26 Besides Papias’ reference to the Gospel of John, allusions to this Gospel may be found in Clement’s Corinthians(43), as well as Ignatius’ Ephesians(5, 17). Later, the status of John is widely recognized by Justin Martyr (about AD 150), Tatian’s Fourfold Gospel (about AD 170), and in the Muratorian Canon(about AD 180).

And it should be noted that our original goal was not so much to prove the source for the sayings, but to show that the Gospels were accepted as authoritative well before the end of the second century. This would certainly appear to be evident from this data, especially in that Papias also relates the importance of these Gospels—three times he explains that Mark made no errors in recording his material about Jesus (III). Such was evidently important to him.