Tuesday, March 07, 2006

From the Lost Teaching of Polycarp

New from Mohr Siebeck:

Charles E. Hill
From the Lost Teaching of Polycarp: Identifying Irenaeus' Apostolic Presbyter and the Author of "Ad Diognetum"

This book significantly expands our understanding of the life and work of Polycarp of Smyrna. Part One establishes that the anonymous "apostolic presbyter", whose oral teaching is cited intermittently by Irenaeus in Against Heresies 4.27.1 through 4.32.1, is in fact Polycarp. The fragments of teaching preserved by Irenaeus shed valuable light upon his relationship with Polycarp, establishing that Irenaeus contact with his teacher was neither fleeting nor shallow. They also reveal Polycarp's important role in opposing the early effects of the Marcionite movement and gain a valuable perspective on Polycarp's Old Testament hermeneutic in the face of ecclesiastical controversy. Part Two considers the many links which would tie Polycarp to the work known as Ad Diognetum. Charles E. Hill proposes that the work is not a treatise but the transcript of an oral address. A new proposal is made for the identity of Diognetus, the addressee, based upon archaeological evidence of an aristocratic Smyrnaean family of the second century.

2006, 207 pages, ISBN 3-16-148699-4, cloth € 49.00.
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament

I imagine its relevance for New Testament textual criticism would be entirely indirect.


  1. I'm actually reading this book right now and hope to blog (though not at depth) about it at some point in the future. Very interesting stuff, particularly if you're into the early church, Irenaeus, Polycarp or heresiology. Small disclaimer: Dr. Hill was my professor when I took Greek as an undergrad (1992-1993).

    Rick Brannan

  2. IF Irenaeus knew Polycarp very well then it may help in providing a connection between Polycarp's knowledge of Acts and Irenaeus' extensive citation of Acts in the period when otherwise we can find very little trace of Acts.

    Pretty indirect. Yes.