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Marcion's Gospel

Posted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:07 pm
by John2
What was it?

Due to time constraints it's not much of OP, but I want to take a fresh look at the subject and am all ears and keeping an open mind.

Re: Marcion's Gospel

Posted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:14 pm
by Ethan
You have to prove that Marcion is an historical figure, for there is no evidence, forum should be renamed It shows that USA as the worst education in the world.

Re: Marcion's Gospel

Posted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:21 pm
by Ethan
3985 topics in Christian section about the pseudo books of the New Testament and fake writings of medieval monks and only 511 in the Jewish section concerning the more authentic and original Hebrew scriptures of the Bible. 23,145 verses in Hebrew scripture, 7,957 in pseudo Testament.

Investigating the roots of western civilization (Dead Sea Scrolls, Homer, Hebrew Scripture, Herodotus, Plato) and yet all Babbling the Vatican archive of pseudepigrapha, must be an education problem in USA.

Re: Marcion's Gospel

Posted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:24 pm
by John2
Bernard made a comment (in response to Ben) on an older thread that Ben gave me a link to on another thread that I want post here for discussion since his approach seems similar to mine, and he also provided some references there that I want to take a fresh look at. viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1770&start=20

Bernard Muller wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2015 12:30 pm
I think that the publisher (or editor) of the Marcionite gospel (Marcion himself, most likely) considered Jesus to be docetic. But the possibility I am entertaining here is that Marcion made use of an already existing gospel text that was not, at its core, Marcionite.
And that already existing gospel would be gLuke, according to Irenaeus, Tertullian and Epiphanius.

Bernard Muller wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:52 pm

Irenaeus, Against Heresies:
- I, XXVII, 2 "he [Marcion] mutilates the Gospel which is according to Luke, removing all that is written respecting the generation of the Lord, and setting aside a great deal of the teaching of the Lord, in which the Lord is recorded as most dearly confessing that the Maker of this universe is His Father."
- III, XI, 7 "But Marcion, mutilating that according to Luke, is proved to be a blasphemer of the only existing God, from those [passages] which he still retains."
- III, XIV, 4 "And if indeed Marcion's followers reject these, they will then possess no Gospel; for, curtailing that according to Luke, as I have said already, they boast in having the Gospel."

Tertullian, Against Marcion:
- IV, II "Now, of the authors whom we possess, Marcion seems to have singled out Luke for his mutilating process."
- IV, IV "For if the Gospel, said to be Luke's which is current amongst us (we shall see whether it be also current with Marcion), is the very one which, as Marcion argues in his Antitheses, was interpolated by the defenders of Judaism, ..."
- IV, V "Luke's Gospel also has come down to us in like integrity until the sacrilegious treatment of Marcion. In short, when Marcion laid hands on it, it then became diverse and hostile to the Gospels of the apostles. I will therefore advise his followers, that they either change these Gospels, however late to do so, into a conformity with their own, whereby they may seem to be in agreement with the apostolic writings (for they are daily retouching their work, as daily they are convicted by us); ..."

Epiphanius, Panarion:
- I, III "But I shall come to his writings, or rather, to his tamperings. This man has only Luke as a Gospel, mutilated at the beginning because of the Savior’s conception and his incarnation. But this person who harmed himself < rather > than the Gospel did not cut just the beginning off. He also cut off many words of the truth both at the end and in the middle, and he has added other things besides, beyond what had been written. And he uses only this (Gospel) canon, the Gospel according to Luke"
- I, III "For the (Marcionite) canon of Luke is revelatory of < their form of the Gospel >: mutilated as it is, without beginning, middle or end, it looks like a cloak full of moth holes."
- I, III "This is Marcion’s corrupt compilation, containing a version and form of the Gospel according to Luke, ..."
- I, III "I have made this laborious, searching compilation from the scripture he has chosen, Paul and the Gospel according to Luke ...."

Re: Marcion's Gospel

Posted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:31 pm
by John2
Another comment I want to poach from the above thread for me to ponder and respond to here when I get time is by Ben:

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2015 7:11 pm
Another point in favor of Marcionite priority, I think, is the infancy narrative in Luke. Not only is Luke 3.1 a fine way to start a gospel, as has been noted numerous times over the years, but 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". There have been no other Johns mentioned yet that would require this kind of distinction, and Luke 3-24 betrays no knowledge of the detailed events and family connections between Jesus and John in Luke 1-2. A proto-Luke lacking chapters 1-2 and beginning with 3.1 has been proposed many times.

And, of course, the Marcionite gospel begins with Luke 3.1. So could the Marcionite gospel itself be proto-Luke? Well, it also skips the baptism, with the effect that John himself seems to come on the scene rather suddenly in Marcion, as the subject of an inquiry in Luke 5.33; so suddenly, in fact, as to draw criticism from Tertullian in Against Marcion 4.11.4: "Whence, too, does John come upon the scene? Christ, suddenly; and just as suddenly, John!" So this particular point seems to go in favor of Marcionite posteriority.

Re: Marcion's Gospel

Posted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:38 pm
by John2
And now I'm poaching something from the thread Ben gave me the above link in so I can bring that discussion over here, and when I get time I'll try to make something more of this thread.

John2 wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:00 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 7:40 pm
John2 wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 7:27 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 7:10 pm
John2 wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 7:01 pm
Based on the above and what I've gathered as a casual observer of Marcion over the years, I'm going to venture a huge (if perhaps worthless) guess that Marcion cherry-picked the parts he liked from various gospels (and perhaps mostly from Luke).
Marcion sometimes preserves what appears to be a text more original or primitive than canonical Luke. For example, Luke 1-2 is almost certainly an addition to a text which originally began with Luke 3.1, and Marcion lacks Luke 1-2. And there is also the "miracles in Capernaum" business.
Would you be up for starting a new Marcion thread (or linking to a pertinent one)? I wouldn't mind taking a fresh look at the subject.
Here is one old thread: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1770.

Here is a relevant post from that same thread: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1770&p=39456#p39456.

And here is yet another from that same thread: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1770&p=39592#p39592.

There are others, but it all got pretty confusing/confused at times. And some of the arguments did not stand the test of time.

I will definitely take a look at those threads (and I'm already looking at the first one). Thanks. And I don't mind continuing the discussion here either, I just thought it'd be interesting if you started a new thread too (although nothing's stopping me from doing it, so maybe I will).

But just going by what you say above, couldn't Marcion have simply excised the first two chapters from a Luke that was more or less the one we know? Given what I understand about Marcion, wouldn't that make sense if he believed that Jesus was a phantom?

Re: Marcion's Gospel

Posted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:34 pm
by John2
And this must be the "Capernuam business" Ben refers to above and I want to ponder it too:

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:39 am
Here are two other possible indications of Marcionite priority over Luke; these rest on slender grounds, however, since they both depend on unattested material being absent from Marcion and not merely unmentioned by Tertullian and Epiphanius (and the other church fathers).

First, in Luke 4.23, Jesus is preaching in the synagogue at Nazara, and he imagines his listeners saying to him, "Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we heard was done at Capernaum, do here in your home town as well." Luke, however, has not yet narrated anything about Capernaum; this is its first mention. Awkward.

By contrast, both Matthew and Mark locate this preaching at Nazareth much later in their respective narratives (Matthew 13.53-58 = Mark 6.1-6a), well after Jesus has performed many miracles in Capernaum (Matthew 7.28-29; 8.5-17; Mark 1.21-38). Neither Matthew nor Mark, however, record anything like Luke 4.23, so the order in which Jesus does things at the two towns does not come into play anyway. Yet the order is an issue in Luke: did the same author (Luke or pseudo-Luke or whoever) both add the line hearkening back to miracles in Capernaum and also move the entire pericope back to before any miracles were performed in Capernaum?

The Marcionite gospel has Jesus appearing in Capernaum first and performing an exorcism there before moving on to Nazareth. Now, on the one hand, perhaps one exorcism is not enough to merit the saying in Luke 4.23, which actually uses the plural (ὅσα ἠκούσαμεν γενόμενα, as many things as we have heard were done). On the other hand, however, the particular line of Luke 4.23 which refers back to things done in Nazareth is not attested as either present in or absent from the Marcionite gospel. One wonders what the relationship of Matthew and Mark to Marcion might be in this case, since in Marcion the Nazareth trip seems to come very early, as in Luke, but not until after Capernaum, as in Matthew and Mark.

There is more. Luke 4.31 reads, "And he came down into Capernaum, a city of Galilee." The extra descriptor certainly makes it sound as if this is the first mention of Capernaum... but of course we already have that earlier mention in the dominical saying of Luke 4.23. In Mark 1.21, the Marcan parallel to Luke 4.31, it is the first mention of Capernaum in that gospel; yet Mark simply says, "And he went into Capernaum," with no further description (that happens with some frequency in Mark). The Marcionite parallel to Luke 4.31 is the first mention of Capernaum in that gospel, as well. In the ever intriguing codex Bezae (D), Luke 4.31 comes off even more like the first mention of Capernaum: "And he came down into Capernaum, a city of Galilee, near the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali. Compare Matthew 4.13: "And he left Nazareth and came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali." This, of course, is the first mention of Capernaum in Matthew, just like it sounds. (Notice that, in Matthew, Jesus actually hits Nazareth first, yet this visit is not described at all; after the temptation, Jesus comes into Galilee, specifically Nazareth, then leaves with no description of events at all and settles in Capernaum.)

There is more. Irenaeus writes in Against Heresies 4.23.1:

For this reason, too, did the Lord Himself read at Capernaum the prophecies of Isaiah: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me; to preach the Gospel to the poor hath He sent Me, to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and sight to the blind [Is. 61:1]." At the same time, showing that it was He Himself who had been foretold by Isaiah the prophet, He said to them: "This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears."

But these quotations come from Luke 4.18 and 4.21, from the visit to Nazareth, not to Capernaum.

Regardless of what we may think of the quote from Irenaeus, it seems clear that the Marcan and Matthean order of events (Capernaum first, then later Nazareth) is the more original, and that Luke has created an inconcinnity in both affirming it in 4.23 and altering it by moving the rejection at Nazareth forward in his gospel. Marcion, however, is closer in order on this point to Mark and Matthew than to Luke, showing no signs of the Lucan inconcinnity.

Second, Luke again suffers a bit of incongruity by having Simon Peter's mother-in-law healed in Luke 4.38-39, at Simon's house... before Simon has even been introduced to us, and certainly before his call to discipleship in Luke 5.1-11. Obviously Matthew and Mark can both claim priority in this case over Luke, since they relate the call before the healing, but it is possible that Marcion can, as well, because the healing of Simon's mother-in-law is not attested (either as present or as absent) for the Marcionite gospel; if it was absent, then Simon is introduced at his call to discipleship, just as in Mark and Matthew.

Re: Marcion's Gospel

Posted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:38 pm
by John2
More good stuff from Ben to ponder:

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:54 pm
Another 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:

Marcion, on the other hand, you must know, ascribes no author to his Gospel, as if it could not be allowed him to affix a title to that from which it was no crime (in his eyes) to subvert the very body.

As Mark Goodacre points out in his Dating Game series:

The more blatant signs, though, of the relative lateness of John and Thomas lie in their attempts at authorial self-representation. Where earlier Gospels like Mark and Matthew are anonymous and avoid attempting to project an authorial presence to lend authority to their work, the author of the Fourth Gospel makes claims to have been present, most notably in 19.35 and of course 21.24, “This is the disciple who testifies to these things and wrote them down (καὶ ὁ γράψας ταῦτα). We know that his testimony is true,” similar in style and literary function to the Incipit of Thomas, “These are the secret sayings which the living Jesus spoke and which Didymos Judas Thomas wrote down.” .... There is a trajectory among these early Christian texts, from the absence of authorial self-representation in Mark and Matthew, to hints in Luke and Acts (with the first person found in Luke 1.1-4 as well as in the “we” passages in Acts), to the marked but nevertheless still unnamed authorial presence in John, to the explicit self-representation of Didymos Judas Thomas in its Gospel’s Incipit, a naming that also leads the reader to pay special attention to Thomas 13.

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.

Re: Marcion's Gospel

Posted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:39 pm
by John2
I will leave the poaching at that for now and give these things some thought and address them later.

Re: Marcion's Gospel

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:33 am
by davidmartin
hmm Luke appearing as a response to Marcion is an intriguing theory

but people say Acts and Luke were by the same author, how established is that?
do the similarities in style apply just to a redactor maybe of Luke being the same as Act's author

Marcion presumably didn't have any hell references in his gospel either, i remember reading he rejected hell if i recall that right?

I wonder where the birth narrative in Luke came from, an earlier source perhaps. I'd be interested in any studies done on this