Early Second-Century Believer in Jesus Valued Oral Testimony More than Written Testimony

Church historian Eusebius (263-339) quoting Papias, who wrote roughly 120-130 A.D. (though his writings themselves are no longer extant):

I also will not hesitate to draw up for you, along with these expositions, an orderly account of all the things I carefully learned and have carefully recalled from the elders; for I have certified their truth…. Whenever someone arrived who had been a companion of one of the elders, I would carefully inquire after their words, what Andrew or Peter had said, or what Philip or what Thomas had said, or James or John or Matthew or any of the other disciples of the Lord, and what things Aristion and the elder John, disciples of the Lord, were saying. For I did not suppose that what came out of books would benefit me as much as that which came from a living and abiding voice.  [Emphasis added]

Source:  Ehrman, Bart D. (2012-03-20). Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth (Kindle Locations 1496-1501). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Is there any reason to believe that Papias was different from his contemporaries in this regard?

This entry was posted in Attestation & Corroboration, Literacy & Orality. Bookmark the permalink.