Marcion's Gospel

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Secret Alias
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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Dec 09, 2019 12:53 pm

But just out of curiosity, what would we be left with regarding Marcion without not necessarily believing but at least having (and being able to assess) what his opponents say?
Right but that's the logic of an abused wife. Yes my husband beats me but I have to stay, he's the breadwinner. The issue is, is Irenaeus a credible witness? I don't think he is trustworthy. He doesn't tell us arguments which favor his opponents certainly. But more importantly the question becomes to what degree does Tertullian depend on Irenaeus for his information? Is the situation with Against Marcion the same as Against the Valentinians where the vast majority of the material is recycled Irenaeus Against Heresies chapters 1 - 13 of Book One. I think it is given that Irenaeus says that he will write a book like Against Marcion at AH 3.12.12. To that end, it's not a question of whether Tertullian saw the Marcionite canon or whether he used his own canon to disprove the Marcionites but what would Irenaeus do - and Irenaeus makes clear that he cites his own canon against Marcion.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Secret Alias
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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Dec 09, 2019 12:55 pm

Tertullian says - Against Marcion has been rewritten three times.
Many scholars say - Against Marcion goes back to Justin (Quispel, Loofs etc)
Many more say - Against Heresies goes back to Justin.

If there is a pattern where Irenaeus took material from Justin and reworked it and then third century Church Fathers like Hippolytus and Tertullian rewrote that reworked text again, we have an explanation for origins of Against Marcion.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Dec 09, 2019 1:01 pm

My key point is we can't just try to reconstruct Marcion's gospel based on Tertullian and Epiphanius. It's not that simple because even in everyday reality - between us and reality stands our perception of reality. In this case the Patristic writings are the windows of our perception. The first difficulty of course is that they are biased - it's like using Mein Kampf to understand the Jews in 1930 Germany. The second difficulty is that the Church Fathers weren't good scholars. They reused other people's writings without attribution. They mixed innuendo and slander with their reporting. They were often lazy and uncritical. So when for instance Epiphanius or Tertullian say anything about the Marcionites they aren't telling us 'well it's not me but Irenaeus who wrote this originally.' Since they are reusing other people's information it makes it difficult for us to know what to do with the information. When Tertullian says that he will refute Marcion out of his own rewritings does he mean Marcion's writings or the original writings he claims Marcion stole. I think the latter - because it's Irenaeus and Irenaeus does this all the time. But also is the Galatians-first ordering of the argument because Marcion has a Galatians first canon or because Tertullian and Irenaeus do. It might surprise you to find out the number of scholars who acknowledge that Tertullian used a Galatians-first canon. I can provide a list. A ninth century document at St Catherine's monastery testifies to Irenaeus using a Galatians first canon. Many other Church Fathers used a Galatians-first canon. Tertullian says the Roman Church called his community 'Galatians' for some reason. It's dangerous to make assumptions.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Dec 09, 2019 1:04 pm

When you ask John what we can do - the worst thing we can do is try to reconstruct the gospel of Marcion based on our terrible sources. The best place to discuss Marcion is at a forum like this. Marcion cannot be known. Marcion cannot be taught. It's a difficult situation because of the terrible nature of information about Marcion.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Dec 09, 2019 1:12 pm

And with respect to the 'likeness' that the gospel of Marcion was said to resemble Luke. If Tertullian was reusing Irenaeus this is a problem. Because Irenaeus simply says:

1. there is this perfect gospel in heaven which is fourfold
2. 'heresies' are so called because they 'pick' only one of the four rather than all four
3. just as their are four gospels there are four heresies - Ebionites, Marcion, Marcionites and Valentinians.
4. God established these four heresies to testify to the existence of the heavenly Tetrad - Matthew, Luke, Mark and John

Give me a fucking break! This is to be believed? This is like listening to Giuseppe for a day. Your head would explode. And remember we know from Irenaeus and a Syriac fragment that the Marcionite gospel began with Jesus coming down from heaven at the road where Good Samaritan narrative occurred somewhere between Jerusalem and Jericho. How does this fit with the Irenaeus-Tertullian nonsense about Luke? It doesn't.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Dec 09, 2019 1:31 pm

And it's the same reason I don't believe what Irenaeus says about the Ebionites using Matthew or the Valentinians using John. The Valentinians also used synoptic material. It's the artificiality of the original source which makes the whole thing so incredible.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

davidmartin
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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by davidmartin » Mon Dec 09, 2019 4:27 pm

some thoughts for you guys

First (and i hope one of you replies having done this tedious task) i read all of Tertullians Against Marcion seeking clues

I came up with this - he liberally quotes from Paul's epistles apart from one -Romans.
There is one chapter on Romans but outside this only a couple of quotes, and ones i thought were rather weak selections
Do a simple text search on various Paul epistle's its easy to see what i'm seeing
Why does he not try and nuke Marcion out of Romans a heck of a lot more?
Is the Romans chapter some later addition?
Or was Romans substantially different in his time, lacking what we see now?
Or some other reason?

Another thing I find odd is Marcion's two God idea is identical to the one supposed to have been put forward by Simon Magus, including the very same type of literary work of both - Marcion's Antithesis and Simon's Sermons of the Refuter!! whaaat?
What church father wouldn't love to compare their opponent to Simon - but ... crickets

One solution may be that Hypolytus's description of Simon does not describe two God's at all. So maybe at some point Marcion's view was thought to have originated with Simon and the two confused.

One final thing to throw out there. You all want something Marcionite? Well the non-canonical Acts seem Marcionite in rejecting marriage and the Acts of John contain a phantom Jesus in one place that left no footprints. I think you're probably seeing Marcionite writings here

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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Dec 09, 2019 4:33 pm

Two chapters on Romans (13, 14)
I won't get into my own ideas on Romans but note that Tertullian promises to give examples of Marcion 'erasing' things. Doesn't really do that with regards to Lukan examples except for the late beginning. But Romans is the only substantive example of erasure in the whole of Books 4 and 5 and the example is so powerful - over a chapter of material is not there - that it suggests other similar 'holes' were found elsewhere but Tertullian was silent about them.
Also Tertullian says at the beginning of chapter 13 in a 20 something chapter that the present 'little opus' is coming to an end. The translator notes that this is strange.
Harry Gamble notes that he is ok with the short ending of Romans.
Tertullian takes for granted that Galatians is the first epistle as it was for Irenaeus and Ephrem (perhaps coming to the East with Palut?).
No mention of Hebrews. Much more time taken on Galatians and the Corinthian epistles but very little done in sections from the last chapter of 1 Corinthians.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Dec 09, 2019 5:05 pm

davidmartin wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 4:27 pm
some thoughts for you guys

First (and i hope one of you replies having done this tedious task) i read all of Tertullians Against Marcion seeking clues

I came up with this - he liberally quotes from Paul's epistles apart from one -Romans.
There is one chapter on Romans but outside this only a couple of quotes, and ones i thought were rather weak selections
Do a simple text search on various Paul epistle's its easy to see what i'm seeing
Why does he not try and nuke Marcion out of Romans a heck of a lot more?
Is the Romans chapter some later addition?
Or was Romans substantially different in his time, lacking what we see now?
Or some other reason?
My thread on the Marcionite version of Romans may be relevant: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1839. The ancient sources are arrayed after each block of text. The key to the color coding for the text is on the main thread for the epistles: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1837. (And I have another thread for the gospel: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1765.)
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davidmartin
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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by davidmartin » Mon Dec 09, 2019 5:16 pm

Romans is a sort of anthology that is not really a letter hmmm, but not to get sidetracked it is theoretically possible that it was Marcion that introduced Paul's writings into the Catholic church. The interesting thing about that is the author of Collosians and Ephesians doesn't seem to be Paul, if it wasn't Marcion, the most likely suspect is this Cerdon character so we may be seeing a remnant of the Cerdo system in these two

The lack of hellfire in all Paul's writings is also very striking, but if we're positing orthadoxy modded his letters why did they not add this in too?
One explanation is Marcion predates Matthew or Paul's letters were reworked before belief in hell entered the Catholic mainstream

I recon it was Mark -> Luke -> John -> Matthew with hell only featuring in the latter originally
So Marcion's complaint about changes seems legitimate even if his two God hypothesis was new itself

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