Posted: Jun 16, 2017 8:20 am
by RealityRules
RealityRules wrote:
There are other dubious texts attributed to dubious characters, such as

a/ Papias and Fragments of Papias supposedly remnants from a 5-volume The 'Exposition of the Oracles of the Lord'

It is debated, however, whether the Gospels of Matthew and Mark to which Papias refers were the same as the ones we know today. In Matthew's case, for example, Papias seems to refer to a "sayings" Gospel rather than a narrative one —referring only to the "oracles of Jesus" rather than both "sayings and deeds," as in Mark's case. Also, in the case of both Gospels, scholars have noted significant differences among the earliest manuscripts, all of which postdate Papias. Thus it is impossible to know with certainty what version of either Gospel he himself knew.

Papias also [supposedly] related a number of traditions regarding Jesus' teaching concerning the coming Kingdom of God, characterizing it as a literal reign on earth in which fruit, grain, and animal life would be marvelously productive, and humans would enjoy delicious foods. Eusebius called these and other teachings of Papias "strange parables and teachings of the savior, and some other more mythical accounts." Regarding the latter ..Papias [supposedly] related an account of Judas Iscariot immediately before his death, in which he describes Judas in gruesome detail as grotesquely swollen, putrid-smelling, and possessing huge genitalia. Papias also reported a story about a certain disciple named Justus Barsabas, who drank snake venom but suffered no harm. He also related a tale via a daughter of Philip the Evangelist concerning the resurrection of a corpse (Hist. Eccl. 3.39).

Eusebius further states that Papias "reproduces a story about a woman falsely accused before the Lord of many sins." Although Eusebius did not elaborate, biblical scholar J. B. Lightfoot identified this with the Pericope Adulterae—the story of the woman taken in adultery. Since the story does not appear in the earliest manuscripts of the Gospel of John, many scholars believe that the Pericope Adulterae must have been a later addition, and Papias seems like 'a likely candidate' as the 'written source' of the story.

Eusebius may have been putting word in Papias' mouth, too. As noted previously -
Papias 'himself' describes how he gathered his information, in an account 'preserved' by Eusebius of Caesaria..

Schoedel [wrote] about Papias (The Anchor Bible Dictionary, v. 5, p. 140):

    According to Irenaeus, our earliest witness, Papias was "a hearer of John and a companion of Polycarp, a man of primitive times," who wrote a volume in "five books" (haer. 5.33.4; quoted by Eusebius Hist. Eccl. 3.39.1). [Yet] Eusebius 'already' doubted the reality of a connection between Papias and the apostle John on the grounds that Papias himself in the preface to his book distinguished the 'apostle John' from John-the-presbyter, and seems to have had significant contact only with John the presbyter and a certain Aristion (Hist. Eccl. 3.39.3-7). Eusebius' skepticism was no doubt prompted by his distaste - perhaps a recently acquired distaste (Grant 1974) - for Papias' chiliasm and his feeling that such a theology qualified Papias for the distinction of being "a man of exceedingly small intelligence" (Hist. Eccl. 3.39.13). Nevertheless Eusebius' analysis of the preface is probably correct; and his further point that Papias' chiliasm put him to the same camp as the Revelation of John is surely relevant. It is notable that Eusebius, in spite of his desire to discredit Papias, still places him as early as the reign of Trajan (A.D. 98-117); and although later dates (e.g., A.D. 130-140) have often been suggested by modern scholars, Bartlet's date for Papias' literary activity of about A.D. 100 has recently gained support (Schoedel 1967: 91-92; Kortner 1983: 89-94, 167-72, 225-26).

Papias 'attests' the role that 'oral tradition' continued to play in the first half of the second century. Papias himself preferred "the living voice" to what could be found in books. Nevertheless, Papias seems to have known the Gospels, and he [supposedly] provides the earliest tradition concerning the authorship of the Gospel of Mark. The testimony of Papias concerning Matthew is more problematic. Eusebius says that Papias also "made use of testimonies from the first letter of John and likewise from that of Peter" (Hist. Eccl. 3.39.17).