Camerius of Smyrna

By COGwriter

Camerius was a Church of God leader in Smyrna.

There is little information about him.

The Catholic Encyclopedia notes:

The "Vita Polycarpi" attributed to St. Pionius, a priest of Smyrna martyred in 250, contains a list of the first bishops: Strataes; Bucolus; Polycarp; Papirius; Camerius; Eudaemon (250), who apostatized during the persecution of Decius; (Vailhé, Siméon. "Smyrna." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912)

Camerius is believed to have died around 220 A.D. While Pionius wrote about Eudaemon, Eudaemon was unfaithful--spiritually, it appears that Pionius held succession after Camerius (though Eudaemon may have before his compromise).

Here is what the Life of Polycarp teaches:

27. Now among others whom Polycarp appointed deacons was one named Camerius, who also became bishop the third in succession from him and next after Papirius. This man Polycarp took with him and went into the country, for he was careful to superintend the churches scattered through the villages also. And as he was returning to the city, a widow from a certain field ran up to him in the road and being in great straits brought him a little bird still young; and on his declining to take it, she prevailed upon him, telling him to treat it as an offering. But when evening came, as he generally travelled on his own legs, being tired he decided to put up at a certain inn with Camerius, since the place in question had not yet received the Gospel of grace. Well, it came to pass after supper that when he retired to rest he fell asleep quickly; for voluntary distresses of the body induce rest in solitary places. And when night was nearly half past, an angel of the Lord stood by him and smote his side and said, 'Polycarp.' And he said, 'What is it?' The angel replied, 'Rise and go out of the inn: for it is on the point of falling.' So he woke up and called Camerius. But he, being weighed down with sleep and fatigue together, answered him but not without difficulty: and explaining to him, he tried to induce him to rise. But Camerius replied to him, 'The first sleep is not yet passed, blessed father, and where are we going? Thou art always studying the Scriptures and wakeful. So thou fallest not asleep.' And Polycarp tried to awake him; but he lay still. And when the angel stood by him a second time and said the same thing, again he told Camerius to get up. And on his saying in reply, 'I have trust in God that, while thou art here, the wall will never fall,' Polycarp said, 'I too have trust in God, but I have no trust in the wall' So he fell asleep the third time, and the same word was spoken by the angel. Then he without delay rose first, and Camerius afterwards leapt up hastily. But when they had gone out and had made a little progress on their way, they remembered that they had left the little bird in the inn. When they were distant about a stone's throw, 'Hesitate not,' said he, 'for the blessed widow designated it for an offering.' And he returned and took it: and when he had gone forward a little distance the inn fell entirely to the ground, foundations and all, so that not one of the inmates was saved. Then Polycarp standing and looking up to heaven said; ' O God our Master and Lord Omnipotent, the Father of Thy blessed and holy Son Jesus Christ, who didst foretell the overthrow of the Ninevites by Thy great prophet Jonah, and didst grant him to escape from the dangers, verily I bless Thee that Thou didst rescue us from this danger by the hand of an angel, through whom Thou didst make known unto me that which was about to happen.' (Pionius. Life of Polycarp, Chapter 2. Translated by J. B. Lightfoot, The Apostolic Fathers, vol. 3.2, 1889, pp.502-503).

Since he was a leader in Asia Minor at that time and was ordained by Polycarp of Smyrna, he would have held to Church of God doctrines such as:

The complete Bible with the proper Old Testament and New Testament was relied on by the true Church in Asia Minor--the Smyrnaeans had it as the above articles demonstrate.
Baptism was by immersion.
A Binitarian view was obviously held by the apostolic and post-apostolic true Christian leaders.
Birthdays were not celebrated by early Christians.
Celibacy for Bishops/Presbyters/Elders was not a requirement.
Christmas was not observed by any professing Christ prior to the third century, or ever by those holding to early teachings.
Deification of Christians (which begins after the first resurrection) was taught by the early leaders of the Church.
Duties of Elders/Pastors were pastoral and theological, not predominantly sacramental.
Easter was not observed by the apostolic church.
The Fall Holy Days were observed by true early Christians.
The Father was considered to be God by all early professing Christians.
Holy Spirit was not referred to as God or as a person by any early true Christians.
Hymns were mainly psalms, not praises to Christ.
Idols were taught against, including the use of the cross.
Immortality of the soul or humans was not taught.
Jesus was considered to be God by the true Christians.
The Kingdom of God was preached.
Lent was not observed.
Mary was the mother of Jesus, was blessed (Luke 1:28) and called blessed (Luke 1:48), but was not prayed to, etc. by true early Christians.
Military Service was not allowed for true early Christians.
Millenarianism (a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth) was taught by the early Christians.
Monasticism was unheard of in the early Christian church.
Passover was kept on the 14th of Nisan by apostolic and second Century Christians in Asia Minor.
Pentecost was kept on Sunday by certain Jews and was observed then by professing Christians.
Purgatory was not taught by the original apostolic church.
The Resurrection of the dead was taught by all early Christians
The Sabbath was observed on Saturday by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church.
Salvation was believed to be offered to the chosen now by the early Church, with others being called later, though not all that taught that practiced "the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3).
Sunday was not observed by the apostolic and true post-apostolic Christians.
The Ten Commandments were observed by the apostolic and true post-apostolic Christians.
Tithes and Offerings were given to support the ministry, the churches, the needy, and evangelical travels and proclamation.
Tradition had some impact on the second century Christians but was never supposed to supercede the Bible.
The Trinity was not a word used to describe the Godhead by the apostolic or second century Christians.
The Virgin Birth was acknowledged by all true ante-Nicene Christians.

Some have doubted his existence, but Camerius is in at least of couple of 'succession lists' (see Apostolic Succession).

Anyway, Camerius would have held to Church of God doctrine.

Thiel B., Ph.D. Camerius of Smyrna. 2017 0127

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