Did Papias exist?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Post Reply
User avatar
Giuseppe
Posts: 8628
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:37 am
Location: Italy

Did Papias exist?

Post by Giuseppe » Tue Feb 09, 2021 4:44 am

What is the probability of the coincidence of the following two facts:
  • Papias comes from Greek παπάς (papás) = 'priest' or Greek Πάπας (Pápas) = 'Pope'

  • Papias existed.
Too much divine coincidence, here.

Kunigunde Kreuzerin
Posts: 1470
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:19 pm
Location: Leipzig, Germany
Contact:

Re: Did Papias exist?

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Tue Feb 09, 2021 10:33 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 4:44 am
What is the probability of the coincidence of the following two facts:
  • Papias comes from Greek παπάς (papás) = 'priest' or Greek Πάπας (Pápas) = 'Pope'

  • Papias existed.
Too much divine coincidence, here.
I have a better one ;)

  • Papias comes from Greek πάπια (papia) = 'duck'
  • And if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it probably is a ...

perseusomega9
Posts: 819
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:19 am
Contact:

Re: Did Papias exist?

Post by perseusomega9 » Tue Feb 09, 2021 10:48 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 4:44 am
What is the probability of the coincidence of the following two facts:
  • Papias comes from Greek παπάς (papás) = 'priest' or Greek Πάπας (Pápas) = 'Pope'

  • Papias existed.
Too much divine coincidence, here.
you're going to have to unpack that a little more than your usual vague implications

davidmartin
Posts: 735
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:51 pm

Re: Did Papias exist?

Post by davidmartin » Wed Feb 10, 2021 4:46 am

If Papias didn't exist it would have been necessary to invent him :)

But I think he existed, why not?
He's embarrassing. I like that about him. He comes over as actually believing what he believes

Kunigunde Kreuzerin
Posts: 1470
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:19 pm
Location: Leipzig, Germany
Contact:

Re: Did Papias exist?

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Thu Feb 11, 2021 6:29 am

perseusomega9 wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 10:48 am
Giuseppe wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 4:44 am
Too much divine coincidence, here.
you're going to have to unpack that a little more than your usual vague implications
Giuseppe, we really should do this. At the very least, it makes sense to ask what happens if we assume that Papias didn't exist or not as depicted. It seems to me that you have to start chronologically with the earliest legend layer. This is Irenaeus and the anti-Marcionite prologue. Both are about John the Evangelist and both are suspicious. (I copied from Ben's webpage)

Look, this suspicious mention of the number of Papias' books when there is absolutely no good reason for it.

The Anti-Marcionite prologue of GJohn Irenaeus, Against Heresies 5.33.3-4
This gospel, then, after the apocalypse was written was made manifest and given to the churches in Asia by John, as yet still in the body, as the Heiropolitan, Papias by name, dear disciple of John, transmitted in his Exoteric, that is, the outside five books. He wrote down this gospel while John dictated.

Truly Marcion the heretic, when he had been disapproved by him because he supposed contrary things, was thrown out by John. He in truth carried writings or epistles sent to him from the brothers who were in Pontus, faithful in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The blessing thus predicted pertains, without [fear of] contradiction, to the times of the kingdom, when the just, rising from the dead, will reign, when even the creation, renewed and liberated, will produce a multitude of foods of all kinds from the dew of heaven and the fertility of the earth, just as the elders who saw John the disciple of the Lord remembered that they had heard from him how the Lord would teach about those times and would say: The days will come in which vines will grow, each having ten thousand shoots, and on each shoot ten thousand branches, and on each branch ten thousand twigs, and on each twig ten thousand clusters, and in each cluster ten thousand grapes, and each grape, when pressed, will give twenty-five measures of wine. And, when one of those saints takes hold of a cluster, another cluster will clamor: I am better, take me, bless the Lord through me! Similarly a grain of wheat also will generate ten thousand heads, and each head will have ten thousand grains, and each grain five double pounds of clear and clean flour. And the remaining fruits and seeds and herbiage will follow through in congruence with these, and all the animals using these foods which are taken from the earth will in turn become peaceful and consenting, subject to men with every subjection.

These things Papias too, who was a earwitness of John and companion of Polycarp, and an ancient man, wrote and testified in the fourth of his books. For there are five books written by him. And he adds, saying: But these things are believable by the believers. And, he says, Judas the traitor did not believe and asked: How therefore will such generations be brought to completion by the Lord? The Lord said: Those who come into those [times] will see.


davidmartin
Posts: 735
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:51 pm

Re: Did Papias exist?

Post by davidmartin » Thu Feb 11, 2021 6:52 am

If Papias, or anyone, truly had an authentic tradition then Irenaeus would have been all over it and trumpeting it from the rooftops

Either Papias didn't or his account was a problem - since it is claimed Papias did have one - then it is the latter - his writings were a problem
Papias did not support the later church father claims
That is why his writings were not copied or very selectively quoted from and even then they are a problem
That is why he most likely existed
Had he been fictional he would have magically supported the later church fathers. He doesn't

Thus, isn't it most likely that Papias recorded it was the presbyter John not the apostle who is mostly referred to here?
The presbyter who Marcion encountered, the presbyter who Papias knew and was a disciple of, the presbyter who was the final redactor of John's gospel and author of the 1/2/3 John epistles

Now we are getting somewhere

gryan
Posts: 177
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:11 am

Re: Did Papias exist?

Post by gryan » Thu Feb 11, 2021 7:10 am

Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:
Thu Feb 11, 2021 6:29 am

[as the Heiropolitan, Papias by name, dear disciple of John

So, Hiero meaning “sacred,” “priestly" + polis meaning "city," perhaps. Is that a geographical place? Or a state of mind?

Kunigunde Kreuzerin
Posts: 1470
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:19 pm
Location: Leipzig, Germany
Contact:

Re: Did Papias exist?

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Thu Feb 11, 2021 12:50 pm

gryan wrote:
Thu Feb 11, 2021 7:10 am
Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:
Thu Feb 11, 2021 6:29 am

as the Heiropolitan, Papias by name, dear disciple of John
So, Hiero meaning “sacred,” “priestly" + polis meaning "city," perhaps. Is that a geographical place? Or a state of mind?
Good call!

Kunigunde Kreuzerin
Posts: 1470
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:19 pm
Location: Leipzig, Germany
Contact:

Re: Did Papias exist?

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Thu Feb 11, 2021 1:10 pm

davidmartin wrote:
Thu Feb 11, 2021 6:52 am
If Papias, or anyone, truly had an authentic tradition then Irenaeus would have been all over it and trumpeting it from the rooftops

Either Papias didn't or his account was a problem - since it is claimed Papias did have one - then it is the latter - his writings were a problem
Papias did not support the later church father claims
That is why his writings were not copied or very selectively quoted from and even then they are a problem
That is why he most likely existed
Let's see if the hypothesis works ...

The invention of Papias is in any case part of the Johannine invention in Ephesus. Rome had already landed a coup, had secured Peter and Paul as the two greatest apostles and knitted the legend of their martyrdom in Rome. Ephesus struck back, built the great Johannine tradition and invented the Presbyters and Papias as guarantors.

somehow in this direction :ugeek:

John2
Posts: 3585
Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:42 pm

Re: Did Papias exist?

Post by John2 » Thu Feb 11, 2021 1:32 pm

Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:
Thu Feb 11, 2021 6:29 am

It seems to me that you have to start chronologically with the earliest legend layer. This is Irenaeus and the anti-Marcionite prologue. Both are about John the Evangelist and both are suspicious. (I copied from Ben's webpage)

Look, this suspicious mention of the number of Papias' books when there is absolutely no good reason for it.

The Anti-Marcionite prologue of GJohn Irenaeus, Against Heresies 5.33.3-4
This gospel, then, after the apocalypse was written was made manifest and given to the churches in Asia by John, as yet still in the body, as the Heiropolitan, Papias by name, dear disciple of John, transmitted in his Exoteric, that is, the outside five books. He wrote down this gospel while John dictated.


I've never taken a close look at what the anti-Marcionite prologue to John says about Papias before, but now that I have I think all this is saying about Papias is that he said the presbyter John was alive in his time and that he learned from him ("as yet still in the body, as the Heiropolitan, Papias by name, dear disciple of John, transmitted in his Exoteric"). I don't think this is saying that Papias said anything about the the gospel of John or that the presbyter John he learned from dictated the gospel of John to him. All that stuff appears to be speculation by whoever wrote the prologue.
Last edited by John2 on Thu Feb 11, 2021 2:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Post Reply