Bowen-Hinman Debate Argument 2:Papias

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I am going to be unconventional and start with a point from down in the body of the text: the issue of who were the elders in Papias' famous statement about Aristion and Elder John (EJ). Get to know it because that quote is at the enter of this debate.

"The Elders" could be Apostles. My position is that Papias does refer to two different Johns, that he knew them both and both knew Jesus.

Now we might as well deal with the issue of the statement and the problem with it because it will be crucial. There is more than one way to understand it. Skeptics want to make the elders into a separate group and to make those who related the words of the elders into yet a fourth group. I am not necessarily sold on this; I am not set in concrete either way, but I can see the possibility that the Elders are not a second group. Look again:

 I shall not hesitate to set down for you along with my interpretations all things which I learned from the elders 
[Very possible that he means the Apostles here, why? Because why say he learned from the elders if they are a second group in a four tier process? Why not say he learned from Apostles through elders and the indeterminate group who related  their words ? He could very well call Apostles elders here. Look at quote:]

 with care and recorded with care, being well assured of their truth. For unlike most men, I took pleasure not in those that have much to say but in those that preach the truth, not in those that record strange precepts but in those who record such precepts as were given to the faith by the Lord and are derived from truth itself. Besides if ever any man came who had been a follower of the elders

[It makes no sense here to say they had followed the elders when the elders are just the group of messengers relaying the Apostles' words. They were all followers of the apostles.]
 I would inquire about the sayings of the elders; what Andrew said, or Peter or Philip or Thomas, or James, or John or Matthew, or any other of the Lord's disciples; 
[He's just said two very important things (1) he calls a a string of Apostles elders (2) he calls them all the Lord's disciples. So calling EJ "disciple" probably does imply that, like the Apostles, he saw the Lord. Now we come to the non Apostles in the statement. The real distinction here is not between Apostle and disciples but between living and dead.]

 and what Aristion says, and John the Elder, who are disciples of the Lord. For I did not consider that I got so much from the content of books as from the utterances of living and abiding voices..."

Bradley uses a translation based upon Lightfoot and worked up by Harmer and others to back  a different reading. I use a new translation by Miear discussed below.

Btw, that quote is really most valuable because it is telling us about the tail end of the oral tradition and the coming of the written word. The important thing here is the tense "who are" (yellowy highlight). In the Greek, the things he says about the Apostles are past tense, "what so and so  said", and then what these Aristion and EJ say who are disciples. They are still going. Matthew is dead, Philip and Andrew, they are all dead, but Aristion and EJ are still going.

Now here's why that's important: while it is true that he speaks of what he learned from the Apostles, he's not saying the only thing he knows about the Apostles is what this group of people from the elders told him. He is talking about why he likes oral tradition, and then emphasizing that he keeps up with what EJ and Aristion are doing. This is during the time when the old guard was challenged; the elder of the Johanine epistles (EJ?) was being challenged so that elder was saying I am connected to the truth tree and I'm in touch.


The first sentence of Joe Hinman’s argument from the external evidence of Papias makes a very dubious claim:
Papias was the student of the Apostle John. This claim was explicitly rejected by Eusebius, the first historian of Christianity:

Yet Papias himself, in the preface to his discourses, indicates that he was by no means a hearer or eyewitness of the holy apostles, but shows by the language he uses that he received the matters of the faith from those who had known them… (Church History 3.39 quoted in: The Apostolic Fathers, edited & revised by Michael Holmes, p.563)

Hinman: (1) No modern scholar actually credits Eusebius with any real factual knowledge on the matter. We all know he was motivated by his hatred of chiliasm in eschatology and Papias was a chiliast. (2) Eusebius clearly accepted that EJ was follower of Jesus.


Hinman quotes from the Anchor Bible Dictionary article by William Schoedel on “Papias (PERSON)”. In that article Schoedel agrees with the view of Eusebius that Papias was NOT an “eyewitness of the holy apostles”:

Hinman: But I don't agree with him on that point.


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). …
Hinman: All that proves is that he knew two guys named John as opposed to just one. He does not say that he did not know the Apostle; if we take the term elder to include Apostles then he did claim to know the elders."I shall not hesitate to set down for you along with my interpretations all things which I learned from the elders" 


            Eusebius’ analysis of the preface is probably correct…

Hinman:  (1) It's based upon doctrinal bias rather than facts (he also says Papias was stupid but he had no basis for that either). That was all based upon Papias' end times views which Eusebius did not like.

(2) Other than the author of John's epistles signing as "the elder", there is no example of record of an Elder John in church history.

(3) EJ knew Jesus. 

(4) Most of my Christian life I've supported the idea of EJ and I still do. But there's reason and room for two Johns in the world of the early church and they both knew Jesus.


Schoedel is not the only scholar who accepts the view of Eusebius. A N.T. scholar who has looked carefully into this issue has also concluded that Papias did not have direct contact with John the apostle. Richard Bauckham has examined this issue and provided a careful translation of the passage from Eusebius that quotes from the preface of Papias’ book:

Hinman: Bauckham is one of my favorite scholars, I read his book (Jesus and the 
Eyewitnesses) a long time ago I own a copy. Don't have access to it now but I used Google books. The problem for Bradley's view is that while Bauckham does think that there were two Johns it's far from saying that Papias did not have direct access to an eye witness to Jesus. His book is called Jesus and the Eyewitnesses and he believes that EJ is one of the eyewitnesses. Not only that but Baukham believes that Elder John wrote the Gospel of John.[pp 420-425]

That should settle the issue about whether or not he thinks Papias knew a direct witness to Jesus' life.

--Now Bowen quotes the quote...
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 – [that is] what [according to the elders] Andrew or Peter said, or Philip or Thomas or James or John or Matthew or any other of the Lord’s disciples [said], 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 and the Gospels” by Richard Bauckham, October 6, 2012. Phrases in brackets were provided by Bauckham as part of his translation of the passage.)end quote--

He chose this translation because it accentuates the elder John idea, but also fudges in a couple of areas. Lightfoot was a great scholar but he was not the only one to work this translation.
We can see from the rendering the points I made are there they are just de-epmhasized. For example:

(1) He could be understood to say he learned from the Apostles himself,  Apostles are elders: I learned carefully in the past from the elders 

(2) the passage where he says the apostles are elders is there and you can see he;s fudged it by trying to slant it to seem as though Apostates are not elders:  I made enquiries about the words of the elders – [that is] what [according to the elders] Andrew or Peter said, or Philip or Thomas or James or John or Matthew or any other of the Lord’s disciples [said]
Note the brackets. that means it's not really there's that is the translators misunderstanding of it. 
the Maier trans. doesn't use the brackets. because the literal rendering is this what the elders saythenlistikngelders namesApostles.

Bowen:Bauckham provides this footnote about the translation of this passage:

My translation. Compared with my translation in Jesus, 15-16, based largely on Lightfoot, Harmer and Holmes, this is a more careful translation that embodies in a number of ways what I consider to be my better understanding of the passage in the light of further study.
Hinman: He has to bracket certain things and those things are all ideological or doctrinal differences with himself and those who disagree about elder John. That is irrelevant for our purposes because Baucikham believes EJ wrote the Gospel of John. That means he was an eye witness. He was the beloved Disciple
the Maier translation  "...disciples of the Lord were still saying." the actual Greek does favor a continuing action in present time.[Paul L. Maier, Eusebius The Church Hisotry, Grand rapids, Mi:Kregel, 1999. 126]

Buckham's book is called Jesus and the eye witnesses, the point of the book is that eye witnesses testimony makes up most of the Gospel of John, one of the eye witnesses Buckham talks about is elder john! 

Based on Bauckham’s translation and interpretation of this passage, Papias implies that there are several layers between him and Jesus (click on the image below for a clearer view of the chart):
Chain of Tradition

Hinman: no he does not. It's modern interpreters trying to make him say it,some to support EJ sand some for other reasons, 19th century liberalism wanted to stick in a bunch of levels of transition to support their archaic view that the Gospels were products of second centenary.

there is nothing in the quote itself that implies levels of transmission. It's totally up for grabs as to weather the elders include the Apostles or form a different group that relays their words, If that is the case its not  a done deal that EJ was one of this group.


That there were at least this many layers between Jesus and Papias makes perfect sense, given that Papias was probably writing between 110 and 130 CE. If we suppose that there was an average of twenty-five years for each succeeding generation of Christian- tradition keepers, this puts Papias as receiving the Christian oral traditions about Jesus and the apostles shortly before 110 CE (click on the image below for a clearer view of the chart):
25-Year Generational Cycle

Hinman: there is no reason to understand the tiers of transmission as generations. Papia says nothing to indicate that. Moreover the math checks out but we have to be clear about our assumptions. On pge 14 Jesus and the Eyewitnesses Baukham dates the quote at maybe late first century or no latter than 110. Since he takes John for Elder John he thinks the statement that John lived to the reign of Trajan puts the statement at least no latter than 110.

(1) EJ was still going sense it speaks of him in present tense
(2) That means the earlier dater would be more likely. 
(3) Polycarp died in 156 at age 80. PapiAD78
(4) Say EJ was 20 in AD 30 assuming he's Older than Apostle John because he';s the elder John Yes I know not necessarily what it means,
(5) he would be 90 in 100.
(6) Papias could have met EJ in AD 90 when he was 10 an EJ would have been 80, so he could have made the famous quote  around the turn of the centenary. Of course EJ could have been 10 when he saw Jesus;
The quote is dated to the time of the book because it was in the book but it could have been used from an earlier time without being updated.

btw if you think a 120 year old could not understand or remember who he meets. when i was 10 or so I met Henrey Wade of Row Vs Wade. Of course I didn't know because it had not happened yet. But Wade was friend of the family. I am from Dallas. He was DA at the time. My brother and I went on a field trip to his office we asked him "do you know AD Hinman? he';s our Dad" he says Yes I sure do! Wade was Church of Christ by the way. Years latter read about Row Vs Wade I said "O,my God that;s Henry Wade!" Ironic that I'm pro choice, anyway, I remember him I remember what he said, I would have remembered even if  he wasn't famous.

Given that “John the elder” is presumably a member of the group called “the elders”, this implies that “John the elder” received his information about Jesus from the apostles, just like the other people referred to as “the elders”, and NOT directly from Jesus.
Hinman:  (1)We can't assume that just because elder John is called"the elder" that he's a member of the same group to which Papias refers, Nor can we assume that the defining characteristic of that group is that they did not see Jesus assumptions not in evidence. we can't assume there was a organized structured group of torch passers who did not see Jesus.

(2) Baukham thought he wrote the Gospel of John that defiantly  makes him an eye witness in Buakham;s world.
(3) Baukham argues that the term Elder refers to one unquiet individual. he opposed the idea of a class of torch bearer called the elders. He points to the use in the Talmud where it applies to only major Rabbis of their era such as Helliel and Gamaliel. (420-425).
(3) what I don't see there is statement by Buckram saying ye didn't  believe Papias knew Apostle John, He could have known both, Buckham is just on about EJ is a real guy, Now he does say the Son of Zebedee was out of the picture by the time  of our quote.

In addition to probably being a member of the group called “the elders”, who received oral traditions “from” the apostles, the person “John the elder” is presumably situated a couple of generations prior to Papias, 


(1) there is no need to create a special group of Apostle quoters called the elders when Papias uses the term "elder" in referee to apostles he just says if anyone came knowing what was said he does not say there was a special job for quoiting apostles. 

(2) even if we had some Elite group of torch passers why is EJ in that group? Because he saw Jesus,because he knows. he has the authority,

(3) but look there is no justification for making him younger than the Apostloes, no indication there levels of witness geared to ages. Because he;s not an apostle doesnm't make him younger than the Apostles. Although he probably was around the age of John, the theory says the two Johns  became confused with each other. My guess is EJ was the last redactor of the Gospel that came to be associated with the  name John because they confused which John was connected to it.

and based on the reasonable estimate of a 25-year cycle for passing oral traditions on to the next generation of Christian-tradition keepers, this puts “John the elder” and other elders (such as Aristion) chronologically about halfway between Jesus and Papias in the chain of Christian-tradition keepers.
Hinman: That is a huge fallacy to assume that oral tradition worked that way It probably worked like it did in Jewish pedagogy. They didn't wait until  a certain age then pass it on They are passing it on all the time A student meets with teacher to recite the lessons Probably they recited it in communal setting like meal time.My grandmother born in 1887 told made that it used to be that teaching was all memorizing. When she was a girl they memorized all their lessions.

If there was a special torch passer strata of christian rank it would mean for EJ to be in it he would have to  have been a witness to Jesus teachings. In other words to be an elder he had to have the juice. He could only have that by having seen Jesus. 

Even if we assume there;s an intermediate level between apostles  and sub  apostolic fathers (that;'s what Ppapis is technically) that still doesn't mean there's another whole group between the elders and the SAF's. here's the phrase from the quote:

 Besides if ever any man came who had been a follower of the elders, I would inquire about the sayings of the elders; what Andrew said, or Peter or Philip or Thomas, or James, or John or Matthew, or any other of the Lord's disciples; 
At that point the Lightfoot quote imposes brackets to make it not say this.That;'s how they direct our attention away from the fact that it's the Apostles he's calling elders. The  "if any man..." is bringing words of the apostles not of this intermediary group called"elders" unless of course he also brings word from Elders who are witnesses but not apostles like Elder John or Aristion.

Here are the brackets I made enquiries about the words of the elders – [that is] what [according to the elders] Andrew or Peter said, or Philip or Thomas or James or John or Matthew or any other of the Lord’s disciples [said], 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. ( 

Reading this quote in a straightforward way does not take all these brackets.where mine says:
sayings of the elders; what Andrew (they are elders in other words) his quote puts in

[that is] what [according to the elders] Andrew or Peter 

here with brackets he;s created another row of people between us and the Apostles. That is not necessary in the Greek and sine it plays into the ideological rendition of theory it seems to be a ploy, Lightfoot was very conservative and believing so It was probably others who took his translation and added the brackets.

So, we have at least two good reasons for doubting the claim that “John the elder” (and Aristion) had personal, face-to-face conversations with Jesus.
the only thing i see that apples to EJ is the assumption that they only passed on oral tradition every 25 years if I understand that correctly its ludicrous. why would he even bother to say followers of the elders if they weren't witnesses to Jesus? No one speak ls of belief in the Bible as belief in the translations of the Bible." the English translation says it I believe it, that settles it."


Thus, we have good reason to suspect that (assuming that “John the elder” and Aristion are being called “disciples of the Lord”) the expression “disciples of the Lord” does not imply that they had personal, face-to-face conversations with Jesus.
Hinman: Yes it does.

* what's the point of passing on special knowledge if they don;t have the authority to hold it? The closer they great to Jesus the\higher up on the truth tree, so they are not going to make a fuss over the third wave, if these guys saw Jesus that's makes them elder, elder is a big term. They are not elders because the memorized the words,everyone is supposed to do that, they are elders because they saw Jesus.

*Historians still make a big deal out of that.It still means a lot to historians just to be on the tree.In addition to that its clear he;s using the term elder of apostles too. Moreover, that;s what disciple means, The disciples were the people who actually followed Jesus.

*Moreover if the confusion theory is true, that the two Johns were confused with each other ,then EJ would have to be a disciple in the literal sense. that makes a lot more sense than to think someone who never saw Jesus garnered such support that he could be confused with an apostle.

 *It's also a fallacy to assume that being a couple of steps away from first hand knowledge of Jesus means that Papias is not evidence of Jesus' historicity. He is that's obvious. if you read a magazine article where a witness to something is interviewed you don't think this is fourth hand," Not if the reporter and publication acre credible. But its the same number of steps.

Jesus =; Apostoels = Elders = men who came from elders = Papais

event = witness =report = editor = paper

validity of oral tradition

Fewer changes if tradition is controlled 

"No one is likely to deny that a tradition that is being handed on by word of mouth is likely to undergo modification. This is bound to happen, unless the tradition has been rigidly formulated and has been learned with careful safeguard against the intrusion of error" (Stephen Neil, The Interpretation of the New Testament: 1861-1961, London: University of Oxford Press, 1964, p.250) 

Tradition was controlled. 

Neil adds in a fn: "This is exactly the way in which the tradition was handed on among the Jews. IT is precisely on this ground that Scandinavian scholar H. Risenfeld in an essay entitled "The Gospel Tradition and its Beginnings" (1957) has passed some rather severe strictures on the form cuticle method. 

See also M. Dibelius... Neil goes on to say that there is some "flexibility" in the transmission, but nothing that would change the basic facts or the thrust of the teaching otherwise, "But there is a vast difference between recognition of this kind of flexibility, of this kind of creative working of the community on existing traditions, and the idea that the community simply invented and read back into the life of Jesus things that he had never done, and words that he had never said. When carried to its extreme this method suggests that the community had far greater creative power than the Jesus of Nazareth, faith in whom had called the community into being." (Ibid.)

Oral tradition in first-century Judaism was not uncontrolled as was/is often assumed, based on comparisons with non-Jewish models. B.D. Chilton and C.A. Evans* (eds.), Authenticating the Activities of Jesus(NTTS, 28.2; Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1998): 

"...[T]he early form criticism tied the theory of oral transmission to the conjecture that Gospel traditions were mediated like folk traditions, being freely altered and even created ad hoc by various and sundry wandering charismatic jackleg preachers. This view, however, was rooted more in the eighteenth century romanticism of J. G. Herder than in an understanding of the handling of religious tradition in first-century Judaism. As O. Cullmann, B. Gerhardsson, H. Riesenfeld and R. Riesner have demonstrated, [22] the Judaism of the period treated such traditions very carefully, and the New Testament writers in numerous passages applied to apostolic traditions the same technical terminology found elsewhere in Judaism for 'delivering', 'receiving', 'learning', 'holding', 'keeping', and 'guarding', the traditioned 'teaching'. [23] In this way they both identified their traditions as 'holy word' and showed their concern for a careful and ordered transmission of it. The word and work of Jesus were an important albeit distinct part of these apostolic traditions.* 

"Luke used one of the same technical terms, speaking of eyewitnesses who 'delivered to us' the things contained in his Gospel and about which his patron Theophilus had been instructed. Similarly, the amanuenses or co-worker-secretaries who composed the Gospel of John speak of the Evangelist, the beloved disciple, 'who is witnessing concerning these things and who wrote these things', as an eyewitness and a member of the inner circle of Jesus' disciples.[24] In the same connection it is not insignificant that those to whom Jesus entrusted his teachings are not called 'preachers' but 'pupils' and 'apostles', semi-technical terms for those who represent and mediate the teachings and instructions of their mentor or principal.(53-55)(corresponding fn for Chilton and evans")  

Also, there wasn't an necessarily a long period of solely oral transmission as has been assumed: 

"Under the influence of R. Bultmann and M. Dibelius the classical form criticism raised many doubts about the historicity of the Synoptic Gospels, but it was shaped by a number of literary and historical assumptions which themselves are increasingly seen to have a doubtful historical basis. It assumed, first of all, that the Gospel traditions were transmitted for decades exclusively in oral form and began to be fixed in writing only when the early Christian anticipation of a soon end of the world faded. This theory foundered with the discovery in 1947 of the library of the Qumran sect, a group contemporaneous with the ministry of Jesus and the early church which combined intense expectation of the End with prolific writing. Qumran shows that such expectations did not inhibit writing but actually were a spur to it. Also, the widespread literacy in first-century Palestinian Judaism [18], together with the different language backgrounds of Jesus' followers--some Greek, some Aramaic, some bilingual--would have facilitated the rapid written formulations and transmission of at least some of Jesus' teaching.[19]" (p. 53-54)

Presumably (in the view of Papias), the apostles had personal, face-to-face conversations with Jesus, and Papias is claiming to have had personal, face-to-face conversations with people “who had been in attendance on the elders” or (based on the translation Hinman provides) with people each of whom “had been a follower of the elders”.But it is unclear whether “a follower of the elders” had face-to-face conversations with the elders, and it is unclear whether the elders had face-to-face conversations with the apostles. For a decade of my life, I considered myself to be a “follower” of Jesus, and a “disciple” of Jesus, but I never had a face-to-face conversation with Jesus, at least not with a physical, flesh-and-blood historical Jesus. These expressions do not, in and of themselves, logically imply the occurance of personal, face-to-face conversations.

Hinman:  Bradley you didn't get to meet Jesus first hand? no wonder you deconverted.  we all do that, that explains why I never saw you at the Meetings,(yes, it's  a joke ;-) It seems obvious to me that since he calls Apostles elders elder is a pretty heavy term.

We have only a few brief quotes from Papias, and he does not provide a definition or clarification of what he means by “a follower of X” or “a disciple of X”, so we cannot be sure that these expressions imply that personal, face-to-face conversations occurred between, for example “a follower of the elders” and one or more of “the elders”. Nor can we be sure that “John the elder” had personal, face-to-face conversations with the apostles or with Jesus.If the average generational cycle was 20 years instead of 25 years, then there would be room for an additional generation of “elders” between the apostles and the followers of the elders (click on the image below for a clearer view of the chart):20-Year Generational Cycle


Actually we have quote a few fragments and there are several that indicate EJ knew Jesus.
*quote from Papias
 "Just as the Elders, who saw John the disciple of the Lord, recalled hearing from him how concerning these times he used to teach that the Lord would say:"
[at that points he gives quotation composedly from Jesus not kin NT--[1]Irenaeus of Lyons Against Heresies 

5.33.3-4  [checked  reconstructed Greek of SC 153 p213-217]
That makes it seem that elders were a special group who kept the words of the Apostles, because of the use of elder in this text--even if that were true it would be enough to establish historicity--but we already established that elder can be used in many ways, He uses it of the Apostates and non apostles. But disciple he uses of those who heard the actual voice of their master. That is how Papias uses disciple in this sentence more importantly this context is shimming that Elder John specifically  heard a Jesus speak and repeats his words.

*quote from Jerome
ishop Irenaeus writes that John the Apostle survived all the way to the time of Trajan: after whom his notable disciples were Papias, Bishop of Hieropolis, Polycarp of Smyrna, and Ignatius of Antioch.

-[Chronicon of Jerome 220th Olympiad/100AD.  [checked via Pearse’s translation]

*Jerome again: letter to Theadora

"The growth of this heresy is described for us by Irenæusbishop of the church of Lyons, a man of the apostolic times, who was a disciple of Papias the hearer of the evangelist John."
[Jerome, letter 75 to theadora" New Advent]

Based on Bauckman’s general interpretation of this passage from the preface of the book by Papias, and given the unclarity of whether “followers” or “disciples” implies personal, face-to-face conversations, it is likely that there are either three generations (Apostles–>Elders–>Followers of Elders) or four generations (Apostles–>1st Generation Elders–>2nd Generation Elders–>Followers of Elders) in the chain of Christian-tradition keepers between the Jesus and Papias.=================================NOTE: This post is still in work. I will continue to add to it, and possibly revise the above, over the weekend.===================================- See more at: ... qus_threadHave Theology, Will argue: wire MetacrockBuy My book: The Trace of God: Warrant for belief
Hinman: Bauckham does not agree with that he does not accept class or level of transmitters between Apostles and Papias except EJ who is on par with the Apostles since he wrote the gospel of John. That would be as tough he were Mark or Luke.

[1] Just in case someone wants to know what Jesus said that's not in the NT

Days will come in which the vines shall grow, when  each one will have ten-thousand branches and every single branch ten-thousand twigs  and on every single twig ten-thousand leaves and on every single leaf ten-thousand clusters, and on every single cluster ten-thousand grapes and each grape that is pressed will give twenty-five measures of wine.  And when one of the saints plucks a cluster, another cluster shall call, ‘I am better, take me, bless the Lord through me.’ In the same way an ear of wheat will grow ten-thousand kernels of grain, and every single ear of wheat will have ten-thousand kernels and every single kernel will give five pounds of the finest pure flour, and the rest of the ripe fruits and the seeds and the grass will be like these in a following proportion.  And all the creatures who desire these foods will receive them from the earth, becoming peaceable and united to one another, submissive to men and entirely obedient.”

search me!


Bradley's summation

There are a few more points in Hinman’s post on Papias that I want to specifically address.
Does that [i.e. the view that Papias only had contact with John the Elder and not John the Apostle] weaken the case for the connection to Jesus?  I don’t think so because Aristion and elder John knew Jesus, they are called disciples.  He probably knew both [i.e both “Johns”] but if he only knew they [sic] latter two they were disciples.

No, because three reasons
(1) even if true the testimony it handed down through an oral tradition that knew  how to preserve the Iliad word for word  for a thousands years; more  in the Hebrew context it preserved the ideas that became the Talmud.

(2) I've given examples of Papias use of disciple and also Others after him they always mean one who heard the actual words

(3) we know specifically from fragments of Papas that he held that Elder John was a hearer of Jesus', your own source Baukham thinks he wrote the Gospel of John.

The word “disciples” does NOT imply personal, face-to-face conversations with the teacher in question.  Hinman has not provided an argument showing that the word “disciples” has this meaning, nor that Papias uses the word with this meaning.  Given that we have only a few fragments of second-hand quotes of Papias, I doubt that there is sufficient evidence available to construct a plausible argument for this claim.

Hinman: let's remember when Bradeley wrote that my post (the  one you are reading) wasn't up yet so he didn't know the points I just made, which disprove what he just said,

There are indications from Eusebius that Papias had extended contact with the Elder John and with other disciples.  Eusebius writes “in his writings he trasmits other narratives of the words of the Lord which came form [sic] the afore mentioned Aristion and others which came from John the Elder”  moreover he goes on, “the elder used to say this also: … ” And here Eusebius is quoting Papias.  This phrase “the elder used to say…” indicates a personal acquaintance in more than one meeting.

Hinman: Baukham, Bowen's own source, tells us that Euebius did not like papias and had doctrinal biases that led him to spin the evidence against EJ being a true hearer of Jesus.
Eusebius was a good historians in some ways. He does not deserve the reputation of atheist rhetoric gives him, the "pious fraud" thing, but his job was spin doctor for Constantine. What spin doctors do is put a spin on evidence, that is what he did.

The phrase “the elder used to say…” does NOT imply “personal acquaintance” nor does it imply that the speaker had ANY meetings with “the elder”.   This should be fairly obvious, but if not, one can simply refer to a quote from Irenaeus, which was provided by Hinman in his post on Papias:

Hinman: Yes I'm afraid it does it would require total blindness to ignore that. The one passage he gives the statement by Jesus not in the New Testament, attributes to  Elder John who told Papias that statement. How did he know it?: BECAUSE THEY KNEW HOW TO MEMORIZE. THAT'S WHAT ORAL CULTURES DO!

Just as the Elders who saw John the disciple of the Lord, recalled hearing from him how concerning these times he used to teach that the Lord would say: … (part of a quotation by Hinman from Against Heresies 5.33.3-4, emphasis added)
By Hinman’s logic the phrase “he used to teach that…” implies that Irenaeus had personal, face-to-face conversations with John “the disciple of the Lord” (i.e. John the Apostle).  But clearly, Irenaeus did NOT have any such conversations,

Hinman,  all of that is disproved by Baukhm. Elder John wrote the Gospel of John so Papias had access to the guy who wrote John. No? then you ready to impeach Baukham?

don't forget Baukham argues specifically that elder was used in way antithetical to the use Bradley makes of it, it as not suited to a faceless group of transmitters but reserved for one big heavy dude. (Jesus and the Eye Witnsses 420-425)

Moreover we have seen that he uses the term elder of Apostles as well as non apostles. While it is reserved for major heavyweights it's not indicative of either Apostle or non apostle except by context.

Moreover, he changes tenses when he speaks of Aristion and Elder John, the [sic] he speaks in present tense, as though he’s still in contact with them.
Use of the present tense could indicate that Aristion and John the Elder were still alive at the time that Papias was inquiring the followers of Aristion and John the Elder about their knowledge of the sayings of the Apostles.  The translation by Bauckham says Papias was asking about what Aristion and John the Elder “were saying”, which is compatible with the idea of refering to a time in the past when Papias was inquiring about the words of Aristion and John the Elder who were (at that time in the past) still alive.  That time in the past might be several years  or even a decade prior to the time Papias got around to writing his book.

Hinman: No! He does not say that he says the opposite you are drawing that inference from his choice of translation; he used  one with the brackets because it slanted the issue in favor of an Elder John, It also glossed over the present tense casting it in the light of a past present, "they were saying." The Greek is present, :they are saying," Baukham dates the quote to late first early second before 110. Bradley tried to stretch the date to as late as 130 but  Baulkham clearly does not accept that, 420-25.
ἅτε λέγουσιν)
Maier translation  "...disciples of the Lord were still saying." the actual Greek does favor a continuing action in present time.[Paul L. Maier, Eusebius The Church Hisotry, Grand rapids, Mi:Kregel, 1999. 126]

…and he [i.e. Papias] moreover asserts that he heard in person Aristion and the presbyter John.  Accordingly he mentions them frequently by name, and in his writings gives their traditions. …  (part of a quote from Eusebius provided by Hinman)
Note that this does not appear to be a quotation of Papias by Eusebius, but rather an interpretation of Papias by Eusebius.  Since we are not given the exact words of Papias, we are being asked to rely on Eusebius to correctly interpret the words of Papias.  

Hinman: no two other sources:

(1) several fragments of Papias not dependent upon Eusebius

(2) Irenaeus who studied with Polycarp and knew Papias, He asserts that he knew Papiasdid now Elder John talked with him and quoted him often, see it all on my pages omn my apologetic site the Religious A Pori.

Irenaeus. Against Heresy
These things Papias, the hearer of John, who was a companion of Polycarp, a man of ancient time, testifies in writing in the fourth of his books, for there are five books composed by him. 

He tells us he was hearer of John and he studied with Polkycarp so yo guessed it, the next one will just be an extension of this one,

Youtube interview of NT Write on Papias


Jason Pratt said…
Hi, Joe! I'm finally getting around to working on typeproofing the article; I hit the wrong button in saving it, and it disappeared briefly off the blog, but was back up about half a minute later.

Haven't finished yet (roughly 1/4 to 1/3 down), but wanted to let you know progress has started. {g}

(I'll save any actual comments until I'm done.)


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