Marcion's Gospel

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 12137
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Dec 08, 2019 9:20 am

The claim that Marcion stole Luke and a collection of Pauline letters and falsified them is no more credible than racist science which claims Asians are sneakier, Jews more dishonest, blacks lazier than white people. Such studies exist. Observation does not prove phenomenology. Look at the assumptions regarding the basic inability of women to engage in rational thought in antiquity. Silly to believe this Marcion stole Luke argument merely on one source.
“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

User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 12137
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Dec 08, 2019 9:27 am

What is the difference here than the report 70 translators made identical translations of the Hebrew Pentateuch?
“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

User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 12137
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Dec 08, 2019 9:30 am

The argument regarding Luke was developed with a Galatians-first canon by the orthodox to support a certain understanding of history.
“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

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 7511
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:07 am

Bernard Muller wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 9:16 am
If the nativity stories were composed after a proto-Luke, these stories would be a lot more concise in order to fit the style & format of the gospel.

Cordially, Bernard
I have no real issue with the supposition that the nativity stories were written early(ish) and then tagged on to Luke 3-24, but the same effect is achieved if they were written by a different hand, as well, and then edited into Luke. The main thing is that chapters 1-2 are observably independent of chapters 3-24.

Also, I think it is pretty clear that Luke 3.1-2 was once the beginning of a gospel text. It still is in the cases of the Ebionite gospel and of the Marcionite gospel. A claim that the Ebionites and the Marcionites excised the nativity narrative on purpose is fine in the abstract, but it fails to explain how great a beginning Luke 3.1-2 makes. Only the original independence of Luke 1-2 from Luke 3-24 explains all these factors.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ

perseusomega9
Posts: 627
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:19 am
Contact:

Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by perseusomega9 » Sun Dec 08, 2019 11:33 am

I'm keen on Vinzent's idea that Marcion wrote first, his gospel became very popular and spread. The proto-orthodox responded with the published NT (think Trobisch) and then Marcion formally published a response adding the antithesis to his gospel and apostolikon. But I'm guessing Markion's first version was closer to Mark given the structure between the two. The counter publication to the orthodox was probably done by followers of Mark, hence the addition of -ion to the name. I do think Mark(ion) was the first gospel in the sense that the term evangelion shifted from the christian proclamation to a new text genre that takes over that name. This doesnt mean there weren't other source materials, I just think they were more fluid and rapid in development as untitled hypomnema used in debates or evangelism (also a reason the codex gained early and popular use in christianity), and explains Justin's use.

Long story short hypomnema-> Mark(ions) first grand gospel->NT published->followers of Mark(ion) counter publish
The metric to judge if one is a good exegete: the way he/she deals with Barabbas.

Who disagrees with me on this precise point is by definition an idiot.
-Giuseppe

John2
Posts: 3308
Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:42 pm

Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by John2 » Sun Dec 08, 2019 12:03 pm

Ben wrote:

Surely the testimony of the fathers must count for precisely zero in this instance. Right? If they had some historical tradition that they were following, I might be inclined to give it to them. But the way they write makes it clear that they do not; they are merely assuming that Luke, a companion of Paul, wrote first (and wrote the gospel entire). According to Tertullian, Marcion made exactly the opposite claim: that he was republishing the original gospel to which someone had added things. It is "he said, they said." We have to rely on internal indicators, not on external testimony, for this one. Both sides were being tendentious.

I will give you all that and incorporate it into my big picture view as I put it upthread:

John2 wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 6:58 pm
Perhaps the key to all this is Tertullian's remark that the text of Luke "had been all topsy-turvy from the days of Tiberius to those of Antoninus." Would that necessarily mean that there was a "proto-Luke," or would it mean that there were variant Lukes (like there were variant Acts or other gospels), one of which ended up being the NT version and another that was (after being tinkered with) Marcion's version? Even if Marcion had a better copy (at least with respect to chapter 4), he still could have "not cut just the beginning off. He also cut off many words of the truth both at the end and in the middle, and .. added other things besides, beyond what had been written" (as Epiphanius puts it).

This would make more sense than to suppose that Marcion's gospel (as he presented it) was some kind of original gospel that the orthodox turned into Luke as we have it, since we know from Papias (who in my view pre-dates Marcion and did not know of Luke) that there were already at least two gospels in circulation in his time (Mark and Matthew). It seems more likely to me that Marcion had "laid hands on [a variant copy of] Luke, [and] it then became diverse and hostile to the Gospels of the apostles" rather than that the orthodox had "laid hands on" a Marcion-type "proto-gospel" and turned it into Mark and Matthew and Luke (and invented Jewish Christians and such), with the first two existing before Marcion had even presented his gospel (and perhaps even before he was alive).
And I think it would make sense that the text of Luke (and Acts) "had been all topsy-turvy from the days of Tiberius to those of Antoninus" (or at least since Domitian's time) if it was written by Paul's patron Epaphroditus and that he was the person with the same name who is said to have died c. 95 CE during the time Domitian was persecuting Christians, since he may have consequently not had time to finalize those writings before his execution, leading to various corrections and such.

Now, if I recall correctly, we both agree, or at least lean towards the possibility (as per MacDonald) that Papias (who I date in any event to c. 100 CE) did not know Luke or Acts. For me a c. 100 CE dating of Papias and c. 95 CE for Luke and Acts would fit the idea that the former did not know Luke or Acts, in that Luke and Acts may not have had enough time to circulate and reach Papias by c. 100 CE. And since Justin Martyr is one of the first (if not the first) to cite anything from Luke (or at least things that are now in Luke), that leaves (in my view) a window of c. 95 CE to the mid-second century CE for the text of Luke to have evolved.

And when I asked you on another thread, "Is this proto-Luke sans all traces of Mark in your estimation?" you said:

No. There are Marcan overlaps, at the very least. ETA: I do not have a firm answer to the question of whether it was this proto-Luke or whether it was Mark that came first. Also, I do not cleanly equate this proto-Luke with Marcion's gospel; I imagine Marcion made changes, too.



So let's say (for the sake of discussion) that Epaphroditus (using Mark and in my view also Matthew) did not have time to finalize Luke or Acts before he was executed c. 95 CE, and that one or more drafts got out, with one of them being your "proto-Luke," and with all of them containing portions of Mark (and in my view Matthew) and eventually becoming tampered with by whoever, and that one of them became Marcion's gospel. Could this scenario fit the evolution of Luke in your estimation?
Last edited by John2 on Sun Dec 08, 2019 12:24 pm, edited 10 times in total.
Look at the sky, look at the river, isn't it good? Winding, finding places to go.

davidmartin
Posts: 270
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:51 pm

Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by davidmartin » Sun Dec 08, 2019 12:08 pm

Well, maybe (in a figurative sense). But I do not think that Marcion himself was responsible for the contents of the proto-gospel; therefore, he may have simply republished it with a few changes and somebody else republished it with a lot of changes. I am not trying to be pedantic here, but our lack of information on the text of the gospel itself makes it vital to keep all of our options open as we go forward, right up until one of them is foreclosed somehow.
I agree. I was being slightly tongue in cheek with that paraphrase and it actually made me laugh writing it
But the very fact we have that incipit in Luke surely means something concrete?
I used to think it only meant Luke itself was self aware it wasn't the first gospel around but it could very well be referring to prior or other versions of itself that it is the true one? Which reading is more likely?

But by the same token the Luke incipit doesn't make much sense if a previous version of Luke was already known within orthodox churches
Still, even if Marcion didn't write or do much to it, it could have been him that introduced what would become Luke into the NT along with perhaps Paul's letters? And to add to that, treat Paul's letters as scripture...

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 7511
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Dec 08, 2019 12:27 pm

John2 wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 12:03 pm
Now, if I recall correctly, we both agree, or at least lean towards the possibility (as per MacDonald) that Papias (who I date in any event to c. 100 CE) did not know Luke or Acts.
Yes, that is my leaning.
For me a c. 100 CE dating of Papias and c. 95 CE for Luke and Acts would fit the idea that the former did not know Luke or Acts, in that Luke and Acts may not have had enough time to circulate and reach Papias by c. 100 CE.
What is your basis for dating Papias?
And since Justin Martyr is one of the first (if not the first) to cite anything from Luke (or at least things that are now in Luke), that leaves (in my view) a window of c. 95 CE to the mid-second century CE for the text of Luke to have evolved.

Justin has stuff that overlaps Luke, yes, but Irenaeus is the first to speak of our canonical gospel Luke in a recognizable way.
So let's say (for the sake of discussion) that Epaphroditus (using Mark and in my view also Matthew) did not have time to finalize Luke or Acts before he was executed c. 95 CE, and that one or more drafts got out, with one of them being your "proto-Luke," and with all of them containing portions of Mark (and in my view Matthew) and eventually becoming tampered with by whoever, and that one of them became Marcion's gospel. Could this scenario fit the evolution of Luke in your estimation?
Did the draft that made its way to Marcion include Luke 1-2?
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ

John2
Posts: 3308
Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:42 pm

Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by John2 » Sun Dec 08, 2019 12:40 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 12:27 pm
What is your basis for dating Papias?

I'm persuaded by what Matthews says in Philip: Apostle and Evangelist (pg. 30-31):

There has been a propensity among modern scholars to date Papias' writing during the reign of Hadrian (117-138 GE) or later rather than earlier, although the reasoning behind such estimates is often not spelled out. Eusebius considers Papias in connection with his treatment of Polycarp, Ignatius, and Clement of Rome during the reign of Trajan (98~117 GE). As Vernon Bartlet has pointed out, in the third book of the Historia ecclesiastica, Eusebius nowhere goes beyond Trajan's time, and in fact still treats this period at the start of book four. "Eusebius . . . saw no reason . . . to infer from internal evidence that Papias wrote after rather than before A.D. 110, though he is at pains to refute Irenaeus's statement that Papias was actually 'a hearer and eye-witness of the sacred Apostles.' " Bartlet's view has recently been confirmed by Ulrich Kortner, whose interpretation of the Papias fragments substantiates the early date suggested by Eusebius' relative chronology. Kortner argues persuasively that the polemical function of Papias' work, the Tradentenkreis of the presbyters, and Papias' association with the daughters of Philip are all more suited to a time around 110 than the middle of the second century. Since there is no convincing reason to dispute Papias' contact with the daughters of Philip, a date before 110 CE for his writing is to be preferred, lest we find ourselves constantly rewarding early Christian figures with extraordinary life spans.

Did the draft that made its way to Marcion include Luke 1-2?

Maybe, maybe not. I'm fine either way, but I think it would make more sense if Marcion removed it because of his docetism rather than the orthodox adding it (in a way that differs from Matthew, at that!) to counter Marcion since they already had a birth narrative in Matthew. And Lk. 1:1-2 fits the idea that the author was using Mark and Matthew:

Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.
Look at the sky, look at the river, isn't it good? Winding, finding places to go.

perseusomega9
Posts: 627
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:19 am
Contact:

Re: Marcion's Gospel

Post by perseusomega9 » Sun Dec 08, 2019 3:39 pm

John2 wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 12:40 pm


Maybe, maybe not. I'm fine either way, but I think it would make more sense if Marcion removed it because of his docetism rather than the orthodox adding it
The docetism was first. Look at the record in the NT of when Jesus became lord or messiah. In the kenosis hymn and Roman's at his resurrection, at his baptism in mark, at his birth in matt/luke, his prexistence in john. In jewish apocalyptic still waiting him to come on the clouds. Birth traditions are late.
The metric to judge if one is a good exegete: the way he/she deals with Barabbas.

Who disagrees with me on this precise point is by definition an idiot.
-Giuseppe

Post Reply