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Wrote c100-125AD
Expositions of the Sayings of the Lord
 Including newly discovered Fragments

Papias is commonly classed as an Apostolic Father, meaning that he knew the Apostles themselves, or at least lived in the generation following their deaths.    He wrote five books and in them recounted unknown teachings of Jesus, miraculous stories about the Apostles, discussed the authorship of some of the Gospels, and also quoted from other parts of the New Testament.  Unfortunately his writings have been lost except for the fragments given below.

In the print world, Michael Holmes has published a popular and good quality English translation of Papias in The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations, however it has a few mistakes and omits some fragments, all of which I have attempted to correct on this page.  While assembling these fragments,  I have used the translations of Lightfoot  and the Nicene and Post-Nicene Church Father Series. These are good English translations and are in the public domain.  I have only changed punctuation or a word here and there, in order to make the translation better fit our modern vernacular.  For other Greek and Latin fragments I have translated them myself. For Agapius I asked a kind friend of mine, Tamim, to translate the small fragment from Arabic into English. I also made use of Roger Pearse’s collaborative translation of Jerome’s Chronicon. Roger also helped track down some obscure references. Finally, Robert Bedrosian has graciously volunteered to translate the two fragments of Vardan Arewelts'i from Armenian as well as the one Armenian fragment from Andrew of Caeserea.  I am deeply thankful for all of their kind help.

Index of Fragments in Chronological order:
Irenaeus of Lyons wrote c180AD

Eusebius of Caesarea c260-340AD
Apollinarius c310-390AD
Jerome c342-420AD
Philip of Side wrote 434-439AD
Prosper of Aquitania wrote 455AD
John of Scythopolis wrote 537-543AD
Andrew of Caesarea wrote  c614AD
Anastasius of Sinai?  wrote 7th century
George Syncellus wrote c800AD
George Hamartolus?  wrote c866-880AD
Photius of Constantinople c810-893
John of Dara 9th century
Cod. Vaticanus Alex. 14 9th century
Agapius of Menbij  wrote c941AD
Vardan Arewelts’i  c1200-1271AD
Nicephorus  c9th century/c1320AD
Anonymous Catena on John

Hypothetical Fragments

-APPENDIX of False Fragments-
Chronicon Paschale 630AD
Papias the Lexicographer 11th century


I indicate which translation I have used in the side column with an abbreviation or a short note on what translation I used. The name of the author is given in red and is placed before their quotation(s) which are laid in beige boxes for clarity.  I have attempted to document and check my sources in the side column, all while providing links to as many references as possible.  All other notes I give are merely to help the reader identify sources and, on occasion, provide a context for the quotation.

Some references I have not been able to fully check and have indicated in the side column.

I have also included fragments which Holmes does not give from Jerome, George Syncellus, and two false fragments which I added as an Appendix from the Chronicon Paschale and Papias the Lexicographer.  I have also reatributed fragments from Maximus the Confessor to John of Scythopolis, and discussed and questioned the authorship of a few others. Most of the material here is in the public domain, but some is copyrighted, I ask that you credit those who worked hard producing these translations.  -Tom C. Schmidt August 2009

Please contact me if any of the information given here is incorrect.

Originally I intended this webpage to function as an easily accessible and exaustive academic reference to all fragments and new discoveries concerning Papias. As I look over it now, I realize that the fragments are becoming so numerous, the notes so verbose, and the languages so plentiful, that it is becoming difficult to navigate and properly maintain. I also realize that the whole organizational structure is getting to be a bit muddled and contains inconsistencies (spelling, citations, translation methods, etc).  Fixing all this is a rather large task which I do not have time for, so I ask the reader to simply use this webpage as a guide to more research and to check all sources.


-Update-I added a new fragment from Jerome's Commentary on the Apocalypse, added a comment to Irenaeus' fragment and another to one of Eusebius' fragments,  updated the Selected Bibliography, did some basic editing, and eliminated the To Do List because I have done all I can in the short term. ~August 2009.

-Update-After some very helpful tips from William Murphy I have added some extensive notes to the fragment by Irenaeus and to one by Eusebius.  I have also added a link to Stephen Carlson's translation of Harnack's research into the existence of Papias' work  in the Middle Ages ~September 2009.


  • I added 11 new fragments.  One from  Prosper of Aquitania, eight from Nicephoras Callistus Xanthopoulos, and finally Holmes' new 3rd edition (2007) has two from John of Dara which I also, gratefully, have added.
  • I added hypothetical fragments that are proposed by Charles Hill and Richard Baukham. 
  • I updated the bibliography, edited the introduction, and made some general edits throughout the page.
  • I recieved an updated edition of Michael Holmes' "The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations" 2007 and also  Norelli's Enrico. "Papia di Hierapolis: Esposizione degli oracoli del signore. I frammenti. Introduzione, testo, traduzione e note."  Both volumes are useful, however I do not know Italian so Norelli's book is slow going.
  • This update also adds information about various ancient translations of fragments from Eusebius, Jerome, and Andrew of Caesarea.  Some of these ancient translations alter the wording of the original in potentially significant ways. 
  • I  added a note to Vardan Arewelts’i calling into question the accuracy of his statement about Papias which I learned from Norelli.
  • Finally I added a note to the introduction, stating that this page should be viewed as a starting off point for research about Papias and not as a quotable academic source.  

~January 2011



  • I replaced the three Syriac fragments with my own translations. To are from John of Dara and another from the Syriac version of the Church History of Eusebius

~October 2011 




Irenaeus of Lyons wrote c180AD
Therefore the foretold blessing indisputably belongs to the times of the Kingdom, when the righteous shall rise from the dead and reign and through the resurrection itself shall be honored by God, when also creation shall be freed and renewed, and  shall grow a multitude of every kind of food from the dew of heaven and from the wealth of the earth. Just as the Elders, who saw John the disciple of the Lord, recalled hearing from him how concerning these times he used to teach that the Lord would say:

“Days will come in which the vines shall grow, when  each one will have ten-thousand branches and every single branch ten-thousand twigs  and on every single twig ten-thousand leaves and on every single leaf ten-thousand clusters, and on every single cluster ten-thousand grapes and each grape that is pressed will give twenty-five measures of wine.  And when one of the saints plucks a cluster, another cluster shall call, ‘I am better, take me, bless the Lord through me.’ In the same way an ear of wheat will grow ten-thousand kernels of grain, and every single ear of wheat will have ten-thousand kernels and every single kernel will give five pounds of the finest pure flour, and the rest of the ripe fruits and the seeds and the grass will be like these in a following proportion.  And all the creatures who desire these foods will receive them from the earth, becoming peaceable and united to one another, submissive to men and entirely obedient.”

These things Papias, the hearer of John, who was a companion of Polycarp, a man of ancient time, testifies in writing in the fourth of his books, for there are five books composed by him.  And he adds saying “These things are believable to those who believe.  For,” he says, “even Judas the betrayer who did not believe and questioned ‘And how will such things happen been accomplished by God?’ But the Lord said ‘those who come to those times shall see.’” -Against Heresies 5.33.3-4  [checked  reconstructed Greek of SC 153 p213-217]
My translation. I used the reconstructed Greek given by SC 153 p213-217 [checked] which is based off of a literal Armenian translation and incorporates one small fragment of Greek from Eusebius' fragment below.  Holmes, Lightfoot, and the ANCF translations are based off the  poorer quality Latin translation and also included the Greek fragment from Eusebius.

Victorinus of Pettau c.260AD seems to  allude to parts of this passage and other nearby passages  in his Commentary on the Apocalypse  21.6: “Of this kingdom, the Lord reminded the Apostles before He suffered, saying: I will not drink of this fruit of the vine any more, until when I will drink with you again in the coming kingdom,v which is the hundred parts multiplied, ten times, a thousand times, to greater things and better things.” Translation by Kevin Edgecomb [checked].  

Hippolytus of Rome c.210AD in his Commentary On Daniel may quote Irenaeus or Papias: "Therefore, after the Lord had described the coming Kingdom to the disciples  as being glorious and wonderful, Judas, who confused by what was spoken, said 'And yet who will see these things?' And the Lord said, "Those who are worthy will see these things.'" Commentary On Daniel 4.59 (my translation [checked GCS Commentary on Daniel]).  Thanks to Stephen Carlson for pointing it out.

The following parallels to this passage were sent in by William Murphy.  I gratefully present them for you all here:

2 Baurch c.100AD  "The earth also shall yield its fruit ten-thousandfold and on each vine there shall be a thousand branches, and each branch shall produce a thousand clusters, and each cluster produce a thousand grapes, and each grape produce a cor of wine." 2 Baurch 29.5 [checked]

The pseudopigriphal 2 Apocalypse of John c.5th century AD  "Hear, righteous John. There shall be in that time abundance of corn and wine, such as there hath never been upon the earth, nor shall ever be until those times come.  Then the ear of corn shall produce a half chœnixand the bend of the branch shall produce a thousand clusters, and the cluster shall produce a half jar of wine; and in the following year there shall not be found upon the face of all the earth a half chœnix of corn or a half jar of wine." 2 Apocalypse of John [checked]

The Coptic Apocalypse of Paul 4th-5th century AD "And the trees were full of fruits from the root even to the upper branches. (Lat. is confused here. Copt. has: From the root of each tree up to its heart there were ten thousand branches with tens of thousands of clusters, [and there were ten thousand clusters on each branch,] and there were ten thousand dates in each cluster. And thus was it also with the vines. Every vine had ten thousand branches, and each branch had upon it ten thousand bunches of grapes, and every bunch had on it ten thousand grapes. And there were other trees there, myriads of myriads of them, and their fruit was in the same proportion.)" Coptic Apocalypse of Paul  22 [checked]

1 Enoch 2nd-1st century BC : "and the vine which they plant thereon shall yield wine in abundance, and as for all the seed which is sown thereon each measure (of it) shall bear a thousand, and each measure of olives shall yield 20 ten presses of oil." 1 Enoch 10.19 [checked]

Finally an Encomium on John the Baptist  reported in The New Testament Apocrypha  M. R. James p.37 [checked], also parallels this passage. Clement of Alexandria in his Stromaties 6.6.48 is said to allude to this passage but I do not see a parallel [checked GCS edition].  The "Dialogue between Christ and the Devil" evidently parallels this passage, but I have not checked this myself.


Eusebius of Caesarea c260-340AD
Irenaeus and others record that John the Theologian and Apostle survived until the times of Trajan; after which Papias of Hierapolis and Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, both of whom heard him, became well known.   
-Chronicon 220th Olympiad/100AD [checked Greek of Holmes, LTF and Syncellus vol. 1 CSHB p.656
My translation. Eusebius wrote his Chronicon in the year 303AD. I am fairly certain that the Greek for this passage comes from an unattributed quotation from George Syncellus’ Chronology 424. When it is matched with Jerome’s translation of Eusebius, it seems certain that this is what Eusebius said. I need to check GCS 47 to verify this.  See Syncellus’ quote below.  The armenian translation should be consulted, here is an article calling for a better edition and here is an older edition which contains the Armenian as well as a Latin translation of it. P.162 of PDF contains the reference to Papias.
In the third year of the reign of the emperor mentioned above [Trajan], Clement committed the episcopal government of the church of Rome to Evarestus, and departed this life after he had superintended the teaching of the divine word nine years in all.  But when Symeon also had died in the manner described, a certain Jew by the name of Justus succeeded to the episcopal throne in Jerusalem. He was one of the many thousands of the circumcision who at that time believed in Christ. At that time Polycarp, a disciple of the apostles, was a man of eminence in Asia, having been entrusted with the episcopate of the church of Smyrna by those who had seen and heard the Lord. And at the same time Papias, bishop of the parish of Hierapolis, became well known, as did also Ignatius, who was chosen bishop of Antioch, second in succession to Peter, and whose fame is still celebrated by a great many.
-Ecclesiastical History 3.34.1-3.36.2 [checked NPNCF]
NPNCF translation. Eusebius wrote his Ecclesiastical History in the year 324AD. This passage refers to Emperor Trajan’s reign which was from 98-117AD.


There are extant five books of Papias, which bear the title Expositions of Oracles of the Lord. Irenaeus makes mention of these as the only works written by him, in the following words: "These things are attested by Papias, an ancient man who was a hearer of John and a companion of Polycarp, in his fourth book. For five books have been written by him." These are the words of Irenaeus.

But Papias himself in the preface to his discourses by no means declares that he was himself a hearer and eye-witness of the holy apostles, but he shows by the words which he uses that he received the doctrines of the faith from those who were their friends. He says:

"But I shall not hesitate also to put down for you along with my interpretations whatsoever things I have at any time learned carefully from the elders and carefully remembered, guaranteeing their truth. For I did not, like the multitude, take pleasure in those that speak much, but in those that teach the truth; not in those that relate strange commandments, but in those that deliver the commandments given by the Lord to faith, and springing from the truth itself. If, then, any one came, who had been a follower of the elders, I questioned him in regard to the words of the elders,-what Andrew or what Peter said, or what was said by Philip, or by Thomas, or by James, or by John, or by Matthew, or by any other of the disciples of the Lord, and what things Aristion and the presbyter John, the disciples of the Lord, say. For I did not think that what was to be gotten from the books would profit me as much as what came from the living and abiding voice."

And Papias had five writings, which were written concerning the interpretation of the words of our Lord. For Irenaeus recalls these as being the only that he wrote. And he says in this way, "So these things Papias spoke from what he heard from John. And he was a companion of Polycarp. And he was a man of antiquity." And he testifies of <these> writings in a [] chapter in his treatises. For five books have been written by him.” Irenaeus <thus> speaks concerning him.

But Papias in the introduction to his words does not declare that he heard the holy apostles or saw them. For he teaches that he accepted the words of faith from they who knew the apostles by these words which he spoke:

"I will not be negligent to put down for you in these interpretations what I indeed well learned from the elders. And <what> I well remember from them and I testify on their behalf the truth. For in many words I did not rejoice as many <do>, but in those who teach the truth, nor in those who remember the Commandments of strangers, but in those who followed what was given by our Lord to the faith and from that which flows and comes from the truth. Nor, if someone came who followed the elders, did I treat as equal the words of the elders, what Andrew said or what Peter said or what Philip or what Thomas or what James or what John or Matthew or any other of the disciples of our Lord or what Aristion or John the elder <said>. For I did not so think to discover gain from their writings as from a living and abiding voice."

  [GREEK resumes] It is worth while observing here that the name John is twice enumerated by him. The first one he mentions in connection with Peter and James and Matthew and the rest of the apostles, clearly meaning the evangelist; but the other John he mentions after an interval, and places him among others outside of the number of the apostles, putting Aristion before him, and he distinctly calls him a presbyter. This shows that the statement of those is true, who say that there were two persons in Asia that bore the same name, and that there were two tombs in Ephesus, each of which, even to the present day, is called John's. It is important to notice this. For it is probable that it was the second, if one is not willing to admit that it was the first that saw the Revelation, which is ascribed by name to John

And Papias, of whom we are now speaking, confesses that he received the words of the apostles from those that followed them, but says that he was himself a hearer of Aristion and the presbyter John. At least he mentions them frequently by name, and gives their traditions in his writings. These things we hope, have not been uselessly adduced by us.  

But it is fitting to subjoin to the words of Papias which have been quoted, other passages from his works in which he relates some other wonderful events which he claims to have received from tradition. That Philip the apostle dwelt at Hierapolis with his daughters has been already stated. But it must be noted here that Papias, their contemporary, says that he heard a wonderful tale from the daughters of Philip. For he relates that in his time one rose from the dead. And he tells another wonderful story of Justus, surnamed Barsabbas: that he drank a deadly poison, and yet, by the grace of the Lord, suffered no harm.

The Book of Acts records that the holy apostles after the ascension of the Savior, put forward this Justus, together with Matthias, and prayed that one might be chosen in place of the traitor Judas, to fill up their number. The account is as follows: "And they put forward two, Joseph, called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias; and they prayed and said..."

The same writer gives also other accounts which he says came to him through unwritten tradition, certain strange parables and teachings of the Savior, and some other more mythical things. To these belong his statement that there will be a period of some thousand years after the resurrection of the dead, and that the kingdom of Christ will be set up in material form on this very earth. I suppose he got these ideas through a misunderstanding of the apostolic accounts, not perceiving that the things said by them were spoken mystically in figures.

For he appears to have been of very limited understanding, as one can see from his discourses. But it was due to him that so many of the Church Fathers after him adopted a like opinion, urging in their own support the antiquity of the man; as for instance Irenaeus and any one else that may have proclaimed similar views.

Papias gives also in his own work other accounts of the words of the Lord on the authority of Aristion who was mentioned above, and traditions as handed down by the presbyter John; to which we refer those who are fond of learning. But now we must add to the words of his which we have already quoted the tradition which he gives in regard to Mark, the author of the Gospel.

"This also the presbyter said: Mark having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately, though not in order, whatsoever he remembered of the things said or done by Christ. For he neither heard the Lord nor followed him, but afterward, as I said, he followed Peter, who adapted his teaching to the needs of his hearers, but with no intention of giving a connected account of the Lord's discourses, so that Mark committed no error while he thus wrote some things as he remembered them. For he was careful of one thing, not to omit any of the things which he had heard, and not to state any of them falsely." These things are related  by Papias concerning Mark. But concerning Matthew he writes as follows: "So then Matthew wrote the oracles in the Hebrew language, and every one interpreted them as he was able." And the same writer uses testimonies from the first Epistle of John and from that of Peter likewise. And he relates another story of a woman, who was accused of many sins before the Lord, which is contained in the Gospel according to the Hebrews. These things we have thought it necessary to observe in addition to what has been already stated.  
-Ecclesiastical History 3.39.1-16 [checked NPNCF]

NPNCF translation.  After this passage book 3 of Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History ends and book 4 begins in the 12th year of Trajen, 110AD.

The Syriac, Armenian, and Coptic translations should also be consulted (though I don't know if the Coptic may  covers our passage at hand. ) I give the Syriac version (differences are underlined, omissions are bracketed) in a second column, which I have translated from Syriac. this article claims that the Armenian translation has similarities with the Syriac. Rufinus' Latin translation of Euesebius should also be consulted as well as Bede's use of Rufinus in his "Exposition on Mark: Letter to Acca.   The reference for the Armenian version is "Ewsebiosi Kesaracwoy Patmutiwn Ekelecwoy : yeleal yasorwoyn i hay i 5. daru parzabaneal nor targmanuteamb i yoyn bnagren i jern / h. Abraham v. Carean i Mxitareanc I Venetik : I Vans Surb Lazaru, 1877"

Eusebius also quotes Dionysius of Alexandria c.260AD  (Ecclesiastical History 7.25  [checked]) as theorizing that Revelation and the Gospel of John were written by two different Johns based on styalistic grounds and that there are, supposedly, two monuments to John in Ephesus. Additionaly Eusebius quotes Polycrates of Ephesus c.195AD as claiming that John, who reclined on the chest of the Lord, wore priestly garb and was buried in Ephesus Ecclesiastical History 3.31 [checked]  The ambigious priesthood of John is, to my knowledge,  only repeated in the Mingana manuscript below.

The Apostolic Constitutions also claim that there were two Johns: "Of Ephesus, Timotheus, ordained by Paul; and John, by me John."-Apostolic Constitutions 7.46

A. Mingana in “The Authorship of the Fourth Gospel,” Bulletin of the John Rylands Library XIV (1930): 333ff. [checked] reports that an 18th century Syriac manuscript, apparantly copied from  an 8th century manuscript, contains a treatise attributed to Eusebius of Caeserea which gives interesting details about a second John:

“John the Evangelist was also from Bethsaida. He was of the tribe of Zebulun. He preached in Asia at first, and afterwards was banished by Tiberius Caesar to the isle of Patmos. Then he went to Ephesus and built up the church in it. Then three disciples went thither with him, and there he died and was buried. [These three were] Ignatius, who was afterwards bishop in Antioch and was thrown to the beasts at Rome; Polycarp, who was afterwards bishop in Smyrna and was crowned in the fire; John, to whom he committed the priesthood and the episcopal see after him. He then [the Evangelist, having lived a long time, died and was buried in Ephesus, in which he had been bishop. He was buried by his disciple John, who was bishop in Ephesus [after him]; and their two graves are in Ephesus―one concealed, namely the Evangelist’s; the other being that of John his disciple, who wrote the Revelations, for he said that he heard all that he wrote from the mouth of the Evangelist.”  -F. F. Bruce, “Some Notes on the Fourth Gospel,” The Evangelical Quarterly 16 (1944): 103 [checked, Mingana did not translate the Syriac in his article but Bruce did.]  

The previous two quoations may be completely based off of Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, they are however given to aid the reader in attempting to track down Papian allusions.  I am grateful for the kind William A. Murphy who  gave me exact references for the Mingana and Bruce articles.

Victorinus of Pettau c.260AD  alludes to Papias’ statement on Mark  in his Commentary on the Apocalypse  4.4: “Mark, the interpreter of Peter, wrote a record of those things which he generally taught, but not in order, and begins with the word of prophecy announced by Isaiah.”  Translation by Kevin Edgecomb. [checked]

This is notable because Victorinus wrote earlier than  Eusebius and  is thus an independent witness to this account of the composition of the Gospel according to Mark.

And so greatly did the splendor of piety illumine the minds of Peter's hearers that they were not satisfied with hearing once only, and were not content with the unwritten teaching of the divine Gospel, but with all sorts of entreaties they besought Mark, a follower of Peter, and the one whose Gospel is extant, that he would leave them a written monument of the doctrine which had been orally communicated to them. Nor did they cease until they had prevailed with the man, and had thus become the occasion of the written Gospel which bears the name of Mark.

And they say that Peter when he had learned, through a revelation of the Spirit, of that which had been done, was pleased with the zeal of the men, and that the work obtained the sanction of his authority for the purpose of being used in the churches. Clement in the eighth book of his Hypotyposes gives this account, and with him agrees the bishop of Hierapolis named Papias. And Peter makes mention of Mark in his first epistle which they say that he wrote in Rome itself, as is indicated by him, when he calls the city, by a figure, Babylon, as he does in the following words: "The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son."
-Ecclesiastical History 2.15.1-2 [checked NPNCF]
 NPNCF translation.  


 Apollinarius c310-390AD
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 head long he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.  This fact is related more clearly by Papias, the disciple of John, and the fourth book of the Expositions 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 hay 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 have they sunk from the surface.  

His genitals appeared entirely disfigured, nauseous and large.  When he carried himself about discharge and worms flowed from his entire body through his private areas only, on account of his outrages.  After many agonies and punishments, he died in his own place.  And on account of this the place is desolate and uninhabited even now.  And to this day no one is able to go by that place, except if they block their noses with their hands.  Such judgment was spread through his body and upon the earth.

-A catena compiled by Cramer vol 3 p12 [checked]

 LTF translation, the last paragraph is  my translation via Cramer vol 3 p.12 [checked]. This entire quotation is also given  by Theophylact Exposition on the Acts of the Apostles PG125 p522 [checked] and the first paragraph is not  attributed to Apollinarius.  Oecumenius does the same but omits the last sentence Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles  PG118 p57. [checked].  A similar but not identical catena ascribes only the first sentence of the second paragraph to Papias and the rest of the three paragraphs to, seemingly,  Apollinarius Cramer vol 1 p.231 [checked]. A scholia on Acts 1.18 compiled in S. Lvcae Actvs apostolorvm graece et latine Riga 1782 p. 304 by Matthai [checked] gives a shortened variation of the first and second paragraph and attributes it to Apollinarius, and also has a different passage associated with Eusebius, but neither mention Papias.  Another catena is quite similar to the passage at hand but omits the last sentence,  it is  given in Anecdota Graeca volume 2 p464  [checked] This one page is annoyingly omitted by the Google scan so I scanned it myself.  Kirsopp Lake The Beginning of Christianity p24 [checked] says that Bar-Salibi quotes Papias in a fragment in the American Journal of Theology vol 4.3 1900 p501 [checked]. Zigabenus alludes to the passage at hand in his Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles PG129 p.1280 and Matthai p294-295. [checked].  Holmes seems to use the Greek reconstruction given by  Hilgenfeld Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche Theologie 1875 p.263 [checked] and Preuschen Antilegomena 1905 p.97-99 [checked]

Read this blog post for a more in depth discussion.


 Jerome c342-420AD
Bishop Irenaeus writes that John the Apostle survived all the way to the time of Trajan: after whom his notable disciples were Papias, Bishop of Hieropolis, Polycarp of Smyrna, and Ignatius of Antioch.

-Chronicon of Jerome 220th Olympiad/100AD.  [checked via Pearse’s translation]
 Roger Pearse’s collaborative translation. This was written in 380AD.  Jerome  translated and continued Eusebius’ Chronicon.  Jerome appears to have added a reference to Ignatius.
For even previously, Papias, Bishop of Hierapolis and Nepos, Bishop of areas of Egypt, thought the same as Victorinus concerning the thousand year Kingdom.

-Preface to Jerome's revised version of Victorinus' Commentary on the Apocalypse  [checked CSEL 49]
 My translation. Jerome revised Victorinus' Commentary on the Apocalypse to improve the style and correct, in his view, doctrinal errors. According to DECL, Victorinus wrote c.260AD, [checked]  According to Quasten It is unknown when Jerome made his revision but it likely was not towards the end of his life  [checked]. The ANCF translation of Victorinus is in actuality Jerome's revision which is quite different in certain places, especially at the end.  A translation from the SC 423 edition is given here.  I used the older CSEL 49 edition [checked]
Papias, a hearer of John, and bishop of Hierapolis in Asia, wrote only five books, which he entitled An Exposition of Discourses of the Lord. Wherein, when he asserts in his preface that he is not following promiscuous statements, but has the Apostles as his authorities, he says:

I used to inquire what had been said by Andrew, or by Peter, or by Philip, or by Thomas or James, or by John or Matthew or any other of the Lord's disciples, and what Aristion and the Elder John, the disciples of the Lord, were saying. For books to read do not profit me so much as the living voice clearly sounding up to the present day in the persons of their authors.

From which it is clear that in his list of names itself there is one John who is reckoned among the Apostles, and another the Elder John, whom he enumerates after Aristion. We have mentioned this fact on account of the statement made above, which we have recorded on the authority of very many, that the two later epistles of John are not the work of the Apostle, but of the Elder. This Papias is said to have promulgated the Jewish tradition of a Millennium, and he is followed by Irenaeus, Apollinarius and the others, who say that after the resurrection the Lord will reign in the flesh with the saints. Tertullian also in his work On the hope of the faithful, Victorinus of Petau and Lactantius follow this view.”
-On Illustrious Men 18  [checked LTF and NPNCF]
 LTF translation, last sentence is the NPNCF translation. This was written in 393AD. The NPNCF translation suggests that Papias or John the Elder  wrote other books, but I see no  need for that inference in the Latin given by Holmes. Gennadius continued Jerome’s work, but I do not know if he added anything to the entry on Papias, like Jerome did to Eusebius’s Chronicon by mentioning Ignatius.  See here for an older edition of Gennadius, according to DECL Wilhelm Herding has a more recent edition (1924 Leipzig).  Sophronius translated Jerome's work into Greek, this should also be consulted.
It is a false rumor which has reached you to the effect that I have translated the books of Josephus and the volumes of the holy men Papias and Polycarp. I have neither the leisure nor the ability to preserve the charm of these masterpieces in another tongue.
-Letter to Lucinius (71.5)  [checked NPNCF]
NPNCF translation. This letter was written in 398AD.
The growth of this heresy is described for us by Irenaeus, bishop of the church of Lyons, a man of the apostolic times, who was a disciple of Papias the hearer of the evangelist John.
-Letter to Theodora (75.3)  [checked NPNCF]
 NPNCF translation. This letter was written in 399AD. Theodora was the widow of the above mentioned Lucinius, who had died since Jerome last wrote to him.


 Philip of Side wrote 434-439AD
Papias, bishop of Hierapolis, who was a disciple of John the Divine, and a companion of Polycarp, wrote five books of Oracles of the Lord, wherein, when giving a list of the Apostles, after Peter and John, Philip and Thomas and Matthew he included among the disciples of the Lord Aristion and a second John, whom also he called `The Elder.' So some think that this John is the author of the two short and catholic Epistles, which are published in the name of John; and he gives as the reason that the primitive (fathers) only accept the first epistle. Some too have wrongly considered the Apocalypse also to be his (i.e. the Elder John's) work. Papias too is in error about the Millennium, and from him Irenaeus also.

Papias in his second book says that John the Divine and James his brother were killed by the Jews. The aforesaid Papias stated on the authority of the daughters of Philip that Barsabas, who is also called Justus, when challenged by the unbelievers drank serpent's poison in the name of the Lord, and was shielded from all harm. He makes also other marvelous statements, and particularly about the mother of Manaim who was raised from the dead. As for those who were raised from the dead by Christ, (he states) that they survived till the time of Hadrian.
-History of Christianity fragment from codex Baroccianus 142 in the Bodleian Library [Checked LTF]
 LTF translation. I exchanged the words “[He says] that” with “So some think” which better matches the Greek.  The Greek for this fragment was originally given by C. De Boor Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur Leipzig 1889 p.170 [checked the Greek but not German discussion]


 Prosper of Aquitania wrote 455AD
Papias, bishop of Hierapolis, who was a disciple of John the Divine, and a companion of Polycarp, wrote five books of Oracles of the Lord, wherein, when giving a list of the Apostles, after Peter and John, Philip and Thomas and Irenaeus wrote that John the Apostle remained until the times of Trajen, after whom were Papias Bishop of Heirapolis, Polycarp of Smyrna and Ignatius of Antioch.
-Epitome of Chronicles Section 550 106AD [checked MGH Auctores antiquissimi (Auct. ant.) Chronica minora saec. IV. V. VI. VII. (I) volume 9 page 419]
My translation. The volume containing this passage can be found here http://www.dmgh.de/


 John of Scythopolis wrote 537-543AD
Those who practised guilelessness towards God they used to call children, as Papias also shows in the first book of the Expositions of the Lord, and Clement of Alexandria in the Paedagogue.
-Scholia on The Celestial Hierarchy of Dionysius the Areopagite 2.5 (PG 4 p48) [checked LTF, PG, and Rorem & Lamoreaux]
 LTF translation.  This and the following fragment are not from Maximus the Confessor as Migne, Lightfoot, and Holmes have stated. See Rorem & Lamoreaux John of Scythopolis and the Dionysian Corpus: Annotating the Areopagite Oxford 1998  [checked] for a discussion of the dates of John’s writings and his relationship with Maximus the Confessor.
This he says, darkly indicating, I suppose, Papias of Hierapolis in Asia, who was a bishop at that time and flourished in the days of the holy Evangelist John. For this Papias in the fourth book of his Dominical Expositions mentioned viands among the sources of delights in the resurrection.... And Irenaeus of Lyons says the same thing in his fifth book against heresies, and produces in support of his statement the aforesaid Papias.
-Scholia on The Ecclesiastical Hierarchy of Dionysius the Areopagite 7.3.5 (PG 4 p176) [checked LTF, PG and Rorem & Lamoreaux]
 LTF translation. The scholia itself is not on Ecclesiastical Hierarchy 7.2 as Lightfoot and Holmes have said, but it is on 7.3.5.  The break in the text concerns John's discussion of Apollinarius and is unrelated to Papias.


 Andrew of Caesarea likely wrote before 614AD
With regard however to the inspiration of the book (i.e. the Apocalypse) we hold it superfluous to speak at length; since the blessed Gregory (I mean, the Divine) and Cyril, and men of an older generation as well, Papias, Irenaeus, Methodius and Hippolytus, bear testimony to its genuineness.
-On the Apocalypse Preface  [Checked LTF and PG 106 p220]
LTF translation. For a brief discussion of Andrew's dates see Di Berardino Parology: The Eastern Fathers from  Chalcedon to John of Damascus. 2006 [checked].

And Papias has thus word for word: "some of them, that is, the divine Angels of old, [130] he gave (authority) to rule over the earth and commanded (them) to rule well." And then says the following: "And it happened that their arrangement came to nothing."

[Rev. 12:9] And the great dragon was thrown (down), the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world, he was thrown to the earth, and his angels were thrown (down).  

Naturally. For heaven does not bear an earthly mentality, because darkness has nothing in common with light. If it is placed with the article "the Satan," it is not as (though) another is been placed alongside the devil -and if it is placed like an overstatement, such as "the devil and the Satan"-rather he is called by two (names)-the one (the devil) because he slanders virtues and those who desire them and he (slanders) God himself to human beings, as he represented him (God) slanderously to Adam, and the other (Satan), as he is opposed to both the master and his servants. One must know that the fall of the devil that happened after the cross is not that (of) place, (but) as (a fall to) inefficacy from those former (powers), just as he also confessed to Anthony, the verse of the song had been fulfilled in him. "The swords of the enemy he utterly destroyed to the end." Therefore, his fall is the annulment of his evil [131] machinations, after the complete rejection of him from heaven and the rule belonging to him, as it is said. It had been said by the blessed Justin the martyr (that) after the coming of Christ and the decree against him (to send him) to Gehenna, the devil is to become a creature blasphemer even (to the extent that) he had never before so shamelessly blasphemed God.
-On the Apocalypse Book 12.34

And Papias, in his discourses, put it this way: Heaven did not countenance his earthly plans, since communication between light and darkness is impossible. He [satan] fell to earth to dwell here, and people came to where he lived. However, he did not let them enjoy their natural passions, rather, he beguiled them into many evils. But Michael and his forces who are overseers of the world helped humanity, as Daniel learned. They established laws and made the prophets wise. All this constituted a battle against the dragon [satan] who [always] set obstacles for humanity. And this struggle extended to Heaven , to Christ. Then Christ came, and the law which had been impossible for others [to fulfill] He realized in His own body, according to the Apostle. He caused sin to retreat and condemned satan, and by His death He spread His righteousness over everyone. Once this happened, the victory of Michael and his forces was realized, and the dragon was unable to resist any longer. This was because the death of Christ made a laughing-stock of him and hurled him to earth. Christ spoke about this, saying: "I saw satan fall from heaven like a bolt of lightning". The Doctors of the Church (the vardapet s) understood this to refer not to his first fall, but to his second which occurred because of the crucifixion. This [second] fall was not one which occurred in a particular place as the first [fall] had, but rather concerned the expectation of future judgement and punishment . For he had failed in battle, as Anton [St. Anthony] himself confessed in a psalm he wrote about this: "The enemy's weapons were completely destroyed." For Christ had judged him and he fell absolutely. The Doctors of the Church teach that until this fall he [satan] had hopes of returning to his former glory, but afterwards he fell completely. On this [topic] Irenaeus takes the words of the martyr Justin as follows... -On the Apocalypse Armenian translation by Robert Bedrosian

These two columns represent the two different manuscript traditions.  The first represents the original Greek (see above) and the second column represents the Armenian which was generously translated by Robert Bedrosian.  See  Folker Siegert Unbeachtete Papiaszitate bei armenischen Schriftstellern. New Testament Studies, Volume 27, Issue 05, October 1981 [checked, but did not  read German discussion]

Both columns continue immediately after the quotation from Revelation 12:9 and are commenting on that verse.  As you can see the Armenian quotes Papias but the Greek does not, there are other significant differences as well. The Greek portions are translated by Constantinou, Eugénia in her 2008 thesis "Andrew of Caesarea and the Apocalypse in the Ancient Church of the East: Studies and Translation." found here.  Revelation 12:9 is part of the text. Footnote 666 p.134-135 (422-423 of PDF) in Constantinou's translation of the Greek indicates that the quotation of Justin is only found in Irenaeus (Haer. 5.26.2) and Eusebius of Caesarea (E.H. 4.18.9).  The Armenian translation indicates that the quote from Justin is found in Irenaeus whereas the Greek pretends to quote directly from Justin.



Anastasius of Sinai?  wrote towards end of 7th century
Taking their start from Papias the great, of Hierapolis, the disciple of the Apostle who leaned on Christ's bosom, and Clement, Pantaenus the priest of the Alexandrians and Ammonius, the great scholar, those ancient and first expositors who agree with each other in understanding all the work of the six days (as referring) to Christ and His Church.
-Contempl. Anagog. In Hexaemeron 1 [Checked LTF and PG 89 p860]
LTF translation.  Many believe that Anastasius did not write this work. For a brief discussion of Anastasius' dates and authorship see Di Berardino Parology: The Eastern Fathers from  Chalcedon to John of Damascus. 2006 [checked].
So then the more ancient expositors of the churches, I mean Philo, the philosopher, and contemporary of the Apostles, and the famous Papias of Hierapolis, the disciple of John the Evangelist...and their associates, interpreted the sayings about Paradise spiritually, and referred them to the Church of Christ.
- Contempl. Anagog. In Hexaemeron 7 [Checked LTF and PG 89 p961-962]
 LTF translation.


George Syncellus wrote c800AD 
Peter sent the first catholic epistle from Rome, having, according to Eusebius, Mark the evangelist as a follower.  At this time, he composed the gospel at the Romans’ request, according to Clement in the sixth book of his Hypotyposeis and Papias the bishop of Hierapolis.
-Chroniconology of George Syncellus 403 [Checked Greek in George Syncellus vol. 1 CSHB p.627]
 My translation.
Irenaeus and others record that John the Theologian and Apostle survived until the times of Trajan; after which Papias of Hierapolis and Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, both of whom heard him, were becoming known.
-Chroniconology of George Syncellus 424 [Checked Greek in George Syncellus vol. 1 CSHB p.656]
 My translation. Syncellus places this passage 97 years after the birth of Jesus.


George Hamartolus? (George Monochos/the Sinner) wrote c866-880AD
After Domitian, Nerva reigned one year, who recalled John from the island (i.e. Patmos), and allowed him to dwell in Ephesus. He was at that time the sole survivor of the twelve Apostles, and after writing his Gospel received the honour of martyrdom. For Papias, bishop of Hierapolis, who was an eye-witness of him, in the second book of the Oracles of the Lord says that he was killed by the Jews, and thereby evidently fulfilled, together with his brother, Christ's prophecy concerning them, and their own confession and undertaking on His behalf. For when the Lord said to them; Are ye able to drink of the cup that I drink of?, and they readily assented and agreed, He said; My cup shall ye drink, and with the baptism that I am baptized shall ye be baptized. And reasonably so, for it is impossible for God to lie. So too the learned Origen affirms in his interpretation of S. Matthew's Gospel that John was martyred, declaring that he had learnt the fact from the successors of the Apostles. And indeed the well-informed Eusebius also in his Ecclesiastical History says; `Thomas received by lot Parthia, but John, Asia, where also he made his residence and died at Ephesus.'
-Chroniconology of George Hamartolus [Checked Rolte and de Boor]
 LTF translation.  This text appears to be a later  interpolation and was not written by George Hamartolus. It may be from Codex Coislinianus 305, but I am not sure.  See Rolte Theologische Quartalschrift 1862 p466 [checked, but did not  read German discussion]. This text is not given in the edition of George Hamartolus's Chronicle by   C. De Boor Georgii Monachi Chronicon vol. 2 1904 p.447 [checked] See PG110 p.18-20 for discussion  on Codex 305 [checked but  did not read Latin discussion]


Photius of Constantinople c810-893
Nor again (does Stephanus follow) Papias, the bishop and martyr of Hierapolis, nor Irenaeus, the holy bishop of Lyons, when they say that the kingdom of heaven will consist in enjoyment of certain material foods.
-Bibliothecae # 232, on Stephan Gobarus [Checked LTF and Bekker p.291]
LTF translation. See Bekker Photii Bibliotheca vol. 1 for Greek [checked].
And the...great Methodius...and also Irenaeus bishop of Lyons and Papias bishop of Heirapolis, Methodius won the crown of martyrdom, the latter were apostolic men....But however, when they diminish the truth and were brought to speak against the common and ecclesiastical dogma, in these things we do not follow them, but we take nothing away from their patristic honor and glory.
-From an epistle of Photius to Archbishop and Metropolitan Aquileias [checked Greek of Holmes] 
My translation. See J.N. Barletta Photii Epistolae London 1864  [not checked]


John of Dara 9th century

Therefore, at this Apollonarius the heretic, with his companions, abandoned the glorious illumination of the living words and became blind to the faith like the Jews. He dared to speak, like the Pharisees, that after the resurrection of the dead, we shall live again for a thousand years in Jerusalem with the Messiah, with bodily pleasures, and childish sacrifices, and earthly libations before him [the Messiah?]. After these things are fulfilled, at that time we shall be taken up into heaven. And he was not shamed by the voice of Paul who said, "The kingdom of God is not of eating or drinking. But of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." [Romans 14:17]. Also in like manner Irenaeus bishop of Lyon in Gaul wandered in these matters, which are in the book of Papias as Eusebius narrates.
~John of Dara On the Resurrection of Bodies 2.13

 My translation from the Syriac of  A. Baumstark, "Zwei syrische Papiascitate," Oriens christianus 2 [1902] p.353-57

Papias, bishop of Hierapolis in the Asia, who was educated with John the Evangelist, says in the fourth book of "Interpretations of the Lord" that delights shall exist through foods in the resurrection. What is more, Irenaeus says the same in <his> writing "Against Heresies", from testimony from the book of Papias. Afterwards, he accepted this opinion of Apollonarius.
~John of Dara On the Heavenly and the Earthly Hierarchy

 My translation from the Syriac of  A. BaumstarkA. Baumstark, "Zwei syrische Papiascitate," Oriens christianus 2 [1902] p.353-57


Codex Vaticanus Alexandrinus 14 9th century
The Gospel of John was made known and given to the Churches by John, while he yet remained in the body; as (one) Papias by name, of Hierapolis, a beloved disciple of John, has related in his exoteric, that is, in his last five books; but he wrote down the Gospel at the dictation of John, correctly.  But Marcion the heretic, when he had been censured by him because he held heretical opinions, was cast off by John. Now he had brought writings or letters delivered to him from the brethren that were in Pontus.
-Locataed as a preface to the Gospel of John [checked Essays On The Work Entitled Supernatural Religion p.210] 
 Translation from Lightfoot Essays On The Work Entitled Supernatural Religion. 1889 p210 [checked]. Codex title taken from Holmes. [checked] Latin can be found in J.B. Pitra Analecta Sacra 2.1 p.160 [checked].


Agapius of Menbij (Agapius of Hierapolis) wrote c941AD
And there was at that time in Menbij [Hierapolis] a distinguished master who had many treatises, and he wrote five treatises on the Gospel. And he mentions in his treatise on the Gospel of John, that in the book of John the Evangelist, he speaks of a woman who was adulterous, so when they presented her to Christ our Lord, to whom be glory, He told the Jews who brought her to Him, “Whoever of you knows that he is innocent of what she has done, let him testify against her with what he has.” So when He told them that, none of them responded with anything and they left.
-Universal History Year 12 of Trajen (110AD) Patrologia Orientalis vol. 7 p.48-49 on the section concerning Agapius [checked Patrolgia Orientalis for Arabic via my kind friend Tamim.
 Translated by a kind friend from the Arabic in Vasiliev Patrologia Orientalis vol. 7  [checked]. See Roger Pearse's translation from the French [checked]. Note that Agapius was from the  Hierapolis in Syria, not the Hierapolis of Phyrgia which was where Papias was from.  Thanks to Roger Pearse for helping me locate the Arabic text.


Vardan Arewelts’i  (Vardan Vardapet) c1200-1271AD
Now as regards the aloe which they brought [or bring], some say that it is a mixture of oil and honey.  But certainly aloe is a type of incense. The geographer and Papias relate that there are fifteen kinds of aloe in India...
-Explanations of Holy Scripture Armenian transltion by Robert Bedrosian
 Robert Bedrosian translation. These two passages were originally written in Armenian.  See  Folker Siegert Unbeachtete Papiaszitate bei armenischen Schriftstellern. New Testament Studies, Volume 27, Issue 05, October 1981 [checked, but did not  read German discussion].  The title of the work by Vardan Arewelts’i was taken from Holmes [checked]. Norelli (2005) p.495 observes that in this second fragment Vardan Arewelts’i is most likely referring not to Papias but Pappus of Alexandria, who is, according to Norelli, quoted by Moses of Chorene, the famous Armenian Historian.   
The story of that adulterous woman, which other Christians have written in their gospel, was written about by a certain Papias, a student of John, who was declared a heretic and condemned.  Eusebius wrote about this. There are laws and that matter which Pilate, the king of the Jews, wrote of.  And it is said that he wrote in Hebrew with Latin and Greek above it. -Explanations of Holy Scripture Armenian transltion by Robert Bedrosian



Nicephorus Callistus Xanthopoulos c9th century/1320AD
 For indeed Eusebius Pamphilius, beginning from the times of Christ until the times of Constantine the Great, traversed the events which happened to the church, collecting events from both Philo and Josephus, Clement the Stromatist and Hegesippus, Hippolytus and Papias, he brought together his history, while teaching the sacred principles one after another.
-Ecclesiastical History 1.1.70-76 PG 145
My translation for all fragments of Nicephoras.  Nicephoras wrote around 1320 AD, but some believe that he simply copied a 9th century historian verbatim. 

 Concerning the holy Gospel According to Mark and how the polity of the monks was first founded by  him in Egypt and Alexandria.

Peter implanted such a radiance of piety in the hearers that it was not sufficient to have a hearing only nor did he want the word of God to remain unwritten.  And Peter allowed Mark, who at this time followed the apostle, to preserve part of the memory of the unwritten teaching for them in writing.  And at first he [Peter] did not allow this [lit. deliver], until he was prevailed upon to think the man [Mark] worthy.  After the apostle perceived that the Spirit of God instructed him, he delighted in the eagerness of the men and from this ordained the writing to be read in the churches.  Clement records this reason [why] the Gospel According to Mark [was written] in the eighth [book] of his Hypotyposeis.  And Papias bishop of Hierapolis, agreeing with him, also details [the same].  

And on account of this Peter spoke the Gospel According to Mark.  But Peter mentions Mark in his first epistle which opinion has that he wrote when he lived in Rome, in which figuratively he also calls Rome "Babylon", saying thusly "She who is chosen with you in Babylon greets you, as does also my son Mark.  And Luke in the Acts calls him John.  But they say that Mark, having first put in order Egypt and Alexandria, preached the gospel which he composed to the assembled church and there founded the monastic polity of Christians.  At first so great a multitude of both men and women, they say, flowed together at the entrance [of the church], that having marked out the entire polity [as it relates] to their philosophy and way of life through asceticism, their diet and conduct, he placed upon them the celebrated philosophies of Philo, whom opinion has that he even entered into the company of Peter while he preached the divine word at Rome
-Ecclesiastical History 2.15.1-36
 PG 145

According to "Die Kirchengeschichte des Nicephorus Callistus Xanthopulus Und Ihre Quellen. Berlin, Akademie-Verlag, 1966 Nicephorus drew all his information of Papias from Eusebius (p.55).
  But concerning the cause of the writing of the Gospel According to Mark we have pointed out a little above in chapter 15 of the present work; how Peter ended the outrage of that abominable Simon [Magus] who played the man [possible sexual reference].  And at evening the light of faith was implanted [in them] and so great a longing of his words in the souls of the listeners that he did not want the words to remain as [unwritten].  And he entreated Mark who at this time followed the apostle, to leave a written record of the unwritten sayings for him.  Accordingly after the apostle was glad at the good eagerness of their faith, he dictated to Mark the Gospel and from this he ordained the writing to be read in the churches.  .Clement records this reason [why] the Gospel According to Mark [was written] in the eighth [book] of his Hypotyposeis.  And likewise Papias Bishop of Hierapolis, as was clearly described a little ways above in the 15th chapter of the present treatise.
-Ecclesiastical History 2.45.83-101
 PG 145

  But indeed of the three [epistles] of John, except the first, the following two [epistles] are disputed as far as many [are concerned].  And opinion has it that there was another elder John, who lived with John in Ephesus as Papias the Heirapolitan says, recording that there are two tombs in Ephesus of the same name, John.  And he says one is called "Elder" and [one is called] the Disciple [ὁμιλητὴν] himself.  For cataloging the Elders of the apostles he also makes mention of these two, asserting in this way, "If one who followed the Elders should come, I inquired about the words of the Elders, what Andrew or Peter said, or Phillip or James or what John or Matthew or any other of the disciples of the Lord [said].  And what Aristion and the Elder John [said].  For I did not think I ought [to receive] so much from books but from a living voice.” Indeed the second and third epistle [of John] and also the Apocalypse some imagine that they belong to this Elder who lived in Ephesus
-Ecclesiastical History 2.46.18-37
 PG 145

  And until the times of Trajan these [successors of the Apostles] continued the priesthood, while the beloved disciple still was present in [this] life.  After this time also Polycarp of Smyrna became famous who received the Episcopate from John.  And the man Papias of Heirapolis, who was also particularly skillful in scripture, sacredly presided over his city.  After them Quadratus became eminent in the prophetic gift, being distinguished together with the daughters of Philip. And there were many more than they who manifested the apostolic gifts, who obtained the succession after the apostles. [This] history, as far as it is possible for me, hands down one after another similar things concerning Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, and Papias.  For now it sets forth as much as [possible] the earliest demonstration of apostolic teaching.
-Ecclesiastical History 3.2.40-55
 PG 145

 The Martyrdom of the Holy Clement of Rome and Concerning his Writings
About this time Clement became eminent in Rome and Ignatius also conversed in Antioch.  Papias was also writing in Heirapolis.  Pancratius, as well, as Polycarp of Smyrna were also preminent.  They were disciples of Peter, but Polycarp of the bosom friend.
-Ecclesiastical History 3.18.1-8
 PG 145

 Concerning Papias of Heirapolis and the marvelous things recorded concerning him
This Papias of Heirapolis became eminent in apostolic life, he left many writings for the church, but only five are extent, which he entitled "Interpretation of the Lordly Sayings" which also Irenaeus makes mention relating thusly, " These things also Papias, hearer of John, friend of Polycarp, an ancient man, testifies in writing in the fourth of his books.  For there are five books composed by him." But Papias, in the preface of his book on the apostles, does not say he himself was an eyewitness, but he says that he received the matters of faith from those who knew them [the apostles] well, through which phrasing he explains [in the following way] "For I shall not hesitate,” he says, “to record for you whatever I carefully learned from the Elders and carefully remembered, along with my interpretations, confirming the truth on their behalf.  For I do not rejoice over those who speak many things, as many do, but in the those who teach the truth.  Neither those who teach strange commandments but those who teach what was given by the Lord in faith, even what comes from the truth itself.  But if ever one who followed the Elders should come, I asked about the words of the Elders, what Andrew or what Peter said, or what Thomas or Philip or what Simon or James or what John or Matthew or any other of the disciples of the Lord or what Aristion and the Elder John, the disciples of Lord, say.  For I did not believe that the matters of books would aid me as much as the things from a living and abiding voice."

It is necessary to indicate that he lists this same name, John, twice in writing, the former which he reckons with the apostles, possibly he means him to be the beloved disciple, but the latter he places next to Aristion and names him as an Elder  Some, who are not ignorant, considered the author of the two epistles of John, which come after the first, and of the Apocalypse to be of the same name.  For this Elder was living in Ephesus, opinion has it that there are still preserved two graves there which both say the same name of John.

Now since Papias has been spoken of, he records some other marvels in his books, as they came to him from those who were before him, bear with me, and let us traverse them for a little while.

For indeed in Hierapolis the word distinguished Phillip and his daughters as prophets, he was one of the twelve, not one of the seven deacons, as Luke records in Acts.  But he says he also conversed with his daughters from whom he says he learned of a resurrection from the dead which occurred in that time.

Concerning Barsabbas who was also called Justus, whom Acts make mention, he says that he, having drunk a poison potion, was aided by that grace of the lord and was triumphant over it..  And he records many other parables and teachings from unwritten tradition of the Savior and some others that are even more mythical.  And he says that after a thousand years there will be a resurrection from the dead in the bodily kingdom of Christ which shall be instituted upon this earth, which I suppose he having misunderstood the promises which were spoken mystically, understood them carnally.  As such it is clearly possible to draw inferences of his opinion from his words.  Later, regarding the antiquity of the man, many derived a similar notion.  Just as Irenaeus did and any other who shared similar opinions.

But he says he has other traditions which were mentioned above, from Aristion and the Elder John, to which we refer those who are fond of learning.

I shall necessarily point of what he says concerning the Gospels of Mark and Matthew.  He speaks in this way, " And the Elder John said this, 'Mark, having become the interpreter of Peter, whatever he remembered he wrote accurately, but he did not indeed right the things said or done by Christ in order, for he neither heard the Lord nor followed him, but later, as I said, he followed Peter, and he met the need of teaching, but he did not put the Dominical sayings in order, so that he did not err in any one thing which he wrote, just as he remembered.  For the one thing he cared for was not to omit anything which he heard or to lie in some way.  But Matthew put in order the oracles in the Hebrew language.  And each interpreted them as he was able."

But he also proclaims testimonies from the first epistle of John and likewise that of Peter.  And he puts forth another story concerning the woman who was charged with many sins before the lord.  And the other writings of Papias have this style.
-Ecclesiastical History  3.20.1-89
 PG 145

 Indeed concerning Papias, Quadratus, Aristides and Castor we have spoken of previously, but now we have to discuss the other writings of Justin.
Ecclesiastical History 4.5.72-73
 PG 145

Anonymous Catena on John 
For the last of these, John, who was called the son of thunder, when he was exceedingly old, as both Irenaeus and Eusebius handed down to us, as well as succession of other believers who were historians, at that time when the terrible heresies were sprouting, dictated the gospel to his respectable disciple Papias the Heirapolitan for the completion of those who preached the word before him to the gentiles throughout all the world.
[checked Greek in Holmes]
 My translation. Holmes only says that this catena comes from Balthasar Cordier Catena Patrum Graecorum in Sanctum Joannem Antwerp, 1630[not checked].  Currently [Aug/09] Google books has only a blank file.  The manuscript that Cordier found the catena may possibly be Miniscule 56 but this is mostly guess by me.
Hypothetical Fragments 

The fourth Gospel is that of John, one of the disciples. When his fellow-disciples and bishops entreated him, he said, "Fast ye now with me for the space of three days, and let us recount to each other whatever may be revealed to each of us." On the same night it was revealed to Andrew, one of the apostles, that John should narrate all things in his own name as they called them to mind. And hence, although different points are taught us in the several books of the Gospels, there is no difference as regards the faith of believers, inasmuch as in all of them all things are related under one imperial Spirit, which concern the Lord's nativity, His passion, His resurrection, His conversation with His disciples, and His twofold advent,-the first in the humiliation of rejection, which is now past, and the second in the glory of royal power, which is yet in the future. What marvel is it, then, that John brings forward these several things so constantly in his epistles also, saying in his own person, "What we have seen with our eyes, and heard with our ears, and our hands have handled, that have we written." For thus he professes himself to be not only the eye-witness, but also the hearer; and besides that, the historian of all the wondrous facts concerning the Lord in their order.
-Muratorian Canon Fragment

ANCF translation.  Bauckham  argues that this portion of the Muratorian Canon is based on Papias because of similarities with Eusebius' quotations of Papias in Ecclesiastical History 3.39.1-16, namely (1) the concern about the order of the Gospels [p.54-55], (2) the use of 1 John [p.55], (3) the idea that the Gospels harmonize with each other [p.55], (4) John is referred to as a disciple not an apostle [p.56], (5) Andrew is prominent in the tradition [p.57].  See the article for a fuller discussion and points relating to Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria.

Bauckham, Richard. "Papias and Polycrates on the Origin of the Fourth Gospel," JThS N.S. 44 (1993) 24-69. See Norelli (2005) for a response to these claims.

5. And the rest of the followers of our Saviour, the twelve apostles, the seventy disciples, and countless others besides, were not ignorant of these things. Nevertheless, of all the disciples of the Lord, only Matthew and John have left us written memorials, and they, tradition says, were led to write only under the pressure of necessity.

6. For Matthew, who had at first preached to the Hebrews, when he was about to go to other peoples, committed his Gospel to writing in his native tongue, and thus compensated those whom he was obliged to leave for the loss of his presence.

7. And when Mark and Luke had already published their Gospels, they say that John, who had employed all his time in proclaiming the Gospel orally, finally proceeded to write for the following reason. The three Gospels already mentioned having come into the hands of all and into his own too, they say that he accepted them and bore witness to their truthfulness; but that there was lacking in them an account of the deeds done by Christ at the beginning of his ministry.

8. And this indeed is true. For it is evident that the three evangelists recorded only the deeds done by the Saviour for one year after the imprisonment of John the Baptist, and indicated this in the beginning of their account.

9. For Matthew, after the forty days’ fast and the temptation which followed it, indicates the chronology of his work when he says: “Now when he heard that John was delivered up he withdrew from Judea into Galilee.”

10. Mark likewise says: “Now after that John was delivered up Jesus came into Galilee.” And Luke, before commencing his account of the deeds of Jesus, similarly marks the time, when he says that Herod, “adding to all the evil deeds which he had done, shut up John in prison.”

11. They say, therefore, that the apostle John, being asked to do it for this reason, gave in his Gospel an account of the period which had been omitted by the earlier evangelists, and of the deeds done by the Saviour during that period; that is, of those which were done before the imprisonment of the Baptist. And this is indicated by him, they say, in the following words: “This beginning of miracles did Jesus”; and again when he refers to the Baptist, in the midst of the deeds of Jesus, as still baptizing in Ænon near Salim; where he states the matter clearly in the words: “For John was not yet cast into prison.”

12. John accordingly, in his Gospel, records the deeds of Christ which were performed before the Baptist was cast into prison, but the other three evangelists mention the events which happened after that time.

13. One who understands this can no longer think that the Gospels are at variance with one another, inasmuch as the Gospel according to John contains the first acts of Christ, while the others give an account of the latter part of his life. And the genealogy of our Saviour according to the flesh John quite naturally omitted, because it had been already given by Matthew and Luke, and began with the doctrine of his divinity, which had, as it were, been reserved for him, as their superior, by the divine Spirit.
-Eusebius Ecclesiastical History 3.24.5-13

 NPNCF translation. Hill argues that this portion of Eusebius' work is based on Papias because (1) Eusebius prefaces this passage with  "tradition has it" which typically indicates a written source in other parts of Eusebius' work, (2) the account of Matthew mirrors Papias' account given earlier, (3) this passage also demonstrates a concern for the order of the Gospels which is similar to Papias' previous quote.   See the article for a fuller discussion and points relating to similarities with Irenaeus,  Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Victorinus.

 Hill, Charles. "What Papias Said About John (and Luke). A "New" Fragment," JThS N.S. 49 (1998) 582-629.  See Norelli (2005) for a response to these claims.


-APPENDIX of False Fragments-


Chronicon Paschale 630AD
133 years from the ascension of the Lord into the heavens...With the holy Polycarp, 9 others from Philadelphia testified in Smyrna.  And in Pergamum others were martyred, among whom was Papias and many others, whose martyrdoms are circulated in writing.
-Chronicon Paschale 480.20, 481.17-20 [Checked Greek of CSHB 11]
My translation.  This reference to Papias is certainly  an error.  Lightfoot shows that the author of this chronicle is following Eusebius and that the  name should read Paplyus. Essays On The Work Entitled Supernatural Religion. 1889 p148 [checked]. There seems to be a general agreement with Lightfoot in the scholarly community.


Papias the Lexicographer 11th century
(1) Mary the mother of the Lord; (2) Mary the wife of Cleophas or Alphaeus, who was the mother of James the bishop and apostle, and of Simon and Thaddeus, and of one Joseph; (3) Mary Salome, wife of Zebedee, mother of John the evangelist and James; (4) Mary Magdalene. These four are found in the Gospel. James and Judas and Joseph were sons of an aunt (2) of the Lord's. James also and John were sons of another aunt (3) of the Lord's. Mary (2), mother of James the Less and Joseph, wife of Alphaeus was the sister of Mary the mother of the Lord, whom John names of Cleophas, either from her father or from the family of the clan, or for some other reason. Mary Salome (3) is called Salome either from her husband or her village. Some affirm that she is the same as Mary of Cleophas, because she had two husbands. [checked ANCF]
 ANCF translation.  This passage was sometimes regarded as written by Papias of Hierapolis, it is not.  It was written by a lexicographer in the 11th century who was also named Papias. See Lightfoot Essays On The Work Entitled Supernatural Religion. 1889 p211 [checked].

For indeed Eusebius Pamphilius, beginning from the times of Christ until the times of Constantine the Great, traversed the events which happened to the church, collecting events from both Philo and Josephus, Clement the Stromatist and Heggesipus, Hippolytus and Papias, he brought together his history, while teaching the sacred principles one after another.
Ecclesiastical History 1.1.70-76



Selected Bibliography:
Holmes, Michael, W. The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations.  2002 (new edition 2007)
(NPNCF) Nicene and Post-Nicene Church Father Series Found here
(ANCF) Ante-Nicene Church Father Series Found here
(LTF) J.B. Lightfoot and J.R. Harmer The Apostolic Fathers 1888. Found here
J.B. Lightfoot Essays On The Work Entitled Supernatural Religion. 1889. Found here
(PG) J. Migne Patrologia Graeca Series
(CSHB) Corpus Scriptorum Historium Byzantinae Series
(GCS) Die Griechischen Christlichen Schriftsteller Series
(MGH) Monumenta Germaniae Historica here
(SC) Sources Chrétiennes Series
(CSEL) Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum Series
(DECL) Dopp and Geerlings Dictionary of Early Christian Literature 2000.
Johannes Quasten Patrology 4 volumes.
Di Berardino Patrology: The Eastern Fathers from  Chalcedon to John of Damascus. 2006

See Ben Smith’s website for a good discussion textexcavation.com

See Stephen Carlson’s blog for a good discussion on the existence of Papias’ work in the Middle Ages.

Norelli, Enrico. "Papia di Hierapolis: Esposizione degli oracoli del signore. I frammenti. Introduzione, testo, traduzione e note."  P. 594 (Letture cristiane del primo millennio, 36.) Milan: Paoline, 2005 88-315-2752-5.

Hill, Charles. "What Papias Said About John (and Luke). A "New" Fragment," JThS N.S. 49 (1998) 582-629.

Bauckham, Richard. "Papias and Polycrates on the Origin of the Fourth Gospel," JThS N.S. 44 (1993) 24-69