Who was Papias, who did he know, and what did he believe about the writings that now comprise the canonical New Testament? Very little can be objectively known about him, his ministry, and his work, and yet he demands the attention of any scholar, student, or layperson who desires to understand the origins of the New Testament.
This book explores Papias as a source and what he wrote about the origins of certain New Testament books. It also analyzes what other patristic and medieval authors understood about him. Shanks argues that the surviving “Fragments of Papias” are indeed a valuable resource because they document a very early Christian belief that certain books of the New Testament originated from some of the original followers of Jesus Christ. This evidence cannot be quickly dismissed in proposals about the origins of these books.