Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posteriority?

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Bernard Muller
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Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Bernard Muller » Sat Aug 22, 2015 12:20 pm

Because at this point Luke is copying principally from Mark.
Not at this point, no.
Can you decide what "Luke" is copying at this point: gMark ("you ... so you also") or gMarcion ("men ... so you also").
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.
Maybe you are right here: no need to argue about going out of character.
But, because of the lack of punctuation in the Greek text of this period, the "also" can be envisioned as separated from "so you" by a comma. Therefore, we would have, as per the YLT translation:
"'And from the fig-tree learn ye the simile: when the branch may already become tender, and may put forth the leaves, ye know that nigh is the summer;
so ye, also, when these ye may see coming to pass, ye know that it is nigh, at the doors."

"also" introduces the next phrase and is not related to "so you".
Other translations for Mk 13:28-29:
RSV "From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.
So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates."

KJV "Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:
So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors."


Cordially, Bernard
Last edited by Bernard Muller on Sat Aug 22, 2015 7:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Bernard Muller » Sat Aug 22, 2015 12:30 pm

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.
And that already existing gospel would be gLuke, according to Irenaeus, Tertullian and Epiphanius.

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Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Secret Alias » Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:08 pm

No according to our surviving copies of those works
“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: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Bernard Muller » Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:52 pm

No according to our surviving copies of those works
Which works? gLuke, Irenaeus, Tertullian & Epiphanius?

Irenaeus, Against Heresies:
- I, XXVII, 2 "he [Marcion] mutilates the Gospel which is according to Luke, removing all that is written respecting the generation of the Lord, and setting aside a great deal of the teaching of the Lord, in which the Lord is recorded as most dearly confessing that the Maker of this universe is His Father."
- III, XI, 7 "But Marcion, mutilating that according to Luke, is proved to be a blasphemer of the only existing God, from those [passages] which he still retains."
- III, XIV, 4 "And if indeed Marcion's followers reject these, they will then possess no Gospel; for, curtailing that according to Luke, as I have said already, they boast in having the Gospel."

Tertullian, Against Marcion:
- IV, II "Now, of the authors whom we possess, Marcion seems to have singled out Luke for his mutilating process."
- IV, IV "For if the Gospel, said to be Luke's which is current amongst us (we shall see whether it be also current with Marcion), is the very one which, as Marcion argues in his Antitheses, was interpolated by the defenders of Judaism, ..."
- IV, V "Luke's Gospel also has come down to us in like integrity until the sacrilegious treatment of Marcion. In short, when Marcion laid hands on it, it then became diverse and hostile to the Gospels of the apostles. I will therefore advise his followers, that they either change these Gospels, however late to do so, into a conformity with their own, whereby they may seem to be in agreement with the apostolic writings (for they are daily retouching their work, as daily they are convicted by us); ..."

Epiphanius, Panarion:
- I, III "But I shall come to his writings, or rather, to his tamperings. This man has only Luke as a Gospel, mutilated at the beginning because of the Savior’s conception and his incarnation. But this person who harmed himself < rather > than the Gospel did not cut just the beginning off. He also cut off many words of the truth both at the end and in the middle, and he has added other things besides, beyond what had been written. And he uses only this (Gospel) canon, the Gospel according to Luke"
- I, III "For the (Marcionite) canon of Luke is revelatory of < their form of the Gospel >: mutilated as it is, without beginning, middle or end, it looks like a cloak full of moth holes."
- I, III "This is Marcion’s corrupt compilation, containing a version and form of the Gospel according to Luke, ..."
- I, III "I have made this laborious, searching compilation from the scripture he has chosen, Paul and the Gospel according to Luke ...."

Cordially, Bernard
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Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Aug 23, 2015 11:53 am

Bernard Muller wrote:
Because at this point Luke is copying principally from Mark.
Not at this point, no.
Can you decide what "Luke" is copying at this point: gMark ("you ... so you also") or gMarcion ("men ... so you also").
Mark... or something very much like Mark.
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.
Maybe you are right here: no need to argue about going out of character.
But, because of the lack of punctuation in the Greek text of this period, the "also" can be envisioned as separated from "so you" by a comma. Therefore, we would have, as per the YLT translation:
"'And from the fig-tree learn ye the simile: when the branch may already become tender, and may put forth the leaves, ye know that nigh is the summer;
so ye, also, when these ye may see coming to pass, ye know that it is nigh, at the doors."

"also" introduces the next phrase and is not related to "so you".
I covered this either in the OP or in an ensuing post. Your observation would explain the kai; what it fails to explain is the emphatic pronoun humeis.

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Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Bernard Muller » Sun Aug 23, 2015 6:46 pm

to Ben,
I covered this either in the OP or in an ensuing post. Your observation would explain the kai; what it fails to explain is the emphatic pronoun humeis.
I do not know where you addressed that. But I want to make another point: I looked at your OP and "men" appears here:
Reflect, in short, on the picture presented in the parable: "Behold the fig-tree, and all the trees; when they produce their fruit, men know that summer is at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is very near." Now, if the fructification of the common trees be an antecedent sign of the approach of summer, so in like manner do the great conflicts of the world indicate the arrival of that kingdom which they precede.
I am not sure Tertullian extracted that saying from gMarcion. He did not say it. He said "his" saying is "the picture presented in the parable". He probably paraphrased the saying & made some changes, having fruits being "shoot forth" and the fructification observed by men (not the disciples!).
Something also very awkward: "the fig-tree and all the trees". Well, fig trees and all other (deciduous) trees produce leaves when summer is approaching, but most trees do not produce fruits at any time.
So either Tertullian is paraphrasing carelessly (and replacing a "you" by "men"), or Marcion made a stupid mistake by having all other trees producing fruits, a mistake not done in gLuke (it has only "shoot forth" with no mention of fruits).
I would opt for the first option: why would Marcion write "all other trees, when they produce their fruit"?
Also, I want to point out another reconstruction of gMarcion does not agree with you on that passage:
29 And he spake to them a parable;
Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;
30 When they already shoot forth,
ye see it, and know your own selves
that summer is already near.
31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass,
know ye that the kingdom of God is near.

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/t ... cion5.html

Cordially, Bernard
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Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Aug 23, 2015 7:00 pm

Can we stop acting as if these 'Marcionite texts' are certainly THE Marcionite texts? What is the fucking evidence for this? How many times does Tertullian actually say 'this is the Marcionite text'? Twenty times at most? Ten? Have any of the intelligent people having this discussion actually read Adv Marc from end to end? I will bet none have. What is the point of this discussion other than to irritate me?
Last edited by Secret Alias on Sun Aug 23, 2015 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Aug 23, 2015 7:11 pm

Another point in favor of Marcionite priority, I think, is the infancy narrative in Luke. Not only is Luke 3.1 a fine way to start a gospel, as has been noted numerous times over the years, but John the baptist is introduced in Luke 3.2 as if for the first time: "the word of God came to John son of Zechariah". There have been no other Johns mentioned yet that would require this kind of distinction, and Luke 3-24 betrays no knowledge of the detailed events and family connections between Jesus and John in Luke 1-2. A proto-Luke lacking chapters 1-2 and beginning with 3.1 has been proposed many times.

And, of course, the Marcionite gospel begins with Luke 3.1. So could the Marcionite gospel itself be proto-Luke? Well, it also skips the baptism, with the effect that John himself seems to come on the scene rather suddenly in Marcion, as the subject of an inquiry in Luke 5.33; so suddenly, in fact, as to draw criticism from Tertullian in Against Marcion 4.11.4: "Whence, too, does John come upon the scene? Christ, suddenly; and just as suddenly, John!" So this particular point seems to go in favor of Marcionite posteriority.

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Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:07 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:to Ben,
I covered this either in the OP or in an ensuing post. Your observation would explain the kai; what it fails to explain is the emphatic pronoun humeis.
I do not know where you addressed that.
I wrote in the OP:
Ben C. Smith wrote:The "also" might be explained as leading to a new action required of the readers: you read fig trees just fine, so now you ought also to read the signs of the times. But the emphatic ὑμεῖς does not easily yield to this explanation.
But I want to make another point: I looked at your OP and "men" appears here:
Reflect, in short, on the picture presented in the parable: "Behold the fig-tree, and all the trees; when they produce their fruit, men know that summer is at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is very near." Now, if the fructification of the common trees be an antecedent sign of the approach of summer, so in like manner do the great conflicts of the world indicate the arrival of that kingdom which they precede.
I am not sure Tertullian extracted that saying from gMarcion.
Sure looks like a quote to me. The translator even has quotation marks.

However, certainly, there is no guarantee that this was the wording of the Marcionite gospel. If it is not, then obviously this example is void. Most of any reconstruction of the Marcionite gospel is derived from this kind of evidence, however. Tertullian seldom claims to be giving the exact reading, and Epiphanius does so only about 78 times, many of those being omissions, not actual text.

So sure, Bernard. Tertullian may not be reproducing Marcion very exactly here; that may be all there is to it, and case closed. On the other hand, it just seems unlikely to me that someone, composing freely, would come up with you followed by so also you, which means that. And that would mean that somebody managed to reproduce what appears to probably be the original form of the text, with miscellaneous humans (or at least third-person others) followed by so also you. Was it Marcion? Was it Tertullian? Or was there a gospel text which was actually written in the expected way to begin with?

Furthermore, if you disregard this level of evidence for the Marcionite text, you also probably lose passages like Luke 16.17, on which you have based certain arguments (http://historical-jesus.info/53.html). Tertullian does not clearly state he is quoting the Evangelion there, either. This is a game of finesse.
He probably paraphrased the saying & made some changes, having fruits being "shoot forth"....
I doubt the fruits are Tertullianic paraphrase; τὸν καρπὸν αὐτῶν is a Western reading of this verse (codex Bezae, for example), and the Marcionite gospel bears many other affinities to the Western text.
So either Tertullian is paraphrasing carelessly (and replacing a "you" by "men"), or Marcion made a stupid mistake by having all other trees producing fruits, a mistake not done in gLuke (it has only "shoot forth" with no mention of fruits).
I would opt for the first option: why would Marcion write "all other trees, when they produce their fruit"?
I think you are taking this bit way too literally and scientifically. I believe there is a sense in which all trees are at least regarded as bearing fruit, or in which fruit and trees naturally go together in pithy sayings. (Even grains are called fruit.) "For each tree is known by its own fruit" (Luke 6.44), for example. Each tree? Even though not all trees bear what we scientifically regard as fruit? Is that a stupid mistake, too? See also Matthew 3.10 - Luke 3.9; Matthew 7.17, 19; Matthew 7.18 = Luke 6.43; and Matthew 12.33, none of which seem to take into account that not all trees bear fruit.
Also, I want to point out another reconstruction of gMarcion does not agree with you on that passage:
29 And he spake to them a parable;
Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;
30 When they already shoot forth,
ye see it, and know your own selves
that summer is already near.
31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass,
know ye that the kingdom of God is near.

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/t ... cion5.html
Does it not appear to you that this reconstruction has simply copied that part of Luke without reflection? Or can you find evidence for this reading in Tertullian?

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Re: Alternating Marcionite and synoptic priority & posterior

Post by Bernard Muller » Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:49 pm

There have been no other Johns mentioned yet that would require this kind of distinction,
But John, son of Zechariah, appears in chapter 1 and I do not see any issue about "Luke" informing his/her audience two chapters later that the "John" in the wilderness as a hermit around 30 years later is the son of Zechariah.
But I agree that only "John" in 3:2 would have been enough but there is no harm into making things clear.
Of course, you know that some parts of the nativity story in GLuke were quoted by Basilides (120-140) and Valentinus (120-160).
Extracted from http://historical-jesus.info/gospels.html:
>> According to Hippolytus of Rome, in 'Refutation of all heresies', book VII:
Chapter XV "... all the events in our Lord's life occurred, according to them [Basilidians], in the same manner as they have been described in the Gospels." (which would imply Basilides knew about a few gospels, as can be confirmed next, from the same book)
- Basilides knew about GJohn:
Chapter X "The seed of the cosmical system was generated, he [Basilides] says, from nonentities; the word which was spoken, "Let there be light." And this, he [Basilides] says, is that which has been stated in the Gospels: "He was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."[words in italics are as in Jn1:9]" and
Chapter XV "And that each thing, says [Basilides], has its own particular times, the Saviour is a sufficient [witness] when He observes, "Mine hour is not yet come." [words in italics are as in Jn2:4]"
- Basilides knew about GLuke:
Chapter XIV "This, he [Basilides] says, is that which has been declared: "The Holy Spirit will come upon thee," that which proceeded from the Sonship through the conterminous spirit upon the Ogdoad and Hebdomad, as far as Mary; "and the power of the Highest will overshadow thee," [bolded italics as in Lk1:35]"
- Basilides knew about GMatthew:
Chapter XV "And the Magi [afford similar testimony] when they gaze wistfully upon the star [according to Mt2:1-2,9-10]. For [Jesus] Himself was, he [Basilides] says, mentally preconceived at the time of the generation of the stars,"
Valentinus (120-160) also knew about Luke's gospel, according to Irenaeus 'Against Heresies' III, XIV, 3-4 and Hippolytus of Rome, in 'Refutation of all heresies', book VI:
Chapter XXX "[Valentinus says] Jesus was born of Mary the virgin, according to the declaration, "The Holy Ghost will come upon thee"--Sophia is the Spirit--"and the power of the Highest will overshadow thee"--the Highest is the Demiurge,--"wherefore that which shall be born of thee shall be called holy."" (bolded italics as in Lk1:35) <<

Cordially, Bernard
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