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Thread: Papias and the death of Judas

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    Papias and the death of Judas

    SAYINGS FROM THE FRAGMENTS OF PAPIAS:

    4. Apollinarius: "Judas did not die by hanging, but lived on, having been cut down before he was suffocated. And the Acts of the Apostles show this, that... falling headlong he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. This fact is related more clearly by Papias, the Talmid/disciple of Yochanan/John, in the fourth (book) of the Exposition of the Oracles of the Lord as follows: Judas walked about in this world a terrible example of impiety; his flesh swollen to such an extent that, where a wagon can pass with ease, he was not able to pass, no, not even the mass of his head merely. They say that his eyelids swelled to such an extent, that he could not see the light at all, while as for his eyes they were not visible even by a physician looking through an instrument, so far had they sunk from the surface..."

    https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_ ... 5681873627

    I have books quoting the early church fathers, but I do not have access to them now.

    I am confused.

    Apollinarius lived long after Papias, yet it looks like Papias is quoting Apollinarius.

    Could someone set me straight on this? Thank you.

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    tWebber Quantum Weirdness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian3 View Post
    SAYINGS FROM THE FRAGMENTS OF PAPIAS:

    4. Apollinarius: "Judas did not die by hanging, but lived on, having been cut down before he was suffocated. And the Acts of the Apostles show this, that... falling headlong he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. This fact is related more clearly by Papias, the Talmid/disciple of Yochanan/John, in the fourth (book) of the Exposition of the Oracles of the Lord as follows: Judas walked about in this world a terrible example of impiety; his flesh swollen to such an extent that, where a wagon can pass with ease, he was not able to pass, no, not even the mass of his head merely. They say that his eyelids swelled to such an extent, that he could not see the light at all, while as for his eyes they were not visible even by a physician looking through an instrument, so far had they sunk from the surface..."

    https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_ ... 5681873627

    I have books quoting the early church fathers, but I do not have access to them now.

    I am confused.

    Apollinarius lived long after Papias, yet it looks like Papias is quoting Apollinarius.

    Could someone set me straight on this? Thank you.
    Uhhh you sure Papias is quoting Apollinarius???
    -The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.
    Sir James Jeans

    -This most beautiful system (The Universe) could only proceed from the dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.All variety of created objects which represent order and Life in the Universe could happen only by the willful reasoning of its original Creator, whom I call the Lord God.
    Sir Isaac Newton

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantum Weirdness View Post
    Uhhh you sure Papias is quoting Apollinarius???
    I think I misunderstood the text and it should be read as follows:


    Apollinarius wrote:
    "Judas did not die by hanging, but lived on, having been cut down before he was suffocated. And the Acts of the Apostles show this, that... falling headlong he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. This fact is related more clearly by Papias, the Talmid/disciple of Yochanan/John, in the fourth (book) of the Exposition of the Oracles of the Lord as follows:

    Papias wrote:
    Judas walked about in this world a terrible example of impiety; his flesh swollen to such an extent that, where a wagon can pass with ease, he was not able to pass, no, not even the mass of his head merely. They say that his eyelids swelled to such an extent, that he could not see the light at all, while as for his eyes they were not visible even by a physician looking through an instrument, so far had they sunk from the surface..."

    Here is some dialog on the subject:

    http://www.roger-pearse.com/weblog/2...s-of-laodicea/

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    tWebber
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    That's extremely interesting. I wonder how plausible the harmonization of Papias with the Matthean-Acts harmonization is. Prima facie it may look implausible, but then where is the contradiction/problem supposed to be, at least for those who have a strong commitment to inerrancy?

    "Throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he [Judas] departed; and he went and hanged himself. But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, "It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since they are blood money." After conferring together, they used them to buy the potter's field as a place to bury foreigners." ~Matthew 27:5-7

    ""Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus-- for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry." (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. This became known to all the residents of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their language Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)" ~ Acts 1:16-19

    Those who harmonize these two passages generally argue that Judas first hanged himself, and then fell, and his body broke open. If his body really were as swollen (or even nearly as swollen) as Papias describes, maybe this scenario makes more sense? Moreover, when Papias (if the shorter version belongs to Papias) says "Having been crushed by a wagon, his entrails poured out" it seems as though this explanation could also be designed to compliment the Biblical tradition represented by Acts.

    I'm not advocating such a view, but merely entertaining it. It would lend credibility to both the standard harmonization account, and the reliability of Papias's witness (again, if we attribute the shorter version to him). Alternatively, maybe Apollinarius' account could be correct - it, at least, isn't obviously wrong, since it doesn't obviously conflict with the Matthean account.

    I should read more about this.

    - Further notes from http://www.archive.org/stream/thebeg...nuoft_djvu.txt

    John Chrysostom [pseudo-Chrysostom?]: "Accordingly he (i.e. Peter) describes also the
    sentence which he suffered. Being swollen up, he says, he burst in
    the middle and all his bowels were poured out. He does well to relate,
    not the offence, but the punishment, in order to the comforting of those
    who were afraid of the Jews. But that he fell on the earth and burst
    and his bowels gushed out, is like this. For he shut the doors against
    himself before he strangled himself, and he remained there on the gibbet
    the Friday and the Saturday. When he had swollen up and grown
    heavy, the cord was cut by which he hung : he fell, burst asunder, and
    was poured out. But the stench of the putrifying heap and of his guts
    brought together the children of Jerusalem to come and view his
    infamous end, and the awful sign which was for him the precursor of
    hell-fire.""

    Isho-dad: "" He fell upon his face on the earth, and he burst asunder, etc.
    They say that when Judas hanged himself either the halter was released
    and he escaped, or else someone saw him hanging and saved him ; and
    this happened by the providence of God, first that the disciples might
    not be accused of having hanged him, and then because it was fitting
    that he who had betrayed him openly should die openly. So he lived
    on and saw the resurrection of his Lord and heard that he had come to
    his disciples many times, and that he had ascended to heaven ; and
    then he came when many were gathered together, and fell on the ground
    in the midst of the city, and burst asunder, etc.""

    The source also says "an important contribution by F. H. Chase in JTS., Jan. 1912, pp. 278 ff., endeavoured to show that Papias was really dependent on the same tradition as Acts... [and] This theory was accepted by A. von Harnack"

    Fascinating.

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    tWebber robrecht's Avatar
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    I think it represents some variety among the traditions and legends that were later written down. It is usually possible to creatively harmonize differing accounts, but this is usually done when an individual or community want to hold onto more than one authoritative or interesting accounts. Those who believe that multiple, differing accounts were both written down by authoritative eye-witnesses have the strongest motivation to harmonize differing accounts. I know this view will appear as heresy or hopelessly liberal to some, but I see nothing wrong with the inspiration of holy scripture being mediated through and by human beings and traditions and legends are very much part of the human process of deriving communal meaning from our past.

    Please do not burn me at the stake or stone me as I have a family to support and they love me very much!
    βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
    ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

    אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

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    tWebber
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    hahahaha,

    I wouldn't cast the first stone, I used to reject the inerrancy of scripture and argued against it ferociously. Actually, I just agreed to a debate here on Tweb on inerrancy with Paprika, so you may be interested in reading that when it appears. Moreover, though I feel bound by the teaching of the Catholic Church to accept the harmonization of the Matthean and Lukan traditions, I was only merely playing with the idea of harmonizing those with one or another of the patristic traditions.


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    tWebber robrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrel View Post
    hahahaha,

    I wouldn't cast the first stone, I used to reject the inerrancy of scripture and argued against it ferociously. Actually, I just agreed to a debate here on Tweb on inerrancy with Paprika, so you may be interested in reading that when it appears. Moreover, though I feel bound by the teaching of the Catholic Church to accept the harmonization of the Matthean and Lukan traditions, I was only merely playing with the idea of harmonizing those with one or another of the patristic traditions.

    Yes, I know you were merely entertaining the idea. It's nice to meet another catholic, by the way, but I do not think we are bound to accept this harmonization. That said, I could be wrong as I have not read much of the catechism of John Paul II or Benedict's scriptural musings (is that what your referring to?), but I have spent approximately 25 years in catholic education.
    Last edited by robrecht; 02-22-2014 at 06:57 PM.
    βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
    ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

    אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

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    tWebber
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    Well, I have written a short article on this issue: http://thirdmillennialtemplar.wordpr.../02/inerrancy/

    I have come to believe that the Catholic Church does clearly and forcefully teach (i) that the Scriptures are free from teaching any kind of error, including historical or scientific, and (ii) that it is contrary to the sensus fidelium of the whole Catholic Church (across the earth and across history) to concede contradiction rather than harmonization. Many Catholic educators after Vatican II seem to have invested hope in the Church changing the teaching expounded by the ordinary magisterium, and to which Catholics are, even now, bound to give 'religious assent' rather than the explicit assent of faith. However (i) the Ordinary Magisterium has not changed this teaching, even in the face of every modern challenge to it, and (ii) the hermeneutic of discontinuity that those Catholics have employed is fundamentally at odds with both reason and the precedence of the faith, as I argued in the following paper: http://thirdmillennialtemplar.files....vised-copy.pdf


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    tWebber robrecht's Avatar
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    So, and I'm going out on a limb here, you probably would not favor the ordination of women, right? ;)

    Yes, there are plenty of quotes from church fathers, popes, and councils that can be brought forward to support Roman Catholic teaching of absolute inerrancy. But, as you have quoted, the most recent conciliar and catechetical statements do not necessarily go so far: "...we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures."*

    As I suspected, it seems Benedict interpreted this to be absolute inerrancy from the quote you give:

    “[Pope Benedict XV] …also emphasized the Bibles absolute immunity from error. He went so far as to say that ‘belief in the biblical narrative is as necessary to salvation as is belief in the doctrines of the faith’ (no. 24). After explicitly condemning any position that restricts inerrancy only to so-called ‘religious’ elements of the Bible, he quotes Saint Jerome, the Father of biblical science, who wrote more than 1,500 years ago that ‘[i]t would be wholly impious to limit inspiration to only certain portions of Scripture or to concede that the sacred authors themselves could have erred‘.“

    Jerome was more ambiguous in other places, but I don't have access to his texts at the moment. Do you have the full context of this statement in Benedict's book? I would just like to see the larger context. By the way, just so you know, I do not mean to imply that this would change my mind.

    *I think there are a couple of papal footnotes to this that cite a less ambiguously absolutist understanding of inerrancy. But even some who uphold absolute inerrancy nonetheless acknowledge the necessity of proper interpretation of the author's intent and chosen genres as well as an appreciation of the nature and practices of ancient historians.
    Last edited by robrecht; 02-22-2014 at 07:45 PM.
    βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
    ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

    אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

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    tWebber
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    Yes, women's ordination is something to which I'm strongly opposed, for a variety of reasons. For one thing it presumes gender anti-realism (which I think is philosophically confused at best, since God even in the Trinity seems to be super-sexual, and this is how I make sense of sex being the greatest natural icon of the trinity), and for another it would change the essence of both the Gospel and the liturgy (imagine that taking the Eucharist into our body was not something intimated by sex - he, comes into our body from without, et cetera - that would change the very nature of the Christian romance). Also, in line with my acceptance of the doctrine of analogy, I think that the only orthodox way for us to talk about God is as our father rather than mother, our husband rather than wife. This is because I think that gender is not a cultural artifact, anymore than sex is; in fact, gender is something which we don't project as an artificial category onto the world, but rather the human and Christian stories, and the Christian cosmos, is painted from beginning to end, from one end to the other, in the colours of Masculine and Feminine. Gender, on this view, is derived from and 'read-off-of' the world. Thus, when in a Hindu wedding ceremony each spouse in turn calls the other by some symbolic name (eg. 'you are my sun' 'you are my moon' et cetera), I think there is actually profound wisdom being displayed. The moon really is more Feminine than the sun, in just the same way the female body really is more feminine than the male body. On my view, therefore, all fatherhood on earth is derived from God's fatherhood, and not the other way around. To put it more forcefully, I think there is a reason why it makes naturally good sense to speak of 'mother nature' (we've never heard of any culture or religion speak of 'father' nature), and why all monotheistic traditions, including Hindu monotheism, have always been explicit and consistent in speaking about the creator God with masculine pronouns. If we speak of God as feminine with respect to the world, then we may as well be pantheists, but we cannot coherently speak of God as our mother while affirming a creatio ex nihilo (creation which is distinct from God). God, as masculine, brings life to us from without; he is radically other, he can impregnate us with life (not us impregnate him)... I could go on. I suppose I could also point out that it is iconoclastic at the very least to suggest that priests and bishops, who are all, in the liturgy, moving icons of Christ (as the Church Fathers say), could be female. That would be in effect to have icons of a female Jesus (in fact, it is LITERALLY to have Jesus iconographically represented as a female).

    I should go through all my reasons, but I won't do that here. I take it that the Church has something very important to stand for here where the priesthood is involved. Here are two sources to consider, if you're interested: http://www.gracetabernacle.org/Grace...Fatherhood.htm and https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/wo...od/id625226454

    Coming back to inerrancy, notice that Pope Benedict did take a strict view of the Bible's immunity to error, and I think he preserves the same sense as that which has been the constant teaching of the Church, including the most recent statements. Saying less in one instance is not to implicitly believe any less. I would submit to you that Jerome was not more ambiguous, but I'm open to seeing what you could come up with to confirm that point.

    I figured that it wouldn't change your mind - if the whole authority of Jesus Christ as expressed with the aid of the Holy Spirit through the ordinary magisterium of the Catholic Church, apart from the philosophical and theological arguments which may be provided, didn't convince you, then I suspect that even if the dead should rise and profess it to you you would not believe :P. I'm being a little cheeky though, I understand that it isn't the easiest belief to consent to. However, here's how I would argue it with you, if I were to argue it out: (i) the Church teaches inerrancy with the full authority of her ordinary magisterium, and (ii) any teaching which comes with the full authority of the Catholic Church's ordinary magisterium requires and demands the intellectual assent of all Catholics who are able to give it intellectual assent, and it absolutely prohibits intellectual dissent. If I could establish both of those theses, would that change your mind??
    Last edited by Tyrel; 02-22-2014 at 08:40 PM. Reason: Clumsy wording; made it clearer.

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