I am not understanding KKs point. Is it her position that Irenaeus was a faithful transmitter of manuscripts? That he had no agenda? I find this baffling. I can't think of a more inflexible, worse possible candidate to put one's trust to faithfully preserve manuscripts than Irenaeus.
Is it KKs point that:
1) Irenaeus had no biases or was no more biased than a modern scholar
2) Irenaeus's biases whatever they were had no influence on his transmission of texts
3) Irenaeus biases whatever they were had no influence on our received of the four gospels which he first mentions as a set (the same 'set' mentioned by Irenaeus 'coincidentally')?
I am not getting this at all. Also:
4) Ammonius of Alexandria https://www.academia.edu/6816607/Ammoni ... cholarship
a pagan who does not seem to have ever held strong Christian beliefs is said to have been intimately associated with the explicit 'side by side' arrangement of the four gospels. I do not know what relationship existed between Irenaeus's citation of the fourfold gospel and Ammonius's arrangement of the fourfold gospel but clearly there is some relationship. They were near contemporaries. Celsus seems to allude to the establishment of the fourfold gospel:
After this he [Celsus] says, that certain of the Christian believers, like persons who in a fit of drunkenness lay violent hands upon themselves, have corrupted the original text of the Gospel (τῆς πρώτης γραφῆς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον), to a threefold (τριχῇ), and fourfold (τετραχῇ), and many-fold degree (πολλαχῇ), and have remodeled it (μεταπλάττειν), so that they might be able to answer objections (ἵν' ἔχοιεν πρὸς τοὺς ἐλέγχους ἀρνεῖσθαι)." [Origen, Contra Celsum 2:27]
Two of the three people who are the first to attest to the existence of the fourfold gospel are non-Christians. This is very strange. Celsus goes so far as to witness a motivation to for the development. Do we just dismiss Celsus's observation as uniformed because it is adversarial? ἀρνεῖσθαι actually means to deny or disown. I think with Ammonius's involvement there is an implication at least of shrugging off a previous belief or opinion. That the fourfold arrangement was constructed to deny or disown a previous understanding, which can only be the Marcionite understanding.
μετα-πλάσσω, Att. μεταπλάττω, A mould differently, remodel, Pl.Ti.92b, Iamb.Myst.3.28; τι εἴς τι Pl.Ti.50a (so in Med., AP9.708 (Phil.)); βίον μ. ἄλλοι ἄλλως Melinnoap.Stob.3.7.12.
2 counterfeit, τὸ θεῖον νόμισμα Ph.1.220.
II Gramm., in Pass., to be formed by metaplasm, A.D.Adv.184.11, Arc.129.6, Eust.58.38.
ἔλεγχος = argument of disproof, refutation. Who is it that Celsus thinks are making this refutations? Surely this is a lead to follow up on. Who made these 'refutations'' that led to the reshaping of the gospel into a fourfold composition? Clearly Origen implies it was pagans. He sees his work as such a refutation:
But that certain Christians and (all) Jews should maintain, the former that there has already descended, the latter that there will descend, upon the earth a certain God, or Son of a God, who will make the inhabitants of the earth righteous, is a most shameless assertion, and one the refutation of which does not need many words (καὶ οὐδὲ δεῖται μακροῦ λόγου ὁ ἔλεγχος). [4.2]
He speaks also about 'refuting' the Christian text Jason and Pascipus:
Of such a nature do I know the work to be, entitled Controversy between one Papiscus and Jason, which is fitted to excite pity and hatred instead of laughter. It is not my purpose, however, to confute the statements contained in such works (Ἔμοιγ' οὖν οὐ ταῦτ' ἐλέγχειν πρόκειται); for their fallacy is manifest to all, especially if any one will have the patience to read the books themselves. Rather do I wish to show that Nature teaches this, that God made nothing that is mortal, but that His works, whatever they are, are immortal, and theirs mortal. And the soul is the work of God, while the nature of the body is different. And in this respect there is no difference between the body of a bat, or of a worm, or of a frog, and that of a man; for the matter is the same, and their corruptible part is alike [4.52]
I do not know, indeed, how he could conjoin things that do not admit of union, and which cannot exist together at the same time in human nature, in saying, as he did, that the above treatise deserved to be treated both with pity and hatred. For every one will admit that he who is the object of pity is not at the same moment an object of hatred, and that he who is the object of hatred is not at the same time a subject of pity. Celsus, moreover, says that it was not his purpose to refute such statements, because he thinks that their absurdity is evident to all, and that, even before offering any logical refutation, they will appear to be bad, and to merit both pity and hatred ( ∆ιὰ τοῦτο δὲ μὴ προκεῖσθαι
ἐλέγχειν φησὶ ταῦτα ὁ Κέλσος, ἐπεὶ οἴεται αὐτὰ παντί που δῆλα εἶναι καὶ πρὸ τοῦ ἐπαγομένου λογικῶς ἐλέγχου ὡς φαῦλα καὶ ἐλέους καὶ μίσους ἄξια.) [4.53]
Celsus clearly implies that the fourfold gospel came about as Christians tried to deny 'refutations' of pagan critics like himself. As such it was a recent phenomenon.
This is clearest when he makes specific mention of a series of 'refutations' made specifically against Marcionism:
Let us then pass over the refutations which might be adduced against the claims of their teacher (Καὶ δὴ παραλείπομεν ὅσα περὶ τοῦ διδασκάλου διελέγχονται), and let him be regarded as really an angel. But is he the first and only one who came (to men), or were there others before him? If they should say that he is the only one, they would be convicted (ἐλέγχοιντο) of telling lies against themselves. For they assert that on many occasions others came, and sixty or seventy of them together, and that these became wicked, and were cast under the earth and punished with chains, and that from this source originate the warm springs, which are their tears; and, moreover, that there came an angel to the tomb of this said being — according to some, indeed, one, but according to others, two — who answered the women that he had arisen. For the Son of God could not himself, as it seems, open the tomb, but needed the help of another to roll away the stone. And again, on account of the pregnancy of Mary, there came an angel to the carpenter, and once more another angel, in order that they might take up the young Child and flee away (into Egypt). But what need is there to particularize everything, or to count up the number of angels said to have been sent to Moses, and others among them? If, then, others were sent, it is manifest that he also came from the same God. But he may be supposed to have the appearance of announcing something of greater importance (than those who preceded him), as if the Jews had been committing sin, or corrupting their religion, or doing deeds of impiety; for these things are obscurely hinted at.[5.52]
Notice Origen's paraphrase of this section in 5.53:
He says, indeed, that he has omitted the refutations which have been adduced against the claims which Christians advance on behalf of their teacher, although he has not omitted anything which he was able to bring forward, as is manifest from his previous language, but makes this statement only as an empty rhetorical device. That we are not refuted, however, on the subject of our great Saviour, although the accuser may appear to refute us, will be manifest to those who peruse in a spirit of truth-loving investigation all that is predicted and recorded of Him [Φησὶ δὴ παραλιπεῖν ὅσα περὶ τοῦ διδασκάλου Χριστιανοὶ διελέγχονται, οὐ παραλιπών τι ὧν ἐδύνατο λέγειν· ὅπερ ἐστὶ φανερὸν ἐκ τῶν ἀνωτέρω αὐτῷ λελεγμέ νων· ἄλλως δὲ ῥητορικῇ ἐγχειρήσει κατακολουθῶν τὸ τοιοῦτο ποιεῖ. Ἀλλὰ καὶ ὅτι οὐ διελεγχόμεθα περὶ τοῦ τηλικούτου σωτῆρος ἡμῶν,
κἂν δοκῇ ὁ ἐγκαλῶν διελέγχειν, δῆλον ἔσται τοῖς φιλαλήθως καὶ ἐξεταστικῶς ὅλοις τοῖς περὶ αὐτοῦ προφητευομένοις καὶ ἀναγεγραμμένοις ἐντυγχάνουσιν].
And later in 6.74:
After this he returns to the subject of Marcion's opinions (having already spoken frequently of them), and states some of them correctly, while others he has misunderstood; these, however, it is not necessary for us to answer or refute (ἐλέγχειν). Again, after this he brings forward the various arguments that may be urged on Marcion's behalf, and also against him, enumerating what the opinions are which exonerate him from the charges, and what expose him to them; and when he desires to support the statement which declares that Jesus has been the subject of prophecy — in order to found a charge against Marcion and his followers — he distinctly asks, How could he, who was punished in such a manner, be shown to be God's Son, unless these things had been predicted of him? He next proceeds to jest, and, as his custom is, to pour ridicule upon the subject, introducing two sons of God, one the son of the Creator, and the other the son of Marcion's God; and he portrays their single combats, saying that the Theomachies of the Fathers are like the battles between quails; or that the Fathers, becoming useless through age, and falling into their dotage do not meddle at all with one another, but leave their sons to fight it out. The remark which he made formerly we will turn against himself: What old woman would not be ashamed to lull a child to sleep with such stories as he has inserted in the work which he entitles A True Discourse? For when he ought seriously to apply himself to argument, he leaves serious argument aside, and betakes himself to jesting and buffoonery, imagining that he is writing mimes or scoffing verses; not observing that such a method of procedure defeats his purpose, which is to make us abandon Christianity and give in our adherence to his opinions, which, perhaps, had they been stated with some degree of gravity, would have appeared more likely to convince, whereas since he continues to ridicule, and scoff, and play the buffoon, we answer that it is because he has no argument of weight (for such he neither had, nor could understand) that he has betaken himself to such drivelling.
And similarly at 7.24:
After this Celsus relates at length opinions which he ascribes to us, but which we do not hold, regarding the Divine Being, to the effect that he is corporeal in his nature, and possesses a body like a man. As he undertakes to refute opinions which are none of ours, it would be needless to give either the opinions themselves or their refutation. Indeed, if we did hold those views of God which he ascribes to us, and which he opposes, we would be bound to quote his words, to adduce our own arguments, and to refute his. But if he brings forward opinions which he has either heard from no one, or if it be assumed that he has heard them, it must have been from those who are very simple and ignorant of the meaning of Scripture, then we need not undertake so superfluous a task as that of refuting them.
And again at 7.33
As Celsus supposes that we uphold the doctrine of the resurrection in order that we may see and know God, he thus follows out his notions on the subject: After they have been utterly refuted and vanquished (Ὅταν δὴ πάντοθεν ἐξείργων ται καὶ διελέγχωνται), they still, as if regardless of all objections, come back again to the same question, 'How then shall we see and know God? How shall we go to Him?'
My point is clearly that Celsus doesn't just 'witness' the remolding of the gospel to a fourfold form, he actually gives us the reason why it happened. The original Christianity - Marcionism - withered under the assault of 'refutations' from pagan philosophy and so the gospel was remade in a new form.
Irenaeus's use of μεταπλάσσω in AH 3.5 might imply he blamed the Valentinians for the fourfold gospel or it was a reflection of contemporary culture.