Logia

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For the 'architectural feature' see Loggia

In New Testament scholarship, the term "logia" (Greek: λόγια, "sayings, utterances, oracles", singular: λόγιον, logion) is a term applied to collections of sayings credited to Jesus. Such a collection of sayings of Jesus are believed to be referred to by Papias of Hierapolis.[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]

Fragmentary logia texts appear 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, itself a collection of 114 sayings of Jesus, or to be very close to it.[2]

Papias and Q[edit]

Papias of Hierapolis (c. 60 – 130 AD) 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.

Paul[edit]

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[edit]

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, Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 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[edit]

References[edit]

  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[edit]