Papias and his witness to the development of the New Testament
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SubjectPapias,--Saint, Bishop of Hierapolis,--d. ca. 120.
Bible.--N.T.--Criticism, interpretation, etc.--History--Early church, ca. 30-600.
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This dissertation analyzed material that either refers to or is from Papias of Hierapolis. The product of this analysis is a biography of Papias and his understanding and attitude toward certain New Testament books. Chapter 1 introduces this dissertation's subject matter and thesis, as well as an explanation of its methodology and the need for research. Chapter 2 is a survey of the history of research. While many scholars often refer to Papias, this dissertation attempted to focus upon the most salient research about him and his times. Chapter 3 is a biography about Papias, his ethnicity, his historical context, his associations, his ministry, and his death. Chapter 4 provides a comprehensive analysis of the extant fragments of Papias. Attention is given to Papias's place in the church's history, his associations, and his awareness of and attitudes toward certain New Testament books. Chapter 5 is a summary of the findings of this dissertation as they relate to its thesis, after which it provides several conclusions and conjectures based upon those findings. Two appendices are included in this dissertation that address important issues with respect to research involving Papias. Although these appendices are not central to this dissertation, they are nevertheless critical to a comprehensive and cogent defense of its thesis. From the extant Papian fragments this dissertation finds that Papias was known to have been a student of the apostle John and other personal disciples of Jesus, and as such he received important traditions concerning the origins and authorship of several books of the New Testament. Having ascended to the office of a bishop, he labored to preserve these "apostolic" traditions, both written and oral, as he had received them and which he believed originated from Jesus Christ and his immediate followers. Moreover, Papias believed that these traditions should not be subject to redactions or subjective interpretations, but were to be preserved as they were received since they were by origin and nature the divine proclamations from and about the Lord Jesus Christ.