Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posteriority?

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:52 pm

Just posting these for convenience:

From Tertullian, Against Marcion 4.39.16: In summa ipsius parabolae considera exempluna. Aspice ficum et arbores omnes: cum fructum protulerint, intellegunt homines aestatem appropinquasse; sic et vos cum videritis haec fieri, scitote in proximo esse regnum dei. / Reflect, in short, on the picture presented in the parable: Behold the fig-tree, and all the trees; when they produce their fruit, men know that summer is at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is very near.

Luke 21.29b-30 in codex Bezae (D), according to Bibleworks 9: Εἴδετε τὴν συκῆν καὶ πάντα τὰ δένδρα· ὅταν προβάλωσιν τὸν καρπὸν αὐτῶν γεινώσκεται ἤδη ὅτι ἐγγὺς ἤδη τὸ θέρος ἐστίν. [The word προβάλωσιν is an apt correction of προβάσωσιν, the first sigma of which is still visible under the lambda.]

Ben.

ETA: Struck out a word in my transcription from Bezae. The extra ἤδη was redundant, to be sure, but I had not noticed the dots above the first one, which would, I think, indicate correction by removal.
Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Mon Aug 24, 2015 5:13 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:01 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:But I agree that only "John" in 3:2 would have been enough but there is no harm into making things clear.
Okay, and I can agree with that; but does not the conjunction of what would make a good first mention of John in Luke 3.2 with what would make a good beginning to the gospel in Luke 3.1, along with the lack of carryover information from chapters 1-2 into 3-24, make you suspect that there was a proto-Luke which originally began at 3.1?
Of course, you know that some parts of the nativity story in GLuke were quoted by Basilides (120-140) and Valentinus (120-160).
Yes, I am aware of patristic quotes of heretics quoting from the Lucan infancy narrative. And I agree that they should be reckoned with in an overall reconstruction. But right now I am focusing on certain internal data that seem to cut both ways.

Also, a lot of the dates we have for the heretics are subject to reevaluation, I think. But that is a topic for another time.

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Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Bernard Muller » Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:42 pm

to Ben,
Just posting these for convenience:

From Tertullian, Against Marcion 4.39.16: In summa ipsius parabolae considera exempluna. Aspice ficum et arbores omnes: cum fructum protulerint, intellegunt homines aestatem appropinquasse; sic et vos cum videritis haec fieri, scitote in proximo esse regnum dei. / Reflect, in short, on the picture presented in the parable: Behold the fig-tree, and all the trees; when they produce their fruit, men know that summer is at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is very near.

Luke 21.29b-30 in codex Bezae (D), according to Bibleworks 9: Εἴδετε τὴν συκῆν καὶ πάντα τὰ δένδρα· ὅταν προβάλωσιν τὸν καρπὸν αὐτῶν γεινώσκεται ἤδη ὅτι ἐγγὺς ἤδη τὸ θέρος ἐστίν. [The word προβάλωσιν is an apt correction of προβάσωσιν, the first sigma of which is still visible under the lambda.]
There is another problem: most fruit trees in temperate or mediterranean climate produce their fruits in the summer, not when the summer is approaching. It is then obvious that "fruit" was added later. "fruit" could not have been in any original gospel copied by Marcion, or "Luke". It looks "fruit" (in 21:30) appears first in Tertullian AM. BTW, gMark & gMatthew specify "leaves".

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Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Aug 24, 2015 5:06 am

Bernard Muller wrote:There is another problem: most fruit trees in temperate or mediterranean climate produce their fruits in the summer, not when the summer is approaching. It is then obvious that "fruit" was added later. "fruit" could not have been in any original gospel copied by Marcion, or "Luke". It looks "fruit" (in 21:30) appears first in Tertullian AM. BTW, gMark & gMatthew specify "leaves".
I am not following the logic. If it is a mistake to suggest that temperate or Mediterranean fruit trees produce fruit right before summer begins, why must it be Tertullian's mistake? He lived in a Mediterranean climate, too.

Bear in mind that D is far from the only Western textual witness to fruits. Dieter T. Roth writes on page 242 of his thesis: "The opening words in Harnack’s reconstruction follow the reading of D and d, though numerous other potential witnesses to the “Western” text, including OL manuscripts and Syriac witnesses, also explicitly state that 'fruit' is brought forth."

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Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Bernard Muller » Mon Aug 24, 2015 8:19 am

to Ben,
I am not following the logic. If it is a mistake to suggest that temperate or Mediterranean fruit trees produce fruit right before summer begins, why must it be Tertullian's mistake? He lived in a Mediterranean climate, too.

Bear in mind that D is far from the only Western textual witness to fruits. Dieter T. Roth writes on page 242 of his thesis: "The opening words in Harnack’s reconstruction follow the reading of D and d, though numerous other potential witnesses to the “Western” text, including OL manuscripts and Syriac witnesses, also explicitly state that 'fruit' is brought forth."
Tertullian, D, d, OL, Syriac, all of that point to a late introduction of "fruit" in Lk21:30 in some manuscripts (which does not make sense in view that most fruit trees produce their fruit well into the summer).
And then, gMark & gMatthew which, through internal & external evidence, I consider resolutely written in the 1st century, have no "and all the trees" and "fruit", but instead specify "leaves" for the fig tree. No mistake here.
Tertullian's mistake? Possibly, but we cannot be sure. Anyway the "fruit" in 21:30 is first known to us through Tertullian's writings (early third century) within "the picture presented in the parable". So he has to be a prime suspect.

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Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Bernard Muller » Mon Aug 24, 2015 8:57 am

to Ben,
Another point in favor of Marcionite priority, I think, is the infancy narrative in Luke. Not only is Luke 3.1 a fine way to start a gospel, as has been noted numerous times over the years, but John the baptist is introduced in Luke 3.2 as if for the first time: "the word of God came to John son of Zechariah". There have been no other Johns mentioned yet that would require this kind of distinction, and Luke 3-24 betrays no knowledge of the detailed events and family connections between Jesus and John in Luke 1-2. A proto-Luke lacking chapters 1-2 and beginning with 3.1 has been proposed many times.
I am aware of the problem. But there are some connections between Lk 1-2 and the rest: Lk 1:80 with Lk 3:2, and then, of course, "Zechariah" (not appearing in other gospels). I do not see why or where more should be expected.
Actually, I think Lk 1-2 is likely to have been composed before the rest of gLuke, as a complement to gMark, and by the same person, in view of the strong feminism in both parts. Then Lk 1-2 was incorporated to Lk 3-24 soon after, when the author decided to write her own gospel.
And, of course, the Marcionite gospel begins with Luke 3.1. So could the Marcionite gospel itself be proto-Luke? Well, it also skips the baptism, with the effect that John himself seems to come on the scene rather suddenly in Marcion, as the subject of an inquiry in Luke 5.33; so suddenly, in fact, as to draw criticism from Tertullian in Against Marcion 4.11.4: "Whence, too, does John come upon the scene? Christ, suddenly; and just as suddenly, John!" So this particular point seems to go in favor of Marcionite posteriority.
Very strong argument indeed in favor of Marcionite posteriority. I will be including that in one of my blog post.

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Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Bernard Muller » Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:11 am

to Ben,
Okay, and I can agree with that; but does not the conjunction of what would make a good first mention of John in Luke 3.2 with what would make a good beginning to the gospel in Luke 3.1, along with the lack of carryover information from chapters 1-2 into 3-24, make you suspect that there was a proto-Luke which originally began at 3.1?
I addressed that in my previous postings. And I showed there are some carryovers between Lk 1-2 and the rest.

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Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Bernard Muller » Mon Aug 24, 2015 12:39 pm

to Ben,
Furthermore, if you disregard this level of evidence for the Marcionite text, you also probably lose passages like Luke 16.17, on which you have based certain arguments (http://historical-jesus.info/53.html). Tertullian does not clearly state he is quoting the Evangelion there, either. This is a game of finesse.
Lk 16:17 "And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail." NKJV
gMarcion "But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, ... than one tittle of my [Jesus] words to fail."
But in that case, that would be a rewording expected from gMarcion (against Jesus defending the Jewish Law), and not present in any ancient copies of gLuke.
Furthermore, as you already remarked, very awkward.

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Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Aug 24, 2015 1:28 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:I am aware of the problem. But there are some connections between Lk 1-2 and the rest: Lk 1:80 with Lk 3:2, and then, of course, "Zechariah" (not appearing in other gospels). I do not see why or where more should be expected.
Zechariah is a genuine connection. John being in the wilderness and like Elijah, however, is gossamer, since it may simply come from shared knowledge of Mark (or Matthew), or even of other sources, be they written or oral.
Actually, I think Lk 1-2 is likely to have been composed before the rest of gLuke, as a complement to gMark, and by the same person, in view of the strong feminism in both parts. Then Lk 1-2 was incorporated to Lk 3-24 soon after, when the author decided to write her own gospel.
Well, at least you appreciate the distinctness of chapters 1-2. That, at least, is something we have in common.

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Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Aug 24, 2015 1:37 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:to Ben,
I am not following the logic. If it is a mistake to suggest that temperate or Mediterranean fruit trees produce fruit right before summer begins, why must it be Tertullian's mistake? He lived in a Mediterranean climate, too.

Bear in mind that D is far from the only Western textual witness to fruits. Dieter T. Roth writes on page 242 of his thesis: "The opening words in Harnack’s reconstruction follow the reading of D and d, though numerous other potential witnesses to the “Western” text, including OL manuscripts and Syriac witnesses, also explicitly state that 'fruit' is brought forth."
Tertullian, D, d, OL, Syriac, all of that point to a late introduction of "fruit" in Lk21:30 in some manuscripts (which does not make sense in view that most fruit trees produce their fruit well into the summer).
And then, gMark & gMatthew which, through internal & external evidence, I consider resolutely written in the 1st century, have no "and all the trees" and "fruit", but instead specify "leaves" for the fig tree. No mistake here.
Tertullian's mistake? Possibly, but we cannot be sure. Anyway the "fruit" in 21:30 is first known to us through Tertullian's writings (early third century) within "the picture presented in the parable". So he has to be a prime suspect.
Do you have other examples of Tertullianic paraphrases getting integrated into the texts he was citing? How often did that happen?
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