The relevant statements in the letter, moreover, are supported by the references to Polycarp which we find in the body of Irenaeus's great work.
As to the place, the critics accept proconsular Asia with practical unanimity, thus endorsing Irenaeus's declaration that the Gospel was published in Ephesus.
Irenaeus's testimony is the earliest and admittedly the strongest we possess for the Zebedean authorship; yet, as Calmes admits, " it cannot be considered decisive."
For other and older Coptic-Gnostic texts, in one of which is contained the source of Irenaeus's treatises on the Barbelognostics, but which have unfortunately not yet been made completely accessible, see C. Schmidt in Sitzungsberichte der Berl.
17-21a suggest that it is a later interpolation, such as writings on church discipline were 1 The same motive occurs in the preface to Irenaeus's treatise, Adv.
Even C. Gore, The Church and the Ministry (1889), pp. 119 ff., while inferring a sacerdotal element in Irenaeus's conception of the episcopate, says: "But it is mainly as preserving the catholic traditions that Irenaeus regards the apostolic succession" (p. 120).