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 » Mon Aug 24, 2015 1:46 pm

Bernard Muller wrote: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.
Are you simply assuming that awkward = Marcionite?

In our other passage, a connection between Marcion and the Western text is not at all unexpected, either.
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Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Bernard Muller » Mon Aug 24, 2015 5:03 pm

to Ben,
Are you simply assuming that awkward = Marcionite?
Awkward, in that instance, means an original text has been modified. That's additional evidence for "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."
The same goes for all (fruit) trees producing fruits when summer is approaching. More that awkward, wrong. Obviously "leaves" (as in gMark & gMatthew) has been replaced by "fruits".
And the fact Marcion worked from another gospel is obvious by 5:33, where a "John" appears from nowhere, as noticed by Tertullian. Here, that "John is not even identified as the Baptizer. He may be identified later as such, at 7:28, but that's very odd. The identification should happen the first time somebody is mentioned, not later.
No other gospel does that.
In our other passage, a connection between Marcion and the Western text is not at all unexpected, either.
Which other passage? I think it may be Lk 21:30-31. If it is, may I ask you if any manuscripts of the Western text have "men" instead of "you" in Lk 21:30.

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Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:26 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:Which other passage? I think it may be Lk 21:30-31. If it is, may I ask you if any manuscripts of the Western text have "men" instead of "you" in Lk 21:30.
Correct: Luke 21.30-31. And no, I do not think any manuscripts of Luke have "men". However, codex Bezae has the passive voice, "it is known", rather than "you know". I suppose that could derive either from an original "you know" or from an original "men know".
The same goes for all (fruit) trees producing fruits when summer is approaching. More than awkward, wrong. Obviously "leaves" (as in gMark & gMatthew) has been replaced by "fruits".
"Fruits", even if incorrect, is not at all awkward. Things can be wrong without being awkward. That is why I find your argument unpersuasive. If the originator of the tradition made a simple agricultural mistake in writing "fruits", then it would be perfectly natural for later editors or authors or users of that tradition to correct it to "leaves", just like later authors sometimes correct Mark's "king Herod" to the more accurate "tetrarch Herod" or Mark's "sea of Galilee" to the more accurate "lake of Galilee". Earlier tradents can commit simple scientific or historical infelicities, and later tradents can correct them; happens all the time.

My argument from the phrase so also you is exactly the opposite; there is nothing actually incorrect about it, since "you" can easily both know your fruit trees and know your signs of the oncoming apocalypse. That is not the issue. The issue is that there is something awkward in the way it is worded, something that implies it was originally worded differently (it certainly should have been worded differently), and Marcion happens to have the wording we might expect.

Your argument in the case of Luke 16.17 that "my words" is what we would expect of Marcion, and that therefore he must have made the change instead of Tertullian wording it that way, is perilous. If the question is whether Marcion has basically preserved his text or mutilated it (and that is certainly the question I am asking here), then one cannot, must not, simply assume that Marcion made the change because the wording is congenial to him; to do so is to assume your conclusion.

It does seem to me that Tertullian is quoting Marcion at this point, but then, it also seems that way to me in the case of the fruits and the "so also you". And I argued only from which variant appears to predate the other based on how tittles relate to writing. In short, "not one tittle of my words" does not sound like the kind of thing one comes up with on one's own, without any external pressure, but "not one tittle of the law" does; if we can come up with a reason for the change (and in this case we can), then we have an argument for directionality.

Similarly, "so also you" does not sound like the kind of thing one puts after "you" on one's own, freely composing, but it does sound like something one might put after "men" or "humans"; if we can come up with a reason for the change (and I have offered one on the model of Luke 12.56 = Matthew 16.3), then we have an argument for directionality.

Ben.
Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Tue Aug 25, 2015 5:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by powindah » Tue Aug 25, 2015 3:36 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".

Cordially, Bernard
I think figs fruit twice each year, late spring/early summer on old growth, from flowers pollinated the previous year, then the main crop in late summer on new growth.


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Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Aug 25, 2015 5:42 am

powindah wrote:(my BBCodes are off, yet enabled in my control panel :confusedsmiley: )
I think new users have to post several times before their BBCodes work, for some reason. Welcome to the forum, by the way. :) And thanks for the sycotic observation.
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Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Bernard Muller » Tue Aug 25, 2015 10:47 am

to Ben,
Correct: Luke 21.30-31. And no, I do not think any manuscripts of Luke have "men". However, codex Bezae has the passive voice, "it is known", rather than "you know". I suppose that could derive either from an original "you know" or from an original "men know".
That shows for me "men" comes from Tertullian and no others. And if Tertullian had "men" in "the picture presented in the parable", he probably also originated "fruit" in it, inadvertently introducing something stupid (all fruit trees produce fruit when summer is approaching).
Of course, I cannot be certain about this, but that seems likely, in view that gospels which are early in my book (1st century) do not have "fruit" in that parable.
Something I just found, thanks to Peter's catena, that Tertulian wrote in 'The Resurrection of the Flesh' Ch. 22:
" For after He had declared that "Jerusalem was to be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles should be fulfilled [only in gLuke],"--meaning, of course, those which were to be chosen of God, and gathered in with the remnant of Israel--He then goes on to proclaim, against this world and dispensation (even as Joel had done, and Daniel, and all the prophets with one consent), that "there should be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars, distress of nations with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring, men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth." "For," says He, "the powers of heaven shall be shaken; and then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds, with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh." He spake of its "drawing nigh," not of its being present already; and of "those things beginning to come to pass," not of their having happened: because when they have come to pass, then our redemption shall be at hand, which is said to be approaching up to that time, raising and exciting our minds to what is then the proximate harvest of our hope. He immediately annexes a parable of this in "the trees which are tenderly sprouting into a flower-stalk, and then developing the flower, which is the precursor of the fruit." "So likewise ye," (He adds), "when ye shall see all these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of heaven is nigh at hand." ..."
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/t ... ian16.html
Here, there are no doubts Tertullian "innovated" on Lk 21:30a.
My argument from the phrase so also you is exactly the opposite; there is nothing actually incorrect about it, since "you" can easily both know your fruit trees and know your signs of the oncoming apocalypse. That is not the issue. The issue is that there is something awkward in the way it is worded, something that implies it was originally worded differently (it certainly should have been worded differently), and Marcion happens to have the wording we might expect.
I think there is a problem. Yes ""you" can easily both know your fruit trees and know your signs of the oncoming apocalypse". But could it be the same "you"?
The "you" in 21:29 are the four disciples on the mount of Olives with Jesus (or "men" if you still think Tertullian quoted gMarcion here). Does not matter. Both would easily know about the fructification of fruit trees (of the trees getting new leaves).
But then, the "you" of "so also you" or "so, likewise, you", if it still means the four disciples, then that would imply this foursome would be believed still alive when the gospels were written, which would be quite a stretch for gLuke, gMatthew (written around 85-90, some say later), and even more so for gMarcion. That would mean that Jesus was a false prophet, because he predicted the apocalypse will happen before the disciples died.
How to explain that?
I think "Mark" had Jesus out of character by addressing Christians alive in 70-71 CE with "so also you", as he had Jesus doing the same (twice) earlier in the same mini-apocalypse discourse with "let the reader understand" and "now" instead of "then".
Furthermore the "you" in "so also you" is emphatic, which would not be expected, if the "you" refers to the same four disciples.
What about "Luke" & "Matthew". Either they, and their communities, still wanted to believe the foursome was still alive (as I said, a stretch), or they blindly copied gMark, that is without thinking of the implications.
As for Marcion, the only option I can see is he blindly copied gLuke.
Your argument in the case of Luke 16.17 that "my words" is what we would expect of Marcion, and that therefore he must have made the change instead of Tertullian wording it that way, is perilous. If the question is whether Marcion has basically preserved his text or mutilated it (and that is certainly the question I am asking here), then one cannot, must not, simply assume that Marcion made the change because the wording is congenial to him; to do so is to assume your conclusion.
Do you know of any ancient manuscripts which would have "my words" in Lk 16:17?
I do not think it is wrong to assume Marcion made changes in order to avoid text against his views. BTW, that verse is not only in gLuke but also in gMatthew (5:18), in both cases, with the tittle related to the Law (of Moses).
Tertullian had no reason to make a change here, but Marcion certainly had.
And you did say:
"Marcion apparently has "one tittle of my (Jesus') words", yet a "tittle" (Greek κεραία) is a written mark, a stroke or a serif on certain letters. Such a term makes far more sense when applied to the law, which had been written for centuries, than it does applied to Jesus' own (as yet unwritten) words while he is still speaking them. ..."

Cordially, Bernard
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Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Bernard Muller » Tue Aug 25, 2015 10:58 am

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".

Cordially, Bernard
I think figs fruit twice each year, late spring/early summer on old growth, from flowers pollinated the previous year, then the main crop in late summer on new growth.
I knew it. That's why I wrote "most". And I was addressing gLuke which has "the fig tree, and all the trees".

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Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:49 am

Bernard Muller wrote:That shows for me "men" comes from Tertullian and no others. And if Tertullian had "men" in "the picture presented in the parable", he probably also originated "fruit" in it, inadvertently introducing something stupid (all fruit trees produce fruit when summer is approaching).
So "men" does not appear in the manuscripts, and Tertullian must have introduced it. "Fruits" do appear in the manuscripts... and Tertullian must have introduced it.
Something I just found, thanks to Peter's catena, that Tertulian wrote in 'The Resurrection of the Flesh' Ch. 22:
" For after He had declared that "Jerusalem was to be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles should be fulfilled [only in gLuke],"--meaning, of course, those which were to be chosen of God, and gathered in with the remnant of Israel--He then goes on to proclaim, against this world and dispensation (even as Joel had done, and Daniel, and all the prophets with one consent), that "there should be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars, distress of nations with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring, men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth." "For," says He, "the powers of heaven shall be shaken; and then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds, with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh." He spake of its "drawing nigh," not of its being present already; and of "those things beginning to come to pass," not of their having happened: because when they have come to pass, then our redemption shall be at hand, which is said to be approaching up to that time, raising and exciting our minds to what is then the proximate harvest of our hope. He immediately annexes a parable of this in "the trees which are tenderly sprouting into a flower-stalk, and then developing the flower, which is the precursor of the fruit." "So likewise ye," (He adds), "when ye shall see all these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of heaven is nigh at hand." ..."
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/t ... ian16.html
Here, there are no doubts Tertullian "innovated" on Lk 21:30a.
Good find, Bernard. Tertullian does indeed elaborate on Luke 21.30, and he does so by verbosely and strongly emphasizing a stage of growth long before fruit. This makes it less likely that he is responsible for introducing fruits.
I think there is a problem. Yes ""you" can easily both know your fruit trees and know your signs of the oncoming apocalypse". But could it be the same "you"?
The "you" in 21:29 are the four disciples on the mount of Olives with Jesus (or "men" if you still think Tertullian quoted gMarcion here). Does not matter. Both would easily know about the fructification of fruit trees (of the trees getting new leaves).
But then, the "you" of "so also you" or "so, likewise, you", if it still means the four disciples, then that would imply this foursome would be believed still alive when the gospels were written, which would be quite a stretch for gLuke, gMatthew (written around 85-90, some say later), and even more so for gMarcion. That would mean that Jesus was a false prophet, because he predicted the apocalypse will happen before the disciples died.
How to explain that?
I think you are dating traditions inside the gospels, not the gospels themselves. But that discussion is too complex and too far afield for this discussion. If this particular point ends up being your main reason for holding your current position, so be it. I will leave it for now.
Tertullian had no reason to make a change here, but Marcion certainly had.
And you did say:
"Marcion apparently has "one tittle of my (Jesus') words", yet a "tittle" (Greek κεραία) is a written mark, a stroke or a serif on certain letters. Such a term makes far more sense when applied to the law, which had been written for centuries, than it does applied to Jesus' own (as yet unwritten) words while he is still speaking them. ..."
Make no mistake; I still think that is a valid argument, and that Tertullian was quoting Marcion at Luke 16.17. My point here is and always was that Tertullian makes no more effort to signal his quotation of Marcion at 16.17 than he does at 21.30-31. They both look like quotes from Marcion.

And now that we know, thanks to your digging up On the Resurrection of the Flesh 22, that Tertullian himself thought of the sign of the fig tree as something that comes before the fruit, he is most likely quoting Marcion and not paraphrasing the fruit into the text on his own, which makes "men" more likely to be part of the quote, as well.

Ben.
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Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:15 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:"and you also" started with gMark with "you" being the later Christians but the other "you" in 13:32 means the disciples with Jesus on the mount of olives. "Mark" got carried away and had Jesus addressing later Christians. This is not unique in gMark mini-apocalypse. Actually it is all over it, but most obvious in 13:14 ("let the reader understand") and "now" in 13:19. See http://historical-jesus.info/appd.html for details.
... and 13:37 - "What moreover to you I say, to all I say: Watch!"

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Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:26 pm

Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:
Bernard Muller wrote:"and you also" started with gMark with "you" being the later Christians but the other "you" in 13:32 means the disciples with Jesus on the mount of olives. "Mark" got carried away and had Jesus addressing later Christians. This is not unique in gMark mini-apocalypse. Actually it is all over it, but most obvious in 13:14 ("let the reader understand") and "now" in 13:19. See http://historical-jesus.info/appd.html for details.
... and 13:37 - "What moreover to you I say, to all I say: Watch!"
Both 13.37 and "let the reader understand" are clearly marked. What Bernard needs is both (A) for a "you" in one verse to be different than and not overlapping with a "you" in the next verse, completely unmarked, and (B) for that change of "you" to be the cause for the awkwardness of "so you also".

Ben.

ETA: I also do not read "let the reader understand" as Jesus speaking; rather, it is a parenthetical aside, author to reader, just like "thus cleansing all foods" in 7.19 or "they feared the crowd" in 11.32.
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