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THE CHURCH - AFTER THE APOSTLES

Updated on January 1, 2009

What Happened After The Apostles?

 

Near the end of the first century, the band of believers that Jesus personally taught and trained had all but disappeared. The Apostle James, brother of John, was the first to be martyred. Now it was down to the last living Apostle, John, to close the Word of God with the unveiling of the ‘Revelation'. He too, would pass what had been entrusted to him to faithful and trustworthy men, like the Apostle Paul instructed one of his disciples, Timothy, to do. The lot to leave the gospel into the hands of trustworthy Christians fell to each of the Apostles, and by extension, to us as well. I don't know how many men and women the apostles personally trained up and sent out, but the Apostle John had two very capable prospects in two of his pupils, Polycarp and Papias.

Saint Polycarp was bishop of the Church in Smyrna in the second century. He was born in 69 A.D, and was martyred in 155-156 A.D. It is recorded that he had been a disciple of the Apostle John. He is recognized as one of the three ‘Apostolic Fathers', along with Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch. His only surviving work is his ‘Letter to the Philippians'.

St. Polycarp is one who gives us a direct link to the original apostles or to three of them at least: Paul, Peter and John. After the persecution, that destroyed the Jewish Temple, broke out around 70 A.D., the apostles scattered, with

Peter, James, John and possibly Paul taking temporary refuge in Ephesus. For the next fourteen years, prior to the Apostle John being exiled to the island of Patmos, they and other disciples labored in Ephesus, making it the center of the Church's activities. Contrary to popular belief, Rome was not the center of the Christian faith after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, Ephesus was. It is believed that it was there in Ephesus the Apostle John taught and trained Polycarp and Papias.

Saint Polycarp was, and is, highly esteemed by the ‘Orthodox Churches', ‘Oriental Churches', Protestants and Catholics' alike. Yet, St. Polycarp was neither philosopher nor theologian. He was a gifted speaker and authenticator of Christian ‘Revelation' during a time when the Christian Scripture were just beginning to achieve widespread acceptance.

Saint Polycarp became a great defender of the ‘Faith', successfully arguing the teachings of Jesus and the apostles against the heretics of his day.

His skillful oratory and gifted insights into the word of God made him a much feared man among the heretics.

To read and study about this true saint of God gives us a better understanding of how the first and second century Churches were established and operated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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    • Abrushing1968 profile image

      Aaron Rushing 

      4 years ago from USA- Florida

      You were one of the first people I met on Hub Pages. I have always enjoyed your articles. I look forward to reading more.

      Blessing

      ABR

    • Wehzo profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathaniel Stalling Jr 

      4 years ago from Detroit, MI

      I haven't been writing very much lately. The last hub I posted was 'Twilight', about 4 or 5 months ago. Between working, preaching and teaching, I have little to no time to write. I am planning to retire from Chrysler soon; so I will definitely be writing a lot more. Thanks for asking.

      God bless,

    • Abrushing1968 profile image

      Aaron Rushing 

      4 years ago from USA- Florida

      Wehzo:

      I haven't seen a hub from you in a while. This one is over 5 years old. Are still writing?

    • Wehzo profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathaniel Stalling Jr 

      4 years ago from Detroit, MI

      Thank you Abrushing1968.

      God bless you,

    • Abrushing1968 profile image

      Aaron Rushing 

      4 years ago from USA- Florida

      Wehzo:

      very interesting. voted up.

      ABR

    • Wehzo profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathaniel Stalling Jr 

      10 years ago from Detroit, MI

      Thank you Mariane for your gracious comment. You are absolutely right.

    • profile image

      mariane 

      10 years ago

      This is part of our tradition that we seem to have overlooked. Those first fathers of the Church had a lot of wisdom and we owe them a lot for what we have today.

    • profile image

      Wehzo 

      10 years ago

      Thank you einron, I appreciate your comments and your prayers. 'We all are still learning.

    • einron profile image

      einron 

      10 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      Thank you for your contribution to the early history of the church.I am learning and that is important. God bless.

    • Wehzo profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathaniel Stalling Jr 

      10 years ago from Detroit, MI

      Thank you Tyhill27 for your contribution to this hub. I stand with you in your efforts to contribute to the unity of the body of Christ. I will be communicating with you on any ideas I may have to assist you.

      God Bless

    • Tyhill27 profile image

      Tyhill27 

      10 years ago from Red Deer, Alberta

      Wehzo my friend. This was very insightful for me and the concept of the early church is going to be a focus in my life. With God’s help I am going to develop a battle plan to help bring Unity to the body of Christ. I have made this my life goal, with the intention that this is in direct affiliation with the great commission. I believe the church will be so much more effective in reaching the world when unified. It is unity that will bring the church back into areas of government, education, media, and has already had major breakthroughs in the business world with millions of dollars being given to fund the church and the gospel. Sorry for the Rambling if you have any ideas to add to a plan please let me know. I love you brother, God bless you!

    • profile image

      Wehzo 

      10 years ago

      Thank you Cristina. You are right, there is not enough information about the first few centuries of Church history, at least not enough to quench my hunger. :)

      Thank you too Christine. I love to read/write, there's just not enough time in a day to satisfy my passion for biblical studies. No I'm not aware of any modern day apostles in my circle of friends, but I am always hoping.

      God Bless

    • profile image

      christinekv 

      10 years ago

      Hey Nate -another interesting and informative hub! Good to see you publishing when you can!

      Are you aware of any modern day apostles in your circle of friends or acquaintances?

    • cristina327 profile image

      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 

      10 years ago from Manila

      Great hub, a great information about the early christian church. Thanks for sharing this. There is no much available source about the first centuries of the christian church.

    • profile image

      Wehzo 

      10 years ago

      You are welcome SirDent. I don't get a chance to publish as often as I would like, because of my work schedule, but I love biblical history, and I love learning. It is always a pleasure to share what I learn with others, and vice versa.

      God Bless.

    • profile image

      SirDent 

      10 years ago

      A good history lesson here. Many things I hadn't known or thought about is contained here. Thanks so much for sharing this.

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