Did Papias use 'Gospel according to the Hebrews'?

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MrMacSon
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Did Papias use 'Gospel according to the Hebrews'?

Post by MrMacSon » Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:38 am

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Michael J. Kok (2017) 'Did Papias of Hierapolis Use the Gospel according to the Hebrews as a Source?' Journal of Early Christian Studies 25(1); 29-53

Abstract:
There is a recurring patristic tradition that Matthew composed a gospel in the Hebrew language and that Jewish sects such as the Ebionites or the Nazoreans had access to it. A Papian fragment preserved by Eusebius (h.e. 3.39.17*) credits a story about Jesus’s encounter with a sinful woman to the Gospel according to the Hebrews. Nevertheless, this paper will argue that Eusebius was responsible for this ascription and that Papias of Hierapolis was active before the Jewish Christian gospels that bore this title were composed. Instead, this anecdote was available to Papias and the evangelist Luke from a pool of oral traditions in circulation in Asia Minor.

* Ecclesiastical History 3.39.16-17
  • “Now this is reported by Papias about Mark, but about Matthew this was said, Now Matthew compiled the reports in a Hebrew manner of speech, but each interpreted them as he could… and [he] had also set forth another story about a woman who was accused of many sins before the Lord, which the Gospel according to the Hebrews contains”
Kok has commented further in a blog-post: -
  • There is debate among scholars about whether there was one, two, three, or more Gospel texts being cited by the church fathers who refer to the “Gospel according to the Hebrews.” I follow Luomanen and Gregory that there were two: a Jewish Christian source cited originally by Christians in Alexandria (Clement, Origen, Didymus) and a Gospel harmony attributed to the Jewish Ebionite sect by Epiphanius, while Jerome may have had access to other fragments from the Jewish Nazoraean sect’s translation of Matthew’s Gospel.
  • There are fragments of the Jewish Christian Gospels that show signs of harmonizing Matthew and Luke and, thus, postdate the Synoptic tradition and Papias.
  • Papias got the story of the accused woman from the oral traditions in Asia Minor. Interestingly, many of Papias’s oral traditions are multiply attested by the author of Luke-Acts, while this particular episode evolves into the familiar story of Jesus rescuing an adulteress from getting stoned to death that was interpolated into John 7:53-8:11.
https://jesusmemoirs.wordpress.com/2017 ... e-hebrews/

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rakovsky
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Re: Did Papias use 'Gospel according to the Hebrews'?

Post by rakovsky » Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:49 am

“Now this is reported by Papias about Mark, but about Matthew this was said, Now Matthew compiled the reports in a Hebrew manner of speech, but each interpreted them as he could… and [he] had also set forth another story about a woman who was accused of many sins before the Lord, which the Gospel according to the Hebrews contains”
By "he", I think you mean Papias, and that Eusebius was writing about Papias. ie. Papias set forth the story which the Gospel according to the Hebrews contains. It does not specify whether Papias got the story from the latter, so all you can theorize is that Papias had a story that showed up in the latter, and so it isn't clear which writer or writing used the story first or took it from the other.

It's frustrating that these works like Papias' and Hegessipus' got lost, whereas we do have preserved texts like Ignatius' letters, the Epistle of Barnabas, Justin Martyr's works, etc. Maybe Papias' and Hegessipus' works were considered to have mistaken material and were discarded or not reproduced as a result. As I remember it, a later writer rejected Papias' theory of chiliasm.

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DCHindley
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Re: Did Papias use 'Gospel according to the Hebrews'?

Post by DCHindley » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:35 am

rakovsky wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:49 am
“Now this is reported by Papias about Mark, but about Matthew this was said, Now Matthew compiled the reports in a Hebrew manner of speech, but each interpreted them as he could… and [he] had also set forth another story about a woman who was accused of many sins before the Lord, which the Gospel according to the Hebrews contains”
By "he", I think you mean Papias, and that Eusebius was writing about Papias. ie. Papias set forth the story which the Gospel according to the Hebrews contains. It does not specify whether Papias got the story from the latter, so all you can theorize is that Papias had a story that showed up in the latter, and so it isn't clear which writer or writing used the story first or took it from the other.

It's frustrating that these works like Papias' and Hegessipus' got lost, whereas we do have preserved texts like Ignatius' letters, the Epistle of Barnabas, Justin Martyr's works, etc. Maybe Papias' and Hegessipus' works were considered to have mistaken material and were discarded or not reproduced as a result. As I remember it, a later writer rejected Papias' theory of chiliasm.
That writer was Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea. He felt that Papias was ignorant of the "fact" that if Jesus referred to a 1,000 year kingdom of God located on earth, he meant it to be taken figuratively. IIRC, it was Origen who first advocated figurative interpretations of statements in scripture, and it quickly became the de-facto norm as it removed so many interpretative difficulties. Everyone "knows" that a literal 1,000 year kingdon on earth was obviated by the destruction of the temple by Vespasian & Titus, so it just *had* to be figurative. Eusebius apparently felt Papias *could* have figured it out if he gave such matters the serious investigation that Origen had applied, as papias lived after the destruction.

DCH (back to work boss)

John2
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Re: Did Papias use 'Gospel according to the Hebrews'?

Post by John2 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:48 am

rakovsky wrote:
It's frustrating that these works like Papias' and Hegessipus' got lost, whereas we do have preserved texts like Ignatius' letters, the Epistle of Barnabas, Justin Martyr's works, etc. Maybe Papias' and Hegessipus' works were considered to have mistaken material and were discarded or not reproduced as a result.

In the case of Papias and Hegesippus, I think it's because they are Jewish Christian (or Jewish Christian-related) writings, and since orthodox Christians "won" they decided what writings to use and keep (i.e., orthodox stuff). Had (a form of) Jewish Christianity prevailed, perhaps you would be lamenting the loss of Ignatius, Barnabas and Justin Martyr today.
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