Original Research

The Gospel of Matthew, John the elder and the Papias tradition: A response to R H Gundry

David C. Sim
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 63, No 1 | a200 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v63i1.200 | © 2007 David C. Sim | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 May 2007 | Published: 08 May 2007

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David C. Sim, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia

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As far as the origin of the Gospel of Matthew is concerned, most modern scholars tend to discount the testimony of Papias. The major exception in this regard is R H Gundry, who argues that the tradition transmitted by Papias was delivered to him by John the disciple of Jesus. For Gundry the apostolic source of this tradition thereby guarantees its reliability, in which case we can be confident that Matthew, the disciple of Jesus, was the author of the Gospel that bears his name. Gundry’s arguments are, however, not altogether convincing. It will be shown that not only is his reading of the Papian tradition questionable, but also that he overstates the reliability of Papias’ source.


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