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(adv. Haeres. V. 33) adverts to these books; and at the same time he says: Παπίας Ιωάννου μεν ακουστής, Πολυκάρπου δε εταίρος γεγονώς, αρχαίος ανήρ i. e. “ Papias was a hearer of John, and moreover a friend of Polycarp, a man of primitive times.'

The reader, however, would form, as it seems to me, quite an incorrect opinion respecting Papias, should be make it up merely from this declaration of Irenaeus. Eusebius, who makes this quotation from Irenaeus (ubi supra), immediately adds : “But Papias himself, in the proem of his book, does not say at all that he was an eye or ear-witness of the apostles, but only that he learned the things which respect the Christian faith from those who were the familiar acquaintances (tør yuwpiuwv) of the apostles.” The quotations which Eusebius then makes from Papias himself, whose book was before him, seem to me fully to justify his remark which I have just quoted. Papias explicitly says, that he had made it a business to collect together, as much as possible, all the oral traditions and sayings to which he could have access, and which were deserving of credit, respecting the declarations of the apostles and other disciples of Christ ; of which latter class, he names Aristion and "John the presbyter (ó nosoßúrepos). Papias does not seem to intimate that he himself had access personally to the apostles, and thus made inquiries of them ; he says expressly

, that he made his inquiries of elders who were conversant with αpostles-παρα των πρεσβυτέρων καλώς έμαθον.... παρακολουinxórwv rois nt Edutégous, i. e. I learned well of the elders ... who were conversant with the nqxoßurépous,' which means, in this latter case, the apostles and primitive disciples.

I have been thus particular in stating these facts, because they enter essentially into the dispute about the credit due to the declarations of Papias which are yet to be cited. On the one hand he has often been represented as an apostolic man, i. e. a hearer of the apostles themselves, and we are called upon to give him almost the credit due to an inspired witness ; on the other, vigorous efforts have been made to weaken the force of his testimony, particularly because Eusebius calls him (III

. 19), opodpa quixoo's rov vovv, i. e. a man of very small talents, or of very little compass of mind. The statement of Irenaeus above recited, if taken in a limited sense, may, after all, be regarded as correct; that is, Papias may have heard or seen the apostle John at Ephesus, or in its neighborhood, near the close of this apostle's life. That Papias was well-acquainted with

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Polycarp, there can be no good reason to doubt. But that this author, when his book was written which has been already named, had been conversant with any number of the apostles and had derived his 'Een Moers from their oral testimony, there is not a shadow of evidence to prove ; nay, directly the contrary is manifest. He does not even name Polycarp as a source from which he drew; at least this is not done in the passages quoted by Eusebius. Moreover, the place in which he lived and the time when he flourished almost preclude the possibility of his being a γνώριμος των αποστόλων.

But while we are cautioned by such circumstances as these not to claim too much for Papias, I can not, on the other hand, assent to what Hug and many others have endeavoured to make out, viz., that Papias is not worthy of credit, because he was devoted to the collection of oral traditions and has been called

a simpleton by Eusebius. Papias himself, as quoted by Euset's bius, says: “I took no pleasure (ou... šraipov) in such as

talked a great deal, but in those who taught what was true; [I did not give heed] to those who related strange doctrines,

but to those (who related] things which were added to the faith 3 [i. e. to the Christian religion) by the Lord, and which had their Pue origin in the truth itself.” He then goes on to say, that when

ever he met with any one who had been conversant with the Elders, he inquired of them what Andrew, Peter, Philip, etc., had said. In all this, now, I do not perceive, as some writers affect to do, any marks of an enthusiastic and undiscerning collector and retailer of stories or reports, but merely the natural and ardent curiosity of a mind deeply intent on the collection of sayings and doings, that were connected with individuals whose characters were highly venerated, and whose opinions were matters of lively interest to sincere Christians of the second generation.

But Eusebius, in the sequel, names several matters which he found in the volume of Papias, that have respect to miraculous things said to have taken place in regard to Philip one of the apostles, and Barsabas or Justus chosen in the room of Judas, Acts 1: 23; which, however, are nothing peculiarly strange, provided Mark 16: 17, 18 be regarded as true. Besides these, Eusebius says that Papias sets forth ξένας τέ τινας παραβολας του Σωτήρος, και διδασκαλίας αυτού, και τινα άλλα μυθικώτερα, i. e., 'certain strange parables of the Saviour, and 'doctrines of his, and some other things of rather a fabulous hue. By strange Vol. XII. No. 31.


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parables Eusebius doubtless means, such as are not contained in the Gospels. Among the uvoixotapa he names especially the millennial and visible personal reign of Christ upon eartb, after the first resurrection. Eusebius, who was himself a strenuous anti-millenarian, then declares, at the close of these representations, that “Papias was ogóðpa quixoos rov voiv, if one may venture to judge from his book.”

Now here the principal ground of Eusebius' opinion respecting Papias seems to be laid open to our view. First, he gave too much credit to traditionary stories ; and secondly, he was a believer in the millennium as understood in the grosser sense. Both of these reasons are good ones, I acknowledge, for distrust to certain extent, viz., so far as it concerns traditional stories with which the wonderful is intermixed, and so far as it regards ability to interpret the prophetic Scriptures which are highly figurative. But if every man is a simpleton, who exhibits the like traits with Papias as to credulity or ability to interpret that part of the Apocalypse which has respect to the thousand years of Christ's reign, then we might easily make out a large list of simpletons, from ancient and from modern, yea, from recent writers—men too of great eminence and learning in many important respects.

In a matter, then, which does not concern the wonderful, nor yet the mode of interpreting prophecies clothed in language highly figurative, there appears to be no good reason why the testimony of Papias should be any more suspected, than that of any other well meaning and honest witness, who, on some speculative points, would not be able to form an opinion entitled to much consideration, but in the statement of a simple matter of fact would tell the truth without prejudice and without embellishment. Such is the result to which our investigation with regard to Papias seems to conduct us; and his testimony may now be produced and examined to some good advantage.

According to Eusebius, Papias relates a traditionary account which he had heard from John the Presbyter, respecting the composition of the Gospel of Mark, viz., that Mark wrote it down, as he had heard it for substance in the often repeated preaching of Peter. Papias then passes immediately on to a brief mention of the Gospel of Matthew ; but he does not tell us explicitly whether what he then relates was also received from John the Presbyter, or not; although, from the connection in which the passage stands, it seems most natural to con

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clude, that he means to be understood as intimating such to be the case. His words are ; “Matthew wrote oracles (tóyla, accounts, narrations) in the Hebrew dialect; and then each one interpreted them as he could.”*

That by the Hebrew dialect is here meant the language which the Jews of that day spoke and wrote in Palestine, there

can be no rational doubt. This was a mixture of Hebrew, Ex Chaldee, and Syriac, with some modifications in grammar peCNR culiar to itself; as we know from the Jerusalem Targum, writ

a ten not long after this period. We know this, also, from the ENI. few sentences of the native language of Palestine, at that time, cres, 1 which are preserved in the Gospels. ETUI

No claim has ever been set up, I believe, for Papias as a SSHebrew scholar. There is no evidence, and no probability,

e that he had any acquaintance with the Hebrew language. He 0.25! could not judge, then, of a supposed original Hebrew Gospel of 30. Matthew, in consequence of any intimate personal knowledge ne bite of the subject. From common report, or (as in this case seems

most probable) from John the Presbyter, he must have derived n ancient this tradition. From what source John derived it, or who this

John was, or whether he had himself any personal knowledge of the Hebrew-are questions which history does not enable us

to answer. The probability seems to be, from the name of this oy kecane Presbyter (Iwávons), that he was of Jewish origin.

But what is the meaning of the clause : “ Each one interpreted them (the narrations] as he could ?”

Of a written interpretation we cannot think, even for a moment. Had there been many such, as would have been the

case provided we are so to understand Papias, we can scarcely bet est imagine that this would not have been mentioned. The simto ple ineaning seems to be, that each one into whose hands Mat

thew's original Gospel fell, who had any ability to interpret the Hebrew original, did it according to the measure of his ability,

Another limitation still must be added, in order to make out presente any tolerable sense. Papias cannot be understood as referring

to readers to whom the Hebrew was vernacular. These had no need of interpreting a Hebrew Gospel ; for they understood it better as it was, than they could do in the language of any version. Papias, then, must have meant to say, that every

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* Μαθθαίος μέν ούν εβραϊδι διαλέκτω τα λόγια συνεγράψατο, ηρμένευσε δ' αυτά ως ήδύνατο έκαστος. Εuseb. Ηist. Ecc. . 39.

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person who spoke Greek and had more or less knowledge of the Hebrew, made out the sense of Matthew's Hebrew Gospel as well as he could. This would seem to imply, either that there had been a time when there was no regular written translation of Matthew into the Greek, or else that such as could not, or did not, obtain this translation, made out the meaning as well as they could from the original Hebrew. The latter seems to be the more probable meaning of Papias here ; for inasmuch as he speaks of Mark in conjunction with Matthew, there can be scarcely a doubt, as Olshausen has remarked, that the Corpus Evangelicum, or Collection of the Four Gospels, (Ευαγγέλια, Ευαγγελικών) was already in circulation among the churches; and if so, then undoubtedly the Greek translation of Matthew had already been made, and was in use by the churches at large.

On this account, the declaration of Papias, viz., that “ each one interpreted them (the narrations as he could," has been thought to be very strange, and much severe comment has been made upon the good father, on account of this inaccurate and seemingly unmeaning expression. A little candour, however, would remove, as it seems to me, all serious difficulty. We have only to imagine the limitations above stated, and there is nothing in the declaration of Papias which would seem to deserve any special animadversion, believing, as he did, in the es. istence of a Hebrew original of Matthew.

But we have not yet done with this subject. The testimony of Papias, in this case, like all other testimony of the fathers, is a fair subject of examination, while the cause is pending. The witness may lawfully, and in this case must, be cross-examined.

At all adventures, so far as we know, Papias speaks, in regard to the matter before us, what he had learned only by tradition, and not from any personal acquaintance with a Hebrew Gospel. It matters not whether he bad this traditionary account from John the Presbyter, (as seems most probable), or from any other source entitled to the like credit. There can be no reasonable doubt, that such a view of this subject prevailed extensively in the ancient churches; and, I doubt not, it must have been prevalent in the time of Papias. But whence did it originate ? And what are the circumstances which will account for its origin, without necessitating us to suppose it to be matter of fact, that Matthew actually wrote his Gospel in Hebrew? This

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