The commentaries of Theophlyact and their reference to Papias

People online asking about fragments of Papias, who knew the apostles, lead you to obscure authors.  I had heard the name of Theophylact before, but never knew much about him until today.

The biblical commentaries of Theophylact — who was Byzantine Archbishop of Bulgaria — fill four volumes of Migne, 123-6.  Somewhere in one of them is a quotation from Papias, discussing the fate of Judas.  It seems reasonable that this is in the commentary on Acts, in vol. 125, and so indeed it is, on cols. 521C-523D.  The “commentary” seems mainly to be a catena, in fact, as might be expected.  Chrysostom Press has produced an English translation of his commentary on the gospels; I don’t know of an English translation of the commentary on Acts.

Here are the relevant portions of Migne:

theophylact_papias1

theophylact_papias2

5 Responses to “The commentaries of Theophlyact and their reference to Papias”


  1. James Snapp, Jr.

    Iirc, Erasmus used a copy of Theophylact’s commentary as he was preparing his annotations for the NT, but the name of Theophylact was marred, so Erasmus, not knowing the author’s identity (until somebody pointed it out to him later) initially referred to Theophylact as “Vulgarius,” or something like that.

  2. Nick Nicholas

    Theophylact of Ohrid quotes the same text you just gave from Cramer, which Tom Schmidt also detailed, except that “because of the horrible smell” has been garbled to “and by those on the road.” It gleefully appends: “This brought solace to the disciples. And as Judas’ guts were spilled, so were the guts of Arius, the heretic.”

  3. Roger Pearse

    Thank you very much Nick!

  4. Stephen C. Carlson

    This is among the collected fragments of Papias, but obscured as a witness to the better known comments of Apollinarius, whom Theophylact plagiarized.

  5. Roger Pearse

    That makes sense … thank you.



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