2.52. Papias

Papias (ca. 60 - 130) was bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia, Asia Minor. A contemporary of Polycarp, he is best known for his five-volume work entitled Expositions of the Sayings of the Lord which was probably published within a decade of A.D. 130. Papias provides some of the earliest testimony revealing the early church’s stance on the millennium (chiliastic) and the authorship of Matthew, Mark, John, and Revelation. He placed great emphasis on oral tradition and following the ’living and abiding voice’ of the elders or followers of the apostles. His writings are preserved indirectly as fragments by others who wrote of him.1


1 [J. B. Lightfoot and J. R. Harmer, The Apostolic Fathers, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1989), 307-308], [David F. Wright, “What the First Christians Believed,” in Tim Dowley, ed., Introduction to the History of Christianity (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1977), 106].