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Eusebius dates it to the reign of Marcus Aurelius, c. However, a post-Eusebian addition to the Martyrdom of Polycarp dates his death to Saturday, February 23, in the proconsulship of Lucius Statius Quadratus — which works out to be 155 or 156.

Lightfoot would argue for the earlier date of Polycarp's death, with which Killen would strongly disagree. However the earlier date of 156 is generally accepted.

Irenaeus said that on certain things the two bishops speedily came to an understanding, while as to the time of Easter, each adhered to his own custom, without breaking off communion with the other.

Polycarp followed the eastern practice of celebrating the feast on the 14th of Nisan, the day of the Jewish Passover, regardless of what day of the week it fell on.

Dieser Frage geht die Aktion „7 Wochen ohne“ der evangelischen Kirche nach.

Polycarp is regarded as a saint and Church Father in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches. It is recorded by Irenaeus, who heard him speak in his youth, and by Tertullian, Saint Jerome wrote that Polycarp was a disciple of John and that John had ordained him bishop of Smyrna.

Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, tells us that they assembled on Saturdays...

to worship Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Sabbath." Some feel that the expression the Great Sabbath refers to the Christian Passover or another annual holy day.

The early tradition that expanded upon the Martyrdom to link Polycarp in competition and contrast with John the Apostle who, though many people had tried to kill him, was not martyred but died of old age after being exiled to the island of Patmos, is embodied in the Coptic language fragmentary papyri (the "Harris fragments") dating to the 3rd to 6th centuries.