Did Papias know of Gospel of Peter?

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Did Papias know of Gospel of Peter?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Mar 15, 2020 5:46 pm

Joseph D. L. wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 5:27 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 3:47 pm
I mean: why would Papias tell us that Mark wrote down Peter's preaching from memory to create a gospel that is written in the first person as if by Peter himself (the gospel of Peter)? To introduce Mark (the person, not the gospel) is superfluous and even downright weird in that scenario: is Papias suggesting that Mark wrote as if he were Peter?
Isn't there one tradition [not in Papias of course] that Mark took notes from what Peter recited to him? I can't remember.
Sure. But Papias suggests no such thing. He specifically says that Mark wrote from memory, which does not sound like an attempt to explain the gospel of Peter. In fact, the gospel of Peter, presenting itself as a first person account by Peter himself, is pretty much the least likely gospel Papias could have in mind. Pretty much any anonymous gospel text (like Mark itself, or Matthew or John or whatever) could at least hypothetically be passed off as Marcan memories of Petrine preachiing... but not the gospel of Peter! It claims to have been written by Peter himself, not by an erstwhile follower from memory.
Again, I'm not suggesting that either a Mark or a Peter wrote this. It's only important if Papias thought that.
Agreed!

As the elders who saw John the disciple of the Lord remembered that they had heard from him how the Lord taught in regard to those times, and said]: The days will come in which vines shall grow, having each ten thousand branches, and in each branch ten thousand twigs, and in each true twig ten thousand shoots, and in every one of the shoots ten thousand clusters, and on every one of the clusters ten thousand grapes, and every grape when pressed will give five-and-twenty metretes of wine. And when any one of the saints shall lay hold of a cluster, another shall cry out, 'I am a better cluster, take me; bless the Lord through me.' In like manner, [He said] that a grain of wheat would produce ten thousand ears, and that every ear would have ten thousand grains, and every grain would yield ten pounds of clear, pure, fine flour; and that apples, and seeds, and grass would produce in similar proportions; and that all animals, feeding then only on the productions of the earth, would become peaceable and harmonious, and be in perfect subjection to man. [Testimony is borne to these things in writing by Papias, an ancient man, who was a hearer of John and a friend of Polycarp, in the fourth of his books; for five books were composed by him. And he added, saying, Now these things are credible to believers. And Judas the traitor, says he, not believing, and asking, 'How shall such growths be accomplished by the Lord.' the Lord said, 'They shall see who shall come to them.' These, then, are the times mentioned by the prophet Isaiah: 'And the wolf shall lie, down with the lamb,' etc. Isaiah 11:6 ff..]

This is Irenaeus, who has a lot of incentive to minimize the number of connections between Jesus and his own generation. Nearly all of the church fathers after Papias claimed that Papias heard from the apostle John himself; you could give a dozen or more such testimonies. What I am interested in is what Papias himself claimed, because he appears to have claimed no such thing. He does not even claim, according to the quotation, to have heard John the Elder directly.

[Papias, who is now mentioned by us, affirms that he received the sayings of the apostles from those who accompanied them, and he moreover asserts that he heard in person Aristion and the presbyter John. .... He moreover hands down, in his own writing, other narratives given by the previously mentioned Aristion of the Lord's sayings, and the traditions of the presbyter John.

And this is Eusebius. The problem here is that this is his interpretation of the except he has just quoted from Papias, and in that excerpt Papias makes no such claim! You are reading (and believing) the hype men but not examining Papias' quotation itself.
That Gospel of Peter is linked to the Asiatic traditions of John.
I agree there is a connection there.

I also agree that the gospel of Peter (probably) contains early traditions.

What simply cannot be is that it is the text intended by Papias (or by the Elder). It just does not fit the description.
And that the Gospel he refers to as Mark is not our Mark because of certain features described therein.
He says it contains things said and done by the Lord. That could easily be Mark. He says it was "out of order." Compared to the Asiatic tradition, it is out of order. I am not saying that it absolutely is our Mark, but by the description it sure could be.
But Papias does not know of John, so any comparisons between his Mark and John is off the table. That's not happening.
I agree. (Well, not as vehemently, but still: I agree.) I am not comparing Papias and John, per se. I am comparing Papias and the Asiatic traditions.
So when Papias said, "And the presbyter said this. Mark having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately whatsoever he remembered. It was not, however, in exact order that he related the sayings or deeds of Christ.", it is not because he knows of a Gospel John....
Agreed.
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Re: Did Papias know of Gospel of Peter?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:02 pm

Joseph D. L. wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 5:27 pm
But Papias does not know of John....
Your emphasis here, after we had already agreed on this point, mystifies me.

I think that perhaps part of the issue is that you are having a hard time imagining people being able to tell that a gospel text is out of order without another gospel text to highlight the differences. And, in the abstract, it is certainly possible that this could be the case. But, if you examine the examples I linked you to carefully, you will see that it is not actually the case. Many/most of the examples are of a kind that could easily be seen even in orally recounted stories.

I gave you the example of the Quartodeciman controversy, for example; that is the easiest one to see, since anyone either in Rome or in Asia would know on what day they celebrate the Lord's death. No gospel text required, just the calendar of feast days. The Marcan passion account would not fit in well with the Asiatic practice.

Or consider any story you might want to tell about John the baptist and Jesus himself sort of competing for people to baptize, or of John and Jesus running parallel ministries in any way. Such stories (as we find them in John 1-3) would not even be possible if Mark 1.14 were correct about John already being in prison before Jesus even started his ministry. Noticing this difference in chronology, or in "order," does not require two separate texts; all it requires is one text (Mark) which contains a chronological notice (1.14), which makes many of the stories in John 1-3 impossible. If you want to tell those stories to someone who knows the gospel of Mark, you are pretty much forced to explain that Mark is not written in order.
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Re: Did Papias know of Gospel of Peter?

Post by Joseph D. L. » Sun Mar 15, 2020 8:06 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 5:46 pm
Sure. But Papias suggests no such thing. He specifically says that Mark wrote from memory, which does not sound like an attempt to explain the gospel of Peter. In fact, the gospel of Peter, presenting itself as a first person account by Peter himself, is pretty much the least likely gospel Papias could have in mind. Pretty much any anonymous gospel text (like Mark itself, or Matthew or John or whatever) could at least hypothetically be passed off as Marcan memories of Petrine preachiing... but not the gospel of Peter! It claims to have been written by Peter himself, not by an erstwhile follower from memory.
This is what Eusebius says about the matter:

And thus when the divine word had made its home among them, the power of Simon was quenched and immediately destroyed, together with the man himself. And so greatly did the splendor of piety illumine the minds of Peter's hearers that they were not satisfied with hearing once only, and were not content with the unwritten teaching of the divine Gospel, but with all sorts of entreaties they besought Mark, a follower of Peter, and the one whose Gospel is extant, that he would leave them a written monument of the doctrine which had been orally communicated to them. Nor did they cease until they had prevailed with the man, and had thus become the occasion of the written Gospel which bears the name of Mark.

And they say that Peter — when he had learned, through a revelation of the Spirit, of that which had been done — was pleased with the zeal of the men, and that the work obtained the sanction of his authority for the purpose of being used in the churches. Clement in the eighth book of his Hypotyposes gives this account, and with him agrees the bishop of Hierapolis named Papias. And Peter makes mention of Mark in his first epistle which they say that he wrote in Rome itself, as is indicated by him, when he calls the city, by a figure, Babylon, as he does in the following words: The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, salutes you; and so does Marcus my son. 1 Peter 5:13

[I'm only focusing on the highlighted parts]

So according to Eusebius saying, according Papias, Peter was still alive when the Gospel he [Papias] refers to as Mark was written.

So why is this important? The first person account in Gospel of Peter is there to give authority to Peter. "No shit", you might be saying.

First person narration is a standard narrative device that is present in a myriad of literary works, past and present. The Golden Ass, The Satyricon; works by Lucian; even Odysseus's journey in large part is told through his perspective; hell this is even present in Acts of John, which is written by someone following him around, yet is clear fiction.

People (as Eusebius puts it) already know who Mark is. But how would they ever know who Peter is? Indeed, if you read our Mark would you even assume that its author was relating to you an account third hand? No, because it's written (loosely) as a first hand account.

So a first person perspective in Gospel of Peter would not negate the argument I am putting forward that it was what Papias referred to as Mark

And something I was just thinking about. Papias saying that Mark put Peter's accounts together without thinking about the order could be because of the scenes that happen (in Gospel of Peter) when Peter wasn't there to witness it, like Pilate discussing with his guards, or their witnessing Jesus's resurrection. That problem is present in both Matthew and John, despite its authors being direct witnesses to these events. But Mark has a ready explanation, he was just repeating what Peter told him. So then what's the problem with Gospel of Peter? One can apply to other.

The problem isn't with Gospel of Peter. The problem is Papias, or rather, what we have of him.

Now you make an accusation below:
This is Irenaeus, who has a lot of incentive to minimize the number of connections between Jesus and his own generation. Nearly all of the church fathers after Papias claimed that Papias heard from the apostle John himself; you could give a dozen or more such testimonies. What I am interested in is what Papias himself claimed, because he appears to have claimed no such thing. He does not even claim, according to the quotation, to have heard John the Elder directly.

And this is Eusebius. The problem here is that this is his interpretation of the except he has just quoted from Papias, and in that excerpt Papias makes no such claim! You are reading (and believing) the hype men but not examining Papias' quotation itself.
I don't understand the logic here. Indeed it's a problem that Secret Alias brings up all the time. We don't have Papias. We only have what others said of him and what they said he wrote. And according to them, in his testimonies, he was a hearer of John and Aristion.

And if your sceptisism is about what the traditions they record about Papias are, which is fine, why then are you not sceptical of what they claim Papias wrote? Indeed, as far as we know, what Papias wrote was so foreign to them that they had to redact his writings, meaning that we don't even know if this is what Papias wrote or not.

I feel like you're holding a double standard here.
I agree there is a connection there.

I also agree that the gospel of Peter (probably) contains early traditions.

What simply cannot be is that it is the text intended by Papias (or by the Elder). It just does not fit the description.
Which is fine. We can agree to disagree. But from my perspective Gospel of Peter does fit.
He says it contains things said and done by the Lord. That could easily be Mark. He says it was "out of order." Compared to the Asiatic tradition, it is out of order. I am not saying that it absolutely is our Mark, but by the description it sure could be.
I want to make a note here. Just how out of order is Papias saying Mark is? Because he also says the same thing of the Logia, that it too was hard too understand. It's an assumption that he is saying these things in comparison to the Asiatic traditions. Is it too much to assume that he is saying it about the Western traditions, because he is not dismissing of these texts at all, despite their obliqueness and difficulty compared to some other standard of measurement.
I agree. (Well, not as vehemently, but still: I agree.) I am not comparing Papias and John, per se. I am comparing Papias and the Asiatic traditions.
I also want to make a mention of this. If the tradition of Papias and John is shaky, why then do you take for granted Papias's Asiatic authority? because it is that relation to John that his Asiatic origin is based. Could that not also be as fanciful as him being a hearer of John?
So when Papias said, "And the presbyter said this. Mark having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately whatsoever he remembered. It was not, however, in exact order that he related the sayings or deeds of Christ.", it is not because he knows of a Gospel John....
Agreed.

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Re: Did Papias know of Gospel of Peter?

Post by Joseph D. L. » Sun Mar 15, 2020 8:58 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:02 pm
I think that perhaps part of the issue is that you are having a hard time imagining people being able to tell that a gospel text is out of order without another gospel text to highlight the differences. And, in the abstract, it is certainly possible that this could be the case. But, if you examine the examples I linked you to carefully, you will see that it is not actually the case. Many/most of the examples are of a kind that could easily be seen even in orally recounted stories.
No. That is not my issue. Indeed, if, for example, the narrative had Mary giving birth to Jesus AFTER the dove descended upon him after his baptism, that would be a problem. Obviously. When Jesus gave certain teachings. sayings, etc, would not be an issue.

The problem is that Papias doesn't go into what exactly is out of order with his Mark. You're just assuming that he's comparing it to the Asiatic tradition of putting his death on the 14th of Nissan. The problem could be something else entirely. We simply do not know.
I gave you the example of the Quartodeciman controversy, for example; that is the easiest one to see, since anyone either in Rome or in Asia would know on what day they celebrate the Lord's death. No gospel text required, just the calendar of feast days. The Marcan passion account would not fit in well with the Asiatic practice.
The problem with this is that Papias is comparing a Gospel [Mark] text against it. If it was simply a matter of Mark being out of synch with the calendar, then he could just say that. Instead Papias makes it sound as if from beginning to end the narrative is out of order. Not simply that it puts Jesus's death on the 15th instead of the 14th of Nissan. Indeed, up to a certain point, there is no way of knowing what happens on what days. In the Synoptics, Jesus enters the Temple to cast out the moneylenders and this is the impetus for the Sanhedrin to arrest and kill him. In John this is one of the first things that happen in a career that spans three years. But for a large part of his career, when he preaches, when he performs miracles, etc, is just guess work that can only be gauged by comparing to other accounts.
Or consider any story you might want to tell about John the baptist and Jesus himself sort of competing for people to baptize, or of John and Jesus running parallel ministries in any way. Such stories (as we find them in John 1-3) would not even be possible if Mark 1.14 were correct about John already being in prison before Jesus even started his ministry. Noticing this difference in chronology, or in "order," does not require two separate texts; all it requires is one text (Mark) which contains a chronological notice (1.14), which makes many of the stories in John 1-3 impossible. If you want to tell those stories to someone who knows the gospel of Mark, you are pretty much forced to explain that Mark is not written in order.
That... makes no sense man. If you meant to say that a written account can differ from an oral account, then I can see that and agree, but your example is presuming two written texts being compared to one another. Otherwise, where are the additional stories coming from? Even back then, written sources were considered more authoritative than oral traditions. Which is why the Gospels were written in the first place.

But that's not the issue. The issue is what Papias wrote when compared to our canon. Papias doesn't know a Gospel of John, so any written account in a Mark cannot be compared to it. But again, Papias doesn't say what the problems with Mark are, only that is what not in order. At best Papias can be comparing this to an oral account, but then look at our Matthew and our Mark, (and Luke for that matter.) Despite their synoptic appearance Matthew has a very stark difference in time than Mark does. From chapter 5 to 20, it's almost entirely its own order, until it gets back to chapter 21, then it continues on with the other syncoptics.

Assuming that Papias is talking about our Mark and Matthew, then his comments about not being in a correct order is workable, however, there is the unaddressed issue. What is the right order? Alas Papias doesn't give us that answer.

That's why I assume Gospel of Peter is what Papias is referring to. It's seemingly connecting Johannine and Marcan material, with the curious addition of a first person narrative, and Origen saying that Gospel of Peter and a "Book of James" (Protoevangelium of James??? Gospel of the Hebrews???) hold similar material. Adding that with Theodoret's [admittedly very late] account of Nazarenes using Gospel of Peter, makes everything clear and the only other way to explain it is through a massive amount of reliance on a tradition.

Papias had Gospel of Peter.

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Re: Did Papias know of Gospel of Peter?

Post by Joseph D. L. » Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:07 am

A strange convergence:

And the saying, “Whence hath this man this wisdom,” indicates clearly that there was a great and surpassing wisdom in the words of Jesus worthy of the saying, “lo, a greater than Solomon is here.” And He was wont to do greater miracles than those wrought through Elijah and Elisha, and at a still earlier date through Moses and Joshua the son of Nun. And they spoke, wondering, (not knowing that He was the son of a virgin, or not believing it even if it was told to them, but supposing that He was the son of Joseph the carpenter,) “is not this the carpenter’s son?” And depreciating the whole of what appeared to be His nearest kindred, they said, “Is not His mother called Mary? And His brethren, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us?” They thought, then, that He was the son of Joseph and Mary. But some say, basing it on a tradition in the Gospel according to Peter, as it is entitled, or “The Book of James,” that the brethren of Jesus were sons of Joseph by a former wife, whom he married before Mary.

That's what Origen said about the Gospel of Peter, that it held the eastern tradition that the "brothers of the Lord" were step brothers.

While that pretty much shoots down my Cerinthus theory, it opens up another door. That door being Hegesippus.

I'll be honest, this is a lot to go over and a lot of it I don't understand myself as I've always found this subject baffling. (Hence why I never discuss it) But I'll let our very own Peter Kirby go through it:

http://peterkirby.com/chasing-hegesippus.html

So what does this mean? Good question...

...

...

...

Like I said a lot if is beyond me. And I've currently been awake all weekend so my brain is fried. The skinny is that Hegesippus is himself not all clear as to who's who in relation to Jesus. Simeon is a cousin of Jesus by Cleopas, the brother of Joseph, who had children before he married Mary, and it's implied that James the Just was a cousin too. Essentially, the Eastern tradition, which is supported by Gospel of Peter and Protoevangelium of James, at least to Origen. All of this was to reinforce Mary's status as a perpetual virgin.

What is curious about this is the conflation between Hegesippus and Josephus material, and how the death of James is linked to the Temple destruction. (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, bk. 2, ch. 23).

Take a look at what Gospel of Peter says:

Then the Jews and the elders and the priests, having come to know how much wrong they had done themselves, began to beat themselves and say: 'Woe to our sins. The judgment has approached and the end of Jerusalem.' But I with the companions was sorrowful; and having been wounded in spirit, we were in hiding, for we were sought after by them as wrongdoers and as wishing to set fire to the sanctuary.

Why would the priests and the Jews think the disciples would set fire to the Temple?

The standard argument is the same as for the other Gospels: the authors had knowledge of the Temple destruction in 70 ad, and included it as a fulfilled sign of Jesus. But Gospel of Peter is different as it sets the disciples up as being responsible for the Temple destruction. This is a very curious and bazaar statement. The only way I can piece everything together is that Hegesippus and Gospel of Peter were from the same tradition; the relatives of Jesus were his disciples, and were indirectly the cause for the Temple being destroyed. As far as whether Hegesippus came before the Gospel of Peter or vice versa, I don't know.

And for sake of argument I'll link Peter Kirby's page regarding Papias/Hegesippus too:

http://peterkirby.com/that-hegesippus-was-papias.html

One last bit is something that I'm not even one hundred percent sure if I can accept it, but from the wiki on Gospel of Peter it mentions this:
2nd Clement refers to a passage thought to be from the Gospel of Peter:[13]

2 Clem 5:2
For the Lord saith, Ye shall be as lambs in the midst of wolves.

2 Clem 5:3
But Peter answered and said unto Him, What then, if the wolves
should tear the lambs?

2 Clem 5:4
Jesus said unto Peter, Let not the lambs fear the wolves after they
are dead; and ye also, fear ye not them that kill you and are not
able to do anything to you; but fear Him that after ye are dead
hath power over soul and body, to cast them into the Gehenna of
fire.

[13]Ehrman, Bart. "After the New Testament," Lecture 15. The Teaching Company Limited Partnership, 2005.
Here's a link to it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf-GA338kvM

I haven't watched it yet so I don't know Ehrman's reasoning or arguments, but I'll watch it later.

Follow along with what is reported about Papias:

Testimony is borne to these things in writing by Papias, an ancient man, who was a hearer of John and a friend of Polycarp, in the fourth of his books; for five books were composed by him. And he added, saying, Now these things are credible to believers. And Judas the traitor, says he, not believing, and asking, 'How shall such growths be accomplished by the Lord.' the Lord said, 'They shall see who shall come to them.' These, then, are the times mentioned by the prophet Isaiah: 'And the wolf shall lie, down with the lamb,' etc. Isaiah 11:6 ff..]

Isaiah 6:11:

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
and a little child shall lead them.

The structure of 2 Clement 5:2-4 is similar in structure to that of Papias: there is a setup, Judas/Peter doesn't understand, Jesus gives them the answer. A common trope in the Gospels. What's strange is that this verse quoted (allegedly) by Papias is not in any Gospel. The closest verses that match it are Matthew 10:16 and Luke 10:3, however it is not the same structure as the quote from Papias or 2 Clement.

Maybe it's the fatigue talking. I guess what I'm saying is that Papias and 2 Clement are derived from the same source tradition. And if Erhman is right in that 2 Clement is inferring the Gospel of Peter then the same would hold true for Papias. I'll need to hear what he says.

It's a lot of circumstantial evidence but I think there's enough it to conclude the Gospel Papias refers to as Mark is Gospel of Peter.

Now I'm going to bed for 20 hours.

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Re: Did Papias know of Gospel of Peter?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:38 am

Joseph D. L. wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 8:06 pm
I feel like you're holding a double standard here.
No, the problem is that you and I are on completely different pages so far as the fragments of Papias are concerned. Night and day. As I started to write a response, I felt like I was reinventing the wheel, going over misunderstandings and misinterpretations of the material long since put to rest. I do not have the energy; sorry.
Joseph D. L. wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 8:58 pm
Or consider any story you might want to tell about John the baptist and Jesus himself sort of competing for people to baptize, or of John and Jesus running parallel ministries in any way. Such stories (as we find them in John 1-3) would not even be possible if Mark 1.14 were correct about John already being in prison before Jesus even started his ministry. Noticing this difference in chronology, or in "order," does not require two separate texts; all it requires is one text (Mark) which contains a chronological notice (1.14), which makes many of the stories in John 1-3 impossible. If you want to tell those stories to someone who knows the gospel of Mark, you are pretty much forced to explain that Mark is not written in order.
That... makes no sense man. If you meant to say that a written account can differ from an oral account, then I can see that and agree, but your example is presuming two written texts being compared to one another.
With respect to my own statements, I do not know how to state the matter any more clearly. What I said makes perfect sense; you are missing it or misinterpreting it somehow.
Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Mon Mar 16, 2020 10:26 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Did Papias know of Gospel of Peter?

Post by perseusomega9 » Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:17 am

Joseph D. L. wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:07 am

One last bit is something that I'm not even one hundred percent sure if I can accept it, but from the wiki on Gospel of Peter it mentions this:
2nd Clement refers to a passage thought to be from the Gospel of Peter:[13]

2 Clem 5:2
For the Lord saith, Ye shall be as lambs in the midst of wolves.

2 Clem 5:3
But Peter answered and said unto Him, What then, if the wolves
should tear the lambs?

2 Clem 5:4
Jesus said unto Peter, Let not the lambs fear the wolves after they
are dead; and ye also, fear ye not them that kill you and are not
able to do anything to you; but fear Him that after ye are dead
hath power over soul and body, to cast them into the Gehenna of
fire.

[13]Ehrman, Bart. "After the New Testament," Lecture 15. The Teaching Company Limited Partnership, 2005.
Here's a link to it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf-GA338kvM
Doesn't Peter always speak in the first person in the extant portions of gPeter we have? Why is he not here?

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Re: Did Papias know of Gospel of Peter?

Post by Joseph D. L. » Mon Mar 16, 2020 11:35 am

perseusomega9 wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:17 am
Doesn't Peter always speak in the first person in the extant portions of gPeter we have? Why is he not here?
Ehrman explains it at 21:15 of the lecture I linked to.

The short of it is that on the manuscript containing Gospel of Peter also contains these verses from 2 Clement. But here it is the first person perspective, like Gospel of Peter. So it becomes:

2Clem 5:2
For the Lord saith, Ye shall be as lambs in the midst of wolves.

2Clem 5:3
But I answered and said unto Him, What then, if the wolves
should tear the lambs?

2Clem 5:4
Jesus said unto me, Let not the lambs fear the wolves after they
are dead; and ye also, fear ye not them that kill you and are not
able to do anything to you; but fear Him that after ye are dead
hath power over soul and body, to cast them into the Gehenna of
fire.

This is intriguing. Now look at what Papias says:

And the presbyter said this. Mark having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately whatsoever he remembered. It was not, however, in exact order that he related the sayings or deeds of Christ. For he neither heard the Lord nor accompanied Him. But afterwards, as I said, he accompanied Peter, who accommodated his instructions to the necessities [of his hearers], but with no intention of giving a regular narrative of the Lord's sayings. Wherefore Mark made no mistake in thus writing some things as he remembered them. For of one thing he took special care, not to omit anything he had heard, and not to put anything fictitious into the statements.

So according to Papias (or John), Peter was giving to preaching to the masses but had no desire of writing it down. So that mean he wold have been speaking in the third person. For example, "And he asked us, “But who do you say that I am?” I answered him, “You are the Christ.”".

When it came to Mark to writing it down, (and remember, Peter is still alive according to Papias's account), he could easily have used a first person narrative, signed with "I, Simon Peter", to emphasis that this is his, Peter's, story, not his, Mark's, story. And any counter argument can be nipped in the bud by the divergence of 2 Clement 5:2-4. Even though the question of priority has yet to be fully established, the differing perspectives means that the editors can change it based on their immediate goals.

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Re: Did Papias know of Gospel of Peter?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Mar 16, 2020 11:57 am

Joseph D. L. wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 11:35 am
perseusomega9 wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:17 am
Doesn't Peter always speak in the first person in the extant portions of gPeter we have? Why is he not here?
Ehrman explains it at 21:15 of the lecture I linked to.

The short of it is that on the manuscript containing Gospel of Peter also contains these verses from 2 Clement.
Close.

The manuscript containing what is known (by title) to be the gospel of Peter is papyrus Cairensis 10759, also known as the Akhmîm fragment. It contains (A) the famous passion fragment of the gospel of Peter, (B) the apocalypse of Peter, and (C) 1 Enoch 1-32. Nothing like 2 Clement 5.2-4 appears therein.

It is a separate fragment, papyrus Oxyrhynchus 4009, which contains the parallel to 2 Clement 5.2-4, but (as you note) in the first person.
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Joseph D. L.
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Re: Did Papias know of Gospel of Peter?

Post by Joseph D. L. » Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:23 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:38 am
No, the problem is that you and I are on completely different pages so far as the fragments of Papias are concerned. Night and day. As I started to write a response, I felt like I was reinventing the wheel, going over misunderstandings and misinterpretations of the material long since put to rest. I do not have the energy; sorry.
With all due respect, when you say this:
My own view is: no, Papias did not know the gospel of John. Papias knew the Asiatic tradition which eventually made its way into John. He tells us explicitly whence he is getting his information, and it is not from a written gospel text: it is from passersby (of the missionary variety, most likely) in Hierapolis
And then this:
This is Irenaeus, who has a lot of incentive to minimize the number of connections between Jesus and his own generation. Nearly all of the church fathers after Papias claimed that Papias heard from the apostle John himself; you could give a dozen or more such testimonies. What I am interested in is what Papias himself claimed, because he appears to have claimed no such thing. He does not even claim, according to the quotation, to have heard John the Elder directly.

And this is Eusebius. The problem here is that this is his interpretation of the except he has just quoted from Papias, and in that excerpt Papias makes no such claim! You are reading (and believing) the hype men but not examining Papias' quotation itself.
Leaves me scratching my head. I can accept being sceptical of traditions associated with Papias and John (or Elder John), but that scepticism would then need to extend to what the sources (in this case Irenaeus and Eusebius) tell us Papias wrote. I am in full agreement with Secret Alias on this. If the sources of what we can know about people like Papias are questionable then that calls into question everything. For my part I am very sceptical of both Papias, the man and his writings, and am only using him for a specific goal.

How then can you make the argument that he was comparing Mark against the Asiatic traditions when there is nothing in Papias outside of his connection to Elder John that links him to this. Millenialism? That wasn't limited to the eastern churches. Revelation? But that's just what others believed of Papias. The familial beliefs of Jesus? I'm assuming that you would call that very questionable. Papias himself, at least what we have, does not indicate that he is limited to the eastern churches. For all we know he could be a westerner. The point is we simply do not know.

With respect to my own statements, I do not know how to state the matter any more clearly. What I said makes perfect sense; you are missing it or misinterpreting it somehow.
I probably was misunderstanding you argument. When you used the Mark vs John example it got me preoccupied with John instead of just a generic example. I thought you were being specific.

I feel like frustrations are running high, and because I value your opinion too much, I'll let you have the last word if you feel like correcting me on anything I have said.

All the best, Ben.

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