Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posteriority?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 7628
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Aug 22, 2015 9:59 am

Bernard Muller wrote:This is not unique in gMark mini-apocalypse. Actually it is all over it, but most obvious in 13:14 ("let the reader understand") and "now" in 13:19. See http://historical-jesus.info/appd.html for details.
Your example of the "now" in Mark 13.19 is interesting and observant (and, I think, an argument to be reckoned with). Basically, you are arguing that the "now" in that verse refers to the time at which the apocalypse was being written, not to the time at which Jesus was supposedly prophesying. So you are reading the extant text as a clue to the circumstances of the author, even when the author has only accidentally revealed those circumstances.

That is pretty similar to how I am reading Mark 13.9 (and its synoptic parallels). I am suggesting that the author has inadvertently revealed something about his circumstances: in this case, the fact that he is copying from (and modifying) a source. This revelation is purely accidental, just as you characterize the "now" in Mark 13.19 as a "slip of the pen".

Ben.
Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:23 am, edited 2 times in total.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 7628
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:05 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:Do all changes have to be doctrinal? Are there not literally hundreds of changes between the three synoptics which lack obvious doctrinal motivation?
To my mind, making it the listener or reader who knows how to read fig trees, rather than just miscellaneous "humans", makes the point more, shall we say, pointed: just as you already know how to read agricultural signs, so you should also know how to read apocalyptic signs. We see this exact same kind of thing in Luke 12.56: "You hypocrites! You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but why do you not analyze this present time?" (See also Matthew 16.3.) Even without importing charges of hypocrisy into the proceedings, one can see how the juxtaposition of "you" with "you" makes a more powerful point than merely juxtaposing "men" with "you": you already know how to do this; just transfer your knowledge from one field of inquiry to another.

That, I believe, could have easily motivated the change, with the emphatic pronominal "you" of the next verse being residual from the (more) original form of the saying as preserved by Marcion.

Ben.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ

Bernard Muller
Posts: 3320
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:02 pm
Contact:

Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Bernard Muller » Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:49 am

Because at this point Luke is copying principally from Mark.
But if "Luke" did that, that would mean he/she was not copying from gMarcion.
So you replace one awkwardness with another, two adjacent instances of "you" which apply to two different groups, whereas the Marcionite version contains no such issues to explain.
The "awkwardness" is fully explained by "Mark" going out of character and having Jesus addressing Christians of his community who are alive right after the fall of Jerusalem.
The Marcionite version avoids that, but that does not mean it is earlier than the other canonical gospels, in particular gLuke: Marcion just did (regarding gLuke) what "Matthew" (& "Luke") occasionally did (regarding gMark): corrected deemed awkward Markan text.

Cordially, Bernard
Last edited by Bernard Muller on Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
I believe freedom of expression should not be curtailed

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 7628
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:53 am

Bernard Muller wrote:Again, I do not see a problem here.

...http://historical-jesus.info/53.html....

Cordially, Bernard
For the record, Bernard, I have now taken a closer look at your other two examples of Marcionite posteriority: Luke 16.17 (not one tittle) and Luke 8.19 (mother and brothers).

I find your arguments on the latter, Luke 8.19, to be completely reversible. You seem to confuse the Marcionite version of the text with the Marcionite interpretation of that text. I think even the Marcionite text implies, as you indeed argue, that Jesus has a mother and brothers. It may well be only Marcion who believes that the mother and brothers are not really blood relatives, not the (original author of the) Marcionite text itself. That is a crucial distinction, because it then opens up another possible line of transmission: 1. Marcion replicates a gospel text which lacks the direct statement that the mother and brother are standing outside; he himself seizes upon the slim opportunity afforded him by the fact that this information is transmitted only in dialogue, not directly by the narrator, and argues that they are not really blood relatives. 2. Later on, after Marcion has published his gospel, the editor of canonical Luke imports the directly narrated statement about the mother and brothers from the other synoptics. I wish to emphasize again, lest I be misunderstood, that I think that even Marcion's own text implies a mother and brothers; it is just that the directly narrated statement about them would make the case all the more clearly antidocetic. Also, I am not arguing (at least not yet) that this is the more probable direction of development. Pending further thought on the issue, I can hypothetically see it going in either direction: Marcion eliminating the explicit reference, or the Catholics interpolating an explicit reference.

Your arguments on the former, Luke 16.17, however, I do find to be persuasive. I would add to your analysis one more point: Marcion apparently has "one tittle of my (Jesus') words", yet a "tittle" (Greek κεραία) is a written mark, a stroke or a serif on certain letters. Such a term makes far more sense when applied to the law, which had been written for centuries, than it does applied to Jesus' own (as yet unwritten) words while he is still speaking them. I find, like you, in favor of Marcionite posteriority in this case.

Ben.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 7628
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:58 am

Bernard Muller wrote:
Because at this point Luke is copying principally from Mark.
But if "Luke" did that, that would mean he/she was not copying from gMarcion.
Not at this point, no. He would be copying from multiple sources (confer Luke 1.1), sometimes one at a time, sometimes conflating two or more.
Bernard Muller wrote:
So you replace one awkwardness with another, two adjacent instances of "you" which apply to two different groups, whereas the Marcionite version contains no such issues to explain.
The "awkwardness" is fully explained by "Mark" going out of character and having Jesus addressing Christians of his community who are alive right after the fall of Jerusalem.
I do not buy that Mark is having Jesus go out of character here. I think the assumption is that at least some of the disciples would still be alive to see these signs. After all, that is pretty much what "this generation will not pass away" means: at least some contemporaries will still be alive when it happens.

Ben.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ

User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 12241
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Secret Alias » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:20 am

It's great to have so many referees and no discernable rule book (apparatus). Scholarship is a sport with no athletes and countless referees all calling infractions in matches going on only in their own imagination :confusedsmiley: where is this Marcionism gospel? You got all these referees and no ball
“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: 12241
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Secret Alias » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:25 am

... but the psychological need to establish "order" trumps everything. Man would even will nothingness than not will at all.
“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: 12241
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Secret Alias » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:28 am

I would counter where our canon rules in favor of Marcionism ... probably Marcionism is older. If you can beat a rigged game, you probably deserved to win
“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

Bernard Muller
Posts: 3320
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:02 pm
Contact:

Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Bernard Muller » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:29 am

I think even the Marcionite text implies, as you indeed argue, that Jesus has a mother and brothers.

It may imply that, but the deletion allows a different interpretation, away from Jesus having a blood mother & brothers. gLuke version is clear, not allowing for a different interpretation.
It may well be only Marcion who believes that the mother and brothers are not really blood relatives, not the (original author of the) Marcionite text itself.
What evidence do you have gMarcion was not written initially by Marcion?
Could a Marcionite writer be totally unaware of Marcion's thought on the matter?
Cerdo, considered by Tertullian as Marcion's predecessor, also believed Jesus on earth did not have a blood family. So I cannot see how you can squeeze in the mix a Marcionite writer who thought Jesus had a blood family.
According to the testimony of Tertullian and Epiphanius, that would not be the first time gMarcion avoided to have Jesus as a normal human. Actually, I do not think gMarcion and Marcionite Pauline epistles can be proven, contrary to the other gospels and Paul's letters, to describe once Jesus as "born of a woman" (or conceived by a man, as in Paul's epistles). So I do not think who ever wrote gMarcion believed Jesus had a blood family (or if no blood family is reported, it was by accident).

Cordially, Bernard
I believe freedom of expression should not be curtailed

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 7628
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:38 am

Bernard Muller wrote:
I think even the Marcionite text implies, as you indeed argue, that Jesus has a mother and brothers.

It may imply that, but the deletion allows a different interpretation, away from Jesus having a blood mother & brothers. gLuke version is clear, not allowing for a different interpretation.
Exactly my point. A very good reason for a Catholic writer to insert it, to shore up the text against Marcionite abuse of it.
It may well be only Marcion who believes that the mother and brothers are not really blood relatives, not the (original author of the) Marcionite text itself.
What evidence do you have gMarcion was not written initially by Marcion?
I am in the process of assembling evidence for or against that proposition. Alternating priority and posteriority would be such evidence.
Could a Marcionite writer be totally unaware of Marcion's thought on the matter?
I have no idea what this is in reference to, sorry.
Cerdo, considered by Tertullian as Marcion's predecessor, also believed Jesus on earth did not have a blood family. So I cannot see how you can squeeze in the mix a Marcionite writer who thought Jesus had a blood family.
I do not think there was a Marcionite writer who thought Jesus had a blood family. I am saying that it is possible that Marcion (or other Marcionites) found certain early gospel writings which could be, with some forcing, interpreted along Marcionite lines... just like the Catholics found early gospel writings which could be, with some forcing, interpreted along Catholic lines.
So I do not think who ever wrote gMarcion believed Jesus had a blood family (or if no blood family is reported, it was by accident).
I think that the publisher (or editor) of the Marcionite gospel (Marcion himself, most likely) considered Jesus to be docetic. But the possibility I am entertaining here is that Marcion made use of an already existing gospel text that was not, at its core, Marcionite.

Ben.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ

Post Reply