Thursday, July 26, 2012

Papias Fritas

Papias confused me.  What few strips of his writings there are to not constitute any substantial, um, substance to the faith.  You'll notice my quote from the intro.  I'm actually glad we can only find fragments of his works.  His works and 2 Clement, being written in the middle of the 2nd century, do not have the inspiration that the works before them had.

Intro: “It seems unjust to the holy man of whose comparatively large contributions to early Christian literature such mere relics have been preserved, to set them forth in these versions, unaccompanied by the copious annotations of Dr. Routh.”  “Irenæus makes mention of these as the only works written by him, in the following words: “Now 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.””

6. It seems that if Papias had all his manuscripts, he would have good background on the Apostles.  But then, would it all be accurate.  He mentions Philip, Peter, Matthew, and especially Mark, who he goes into detail about.  “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.”

8. “With regard to the inspiration of the book (Revelation), we deem it superfluous to add another word; for the blessed Gregory Theologus and Cyril, and even men of still older date, Papias, Irenæus, Methodius, and Hippolytus, bore entirely satisfactory testimony to it.”

9. Is he allegorizing the six days of creation?  Please don’t do that.

10.  The origin of the legend that Jesus’s brothers were adopted cousins, which is never hinted at in Scripture.  People think this was actually written by a Medieval Papias, not the one of antiquity.

Maybe the latter is why this is now in fragments.  Although it still would have been good to have background on the apostles if it was accurate.  Notice, he also mentioned a third way that Judas Iscariot died.  Both this and 2 Clement were written in the middle of the second century, so there is not much chance of them knowing the apostles.

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