The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

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Re: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by MrMacSon » Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:28 pm

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Re: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Feb 02, 2020 8:52 am

And how is the Irenaean 'mistake' - attributing Matthew as the ur-gospel explained by scholarship? It's not just an 'innocent mistake.' Irenaeus clearly uses Papias's statement about the 'oracles of the Lord = Matthew' to argue that canonical Matthew is that gospel. But clearly that can't be true given what we know about Matthew's derivation from Mark. How is that explained by scholars? It's not simply that Irenaeus has three synoptic texts and he 'made a mistake' about which is the first, second or third. He's taken a statement in Papias:
Matthew put together the oracles [of the Lord] in the Hebrew language (Ματθαῖος μὲν οὖν Ἑβραΐδι διαλέκτῳ τὰ λόγια συνετάξατο), and each one interpreted them as best he could ( ἡρμήνευσεν δ' αὐτὰ ὡς ἦν δυνατὸς ἕκαστος)
and applied this to canonical Matthew. Yes Papias could have been wrong about Matthew's 'putting together' of the oracles of the Lord. But since Papias isn't talking about canonical Matthew there is clearly something of a misdirection effort going on with respect to Irenaeus's statement. Irenaeeus has taken a gospel derived from Mark, a gospel clearly forged from Mark with a specific teleological purpose in mind (i.e. not a 'species' of gospel naturally occurring in the world that he 'caught' with a net) and argued that Mark descended from it. Some have even argued that Irenaeus's original ordering was Matthew - Luke - Mark so Mark would be a further derivation from Luke at least theoretically or potentially. But how is Irenaeus's 'mistake' explained?

Papias says that Matthew's arrangement of the oracles of the Lord is the source for Mark. This must have been widely acknowledged beyond a single author. One has the feeling that Justin shares this point of view. But still, neither are talking about canonical Matthew. This must have been readily apparently from Papias's book Exposition of the Oracles of the Lord. I mean, anyone opening this book up would immediately have recognized that Papias wasn't talking about canonical Matthew. So Irenaeus's 'mistake' was in fact a deliberate misrepresentation a deliberate misunderstanding.
So Irenaeus's necessarily crafted something out of Mark or found something crafted from Mark and then turned the relationship upside down. Then he proceeded to craft or found already crafted Luke and said that this was the source of the gospel Marcion deliberately crafted to 'prove' his hypothesis about Jesus. This is plainly false too given that the opening of the Marcionite gospel doesn't look anything like Matthew or Mark. Then he makes the following statements seemingly about the Valentinians who use John:

These men falsify the oracles of God, and prove themselves evil interpreters of the good word of revelation [1.preface]

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. We have already stated how far they proceed in this way with respect to the interior of the Pleroma. [1.8]
The argument that the Valentinians falsified a gospel to support their understanding of the Pleroma in the same way that Marcion falsified Luke to make the gospel of Marcion is very unusual. Because again we hear mention of the 'oracles of God' which we know go back to Papias's Matthew text.

John is the Valentinian gospel according to the Irenaean schema. But this is particularly difficult to reconcile with the 'they falsified the oracles of the Lord' formula that is standard for heresies. It even appears in the account of Mark (the gnostic):
If, then, Marcus, or any one else, does command,--as these are accustomed continually at their feasts to play at drawing lots, and [in accordance with the lot] to command one another to prophesy, giving forth as oracles what is in harmony with their own desires,--it will follow that he who commands is greater and of higher authority than the prophetic spirit, though he is but a man, which is impossible. But such spirits as are commanded by these men, and speak when they desire it, are earthly and weak, audacious and impudent, sent forth by Satan for the seduction and perdition of those who do not hold fast that well- compacted faith which they received at first through the Church. [1.13.4]
If you look at the statement on Marcion's use of the gospel of Mark there is a similarity too. Marcion adds 'mystical' things from Empedocles (i.e. non-divine) to the holy text of the gospel. Here another Mark does the same. But John can't be corrupting canonical Matthew to make John. In fact, it seems rather puzzling that Papias's text could have been known to Eusebius centuries later unless it was a widely read text. If you look at these allusions to 'the oracles of the Lord' in Papias they don't have a lot of explanation from Irenaeus. He simply references them as if the readership already knows Papias. One wonders if Papias is in fact speaking of an 'arrangement' by Matthew of a group of 'logia' which cut across canonical Matthew, Luke, Mark and John but that 'Matthew' or 'Matthai' was understood to be responsible for the arrangement of a Diatessaron-like gospel - i.e. with four columns. In other words, that Ammonius's understanding of a four column text is already present in Irenaeus's reference to the logia.

What I mean is that the main column - the first column is ascribed to Matthew. It is the spine of the narrative and has a special place in Irenaeus's system. But then the three other columns could also have been arranged by Matthew albeit from material he might have been understood to have 'discovered' from Luke, Mark and John. If Matthew was somehow understood to be responsible for the entire arrangement of a diatessaron-like gospel, then we might understand that 'Matthew' was understood by Papias to mirror his own methdology. Matthew put all the things he heard in one column (i.e. his column). The next were things Luke heard, the next things Mark heard and finally things John heard (John already having a special place in what we know of Papias's testimony). The Valentinian falsification of 'the oracles of the Lord' goes back to this arrangement.
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Re: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Feb 02, 2020 9:52 am

Crawford observes something similar about a statement regarding Tatian using the same verb:
In light of such an intention, the gospels would have been problematic since their failure to rise to the rhetorical standards current at the time would have been glaringly obvious to someone educated in the Greek παιδεία of the Second Sophistic, likely provoking just the sort of dismissal that Tatian is responding to. In fact, there was another rhetorically minded author from just a few decades prior who acknowledged precisely this shortcoming. Papias, bishop of Hierapolis, probably writing in the first quarter of the second century, was the first to pass on the tradition that the Gospel of Mark is a record of Peter’s preaching in Rome. Papias obviously accepted the authority of this report, but nevertheless found it necessary to excuse the form of the gospel. His specific charge was that this writing was not “an orderly composition of the Lord’s sayings” (οὐχ ὥσπερ σύνταξιν τῶν κυριακῶν ποιούμενος λογίων), a fault that he explained by virtue of the fact that it was written by Mark who took down whatever Peter remembered, apparently without attempting to do what Lucian advised by adding order and adornment to his narrative. Papias is obviously intent on exonerating Mark, for he explains that in following this procedure “Mark did nothing wrong.”67 Furthermore, he created an implicit contrast between the Gospels of Mark and Matthew when he went on to say that Matthew “put in order [Jesus’] sayings” (τὰ λόγια συνετάξατο).68

There is now a fairly wide consensus that Papias’ fragments reveal a man well trained in rhetoric, even using technical rhetorical terms
when describing the form of the Gospel of Mark.69 As such, his evident embarrassment over the lack of “order” in Mark’s gospel is to be interpreted against the backdrop of the rhetorical usage of this notion that I have surveyed above If Papias, as a rhetorically trained and intelligent Christian, found the style of at least one of the gospels problematic, then the same would no doubt have been true for Tatian as well. Indeed, it would have been even more of a problem for Tatian, since his understanding of rhetorical “order” was, as we have seen, heavily laden with philosophical and religious connotations. Since he regarded human discourse as an imitation of the divine Λόγος, and disorder as a sign of demonic influence, the lack of rhetorical style in the gospels would have been a significant problem, both to the internal consistency of his own belief system, as well as to his
attempt to convince other Greeks to take the gospels seriously. The problem would have consisted both in the fact that some of the gospels internally, such as Mark, do not exhibit the sort of “narrative virtues” described by Lucian, and also in the fact that the very multiplicity of
gospels was a less than rhetorically elegant medium through which to communicate the story of Jesus. Corroborating evidence for this interpretation of Tatian is found in a report passed on by Eusebius. After giving his brief mention of the Diatessaron, Eusebius went on to state that
some say Tatian “dared to paraphrase certain sayings of the Apostle [i.e., Paul], as if correcting the arrangement of his expressions” (τοῦ δ’ ἀποστόλου φασὶ τολμῆσαί τινας αὐτὸν μεταφράσαι φωνάς, ὡς ἐπιδιορθούμενον αὐτῶν τὴν τῆς φράσεως σύνταξιν).70 If Tatian thought that Paul’s style needed improving, he would surely have thought the same with respect to the gospels.

I suggest, therefore, that it was this sense of rhetorical deciency that motivated Tatian to emend the gospels in such a profound manner. Of course we cannot exclude the possibility that his concern for theological μοναρχία also played a role, but if the reading of the Oratio I have offered is persuasive, then it suggests that Tatian’s impetus was much more rhetorical than philosophical in nature. Seeing the matter in this light also qualifies how we should think about Tatian’s “historical” intent behind his work. If one assumes that Tatian was writing in response to critics like Celsus, hoping thereby to eliminate the historical contradictions between the gospels, then it tempting to think of his project as “historical” in the sense of those fourth-century authors like Eusebius and Augustine who dealt with gospel contradictions, or, even worse, in a post-Enlightenment sense of what counts as “historical.”71 To be sure, his comments about history in the latter half of the Oratio no doubt reect a concern for historical “accuracy,” but Tatian, like Lucian, probably envisioned that the task of the historian was to impose both “order” and “adornment” on his narrative, meaning that some degree of literary skill was necessary to produce a story pleasing to the reader. If so, then his project should be regarded as constructive in nature, rather than merely a negative, defensive one. In fact, the rewriting of existing gospels had been going on for decades, beginning at least with Matthew’s treatment of Mark. Tatian stands within this tradition, since he was attempting to take the multiple historical sources currently in use and to turn them into a single, properly ordered narrative that would be worthy of standing alongside other respected literature in his day.72
This takes us back to the idea deliberately ignored by KK - namely that these gospel 'arrangements' were developed in response to pagan criticism of Christianity. Nevertheless if Crawford takes the process back to Matthew or understands Papias to do so then necessarily or 'possibly' Matthew, Mark, Tatian were all involved in the act of 'reforming' (to borrow Celsus's language) the one gospel into threefold, fourfold and manifold arrangements.
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Re: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by John2 » Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:24 am

Stephan wrote:

Irenaeus clearly uses Papias's statement about the 'oracles of the Lord = Matthew' to argue that canonical Matthew is that gospel. But clearly that can't be true given what we know about Matthew's derivation from Mark.

Papias is obviously not referring to the NT Matthew but to a Hebrew Matthew. As you cited:

Matthew put together the oracles [of the Lord] in the Hebrew language (Ματθαῖος μὲν οὖν Ἑβραΐδι διαλέκτῳ τὰ λόγια συνετάξατο), and each one interpreted them as best he could ( ἡρμήνευσεν δ' αὐτὰ ὡς ἦν δυνατὸς ἕκαστος)

Thus Irenaeus was indeed wrong to apply it to the NT Matthew.

Yes Papias could have been wrong about Matthew's 'putting together' of the oracles of the Lord. But since Papias isn't talking about canonical Matthew there is clearly something of a misdirection effort going on with respect to Irenaeus's statement.

Right, but I think it's only because he assumed that the Hebrew Matthew was the same as the NT Matthew (i.e., that it contained signifcant portions of Mark and such). I think the NT Matthew was one of the translations of the original Hebrew Matthew Papias refers to ("each one interpreted/translated them as best he could") and that this translation was combined with Mark, either by the translator or someone else.


Papias says that Matthew's arrangement of the oracles of the Lord is the source for Mark.

Does he?


EH 3.39.15-16:
This also the presbyter said: Mark, having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately, though not in order, whatsoever he remembered of the things said or done by Christ. For he neither heard the Lord nor followed him, but afterward, as I said, he followed Peter, who adapted his teaching to the needs of his hearers, but with no intention of giving a connected account of the Lord's discourses, so that Mark committed no error while he thus wrote some things as he remembered them. For he was careful of one thing, not to omit any of the things which he had heard, and not to state any of them falsely. These things are related by Papias concerning Mark.

But concerning Matthew he writes as follows: So then Matthew wrote the oracles in the Hebrew language, and every one interpreted them as he was able.

It looks to me rather like he could be saying that Mark was a source for the Hebrew Matthew (though if so, then perhaps it was not to the extent that was for the NT Matthew). If this was the case, one only needs to assume that whoever wrote the Hebrew Matthew was bilingual.
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Re: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:37 am

John2 wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:24 am
Papias says that Matthew's arrangement of the oracles of the Lord is the source for Mark.
Does he?

EH 3.39.15-16:
This also the presbyter said: Mark, having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately, though not in order, whatsoever he remembered of the things said or done by Christ. For he neither heard the Lord nor followed him, but afterward, as I said, he followed Peter, who adapted his teaching to the needs of his hearers, but with no intention of giving a connected account of the Lord's discourses, so that Mark committed no error while he thus wrote some things as he remembered them. For he was careful of one thing, not to omit any of the things which he had heard, and not to state any of them falsely. These things are related by Papias concerning Mark.

But concerning Matthew he writes as follows: So then Matthew wrote the oracles in the Hebrew language, and every one interpreted them as he was able.
Some people assume that Eusebius' quote about Matthew immediately followed upon his quote about Mark in Papias, and then they further assume that the "each" in the bit about Matthew includes Mark. This interpretation is not impossible, but it seems rather improbable to me, since (A) Eusebius gives no indication that the second part follows immediately upon the first and (B) the "so then" in the part about Matthew would have no logical reference back to anything in the part about Mark. At any rate, regardless of that, it is important to bear in mind that the interpretation in question is just that: an interpretation. It is not hard data.
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Re: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:21 pm

Papias is obviously not referring to the NT Matthew but to a Hebrew Matthew.
But canonical Matthew was CLEARLY written and composed in Greek. This is especially true if it is acknowledged to have developed from Mark. Why are we wasting our time on this nonsense? Canonical Matthew was a Greek text developed from another Greek text (Mark).
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Re: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:25 pm

No one ever deals with the issues I have raised in this and the previous thread namely:

1. Irenaeus clearly identifies 'oracles of the Lord' with Papias's Hebrew Matthew
but
2. Irenaeus also identifies Matthew's arrangement of the 'oracles of the Lord' as also being at the heart of the Valentinian text of John.

Therefore Papias's 'oracles of the Lord' is something diatessaronic. The fact that our Matthew is like Irenaeus's Matthew is hardly surprising. Irenaeus handed it down to us. But the original identification of Irenaeus of this 'arrangement of the oracles of the Lord by Matthew' doesn't seem to be canonical Matthew. Irenaeus wants us to see it this way. It was part of his propaganda. But it can't be true.
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Re: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:29 pm

And this is so annoying:
Papias is obviously not referring to the NT Matthew but to a Hebrew Matthew
YOU want to see it as canonical Matthew in Hebrew. But that's not at all clear from the context. If the text was written in Hebrew it would be attributed to Matthai. There were lots of texts in antiquity attributed to this name. Very annoying. Basically you believe and accept Irenaeus. You believe him with respect to Matthew, you believe him with respect to the Ebionites. But I've already shown that 'the oracles of the Lord' can't be canonical Matthew. It doesn't make sense in 1.8 where 'the oracles of the Lord' are CLEARLY Johannine. Even Papias's statement has John lurking in the background when you think about it. Similarly the methodology of 'corrupting' oracles from the Lord applies to every heretic's relationship with their supposed gospel. The heretic Mark corrupts the oracles of the Lord 1.13.4. Marcion corrupts the gospel of Mark this way in the Philosophumena. The notion of Matthew (= the oracles of the Lord) being behind all of the gospels but most notably John makes clear that Matthew's arrangement of the oracles of the Lord included Johannine material.

Notice how scholars have to deliberately 'change' the way they translate the Greek of 1.8 in order to explain away why Matthew's 'oracles of the Lord' are Johannine https://books.google.com/books?id=aXgQA ... us&f=false Again, someone should beat these manipulators to a pulp. Beware of all systematizers. Der Wille zum System ist ein Mangel an Rechtschaffenheit
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Re: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by Peter Kirby » Sun Feb 02, 2020 2:38 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:29 pm
Even Papias's statement has John lurking in the background when you think about it.
Good point. The Gospel of John is a stronger counterpoint to the Gospel of Mark in terms of order.

Multi-year ministry versus 1 year.

Jesus not yet 50, versus 30.

Jesus being crucified on the passover preparation day (therefore, no passover meal).

Also, the Gospel of John shows some concern for order (numbering the signs, for example).

Last but not least, the Gospel of John has long troubled people as having parts that seem "out of order" itself.

https://isthatinthebible.wordpress.com/ ... th-gospel/

One possible explanation is that this could represent tampering with the text of John's original order.

This tampering makes sense if the people incorporating John (as we know it) into their texts held a Synoptic to have the right order (unlike Papias).
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Re: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Feb 02, 2020 3:12 pm

Peter Kirby wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 2:38 pm
The Gospel of John is a stronger counterpoint to the Gospel of Mark in terms of order.

Multi-year ministry versus 1 year.

Jesus not yet 50, versus 30.

Jesus being crucified on the passover preparation day (therefore, no passover meal).

Also, the Gospel of John shows some concern for order (numbering the signs, for example).

Last but not least, the Gospel of John has long troubled people as having parts that seem "out of order" itself.
Similar point: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3227&p=70978#p70978 and viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3197&p=70754#p70754.
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