Tuesday, March 03, 2009
The agrapha are those sayings of Christ that were not recorded by the Gospel writers, yet are attested either in the traditions of the early church or in other New Testament books. A definite example of an agrapha is recorded in Acts, 20:35 where Paul says, “Remember the word of the Lord Jesus, how he said: It is a more blessed thing to give, rather than to receive.” These words are not recorded in the Gospels, but are part of the unwritten tradition which Paul received. The agrapha are normally found in the writings of church Fathers. If the writing has sufficient attestation in the Fathers and it does not contradict any canonical teaching, it is considered a possible instance of agrapha. One example in the early church is from Justin Martyr, Dial. 47: “Wherefore also our Lord Jesus Christ said, ‘In whatsoever things I apprehend you, in those I shall judge you.’” Many of the proposed agrapha, however, could very easily be summaries or paraphrases of canonical sayings, thus making a genuine agrapha difficult to determine.
Posted by Darin Day at 11:41 PM