Thomas Johann Bauer

Ignatius of Antioch and Polycarp of Smyrna. Aporias in the Analysis and Interpretation of Early Christian Letters

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Keywords: Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp of Smyrna, Early Christian Epistolography

The corpus of the seven Ignatian letters is still among the most disputed writings of early Christianity. Research and scholarly discussion are far from any consensus about authenticity, origin, date, and author. The Ignatian letters are closely connected with the letter of Polycarp of Smyrna to the Philippians and, therefore, any discussion about the problems concerning Ignatius of Antioch and the Ignatian letters also affects Polycarp and his letter, and vice versa. It seems to be impossible to find any reliable solution or hypothesis that fits for the Ignatian letters as well as for Polycarp and his letters.

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