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Re: Evolution and the Gospels

Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 10:12 am
by Charles Wilson
"Tough crowd, I tell ya'.
Tough crowd..."

-- Rodney Dangerfield

I was actually agreeing with you, Ben.

Absent an argument from Absolute Negation (Matthew was first. Mark added the "...for all you care..." argument.), it is obvious that Matthew is editing/rewriting/redacting Mark, smoothing over the rough spots, leaving out awkward phrases for the New Religion.

https://books.google.com/books?id=HhclO ... ll&f=false

Scroll up to page 5 and the EPR arguments. This is generating a HUGE discussion these days about the Nature of Counterfactuals (Ex: "Suppose the Book of Mark didn't survive...").

Stapp is writing a perfectly Logical Analysis - "If region A is not in spacewise contact with region B, then, If A were to measure "Small", then, at the last moment, it could have measured 'Black'".

People have gone nuts over this, since, in fact, there were measurements that were NOT made, even if they might have been.

"Could you infer that, absent Mark, Matthew had made edits to a prior Document?"

No! Not based on that Data. Are there other Data that might lead you to believe that there was something prior? YES! That's why I've been Posting here for years and years.

I offered the "...for all you care?" passage in support of your Counterfactual Analysis.

"Tough Crowd", indeed!

Best,

CW

Re: Evolution and the Gospels

Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 10:14 am
by Secret Alias
I am also intrigued by the possibility that Irenaeus's report about the 'remodeling' of the gospel:
Such, then, is their system, which neither the prophets announced, nor the Lord taught, nor the apostles delivered, but of which they boast that beyond all others they have a perfect knowledge. They gather their views from other sources than the Scriptures; and, to use a common proverb, they strive to weave ropes of sand, while they endeavour to adapt with an air of probability to their own peculiar assertions the parables of the Lord, the sayings of the prophets, and the words of the apostles, in order that their scheme may not seem altogether without support. In doing so, however, they disregard the order and the connection of the Scriptures, and so far as in them lies, dismember and destroy the truth. By transferring passages, and dressing them up anew, and making one thing out of another, they succeed in deluding many through their wicked art in adapting the oracles of the Lord to their opinions. Their manner of acting is just as if one, when a beautiful image of a king has been constructed by some skilful artist out of precious jewels, should then take this likeness of the man all to pieces, should rearrange the gems, and so fit them together as to make them into the form of a dog or of a fox, and even that but poorly executed; and should then maintain and declare that this was the beautiful image of the king which the skilful artist constructed, pointing to the jewels which had been admirably fitted together by the first artist to form the image of the king, but have been with bad effect transferred by the latter one to the shape of a dog, and by thus exhibiting the jewels, should deceive the ignorant who had no conception what a king's form was like, and persuade them that that miserable likeness of the fox was, in fact, the beautiful image of the king. In like manner do these persons patch together old wives' fables, and then endeavour, by violently drawing away from their proper connection, words, expressions, and parables whenever found, to adapt the oracles of God to their baseless fictions. [1.8.1]
has some relationship with Celsus's report about the remodeling of the gospel into four for the purpose of 'denying refutations.' Papias's 'oracles of the Lord' is associated with Matthew by Irenaeus already. The term 'oracles of the Lord' here might be a reference to Tatian's ordering of the Diatessaron which has Matthew in the first column and other readings from Mark and Luke. https://books.google.com/books?id=gt_DG ... as&f=false The relationship between the fourfold gospel and the interest in the Tetrad of the Valentinians has already been noted by Ulan. But now I am wondering whether or not Ammonius's Diatessaron = Tatian's Diatessaron and these modifications of Matthew were in the background when Irenaeus established his fourfold gospel as an 'orthodox' version of the (heretical) Diatessaron. Irenaeus never attributes the Diatessaron to Tatian.

In fact much of that section seems to echo Papias including the concerns about the proper 'order' of the gospel. Wonder if this points to competing 'orders' of 'diatessaron' editions - one heretical, one orthodox.

Re: Evolution and the Gospels

Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 10:30 am
by andrewcriddle
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 9:04 am
Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:44 am
As Ben knows, I disagree with him that GMark shows signs of editing. I agree that the text has some problems which need to be explained.
I want to highlight this statement in view of a thought experiment I have offered before. Kunigunde, if Mark had been lost to history, and we had only Matthew and Luke to testify to its existence, would your approach or methodology be able to tell you that we were missing something? Or would you assume that Matthew wrote the first gospel ever and that Luke copied him (or vice versa)? Would the signs of editing that we find in Matthew (or in Luke) stand out to you as indicating a prior text, or would you glide over them, either leaving them unexplained or not reckoning them to be dire enough even to require an explanation?
If we had only Matthew and Luke

Luke's apocalyptic discourse would seem clearly secondary to Matthew 24.

However there are passages where Luke seems clearly earlier than Matthew. Matthew 19:16-17 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” is secondary to Luke 18:18-19 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.

Andrew Criddle

Re: Evolution and the Gospels

Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 10:47 am
by Secret Alias
There also seems to be a consistent understanding that the gospel is a portrait of a king that comes from Matthew. In 3.9's discussion of what 'Matthew says' about the 'man' (11.7) Jesus:
There is therefore one and the same God, the Father of our Lord, who also promised, through the prophets, that He would send His forerunner; and His salvation -- that is, His Word -- He caused to be made visible to all flesh, [the Word] Himself being made incarnate, that in all things their King might become manifest. For it is necessary that those [beings] which are judged do see the judge, and know Him from whom they receive judgment; and it is also proper, that those which follow on to glory should know Him who bestows upon them the gift of glory. Then again Matthew, when speaking of the angel, says, "The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in sleep."(6) Of what Lord he does himself interpret: "That it may be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, Out of Egypt have I called my son."(7) "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel; which is, being interpreted, God with us."(8) David likewise speaks of Him who, from the virgin, is Emmanuel: "Turn not away the face of Thine anointed. The LORD hath sworn a truth to David, and will not turn from him. Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy seat."(9) And again: "In Judea is God known; His place has been made in peace, and His dwelling in Zion."(10) Therefore there is one and the same God, who was proclaimed by the prophets and announced by the Gospel; and His Son, who was of the fruit of David's body, that is, of the virgin of [the house of] David, and Emmanuel; whose star also Balaam thus prophesied: "There shall come a star out of Jacob, and a leader shall rise in Israel."(1) But Matthew says that the Magi, coming from the east, exclaimed "For we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him;"(2) and that, having been led by the star into the house of Jacob to Emmanuel, they showed, by these gifts which they offered, who it was that was worshipped; myrrh, because it was He who should die and be buried for the mortal human met; gold, because He was a King, "of whose kingdom is no end;"(3) and frankincense, because He was God, who also "was made known in Judea,"(4) and was "declared to those who sought Him not."
The argument seems to be throughout Book Three that Matthew on its own reveals 'Christ' as a King. This becomes diluted apparently when other gospels present the narrative 'in the wrong order.' We get to Jesus 'the fox' by means of additions to Matthew's portrait by other gospels.

Re: Evolution and the Gospels

Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 12:57 pm
by Kunigunde Kreuzerin
perseusomega9 wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 3:14 pm
Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 2:29 pm

The tradition that GMark is associated with the apostle Peter is apparently older than Irenaeus. GMark was protected as the memories of Peter and not even Irenaeus could have wiped out GMark.
Do you think the earliest association was with Peter, or with a Kephas, or with a SIMON peter?

Remembering of course that all we have of Papias is second hand reporting of what he actually wrote
I don't know. I wouldn't find it unlikely that the earliest association was in favor of Peter (not in favor of Mark) and was made in a moment when some Christian scriptures gained authority and the Petrine camp perceived, that there were no scriptures related to Peter (but to Paul and other apostles like Matthew), therefore in a moment when the image of the apostle Peter was in need of scriptures and the Petrine literature started to be launched.

Re: Evolution and the Gospels

Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:20 pm
by Kunigunde Kreuzerin
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 9:04 am
Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:44 am
As Ben knows, I disagree with him that GMark shows signs of editing. I agree that the text has some problems which need to be explained.
I want to highlight this statement in view of a thought experiment I have offered before. Kunigunde, if Mark had been lost to history, and we had only Matthew and Luke to testify to its existence, would your approach or methodology be able to tell you that we were missing something? Or would you assume that Matthew wrote the first gospel ever and that Luke copied him (or vice versa)? Would the signs of editing that we find in Matthew (or in Luke) stand out to you as indicating a prior text, or would you glide over them, either leaving them unexplained or not reckoning them to be dire enough even to require an explanation?
It's not easy to take the experiment seriously and to answer without fooling yourself. It seems to me that I can only say the following

I'm rather sure that I would recognize that Luke (and John) handled different sources, but I'm rather unsure whether that would also be the case with Matthew. On the other hand, twenty-five years ago, I believed in the theory that all Gospels are copies and rewritings of many different oral and written traditions. GMatthew would not have dissuaded me from this belief.

Re: Evolution and the Gospels

Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:24 pm
by Ben C. Smith
Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:20 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 9:04 am
Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:44 am
As Ben knows, I disagree with him that GMark shows signs of editing. I agree that the text has some problems which need to be explained.
I want to highlight this statement in view of a thought experiment I have offered before. Kunigunde, if Mark had been lost to history, and we had only Matthew and Luke to testify to its existence, would your approach or methodology be able to tell you that we were missing something? Or would you assume that Matthew wrote the first gospel ever and that Luke copied him (or vice versa)? Would the signs of editing that we find in Matthew (or in Luke) stand out to you as indicating a prior text, or would you glide over them, either leaving them unexplained or not reckoning them to be dire enough even to require an explanation?
It's not easy to take the experiment seriously and to answer without fooling yourself.
Sorry, I am not sure what you mean by this.
It seems to me that I can only say the following

I'm rather sure that I would recognize that Luke (and John) handled different sources, but I'm rather unsure whether that would also be the case with Matthew. On the other hand, twenty-five years ago, I believed in the theory that all Gospels are copies and rewritings of many different oral and written traditions. GMatthew would not have dissuaded me from this belief.
I am always curious to know what people mean by "many" texts or traditions, from the Lucan prologue all the way up to you typing that sentence. The number is opaque to me, and I have little confidence in being able to reconstruct the source(s) accurately, but I can easily and fairly say that, under the terms of my thought experiment, I would suspect that Matthew had a predecessor. I would suspect the same of Luke, and I would be virtually certain about John (even if none of the other gospels survived). It is the same exact kinds of observations about those three gospels ⁠— as well as observations about Kings and Chronicles, Josephus and the Hebrew scriptures, and other texts bearing literary connections ⁠— that leads me to suspect that Mark, too, had at least one narrative predecessor.

But that is not even my main point. My main point is that Mark as originator of the narrative about Jesus cannot logically stand as the default position. That is all. My own progression is the exact opposite of yours; 25 years ago I was leaning toward the camp which eschews protogospels and oral traditions; the only thing leading me to my current suspicions is my finding of the same kinds of telltale signs in Mark that I can find in Matthew, Luke, and John. The method, therefore, is simple so far as the principle of it all is concerned, albeit rather more complicated in the application, I will grant you.

Re: Evolution and the Gospels

Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:59 pm
by Irish1975
Secret Alias wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 6:51 am
someone 'counterfeited' the gospel into a fourfold form in order to change Christianity to avoid continuing the criticism. Either way, the gospel was falsified for a specific purpose. It wasn't 'accidental' according to Celsus. And remember Celsus makes a good point. One would expect there to be one gospel just as there is only one MS of Plato's Republic for instance.
I wish I could follow this argument.

1) How does one "counterfeit" something by giving it a 4-fold form?
2) If "the gospel" was something that could be "falsified," then is Little Women "falsified" every time they make a new movie of it?
3) A text can be destroyed, neglected, forgotten, copied, redacted, etc. How the fuck can it be "falsified"?
4) Why would "one expect" there to be one gospel, just as there is "one MS of of Plato's Republic"?

Re: Evolution and the Gospels

Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:31 pm
by Irish1975
FWIW, I completely buy Trobisch's account of the "first edition" of the NT. IMO this is all one can ever claim to know about "gospels" coming into existence as literary texts.

Analogy: Sir Charles Lyell dating the earth by looking at rock layer formations. For Trobisch the patristic testimony is worthless compared to the manuscript evidence. Start with the physical data.

Re: Evolution and the Gospels

Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:43 pm
by Secret Alias
I am going to try again:
1. Celsus reports that the one gospel (presumably the Marcionite gospel because he seems to be aware of Marcionite propaganda) was 'reformed' (μεταπλάσσω) into the fourfold gospel.
2. Irenaeus assumes (because of Papias) that Matthew (or the 'logia' of the Lord) was 'reformed' (μεταπλάσσω) by the heretics in a manifold manner to make the 'oracles of the Lord' (again Matthew) accord with their pre-existent doctrines.
3. Irenaeus identifies each gospel with a particular living creature where 'Matthew' is the man (ish) who is kingly and royal. Matthew is the first gospel who reveals Jesus as king. The 'reforming' (μεταπλάσσω) of the gospel takes Matthew's 'king' and makes him a 'fox.' Clearly there is a sense that the addition of new gospels here takes away from the authenticity of Matthew, presumed by Papias to be the 'correct' gospel.
4. Tatian the student of Justin (who used a gospel harmony) is said to have developed a diatessaron gospel by Epiphanius and many ancient sources but not Irenaeus. Irenaeus knows of Tatian, identifies him as a heretic but doesn't mention his manufacture of the diatessaron gospel. https://books.google.com/books?id=wI-fD ... on&f=false
5. Ammonius of Alexandria is known to have developed a four columned 'diatessaron' gospel with 1st column 'Matthew' 2nd column 'Mark' third column 'Luke' fourth column 'John.' https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals ... 28682953EF
6. Irenaeus advocates that a gospel of four is the correct form of the gospel because of the fourfold nature of the universe - seeming to embrace Valentinian (and especially Marcosian) ideas about a primal Tetrad.
7. Marcion says that there was one original gospel written by the apostle - the canonical gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - were pseudepigraphons that is fake texts falsely written in the name of followers of Jesus
That's where the evidence leads us when trying to piece together where our four-gospel 'Gospel' originated. We can with KK completely ignore this shared understanding of an expansion of a primal gospel to a specifically four-fold gospel - both among the heretics and the orthodox. I suspect that when Irenaeus criticizes the making of many-gospels among the heretics he has in mind Tatian's gospel which Baarda has pieced together understands Jesus in a very Marcionite manner (i.e. supernatural Jesus). When Irenaeus lauds the 'appropriateness' of the fourfold gospel he has in mind an orthodox version of Tatian's heretical composition. It distinguishes itself from the 'fourfold' heretical gospel because the collection mirrors 'orthodox' presuppositions about Jesus (or at least denies or rejects heretical ones).

The appeal to a fourfold gospel smacks of Valentinianism and heresy. Irenaeus's appeal to the four winds, four living creatures etc not withstanding it would stand to reason that Irenaeus's efforts were to mirror - or 'improve' - upon a pre-existent Tatianic text. Tatian is described as having Valentinian-like doctrines. Tatian likely saw the mystical significance of the number four established a fourfold - i.e. Diatessaronic - gospel which was criticized by Irenaeus for weakening Matthew's portrait of Jesus as King and presenting him instead as a 'fox.' Irenaeus countered by establishing a specifically 'orthodox' diatessaron or four-fold gospel. But Irenaeus's composition is clearly motivated by dogmatic considerations. Not clear the same is true with respect to Tatian's lost text.

KK seems to think we don't need to know about the situation regarding 1 - 7 or that it should have no bearing on our studies of the synoptics and their interrelationship. We just need to believe that they were picked like berries in a wild meadow - free from the situation described by every ancient witness. My point was to ask - is KK's assumption a reasonable assumption given the state of the evidence (i.e. 1 - 7) or is she just embracing the canonical texts because it gives us a sense of practical purpose. Do we ignore the fact that fourfold gospels were being established in antiquity to mirror pre-existent dogmas of the editors simply because by doing so we have texts to work with? Do you pretend that eating Chinese bat soup is nourishing merely because there is no other food available?