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In New Testament scholarship, the term logia (Greek: "sayings, utterances, oracles", singular: logion) is primarily applied to a supposed collection of sayings of Jesus believed to be referred to by Papias.[1] Many scholars identify this collection with the hypothetical Q document, which has been postulated to explain the many similarities between the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke that are not accounted for in the presumably earlier Gospel of Mark.[1] More generally, logia refers to small portions of text that are not evidenced elsewhere and are generally unique.

The term is also used of the texts on two Oxyrhynchus papyri discovered in 1897 and 1904,[1] which are now considered to be either part of the Greek original of the noncanonical Gospel of Thomas or to be very close to it.[2] Scholars divide the Gospel of Thomas itself into 114 logia rather than using the chapters and verses traditionally applied to the canonical gospels.


Papias and Q

Papias (c 60 - 130) was an Early Christian Bishop of Hierapolis in Anatolia, whose book, "Expositions of the Oracles of the Lord", in which he stated that "Matthew compiled the logia (τὰ λόγια) in the Hebrew language, and each person interpreted them as he was able", survives only in quotations made by Irenaeus and Eusebius.[3]

As stated above, some scholars identify the work that Papias attributed to Matthew with the hypothetic Q document that would explain the many similarities between the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke that are not accounted for in the presumedly earlier Gospel of Mark.


The Apostle Paul ("Apostle to the Gentiles") may have been citing "isolated sayings and stories of Jesus"[4] when he spoke of "remembering the words of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 20:35), recording a famous saying of Jesus not found in any of the four gospels or elsewhere: "It is more blessed to give than to receive."

Saying of Jesus

The name "Sayings of Jesus" (logia of Jesus) was given by Grenfell and Hunt to a leaf of a papyrus codex that was among their first season's finds at Oxyrhynchus in 1897. Written in the first half of the third century, Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 1 contains a collection of sayings of Jesus, each headed "Jesus says" (Ancient Greek: λέγει Ἰησοῦς, légei Iēsoũs). In 1903 a fragment of a third-century papyrus scroll that had been used for an official register was discovered (Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 654, now British Museum Papyrus 1531 verso) with further sayings. Controversy centered on whether the two fragments formed part of the same work, what authority could be attached to them, and the correct restoration of lacunae in the texts (Bell and Skeat 1935). Oxyrhynchus 654 had a heading which seems to describe the work as a collection of "sayings" addressed to Thomas and some other disciple, and when the Nag Hammadi Gospel of Thomas was discovered in 1945, it was identified as a Coptic version of the Greek work of which these two were fragments. The Gospel of Thomas contains sayings attributed to Jesus, some of which are included in the canonical gospels, but many are not found elsewhere. The individual sayings are generally cited by logion number, which in most division schemes range from 1 to 114.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005, article Logia
  2. ^ Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005, article Sayings of Jesus
  3. ^ Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005, articles Papias and Logia
  4. ^ The Complete Gospels, Robert J. Miller editor, 1992, page 421: "Orphan Sayings & Stories: Introduction": "They ["agrapha, that is, isolated sayings and stories of Jesus"] might just as well derive from an apocryphal acts tradition (see Acts 20:35) or a lost epistolary tradition (see 1 Thess 4:15-17) as from the early Christian gospel tradition."

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

LOGIA, a title used to describe a collection of the sayings of Jesus Christ (Xayca '17)vou) and therefore generally applied to the " Sayings of Jesus " discovered in Egypt by B. P. Grenfell and A. S. Hunt. There is some question as to whether the term is rightly used for this purpose. It does not occur in the Papyri in this sense. Each " saying " is introduced by the phrase Jesus says " (XE'y€) and the collection is described in the introductory words of the 1903 series as Xoyyoc not as X&yca. Some justification for the employment of the term is found in early Christian literature. Several writers speak of the Xo'yca Toi Kvpiov or Tb. KupeaK& X yca, i.e. oracles of (or concerning) the Lord. Polycarp, for instance, speaks of " those who pervert the oracles of the Lord " (Philipp. 7), and Papias, as Eusebius tells us, wrote a work with the title " Expositions of the Oracles 6f the Lord." The expression has been variously interpreted. It need mean no more (Lightfoot, Essays on Supernatural Religion, 172 seq.) than narratives of (or concerning) the Lord; on the other hand, the phrase is capable of a much more definite meaning, and there are many scholars who hold that it refers to a document which contained a collection of the sayings of Jesus. Some such document, we know, must lie at the base of our Synoptic Gospels, and it is quite possible that it may have been known to and used by Papias. It is only on this assumption that the use of the term Logia in the sense described above can be justified.

" The Sayings," to which the term Logia is generally applied, consist of (a) a papyrus leaf containing seven or eight sayings of Jesus discovered in 1897, (b) a second leaf containing five more sayings discovered in 1903, (c) two fragments of unknown Gospels, the former published in 1903, the latter in 1907. All these were found amongst the great mass of papyri acquired by the Egyptian Exploration Fund from the ruins of Oxyrhynchus, one of the chief early Christian centres in Egypt, situated some 120 m. S. of Cairo.

The eight " sayings " discovered in 1897 are as follows: I. ... Kai Tote SLa/3Xii€ 1 lcsa%E1v TO KO.p¢OS TO 'iv' TW 643aXpW T06 6.5EX(60U e ov. 2. AiyEl 'IT ] O'oUS iav µi 7 v77(rTEb(r77TE Ten, KOopOV p1 7 EUpr7TE Ti) v (3a0'i%ELav Beou' Kai iav pi 7 (ra013aTi(rr 7 TE TO aciMarov obi(64Æcree 7raripa.

3. Al-yet 'Ir 7 (rOUs E[r]T7 7 v iv pEaw Kouaou Kai iv (rapid 65007 7 v air01S, Kai EUpov 7ravrac p OliovraS Kai obbcva EU pov 6L1fi&,vra lv abTOlc, Kai 7rovEl, lyv)(1 7 pot, iiri Tols viols T4)v civOpc.i rwv, OTL TU(')AOL Ei(rLV T7) Kapni¢ abrW[v] K[ai] ob J3Xi[7rovetv].... 4. [Illegible: possibly joins on to 3] .... [T]-I ' v 7rrwxEiay. 5. [Aiy]EL ['1770-ODs 67r[oo idy W(rLV [0, ad E[io ]v i&Beol Kai [b]7rov E[IS] i(rTLV pOvoc, [Xl]yw, iyc. EIpL pET' ailT[OU]. Iyel[p]o y TOP XtOov KhKEL Ebpioets p (rXl(rOr TO ,bXov Kayt lKEI pL. 6. Ai-yet '1770"013S OUK l(rrl y Sektos 7rp0017T77S iv Tj7 7rarpLSL abr[o]U, obSi iarpOs 7roiEl Oepa7rdiaS EIS Tan ytvavyKOVTas abrbv.

7. Alyu '17 7 7rOALSOi K060p77piv77 fir' iiKpov [6]povs 'UlkXo13 Kai ivTI)PLypiyf OuTE 71-E[o]Ely SbvaraL 015TE Kpu[13]17vac.

8. A yet '177voUS acobELS [E]Ls TO cw g iov (robs TO [Si lTEpov crvviKXeto-aS]. Letters in brackets are missing in the original: letters which are dotted beneath are doubtful.

1. "...and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote that is in thy brother's eye." .

2. " Jesus saith, Except ye fast to the world, ye shall in no wise find the kingdom of God; and except ye make the sabbath a real sabbath, ye shall not see the Father." 3. " Jesus saith, I stood in the midst of the world and in the flesh was I seen of them, and I found all men drunken, and none found I athirst among them, and my soul grieveth over the sons of men, because they are blind in their heart, and see not...." 4. " ...poverty...

..poverty. " 5. " Jesus saith, Wherever there are two, they are not without God, and wherever there is one alone, I say, I am with him. Raise the stone and there thou shalt find me, cleave the wood and there am I." 6. " Jesus saith, A prophet is not acceptable in his own country, neither doth a physician work cures upon them that know him." 7. " Jesus saith, A city built upon the top of a high hill and stablished can neither fall nor be hid." 8. " Jesus saith, Thou hearest with one ear [but the other ear hast thou closed]." The " sayings " of 1903 were prefaced by the following introductory statement:- of Tam 01 XOyoi of [ ... oi)s iXCLA7 7 oev 'In (voi)S O K[bpLos ? ... Kai Owµi cal (Trey [abroli vas S TWV robr[wv hKobvp OavhTov ob µ17 yebo-r7rat. These are the (wonderful?) words which Jesus the living (Lord) spake to. .. and Thomas and he said unto (them) every one that hearkens to these words shall never taste of death." The " sayings " themselves are as follows: [Xi-yet '177((rou)s Ai 7rauQavew o ?77[rwv... lws ay EU P77 Kai bra y Eiipr l [Bap#r7017vEraL Kai Ba / 430 Eis OavLXebvEL Ka[i /3avLAEbvas L'zva7ra17veral.

(2) Ai-yet 'I[r 7 ((rOUS. .. Tlyes. .. 7 RaUL%ELQv el 1 3avLAEla Obpa[vW i(rTLV; Ta 0bp[avOU Kai Br7PiWV TL brro 7 7 As cal IXBbes T7 7 BaXc4[(rv7) oirrot lXKov- b//as cal i 7 QaQ[L%Eia ObpavWv Evtos bpWV [i](rTL [Kai 6(rrLS «v yvcw rain-7 7 v Eup17[vEl... iavrOUS vW6EQBE [Kai EiSi 7 vETE dTL viol 7rarpOS T[. .. yvcJ(r(EV)BE i Kai ELS i(rTi r77rTo[ (3) [ Xi-yet 'Ir7 (6013)S a7roKvr 7 veL iivB[pw7ros. .. pow 17rEpWT9 7 (ra/ 7ra[.. .

pow 7rEpi TOO T07rOU W) (Fete orL 7r0%AOl lvOVTac 7r[pTOI lvXaTOI KaL l(rXaTOL 7rpWTol Kai [. .. Xiyel '177(eou)s' [ra y Tb pi) 1p7rpo(rBEV T9 ] S t4'dWS (rOV Kai [TO KEKpvppivov Q7rO vol3 h7roKaXv4(0)i crer[ai O"ot. ob yap 'Ia- n ', Kpvirrbv O ob cPavE[pOv yev170'ETa6 Kai TEBappivov b o[1K iyEpO17vETaL. [id ETh! ovO"LV a1)rbr 0[1 paO fl ral abTOU cal [Xi]yovo tv 71-Cos vr 1 UTEb[vo % LEV cal 1rW S .. .

[ ... ] peea Kai 7rcn [ .. .

[ ... /dal rI 7raparnp, cr[opev... [ ... ]v; Xi -yet 17 7 (ooD)S [ ... [ ... [etraL p1 7 7roeir[e .. .

[ ... ]r i s D.-gee/as av[ .. .

[ ... ]v h[7r]0KEKp[U. .. [... pa] Kcip4[OS] kkTLV [ .. [...]W io'T[L...


] LV [

" Jesus saith, Let not him who seeks. .. cease until he finds and when he finds he shall be astonished; astonished he shall reach the kingdom and having reached the kingdom he shall rest." 2. " Jesus saith (ye ask? who are those) that draw us (to the kingdom if) the kingdom is in Heaven?. .. the fowls of the air and all beasts that are under the earth or upon the earth and the fishes of the sea (these are they which draw) you and the kingdom of Heaven is within you and whosoever shall know himself shall find it. (Strive therefore?) to know yourselves and ye shall be aware that ye are the sons of the (Almighty?) Father; (and?) ye shall know that ye are in (the city of God?) and ye are (the city?)." 3. " Jesus saith, A man shall not hesitate. .. to ask concerning his place (in the kingdom. Ye shall know) that many that are first shall be last and the last first and (they shall have eternal life?)." 4. " Jesus saith, Everything that is not before thy face and that which is hidden from thee shall be revealed to thee. For there is nothing hidden which shall not be made manifest nor buried which shall not be raised." 5. " His disciples question him and say, How shall we fast and how shall we (pray?). .. and what (commandment) shall we keep. .. Jesus saith. .. do not. .. of truth. .. blessed is he. .. " The fragment of a lost Gospel which was discovered in 1903 contained originally about fifty lines, but many of them have perished and others are undecipherable. The translation, as far as it can be made out, is as follows: I-7. " (Take no thought) from morning until even nor from evening until morning either for your food what ye shall eat or for your raiment what ye shall put on. 7-13. Ye are far better than the lilies which grow but spin not. Having one garment what do ye (lack)?... 13-15. Who could add to your stature? 15-16. He himself will give you your garment. 17-23. His disciples say unto him, When wilt thou be manifest unto us and when shall we see thee? He saith, When ye shall be stripped and not be ashamed.. 41-46. He (I) said, The key of knowledge ye hid: ye entered not in yourselves, and to them that were entering in, ye opened not." The second Gospel fragment discovered in 1907 " consists of z single vellum leaf, practically complete except at one of the lower corners and here most of the lacunae admit of a satisfactory solution." The translation is as follows:. before he does wrong makes all manner of subtle excuse. But give heed lest ye also suffer the same things as they: for the evil doers among men receive their reward not among the living only, but also await punishment and much torment. And he took them and brought them into the very place of purification and was walking in the temple. And a certain Pharisee, a chief priest, whose name was Levi, met them and said to the Saviour, Who gave thee leave to walk in this place of purification, and to see these holy vessels when thou hast not washed nor yet have thy disciples bathed their feet? But defiled thou hast walked in this temple, which is a pure place, wherein no other man walks except he has washed himself and changed his garments neither does he venture to see these holy vessels. And the Saviour straightway stood still with his disciples and answered him, Art thou then, being here in the temple, clean? He saith unto him, I am clean; for I washed in the pool of David and having descended by one staircase, I ascended by another and I put on white and clean garments, and then I came and looked upon these holy vessels. The Saviour answered and said unto him, Woe ye blind, who see not. Thou hast washed in these running waters wherein dogs and swine have been cast night and day and hast cleansed and wiped the outside skin which also the harlots and flutegirls anoint and wash and wipe and beautify for the lust of men; but within they are full of scorpions and all wickedness. But I and my disciples who thou sayest have not bathed have been dipped in the waters of eternal life which come from.. .. But woe unto thee... .

These documents have naturally excited considerable interest and raised many questions. The papyri of the " sayings " date from the 3rd century and most scholars agree that the " sayings " themselves go back to the and. The year A.D.140 is generally assigned as the terminus ad quem. The problem as to their origin has been keenly discussed. There are two main types of theory. (1) Some suppose that they are excerpts from an uncanonical Gospel. (2) Others think that they represent an independent and original collection of sayings. The first theory has assumed three main forms. (a) Harnack maintains that they were taken from the Gospel according to the Egyptians. This theory, however, is based upon a hypothetical reconstruction of the Gospel in question which has found very few supporters. (b) Others have advocated the Gospel of the Hebrews as the source of the " sayings," on the ground of the resemblance between the first " saying " of the 1903 series and a well-authenticated fragment of that Gospel. The resemblance, however, is not sufficiently clear to support the conclusion. (c) A third view supposes that they are extracts from the Gospel of Thomas - an apocryphal Gospel dealing with the boyhood of Jesus. Beyond the allusion to Thomas in the introductory paragraph to the 1903 series, there seems to be no tangible evidence in support of this view. The second theory, which maintains that the papyri represent an independent collection of " sayings," seems to be the opinion which has found greatest favour. It has won the support of W. Sanday, H. B. Swete, Rendel Harris, W. Lock, Heirrici, &c. There is a considerable diversity of judgment, however, with regard to the value of the collection. (a) Some scholars maintain that the collection goes back to the 1st century and represents one of the earliest attempts to construct an account of the teaching of Jesus. They are therefore disposed to admit to a greater or less extent and with widely varying degrees of confidence the presence of genuine elements in the new matter. (b) Sanday and many others regard the sayings as originating early in the and century and think that, though not " directly dependent on the Canonical Gospels," they have " their origin under conditions of thought which these Gospels had created." The " sayings " must be regarded as expansions of the true tradition, and little value is therefore to be attached to the new material.

With the knowledge at our disposal, it is impossible to reach an assured conclusion between these two views. The real problem, to which at present no solution has been found, is to account for the new material in the sayings. There seems to be no motive sufficient to explain the additions that have been made to the text of the Gospels. It cannot be proved that the expansions have been made in the interests of any sect or heresy. Unless new discoveries provide the clue, or some reasonable explanation can otherwise be found, there seems to be no reason why we should not regard the " sayings " as containing material which ought to be taken into account in the critical study of the teaching of Jesus.

The 1903 Gospel fragment is so mutilated in many of its parts that it is difficult to decide upon its character and value. It appears to be earlier than 150, and to be taken from a Gospel which followed more or less closely the version of the teaching of Jesus given by Matthew and Luke. The phrase " when ye shall be stripped and not be ashamed " contains an idea which has some affinity with two passages found respectively in the Gospel according to the Egyptians and the so-called Second Epistle of Clement. The resemblance, however, is not sufficiently close to warrant the deduction that either the Gospel of the Egyptians or the Gospel from which the citation in 2 Clement is taken (if these two are distinct) is the source from which our fragment is derived.

The second Gospel fragment (1907) seems to be of later origin than the documents already mentioned. Grenfell and Hunt date the Gospel, from which it is an excerpt, about 200. There is considerable difficulty with regard to some of the details. The statement that an ordinary Jew was required to wash and change his clothes before visiting the inner court of the temple is quite unsupported by any other evidence. Nothing is known about " the place of purification " (a'yvEvr 1piov) nor " the pool of David " (Xlµvrl Tou Aav€1,3). Nor does the statement that " the sacred vessels " were visible from the place where Jesus was standing seem at all probable. Grenfell and Hunt conclude therefore - " So great indeed are the divergences between this account and the extant and no doubt well-informed authorities with regard to the topography and ritual of the Temple that it is hardly possible to avoid the conclusion that much of the local colour is due to the imagination of the author who was aiming chiefly at dramatic effect and was not really well acquainted with the Temple. But if the inaccuracy of the fragment in this important respect is admitted the historical character of the whole episode breaks down and it is probably to be regarded as an apocryphal elaboration of Matt. xv. 1-20 and Mark vii. 1-23." See the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, part i. (1897), part iv. (1904), part v. (1908). (H. T. A.)

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