Ben C. Smith wrote: ↑Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:54 pmAnother possible indicator of Marcionite priority over Luke is the apparent anonymity of the former compared to the title of the latter. Tertullian, Against Marcion 4.2.3a:
As Mark Goodacre points out in his Dating Game series:
Perhaps Marcion had reasons for not giving his gospel a good apostolic title like the canonical four (and many others); but maybe it is more likely that his gospel hailed from the days before those titles gained currency; his gospel persisted in its anonymity while others were gaining attributions left and right.
SInce Marcion and Luke are interconnected in some special way, it also seems to me to be a bit of a coincidence that Luke, a purported companion to Paul, should be the choice of gospel text; if Marcion followed canonical Luke and chose Luke to mutilate rather than Matthew or Mark or John or whatnot, then it seems odd that it would have nothing to do with the name of Luke. Yet, if it did have something to do with the name of Luke, why not retain the name? Why strip the name off of it?
Again, maybe Marcion had his reasons. But, on the other hand, maybe the trajectory is simple: Marcion actually chose his gospel, some kind of anonymous proto-Luke simply because he was familiar with it, perhaps from Pontus. The Catholics took his gospel and turned it into canonical Luke precisely in order to counter Marcion. This trajectory follows the pattern outlined by Goodacre above (from anonymous to named) and also explains why the Marcionite gospel would be associated with a companion of Paul while still remaining anonymous: the anonymity came first, and the name of Luke was attached later.
Who is the first person to mention the gospel of Luke by that name? I gather Justin Martyr was Marcion's contemporary and is an early (if not the earliest) person to cite things that are in Luke, but he doesn't identify them as being written by Luke (or identify the author of any other gospel by name beyond calling them memoirs of the apostles). So maybe Luke wasn't called Luke yet in Marcion's time and that's why Marcion's gospel had no name, like Ben's supposition I underlined above.
As for why Maricon would have chosen Luke (before it had a name), I think the bird's eye view could explain it. In my estimation Mark and Matthew are Nazarene in character (i.e., pro-Torah observance), and to judge from Papias they were being used by Nazarenes (or at least people who were friends of the earliest Christians, who in my view were Nazarenes), so they would presumably not have appealed to Marcion. And since the gospel of John was thought to have been written by John the son of Zebedee by Marcion's time, it would presumably not have appealed to him either (i.e., it too was perceived as being Jewish).
But one thing I bring to the table could explain why Marcion liked Luke. I suspect it was written (c. 95 CE, along with Acts) by Paul's patron Epaphroditus, so perhaps it had an air of being written by a pro-Pauline Gentile (which later led to the guess that it was Luke). And that Marcion rejected Acts (even though in my view it was written by the same author) makes sense, because even though it is pro-Pauline, it has (in my view) the agenda of smoothing things over between Paul and Jewish Christians (and even presents Paul as observing the Torah).
So for a guy like Marcon, who was all about not observing the Torah and Jesus being a phantom sent from the real god, Luke (before it had a name), with a few tweaks (and perhaps some additions that Marcion liked from the other gospels) was the only option (with a big tweak being that Luke 1 and 2 had to go).
And in favor of the idea that Luke 1 and 2 pre-dated Maricon is this comment I made on Ben's thread:
The biggest thing that comes to mind though is Luke's use of Josephus, which I consider bedrock for the dating and structure of Luke and Acts. It would seem weird if there was an original Luke without the prologue given that its reference to Theophilus (ala Josephus' Epaphroditus) is a key component of Luke's use of Josephus that is echoed in Acts 1:1 ("The former treatise I made, O Theophilus ...").
To which Ben responded:
Good point. I too tend to think that Luke-Acts postdates Josephus.