Marcion's Gospel

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Dec 07, 2019 8:46 pm

John2 wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 12:48 pm
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.
What does this mean? Nobody claimed that Marcion named his gospel by Luke's name. Tertullian claimed, to the contrary, that Marcion's gospel bore no name.
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John2
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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by John2 » Sat Dec 07, 2019 8:54 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 8:46 pm
John2 wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 12:48 pm
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.
What does this mean? Nobody claimed that Marcion named his gospel by Luke's name. Tertullian claimed, to the contrary, that Marcion's gospel bore no name.

That's what I'm saying too, that it had no name when Marcion chose it.
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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Dec 07, 2019 9:03 pm

John2 wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 8:54 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 8:46 pm
John2 wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 12:48 pm
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.
What does this mean? Nobody claimed that Marcion named his gospel by Luke's name. Tertullian claimed, to the contrary, that Marcion's gospel bore no name.

That's what I'm saying too, that it had no name when Marcion chose it.
Oh, got it. I misread something. I see it now.
John2 wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 12:48 pm
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 ...").
I still definitely think that some sort of proto-Luke (used by Marcion) preceded canonical Luke-Acts. I am pretty sure there was a version of Luke in circulation which lacked Luke 1-2; those chapters are tagged on, and the seams still show. I also tend to think that the use of Josephus came after this proto-Luke, as part of the update to(ward) the canonical version.
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John2
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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by John2 » Sat Dec 07, 2019 9:09 pm

I still definitely think that some sort of proto-Luke (used by Marcion) preceded canonical Luke-Acts. I am pretty sure there was a version of Luke in circulation which lacked Luke 1-2; those chapters are tagged on, and the seams still show. I also tend to think that the use of Josephus came after this proto-Luke, as part of the update to(ward) the canonical version.

Where are the seams? Just curious.
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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by John2 » Sat Dec 07, 2019 9:16 pm

I still definitely think that some sort of proto-Luke (used by Marcion) preceded canonical Luke-Acts.
In light of what Tertullian says about the text of Luke being "all topsy-turvy from the days of Tiberius to those of Antoninus," I'm coming around to the idea that there were variant copies of Luke and that maybe Marcion (and Irenaeus) had a better one (at least with respect to chapter 4) than the NT version, but I outline why I don't think that better copy was an original "proto-gospel" above. I see the earliest version of Luke as being c. 95 CE and post-dating (and using) Mark and Matthew and that Marcion tampered with the version he had more or less in the manner that the orthodox say he did.
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Dec 07, 2019 9:41 pm

John2 wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 9:09 pm
I still definitely think that some sort of proto-Luke (used by Marcion) preceded canonical Luke-Acts. I am pretty sure there was a version of Luke in circulation which lacked Luke 1-2; those chapters are tagged on, and the seams still show. I also tend to think that the use of Josephus came after this proto-Luke, as part of the update to(ward) the canonical version.

Where are the seams? Just curious.
  1. Luke 3.1-2 is a splendid way to begin a gospel on its own merits; it looks like the beginning of a gospel. It is, in fact, exactly where both the Ebionite gospel and the Marcionite gospel begin.
  2. Luke 1.5-2.52 is an excellent scope for an infancy gospel. The infancy gospel of Thomas ends with the same story that brings Luke 1-2 to a close: Jesus in the temple at 12 years old. It could be that Luke 1-2 was once an independent infancy gospel in its own right.
  3. A birth narrative is the perfect place for a genealogy, so why does the Lucan genealogy appear only later, in chapter 3? One very good reason would be that Luke 1-2 was not yet part of the gospel when the genealogy landed. (Sometimes genealogies are postponed, as in the case of Moses, but more commonly they attend the birth narrative, if one exists.)
  4. 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," despite even his birth having already been described. There have been no other Johns mentioned yet that would require this kind of distinction (and later Lucan passages make no such distinction: refer to 5.33; 7.18), and Luke 3-24 betrays no knowledge of the detailed events and family connections between Jesus and John in Luke 1-2. For instance, John has already recognized Jesus even in the womb in chapter 1; contrast his inquiry at 7.19-20 ("are you really the one?"). Sure, one can harmonize these events; but they appear to be independent of each other.
  5. There are stylistic differences between Luke 1-2 and the rest of the gospel. For example, characters in Luke 1-2 thrice break into song (the Magnificat, the Benedictus, and the Nunc Dimittis; four times if one counts the Gloria in Excelsis).
John2 wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 9:16 pm
I see the earliest version of Luke as being c. 95 CE and post-dating (and using) Mark and Matthew and that Marcion tampered with the version he had more or less in the manner that the orthodox say he did.
Surely the testimony of the fathers must count for precisely zero in this instance. Right? If they had some historical tradition that they were following, I might be inclined to give it to them. But the way they write makes it clear that they do not; they are merely assuming that Luke, a companion of Paul, wrote first (and wrote the gospel entire). According to Tertullian, Marcion made exactly the opposite claim: that he was republishing the original gospel to which someone had added things. It is "he said, they said." We have to rely on internal indicators, not on external testimony, for this one. Both sides were being tendentious.
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:05 pm

When laying out his case against Marcionite priority, Tertullian reaches, not for church tradition, but for exegetical and theological arguments:

Tertullian, Against Marcion 4.4.1: 1 We must follow, then, the clue of our discussion, meeting every effort of our opponents with reciprocal vigor. I say that my gospel is the true one, Marcion that his is. I affirm that Marcion's gospel is adulterated, Marcion that mine is. Now what is to settle the point for us, except it be that principle of time, which rules that the authority lies with that which shall be found to be more ancient and assumes as an elemental truth that corruption (of doctrine) belongs to the side which shall be convicted of comparative lateness in its origin? For, inasmuch as error is falsification of truth, it must needs be that truth therefore precede error. / 1 Funis ergo ducendus est contentionis, pari hinc inde nisu fluctuante. Ego meum dico verum, Marcion suum. Ego Marcionis affirmo adulteratum, Marcion meum. Quis inter nos determinabit, nisi temporis ratio, ei praescribens auctoritatem quod antiquius reperietur, et ei praeiudicans vitiationem quod posterius revincetur? In quantum enim falsum corruptio est veri, in tantum praecedat necesse est veritas falsum.

Tertullian has no way of knowing which of the two gospels came first except to study their respective doctrines.
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davidmartin
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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by davidmartin » Sun Dec 08, 2019 3:59 am

So your'e saying Ben the incipit to Luke should be read as...

Since Marcion has undertaken to write this gospel about those matters which have been fulfilled among us, and since those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having traced the course of all things accurately from the first, to correct his gospel

I mean that is how anyone would have understood if they had Marcion's gospel and Luke in front of them

This whole 'merger' theory of mine of an in-gathering of different churches producing the Catholic church might not have been as organised as i thought

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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Dec 08, 2019 7:15 am

davidmartin wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 3:59 am
So your'e saying Ben the incipit to Luke should be read as...

Since Marcion has undertaken to write this gospel about those matters which have been fulfilled among us, and since those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having traced the course of all things accurately from the first, to correct his gospel
Well, maybe (in a figurative sense). But I do not think that Marcion himself was responsible for the contents of the proto-gospel; therefore, he may have simply republished it with a few changes and somebody else republished it with a lot of changes. I am not trying to be pedantic here, but our lack of information on the text of the gospel itself makes it vital to keep all of our options open as we go forward, right up until one of them is foreclosed somehow.
This whole 'merger' theory of mine of an in-gathering of different churches producing the Catholic church might not have been as organised as i thought
Early Christianity looks very disorganized in many ways. Various texts and traditions try to clean things up for us by keeping the apostolic line pure and pristine and making the various heresies look stupid. But I doubt this storyline very much.
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Bernard Muller
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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by Bernard Muller » Sun Dec 08, 2019 9:16 am

As I declared long ago on this forum, the nativity of GLuke was first written (with an emphasis on emancipated women). Then GMark got known in GLuke community. Soon afterwards, GLuke was written, with the purpose of replacing GMark. In the new gospel, the text of the nativity stories (already well known) was kept and put in front of John the Baptist's passage and the temptations in the wilderness.
That would explain why the nativity stories are so detailed and wordy, as compared with the rest of GLuke, written on a concised manner, as GMark is.
If the nativity stories were composed after a proto-Luke, these stories would be a lot more concise in order to fit the style & format of the gospel.

Cordially, Bernard
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