Marcion's Gospel

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Charles Wilson
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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by Charles Wilson » Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:22 pm

Nice Site. Stylometrics.
Sections on just about everything including Marcion:

https://sites.google.com/site/inglisonmarcion/Home

CW

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MrMacSon
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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by MrMacSon » Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:07 am

davidmartin wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:33 am
hmm Luke appearing as a response to Marcion is an intriguing theory
Several scholars have, in recent years, independent of each other, proposed Luke (+/- other gospels) appeared after Marcion (though they may not be proposing Luke was 'a response' to Marcion). Jason Beduhn was one of the first, then Markus Vinzent, then Matthias Klinghardt. Two of them -Vinzent & Klinghardt- propose all the gospels were written after Marcion's gospel, and others have proposed a 'proto-' or 'core' Luke.

You could search this forum for each surname eg. http://www.earlywritings.com/forum/sear ... d%5B0%5D=3

Bernard Muller
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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by Bernard Muller » Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:17 am

to Ben,
Those are interesting arguments (which I have read before), but they do not negate the arguments for Luke 3.1-2 having formed the beginning of a/the gospel text. The stronger I feel your arguments about Philippi are, the more I want to integrate them into what I feel is the more certain contingency: that the gospel once began at 3.1-2.
It is an opinion. For "Luke", trying to make her account appears as a truthful orderly historical narration, a preface was absolutely necessary.
I do not really buy this as a guarantee for the absolute truthfulness of the account; the author positions himself (he uses a masculine participle to refer to himself, not a feminine one, so I am doing the same) as having more knowledge and even access to knowledge about such affairs than Theophilus (whoever that may be); the likelihood of Theophilus following up and finding lies seems remote; only if we knew in advance that Theophilus was at least a bit antagonistic would we be able to draw such conclusions from the preface.
What do you expect? That the author declared she is a woman?
I have a theory about that Theophilus. It had to be understood as a code name but I think the author launched the idea Theophilus was Gallio. The premise was that Gallio, during the aborted trial in Corinth, with Jews against Paul, would have heard about Jesus. Later, rather intrigued by that (deceased) man, Gallio would have wanted to know more about that Jesus. Eventually, "Luke", posing as an impartial chroniquer, would have issue his account.
Of course, the gospel is not an impartial account, and Gallio would have quickly notice that. But the audience targeted by that gospel was likely to buy the notions in the preface. And of course, the gospel was never addressed to Gallio or any other excellency.
According to Wikipedia, Gallio died around 65 AD. How convenient! That would imply the gospel was written in 65 AD at the latest!
As for ACTS, the story about Paul is told after, allegedly, two years in Rome and then stop abrutly. According to the time markers in Acts, that would put the account in Acts ending around 63 AD.
All this theory about Theophilus appears nowhere on my website because of lack of evidence.

Cordially, Bernard
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:48 am

Bernard Muller wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:17 am
What do you expect? That the author declared she is a woman?
No, not necessarily. But he referred to himself in the masculine; therefore, so do I. I am not prejudicing the matter; I am just following his lead.
I have a theory about that Theophilus. It had to be understood as a code name but I think the author launched the idea Theophilus was Gallio. The premise was that Gallio, during the aborted trial in Corinth, with Jews against Paul, would have heard about Jesus. Later, rather intrigued by that (deceased) man, Gallio would have wanted to know more about that Jesus. Eventually, "Luke", posing as an impartial chroniquer, would have issue his account.
Of course, the gospel is not an impartial account, and Gallio would have quickly notice that. But the audience targeted by that gospel was likely to buy the notions in the preface. And of course, the gospel was never addressed to Gallio or any other excellency.
According to Wikipedia, Gallio died around 65 AD. How convenient! That would imply the gospel was written in 65 AD at the latest!
As for ACTS, the story about Paul is told after, allegedly, two years in Rome and then stop abrutly. According to the time markers in Acts, that would put the account in Acts ending around 63 AD.
All this theory about Theophilus appears nowhere on my website because of lack of evidence.
Without evidence about Theophilus' willingness and ability to follow up, we cannot use the preface as internal evidence of accuracy.
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John2
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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by John2 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:02 am

Secret Alias wrote:
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.

I get your point, but I was asking the question sincerely. As I had said prior to that, "I could ignore everything that church writers say about Marcion (and re-title this thread "The Gospel of Luke and Acts") and it wouldn't affect my view of the creation and evolution Luke and Acts." In other words, I could live without him. But carry on. As I said in my OP, I'm all ears on this thread.
Last edited by John2 on Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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John2
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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by John2 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:06 am

Secret Alias wrote:
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.

Well, alright, but would it be fair to say that they (unlike us) at least had access to Marcion's writings (and in the case of Justin Martyr, was even his contemporary)? That's worth something, if so (however little).
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John2
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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by John2 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:18 am

Secret Alias wrote:
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.

Alright, but could we be a bit flexible and say that the Marcionites "by and large" used (a version of) Luke, that the Ebionites "by and large" used (a version of) Matthew, etc.? The NT Matthew and Luke contain significant portions of Mark, after all. Were church writers aware of that? Hypothetically, could someone back then who used only the NT version of Matthew or Luke be accused of not using Mark even though we can say that that they did "use" Mark (in the sense that there are portions of at least what is now Mark in Matthew and Luke)?

If church writers were unaware that their own gospels (Matthew and Luke) contained portions of Mark, could we blame them for not realizing that their opponents used gospels that were (to whatever degree) more than only Luke, Matthew or John? Would it really not be fair to characterize their respective gospels as "largely" this or that, the same way that the NT Matthew and Luke are largely Matthew and Luke even though they also contain significant portions of Mark?
Last edited by John2 on Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:59 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:33 am

John2 wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:18 am
Secret Alias wrote:
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.

Alright, but could we be a bit flexible and say that the Marcionites "by and large" used a (version of) Luke, that the Ebionites "by and large" used a (version of) Matthew, etc.?
The Ebionite gospel fragments preserved by Epiphanius are not particularly Matthean over and above being Lucan (for example). But the Ebionite gospel appears to have claimed authorship by Matthew, since it has Jesus referring to Matthew in the second person: "you, Matthew." This datum, in conjunction with Irenaeus' claim that the Ebionites used "only" the gospel of Matthew, is what makes me suspect that there is something to this patristic reconstruction. Call the group what you will, but it appears that some Jewish Christians used a gospel which they claimed was by Matthew; its actual relationship to our canonical Matthew is up for debate.
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John2
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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by John2 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:37 am

For me (having nothing else to go on), the Markan overlaps in reconstructions of Marcion's gospel could be explained by Luke (in all its versions, including what people call "proto-Luke") containing portions of Mark from the get go. And whatever bits from Matthew (and John, if there are any) that are in these reconstructions could be explained by Epiphanius' comment that Marcion had "added other things besides, beyond what had been written" (i.e., things beyond what is written in the present text of Luke), i.e. (in my view), things from the other gospels that Marcion liked along with whatever else he may have added.

I could see Marcion's gospel being a mishmash of various gospels (if perhaps largely a version of what came to be called Luke) similar to the way the gospel of Thomas is a mishmash of sayings from various gospels (and whatever else that may have been added) that gnostics liked, so as to have one gospel that supported their point of view.
Last edited by John2 on Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:51 am, edited 9 times in total.
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Bernard Muller
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Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by Bernard Muller » Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:38 am

to Ben,
Without evidence about Theophilus' willingness and ability to follow up, we cannot use the preface as internal evidence of accuracy.
What do you mean by that? Why would a Theophilus be willing and able to follow up?
The preface is all BS, but with an important purpose, targeted to a Christian audience:
Because allegedly meant to an excellency, that account of Jesus' life was intended to be considered accurate by the audience, even if it is not.

Cordially, Bernard
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