Evidence that Marcion existed

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
davidbrainerd
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Re: Evidence that Marcion existed

Post by davidbrainerd » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:16 pm

Its silly to think the spirit would forbid preaching anywhere after saying "go preach the gospel to every nation." Therefore there has to be some apologetic aim in this concoction.

neilgodfrey
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Re: Evidence that Marcion existed

Post by neilgodfrey » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:31 pm

davidbrainerd wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:16 pm
Its silly to think the spirit would forbid preaching anywhere after saying "go preach the gospel to every nation." Therefore there has to be some apologetic aim in this concoction.
Interesting detail. Checked, and I don't think Luke-Acts anywhere repeats Matthew's and Mark's commands to preach among all the nations. Paul was not ordered to preach to all the gentiles.

Ulan
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Re: Evidence that Marcion existed

Post by Ulan » Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:45 am

neilgodfrey wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:31 pm
"Proof that Marcion existed" is a bit strong (and a bit circular, too, actually -- which the arguments based on "the criterion of embarrassment" usually are), but there is a plausible connection between the Acts 16 passage and the Marcionite phenomenon. Joseph Tyson in Marcion and Luke-Acts writes:
A plausible suggestion is that in the second century Bithynia, which was generally connected with Pontus, was known as the place of Marcion’s origin and that Luke wants to disassociate Paul from Marcion. He does so by affirming that in the very area where Marcion was born and began his preaching, there had been no Pauline mission, thus no association with earlier Christianity. The author of Acts would be signaling the reader that the claims of the Marcionites to be followers of Paul are mere fabrications, unsupported by the historical “facts” and, what is more important, contrary to the “Spirit ofJesus.” (p.77)
The suggestion is only supported, however, by the larger context (and details) of Tyson's argument that the canonical form Luke-Acts is an anti-Marcionite redaction.
I think this is a very likely scenario. By the way, this does not necessarily mean that Acts is a very late text, just that the Acts we know is a very late version. There is no reason to date the current version of gLuke, Acts and the Catholic letters early, as they seem to be largely unattested in the early records. Even if you don't subscribe to any idea of Marcionite priority, the history of these texts seems to be a bit more convoluted than to just assume they were written once and never touched again.
neilgodfrey wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:31 pm
(What I find of particular interest is that Paul turns instead to go to Troas (the region of Troy) where he receives a vision that leads him to a new continent and a place explicitly said to be a "Roman colony". This is one of numerous shadowy echoes of the myth of Aeneas and hints that the author had that myth in mind when he narrated the preparation for the church's base being moved from Jerusalem to Rome.)
I agree. It doesn't seem that any single sentence there is written without an idea that goes further than a simple factual report.

neilgodfrey
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Re: Evidence that Marcion existed

Post by neilgodfrey » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:16 am

Ulan wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:45 am
By the way, this does not necessarily mean that Acts is a very late text, just that the Acts we know is a very late version.
If our texts attributed to Justin Martyr were composed around the 140s-150s as is often said, then Justin's ignorance of Acts must raise questions. For Justin, the twelve disciples just upped and went out to all the world preaching as the resurrected Jesus had commanded them on Easter Sunday. No Pentecost, no replacement for a lost disciple (not even a missing disciple), no Jerusalem conflicts or persecutions, no Paul (not even a Peter, iirc), no Hellenists or Stevens or Philips, and no matching Simon Magus tale. All twelve just went out to all the world after the resurrected Jesus appeared to them -- contrary to Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts.

Ulan
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Re: Evidence that Marcion existed

Post by Ulan » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:28 am

neilgodfrey wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:16 am
Ulan wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:45 am
By the way, this does not necessarily mean that Acts is a very late text, just that the Acts we know is a very late version.
If our texts attributed to Justin Martyr were composed around the 140s-150s as is often said, then Justin's ignorance of Acts must raise questions. For Justin, the twelve disciples just upped and went out to all the world preaching as the resurrected Jesus had commanded them on Easter Sunday. No Pentecost, no replacement for a lost disciple (not even a missing disciple), no Jerusalem conflicts or persecutions, no Paul (not even a Peter, iirc), no Hellenists or Stevens or Philips, and no matching Simon Magus tale. All twelve just went out to all the world after the resurrected Jesus appeared to them -- contrary to Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts.
Yes, but I didn't want to imply anything else. I think, in Acts, we have some genuine parts and some not so genuine. I think the travels of Paul in the later parts must have some genuine roots, even if Justin doesn't know of them, as they may have been from a different branch of early Christianity. I can see that the beginning of Acts is a purposeful rewrite of Galatians etc., and it always smacked me as a political piece, with its swap between Paul's and Peter's personality traits as they are implied in Paul's letters. A Jerusalem community that bases its decisions on the Septuagint and is sculpted after Plato's Republic also looks fake. Who knows, even the story of Steven may have had a different culprit at some point (it's funny how the story builds up the Jerusalem community as bogeymen, but drops that line of thought midway through the tale). Or, in other words, Justin may have chosen to ignore some of those tales, as they didn't look good for "his" church until they had been properly sanitized.

neilgodfrey
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Re: Evidence that Marcion existed

Post by neilgodfrey » Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:15 am

Tim Widowfield, I think, will be posting in some detail how the author of Acts rewrites stories from Luke more or less soonish. Some authors have seen Paul's travels as derivative from those of Jesus. Not saying they are "correct" -- just another view that's "out there".

Bernard Muller
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Re: Evidence that Marcion existed

Post by Bernard Muller » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:15 am

If our texts attributed to Justin Martyr were composed around the 140s-150s as is often said, then Justin's ignorance of Acts must raise questions.
However, earlier, the Epistula Apostolorum 30-31 is aware of Acts.
For Justin, the twelve disciples just upped and went out to all the world preaching as the resurrected Jesus had commanded them on Easter Sunday. No Pentecost, no replacement for a lost disciple (not even a missing disciple), no Jerusalem conflicts or persecutions, no Paul (not even a Peter, iirc), no Hellenists or Stevens or Philips, and no matching Simon Magus tale. All twelve just went out to all the world after the resurrected Jesus appeared to them -- contrary to Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts.
The twelve going all over the world right after the alleged resurrection to make converts is also in the interpolated ending of gMark and Aristides' apology.
Even after Acts is named and quoted by Irenaeus, the same Irenaeus still kept the twelve early travels all over the world to make converts, including among Gentiles (as for Justin Martyr) in his 'Demonstration apostolic':
"His disciples, the witnesses of all His good deeds, and of His teachings and His sufferings and death and resurrection, and of His ascension into heaven after His bodily resurrection----these were the apostles, who after (receiving) the power of the Holy Spirit were sent forth by Him into all the world, and wrought the calling of the Gentiles"
Still later, Origen wrote in in 'Commentary of the gospel according to Matthew' X, 18:
"And the Apostles on this account left Israel and did that which had been enjoined on them by the Saviour, "Make disciples of all the nations," and, "Ye shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judæa and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." For they did that which had been commanded them in Judæa and Jerusalem; but, since a prophet has no honour in his own country, when the Jews did not receive the Word, they went away to the Gentiles."

Irenaeus & Origen, even when they knew about Acts, kept repeating the rosy goody idealistic false facts (as compared to what shows in Acts) of the twelve going into the whole world to make converts.
So I do not see any problem about Acts being available to the author of Mk 16:9-20, Aristides & Justin and still, these writers keeping the idealistic picture of Jesus' own disciples making Christians all over after the alleged resurrection.

But if the idea of this idealistic spread of Christianity was prevalent in the 2nd century and beyond, why does Acts say the opposite if written in the same time period (the disciples stay in Palestine, and the churches outside Israel are created by non-Jesus disciples, including the very important one in Antioch, and then by Paul & Barnabas, and then Paul only)?

So that one reason why Acts was written earlier, and also why Acts was not mentioned up to Irenaeus' times: because it went against the idealistic scenario for the early world-wide spread of Christianity: by Jesus' disciples themselves.

Cordially, Bernard
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Secret Alias
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Re: Evidence that Marcion existed

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:15 am

just that the Acts we know is a very late version
Exactly. There are clear parts of the 'older' version - the Stephen narrative, the interest in David at the very beginning. There seems to be a 'Jewish Christian' text perhaps known to Epiphanius (directly or indirectly) and a 'Paul' narrative added on top of this (as well as other alterations to make 'Peter' fit 'Paul.' I think a conscious attempt to respond to 'condemned him to his face' in Galatians is what prompted the narrative.
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Kunigunde Kreuzerin
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Re: Evidence that Marcion existed

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:30 am

Ulan wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:32 pm
I think we already had a longer thread about this here some time ago. The point that also the province of Asia is mentioned, another known Marcionite stronghold, may indicate an attempt to dissociate the apostle Paul from Marcionites, who seemed to have claimed that apostle for themselves.
Is there any ancient source that

- what Luke called Asia was a stronghold of Marcion
- and also Bithynia
- and that there was a small proto-catholic corridor in between (the "eye of the needle"?)

So far I know the usual claims were that the Marcionites were „many of every nation“ (Justin, 1 Apol 26).

Kunigunde Kreuzerin
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Re: Evidence that Marcion existed

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:45 am

davidbrainerd wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:16 pm
Its silly to think the spirit would forbid preaching anywhere after saying "go preach the gospel to every nation."
With reaching Europe Paul's mission made one of the most important steps in this direction.

What I do not get is the whole idea of the assumed Marcionite allusion. imho there would be exact the opposite, a strong anti-Marcionite preaching by Paul in Pontus, the exorcising of legions of demons und the healing of hundreds of blinds.

So, what should the message be? That church leaders should run away from heretic provinces? So far I know they did not avoid the confrontation.

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