Watson's Take on Papias: Matthew Wrote to Correct Mark
Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:08 am
I often accuse Watson of eisegesis. But then maybe I am guilty this time. In his
Does Papias really testify to Markan primacy? I've never read it that way before. Thoughts? That would imply that Irenaeus COMPLETE abuses the original testimony of Papias doesn't it?Irenaeus is here dependent on Papias. Papias speaks of the Elder John along with Aristion as “disciples of the Lord,” and Irenaeus identifies this “disciple of the Lord” with the “disciple whom Jesus loved,” the putative author of the fourth gospel (cf. Jn. 13.23; 21.24). Papias, however shows no knowledge of this text.31 Irenaeus's claim that Matthew was written “among the Hebrews in their own language” echoes Papias's claim that Matthew “set the sayings in order in the Hebrew language.” The only difference is that Irenaeus uses the term “gospel” to refer to a written text whereas Papias does not. For Irenaeus, Mark is “the disciple and translator of Peter.” The second term derives directly from Papias; the first echoes his reference to Mark as “following” Peter. Irenaeus not only takes over Papias's view of Mark as based on Peter's preaching, he also asserts a similar relationship between Luke and Paul.
In view of Irenaeus's dependence on Papias, the differences between them are striking. According to Papias, Mark wrote first and Matthew wrote to remedy his defects. According to Irenaeus, Matthew wrote first. His gospel may be dated during the ministry of Peter and Paul in Rome, about which Papias has nothing to say, and it was only “after their departure” that gospels were written by followers of Peter and Paul who recollected their preaching. Papias's defence of Mark against his critics has disappeared. Luke and John have been added to Matthew and Mark — or, on Papias's order, to Mark and Matthew. The choice of this order may acknowledge that the two gospels known to Papias are likely to have been the earliest. There is no indication in either Papias or Irenaeus that Matthew and Luke were written at much the same time, as the Q theory must suppose. Papias testifies directly to Markan priority and indirectly, in conjunction with Irenaeus, to the priority of Mark and Matthew over Luke. https://books.google.com/books?id=23NyC ... AHoECAcQAg