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69 - 155

Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, was born in the 1st century AD and formed a link between the Apostles and the early church fathers through his personal acquaintance with the Apostle John. His writings, combatting the Gnostic heresy, helped to establish the canonicity of many New Testament books. He was burned to death around 155 when he refused to renounce Christianity, and his martyrdom was documented in a letter from his church in Smyrna to the church in Philomelium.

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