The fragments and testimonia of Papias’s Expositions of the Sayings of the Lord contain a number of terms whose precise meaning remains elusive, among them auditor, presbuteroi, hermēneutēs, and parakoloutheō. These terms, and the oral-traditional ideology in which they occur, are illuminated by comparison with the terminology associated with the Pharisees and preserved in early rabbinic writings. More broadly, the ideology of received tradition preserved in the latter sources offers a better analogue to Papias’s enterprise than does Hellenistic historiography, as Bauckham has influentially argued. In addition, Papias’s explanation that he set out to collect and order the sayings of the Lord from certified tradents, marks him as an important but heretofore largely unrecognized precursor to the rabbinic establishment of the Mishnah.


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pp. 337-362
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