Peer into Scripture

Daily Reading for February 23 • Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr of Smyrna, 156

Polycarp and the presbyters who are with him, to the church of God that temporarily resides in Philippi. May mercy and peace be multiplied to you from God Almighty and Jesus Christ our savior.

I am writing these things about righteousness, brothers, not on my own initiative but at your request. For neither I nor anyone like me is able to replicate the wisdom of the blessed and glorious Paul. When he was with you he accurately and reliably taught the word of truth to those who were there at the time. And when he was absent he wrote you letters. If you carefully peer into them, you will be able to be built up in the faith that was given you. This faith is the mother of us all, with hope following close after, and the love of God, Christ, and neighbor leading the way. For anyone centered in these has fulfilled the commandment of righteousness. For the one who has love is far removed from all sin.

From the Letter of Polycarp to the Philippians (ca. 110), quoted in The New Testament and Other Early Christian Writings: A Reader, edited by Bart D. Ehrman (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004).

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