[Synoptic-L] What did Paipas say about Matthew/GMatthew
- It is a commonplace for at least one List member to appeal to Papias and
his statements about the origin of the Gospel of Matthew in support of
several key pillars of his (their) "solution" to the Synoptic Problem --
these pillars being that GMatthew, or something on which it is based or
with which it is identified, was composed (1) prior to the other three
canonical Gospels and (2) in either Hebrew or Aramaic.
I would like to put forward the proposition that we debate whether
actually Papias says any such thing when he says MATQAIOS MEN OUN
EBRAIDI DIALEKTW TA LOGIA SUNETAXATO (hHRMHHNEUSEN DEAUTA hWS HN DUNATOS
EKASTOS). Would List members like to join me in this? If so, the
questions that we need to answer are:
1. What does Papias mean by the TA LOGIA which he says Matthew
2. What, according to Papias, is the activity that Matthew undertook
with respect to TA LOGIA. That is to say, what is the meaning of
3. Is, as is assumed without argument by certain List members, the only
meaning that EBRAIDI DIALEKTW can bear "in the Hebrew/Aramaic language"?
If not, what other renderings are possible? Likely?
4. What significance does the phrase MEN OUN have here?
5. Does the EKASTOS ("everyone") in the expression hHRMHNEUSEN DEAUTA
hWS HN DUNATOS EKASTOS refer to the other, let alone any, of the
6. Does the phrase hHRMHNEUSEN DEAUTA require the rendering "translated
them" (with the implication "into Greek"), or can it be seen as
indicating Greek speakers "interpreting" or "exegeting" or even
"applying" something that was not in need of translation?
7. What significance, if any. with respect to the order of Gospel
composition do we give to the fact that Papias gives his description of
the tradition which he heard about Matthew AFTER he gives his
description of the tradition he heard about GMark.
8. When did Papias live and when do we date the composition of the words
quoted above? (the answer to this question has a bearing on the truth of
certain List members' claims that our Greek canonical Gospels are
actually very late first century if not second century products)
Jeffrey B. Gibson
7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
Chicago, Illinois 60626