Proof that Irenaeus Meant Marcion had All Four Gospels

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Secret Alias
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Proof that Irenaeus Meant Marcion had All Four Gospels

Post by Secret Alias » Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:22 pm

'But,' they say, 'it was for the sake of tempting him that they announced to him the mother and the brethren whom actually he had not' ... As therefore there existed no pertinent ground of temptation, it remains for us to admit the candour of the messenger and to acknowledge that his mother and his brethren really had come for him. But let Apelles, as well as Marcion, hear from me what was the reason behind the reply which for the moment denied mother and brethren. Our Lord's brethren did not believe in him (John 7:5) this also is included in the Gospel as it was published before Marcion's day. His mother likewise is not shown to have adhered to him, though Martha and other Marys are often mentioned as being in his company [Tertullian On the Flesh of Christ]
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
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Stuart
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Re: Proof that Irenaeus Meant Marcion had All Four Gospels

Post by Stuart » Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:31 am

Again you play games with names, as if it's established by anyone other than yourself. :facepalm:

What Tertullian seems to be relaying is an association of John's legend with Apelles. This is something I have concluded without this tidbit, and place that association in Asia Minor.

What is curious is the passage of John Tertullian quotes from is almost certainly part of the later Catholic layer, after Apelles supposedly joined with the proto-Orthodox. Acts 18:24-19:7 seems to hint at this association.

The Catholic argument against the heretics of Marcion and Apelles was always that the whole Canonical Bible was already circulating and that they only accepted abridged versions of Paul. This is very dubious, clearly polemic, and likely an argument born half a century after these sects were absorbed (Apelles/John, bringing the Marcionite NT with them to the Catholics) or splintered (Marcionites, who preserved earlier pre-split versions of Paul and Luke). Projecting current polemic back in time decades and even centuries is not something new, even if it seems so today (e.g., declaring men once thought to be progressive and advanced for their day as not meeting the new progressive standards of today -- or as the old Russian saying goes, "the future is secure, it is only the past which is uncertain" when speaking of the changing morality of society).

Why you strangely accept such blatant anachronism is beyond me.
“’That was excellently observed’, say I, when I read a passage in an author, where his opinion agrees with mine. When we differ, there I pronounce him to be mistaken.” - Jonathan Swift

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Re: Proof that Irenaeus Meant Marcion had All Four Gospels

Post by Giuseppe » Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:53 am

Stuart wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:31 am
The Catholic argument against the heretics of Marcion and Apelles was always that the whole Canonical Bible was already circulating and that they only accepted abridged versions of Paul.
ok, but I wonder about the fact that Irenaeus justified the choice of 4 gospels from n gospels not in virtue of the temporal priority of these 4, but only in virtue of their 'truth'.

This says us that even he concedes that the 4 were not first in date. Isn't it so?
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Proof that Irenaeus Meant Marcion had All Four Gospels

Post by Stuart » Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:09 am

The material in the compendium of authors (yes plural) under the name Irenaeus (although Tertullian is cited by Stephen here, which he likes to identify as Irenaeus, just as he likes to relabel other works to confuse the reader) is probably much later than conventionally dated. The material appears to range from early 3rd century to sometime in the 4th century. Parts of it may have a common source to the Tertullian collection which is also 3rd century. We tend to accept the pseudo autobiographical material as accurate, when in fact it was likely added by the compendium editor for the convenience of the reader many decades later, often drawing from legend and apocryphal acts meant to sanctify the material.

What I'm saying is the 4 gospel collection is at the earliest a 3rd century invention. It only came into focus sometime after the orthodoxy was finally established, and there needed to be a standard of material and teachings for their churches. As prior to that each was doing it's own thing. Much of the early church father complaints are about such diversity in teaching. They wanted uniformity. It is quite possible that the fourfold gospel concept comes into focus only when they started binding the gospels together. The earliest such bindings of manuscripts we have are well into the 4th century. But I can see how that might have come into being after the short lived Decian Persecution (barely a year or so, with lingering harrasment for a decade perhaps) that might have seen some organized confiscations of material (no real evidence of that; there certainly was in the great Diocletian Persecution). The replacement of lost books would have been the time for a sharp focus, with limited resources and a desire to standardize Christianity. This would have happened long after Apelles (a legend associated with John) joined forces with the proto-Orthodox (associated with the Peter legend), perhaps a generation.

Note: I speculate the original merger occurred as a result of Johannine associated families worked to gain an upper hand on Pauline (Marcionite?) associated families in Asia minor, over the issue of controlling shrines and churches (the buildings appear to have been called Synagogues at that time, with "church" still associated with the congregation, although that would change). This is my speculation as to why the Peter and John legends came together. The byproduct being the incorporation of the gospels of John and Luke, plus the 10 letter Pauline collection and the Johannine letters into the NT -- after Catholic redaction. Politics, not theology, drove the unification. And that is why the NT is such a mash up theologically.

Anyway the fourfold gospel concept betrays a much later date than the late 2nd century.
“’That was excellently observed’, say I, when I read a passage in an author, where his opinion agrees with mine. When we differ, there I pronounce him to be mistaken.” - Jonathan Swift

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Re: Proof that Irenaeus Meant Marcion had All Four Gospels

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:49 pm

Talk about ideosyncratic positions. The four gospels is dated to the late second century. The Acts of Timothy also says that John wrote the three synoptic gospels from older 'scrolls' and then composed his own gospel to fill in the gaps. Origen says that John didn't have a birth narrative because he already saw it in Matthew. Tertullian's statement is reflective of this ground. But surely a third century Church Father wasn't an eyewitness (unless you propose he was writing at 120 years of age. Irenaeus is his source as is most of Against the Valentinians, Against Marcion and the core of On the Flesh of Christ. Hardly as weird and ideosyncratic a position as your usual mountainman-lite nonsense (i.e. all the Church Fathers before the fourth century are invented or however you choose to disguise your ignorance.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
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Re: Proof that Irenaeus Meant Marcion had All Four Gospels

Post by Stuart » Thu Jul 02, 2020 3:05 pm

Origen is 3rd century too.

I am not saying the four gospels were not extant in the 2nd century, and certainly they were by around the start of the 3rd quarter of that century. Indeed there were probably a variety of versions of the four gospels extant at that time, and your local church might have had an interesting collection of a couple. Importantly however, unbound, and not part of a formal collection - they may not even have been bound.

What I am saying is the concept of a fourfold gospel collection is later than that era. It is a development from an era where the collections, the worship patterns, and the rituals are being formalized and standardized.

The church fathers betray their later dating by being concerned with this process. And what is more, I think they are not "lying" when they say the gospel are well known and they earnestly believe they were in the form they know them as back in the day of Apelles and Marcion (I agree with you Stephen that Marcion is a legend, a variant of the Mark legend) walked the earth. They say this because these are the versions they know and the stories they were told. They do not examine these stories critically, as it's their side's version, anymore than they would question the concept that Moses wrote the five books (except the part about his death), as this was the way they rolled. They were not moderns.

John 7:5, in my view, was almost certainly not part of the first version of John that circulated (probably written by an opponent of the Petrine and Johannine merger). It's quote is thus anachronistic, ironically.

The Acts of Timothy is another composite work, as you are well aware, which likely derives from earlier acts, but itself is probably from the 4th or even 5th century in the form we have (Zahn pointed out that Lycaonia, which is referenced as a province, was not a separate province until after 370 CE), and derive from Eusubius. You get into a game of eclectic evaluation determining that some bit is ancient because it's convenient for your argument. So I have to treat your reference to these Acts with a healthy dose of salt.
“’That was excellently observed’, say I, when I read a passage in an author, where his opinion agrees with mine. When we differ, there I pronounce him to be mistaken.” - Jonathan Swift

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Re: Proof that Irenaeus Meant Marcion had All Four Gospels

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Jul 02, 2020 3:35 pm

John 7:5, in my view, was almost certainly not part of the first version of John that circulated (probably written by an opponent of the Petrine and Johannine merger). It's quote is thus anachronistic, ironically.
John 7:1 is used against the Alogoi so it must have been part of the gospel of John by the turn of the third century.
“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: Proof that Irenaeus Meant Marcion had All Four Gospels

Post by Stuart » Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:01 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 3:35 pm
John 7:5, in my view, was almost certainly not part of the first version of John that circulated (probably written by an opponent of the Petrine and Johannine merger). It's quote is thus anachronistic, ironically.
John 7:1 is used against the Alogoi so it must have been part of the gospel of John by the turn of the third century.
This is not a problem. The first version in my view is prior to Marcus Aurelius, as this would be about the time of the merger (it's a reaction to it by a Johannine dissenter), the revision to be with the Catholic version is no later than Commodus. So a church father writer in the early 3rd century who converted from Paganism very likely only knew a form much closer to the Canonical.

We also do not know the date of the Alogoi except in relationship to the church fathers. If the church fathers are 50 years or so later, then so too are writings we date based on them.
“’That was excellently observed’, say I, when I read a passage in an author, where his opinion agrees with mine. When we differ, there I pronounce him to be mistaken.” - Jonathan Swift

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Re: Proof that Irenaeus Meant Marcion had All Four Gospels

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:44 pm

But your main contention was that Tertullian's reporting on Marcion comes first hand which is sheer nonsense. His source has to be Irenaeus. Not even worth discussing unless you claim he was over a hundred while writing this quote.
“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: Proof that Irenaeus Meant Marcion had All Four Gospels

Post by Stuart » Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:54 pm

Again you have it wrong (normal for you).

Tertullian had a Greek version of the Marcionite text before him. The polemics may well have come from a prior source. I think you have demonstrated his arguments were lifted from a source common to the one used by the writer of one of the Irenaeus works.

Tertullian is at least two full generations after the Marcionite split from the Catholics.
“’That was excellently observed’, say I, when I read a passage in an author, where his opinion agrees with mine. When we differ, there I pronounce him to be mistaken.” - Jonathan Swift

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