Jax wrote: ↑
Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:22 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote: ↑
Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:18 am
Jax wrote: ↑
Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:34 am
I find it interesting to note that, besides Marcion in the 140's, Philemon isn't used by anyone else until the 4th century.
The Muratorian canon has it: "Nevertheless, he wrote one to Philemon and one to Titus, and two to Timothy for his affection and love." Also, Origen apparently wrote a commentary on Philemon; this has been lost except for a quotation by Rufinus.
I for one am willing to assume that Marcion had a letter to Philemon as part of his Paul letters.
Thanks for the John letters link above BTW. Very interesting.
Folks around here sometimes like to poke fun at my hypothesis that the Paulines, all of them (to cities or individuals), were "authentic" letters of an advocate for Judean-gentile inclusiveness, but later overlayed with the Christ talk as a way to "bring them up to date." That "date" was sometime in the late 1st century CE, when whoever Jesus was as a historical person in his earlier day was fast transforming into a figurehead for a salvation myth. The original author, whoever he was, didn't know anything of Jesus.
One of the consequences of this fusion of traditions, which did not see eye to eye on many issues, was that contradictory statements abound in the form we have received them, one beside the other, in a way that defies any attempt at interpretation of discreet letters as organic wholes. In Galatians, for instance, in that section about Abraham, Sarah and Hagar, there are two different but complete commentaries going on, all spliced together.*
I get the impression that Marcion actually did encounter these letters already interpolated as described above. The way Tertullian and others describe Marcion's treatment of this section of that letter, both of these independent commentaries are made more difficult to interpret, and what the Christian sources say of Marcion's message still doesn't really make any sense.
That doesn't mean that the original Paulines didn't go through it own editorial history before it reached Christian hands. David Trobisch points to the present collection to consist of three sub-collections, two of which were to congregations in cities and one collection addressed to individuals. Like any collection of a famous person's letters in antiquity, a few pseudepigraphs slip in. Whatever corpus that Christian interpolator had worked over may not have been 100% the purported author's actual letters. I would not be surprised to see a letter to Philemon in whatever interpolated collection he had access to.
*http://www.earlywritings.com/forum/view ... agar#p5882