NASSCAL Member Publication: Michael Kok on Papias and the Gospel of the Hebrews

Michael J. Kok, “Did Papias of Hierapolis Use the Gospel according to the Hebrews as a Source?” Journal of Early Christian Studies 25.1 (2017): 29–53.

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Abstract: There is a recurring patristic tradition that Matthew composed a gospel in the Hebrew language and that Jewish sects such as the Ebionites or the Nazoreans had access to it. A Papian fragment preserved by Eusebius (h.e. 3.39.17) credits a story about Jesus’s encounter with a sinful woman to the Gospel according to the Hebrews. Nevertheless, this paper will argue that Eusebius was responsible for this ascription and that Papias of Hierapolis was active before the Jewish Christian gospels that bore this title were composed. Instead, this anecdote was available to Papias and the evangelist Luke from a pool of oral traditions in circulation in Asia Minor