagan cults were among its religions, the official stance was toward worship of the emperor of Rome. A large contingent of Jews lived there, and out of these people sprang the Christian church. In Revelation 2:8-11 , the Lord praised the believers for their perseverance in the face of poverty and satanic attacks by the Jews. See Asia Minor.
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Smyrna
A celebrated Ionian city situated at the head of a deep gulf on the western coast of Asia Minor, forty miles north by west of Ephesus. It was one of the richest and most powerful cities of that region, and was frequented by great numbers of Jews. A Christian church was established there at an early day, and was one of the seven churches addressed by Christ in the Revelation of John 1:11 2:8-11 . It is still a prosperous commercial city, being visited by many foreign ships and by numerous caravans of camels from the interior.
It's population is nearly 150,000; of whom one-half are Turks, one-forth Greeks, and the remainder chiefly Armenians, Jews, and Franks. So many of its inhabitants are not Mohammedan, that it is called by the Turks Giaour Izmir, or Infidel Smyrna. It has a deep and capacious harbor, well protected except towards the west by the hills, which rise to a great height in the rear of the city, inclosing it on three sides. On these hills lie the scanty remains of the ancient city; among which is the ground-plot of the stadium, where is said to have occurred the martyrdom of Polycarp-the pupil of the apostle John, and very probably "the angel of the church in Ephesus," Revelation 2:8 . Smyrna has been often devastated by earthquakes and conflagrations; multitudes perished there of the cholera in 1831, and 60,000 died of the plague in 1824; yet its fine situation secures a prompt recovery from every disaster. It is now the seat of important missionary efforts, and enjoys the ordinances of a Protestant church.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Smyrna
City in Asia Minor, on the gulf of the same name. One of the seven churches in Asia, to whose bishop Saint John was commanded to write an epistle (Apocaplypse 1).
Hitchcock's Bible Names - Smyrna
Myrrh
A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography - Noetus, a Native of Smyrna Noetus
Noetus, a native of Smyrna according to Hippolytus; of Ephesus according to Epiphanius ( Haer. 57), probably by a mistake, as his narrative is in other respects wholly derived from Hippolytus. From Asia Minor also Praxeas, some years before, had imported into Rome the views which Noetus taught. Hippolytus traces the origin of the Patripassian heresy at Rome to Noetus, who in his opinion derived it from the philosophy of Heraclitus ( Refutation , lib. ix. cc. 3–5, cf. x. 23). Noetus came to Rome, where he converted Epigonus and Cleomenes. He was summoned before the council of Roman presbyters, and interrogated about his doctrines. He denied at first that he had taught that "Christ was the Father, and that the Father was born and suffered and died," but his adherents increasing in number, he acknowledged before the same council, when summoned a second time, that he had taught the views attributed to him. "The blessed presbyters called him again before them and examined him. But he stood out against them, saying, 'What evil am I doing in glorifying one God?' And the presbyters replied to him, 'We too know in truth one God, we know Christ, we know that the Son suffered even as He suffered, and died even as He died, and rose again on the third day, and is at the right hand of the Father, and cometh to judge the living and the dead, and these things which we have learned we allege.' Then after examining him they expelled him from the church. And he was carried to such a pitch of pride, that he established a school." Cf. Routh's Reliq. Sac. t. iv. 243–248. As to his date, Hippolytus tells us "he lived not long ago," Lipsius and Salmon think this very treatise was used by Tertullian in his tract against Praxeas [1], while Hilgenfeld and Harnack date Tertullian's work between a.d. 206 and 210. This would throw the treatise of Hippolytus back to c. 205. From its language and tone, we conclude that Noetus was then dead, a view which Epiphanius ( Haer. 57, c. 1) expressly confirms, saying that he and his brother both died soon after their excommunication and were buried without Christian rites. The period of his teaching at Rome must then have been some few years previous to 205. But Hippolytus in his Refutation of Heresies gives us a farther note of time, telling us in ix. 2 that it was when Zephyrinus was managing the affairs of the church that the school of Noetus was firmly established at Rome and that Zephyrinus connived at its establishment through bribes. We cannot, however, fix the date of his excommunication and death more closely than c. 200. Hippolytus (x. 23) tells us that some Montanists adopted the views of Noetus. He seems to have written some works, from which Hippolytus often quotes.
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A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography - Pionius, Martyr at Smyrna
Pionius, martyr at Smyrna, in the Decian persecution, Mar 12, 250. It was probably this Pionius who revived the cultus of POLYCARP in Smyrna, by recovering an ancient MS. martyrdom of that saint and fixing the day of commemoration in accordance with it.
When taken to prison, Pionius and his companions, Asclepiades and Sabina, found there already another Catholic presbyter, named Lemnus, and a Montanist woman named Macedonia. The divisions of the Christian community were now well known to their persecutors for in the examinations of the martyrs those who owned themselves Christians were always further interrogated as to what church or sect they belonged. The Acts give a long report of exhortations delivered by Pionius to his fellow-prisoners. With Pionius suffered a Marcionite presbyter Metrodorus, the stakes of both being turned to the east, Pionius on the right, Metrodorus on the left. The Acts are important on account of their undoubted antiquity. We only know them by a Latin translation, of which two types are extant—one which seems more faithfully to represent the original, published by Surius and reprinted by the Bollandists (Feb. 1); the other by Ruinart (Acta Sincera , p. 137). The common original was certainly read by Eusebius, who (H. E. iv. 15) gives a description of the Acts of Pionius which agrees too often with those extant for different Acts to be intended. Eusebius, however, represents Pionius as suffering at the same time as Polycarp, while the extant Acts place him a century later, a date attested by the Paschal Chronicle , which makes Pionius suffer in the Decian persecution, and confirmed by internal evidence. On the Life of Polycarp ascribed to Pionius, see POLYCARP. Cf. Zahn, Forschungen zur Gesch. der N.T. Kanons , iv. 271.
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A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography - Polycarpus, Bishop of Smyrna
Polycarpus (1), bp. of Smyrna, one of the most prominent figures in the church of the 2nd cent. He owes this prominence less to intellectual ability, which does not appear to have been pre-eminent, than to the influence gained by a consistent and unusually long life. Born some 30 years before the end of the 1st cent., and raised to the episcopate apparently in early manhood, he held his office to the age of 86 or more. He claimed to have known at least one apostle and must in early life have met many who could tell things they had heard from actual disciples of our Lord. The younger generation, into which he lived on, naturally recognized him as a peculiarly trustworthy source of information concerning the first age of the church. During the later years of his life Gnostic speculation had become very active and many things unknown to the faith of ordinary Christians were put forth as derived by secret traditions from the apostles. Thus a high value was attached to the witness Polycarp could give as to the genuine tradition of apostolic doctrine, his testimony condemning as offensive novelties the figments of the heretical teachers. Irenaeus states (iii. 3) that on Polycarp's visit to Rome his testimony converted many disciples of Marcion and Valentinus. Polycarp crowned his other services to the church by a glorious martyrdom. When, at the extremity of human life, it seemed as if he could do no more for the church but continue his example of holiness, piety, and orthodoxy, a persecution broke out in which he, as the venerated head of the Christian community in Asia Minor, was specially marked out for attack. He gave a noble exhibition of calm courage, neither courting nor fearing martyrdom, sheltering himself by concealment while possible, and when no longer so, resolutely declaring in defiance of threats his unshaken love for the Master he had served so long. Such a death, following on such a life, made Polycarp's the most illustrious name of his generation in Christian annals.
Irenaeus states (III. iii. 4) that Polycarp had been instructed by apostles and conversed with many who had seen Christ, and had also been established "by apostles" as bishop in the church at Smyrna; and doubtless Tertullian (de Praescrip. 32) is right in understanding this to mean that he had been so established by St. John, whose activity in founding the episcopate of Asia Minor is spoken of also by Clem. Alex. in his well-known story of St. John and the robber ( Quis. div. Salv. p. 959). The testimony of Irenaeus conclusively shews the current belief in Asia Minor during the old age of Polycarp, and it is certain that Polycarp was bp. of Smyrna at the time of the martyrdom of Ignatius, i.e. c. 110. Ignatius, journeying from Antioch to Rome, halted first at Smyrna, where, as at his other resting places, the Christians flocked from all around to receive his counsels and bestow attentions on him. From the city where he next halted he wrote separate letters to the church of Smyrna and to Polycarp its bishop. A later stage was Philippi, and to the church there Polycarp wrote afterwards a letter still extant, sending them copies of the letters of Ignatius and inquiring for information about Ignatius, the detailed story of whose martyrdom appears not yet to have reached Smyrna.
The question as to the genuineness of the extant Ep. of Polycarp is very much mixed up with that of the genuineness of the Ignatian letters. The course of modern investigation has been decidedly favourable to the genuineness of the Ignatian letters [1], and the Ep. of Polycarp is guaranteed by external testimony of exceptional goodness. It is mentioned by Polycarp's disciple Irenaeus (III. iii. 4), and an important passage is quoted by Eusebius. Further, as Lightfoot has conclusively shown (Contemp. Rev. May 1875, p. 840), it is impossible that Polycarp's letter and those of Ignatius could have had any common authorship. Some of the topics on which the Ignatian letters lay most stress are absent from that of Polycarp; in particular, Polycarp's letter is silent about episcopacy, of which the Ignatian letters speak so much, and it has consequently been thought probable either that episcopacy had not yet been organized at Philippi, or that the office was then vacant. The forms of expression in the two letters are different; N.T. quotations, profuse in Polycarp's letter, are comparatively scanty in the Ignatian ones; and, most decisive of all, the Ignatian letters are characterized by great originality of thought and expression, while Polycarp's is but a commonplace echo of the apostolic epistles. When we compare Polycarp's letter with the extant remains of the age of Irenaeus, the superior antiquity of the former is evident, whether we attend to their use of N.T., their notices of ecclesiastical organization, their statements of theological doctrine, or observe the silence in Polycarp's letter on the questions which most interested the church towards the close of the 2nd cent. The question has been raised whether, admitting the genuineness of Polycarp's epistle as a whole, we may not reject as an interpolation c. xiii., which speaks of Ignatius. The extant MSS. of Polycarp's letter are derived from one in which the leaves containing the end of Polycarp's letter and the beginning of that of Barnabas were wanting, so that the end of Barnabas seemed the continuation of Polycarp's epistle. The concluding chapters of Polycarp are only known to us by a Latin translation. The hiatus, however, in the Greek text begins not at c. xiii. but at c. x.; and the part which speaks about Ignatius is exactly that for which we have the Greek text assured to us by the quotation of Eusebius. There is therefore absolutely no reason for rejecting c. xiii. unless on the supposition that the forgery of the Ignatian letters has been demonstrated.
Though Polycarp's epistle is remarkable for its copious use of N.T. language, there are no formal quotations, but it is mentioned that St. Paul had written to the church of Philippi, to which Polycarp's epistle is addressed. The language in which St. Paul's letters are spoken of, both here and in the epistles of Ignatius, decisively refutes the theory that there was opposition between the schools of John and Paul. It illustrates the small solicitude of Eusebius to produce testimony to the use of N.T. books undisputed in his time, that though he notices (iv. 14) Polycarp's use of I. Peter, he is silent as to this express mention of St. Paul's letters. Polycarp's Pauline quotations include distinct recognition of Eph. and I. and II. Tim., and other passages clearly shew a use of Rom., I. Cor, Gal., Phil., II. Thess. The employment of I. Peter is especially frequent. There is one unmistakable coincidence with Acts. The use of I. and II. John is probable. The report of our Lord's sayings agrees in substance with our Gospels, but may or may not have been directly taken from them. The coincidences with Clement's epistle are beyond what can fairly be considered accidental, and probably the celebrity gained by Clement's epistle set the example to bishops elsewhere of writing to foreign churches. Polycarp states, however, that his own letter had been invited by the church of Philippi. Some church use of Polycarp's epistle seems to have continued in Asia until Jerome's time; if we can lay stress on his rather obscure expression (Catal. ) "epistolam quae usque hodie in conventu Asiae legitur." The chief difference between Clement's and Polycarp's letters is in the use of the O.T., which is perpetual in the former, very rare in the latter. There is coincidence with one passage in Tobit, two in Ps., and one in Is.; and certainly in one of the last 3 cases, possibly in all three, the adopted words are not taken directly from the O.T., but from N.T. This difference, however, is explained when we bear in mind that Clement had probably been brought up in Judaism, while Polycarp was born of Christian parents and familiar with the apostolic writings from his youth.
Our knowledge of Polycarp's life between the date of his letter and his martyrdom comes almost entirely from 3 notices by IRENAEUS. The first is in his letter to FLORINUS; the second in the treatise on Heresies (III. iii. 4); the third in the letter of Irenaeus to Victor, of which part is preserved by Eusebius (v. 24). Irenaeus, writing in advanced life, tells how vivid his recollections still were of having been a hearer of Polycarp, then an old man; how well he remembered where the aged bishop used to sit, his personal appearance, his ways of going out and coming in, and how frequently he used to relate his intercourse with John and others who had seen our Lord, and to repeat stories of our Lord's miracles and teaching, all in complete accord with the written record. The reminiscences of Irenaeus are in striking agreement with Polycarp's extant letter in their picture of his attitude towards heresy. He seems not to have had the qualifications for successfully conducting a controversial discussion with erroneous teachers, nor perhaps the capacity for feeling the difficulties which prompted their speculations; but he could hot help strongly feeling how unlike these speculations were to the doctrines he had learned from apostles and their immediate disciples, and so met with indignant reprobation their attempt to supersede Christ's gospel by fictions of their own devising. Irenaeus tells how, when he heard their impiety, he would stop his ears and cry out, "O good God! for what times hast Thou kept me that I should endure such things!" and would even flee from the place where he was sitting or standing when he heard such words. In so behaving he claimed to act in the spirit of his master John, concerning whom he told that once when he went to take a bath in Ephesus and saw Cerinthus within, he rushed away without bathing, crying out, "Let us flee, lest the bath should fall in, for Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within"; and when Marcion meeting Polycarp asked him, "Do you recognize us?" he answered, "I recognize thee as the firstborn of Satan." This last phrase is found in the extant letter. He says, "Every one who doth not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is antichrist; and whosoever doth not confess the testimony of the Cross is of the devil; and whosoever perverteth the oracles of the Lord to his own lusts and saith that there is neither resurrection nor judgment, this man is a first-born of Satan." This coincidence has, not very reasonably, been taken as a note of spuriousness of the letter; the idea being that a writer under the name of Polycarp who employs a phrase traditionally known as Polycarp's betrays himself as a forger striving to gain acceptance for his production. It might rather have been supposed that a coincidence between two independent accounts of Polycarp's mode of speaking of heretics ought to increase the credibility of both. Irenaeus, who reports the anecdote, was acquainted with the letter, and, if we cannot accept both, it is more conceivable that his recollection may have coloured his version of the anecdote.
One of the latest incidents in Polycarp's active life was a journey which, near the close of his episcopate, he made to Rome, where Anicetus was then bishop. We are not told whether the cause of the journey was to settle points of difference between Roman and Asiatic practice; those existed, but did not interrupt their mutual accord. In particular Asiatic Quartodecimanism was at variance with Roman usage. We cannot say with certainty what kind of Easter observance was used at Rome in the time of Anicetus, for the language of Irenaeus implies that it was not then what it afterwards became; but the Asiatic observance of the 14th day was unknown in Rome, although Polycarp averred the practice of his church to have had the sanction of John and other apostles, and therefore to be what he could by no means consent to change. Anicetus was equally determined not to introduce into his church an innovation on the practice of his predecessors; but yet shewed his reverence for his aged visitor by "yielding to him the Eucharist in his church." This phrase seems capable of no other interpretation than that generally given to it, viz. that Anicetus permitted Polycarp to celebrate in his presence.
The story of the martyrdom of Polycarp is told in a letter still extant, purporting to be addressed by the church of Smyrna to the church sojourning (παροικούση ) in Philomelium (a town of Phrygia) and to all the παροικίαι of the holy Catholic Church in every place. This document was known to Eusebius, who transcribed the greater part in his Eccl. Hist. (iv. 15). A trans. of this and of Polycarp's Ep. appears in the vol. of Apost. Fathers in Ante-Nicene Lib. (T. & T. Clark). The occurrence of the phrase "Catholic Church" just quoted has been urged as a note of spuriousness; but not very reasonably, in the absence of evidence to make it even probable that the introduction of this phrase was later than the death of Polycarp. We know for certain that the phrase is very early. It is used in the Ignatian letters ( Smyrn. 8), by Clem. Alex. ( Strom. vii. 17), in the Muratorian Fragment, by Hippolytus ( Ref. ix. 12) and Tertullian. Remembering the warfare waged by Polycarp against heresy, it is highly probable that in his lifetime the need had arisen for a name to distinguish the main Christian body from the various separatists. The whole narrative of the martyrdom bears so plainly the mark of an eye-witness, that to imagine, as Lipsius and Keim have done, some one capable of inventing it a century after the death of Polycarp, seems to require great critical credulity. With our acceptance of the martyrdom as authentic Hilgenfeld ( Zeitschrift, 1874, p. 334) and Renan ( Eglise chrét. 462) coincide. We see no good reason to doubt that the narrative was written, as it professes to be, within a year of the martyrdom, by members of the church where it occurred and who had actually witnessed it; and we believe it to have been written specially to invite members of other churches to attend the commemoration on the anniversary of the martyrdom. It is deeply tinged by a belief in the supernatural, but it is uncritical to cast doubts on the genuineness of a document on the assumption that Christians of the 2nd cent., under the strain of a great persecution, held the views of their 19th-cent. critics as to the possibility of receiving supernatural aid or consolation.
The story relates that Polycarp's martyrdom was the last act of a great persecution and took place on the occasion of games held at Smyrna eleven others having suffered before him. These games were probably held in connection with the meeting of the Asiatic diet (τὸ κοινὸν τῆς Ἀσίας) which met in rotation in the principal cities of the province. If more information were available as to this rotation and as to the seasons when these meetings were held we should probably be able to fix the date of Polycarp's martyrdom with more certainty. The proconsul came from Ephesus the ordinary seat of government to preside. It may have been to provide the necessary victims for the wild beast shows that the Christians were sought for (some were brought from Philadelphia) and required to swear by the fortune of the emperor and offer sacrifice. The proconsul appears to have discharged his unpleasant duty with the humanity ordinary among Roman magistrates doing his best to persuade the accused to save themselves by compliance and no doubt employing the tortures of which the narrative gives a terrible account as a merciful cruelty which might save him from proceeding to the last extremes. In one case his persuasion was successful. Quintus Phrygian by nation who had presented himself voluntarily for martyrdom on sight of the wild beasts lost courage and yielded to the proconsul's entreaties. The Christians learned from his case to condemn wanton courting of danger as contrary to the gospel teaching. The proconsul lavished similar entreaties on a youth named Germanicus but the lad was resolute and instead of shewing fear provoked the wild beasts in order to gain a speedier release from his persecutors. The act may have been suggested by the language of Ignatius (Rom. v. 2); and certainly this language seems to have been present to the mind of the narrator. At sight of the bravery of Germanicus a conviction seems to have seized the multitude that they should have rather chosen as their victim the teacher who had inspired the sufferers with their obstinacy. A cry was raised "Away with the atheists! Let Polycarp be sought for!" Polycarp wished to remain at his post but yielded to the solicitations of his people and retired for concealment to a country house where he spent his time as was his wont in continual prayer for himself and his own people and for all the churches throughout the world. Three days before his apprehension he saw in a vision his pillow on fire and at once interpreted the omen to his friends: "I must be burnt alive." The search for him being hot he retired to another farm barely escaping his pursuers who seized and tortured two slave boys one of whom betrayed the new place of retreat. Late on a Friday night the noise of horses and armed men announced the pursuers at hand. There seemed still the possibility of escape and he was urged to make the attempt but he refused saying "God's will be done." Coming down from the upper room where he had been lying down he ordered meat and drink to be set before his captors and only begged an hour for uninterrupted prayer. This was granted; and for more than two hours he prayed mentioning by name every one whom he had known small or great and praying for the Catholic church throughout the world. At length he was set on an ass and conducted to the city. Soon they met the irenarch Herod the police magistrate under whose directions the arrest had been made in whose name the Christians afterwards found one of several coincidences which they delighted to trace between the arrest of Polycarp and that of his Master. Herod accompanied by his father Nicetes took Polycarp to sit in his carriage and both earnestly urged him to save his life: "Why what harm was it to say Lord Caesar and to sacrifice and so on and escape all danger?" Polycarp at first silent at last bluntly answered "I will not do as you would have me." Annoyed at the old man's obstinacy they thrust him out of the carriage so rudely that he scraped his shin the marks no doubt being visible to his friends when he afterwards stripped for the stake. But at the time he took no notice of the hurt and walked on as if nothing had happened. At the racecourse where the multitude was assembled there was a prodigious uproar; but the Christians could distinguish a voice which cried "Be strong Polycarp and play the man! " Under the protection of the tumult the speaker remained undiscovered; and the Christians believed it a voice from heaven. The proconsul pressed Polycarp to have pity on his old age: "Swear by the fortune of Caesar say 'Away with the atheists!'". The martyr sternly looking round on the assembled heathen groaned and looking up to heaven said "Away with the atheists!" "Swear then now," said the proconsul "and I will let you go; revile Christ." Then Polycarp made the memorable answer "Eighty and six years have I served Him and He has never done me wrong; how then can I blaspheme my King and my Saviour! " The 86 years must clearly count from Polycarp's baptism; so that if we are not to ascribe to him an improbable length of life we must infer that he was the child of Christian parents and had been baptized if not in infancy in very early childhood. The magistrate continuing to urge him Polycarp cut matters short by plainly declaring himself a Christian and offering if a day were assigned to explain what Christianity was. "Obtain the consent of the people," answered the proconsul. "Nay," replied Polycarp "I count it your due that I should offer my defence to you because we have been taught to give due honour to the powers ordained of God; but as for these people I owe no vindication to them." The proconsul then had recourse to threats but finding them unavailing ordered his crier thrice to proclaim in the midst of the stadium "Polycarp has confessed himself a Christian." Then arose a furious outcry from heathen and Jews against this "father of the Christians," this teacher of Asia this destroyer of the worship of the gods. Philip the asiarch or president of the games was called on to loose a lion on Polycarp but refused saying the wild beast shows were now over. Then with one voice the multitude demanded that Polycarp should be burnt alive; for his vision must needs be fulfilled. Rushing to the workshops and baths they collected wood and faggots; the Jews as usual taking the most active part. We have evidence of the activity of the Jews at Smyrna at an earlier period Rev_2:9 and at a later in the story of the martyrdom of Pionius. When the pile was ready Polycarp proceeded to undress himself; and here the story has an autoptic touch telling how the Christians marked the old man's embarrassment as he tried to take off his shoes it having been many years since the reverence of his disciples had permitted him to perform that office for himself. When he had been bound (at his own request not nailed) to the stake and had offered up a final prayer the pile was lit but the flame bellied out under the wind like the sail of a ship behind which the body could be seen scorched but not consumed. The fumes seemed fragrant to the Christians whether as the effect of imagination or because sweet-scented woods had been seized for the hasty structure. Seeing that the flame was dying out an executioner was sent in to use the sword when so much blood gushed forth that the flame was nearly extinguished. The Christians were about to remove the body; but Nicetes here further described as the brother of Alce interfered and said "If you give the body the Christians will leave the Crucified One and worship him," an idea deeply shocking to the narrator of the story who declares it was impossible for them to leave for any other Christ the Holy One Who died for the salvation of the world. Him as the Son of God they worshipped; martyrs they loved on account of the abundance of their zeal and love for Him. The Jews eagerly backing up Nicetes the centurion had the body placed on the pyre and saw it completely consumed so that it was only the bones "more precious than jewels more tried than gold," which the disciples could carry off to the place where they meant on the anniversary to commemorate the martyr's "birthday." The epistle closes with a doxology. Euarestus is named as the writer; Marcion
[2] as the bearer of the letter.
Then follows by way of appendix a note, stating that the martyrdom took place on the 2nd of the month Xanthicus, the 7th before the calends of March [3], on a great sabbath at the 8th hour; the arrest having been made by Herod; Philip of Tralles being chief priest, Statius Quadratus proconsul, and Jesus Christ King for ever. A second note states that these Acts were transcribed by Socrates (or Isocrates) of Corinth, from a copy made by Caius, a companion of Polycarp's disciple Irenaeus. A third note states that this again had been transcribed by Pionius from a copy much decayed by time, the success of his search for which was due to a revelation made by Polycarp himself, "as will be shewn in what follows," from which we infer that the martyrdom was followed by a Life of Polycarp.
The first chronological note may be accepted as, if not part of the original document, at least added by one of its first transcribers, and therefore deserving of high confidence. The name of the proconsul Statius Quadratus indicates best the date of the martyrdom. Eusebius in his chronicle had put it in the 6th year of Marcus Aurelius, i.e. a.d. 166. M. Waddington ( Mémoires de l’Académie des Inscriptions , 1867, xxvi. 235) shewed that Eusebius's date was doubtful. Eusebius seems to have had no real knowledge of the date, and to have put it down somewhat at random, for he places Polycarp's martyrdom and the Lyons persecution under the same year, though the Lyons martyrdoms were as late as 177. At this time the ordinary interval between the consulship and proconsulate ranged between 12 and 16 years. Quadratus we know to have been consul a.d. 142. We are at once led to reject Eusebius's date as placing the inadmissible interval of 24 or 25 years between the consulship and proconsulate. Waddington made out a probable case for a.d. 155, and an additional argument appears decisive. The martyrdom is stated to have taken place on Sat. Feb. 23, and among the possible years 155 is the only one in which Feb. 23 so fell. The reading of this chronological date is not free from variations. The "great sabbath" would in Christian times be thought to mean the Sat. in Easter week, and as Easter could not occur in Feb. there was an obvious temptation to alter Mar. into May, but none to make the opposite change, and we have independent knowledge that Feb. 23 was the day on which the Eastern church celebrated the martyrdom. But we do not know why Feb. 23 should be a "great" Sabbath. We believe the true explanation to be that the Latin date in this note is not of the same antiquity as the date by the Macedonian month. Probably Pionius, when he recovered the very ancient copy of the martyrdom, translated the date 2nd Xanthicus into one more widely intelligible and thus determined the date of subsequent commemorations. We accept, then, the 2nd Xanthicus as an original note of time faithfully preserved by a scribe who did not understand its meaning, because he interpreted according to the usage of his own day.
When we have abandoned the date Sat. Feb. 23 we lose one clue to fixing the exact date of the martyrdom, but we gain another. Since Nisan 2nd was Sat. the year must be one in which that lunar month commenced on a Friday. The only such years within the necessary limits were 155 and 159, and 155 again agrees best with the usual interval between consulship and proconsulate. The date Apr. 8, which a.d. 159 would require, is likely, moreover, to be too late. The chief difficulty raised by the date 155 is that if we adopt it the chronology of the Roman bishops obliges us to put Polycarp's visit in the last year of his life and the first of the episcopate of Anicetus.
For the literature connected with Polycarp see bp. Lightfoot's ed. of Ignatius and Polycarp. An ed. of Polycarp's remains by G. Jacobson is in Patr. Apost. (Clar. Press, 2 vols.). A small popular treatise on St. Polycarp by B. Jackson is pub. by S. P.C. K. Cf. also 7.ahn, Forschungen , iv. 249; Harnack, Gesch. der Alt.-Chr. Lat. 1897 (ii. 1, 334).
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Smyrna - Smyrna (smir'nah), myrrh. Smyrna has been repeatedly overthrown by earthquakes. Some few of the ruins of ancient Smyrna are still visible to the south of the modern city. The first cotton-seeds were conveyed to the United States from Smyrna, and planted in 1621
Apelles, Saint - Bishop of Smyrna
Churches, Seven - on Ephesus, Smyrna, etc
Apel'Les - Paul in ( Romans 16:10 ) Tradition makes him bishop of Smyrna or Heraclea
Smyrna - 168, 86 years after conversion, was its bishop, probably "the angel of the church in Smyrna. The attributes of Him "which was dead and is alive" would comfort Smyrna under persecution. The idol Dionysus at Smyrna was believed to have been killed and come to life; in contrast to this lying fable is Christ's title, "the First and the Last, which was dead and is alive" (Revelation 2:8). A circular letter from the church of Smyrna describes his martyrdom. ...
When urged to recant he said, "four-score years and six I have served the Lord, and He never wronged me; how then can I blaspheme my King and Saviour?" The accuser, the devil, cast some of the Smyrna church into prison, and "it had tribulation ten days," a short term (Genesis 24:55; Numbers 11:19), whereas the consequent joy is eternal (many Christians perished by wild beasts or at the stake because they refused to throw incense into the fire to sacrifice to the genius of the emperor): a sweet consolation in trial. Christ promises Smyrna "a crown of life" (compare James 1:12; 2 Timothy 4:8 "of righteousness," 1 Peter 5:4 "of glory") in reward for "faithfulness unto death. "...
The allusion is to the "crown-wearing" (stefanofori ), leading priests at Smyrna It was usual to present the superintending priest with a crown at the end of his year of office; several persons of both sexes are called "crown bearers" in inscriptions. Smyrna ("myrrh") yielded its perfume in being bruised to death. Smyrna's faithfulness is rewarded by its candlestick not having been wholly removed; from whence the Turks call it "infidel Smyrna. " Persecuted Smyrna and Philadelphia are the only churches which the Lord does not reprove
Apelles - Said to have been afterward bishop of Smyrna
Smyrna - The Christian church in Smyrna was one of the seven churches of Asia to which the Apostle John was commanded to address an epistle, Revelation 2:8-10 . The present Smyrna, which the Turks call Esmir, is about four miles in circumference, and contains a population of about a hundred thousand souls
Samos - It is about 27 miles long and 20 broad, and lies about 42 miles south-west of Smyrna
Smyrna - The port of Smyrna was in the Roman province of Asia, not far north of Ephesus. ...
John’s letter to the church in Smyrna shows that the Christians were very poor
Smyrna - History calls Polycarp the first bishop of Smyrna, and it was there he suffered martyrdom. It was of old an important city, and modern Smyrna is a large town
Smyrna - (Σμύρνα)...
Smyrna has been an important city for at least 3000 years. ‘Old Smyrna’-ἡ παλαιὰ Σμύρνα (Strabo, XIV. of ‘New Smyrna,’ which was founded by Lysimachus (circa, about 290 b. ...
Smyrna was the emporium for the trade of the fertile Hermus valley, and the terminus of one of the great roads from the interior of Asia Minor. they dedicated a shrine to Roma, and in all the struggles of the next two centuries Smyrna was invariably on the Roman-that is, the winning-side. ...
The message to Smyrna in Rev. The message to Smyrna comes from ‘the First and the Last’ (Revelation 2:8). Smyrna was the most ambitious of all the cities of Asia, and her municipal self-consciousness was inordinately developed. ...
‘The crown of life’ (ὁ στέφανος τῆς ζωῆς) may have been suggested by one of the most familiar elements in the life of Smyrna, the athletic contests and the presentation of the garlands of victory; or it may be an allusion to the fact that the lovely city itself, on its mountain slope, was commonly likened to a garland, as some of its coins prove (B. It was not for intellectual errors that the name of ‘Jews’ was denied to the synagogue of Smyrna, while that of ‘synagogue of Satan’ was attached to it (Revelation 2:9). It was because the Jews of Smyrna were morally wrong-hating instead of loving-that they forfeited their traditional titles and privileges (cf. When he was sentenced to death ‘the whole multitude both of the heathen and Jews, who dwelt in Smyrna, cried out with uncontrollable fury and in a loud voice,’ and the sentence ‘was carried into effect with greater speed than it was spoken, the multitudes immediately gathering together wood and faggots out of the shops and baths, the Jews especially, according to custom, eagerly assisting them in it’ (προθύμως, ὡς ἤθος αὐτοῖς). Modern Smyrna, being predominantly Greek Christian, is called by the Turks Giaour Ismir
Batman - ) A weight used in the East, varying according to the locality; in Turkey, the greater batman is about 157 pounds, the lesser only a fourth of this; at Aleppo and Smyrna, the batman is 17 pounds
Adramyt'Tium - named form Adramys , brother of Croesus king of Lydia, a seaport in the province of Asia [1], situated on a bay of the Aegean Sea, about 70 miles north of Smyrna, in the district anciently called Aeolis, and also Mysia
Smyr'na - It seems not impossible that the message to the church in Smyrna contains allusions to the ritual of the pagan mysteries which prevailed in that city. In the time of Strabo the ruins of the old Smyrna still existed, and were partially inhabited, but the new city was one of the most beautiful in all Asia. It was consecrated as a heroum to Homer, whom the Smyrnaeans claimed as a countryman. (Smyrna is still a large city of 180,000 to 200,000 inhabitants, of which a larger proportion are Franks than in any other town in Turkey; 20,000 are Greeks, 9000 Jews, 8000 Armenians, 1000 Europeans, and the rest are Moslems
Chi'os - (snowy ), an island of the Aegean Sea, 12 miles from Smyrna
Seven Churches in Asia - They are Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamus, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea, mentioned in Apocalypse, 1-3, where Saint John, on the island of Patmos, was commanded to send to their bishops instructions and admonitions, in which the Church is praised or blamed with reference to past trials and told of a greater one to come in connection with the coming of Christ
Philadelphia - It derived its name from Attalus Philadelphus, its founder; and was seated on a branch of Mount Tmolus, about twenty-five miles southeast of Sardis, and seventy, in nearly the same direction, from Smyrna. It has, however, retained a better fate than most of its neighbours; for under the name of Alahsher, or the city of God, it is still a place of some repute, chiefly supported by trade, it being in the route of the caravans to Smyrna
Smyrna - Smyrna (also and more strictly Zmyrna ) was founded as a colony from Greece earlier than b. There was a State called Smyrna between 600 and 290, but it was mainly a loose congeries of villages scattered about the plain and the surrounding hills, and not in the Greek sense a polis (city-State). Its maritime connexion brought it into contact with the Romans, who made an alliance with Smyrna against the Seleucid power. 195 Smyrna built a temple to Rome, and ever afterwards remained faithful to that State through good fortune and bad. The city was well wailed, and in the pagos above possessed an ideal acropolis, which, with its splendid buildings in orderly arrangement, was known as the crown or garland of Smyrna. Smyrna boasted that it was the birthplace of Homer, who had been born and brought up beside the river Meles. Even now the Christian element is three times as large as the Mohammedan, and the Turks call the city Infidel Smyrna. ...
The letter to the Church at Smyrna ( Revelation 2:8-11 ) is the most favourable of all. The Jews in Smyrna had been specially hostile to the Christians, and had informed against them before the Roman officials. Most of them were probably citizens of Smyrna, but became merged in the general population and were not confined to a certain tribe, since the Romans ceased to recognize the Jews as a nation after a
Poverty - 1: πτωχεία (Strong's #4432 — Noun Feminine — ptocheia — pto-khi'-ah ) "destitution" (akin to ptocheuo, see POOR), is used of the "poverty" which Christ voluntarily experienced on our behalf, 2 Corinthians 8:9 ; of the destitute condition of saints in Judea, 2 Corinthians 8:2 ; of the condition of the church in Smyrna, Revelation 2:9 , where the word is used in a general sense
Samos - An island in the Ægean Sea, a few miles from the main land, and 42 miles southwest of Smyrna
Smyrna - The celebrated Polycarp, a pupil of the apostle John, was in the second century a prominent leader in the church of Smyrna
Seven Churches - The assemblies were at Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea, places comparatively near together in the west of Asia Minor
Thyatira - The art of dyeing purple was particularly cultivated at Thyatira, as appears from an inscription recently found there; and it still sends to Smyrna, sixty miles southwest, large quantities of scarlet cloth, Acts 16:14
Sardis - Sardis was situated at the foot of Mount Tmolus, about 50 miles northeast of Smyrna and on the river Pactolus, celebrated for its "golden sands
Alexander Balas - A low-born youth called Balas, living in Smyrna, was put forward by the enemies of Demetrius I
Smyrna - So many of its inhabitants are not Mohammedan, that it is called by the Turks Giaour Izmir, or Infidel Smyrna. Smyrna has been often devastated by earthquakes and conflagrations; multitudes perished there of the cholera in 1831, and 60,000 died of the plague in 1824; yet its fine situation secures a prompt recovery from every disaster
Aristion - of Smyrna ( Apost
Pionius, Martyr at Smyrna - Pionius, martyr at Smyrna, in the Decian persecution, Mar 12, 250. It was probably this Pionius who revived the cultus of POLYCARP in Smyrna, by recovering an ancient MS
Ignatius of Antioch, Saint - Trajan sent him in chains to Rome; during this last journey he was welcomed by the faithful of Smyrna, Troas, and other places along the way; he addressed epistles, of supreme interest and value, to various congregations, for, as a disciple of the Apostles, Ignatius testifies to the dogmatic character of Apostolic Christianity
Antioch, Ignatius of, Saint - Trajan sent him in chains to Rome; during this last journey he was welcomed by the faithful of Smyrna, Troas, and other places along the way; he addressed epistles, of supreme interest and value, to various congregations, for, as a disciple of the Apostles, Ignatius testifies to the dogmatic character of Apostolic Christianity
Philadelphia - It and Smyrna alone of the seven, the most afflicted, receive unmixed praise. To Smyrna the promise is, "the synagogue of Satan" should not prevail against her faithful ones; to Philadelphia, she should even win over some of "the synagogue of Satan," (the Jews who might have been the church of God, but by opposition had become "the synagogue of Satan") to "fall on their faces and confess God is in her of a truth" (1 Corinthians 14:25)
Asia - Ephesus, Pergamum, and Smyrna were its principal cities
Polycarp - 190) speaks of Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna (the part relating to Polycarp is given in Eus. 3-8) knows that Polycarp, who was taught by the apostles and who lived with several persons who were eye-witnesses of the Lord, received his appointment in Asia from the apostles as bishop in the Church of Smyrna (ὑπὸ τῶν ἀποστόλων κατασταθεὶς εἰς τὴνʼ Ασίαν ἐντῇ ἐν Σμύρνῃ ἐκκλησίᾳ ἐπίσκοπος). Nor was Polycarp made bishop for Asia, since Asia had other bishops in other cities besides Smyrna. _ 140, it would therefore be about the year 150 that Irenaeus as a child could have known Polycarp as an old man at Smyrna. ...
In a letter to Victor, bishop of Rome, Irenaeus mentions the fact of the journey to Rome of Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, in the time of Anicetus, i. ...
The death of Polycarp is exceedingly well known through the letter written by the Church of Smyrna to the Church of Philomelium and ‘to all the Churches of the holy and catholic Church in all places’ (see Harnack, Ueberlieferung der altchr. a hagiographer, who writes under the name of Pionius, a martyr at Smyrna at the time of the Decian persecution, composed a Vita Polycarpi, devoid of any historical value, in which he inserted the complete text of the Martyrium Polycarpi. ...
Among the minute details which the Martyrium Polycarpi gives on the arrest, the trial, and the execution of the bishop of Smyrna, there appears a valuable date: ‘The martyrdom of the blessed Polycarp,’ we read in 21, ‘took place on the second day of the first part of the month Xanthicus, on the seventh day before the Kalends of March, on a great Sabbath, at the eighth hour. ...
Other Christians suffered martyrdom at Smyrna at the same time as Polycarp; cf. The people loudly demanded Polycarp (ζητείσθω Πολύκαρπος); the people therefore knew Polycarp as the most notable of the Christians of Smyrna, as their chief (iii. Polycarp remained at Smyrna, in spite of the advice that his friends gave him to flee secretly. At last he was taken to Smyrna on the Saturday morning (viii. The whole multitude, composed of pagans and of Jews living in Smyrna (Ἰουδαίων τῶν τὴν Σμύρναν κατοικούντων) (on the hostility of the Jews towards the Christians see Harnack, Mission und Ausbreitung, Leipzig, 1906, i. Thus died ‘the glorious martyr, Polycarp, who was found an apostolic and prophetic teacher (διδάσκαλος ἀποστολικὸς καὶ προφητικός), bishop of the holy Catholic Church which is in Smyrna (ἐπίσκοπος τῆς ἐν Σμύρνῃ καθολικῆς ἐκκλησίας). ...
The supplementary paragraphs of the Martyrium Polycarpi state that Polycarp was the twelfth to suffer martyrdom at Smyrna, counting the Christians of Philadelphia, but that the martyrdom of Polycarp was the most memorable, ‘so that he is talked of even by the heathen in every place’ (xix. ...
Must we believe that the mention on several occasions of the Catholic Church is an indication of later touches? We might get rid of this difficulty if the phrase ἡ καθολικὴ ἐκκλησία had not already occurred in Ignatius, and moreover in his Epistle to the Smyrnaeans (viii. ...
We know that Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, during the journey that led him a prisoner to Rome, stopped at Smyrna. We have a letter of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans, in which the prisoner, on arriving at Troas, thanks them for the kindness with which they received him: ‘You have lavished all kinds of comforts on me: may Jesus Christ reward you for it! Both far and near you have shown me your kindness: I pray God to recompense you’ (ad Smyrn. We may note in passing that a similar letter must have been written by the bishop of Smyrna. ’ He adds several other salutations to certain Christians of Smyrna whom he names-Tavia, Alke, Daphnos, Euteknos (13). 2, an Alce is mentioned, whose brother Niketes is an influential Smyrnaean pagan, and very hostile to the Christians. Before leaving Troas, Ignatius wrote his epistle to ‘Polycarp, bishop of the church of the Smyrnaeans. ’ The tone of, this letter recalls the Pastoral Epistles: Ignatius gives Polycarp advice, as Paul did to Timothy, but in it the authority of Ignatius is tempered by a tender reverence for the bishop of Smyrna, who was evidently still a young man. We must be careful not to think that the virtues which Ignatius recommends to Polycarp are so many virtues wanting in the latter! Ignatius insists that the Christians of Smyrna should send a messenger to Antioch: ‘It becometh thee, most blessed Polycarp, to call together a godly council and to elect some one among you who is very dear to you and zealous also, who shall be fit to bear the name of God’s courier-to appoint him, I say, that he may go to Syria and glorify your zealous love unto the glory of God’ (vii. The letter ended with salutations to some Smyrnaean Christians, the house of Epitropos, Attalos, and Alke once more
Satan - They were very numerous at Smyrna, to which church John writes
the Angel of the Church in Smyrna - IF Polycarp was indeed the angel of the Church of Smyrna, then we know some most interesting things about this angel over and above what we read in this Epistle addressed to him. And if you but add that one sentence to this Epistle you will have a full-length and a perfect portrait of the angel of the Church of Smyrna. And then we are very thankful to possess a circular-letter which the elders of the Church of Smyrna sent round to the Seven Churches telling the brethren everywhere how well their old minister had played the man in the fire. '...
Apostolical, evangelical, and most illustrious, martyr, as Polycarp proved himself to be at the last, yet, when he began his ministry in Smyrna he was a man of like fears and flinchings of heart as we are ourselves. His Master dictated every syllable of this Epistle with the most direct and the most pointed bearing on Polycarp and on his ministry in Smyrna. Polycarp's poverty was one of his many trials and temptations as the minister of Smyrna. " The slander of the synagogue of Satan in Smyrna was not met, I am sure, with a mind more acceptable to the First and the Last than that. Had Polycarp feared death more than he feared Him who was now alive; had he feared the fires in the market-place of Smyrna more than the fires that are not quenched; had he deserted his post in Smyrna because of its difficulties; had his soul soured at God and man because of his poverty; when he was reviled, had he reviled back again; when he suffered, had he threatened; and had he reproached Christ when he was bribed with his life so to do,-Polycarp is here told plainly that he would have died the second death with all that it involves
Lydia (1) - The chief interest of Lydia for us is that it contained several very ancient and important great cities (of the Ionian branch), Smyrna, Ephesus, Sardis, Colophon, etc
Pergamus - It is about sixty miles north of Smyrna
Myrrh - A — 1: σμύρνα (Strong's #4666 — Noun Feminine — smurna — smoor'-nah ) whence the name "Smyrna," a word of Semitic origin, Heb
Apostolic Fathers - POLYCARP, Bishop of Smyrna
Sar'Dis, - It was 60 miles northeast of Smyrna
Nitre - This salt thus scummed off is the same in all respects with the Smyrna soap earth
Sarids - It is now a pitiful village, but contains a large khan for the accommodation of travellers, it being the road for the caravans that come out of Persia to Smyrna with silk
Ephesus - The capital of Ionia, a celebrated city of Asia Minor, situated near the mouth of the Cayster, about forty miles southeast of Smyrna
Polycrates, Bishop of Ephesus - He appeals to the authority of the great luminaries which the Asian church could boast, and whose bodies lay among them, Philip, one of the twelve apostles, and his three daughters, John, who lay on our Lord's breast, a priest who wore the πέταλον , Polycarp of Smyrna, Thraseas of Eumenia, Sagaris, Papirius, Melito, all of whom had observed the 14th day, according to the Gospel, walking according to the rule of faith
Miletus - Miletus was already unimportant by comparison with Ephesus, which now received the trade of the Mæander valley, and shared with Smyrna the trade that came along the great road through the centre of Asia Minor
Philippi - Other explanations are that it means ‘the first city we arrived at’ (which the Greek could scarcely mean), or that Philippi claimed a pre-eminence in much the same way that Pergamus, Smyrna, Ephesus all claimed to be the ‘first city’ of Asia. He was welcomed by the Church, and they wrote a letter of consolation to the Church of Antioch and another to Polycarp of Smyrna, asking for copies of any letters that Ignatius had written in Asia
Faithful - In Revelation 2:10 the church in Smyrna and subsequent readers are commanded “be thou faithful unto death
Apostolic Fathers - At Smyrna he composed letters thanking the churches of Ephesus, Magnesia, and Tralles for sending messengers to greet him. At Troas he learned that persecution had ceased at Antioch and wrote to the churches of Philadelphia and Smyrna as well as to Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, entreating them to send messengers to Antioch to congratulate the faithful on the restoration of peace
Letter Form And Function - New Testament examples of letters of censure or blame are found in Galatians (See 2 Thessalonians 1:6 ; 2 Thessalonians 3:1 ) and five of the letters to the churches in Asia Minor in Revelation 2-3 (excluding Smyrna and Philadelphia). The letters to the churches at Smyrna and Philadelphia serve as examples of letters of praise ( Revelation 2:8-11 ; Revelation 3:7-13 )
Ignatius - To the Smyrnaeans he is even more explicit: ‘It is meet that your church should appoint, for the honour of God, an ambassador of God that he may go as far as Syria and congratulate them because they are at peace, and have recovered their proper stature, and their proper bulk hath been restored to them’ (τὸ ἴδιον σωματεῖον; xi. ...
After Philadelphia we find him in Smyrna, where Polycarp is bishop. Later he thanks the Smyrnaeans effusively for the welcome they gave him and his two companions Philo and Rheus Agathopus (Smyrn. In Smyrna he made a comparatively long stay-time enough to get to know the Smyrnaean families he greets at the end of his letter (xiii. While he was in Smyrna the neighbouring churches sent deputations to greet him and console him in his imprisonment. From Smyrna itself Ignatius writes a letter of thanks to each of the churches who had sent delegates: the first is the Epistle to the Ephesians, the second the Letter to the Church of Magnesia on the Maeander, the third the Epistle to the Trallians. From Smyrna, too, Ignatius sends his Letter to the Romans, which alone bears a date-the ninth day before the Kalends of September, i. At the end of his Epistle to the Magnesians, Ignatius writes: ‘The Ephesians from Smyrna salute you, from whence also I write to you. They are here with me for the glory of God, as also are ye; and they have comforted me in all things, together with Polycarp, bishop of the Smyrnaeans. To them Ignatius writes: ‘I salute you from Smyrna, together with the churches of God that are present with me; men who refreshed me in all ways both in flesh and in spirit’ (xii. ...
From Smyrna, Ignatius and his guard Journey to Troas, probably by sea. 2); the second to the Smyrnaeans; and the third to Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna. He suggests that Polycarp should depute one of the Smyrnaeans to go to Antioch to show the love that the Church of Smyrna bears to the Church of Syria (vii. He begs Polycarp to write to the churches lying between Smyrna and Antioch, enjoining them to send messengers or letters to the Church of Antioch as a token of their love (viii
Messiah - ...
Then it was that Sabatai Sevi appeared at Smyrna, and professed himself to be the Messias. Sabatai Sevi was the son of Moredecai Sevi, a mean Jew of Smyrna. Sabatai now resolves for Smyrna, and then for Constantinople, Nathan writes to him from Damascus, and thus he begins his letter; "To the king, our king, lord of lords, who gathers the dispersed of Israel, who redeems our captivity, the man elevated to the height of all sublimity the Messias of the God of Jacob, the true Messias, the celestial Lion, Sabatai Sevi. Sabatai comes to Smyrna, where he was adored by the people, though the Chacham contradicted him, for which he was removed from his office. These princes were men well known in the sity of Smyrna at that time. The Jews pay him their visits; and they of this city are as infatuated as those in Smyrna. After all this, several of the Jews continued to use the forms, in their public worship prescribed by this Mahometan Messias, which obliged the principal Jews of Constantinople to send to the synagogue of Smyrna to forbid this practice. Upon the fame of these things the Jews of Italy sent legates to Smyrna, to enquire into the truth of these matters. When the legates arrived at Smyrna, they heard of the news that Sabatai was turned Turk, to their very great confusion; but, going to visit the brother of Sabatai, he endeavoured to persuade them that Sabatai was still the true Messias; that it was not Sabatai that went about in the habit of a Turk, but his angel, or spirit; that his body was taken into heaven, and should be sent down again when God should think it a fit season. He added, that Nathan, his forerunner, who had wrought many miracles, would soon be at Smyrna; that he would reveal hidden things to them, and confirm them. But this Elias was not suffered to come into Smyrna, and though the legates saw him elsewhere, they received no satisfaction at all
Ruler - In Asia Minor there is evidence that the title was one of honour, and therefore could be held by more than one person simultaneously; there is a case known of even a woman bearing this title at Smyrna
Samos - 60), and disputed with Smyrna and Ephesus the title ‘first city of Ionia
Jupiter - The title here, then, is Propoleôs, which is actually found in an inscription at Smyrna
Philadelphia - The important trade-route from Smyrna (83 miles west) branched at Philadelphia, one branch going N. John almost as warmly as that of Smyrna (Revelation 3:7-13)
Philadelphia - PHILADELPHIA was a city of Lydia, 28 miles from Sardis, in the valley of the Cogamis, a tributary of the Hermus, and conveniently situated for receiving the trade between the great central plateau of Asia Minor and Smyrna
Noetus, a Native of Smyrna Noetus - Noetus, a native of Smyrna according to Hippolytus; of Ephesus according to Epiphanius ( Haer
Victor, Bishop of Rome - John, also at rest at Ephesus; of Polycarp of Smyrna, bishop and martyr; of Thraseas of Eumenia, also bishop and martyr, who slept at Smyrna
Polycarpus, Bishop of Smyrna - of Smyrna, one of the most prominent figures in the church of the 2nd cent. 4) that Polycarp had been instructed by apostles and conversed with many who had seen Christ, and had also been established "by apostles" as bishop in the church at Smyrna; and doubtless Tertullian (de Praescrip. of Smyrna at the time of the martyrdom of Ignatius, i. Ignatius, journeying from Antioch to Rome, halted first at Smyrna, where, as at his other resting places, the Christians flocked from all around to receive his counsels and bestow attentions on him. From the city where he next halted he wrote separate letters to the church of Smyrna and to Polycarp its bishop. A later stage was Philippi, and to the church there Polycarp wrote afterwards a letter still extant, sending them copies of the letters of Ignatius and inquiring for information about Ignatius, the detailed story of whose martyrdom appears not yet to have reached Smyrna. ...
The story of the martyrdom of Polycarp is told in a letter still extant, purporting to be addressed by the church of Smyrna to the church sojourning (παροικούση ) in Philomelium (a town of Phrygia) and to all the παροικίαι of the holy Catholic Church in every place. ...
The story relates that Polycarp's martyrdom was the last act of a great persecution and took place on the occasion of games held at Smyrna eleven others having suffered before him. We have evidence of the activity of the Jews at Smyrna at an earlier period Rev_2:9 and at a later in the story of the martyrdom of Pionius
Sardis - Smyrna and Philadelphia, the most afflicted, alone receive unmixed praise
Laodicea - ...
The two churches most comfortable temporally are those most reproved, Sardis and Laodicea; those most afflicted of the seven are the most commended, Smyrna and Philadelphia
Asia Minor, Cities of - Cities of Asia Minor important to the New Testament accounts included Alexandria Troas, Assos, Ephesus, Miletus, Patara, Smyrna, Pergamum, Sardis, Thyatira, Philadelphia, Laodicea, Colassae, Attalia, Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, Derbe, and Tarsus. ...
Smyrna surrounded a well-protected harbor on the Aegean coast at the outlet of the Hermus River. Smyrna reigned as one of the grandest cities of all Asia
Repent, Repentance - The word is found in the Synoptic Gospels (in Luke, nine times), in Acts five times, in the Apocalypse twelve times, eight in the messages to the churches, Revelation 2:5 (twice),16,21 (twice), RV, "she willeth not to repent" (2nd part); Revelation 3:3,19 (the only churches in those chapters which contain no exhortation in this respect are those at Smyrna and Philadelphia); elsewhere only in 2 Corinthians 12:21
Asiarch - 155), where two separate persons named Philippos have been confused: (1) Philip of Smyrna, Asiarch, who superintended the games; (2) Philip of Tralles, who was high priest of Asia (the latter had been an Asiarch a year or two before)
Martyr - Of this we have an instance in the answer of the church of Smyrna to the suggestion of the Jews, who, at the martyrdom of Polycarp, desired the heathen judge not to suffer the Christians to carry off his body, lest they should leave their crucified master, and worship him in his stead
Apocalypse - The second and third chapters contain seven epistles to the seven churches in Asia; namely, of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamus, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea, which relate chiefly to their then respective circumstances and situation
Jezebel - Thus in Revelation 2:9 he speaks of the false Jews in Smyrna who formed a synagogue of Satan
Day And Night - Job 19:3, Daniel 1:12), has been taken to indicate a persecution of the Church at Smyrna lasting for 10 years
Philippi - Immediately after Polycarp wrote to the Philippians, sending at their request a copy of all the letters of Ignatius which the church of Smyrna had; so they still retained the same sympathy with sufferers for Christ as in Paul's days
Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch - Thus in Smyrna, the city of Polycarp, he wrote to Ephesus, Magnesia, and Tralles. Then he tells how Ignatius, having left Smyrna and come to Troas, wrote thence to the Philadelphians and Smyrnaeans and to Polycarp. It is in progress at Antioch while he is in Smyrna, whence he writes to the Romans, Ephesians, Magnesians, and Trallians. brings Ignatius by sea to Smyrna; but Eusebius, who had read the epistles, supposes the journey to be by land, and he is clearly right. The ordinary way from Antioch to Ephesus was by land, and Ignatius calls the messenger to be sent by the Smyrnaeans to Antioch θεοδρόμος ( Pol. In Philadelphia he preaches, not in a church, but in a large assembly of Christians; in Smyrna he has intercourse with the Christians there and with messengers of other churches. He must, therefore, have had lime in Smyrna to acquaint himself with the condition of the neighbouring churches
Hittites - Assuming that this is correct, the principal habitat of the Hittites was Asia Minor, for these monuments are found from Karabel, a pass near Smyrna, to Erzerum, and from the so-called Niobe (originally a Hittite goddess), near Magnesia, to Jerabis, the ancient Carchemish, on the Euphrates
Revelation, the Book of - To be sure, a faithful Christian in Pergamum had suffered death ( Revelation 2:13 ), and the church in Smyrna was warned of a time of impending persecution (Revelation 17:1-1880 ); but the persecutions described in the Revelation were still largely anticipated at the time of John's writing. ...
Letters to the Seven Churches (2:1–3:22) The letters to the churches of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea have a fairly consistent format. Next appears typically some form of exhortation: to those who received criticism, the usual exhortation is to repent; however, to the churches of Smyrna and Philadelphia, for whom the Lord had only praise, the exhortation is one of assurance (compare Ezekiel 2:1-3 ; Revelation 3:10-13 ). ...
The church at Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7 ) is told to return to her first love; the church at Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11 ), to be faithful unto death; the churches of Pergamum (Revelation 2:12-17 ) and Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29 ) must beware of false teaching and the immoral deeds that so often accompany erroneous theology
Nonnus of Panopolis - He was the centre, if not the founder, of the literary Egyptian school, which gave to Greek epic poetry a new though short-lived brilliancy, and to which belonged Quintus of Smyrna, John of Gaza, Coluthus, Tryphiodorus, and Musaeus
France - Saint Pothinus, first Bishop of Lyons, and his successor, Saint Irenaeus, were both disciples of Saint Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna
Love-Feasts - " Ignatius, in his epistle to the church of Smyrna, in the first century, affords us the additional information, "that it was not lawful to baptize, or celebrate the love-feasts, without the bishop, or minister
Marriage - But the following extract, from a journal which I kept at Smyrna, presents a parallel case: "The Armenian brides are veiled during the marriage ceremony; and hence deceptions have occurred, in regard to the person chosen for wife. I am informed that, on one occasion, a young Armenian at Smyrna solicited in marriage a younger daughter, whom he admired
Jews in the New Testament - )...
Revelation The two references in the Book of Revelation are to the church at Smyrna (Revelation 2:9 ) and the church at Philadelphia (Revelation 3:9 ), where there were those who claimed to be Jews but who were denounced as the “synagogue of Satan” because they opposed Christians
Idolatry - there was a temple in its honour at Smyrna
Aurelius, Marcus, Roman Emperor - 166), of Polycarp at Smyrna (A
Tribulation - John is partaker ‘in the tribulation and kingdom and patience which are in Jesus’ (Revelation 1:9); and he tells the church of Smyrna that they shall suffer tribulation ten days (Revelation 2:10)
Satan - The believers in Smyrna felt the sting of persecution (Revelation 2:9-10 )
Bishop - " In the larger churches, as Ephesus and Smyrna, there were many presbyters, but only one angel under the one "chief Shepherd and Bishop of Souls," the term "bishop" thus being applicable to the highest pastoral superintendence (1 Peter 2:25; 1 Peter 5:4)
Decius, Emperor - of Rome, was among the foremost of the victims; Babylas of Antioch, Pionius of Smyrna (seized, it was said, while celebrating the anniversary of the martyrdom of Polycarp), Agatha of Sicily, Polyeuctes of Armenia, Carpus and his deacon of Thyatira, Maximus (a layman) of Asia, Alexander, bp
Faithfulness - The Church at Smyrna was exhorted to be ‘faithful unto death’ (Revelation 2:10), and the Church at Pergamum was commended for faithfulness even in the days when ‘witnessing’ for Christ became ‘martyrdom’ in the later meaning of that word (Revelation 2:13)
Nicolaitans - Again, when writing to the church at Smyrna, he says: "I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan," Revelation 2:9
Macedonia - 100, bishop Polycarp of Smyrna wrote to the Philippians who had asked him to forward copies of the letters of the famous martyr Ignatius of Antioch
Luke (2) - An instance in Asia Minor was that between Smyrna, Ephesus, and Pergamum
Temptation, Trial - The angel of the church in Smyrna is warned that some of them will be cast into prison that they may be ‘tried’ (Revelation 2:10)
Christ in the Early Church - 107, and are addressed to the Churches of Ephesus, Magnesia, Tralles, Rome, Philadelphia, Smyrna, and to Polycarp of Smyrna. Polycarp of Smyrna, when called upon by the pro-consul to revile Christ, confessed in memorable words, ‘Fourscore and six years have I served Him, and He hath done me no wrong
Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons - Polycarp at Smyrna; afterwards came into Gaul, and during the persecution of 177 carried, as presbyter of Lyons, a letter from the Gallican confessors to the Roman bp. of Smyrna (Ep. of Smyrna and martyr, and for this reason is held in just estimation, wrote to an Alexandrian that it is right, with respect to the Feast of the Resurrection, that we should celebrate it upon the first day of the week
Suffering - Among the things which the Christians of Smyrna have to suffer is imprisonment (Revelation 2:10; cf
Ephesus - Other notable features of the city were the fine harbour along the banks of the Cayster, the aqueducts, and the great road following the line of the Cayster to Sardis, with a branch to Smyrna
the Angel of the Church in Pergamos - For to be told, and that on such absolute authority, that while Satan had his colonies and his dependencies and his outposts in Ephesus, and in Smyrna, and in Thyatira, yet that his very citadel and stronghold was in Pergamos,-that must have been an awful revelation to the responsible pastor of Pergamos
John (the Apostle) - Polycarp was not only instructed by the Apostles, and had intercourse with many who had seen Christ, but he was also installed by the Apostles as Bishop in Asia in the Church at Smyrna. It is apparently the similarity of their fortunes which leads him to speak of this Apostle at all, for just as Paul had sent for the elders of the Ephesian Church to meet him at Miletus on his way to imprisonment in Rome, so Ignatius at Smyrna received a delegation from Ephesus (Ephes
Philippi - 3702) thinks that Philippi was a ‘first’ city in the same sense in which Ephesus, Pergamus, and Smyrna bore that distinction-a ‘first-class’ city; but it does not appear that this phraseology was used outside the Commune of Asia
Joannes Presbyter - of Smyrna by John the apostle is stated by Tertullian ( Praes
Marcion, a 2nd Century Heretic - 15) that the same letter of the church of Smyrna from which he drew his account of the martyrdom of Polycarp, told also of the martyrdom of a Marcionite presbyter, Metrodorus, who, like Polycarp, suffered at Smyrna by fire, and in the same persecution
Christian (the Name) - Polycarp’s martyrdom at Smyrna is our earliest case in point
the Angel of the Church in Sardis - When he went to the communion-seasons at Ephesus and Smyrna and Pergamos and Thyatira, for years after the captivated people could tell you his texts and at every mention of his name they would break out about his preaching
Paul - It possessed a splendid harbour, in which was concentrated the traffic of the sea which was then the highway of the nations; and as Liverpool has behind her the great towns of Lancashire, so had Ephesus behind and around her such cities as those mentioned along with her in the epistles to the churches in the book of Revelation, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea
Rivers And Waterways in the Bible - Thus the Hermus (155 miles) was diverted to prevent the destruction of the harbor of Smyrna (Izmir)
Revelation, Theology of - 2-3, except Smyrna and Philadelphia)
Peter, the Epistles of - Smyrna received unqualified praise
Persecution - As the character of the virtuous Trajan, however, is sullied by the martyrdom of Ignatius, so the reign of the philosophic Marcus is for ever disgraced by the sacrifice of the venerable Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, the friend and companion of St
Revelation of John, the - Smyrna and Philadelphia alone receive unmixed praise, as faithful in tribulation and rich in works of love
Unity (2) - ...
In the earlier stages of the Church’s life, government by bishops and presbyters in one local community could coexist with government by college of presbyters in another, without offence to either; Antioch, Epbesus, Smyrna communicated with Rome and Corinth
Emperor-Worship - Smyrna instituted the worship of the power of Rome, and from 95 b
John the Apostle - ’ Tertullian confirms the tradition of a residence in Ephesus by quoting the evidence of the Church of Smyrna that their bishop Polycarp was appointed by John ( de Pr
John the Baptist - He planted churches at Smyrna, Pergamos, and many other places; and by his activity and success in propagating the Gospel, he is supposed to have incurred the displeasure of Domitian, who banished him to Patmos at the end of his reign
Thecla - The author, being of Asia—that is, of the Roman province supposed a proconsul to be found at Iconium and at Antioch, because he had himself been accustomed to see a proconsul at Ephesus or Smyrna; and thus Tertullian's statement that he was of Asia (taken in that limited sense) is borne out, not by his exact knowledge, as Schlau supposed, but by his mistake
Aristion (Aristo) - 228, 21, gives to the first and third bishops of Smyrna the name Aristo)
Revelation, the - Smyrna
Papias - through Asia to Smyrna and Pergamum
Eusebius of Caesarea - He himself refers to this collection for the martyrdom of Polycarp and others at Smyrna under Antoninus Pius A