Papias (Greek: Παπίας) was a Greek Apostolic Father, Bishop of Hierapolis (modern Pamukkale, Turkey), and author who lived c. 60–163 AD. It was Papias who wrote the Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord (Greek: Λογίων Κυριακῶν Ἐξήγησις) in five books.
This work, which is lost apart from brief excerpts in the works of Irenaeus of Lyons (c. 180) and Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 320), is an important early source on Christian oral tradition and especially on the origins of the canonical Gospels.
Papias of Hierapolis from the Nuremberg Chronicle
|Bishop of Hierapolis, Apostolic Father|
|Died||after c. 100|
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
Eastern Orthodox Church
Very little is known of Papias apart from what can be inferred from his own writings. He is described as "an ancient man who was a hearer of John and a companion of Polycarp" by Polycarp's disciple Irenaeus (c. 180).
The name Papias was very common in the region, suggesting that he was probably a native of the area.
The work of Papias is dated by most modern scholars to about 95–120. Later dates were once argued from two references that now appear to be mistaken. One dating Papias' death to around the death of Polycarp in 164 is actually a mistake for Papylas. Another unreliable source in which Papias is said to refer to the reign of Hadrian (117–138) seems to have resulted from confusion between Papias and Quadratus.
Eusebius refers to Papias only in his third book, and thus seems to date him before the opening of his fourth book in 109. Papias himself knows several New Testament books, whose dates are themselves controversial, and was informed by John the Evangelist, the daughters of Philip and many "elders" who had themselves heard the Twelve Apostles. He is also called a companion of the long-lived Polycarp (69–155). For all these reasons, Papias is thought to have written around the turn of the 2nd century.
Papias describes his way of gathering information in his preface:
I shall not hesitate also to put into ordered form for you, along with the interpretations, everything I learned carefully in the past from the elders and noted down carefully, for the truth of which I vouch. For unlike most people I took no pleasure in those who told many different stories, but only in those who taught the truth. Nor did I take pleasure in those who reported their memory of someone else’s commandments, but only in those who reported their memory of the commandments given by the Lord to the faith and proceeding from the Truth itself. And if by chance anyone who had been in attendance on the elders arrived, I made enquiries about the words of the elders—what Andrew or Peter had said, or Philip or Thomas or James or John or Matthew or any other of the Lord’s disciples, and whatever Aristion and John the Elder, the Lord’s disciples, were saying. For I did not think that information from the books would profit me as much as information from a living and surviving voice.
Papias, then, inquired of travelers passing through Hierapolis what the surviving disciples of Jesus and the elders—those who had personally known the Twelve Apostles—were saying. One of these disciples was Aristion, probably bishop of nearby Smyrna, and another was John the Elder, usually identified (despite Eusebius' protest) with John the Evangelist, residing in nearby Ephesus, of whom Papias was a hearer; Papias frequently cited both. From the daughters of Philip, who settled in Hierapolis, Papias learned still other traditions.
There is some debate about the intention of Papias' last sentence in the above quotation, "For I did not think that information from the books would profit me as much as information from a living and surviving voice." One side of the debate holds, with the longstanding opinion of 20th-century scholarship, that in Papias' day written statements were held at a lower value than oral statements. The other side observes that "living voice" was a topos, an established phrase referring to personal instruction and apprenticeship, and thus Papias indicates his preference for personal instruction over isolated book learning.
Despite indications that the work of Papias was still extant in the late Middle Ages, the full text is now lost. Extracts, however, appear in a number of other writings, some of which cite a book number. MacDonald proposes the following tentative reconstruction of the five books, following a presumed Matthaean order.
Papias provides the earliest extant account of who wrote the Gospels. Eusebius preserves two (possibly) verbatim excerpts from Papias on the origins of the Gospels, one concerning Mark and then another concerning Matthew.
The Elder used to say: Mark, in his capacity as Peter’s interpreter, wrote down accurately as many things as he recalled from memory—though not in an ordered form—of the things either said or done by the Lord. For he neither heard the Lord nor accompanied him, but later, as I said, Peter, who used to give his teachings in the form of chreiai,[Notes 1] but had no intention of providing an ordered arrangement of the logia of the Lord. Consequently Mark did nothing wrong when he wrote down some individual items just as he related them from memory. For he made it his one concern not to omit anything he had heard or to falsify anything.
The excerpt regarding Matthew says only:
How to interpret these quotations from Papias has long been a matter of controversy, as the original context for each is missing and the Greek is in several respects ambiguous and seems to employ technical rhetorical terminology. For one thing, it is not even explicit that the writings by Mark and Matthew are the canonical Gospels bearing those names.
The word logia (λόγια)—which also appears in the title of Papias' work—is itself problematic. In non-Christian contexts, the usual meaning was oracles, but since the 19th century it has been interpreted as sayings, which sparked numerous theories about a lost "Sayings Gospel", now called Q, resembling the Gospel of Thomas. But the parallelism implies a meaning of things said or done, which suits the canonical Gospels well.
The apparent claim that Matthew wrote in Hebrew—which in Greek could refer to either Hebrew or Aramaic—is echoed by many other ancient authorities. Modern scholars have proposed numerous explanations for this assertion, in light of the prevalent view that canonical Matthew was composed in Greek and not translated from Semitic. One theory is that Matthew himself produced firstly a Semitic work and secondly a recension of that work in Greek. Another is that others translated Matthew into Greek rather freely. Another is that Papias simply means "Ἑβραίδι διαλέκτῳ" as a Hebrew style of Greek. Another is that Papias refers to a distinct work now lost, perhaps a sayings collection like Q or the so-called Gospel according to the Hebrews. Yet another is that Papias was simply mistaken.
As for Mark, the difficulty has been in understanding the relationship described between Mark and Peter—whether Peter recalled from memory or Mark recalled Peter's preaching, and whether Mark translated this preaching into Greek or Latin or merely expounded on it, and if the former, publicly or just when composing the Gospel; modern scholars have explored a range of possibilities. Eusebius, after quoting Papias, goes on to say that Papias also cited 1 Peter, where Peter speaks of "my son Mark", as corroboration. Within the 2nd century, this relation of Peter to Mark's Gospel is alluded to by Justin and expanded on by Clement of Alexandria.
We do not know what else Papias said about these or the other Gospels—he certainly treated John—but some see Papias as the likely unattributed source of at least two later accounts of the Gospel origins. Bauckham argues that the Muratorian Canon (c. 170) has drawn from Papias; the extant fragment, however, preserves only a few final words on Mark and then speaks about Luke and John. Hill argues that Eusebius' earlier account of the origins of the four Gospels is also drawn from Papias.
Eusebius concludes from the writings of Papias that he was a chiliast, understanding the Millennium as a literal period in which Christ will reign on Earth, and chastises Papias for his literal interpretation of figurative passages, writing that Papias "appears to have been of very limited understanding", and felt that his misunderstanding misled Irenaeus and others.
The Lord used to teach about those times and say: "The days will come when 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 crushed will yield twenty-five measures of wine. And when one of the saints takes hold of a cluster, another cluster will cry out, "I am better, take me, bless the Lord through me." Similarly a grain of wheat will produce ten thousand heads, and every head will have ten thousand grains, and every grain ten pounds of fine flour, white and clean. And the other fruits, seeds, and grass will produce in similar proportions, and all the animals feeding on these fruits produced by the soil will in turn become peaceful and harmonious toward one another, and fully subject to humankind.… These things are believable to those who believe." And when Judas the traitor did not believe and asked, "How, then, will such growth be accomplished by the Lord?", the Lord said, "Those who live until those times will see."
Eusebius concludes his account of Papias by saying that he relates "another account about a woman who was accused of many sins before the Lord, which is found in the Gospel according to the Hebrews". Agapius of Hierapolis (10th century) offers a fuller summary of what Papias said here, calling the woman an adulteress. The parallel is clear to the famous Pericope Adulterae (John 7:53–8:11), a problematic passage absent or relocated in many ancient Gospel manuscripts. The remarkable fact is that the story is known in some form to such an ancient witness as Papias.
What is less clear is to what extent Eusebius and Agapius are reporting the words of Papias versus the form of the pericope known to them from elsewhere. A wide range of versions have come down to us, in fact. Since the passage in John is virtually unknown to the Greek patristic tradition; Eusebius has cited the only parallel he recognized, from the now-lost Gospel according to the Hebrews, which may be the version quoted by Didymus the Blind.
The nearest agreement with "many sins" actually occurs in the Johannine text of Armenian codex Matenadaran 2374 (formerly Ečmiadzin 229); this codex is also remarkable for ascribing the longer ending of Mark to "Ariston the Elder", which is often seen as somehow connected with Papias.
Judas did not die by hanging but lived on, having been cut down before he choked to death. Indeed, the Acts of the Apostles makes this clear: "Falling headlong he burst open in the middle and his intestines spilled out." Papias, the disciple of John, recounts this more clearly in the fourth book of the Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord, as follows:
"Judas was a terrible, walking example of ungodliness in this world, his flesh so bloated that he was not able to pass through a place where a wagon passes easily, not even his bloated head by itself. For his eyelids, they say, were so swollen that he could not see the light at all, and his eyes could not be seen, even by a doctor using an optical instrument, so far had they sunk below the outer surface. His genitals appeared more loathsome and larger than anyone else's, and when he relieved himself there passed through it pus and worms from every part of his body, much to his shame. After much agony and punishment, they say, he finally died in his own place, and because of the stench the area is deserted and uninhabitable even now; in fact, to this day one cannot pass that place without holding one's nose, so great was the discharge from his body, and so far did it spread over the ground."
Two late sources (Philip of Side and George Hamartolus) cite the second book of Papias as recording that John and his brother James were killed by the Jews. However, modern scholars doubt the reliability of the two sources regarding Papias. According to the two sources, Papias presented this as fulfillment of the prophecy of Jesus on the martyrdom of these two brothers. This is consistent with a tradition attested in several ancient martyrologies.
Papias relates, on the authority of the daughters of Philip, an event concerning Justus Barsabbas, who according to Acts was one of two candidates proposed to join the Twelve Apostles. The summary in Eusebius tells us that he "drank a deadly poison and suffered no harm," while Philip of Side recounts that he "drank snake venom in the name of Christ when put to the test by unbelievers and was protected from all harm." The account about Justus Barsabbas is followed by a one about the resurrection of the mother of a certain Manaem. This account may be connected to a verse from the longer ending of Mark: "They will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them."
Eusebius, despite his own views on Papias, knew that Irenaeus believed Papias to be a reliable witness to original apostolic traditions.
Modern scholars have debated Papias' reliability. Much discussion of Papias's comments about the Gospel of Mark and Gospel of Matthew is concerned with either showing their reliability as evidence for the origins of these Gospels or with emphasizing their apologetic character in order to discredit their reliability. Yoon-Man Park cites a modern argument that Papias's tradition was formulated to vindicate the apostolicity of Mark's Gospel, but dismisses this as an unlikely apologetic route unless the Peter-Mark connection Papias described had already been accepted with general agreement by the early church. Casey argued that Papias was indeed reliable about a Hebrew collection of sayings by Matthew the Apostle, which he argues was independent of the Greek Gospel of Matthew, possibly written by another Matthew or Matthias in the early church.
Others argue Papias faithfully recorded what was related to him, but misunderstood the subjects of narrations he was unfamiliar with.
Alphaeus (from Greek: Ἀλφαῖος) is a man mentioned in the New Testament as the father of two of the Twelve Apostles, namely:
James, son of AlphaeusThere were two men named Alphaeus. One of them was the father of the apostle James and the other the father of Matthew (Levi). Though both Matthew and James are described as being the "son of Alphaeus," there is no Biblical account of the two being called brothers, even in the same context where John and James or Peter and Andrew are described as being brothers.
Alphaeus is traditionally identified with Clopas, based on the identification from parallel Gospel accounts of Mary, the mother of James the third woman with Mary Magdalene and Salome wife of Zebedee beside the cross in Matthew with Mary, the wife of Clopas, the third woman in John's account.
According to the surviving fragments of the work Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord of the Apostolic Father Papias of Hierapolis, who lived c. 70–163 AD, Cleophas and Alphaeus are the same person: "Mary the wife of Cleophas or Alphaeus, who was the mother of James the bishop and apostle, and of Simon and Thaddeus, and of one Joseph" For the Anglican theologian J.B. Lightfoot this fragment quoted above would be spurious.The Catholic Encyclopedia suggests that etymologically, the names Clopas and Alphaeus are different, but that they could still be the same person. Other sources propose that Alphaeus, Clophas and Cleophas are variant attempts to render the Aramaic H in Aramaic Hilfai into Greek as aspirated, or K.Athleta Christi
"Athleta Christi" (Latin: "Champion of Christ") was a class of Early Christian soldier martyrs, of whom the most familiar example is one such "military saint," Saint Sebastian.Church Fathers
The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers, Christian Fathers, or Fathers of the Church were ancient and influential Christian theologians and writers. There is no definitive list. The era of these scholars who set the theological and scholarly foundations of Christianity largely ended by AD 700 (John of Damascus died in 749 AD, Byzantine Iconoclasm began in 726 AD).In the past, the Church Fathers were regarded as authoritative and more restrictive definitions were used which sought to limit the list to authors treated as such. However, the definition has widened as scholars of patristics, the study of the Church Fathers, have expanded their scope.Classical Literature of Greece
This is a list of most influential Greek authors of antiquity (by alphabetic order):
From c.VII B.C- c.VII A.D
Aeschylus - Tragedy
Aesop - Fables
Alcaeus of Mytilene-Lyric Poetry
Anthony the Great-Theology
Apollodorus of Carystus-Comedy
Aristophanes - Comedy
Archimedes - Mathematics, Geometry
Aristotle - Philosophy, Physics, Biology
Aratus - Poetry, Astronomy
Arrian - History
Athanasius of Alexandria-Theology
Claudius Ptolemy -Geography, Astronomy
Clement of Alexandria-Theology, Philosophy
Democritus - Philosophy, Chemistry
Demosthenes - Rhetorics, Politics
Diodorus - History
Diogenes Laërtius - History of Philosophy
Duris of Samos-History
Epimenides of Knossos - Philosophy, Philosophical poetry
Euclid of Megara - Mathematics, Geometry
Euripides - Tragedy
Gorgias - Philosophy
Hegemon of Thasos-Comedy
Herodotus of Halicarnassus - History
Hesiod - Epic Poetry
Hippocrates of Cos - Medicine
Homer - Epic Poetry
Ibycus of Rhegium-Lyric Poetry
Justin the Martyr-Theology, Philosophy
Luke the Evangelist-Theology, Medicine, History
Lycurgus of Athens-Rhetorics
Maximus the Confessor-Theology, Philosophy
Menander - Comedy
Melissus of Samos-Philosophy
Nicomachus of Gerasa-Mathematics
Papias of Hierapolis-Theology
Pherecydes of Leros-Mythography, Logography
Philo of Alexandria-Theology, Philosophy
Pindar - Lyrical Poetry
Plato - Philosophy
Plutarch - History, Biography, Philosophy
Posidippus (comic poet)-Comedy
Protagoras - Philosophy
Pythagoras of Samos-Philosophy, Mathematics, Religion (No works)
Sappho of Lesbos-Lyric Poetry
Socrates-Philosophy (No Works)
Solon - Politics, Philosophy
Thales of Miletus-Philosophy, Mathematics, Astronomy, Physics
Theocritus - Bucolic poetry
Thucydides - History
Xenarchus of Seleucia-Philosophy, Philology
Xenophanes- Philosophy, Theology
Xenophon - History
Zeno of Citium-Philosophy
Zeno of Elea-PhilosophyConfessor of the Faith
The title Confessor, the short form of Confessor of the Faith, is a title given by the Christian Church to a type of saint.Dalua of Tibradden
Saint Dalua of Tibradden (Irish: Do-Lúe, Latin: Daluanus), also called Dalua of Craoibheach, was an early Irish saint who is said to have been a disciple of St. Patrick. He founded a church that became known as Dun Tighe Bretan (Tibradden) which is located today in the townland of Cruagh, Co. Dublin.Great martyr
Great Martyr or Great-Martyr (Greek: μεγαλομάρτυς or μεγαλομάρτυρ, megalomartys or megalomartyr, from megas, "great" + "martyr") is a classification of saints who are venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Rite of Constantinople.
Generally speaking, a Great Martyr is a martyr who has undergone excruciating tortures—often performing miracles and converting unbelievers to Christianity in the process—and who has attained widespread veneration throughout the Church. These saints are often from the first centuries of the Church, before the Edict of Milan. This term is normally not applied to saints who could be better described as hieromartyrs (martyred clergy) or protomartyrs (the first martyr in a given region).Hebrew Gospel hypothesis
The Hebrew Gospel hypothesis (or proto-Gospel hypothesis or Aramaic Matthew hypothesis) is a group of theories based on the proposition that a lost gospel in Hebrew or Aramaic lies behind the four canonical gospels. It is based upon an early Christian tradition, deriving from the 2nd-century bishop Papias of Hierapolis, that the apostle Matthew composed such a gospel. Papias appeared to say that this Hebrew or Aramaic gospel was subsequently translated into the canonical gospel of Matthew, but modern studies have shown this to be untenable. Modern variants of the hypothesis survive, but have not found favour with scholars as a whole.James, son of Alphaeus
James, son of Alphaeus (Ἰάκωβος, Iakōbos in Greek; Hebrew: יעקב בן חלפי Ya'akov ben Halfay; Coptic: ⲓⲁⲕⲱⲃⲟⲥ ⲛⲧⲉ ⲁⲗⲫⲉⲟⲥ) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, appearing under this name in all three of the Synoptic Gospels' lists of the apostles. He is often identified with James the Less (Greek Ἰάκωβος ὁ μίκρος Iakōbos ho mikros, Mark 15:40) and commonly known by that name in church tradition. He is also labelled "the minor", "the little", "the lesser", or "the younger", according to translation. He is distinct from James, son of Zebedee and in some interpretations also from James, brother of Jesus (James the Just). He appears only four times in the New Testament, each time in a list of the twelve apostles.John the Presbyter
John the Presbyter was an obscure figure of the early Church who is either distinguished from or identified with the Apostle John and/or John of Patmos. He appears in fragments from the church father Papias of Hierapolis as one of the author's sources and is first unequivocally distinguished from the Apostle by Eusebius of Caesarea. He is frequently proposed by some as an alternative author of some of the Johannine books in the New Testament.Judas Barsabbas
Judas Barsabbas was a New Testament prophet and one of the 'leading men' in the early Christian community in Jerusalem at the time of the Council of Jerusalem in around 50 A.D.Logia
The term logia (Greek: λόγια), plural of logion (Greek: λόγιον), is used variously in ancient writings and modern scholarship in reference to communications of divine origin. In pagan contexts, the principal meaning was "oracles", while Jewish and Christian writings used logia in reference especially to "the divinely inspired Scriptures". A famous and much-debated occurrence of the term is in the account by Papias of Hierapolis on the origins of the canonical Gospels. Since the 19th century, New Testament scholarship has tended to reserve the term logion for a divine saying, especially one spoken by Jesus, in contrast to narrative, and to call a collection of such sayings, as exemplified by the Gospel of Thomas, logia.Mary, mother of James
Mary is identified in the synoptic gospels as one of the women who went to Jesus' tomb after he was buried. Mark 16:1 and Luke 24:10 refer to "Mary the mother of James" as one of the women who went to tomb, while Matthew 27:56 says that "Mary the mother of James and Joseph" was watching the crucifixion from a distance, while Mark 15:40 calls her "Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses" (NKJV). Although James the younger is often identified with James, son of Alphaeus, the New Advent Encyclopedia identifies him with both James, son of Alphaeus and James the brother of Jesus (James the Just).According to the surviving fragments of the work Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord of the Apostolic Father Papias of Hierapolis, who lived c. 70–163 AD, "Mary, mother of James the Less and Joseph, wife of Alphaeus was the sister of Mary the mother of the Lord, whom John names of Cleophas" For the Anglican theologian J.B. Lightfoot, this fragment quoted above would be spurious.Her relics are said to be both in France and Italy.Mary of Clopas
Mary of Clopas (Ancient Greek: Μαρία ἡ τοῦ Κλωπᾶ, María hē tou Clōpá), was one of the women present at the crucifixion of Jesus and bringing supplies for his funeral. The expression Mary of Clopas in the Greek text is ambiguous as to whether Mary was the daughter or wife of Clopas, but exegesis has commonly favoured the reading "wife of Clopas". Hegesippus identified Clopas as a brother of Saint Joseph. In the Roman Martyrology she is remembered with Saint Salome on April 24.Melchior (magus)
Saint Melchior, or Melichior, was purportedly one of the Biblical Magi along with Caspar and Balthazar who visited the infant Jesus after he was born. Melchior was often referred to as the oldest member of the Magi. He was traditionally called the King of Persia and brought the gift of gold to Jesus. In the Western Christian church, he is regarded as a saint (as are the other two Magi).Michael of Synnada
Michael of Synnada (Michael the Confessor) (died 818) was a bishop of Synnada from 784. He represented Byzantium in diplomatic missions to Harun al-Rashid and Charlemagne. He was exiled by Emperor Leo V the Armenian because of his opposition to iconoclasm. Honored by the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, his feast day is May 23.Papias
Papias may refer to:
Papias (admiral), Roman admiral in the 1st century BCE
Papias of Hierapolis, 2nd-century AD Christian author
Papias (lexicographer), author of Elementarium Doctrinae Erudimentum (1040s)
Papias (butterfly), a genus of skipper butterflies
Papias (Byzantine office), office for eunuchs in the imperial palace administrationSilas
Silas or Silvanus (; Greek: Σίλας/Σιλουανός; fl. 1st century AD) was a leading member of the Early Christian community, who accompanied Paul the Apostle on parts of his first and second missionary journeys.