early Pauline letter collections

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MrMacSon
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early Pauline letter collections

Post by MrMacSon » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:43 pm

.
Jason BeDuhn on non-Marcion circulation of Marcion's Pauline collection


... we now know that Marcion’s Pauline collection contained the same ten letters circulating among many non-Marcionite churches of his time, without the Pastorals (whose earliest certain citation occurs only a generation or two after Marcion) ... Tertullian made no comment on the order of letters in the Apostolikon, because he wrote at a time when no fixed order for them had been set (outside of the Marcionite community) that would serve as a point of contrast. By the time of Epiphanius, however, Paul’s epistles had come to have a standard order (from longest to shortest), and with it came a new point of contrast to be read back anachronistically into Marcion’s supposed motives for “rearranging” them. Modern researchers have followed Epiphanius ever since in suspicions about Marcion’s motives for giving priority to Galatians in the Apostolikon ...
... priority of Galatians...now has been shown to have occurred also in the ten-letter Pauline collection circulating among non-Marcionite Christians in Syria, undercutting the assumption that Marcion was responsible for it.

BeDuhn, JD (2015) The New Marcion: Rethinking the ”Arch-Heretic”, ForumWestar Institute's Academic Journal
.


From BeDuhn's 2013 The First New Testament: Marcion's Scriptural Canon -


pp. 205-6 -
... a few key pieces of evidence do appear to support the conclusion that "Marcion's Pauline corpus is derivative in both content and structure from another earlier edition of the letters".12 Based upon the recent studies of Clabeaux and Schmid, Gamble observe[d] that
... Marcion is not to be credited with extensive tendentious emendations, and...his text of the epistles belonged to a common pre-Marcionite form of the Pauline texts that was already current around at the beginning of the second century.13
  • 12. Gamble (2002), "The New Testament Canon: Recent Research," 283 [see 6 below].
    13. Gamble (2002), "The New Testament Canon: Recent Research," 284 [see 6 below].
    • 13 cont'd, Clabeaux (1989), A Lost Edition of the Letters of Paul, 147, note[d] a correspondence between the textual traditions that show the closest connections to the variant readings in Marcion's text (the "I-type" Old Latin witnesses, and the witnesses to the older Syriac versions) and the places where the Marcionite - actually chronological - order of the letters is attested (in the Latin Prologues and in the commentary of Ephrem Syrus). He follows Frede (Altlateinisché Paulus-Handschriften, 167 and 178) in suggesting that the Old Latin version was based on a Greek text from Antioch in Syria, thus drawing together the two regions where we find the closest connection to Marcion's text, at least in the minor textual variants (see Clabeaux, 147-8). He casts appropriate doubt on the idea that Marcion got his NT texts in Rome.

pp. 215-6 -
The idea that Paul's letters circulated in an alternative "ecumenical" version is supported by places in the manuscript tradition where the specific addressees of the letters are omitted, for example, in a number of manuscripts of Ephesians (at 1.2), and in some manuscripts of Romans (at 1.7 and 1.15)39 and 1 Corinthians (at 1.2).40 Some would attribute these ecumenizing edits to Marcion, as part of his purpose of turning highly circumstantial letters into doctrinal resources.41 But there is no evidence that the addressees were omitted in the Apostilokon; on the contrary, Marcion's versions of Paul's letters quite clearly included the specific references to Rome, to Corinth, and to "Laodicea" in place of Ephesus. Harry Gamble looks instead to a "Pauline school" descending from the circle of Paul's co-workers, which at some point assembled the ten-letter collection found in the Apostolikon as an ideal set addressed to seven churches "symbolizing universality".42

Removing specific addressees would not have been the only, or even necessary, modification in order to make the letters more "ecumenical". Paul's letters contain sections devoted to ephemeral matters, such as travel plans, arrangements for collecting funds, commendations of individuals, ans so forth, which an editor would likely remove. The nature of Tertullian's and Epiphanius' remarks about the Apostolikon may provide evidence that the latter contained such "ecumenically" redacted versions of the letters. Both writers make repeatedly critical remarks about Marcion mutilating and shortening Paul's letters, but neither cites very many specific passages that he supposedly omitted.This is in sharp contrast to their handling of the Evanglion ... Neither Tertuallian nor Epiphanius refer to any of the passages of ephemeral content in Paul's letters ... Could it be that these passages were removed..? On the other hand, precisely because such material offered little of use to their polemic, Tertullian and Epiphanius may have simply passed it by in silence.

... it may be that Paul's original letters were shorter, and the longer canonical versions have been supplemented with expansions Paul and his followers added later.43

  • 39. Such omissions were known to Origen; see Bauernfeind, Der Römerbrieftexr des Origenes nach dem Codex von der goltz, TU 44.3. Leipzig, 1923.
    40. On this phenomenon, see Dahl, "The Particularity of the Pauline Epistles as a Problem in the Ancient Church", pp. 261-71 in Neotestamentica et Patristica ... Leiden: Brill, 1962. To explain why only three of the letters were generalized by removing specific addressees, Trobisch, Paul's Letter Collection, has proposed that the three must have circulated as an independent set (along with Hebrews) as an ecumenical or "catholic" text, alongside of the more familiar full set whose specific addressees were left in place. He suggests that Paul himself edited the two sets.
    41. e.g., Dupont (1948), "Pour l'histoire de la doxologie finale de l'épître aux Romains," Revue Bénédictine, 3-22; at 7-8.
    42. Gamble (2002), "The New Testament Canon: Recent Research," 283, 286 [see 6 below].
    43. Richards, "The Codex and Early Collections of Paul's Letters" [Bulletin for Biblical Research 8 (1998), 151-66.], has proposed that Paul kept a personal copy of his letters in a notebook (note the reference to the membranas in 2 Tim 4.13), and that the Pauline corpus derives from this notebook. This practice would have facilitated the incorporation of additional material prior to the formation of a circulating set.


    (44. Van Manen, "Marcion's brief van Paulus aan de Galatiërs" [Theologisch Tijdschrift 21 (1887) 382-404, 451-533 (non vidi)], argued that [the original form of Galatians was a shorter text], and that the canonical version offers a post-Marcion catholic recension. But there are other alternatives, especially when we consider that Paul's letter to the Galatians must haveo been sent in multiple copies, since it presumably went to more than one city in the province of Galatia. Did he send out...slightly different versions...?
    • BeDuhn's emphasis)
    .


Yet, previously in The First New Testament, BeDuhn was somewhat more circumspect about pre-Marcion letters or a pre-Marcion collection-


pp. 203-4 -
... the evidence is poor for widespread and sustained attention to Paul across the spectrum of early Christianity from his [traditionally proposed] lifetime to the end of the second century.2 Many writers of the period between Paul and Marcion (and well beyond) show no knowledge of Paul or his letters.3 The exceptions acknowledge his stature in some way, while dealing with him as a problem: difficult to understand (2 Peter), in need of subordination and harmonization to other Christian authority figures (Acts), or in need of correction (James).4

Of the writers before Marcion, only Clement explicitly cites and endorses statements by Paul - but notably in a letter to the Corinthian community Paul had founded, where it would be difficult to avoid his local authority.5 Clement's testimony makes it clear some of Paul's letters were circulating beyond the places to which they had been sent; but it is not enough to prove that there existed a collection - a Pauline corpus - in which a set of letters had been edited together as a text of Christian instruction. The first clear evidence of such a Pauline corpus is the Apostolikon of Marcion.6
  1. ...
  2. Linderman, Paulus im ältesten Christentum: Das Bild des Apostels und die Rezeption der paulinischen theologie in der frühchristlichen Literatur bis Markion, Tubingen, Mohr-Siebeck, 1979,
    Dassmann, Der Stachel im Fleish: Paulus in frühchchristlichen literatur bis Irenaeus,; Munster, Aschendorff, 1979,
    Rensberger, "As the Apostle Teaches: the Development of the Use of Paul's Letters in Second Century Christianity," PhD diss., Yale Univ. Press, 1981.
  3. see W. Schneemelcher, "Paulus in der griechischen Kirche des zweiten Jahrhunderts," Zeitschrift für Kirchenggeschichte 75 (1964) 1-20.
  4. ... none of these three writings can be definitively dated to the time before Marcion, and a number of modern researchers have argued that they at least belong to the second century, perhaps even to the time when Marcion was forcing a response on the authority of Paul.
  5. Uncertainty over the date and integrity of the letters of Ignatius makes it inadvisable to use them for evidence of the status of Paul before Marcion. Even the date of Clement remains controversial, although most would place him before Marcion.
  6. see Gamble HY, "The New Testament Canon: Recent Research and the Status Questionis," 283, in The Canon Debate, ed. LM McDonald and JA Sanders; Peabody, Hendrickson, 2002
A great deal of study in recent decades has been devoted to reconstructing the origin of the Pauline corpus.10
  • 10. Gamble (1985), The New Testament Canon: Its Making and Meaning, Philidelphia: Fortress Press, 36-41;
    .....Lovering (1988), "The Collection, Redaction, and Early Circulation of the Corpus Paulinum," PhD diss., Southern Methodist University;
    and
    ....Price R.M. (1997), "The Evolution of the Pauline Canon," Hervormde teologiese studies 53 36-67;
.

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Re: Jason BeDuhn on non-Marcion circulation of Marcion's Pauline collection

Post by MrMacSon » Sat Dec 22, 2018 3:19 am

MrMacSon wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:43 pm


pp. 205-6 -
... a few key pieces of evidence do appear to support the conclusion that "Marcion's Pauline corpus is derivative in both content and structure from another earlier edition of the letters".12 Based upon the recent studies of Clabeaux and Schmid, Gamble observe[d] that
... Marcion is not to be credited with extensive tendentious emendations, and...his text of the epistles belonged to a common pre-Marcionite form of the Pauline texts that was already current around at the beginning of the second century.13
  • 12. Gamble (2002), "The New Testament Canon: Recent Research," 283 [see 6 below].
    13. Gamble (2002), "The New Testament Canon: Recent Research," 284 [see 6 below].
    • 13 cont'd, Clabeaux (1989), A Lost Edition of the Letters of Paul, 147, note[d] a correspondence between the textual traditions that show the closest connections to the variant readings in Marcion's text (the "I-type" Old Latin witnesses, and the witnesses to the older Syriac versions) and the places where the Marcionite - actually chronological - order of the letters is attested (in the Latin Prologues and in the commentary of Ephrem Syrus). He follows Frede (Altlateinisché Paulus-Handschriften, 167 and 178) in suggesting that the Old Latin version was based on a Greek text from Antioch in Syria, thus drawing together the two regions where we find the closest connection to Marcion's text, at least in the minor textual variants (see Clabeaux, 147-8). He casts appropriate doubt on the idea that Marcion got his NT texts in Rome.


Further to the references to Old Latin Witnesses and the Old Latin version in footnote 13, -


The Principal Pauline Epistles: A Collation of Old Latin Witnesses

Series: New Testament Tools, Studies and Documents, Volume: 59

Authors: H.A.G. Houghton, Christina M. Kreinecker, R.F MacLachlan and C.J Smith
The earliest Latin versions of the writings of the New Testament offer important insights into the oldest forms of the biblical text, the use of language in the ancient Church and the foundations from which Christian theology developed in the West. This volume presents a collation of Old Latin evidence for the four principal Pauline Epistles (Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians and Galatians). The sources comprise twenty-six Vetus Latina manuscripts, ten commentaries written between the fourth and sixth centuries and four early testimonia collections. Their text differs in many ways from the standard Vulgate version. Created using innovative digital editing tools, this collation makes this valuable data available for the first time and is complemented by full electronic transcriptions online.
https://brill.com/abstract/title/33054

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Re: Jason BeDuhn on non-Marcion circulation of Marcion's Pauline collection

Post by perseusomega9 » Sat Dec 22, 2018 3:45 am

I've read that book twice, well, I haven't read his actual reconstructions of the maronite texts, just the commentary

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David Trobisch's view on Paul's own collection

Post by MrMacSon » Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:42 pm

David Trobisch proposed in his 1994 book titled Paul's Letter Collection: Tracing the Origins that, in light of documented editorial practices and published letter collections of antiquity (Cicero, Plinius etc), Paul himself prepared some of his epistles for publication: Romans, I & II Corinthians and Galatians, with Romans chapter 16 as a "cover note".

Trobisch proposes that the current form of the texts is not the way they were originally sent, but reflects their state after Paul edited them for publication, and that, after Paul's death, his disciples expanded this collection by adding nine more, and at some point Hebrews was added as the 14th epistle (while there have been fragments of Pauline letter collections, there has never been a 13-epistle or near complete collection without Hebrews).
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Re: Jason BeDuhn on non-Marcion circulation of Marcion's Pauline collection

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:54 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:42 pm
David Trobisch proposed in his 1994 book titled Paul's Letter Collection: Tracing the Origins that, in light of documented editorial practices and published letter collections of antiquity (Cicero, Plinius etc), Paul himself prepared some of his epistles for publication: Romans, I & II Corinthians and Galatians, with Romans chapter 16 as a "cover note".
Correct; and, just to clarify, the proposed cover letter (Romans 16) was, according to Trobisch, addressed to the Ephesian church, explaining why Paul knew so many people in that congregation while not having visited Rome yet.
Trobisch proposes that the current form of the texts is not the way they were originally sent, but reflects their state after Paul edited them for publication, and that, after Paul's death, his disciples expanded this collection by adding nine more, and at some point Hebrews was added....
Yes, in two separate expansions (italicized and boldfaced below) plus Hebrews (underlined below) as a sort of third expansion, based on the (thrice broken) pattern of descending word counts:

Romans, 7111
1 Corinthians, 6830
2 Corinthians, 4477
Galatians, 2230

Ephesians, 2422
Philippians, 1629
Colossians, 1582
1 Thessalonians, 1481
2 Thessalonians, 823


1 Timothy, 1591
2 Timothy, 1238
Titus, 659
Philemon, 335


Hebrews, 4953

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Re: Jason BeDuhn on non-Marcion circulation of Marcion's Pauline collection

Post by MrMacSon » Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:43 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:54 pm
Correct; and, just to clarify, the proposed cover letter (Romans 16) was, according to Trobisch, addressed to the Ephesian church, explaining why Paul knew so many people in that congregation while not having visited Rome yet.
Cheers Ben. The cover letter explained why Paul knew so many in the Rome congregation despite not having visited Rome yet?

[Romans 16 is interesting; eg. the commendation for Phoebe, of the church in Cenchreae [in Corinth]; the appeal for "those who belong to the household of Aristobulus [the Hasmoneans]".]

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Re: Jason BeDuhn on non-Marcion circulation of Marcion's Pauline collection

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:49 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:43 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:54 pm
Correct; and, just to clarify, the proposed cover letter (Romans 16) was, according to Trobisch, addressed to the Ephesian church, explaining why Paul knew so many people in that congregation while not having visited Rome yet.
Cheers Ben. The cover letter explained why Paul knew so many in the Rome congregation despite not having visited Rome yet?
No, why he knew so many in the congregation he was addressing: Ephesus, according to Trobisch. IOW, all the names in Romans 16 would be Ephesian Christians, not Roman Christians. We would expect Paul to know a lot of Ephesians; that he should know so many Romans would be perhaps more surprising. (The question is often raised with respect to this epistle: "How did Paul personally know so many Romans?" Trobisch responds: "He did not know (m)any Romans. Those are actually Ephesians.")
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Re: Jason BeDuhn on non-Marcion circulation of Marcion's Pauline collection

Post by MrMacSon » Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:51 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:49 pm
No, why he knew so many in the congregation he was addressing: Ephesus, according to Trobisch. (IOW, all the names in Romans 16 would be Ephesian Christians, not Roman Christians. We would expect Paul to know a lot of Ephesians ...
Cheers.

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Re: early Pauline letter collections

Post by MrMacSon » Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:59 pm

There's an interesting review-comment post on the Amazon page for Trobisch's Paul's Letter Collection by Dr Chuang Wei Ping, a Singapore Doctor/Lawyer - "The service done by David Trobisch is to supply material where the reader can sensibly posit a credible beginning for Hebrews. Only two books in the Bible can supply an apt opening for Hebrews: Galatians or Romans" -
The money on this book is in David Trobisch's focus on the Codex Vaticanus B03, which is the only early codex with numbered Chapters. Galatians ends at Chapter 58 (this is before the days of conventional modern day chaptering). Hebrews was numbered Chapter 59 in B03. Ephesians numbered from Chapter 70, and thus wrongly juxtaposed after Galatians.

The fusion of Galatians-Hebrews has huge implications, not elaborated on by Trobisch. Remove the doxology in Galatians 6:18, and add Hebrews right after Galatians 6:17. The result reads as smoothly as another very familiar book. Paul in 6:17 ends - I have said my piece, so do not bother me any more, and (in lieu of Gal 6:18) for a fuller explanation, I am getting Timothy to bring a follow-up letter very soon, which starts "polymeros kai polytropos palai ho theos lalesas tois patrasin en tois prophetas..." In the meantime, Luke polishes up the draft to make it more palatable.

Strain the philosophy of Hebrews through the sieve of Galatian praxis, and we have the gritty opus magnum called Romans. Gunther Bornkamm (1963) argued that Romans was recension of pre-existing material. Human logic suggests that the Romans opus magnum cannot follow straight after the Gospels, but is more aptly placed before the prison epistles.

The just shall live by faith of Romans 1:17 has precursors in Gal 3:11 and Hebrews 10:38. The Melchisedec theme works more powerfully in Romans (e.g. 3:25 and 12:1) than it does in Hebrews. Paul dresses down the Jews in Romans 9-11 in about as many words as he dresses down the Galatians, and for apparently the same reasons. Galatians + Hebrews = parallel themes in Romans.

Galatians is the earliest Epistle (although many hold 1 Thess as first) and Galatians dovetails very well with the end of Luke-Acts as a literary whole. All the problems in Galatia, Corinth, etc need to be resolved first, before Paul thinks of going to Spain from Rome. Hebrews is not dated after Nero's persecution of AD 65, but there is no short-stop, or terminus a quo, and Hebrews could have been written around the same time as Galatians, perhaps on some prompting (? by Luke, Apollos, Priscilla) to add some gravitas and smooth feathers ruffled by the brusque Galatians.

Galatians-Hebrews can be in the place now occupied by Romans, called "1 Romans" [37,473], or proto-Romans. The 11,091 characters of Galatians piggybacked in front of Hebrews' 26,382 = 37,473, makes the composite Galatians/Hebrews about the same length as "2 Romans", or Romans proper [34,410].

The service done by David Trobisch is to supply material where the reader can sensibly posit a credible beginning for Hebrews. Only two books in the Bible can supply an apt opening for Hebrews: Galatians or Romans. Both Galatians and Romans open with "Paul, an apostle by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead." Romans 1:2 has that similar reference to prophets (propheton) as Hebrews 1:1, and Romans is more specific about the forefathers: the line of David.

The Dartmouth Bible (1951) was arranged along similar lines similar to the rearrangement above, but Dartmouth stuck Hebrews at the back with 1 Peter - there is a case for Petrine authorship of Hebrews. In the light of Trobisch's work, Hebrews should be coupled with Galatians, and find its way to the front of the New Testament, where it it will not read as enigmatic oracle, but as a logical template for Romans 1-8 and 12-15 ...

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Re: early Pauline letter collections

Post by DCHindley » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:41 pm

mrmacson,

That fellow has latched onto one ms that s/he feels "fits" better, but in reality, Hebrews, when present in a ms of the "p" group (not always, and only later), is fit into the other letters in a wide variety of places.

Category
Total
Percent
e
a
p
r
e 2,123 67.2% 2,123 0 0 0
ap* 273 8.6% 0 273 273 0
p 222 7.0% 0 0 222 0
eap** 150 4.7% 150 150 150 0
r 130 4.1% 0 0 0 130
a 87 2.8% 0 87 0 0
apr 76 2.4% 0 76 76 76
eapr 59 1.9% 59 59 59 59
ea 11 0.3% 11 11 0 0
er 11 0.3% 11 0 0 11
pr 6 0.2% 0 0 6 6
ep 5 0.2% 5 0 5 0
ar 3 0.1% 0 3 0 3
ear 2 0.1% 2 2 0 2
Total 3,158 100.0% 2,361 661 791 287
TNT (p83) 2,361 662 792 287
Variance* 0 1 1 0
74.76% 20.96% 25.08% 9.09%

* variance probably should be added to category "ap"
** not in Trobisch's table. Number derived from TNT

e = Gospels (usually in order Mt, Mk, Lk, Jn)
a = Acts and General Epistles
p = Letters of Paul (Hebrews usually between 2 Thess & 1 Tim)
r = Revelation

Per Trobisch, Hebrews is usually sandwiched between the second group of letters to churches and the letters to individuals, but this is not the only place it is found. I suppose the idea was that "Hebrews" (as a people) constituted a kind of church.

I also just remembered that this table (I put it together from both Trobish's book & Aland's Text of the NT) shows that the vast majority (about 75%) of Christian mss contain Gospels, and only about 25% contain letters of Paul.

DCH

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