Patristic One-Liners: Marcion

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Patristic One-Liners: Marcion

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:28 pm

The chief argument that Marcion existed comes down to a massive straw man argument. The Church Fathers wouldn't have spent so much time arguing on behalf of (or against) someone that didn't exist. Really? More than Marcion, the Church Fathers argue on behalf of the existence of God. Now no matter what you feel about the existence of God, it can't be reaaonably argued to be a certainty. Surely even the most religious believer must admit there is a great likelihood that God has no existence outside of us talking about him. In fact, the writings which mention God are among the strongest most certain sources for his existence. But surely it remains a likely possibility that God has no existence outside our talking about him. Person A says X about God and then Person B says Y rejecting X and so on and so on. Why can't it be the same with Marcion?
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Re: Patristic One-Liners: Marcion

Post by Peter Kirby » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:56 pm

To bring the analogy closer, substitute ‘Satan’.

To make it distant again, substitute the ‘Unabomber’.

If all we had from the viewpoint of 3019 was a single copy of a New York Times / Washington Post / something else, and they’re going off on this subject and have referenced this person’s manifesto and talked about why they’re wrong... okay, it might not be true but the simple analogy game here isn’t that insightful or significant.
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Re: Patristic One-Liners: Marcion

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:30 pm

But the Unabomber was presumably sending bombs. Marcion or God doesn't have that reality. The reason he is called the Unabomber because he was a lone bomber. That's why he was famous. God and Marcion are famous because people were writing about them.
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Re: Patristic One-Liners: Marcion

Post by Peter Kirby » Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:16 pm

In the future the Unabomber is semi-famous for being written about for having sent bombs and writing a manifesto.

In the present Marcion is semi-famous for being written about for founding a faith movement and writing a text.

In the references, the person is written about, for their deeds, as a contemporary or near-contemporary (eg by Justin, Irenaeus).

People write about God as someone that exists in the present but that’s obviously very complicated in the least by the attributes of being in heaven, incorporeal, the creator, etc. If by “God” you actually are talking about “David Koresh” - ie a human being that did particular human things recently - that’s not quite the same and it’s not difficult to argue that this “God” (a person) existed. It’s not equivalent to arguing for God the Creator.

This is really basic stuff (eg, Hume on miracles, etc.). There are better ways to prime the pump for the idea of non-existent personages in the past. The question is never just whether it’s in some sense ‘possible’, which is always true in trivial terms, but whether it’s true. In that regard, this thread started from nothing. And from that nothing... comes nothing.

Give us something, anything? What is it about Marcion that has you thinking about him existing or not existing? Anything? Just an idea you like to think about?
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Re: Patristic One-Liners: Marcion

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:24 pm

Who actually met Marcion? Justin didn't and his writings were interpolated c 195 CE. So who saw Marcion? Even Jesus has eyewitnesses.
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Re: Patristic One-Liners: Marcion

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:32 pm

Why can't Marcion have just been a cipher for Paul
Secret Alias wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:56 am

If no one saw him and all he is remembered for is the Pauline canon, why isn't he Paul?
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Re: Patristic One-Liners: Marcion

Post by Peter Kirby » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:41 pm

I’m agreeing to:

It’s possible there was no Marcion
It’s possible that Marcion is Paul / cipher for Paul

It’s very mildly interesting that:

Nobody claimed to have been eyewitness to Marcion

(As long as we discount legends of John or Polycarp, in Asia Minor? There is a legend of opposition to Marcion in Rome also.)

What I find most interesting about your statement is that Justin doesn’t talk about Paul.

I like these kinds of considerations better than the OP...
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Re: Patristic One-Liners: Marcion

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:47 pm

σοφια = 781 = παυλος

we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God [j]ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
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Re: Patristic One-Liners: Marcion

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:37 am

Another way of looking at it.

The only person who is ever claimed to have seen Marcion is Polycarp. The source of the statement is Irenaeus but Irenaeus isn't our best source for information about Polycarp. If we presume that he wrote the statement in Against Heresies 3 in the last decade of the second century and we assume that the statement in the Moscow manuscript of the Martyrdom of Polycarp has some historical basis - i.e. that Irenaeus was in Rome when Polycarp was martyred - then the report that Polycarp met Marcion comes from a period AFTER Irenaeus spent a day or too or whatever it was hearing Polycarp 'in the royal court' when he was young. In other words, the information that Polycarp met Marcion is just as much hearsay as the report in Justin Martyr. Maybe the information came from 'the circle of Polycarp' - I doubt it. But it is second hand, third hand - or as I would have it, wholly invented to suit the passage in Against Heresies III.

We will look at that passage in a moment but let's look at our next best bit of information about Marcion - Justin Martyr. There is no information about Marcion in the Dialogue. Instead, it appears in two sections of the Apology which happen to be problematic passages. Now let's begin by noting that the manuscripts of Justin Martyr are of poor quality and corrupt - especially the Dialogue. Read Marcovich's published notes. He makes that abundantly clear. In essence, he cites Harnack to say there are over 200 - 300 copying errors in the Apology alone and that number is certainly higher in the Dialogue. The Dialogue itself was rewritten around 194 CE - https://books.google.com/books?id=bVZGA ... ia&f=false There are signs that the Apology was also rewritten at a later date (as with most early Patristic literature).

Quasten writes "The style of these works is far from pleasant. Not accustomed to adhere to a well-defined plan, Justin follows the inspiration of the moment. He digresses, his thought is disjointed, he has a failing for long-spun sentences. His whole manner of lacks force and seldom attains to eloquence or warmth of feeling." While scholars don't generally see anything wrong with this 'meandering style' - from years of reading the Pauline epistles with a Marcionite awareness I always think these sorts of digressions are the results of inserted material by a later editor. If I was writing the Emperor or a powerful individual you would expect the author to be 'on point.' He would stick to a main point - a thesis - because he recognizes the importance of being understood. He is not addressing a friend. With friends you can digress come back to your point digress - because your intimacy allows for this sort of thing. A former letter to the Emperor demands brevity. That's why I believe that most of the meandering stylistic traits of the Pauline canon, Clement, Justin and other Church Fathers are the simple result of deliberate editorial emendation.

To this end, the mention of Simon and Marcion comes as an obvious digression from the original points of Justin. The first mention of Marcion comes in the midst of a discussion that "some, influenced by the demons before mentioned, related beforehand, through the instrumentality of the poets, those circumstances as having really happened, which, having fictitiously devised, they narrated, in the same manner as they have caused to be fabricated the scandalous reports against us of infamous and impious actions, of which there is neither witness nor proof— we shall bring forward the following proof." In other words, miraculous things attributed to Jesus - i.e. the virgin birth - had already been said to have occurred among the gods of the pagan religion. Justin follows this up by making two points - the third is an additional mention of Simon and Marcion which makes no sense and is obviously a later addition, because it breaks the continuity of the original argument.

The second mention of Marcion occurs in a very similar context. Justin begins by blaming the 'demons' again for making men deny the future judgment of humanity.
Nor can the devils persuade men that there will be no conflagration for the punishment of the wicked; as they were unable to effect that Christ should be hidden after He came. But this only can they effect, that they who live irrationally, and were brought up licentiously in wicked customs, and are prejudiced in their own opinions, should kill and hate us; whom we not only do not hate, but, as is proved, pity and endeavour to lead to repentance. For we do not fear death, since it is acknowledged we must surely die; and there is nothing new, but all things continue the same in this administration of things; and if satiety overtakes those who enjoy even one year of these things, they ought to give heed to our doctrines, that they may live eternally free both from suffering and from want. But if they believe that there is nothing after death, but declare that those who die pass into insensibility, then they become our benefactors when they set us free from sufferings and necessities of this life, and prove themselves to be wicked, and inhuman, and bigoted. For they kill us with no intention of delivering us, but cut us off that we may be deprived of life and pleasure.
The argument that because both passages mention the demons being responsible for Christian martyrdom shows the passages are authentic in Justin doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Let me explain why.

Let's start with the most obvious. Immediately after following the last citation, Justin changes topic and faults Marcion for his doctrinal deviation from 'orthodox Christianity':
And, as we said before, the devils put forward Marcion of Pontus, who is even now teaching men to deny that God is the maker of all things in heaven and on earth, and that the Christ predicted by the prophets is His Son, and preaches another god besides the Creator of all, and likewise another son. And this man many have believed, as if he alone knew the truth, and laugh at us, though they have no proof of what they say, but are carried away irrationally as lambs by a wolf, and become the prey of atheistical doctrines, and of devils.
Notice the highlighted change from the singular - Marcion - to the plural 'they.' This makes little sense in the context of the reference to Marcion but makes A LOT OF SENSE if the 'they' reference goes back to the original reference to demons.

In other words the original passage read:
But if they believe that there is nothing after death, but declare that those who die pass into insensibility, then they become our benefactors when they set us free from sufferings and necessities of this life, and prove themselves to be wicked, and inhuman, and bigoted. For they kill us with no intention of delivering us, but cut us off that we may be deprived of life and pleasure. Though they have no proof of what they say, but are carried away irrationally as lambs by a wolf, and become the prey of atheistical doctrines, and of devils.
In other words, the reference to Marcion and his incorrect doctrines (i.e. denying the Creator) is just a marginal gloss that became incorporated into the main text or perhaps a direct addition to identify the 'atheists' inspired by demons as Marcionites.

But clearly again Justin did not mention Marcion originally. So what are we left with? Irenaeus's second hand, third hand or made up reference to Polycarp condemning Marcion to his face. Doesn't condemning him to his face have a ring to it? Hmmmm.
When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.
Let's look at Irenaeus's statement again:
He it was who, coming to Rome in the time of Anicetus caused many to turn away from the aforesaid heretics to the Church of God, proclaiming that he had received this one and sole truth from the apostles,--that, namely, which is handed down by the Church. There are also those who heard from him that John, the disciple of the Lord, going to bathe at Ephesus, and perceiving Cerinthus within, rushed out of the bath-house without bathing, exclaiming, "Let us fly, lest even the bath-house fall down, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within." And Polycarp himself replied to Marcion, who met him on one occasion, and said, "Dost thou know me?" "I do know thee, the first-born of Satan." Such was the horror which the apostles and their disciples had against holding even verbal communication with any corrupters of the truth; as Paul also says, "A man that is an heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself."
The highlighted section makes clear that the information comes from less than reliable sources. It's the equivalent to Trump's 'I hear that ...' But clearly it is a lot more than that.

Why does Irenaeus insert two 'hearsay' examples of the inflexibility of Polycarp AT THE MENTION OF HIS COMING TO ROME UNDER ANICETUS? This is the question which should be asked. The examples don't have anything to do with Rome. The spurious bathhouse incident with Cerinthus didn't occur there so neither did Marcion's meeting. The purpose again - in pure Trumpian form - is to counter the widespread assumptions about that visit to Anicetus. What was that? Well when he tells the story in the context of trying to convince Victor not to cut off the churches of Asia Minor he uses Polycarp's visit to Anicetus as an example of 'agreeing to disagree' about doctrine.
For the controversy is not merely as regards the day, but also as regards the form itself of the fast. For some consider themselves bound to fast one day, others two days, others still more, while others [do so during] forty: the diurnal and the nocturnal hours they measure out together as their [fasting] day. And this variety among the observers [of the fasts] had not its origin in our time, but long before in that of our predecessors, some of whom probably, being not very accurate in their observance of it, handed down to posterity the custom as it had, through simplicity or private fancy, been [introduced among them]. And yet nevertheless all these lived in peace one with another, and we also keep peace together. Thus, in fact, the difference [in observing] the fast establishes the harmony of [our common] faith. And the presbyters preceding Soter in the government of the Church which you now rule — I mean, Anicetus and Pius, Hyginus and Telesphorus, and Sixtus — did neither themselves observe it [after that fashion], nor permit those with them to do so. Notwithstanding this, those who did not keep [the feast in this way] were peacefully disposed towards those who came to them from other dioceses in which it was [so] observed although such observance was [felt] in more decided contrariety [as presented] to those who did not fall in with it; and none were ever cast out [of the Church] for this matter. On the contrary, those presbyters who preceded you, and who did not observe [this custom], sent the Eucharist to those of other dioceses who did observe it. And when the blessed Polycarp was sojourning in Rome in the time of Anicetus, although a slight controversy had arisen among them as to certain other points, they were at once well inclined towards each other [with regard to the matter in hand], not willing that any quarrel should arise between them upon this head. For neither could Anicetus persuade Polycarp to forego the observance [in his own way], inasmuch as these things had been always [so] observed by John the disciple of our Lord, and by other apostles with whom he had been conversant; nor, on the other hand, could Polycarp succeed in persuading Anicetus to keep [the observance in his way], for he maintained that he was bound to adhere to the usage of the presbyters who preceded him. And in this state of affairs they held fellowship with each other; and Anicetus conceded to Polycarp in the Church the celebration of the Eucharist, by way of showing him respect; so that they parted in peace one from the other, maintaining peace with the whole Church, both those who did observe [this custom] and those who did not.
Clearly Irenaeus brings up this story to Victor as something which was well known. He doesn't preface it by saying something to the effect of 'you should know that Polycarp the head of the community of Asia Minor came to Rome ...' The story is well known so he just jumps into the lesson from that story which clearly was Polycarp was flexible and not steadfast to his principles. He accommodated himself to the authority of the Roman bishop.

So basically - in spite of what Irenaeus says about Polycarp in Book 3 with respect to Polycarp's inflexibility the one well know story about Polycarp was an example of accommodation. It is because Polycarp was an example of the head of the Church being gracious and agreeable (= ecumenical) a story which was quite well known that Irenaeus had to add the business about John, his predecessor, condemning Cerinthus IN ASIA MINOR and Marcion somewhere else. But there is no evidence that either individual Cerinthus or Marcion ever existed. He just invents these stories - from hearsay quite clearly - in order to counter the implications of Polycarp's meeting with Anicetus on his greater point in Book III.

I don't know if you have time to read all of this but here's what I think is really going on Book III. I've noted many times that Polycarp is a Greek translation of the Syriac title Maphrian https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maphrian. At one time Maphrian was used as an equivalent of Pope. The reason the story of the Maphrian of the Asian Church and the 'Pope' of the Roman Church is brought up in the letter to Victor is because Victor is about to excommunicate the churches of Polycarp's community. It's that simple.

But why does Irenaeus bring up the story of Polycarp coming to Rome in Book III? This is also related. If you look at the argument in Book III Irenaeus is trying to say essentially that everywhere in the world there are these lineages which go back to the apostles. The episcopal list that makes its way here is of the Roman See but it comes from someone from Asia Minor - Hegesippus. Catholics have wrongly understood Irenaeus's point here. He isn't saying that he himself subscribes to Roman supremacy. He is merely saying that the Roman lineage is legitimate and derives from Peter and Paul. But he cites the work of a Christian from Asia Minor - this is the critical thing. He takes for granted the authority of Asia Minor. It is referenced in the gloss that follows to 'other churches.'

But notice that the reference to Polycarp IMMEDIATELY follows the citation of the work we attribute to Hegesippus. That Hegessipus is a Latin rendering of the Greek Ἰώσηπος (Joseph) is without question and shows up in the name given to the Latin translation of the Jewish historian. But what is under appreciated is that this figure 'Joseph' (called Hegesippus) who came from Asia Minor to visit Anicetus according to the surviving texts of his Hypomnemata was the head of the churches of Asia Minor. That's why he was called Maphrain (= Polycarp). But the title just comes from the Book of Genesis "Joseph is a fruitful son' (בן פרת) and then his father Jacob/Israel goes on to say how wonderful his favorite son was.

Polycarp is just a translation of 'fruitful' son. Maphrian is just the Syriac preservation of פרת. So when Irenaeus quotes from the work we remember as Hegesippus's it is interesting to note that he follows up by referencing Polycarp:
The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric. This man, as he had seen the blessed apostles, and had been conversant with them, might be said to have the preaching of the apostles still echoing [in his ears], and their traditions before his eyes. Nor was he alone [in this], for there were many still remaining who had received instructions from the apostles. In the time of this Clement, no small dissension having occurred among the brethren at Corinth, the Church in Rome despatched a most powerful letter to the Corinthians, exhorting them to peace, renewing their faith, and declaring the tradition which it had lately received from the apostles, proclaiming the one God, omnipotent, the Maker of heaven and earth, the Creator of man, who brought on the deluge, and called Abraham, who led the people from the land of Egypt, spake with Moses, set forth the law, sent the prophets, and who has prepared fire for the devil and his angels. From this document, whosoever chooses to do so, may learn that He, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, was preached by the Churches, and may also understand the apostolical tradition of the Church, since this Epistle is of older date than these men who are now propagating falsehood, and who conjure into existence another god beyond the Creator and the Maker of all existing things. To this Clement there succeeded Evaristus. Alexander followed Evaristus; then, sixth from the apostles, Sixtus was appointed; after him, Telephorus, who was gloriously martyred; then Hyginus; after him, Pius; then after him, Anicetus. Sorer having succeeded Anicetus, Eleutherius does now, in the twelfth place from the apostles, hold the inheritance of the episcopate. In this order, and by this succession, the ecclesiastical tradition from the apostles, and the preaching of the truth, have come down to us. And this is most abundant proof that there is one and the same vivifying faith, which has been preserved in the Church from the apostles until now, and handed down in truth. [<- Hegesippus citation ends]

[beginning of Irenaeus commenting on the citation by mentioning the author ->] But Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna, whom I also saw in my early youth, for he tarried [on earth] a very long time, and, when a very old man, gloriously and most nobly suffering martyrdom, departed this life, having always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles, and which the Church has handed down, and which alone are true. To these things all the Asiatic Churches testify, as do also those men who have succeeded Polycarp down to the present time,-a man who was of much greater weight, and a more stedfast witness of truth, than Valentinus, and Marcion, and the rest of the heretics. He it was who, coming to Rome in the time of Anicetus caused many to turn away from the aforesaid heretics to the Church of God, proclaiming that he had received this one and sole truth from the apostles,-that, namely, which is handed down by the Church.
Now do you see what Irenaeus has done?! Yes he seems to be lauding the authority of the Roman Church but he does so through a 'Pope' of the rival tradition at the time - the Maphrian of the East, Polycarp. So he continues his 'peacemaking' efforts that we saw in the letter to Victor. Really he is only EXTENDING an argument for episcopal authority which is based on Polycarp's hearing of John. What he is saying is that both Rome and Antioch (presumably the see of the churches of the East) have co-authority. That's why he was called 'Irenaeus' - he was consistently trying to bring peace to the Church.

Once you see that the entire argument of Book III is based on the same sort of 'peacemaking' that is at the heart of the letter to Victor you start to wonder - why then does he add the bit about John and Polycarp opposing Cerinthus and Marcion? Clearly it has something to do with his reputation as a peacemaker. Irenaeus uses that meeting in Rome with Anicetus in his letter to Victor as an example of ecumenism. Ok. But couldn't that be used to say that Polycarp was always bending over backward to please people. NO! This is the whole point of Cerinthus and Marcion being brought in - and Valentinus too. Irenaeus cites Polycarp because he was head of the churches of the East - "Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna ... [t]o these things all the Asiatic Churches testify, as do also those men who have succeeded Polycarp down to the present time." But these two other representatives - Cerinthus and Marcion are heretics. They don't come from the line of apostles and so Irenaeus says Polycarp cut them off.

That's why he invented two stories here against two representatives of heresy associated with each of the churches of Asia (Cerinthus) and the See of Rome (Marcion). Cerinthus was accused by the Roman Church of having forged the Gospel of John and the Apocalypse in the name of John. John is the head of the churches of Asia. Marcion was accused of falsifying the scriptures associated with Paul and saying that Paul was the head of the apostles. The fact that Rome has two 'co-bishops' - i.e. Peter and Paul - is a clear sign that the Marcionite church is being corrected. That the Old Latin scriptural material goes back to Marcion has been argued many times.

So both the stories associated with Polycarp's condemning of the chief heretic of Asia Minor and the chief heretic of Rome is a tactical decision on the part of Irenaeus. He is trying to forge a new ecumenicism between the churches of Rome and the churches of Asia Minor so he has to exclude the two figures hated by each side. If Marcion is a caricature of the arch-heretic of Rome, clearly it is Mark who is being signaled out. Mark wrote for the Roman church. His gospel was established in Rome. Marcion was clearly a subform of the name Mark which happened to be gematria for apostle as I've shown earlier - the Roman equivalent of the Hebrew title of Joseph translated into Syriac as Maphrian.

But in the same way that Marcion = apostle isn't it curious that the Hebrew term for 'fruitful' which Polycarp is a translation has a value of 680. You know what other Greek word has a value of 680? υιος. Remember Joseph the fruitful son. Joseph sits in the royal court of Pharaoh. Polycarp sat in a royal court. There was clear overlap. And then בן = υιος. υιος = 680 = פרת. Really 'fruitful son' (בן פרת) was just a way of expressing the 'Son' of God. You know the way the Martyrdom of Polycarp has a Passion-feel to it? You know the way that Lucian's story of Peregrinus makes Peregrinus out to be a second Christ? That would make sense if his title 'fruitful' had some connection to the 'Son' of God. Moreover the Johannine Prologue was clearly CORRECTLY interpreted by the Valentinians as having something to do with the Aeons of this people. That was the author's intention. Polycarp's most beloved student was Florinus and Florinus was a Valentinian. What are the odds that Polycarp's isn't somehow connected to Valentinus? My guess is 'Valentinus' is a garbled Aramaic reference to Palatinus (= פלטין) i.e. palace http://cal.huc.edu/showjastrow.php?page=1180 i.e. the royal court reference made in Irenaeus. Remember in Aramaic peh (p) is pronounced 'f' - so 'Falatinus.'

In any event, getting back to the original discussion. If Irenaeus 'the peacemaker' is trying to bring the Roman Church and the churches of Asia Minor together he does so on the terms favorable to the churches of Asia Minor. When Joseph the Maphrian (= Polycarp) visited Rome under Anicetus he wrote a sketch of his travels where an episcopal list is now found. That episcopal list - written by the head of the churches of the East - became the defining document for the authenticity of the Roman church!! Think of that for a moment. Imagine if Protestant legitimacy was defined by a document written by a Catholic pope just after Luther. This is Roman authority as defined by its mortal enemy - the 'Pope' of the churches of Asia Minor.

In order to bring forth this 'idealized' apostolic communion of churches of the East and West all the 'bad' traditions of the past had to be demonized - so the invention of John and Polycarp condemning 'chief' representatives of each tradition viz. Cerinthus (condemned by Gaius of Rome and his 'gospel of John') and Marcion (condemned by Papias and his 'gospel of Mark'). It's that simple. There is no history to either story of Polycarp condemning Cerinthus or Marcion. It's all a lie. Ecumenism meant bridging the distance between the gospel of Mark on the one hand (Rome) and the gospel of John (Asia Minor) on the other. Adding Matthew and Luke does that because it waters down the authority of the order of Mark's gospel.
“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: Patristic One-Liners: Marcion

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:26 am

I will repost my original line of thought given it's superiority to the previous drivel:

Another way of looking at it.

The only person who is ever claimed to have seen Marcion is Polycarp. The source of the statement is Irenaeus but Irenaeus isn't our best source for information about Polycarp. If we presume that he wrote the statement in Against Heresies 3 in the last decade of the second century and we assume that the statement in the Moscow manuscript of the Martyrdom of Polycarp has some historical basis - i.e. that Irenaeus was in Rome when Polycarp was martyred - then the report that Polycarp met Marcion comes from a period AFTER Irenaeus spent a day or too or whatever it was hearing Polycarp 'in the royal court' when he was young. In other words, the information that Polycarp met Marcion is just as much hearsay as the report in Justin Martyr. Maybe the information came from 'the circle of Polycarp' - I doubt it. But it is second hand, third hand - or as I would have it, wholly invented to suit the passage in Against Heresies III.

We will look at that passage in a moment but let's look at our next best bit of information about Marcion - Justin Martyr. There is no information about Marcion in the Dialogue. Instead, it appears in two sections of the Apology which happen to be problematic passages. Now let's begin by noting that the manuscripts of Justin Martyr are of poor quality and corrupt - especially the Dialogue. Read Marcovich's published notes. He makes that abundantly clear. In essence, he cites Harnack to say there are over 200 - 300 copying errors in the Apology alone and that number is certainly higher in the Dialogue. The Dialogue itself was rewritten around 194 CE - https://books.google.com/books?id=bVZGA ... ia&f=false There are signs that the Apology was also rewritten at a later date (as with most early Patristic literature).

Quasten writes "The style of these works is far from pleasant. Not accustomed to adhere to a well-defined plan, Justin follows the inspiration of the moment. He digresses, his thought is disjointed, he has a failing for long-spun sentences. His whole manner of lacks force and seldom attains to eloquence or warmth of feeling." While scholars don't generally see anything wrong with this 'meandering style' - from years of reading the Pauline epistles with a Marcionite awareness I always think these sorts of digressions are the results of inserted material by a later editor. If I was writing the Emperor or a powerful individual you would expect the author to be 'on point.' He would stick to a main point - a thesis - because he recognizes the importance of being understood. He is not addressing a friend. With friends you can digress come back to your point digress - because your intimacy allows for this sort of thing. A former letter to the Emperor demands brevity. That's why I believe that most of the meandering stylistic traits of the Pauline canon, Clement, Justin and other Church Fathers are the simple result of deliberate editorial emendation.

To this end, the mention of Simon and Marcion comes as an obvious digression from the original points of Justin. The first mention of Marcion comes in the midst of a discussion that "some, influenced by the demons before mentioned, related beforehand, through the instrumentality of the poets, those circumstances as having really happened, which, having fictitiously devised, they narrated, in the same manner as they have caused to be fabricated the scandalous reports against us of infamous and impious actions, of which there is neither witness nor proof— we shall bring forward the following proof." In other words, miraculous things attributed to Jesus - i.e. the virgin birth - had already been said to have occurred among the gods of the pagan religion. Justin follows this up by making two points - the third is an additional mention of Simon and Marcion which makes no sense and is obviously a later addition, because it breaks the continuity of the original argument.

The second mention of Marcion occurs in a very similar context. Justin begins by blaming the 'demons' again for making men deny the future judgment of humanity.
Nor can the devils persuade men that there will be no conflagration for the punishment of the wicked; as they were unable to effect that Christ should be hidden after He came. But this only can they effect, that they who live irrationally, and were brought up licentiously in wicked customs, and are prejudiced in their own opinions, should kill and hate us; whom we not only do not hate, but, as is proved, pity and endeavour to lead to repentance. For we do not fear death, since it is acknowledged we must surely die; and there is nothing new, but all things continue the same in this administration of things; and if satiety overtakes those who enjoy even one year of these things, they ought to give heed to our doctrines, that they may live eternally free both from suffering and from want. But if they believe that there is nothing after death, but declare that those who die pass into insensibility, then they become our benefactors when they set us free from sufferings and necessities of this life, and prove themselves to be wicked, and inhuman, and bigoted. For they kill us with no intention of delivering us, but cut us off that we may be deprived of life and pleasure.
The argument that because both passages mention the demons being responsible for Christian martyrdom shows the passages are authentic in Justin doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Let me explain why.

Let's start with the most obvious. Immediately after following the last citation, Justin changes topic and faults Marcion for his doctrinal deviation from 'orthodox Christianity':
And, as we said before, the devils put forward Marcion of Pontus, who is even now teaching men to deny that God is the maker of all things in heaven and on earth, and that the Christ predicted by the prophets is His Son, and preaches another god besides the Creator of all, and likewise another son. And this man many have believed, as if he alone knew the truth, and laugh at us, though they have no proof of what they say, but are carried away irrationally as lambs by a wolf, and become the prey of atheistical doctrines, and of devils.
Notice the highlighted change from the singular - Marcion - to the plural 'they.' This makes little sense in the context of the reference to Marcion but makes A LOT OF SENSE if the 'they' reference goes back to the original reference to demons.

In other words the original passage read:
But if they believe that there is nothing after death, but declare that those who die pass into insensibility, then they become our benefactors when they set us free from sufferings and necessities of this life, and prove themselves to be wicked, and inhuman, and bigoted. For they kill us with no intention of delivering us, but cut us off that we may be deprived of life and pleasure. Though they have no proof of what they say, but are carried away irrationally as lambs by a wolf, and become the prey of atheistical doctrines, and of devils.
In other words, the reference to Marcion and his incorrect doctrines (i.e. denying the Creator) is just a marginal gloss that became incorporated into the main text or perhaps a direct addition to identify the 'atheists' inspired by demons as Marcionites.

But clearly again Justin did not mention Marcion originally. So what are we left with? Irenaeus's second hand, third hand or made up reference to Polycarp condemning Marcion to his face. Doesn't condemning him to his face have a ring to it? Hmmmm.
When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.
Let's look at Irenaeus's statement again:
He it was who, coming to Rome in the time of Anicetus caused many to turn away from the aforesaid heretics to the Church of God, proclaiming that he had received this one and sole truth from the apostles,--that, namely, which is handed down by the Church. There are also those who heard from him that John, the disciple of the Lord, going to bathe at Ephesus, and perceiving Cerinthus within, rushed out of the bath-house without bathing, exclaiming, "Let us fly, lest even the bath-house fall down, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within." And Polycarp himself replied to Marcion, who met him on one occasion, and said, "Dost thou know me?" "I do know thee, the first-born of Satan." Such was the horror which the apostles and their disciples had against holding even verbal communication with any corrupters of the truth; as Paul also says, "A man that is an heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself."
The highlighted section makes clear that the information comes from less than reliable sources. It's the equivalent to Trump's 'I hear that ...' But clearly it is a lot more than that.

Why does Irenaeus insert two 'hearsay' examples of the inflexibility of Polycarp AT THE MENTION OF HIS COMING TO ROME UNDER ANICETUS? This is the question which should be asked. The examples don't have anything to do with Rome. The spurious bathhouse incident with Cerinthus didn't occur there so neither did Marcion's meeting. The purpose again - in pure Trumpian form - is to counter the widespread assumptions about that visit to Anicetus. What was that? Well when he tells the story in the context of trying to convince Victor not to cut off the churches of Asia Minor he uses Polycarp's visit to Anicetus as an example of 'agreeing to disagree' about doctrine.
For the controversy is not merely as regards the day, but also as regards the form itself of the fast. For some consider themselves bound to fast one day, others two days, others still more, while others [do so during] forty: the diurnal and the nocturnal hours they measure out together as their [fasting] day. And this variety among the observers [of the fasts] had not its origin in our time, but long before in that of our predecessors, some of whom probably, being not very accurate in their observance of it, handed down to posterity the custom as it had, through simplicity or private fancy, been [introduced among them]. And yet nevertheless all these lived in peace one with another, and we also keep peace together. Thus, in fact, the difference [in observing] the fast establishes the harmony of [our common] faith. And the presbyters preceding Soter in the government of the Church which you now rule — I mean, Anicetus and Pius, Hyginus and Telesphorus, and Sixtus — did neither themselves observe it [after that fashion], nor permit those with them to do so. Notwithstanding this, those who did not keep [the feast in this way] were peacefully disposed towards those who came to them from other dioceses in which it was [so] observed although such observance was [felt] in more decided contrariety [as presented] to those who did not fall in with it; and none were ever cast out [of the Church] for this matter. On the contrary, those presbyters who preceded you, and who did not observe [this custom], sent the Eucharist to those of other dioceses who did observe it. And when the blessed Polycarp was sojourning in Rome in the time of Anicetus, although a slight controversy had arisen among them as to certain other points, they were at once well inclined towards each other [with regard to the matter in hand], not willing that any quarrel should arise between them upon this head. For neither could Anicetus persuade Polycarp to forego the observance [in his own way], inasmuch as these things had been always [so] observed by John the disciple of our Lord, and by other apostles with whom he had been conversant; nor, on the other hand, could Polycarp succeed in persuading Anicetus to keep [the observance in his way], for he maintained that he was bound to adhere to the usage of the presbyters who preceded him. And in this state of affairs they held fellowship with each other; and Anicetus conceded to Polycarp in the Church the celebration of the Eucharist, by way of showing him respect; so that they parted in peace one from the other, maintaining peace with the whole Church, both those who did observe [this custom] and those who did not.
Clearly Irenaeus brings up this story to Victor as something which was well known. He doesn't preface it by saying something to the effect of 'you should know that Polycarp the head of the community of Asia Minor came to Rome ...' The story is well known so he just jumps into the lesson from that story which clearly was Polycarp was flexible and not steadfast to his principles. He accommodated himself to the authority of the Roman bishop.

So basically - in spite of what Irenaeus says about Polycarp in Book 3 with respect to Polycarp's inflexibility the one well know story about Polycarp was an example of accommodation. It is because Polycarp was an example of the head of the Church being gracious and agreeable (= ecumenical) a story which was quite well known that Irenaeus had to add the business about John, his predecessor, condemning Cerinthus IN ASIA MINOR and Marcion somewhere else. But there is no evidence that either individual Cerinthus or Marcion ever existed. He just invents these stories - from hearsay quite clearly - in order to counter the implications of Polycarp's meeting with Anicetus on his greater point in Book III.

I don't know if you have time to read all of this but here's what I think is really going on Book III. I've noted many times that Polycarp is a Greek translation of the Syriac title Maphrian https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maphrian. At one time Maphrian was used as an equivalent of Pope. The reason the story of the Maphrian of the Asian Church and the 'Pope' of the Roman Church is brought up in the letter to Victor is because Victor is about to excommunicate the churches of Polycarp's community. It's that simple.

But why does Irenaeus bring up the story of Polycarp coming to Rome in Book III? This is also related. If you look at the argument in Book III Irenaeus is trying to say essentially that everywhere in the world there are these lineages which go back to the apostles. The episcopal list that makes its way here is of the Roman See but it comes from someone from Asia Minor - Hegesippus. Catholics have wrongly understood Irenaeus's point here. He isn't saying that he himself subscribes to Roman supremacy. He is merely saying that the Roman lineage is legitimate and derives from Peter and Paul. But he cites the work of a Christian from Asia Minor - this is the critical thing. He takes for granted the authority of Asia Minor. It is referenced in the gloss that follows to 'other churches.'

But notice that the reference to Polycarp IMMEDIATELY follows the citation of the work we attribute to Hegesippus. That Hegessipus is a Latin rendering of the Greek Ἰώσηπος (Joseph) is without question and shows up in the name given to the Latin translation of the Jewish historian. But what is under appreciated is that this figure 'Joseph' (called Hegesippus) who came from Asia Minor to visit Anicetus according to the surviving texts of his Hypomnemata was the head of the churches of Asia Minor. That's why he was called Maphrain (= Polycarp). But the title just comes from the Book of Genesis "Joseph is a fruitful son' (בן פרת) and then his father Jacob/Israel goes on to say how wonderful his favorite son was.

Polycarp is just a translation of 'fruitful' son. Maphrian is just the Syriac preservation of פרת. So when Irenaeus quotes from the work we remember as Hegesippus's it is interesting to note that he follows up by referencing Polycarp:
The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric. This man, as he had seen the blessed apostles, and had been conversant with them, might be said to have the preaching of the apostles still echoing [in his ears], and their traditions before his eyes. Nor was he alone [in this], for there were many still remaining who had received instructions from the apostles. In the time of this Clement, no small dissension having occurred among the brethren at Corinth, the Church in Rome despatched a most powerful letter to the Corinthians, exhorting them to peace, renewing their faith, and declaring the tradition which it had lately received from the apostles, proclaiming the one God, omnipotent, the Maker of heaven and earth, the Creator of man, who brought on the deluge, and called Abraham, who led the people from the land of Egypt, spake with Moses, set forth the law, sent the prophets, and who has prepared fire for the devil and his angels. From this document, whosoever chooses to do so, may learn that He, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, was preached by the Churches, and may also understand the apostolical tradition of the Church, since this Epistle is of older date than these men who are now propagating falsehood, and who conjure into existence another god beyond the Creator and the Maker of all existing things. To this Clement there succeeded Evaristus. Alexander followed Evaristus; then, sixth from the apostles, Sixtus was appointed; after him, Telephorus, who was gloriously martyred; then Hyginus; after him, Pius; then after him, Anicetus. Sorer having succeeded Anicetus, Eleutherius does now, in the twelfth place from the apostles, hold the inheritance of the episcopate. In this order, and by this succession, the ecclesiastical tradition from the apostles, and the preaching of the truth, have come down to us. And this is most abundant proof that there is one and the same vivifying faith, which has been preserved in the Church from the apostles until now, and handed down in truth. [<- Hegesippus citation ends]

[beginning of Irenaeus commenting on the citation by mentioning the author ->] But Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna, whom I also saw in my early youth, for he tarried [on earth] a very long time, and, when a very old man, gloriously and most nobly suffering martyrdom, departed this life, having always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles, and which the Church has handed down, and which alone are true. To these things all the Asiatic Churches testify, as do also those men who have succeeded Polycarp down to the present time,-a man who was of much greater weight, and a more stedfast witness of truth, than Valentinus, and Marcion, and the rest of the heretics. He it was who, coming to Rome in the time of Anicetus caused many to turn away from the aforesaid heretics to the Church of God, proclaiming that he had received this one and sole truth from the apostles,-that, namely, which is handed down by the Church.
Now do you see what Irenaeus has done?! Yes he seems to be lauding the authority of the Roman Church but he does so through a 'Pope' of the rival tradition at the time - the Maphrian of the East, Polycarp. So he continues his 'peacemaking' efforts that we saw in the letter to Victor. Really he is only EXTENDING an argument for episcopal authority which is based on Polycarp's hearing of John. What he is saying is that both Rome and Antioch (presumably the see of the churches of the East) have co-authority. That's why he was called 'Irenaeus' - he was consistently trying to bring peace to the Church.

Once you see that the entire argument of Book III is based on the same sort of 'peacemaking' that is at the heart of the letter to Victor you start to wonder - why then does he add the bit about John and Polycarp opposing Cerinthus and Marcion? Clearly it has something to do with his reputation as a peacemaker. Irenaeus uses that meeting in Rome with Anicetus in his letter to Victor as an example of ecumenism. Ok. But couldn't that be used to say that Polycarp was always bending over backward to please people. NO! This is the whole point of Cerinthus and Marcion being brought in - and Valentinus too. Irenaeus cites Polycarp because he was head of the churches of the East - "Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna ... [t]o these things all the Asiatic Churches testify, as do also those men who have succeeded Polycarp down to the present time." But these two other representatives - Cerinthus and Marcion are heretics. They don't come from the line of apostles and so Irenaeus says Polycarp cut them off.

That's why he invented two stories here against two representatives of heresy associated with each of the churches of Asia (Cerinthus) and the See of Rome (Marcion). Cerinthus was accused by the Roman Church of having forged the Gospel of John and the Apocalypse in the name of John. John is the head of the churches of Asia. Marcion was accused of falsifying the scriptures associated with Paul and saying that Paul was the head of the apostles. The fact that Rome has two 'co-bishops' - i.e. Peter and Paul - is a clear sign that the Marcionite church is being corrected. That the Old Latin scriptural material goes back to Marcion has been argued many times.

So both the stories associated with Polycarp's condemning of the chief heretic of Asia Minor and the chief heretic of Rome is a tactical decision on the part of Irenaeus. He is trying to forge a new ecumenicism between the churches of Rome and the churches of Asia Minor so he has to exclude the two figures hated by each side. If Marcion is a caricature of the arch-heretic of Rome, clearly it is Mark who is being signaled out. Mark wrote for the Roman church. His gospel was established in Rome. Marcion was clearly a subform of the name Mark which happened to be gematria for apostle as I've shown earlier - the Roman equivalent of the Hebrew title of Joseph translated into Syriac as Maphrian.

But in the same way that Marcion = apostle isn't it curious that the Hebrew term for 'fruitful' which Polycarp is a translation has a value of 680. You know what other Greek word has a value of 680? υιος. Remember Joseph the fruitful son. Joseph sits in the royal court of Pharaoh. Polycarp sat in a royal court. There was clear overlap. And then בן = υιος. υιος = 680 = פרת. Really 'fruitful son' (בן פרת) was just a way of expressing the 'Son' of God. You know the way the Martyrdom of Polycarp has a Passion-feel to it? You know the way that Lucian's story of Peregrinus makes Peregrinus out to be a second Christ? That would make sense if his title 'fruitful' had some connection to the 'Son' of God. Moreover the Johannine Prologue was clearly CORRECTLY interpreted by the Valentinians as having something to do with the Aeons of this people. That was the author's intention. Polycarp's most beloved student was Florinus and Florinus was a Valentinian. What are the odds that Polycarp's isn't somehow connected to Valentinus? My guess is 'Valentinus' is a garbled Aramaic reference to Palatinus (= פלטין) i.e. palace http://cal.huc.edu/showjastrow.php?page=1180 i.e. the royal court reference made in Irenaeus. Remember in Aramaic peh (p) is pronounced 'f' - so 'Falatinus.'

In any event, getting back to the original discussion. If Irenaeus 'the peacemaker' is trying to bring the Roman Church and the churches of Asia Minor together he does so on the terms favorable to the churches of Asia Minor. When Joseph the Maphrian (= Polycarp) visited Rome under Anicetus he wrote a sketch of his travels where an episcopal list is now found. That episcopal list - written by the head of the churches of the East - became the defining document for the authenticity of the Roman church!! Think of that for a moment. Imagine if Protestant legitimacy was defined by a document written by a Catholic pope just after Luther. This is Roman authority as defined by its mortal enemy - the 'Pope' of the churches of Asia Minor.

In order to bring forth this 'idealized' apostolic communion of churches of the East and West all the 'bad' traditions of the past had to be demonized - so the invention of John and Polycarp condemning 'chief' representatives of each tradition viz. Cerinthus (condemned by Gaius of Rome and his 'gospel of John') and Marcion (condemned by Papias and his 'gospel of Mark'). It's that simple. There is no history to either story of Polycarp condemning Cerinthus or Marcion. It's all a lie. Ecumenism meant bridging the distance between the gospel of Mark on the one hand (Rome) and the gospel of John (Asia Minor) on the other. Adding Matthew and Luke does that because it waters down the authority of the order of Mark's gospel.
“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

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