Did Papias exist?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Kunigunde Kreuzerin
Posts: 1470
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:19 pm
Location: Leipzig, Germany
Contact:

Re: Did Papias exist?

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:46 pm

Charles Wilson wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:31 am
Perhaps, then, "Papias" serves a simple purpose: To the Argument that the Gospels cannot be True because the order of the stories is so jumbled, there appears a "Papias" who was supposed to be within a generation of the original disciples. He could state with authority that the stories were remembered perfectly but not written in the actual order of occurrence.

Problem solved.
Rather, it seems to me, that Papias claims that his work is far superior to the Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Matthew. The claim is, that while no one is to blame both Greek Gospels end up flawed. Mark did an excellent job but unfortunately Peter had not arranged the oracles in order, but adapted them to his lectures. With Matthew it is the other way around. He put it in an orderly form, but in Hebrew, and the translators were only able to interpret it as well as they could.

Eusebius, History of the Church, 3.39.3f. Eusebius, History of the Church, 3.39.15 Eusebius, History of the Church, 3.39.16
But I will not hesitate, also so much I ever very carefully learnt and very carefully memorized (ἐμνημόνευσα) from the Elders to put into properly ordered form (συγκατατάξαι) for you together with the interpretations (ἑρμηνείαις), guaranteeing it’s truth.

Because, unlike the many people, I did not enjoy those who had many things to say, but those who teached (διδάσκουσιν) the true things, not those who memorized (μνημονεύουσιν) other’s commandments, but those (who recalled) the things given from the Lord to the faith and which proceed from the truth itself. But whenever someone, who had closely beside followed (παρηκολουθηκώς) the Elders, came along, I investigated about the words of the Elders what Andrew or what Peter had said or what Philip or what Thomas or James or what John or Matthew or what any of the Lord’s disciples, and whatever Aristion and the elder John, the Lord’s disciples, were saying. Because I did not suppose that the things out of books would profit me as much as the things from a living and remaining voice.
And the elder would say this: Mark, who had become the interpreter (ερμηνευτης) of Peter, wrote accurately, yet not in order (ταξει), as many things as he remembered (εμνημονευσεν) of the things either said or done by the Lord.

For he neither heard the Lord nor followed closely beside (παρηκολουθησεν) him, but later, as I said, Peter, who would make the teachings (διδασκαλιας) to the needs, but not making them as an ordering together (συνταξιν) of the lordly oracles, so that Mark did not sin having thus written certain things as he remembered (απεμνημοσευσεν) them. For he made one provision, to leave out nothing of the things that he heard or falsify anything in them.
Matthew therefore in the Hebrew dialect ordered together (συνεταξατο) the oracles, and each one interpreted (ηρμηνευσεν) them as he was able.


One can understand why the work was not preserved if it ever existed.

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 8643
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Did Papias exist?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:03 pm

Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:46 pm
Rather, it seems to me, that Papias claims that his work is far superior to the Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Matthew. The claim is, that while no one is to blame both Greek Gospels end up flawed. Mark did an excellent job but unfortunately Peter had not arranged the oracles in order, but adapted them to his lectures. With Matthew it is the other way around. He put it in an orderly form, but in Hebrew, and the translators were only able to interpret it as well as they could.
I think this is exactly right.
One can understand why the work was not preserved if it ever existed.
This too. Papias had the advantage of being early, but the disadvantage of being so early that he lacked the reverence for the gospels that later generations demanded.

User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 13293
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: Did Papias exist?

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:24 pm

He put it in an orderly form
Do you think the Greek can be more elastic to even suggest that Matthew used the more correct methodology (i.e. developing his exegesis according to 'prophesy realization')? That the gospel being 'more Jewish' in character (for lack of a better terminology) was the reason for its perceived superiority? The Greek I assume is used of the ordering of troops which doesn't have anything to do with chronological ordering. Papias, as one obsessed with 'the Holy Spirit' thinks 'the Lord' spoke in the beginning (through the prophets) and 'the Lord' spoke again in the gospel in the presence of the apostles. The grounding of the one in the other is 'the correct ordering' Papias is speaking of. Something apparently lacking in Mark's gospel.

User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 13293
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: Did Papias exist?

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:27 pm

I would assume Irenaeus bent the original terminology to mean 'straightened the chronology.' But is it necessarily there in Papias?

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 8643
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Did Papias exist?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:35 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:24 pm
He put it in an orderly form
Do you think the Greek can be more elastic to even suggest that Matthew used the more correct methodology (i.e. developing his exegesis according to 'prophesy realization')? That the gospel being 'more Jewish' in character (for lack of a better terminology) was the reason for its perceived superiority? The Greek I assume is used of the ordering of troops which doesn't have anything to do with chronological ordering.
I am pretty sure that the order to which Papias refers is the order discussed in the context of ancient book publication. You are right that this ordering is not automatically to be assumed to be chronological, but it can be chronological, especially in a history. In other words, all "finished" ancient books were supposed to be "in order" (Lucian, How to Write History 47-48, for example), but what kind of order could differ by genre. Dionysius of Halicarnassus (On Thucydides 9), for example, insists upon a chronological order for histories.

User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 13293
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: Did Papias exist?

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:40 pm

delete

Charles Wilson
Posts: 1620
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:13 am

Re: Did Papias exist?

Post by Charles Wilson » Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:15 pm

All of this, however, begs the question as to what "The Proper Order" might mean. We are invited to accept a "Chronological" Definition here.
Does this necessarily follow?

"Cleansing the Temple" occurs late in the Synoptics yet early in John. What is the "Proper Order" for this?
Examples multiply, especially with John included.

There is something strange going on here and it ain't just with Papias...

User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 13293
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: Did Papias exist?

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:18 pm

Just curious where the smoking gun for a chronological ordering is found in the following sentence:

ὃς πρὸς τὰς χρείας ἐποιεῖτο τὰς διδασκαλίας, ἀλλ' οὐχ ὥσπερ σύνταξιν τῶν κυριακῶν ποιούμενος λογίων, ὥστε οὐδὲν ἥμαρτεν Μάρκος οὕτως
ἔνια γράψας ὡς ἀπεμνημόνευσεν. ἑνὸς γὰρ ἐποιήσατο πρόνοιαν, τοῦ μηδὲν ὧν ἤκουσεν παραλιπεῖν ἢ ψεύσασθαί τι ἐν αὐτοῖς»

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 8643
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Did Papias exist?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:33 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:18 pm
Just curious where the smoking gun for a chronological ordering is found in the following sentence:

ὃς πρὸς τὰς χρείας ἐποιεῖτο τὰς διδασκαλίας, ἀλλ' οὐχ ὥσπερ σύνταξιν τῶν κυριακῶν ποιούμενος λογίων, ὥστε οὐδὲν ἥμαρτεν Μάρκος οὕτως
ἔνια γράψας ὡς ἀπεμνημόνευσεν. ἑνὸς γὰρ ἐποιήσατο πρόνοιαν, τοῦ μηδὲν ὧν ἤκουσεν παραλιπεῖν ἢ ψεύσασθαί τι ἐν αὐτοῖς»
There is no smoking gun. There rarely is. It is all a matter of the best interpretation.

User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 13293
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: Did Papias exist?

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:35 pm

I agree that whoever made the fourfold canon thought that John came to establish the right chronological order. That's what his gospel was doing with the chapter headings and the repetition of Passover references. That's a powerful argument in favor of a chronological sense for σύνταξιν. Irenaeus seems to know this in Book 2 and the discussion of the year of favor and how John can be used to get away from the year long ministry. But it is interesting that Irenaeus also seems to imply (1.8) that it means something else and Clement too. The arrangement there is that the oracles give us a image of Christ, the orderly arrangements of sayings like a mosaic. Odd that Irenaeus would have two meanings. You might be right. I don't know.

Post Reply