Did Justin Martyr use Pauline epistles?

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ficino
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Did Justin Martyr use Pauline epistles?

Post by ficino » Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:08 am

I often see people on internet forums say that Justin Martyr does not use the Pauline corpus. From this they argue that the epistles attributed to Paul were not extant in the first century CE.

On the other hand, some argue that Justin makes use of Pauline epistles but does not cite Paul by name for various reasons. For example, in the Dialogue with Trypho, Justin wants to appeal to scriptures that he and Trypho hold in common and not muddy the waters. This has been maintained, for example, by Rodney Werline, "The Transformation of Pauline Arguments in Justin Martyr's 'Dialogue with Trypho'," The Harvard Theological Review, Vol. 92, No. 1 (Jan., 1999), pp. 79-93. Werline references Oskar Skarsaune and others for this view (79 n. 2).

Does anyone have an opinion on whether Justin used parts of the Pauline corpus in his writing, and/or on the dates of at least the epistles most commonly attributed to Paul by mainstream scholars?

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Re: Did Justin Martyr use Pauline epistles?

Post by stephan happy huller » Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:34 am

As you can imagine, I have stupid opinions on just about everything related to earliest Christianity. My opinions are informed - insofar as I have read the primary material many times as well as what many experts in the field have said. Nevertheless I write from a rather idiosyncratic viewpoint (i.e. through the lens of Marcionitism) so my opinions might seem rather bizarre.

With that said, after thinking about this for a long time (and still continuing to ruminate on this subject) my conclusion is that it is most likely that he did know something about Paul's epistles but remained silent about them in his writings for reasons that we can't yet figure out.

The reason I say this is rather unusual. Many parts to the anti-Marcionite literature seem to be drawn from the writings of Justin. This in itself doesn't prove anything. One could surmise that another author (Irenaeus?) just took bits and pieces out of Justin to fill out his attack against Marcion. Yet Irenaeus also claims that Justin opposed Marcion. Clearly if Justin wrote against Marcion he had to have known something about the Pauline Epistles, right?

But there is more. If Justin wrote an anti-Marcionite treatise - and I am not sure that this is a 'fact' yet - he must have known something about Paul and moreover his epistles. One argument might be that because there is no explicit citation of Paul in the writings of Justin therefore he also opposed Paul. But there are echoes of Pauline thought in the writings of Justin too, so this conclusion seems rather dubious.

If Justin opposed Marcion, knew about the Pauline epistles, has echoes of the Pauline epistles in his writings but never explicitly cites from the Pauline epistles one could also argue that they were unmentioned because they were sacred/secret. Perhaps the reference from the martyrs from Scillae in North Africa, from the year 180 where this group confessed to have in their possession “certain books of Paul, a just man" is relevant here. Perhaps the books were viewed with suspicion.

A similar situation is found with Clement of Rome. Andrew Criddle has pointed to explicit citations of Paul (1 Corinthians chapter 1 from memory). My opinion is that all the early Fathers have been reworked so this could have been added later. But at a deeper level there are so many echoes of Paul in these texts where the author alludes to Pauline ideas without making reference to Paul directly. It is rather odd.

We might want to consider the idea that the Pauline writings were so sacred that they weren't explicitly cited in the 'black hole' period of early Christianity (70 - 140 CE). This may account for Justin's silence. In other words, people made allusion to Pauline ideas without 'citing' the letters themselves because there was some sort of ritual silence surrounding his person.
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Re: Did Justin Martyr use Pauline epistles?

Post by stephan happy huller » Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:50 am

A parallel scenario. Tertullian references a parallel formula at the beginning of Book Four of Against Marcion.

The Marcionites use a gospel that was 'according to Paul' but does not reference any human author on its 'title page.' It was just 'the gospel of Jesus' or 'the gospel of Christ' or 'the gospel of Lord' (your pick).

The Marcionites could have surely written out a human author if they had wanted. But they don't or didn't. Why? Well, one might speculate that the gospel was understood to have been written by God through inspiration. That's one possibility. But it seems to go hand in hand with the idea of the deliberate obscurity surrounding the person of Paul.

The Catholics come out with the Acts of the Apostles were the identity of Paul is spelled out in the most explicit terms. The Marcionites protest. This is spurious. This is forgery. This has nothing to do with the true apostle. But there is no counter 'history.' Surely it wouldn't have been hard to put together. It might have helped them in the war against the Church. But the Marcionites stay mum. Why? Again it all seems to play into the narrative that his idea deliberately kept secret.

The alternative I suppose is that the Church won't let us here what the Marcionites said about Paul. That may be true to some degree but there is no mistaking that during the course of the debate about the gospel, we have - at the earliest period - two communities with very similar gospels, each without a subscription of an 'author' (i.e. 'according to .......' doesn't appear in the header) accusing one another of subtraction and addition but the topic of who the author was seems either off limits or strangely was kept out of the debate at least initially.

Again we know from subsequent sources that the Marcionites held that the author was Paul and Justin says nothing about this either. But it all comes out of a very strange historical context. A debate about the 'true gospel' within the context of a secret canon of some sort.
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Re: Did Justin Martyr use Pauline epistles?

Post by bcedaifu » Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:02 pm

ficino wrote: I often see people on internet forums say that Justin Martyr does not use the Pauline corpus.

Link?
One of my favorite authors, a former member of BC&H, who has been expelled from this forum by kirby and spin, has often noted in his postings at Rational Skepticism, where he posts using the nom de plume “dejuror”, that Paul's texts are not mentioned either by name, or by content, in the writings of Justin.
http://www.rationalskepticism.org/chris ... 42221.html

I have not kept pace with the writings of another excellent scholar, “Sheshbazzar”, over at the original BC&H forum, but I believe he was in agreement with dejuror on that point (though not on some other positions of dejuror). You would need to ask him that, for confirmation. Sheshbazzar is, in my opinion, the best informed author on the subject of the birth of Christianity. I wonder, daily, why he did not join this forum.....

I have read, in translation, two of Justin Martyr's works, and found that while Justin does reference what he calls “memoirs of the apostles”, mainly Matthew as far as I can deduce, most of what Justin cites, is from LXX, not the new testament.

On the other hand, it is worth noting, that Paul (1Corinthians) has copied Mark's version of the last supper, therefore, if there were some particular subject, described by Justin Martyr, attributed to Paul, one would be obliged, in my opinion, to ensure that it had not been first introduced by Mark.
Stephan huller wrote: As you can imagine, I have stupid opinions on just about everything related to earliest Christianity.
???
Stephan huller wrote: Yet Irenaeus also claims that Justin opposed Marcion.

You may be absolutely correct here. However, on this forum, one must document opinions. Omitting a link to the evidence does not support a claim of “stupidity”, but rather, one of laziness. We all know you are not stupid.
Stephan huller wrote: But there are echoes of Pauline thought in the writings of Justin too
Please provide one example of an “echo of Pauline thought in the writings of Justin” by furnishing a link to the Greek versions of both authors, demonstrating your hypothesis of a connection/dependency of one author upon the other. I deny your assertion, having read both authors. Further, I deny that it would be facile to argue that similar text could demonstrate sequentiality, since both authors rely primarily on LXX.
Stephan huller wrote: My opinion is that all the early Fathers have been reworked so this could have been added later.
????

When I think of the ten million and one times that you have quoted Irenaeus, as though he had written the gospel truth, I find it difficult to encounter such a sentence.
Stephan huller wrote: But at a deeper level there are so many echoes of Paul in these texts where the author alludes to Pauline ideas without making reference to Paul directly.
I am a shallow minded person, so, forgive me for writing this: why could not those “echoes of Paul” represent ideas from whomever “Paul” had been copying? Look, for example, at Mark 14:24, and compare it to 1Corinthians 11:25 both of them in Codex Sinaiticus. Are you quite certain, reading those two passages, in the original Greek, that Mark copied Paul? To persuade us that Justin Martyr employed the epistles of Paul, you need to give us a bit of text from both authors, illustrating the dependency. “echoes”, “allusions”, “ritual silence”, sounds to me, like the proverbial iceberg for sale in the Everglades.

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Re: Did Justin Martyr use Pauline epistles?

Post by ficino » Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:18 pm

Thank you for the responses so far. I appreciate your suggestions, Stephan. Right now I don't know how to evaluate them because I know nothing about Marcion - except what I've read on here!

@both: as to echoes of Paul in Justin, Werline (p. 80) in the article I cited in the OP says that Justin probably has Galatians 3 before him as he composes Dialogue 95-96. He says that Oskar Skarsune's analysis (The Proof from Prophecy... 1987, 92-8) indicates that Romans is one of Justin's preferred sources for Jewish scriptural quotations and that he sometimes quotes a passage as it appears in Paul rather than as it appears in the LXX. I have not seen Skarsune. I aim to move on to compare Dialogue 95-96 w/ Galatians 3, but I give Werline's argument now in case anyone online is already up on those passages.

-------------

edited to add: it looks as though Werline may be right about Dialogue 95-96 and Gal. 3, since there is a progression from "cursed is everyone who does not abide in all the things written in the book of the law, to do them" (Gal. 3: 10 / Dt. 27:26/ Dialogue 95) to "cursed is everyone hung from a tree" (Gal. 3: 14 / Dt. 21:23 / Dialogue 96).

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Re: Did Justin Martyr use Pauline epistles?

Post by TedM » Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:40 pm

ficino wrote:I often see people on internet forums say that Justin Martyr does not use the Pauline corpus. From this they argue that the epistles attributed to Paul were not extant in the first century CE.

On the other hand, some argue that Justin makes use of Pauline epistles but does not cite Paul by name for various reasons. For example, in the Dialogue with Trypho, Justin wants to appeal to scriptures that he and Trypho hold in common and not muddy the waters. This has been maintained, for example, by Rodney Werline, "The Transformation of Pauline Arguments in Justin Martyr's 'Dialogue with Trypho'," The Harvard Theological Review, Vol. 92, No. 1 (Jan., 1999), pp. 79-93. Werline references Oskar Skarsaune and others for this view (79 n. 2).

Does anyone have an opinion on whether Justin used parts of the Pauline corpus in his writing, and/or on the dates of at least the epistles most commonly attributed to Paul by mainstream scholars?
I don't know enough about Justin's writings to have an opinion of any value, but something does occur to me that might be worth exploring: It seems to me that IF Paul existed and wrote epistles, one reason Justin may have not mentioned them is if Paul's identity/place within Justin's branch of Christianity may have been somewhat unclear--perhaps Marcionism was claiming Paul was their 'father' in the faith, and Jewish Christians had a negative overall attitude toward Paul. Such confusion could have resulted in a decision to not advocate someone whose ultimate position/authority in the faith was not yet settled..

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Re: Did Justin Martyr use Pauline epistles?

Post by bcedaifu » Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:08 am

ficino wrote:edited to add: it looks as though Werline may be right about Dialogue 95-96 and Gal. 3, since there is a progression from "cursed is everyone who does not abide in all the things written in the book of the law, to do them" (Gal. 3: 10 / Dt. 27:26/ Dialogue 95) to "cursed is everyone hung from a tree" (Gal. 3: 14 / Dt. 21:23 / Dialogue 96).
What an excellent topic for this forum. Thank you ficino. Well done. Your question is truly invigorating, and not obvious, at least not to me.

codex sinaiticus galatians 3:10
οϲοι γαρ εξ εργων νομου ειϲιν ϋπο καταραν ειϲιν γε γραπται γαρ οτι επι καταρατοϲ παϲ οϲ ουκ εμμενει παϲιν τοιϲ γεγραμμενοιϲ εν τω βιβλιω του νομου του ποιηϲαι αυτα

10 For as many as are of works of law, are under a curse; for it is written: Cursed is every one that abides not in all things that are written in the book of the law, to do them.

LXX Deuteronomy 27:26
Ἐπικατάρατος πας άνθρωπος όστις ουκ εμμενεί εν πάσι τοις λόγοις του νόμου τούτου ποιήσαι αυτούς
Accursed is every man whoever shall not continue in all the words --- of this law to do them
Accused is everyman whoever shall not adhere to all the words of this law to do them and shall say all the people may it be. all is strongs 3956—pasin

Deuteronomy 27:26 Hebrew translated to English
the people all and shall say them by doing of this torah [all] the words confirms not [are] he who Cursed Amen
World English version of Hebrew text:
Cursed be he who doesn`t confirm the words of this law to do them. All the people shall say, Amen.
Nota bene absence of all

Dialogue 95 of Justin Martyr's Dialogue with trypho:

Roberts and Donaldson:
"For the whole human race will be found to be under a curse. For it is written in the law of Moses, `Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them.'

1. Deuteronomy 27:26 does not employ the word “all”. The LXX inserted that word. Both Paul and Justin Martyr cite the LXX, not the Hebrew text.
2. Justin Martyr clearly does not copy Paul, as shown by looking at the respective two texts: Paul asserts authority of Abraham, while Justin Martyr (mistakenly, in my opinion) cites the authority of Moses, for these twelve rules. Paul, revising Justin Martyr, correctly points to Abraham, not Moses, as the parent of the 12 Hebrew tribes, corresponding to the 12 “torahs” in these dozen passages in Deuteronomy, of which 27:26 elaborates number 12.
John 8:58
πρὶν Ἀβραὰμ γενέσθαι, ἐγώ εἰμι
Paul, not Justin Martyr, is in tune with John!!!
Yet another nail in the coffin of those claiming, wrongly, in my opinion, that Paul preceded the Gospels.

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Re: Did Justin Martyr use Pauline epistles?

Post by ficino » Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:50 am

Yes, aa5734 on the old forum was one of the people who held that Paul's letters are later forgeries. I think I've seen Sheshbazzar make similar arguments.

bcedaifu, thanks for pointing out how the LXX inserts "all." That word is not in the modern Vulgate either.

I only have access to Goodspeed's Greek text of Justin's Dialogue, accessed via the TLG. There, the "all" is absent! The text at 95.1 reads as follows:
Ἐπικατάρατος γὰρ εἴρηται πᾶς ὃς οὐκ ἐμμένει ἐν τοῖς γεγραμμένοις ἐν τῷ βιβλίῳ τοῦ νόμου τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτά.
In other words, where Paul has πᾱσιν, Justin has ἐν. The LXX in Rahlfs' ed. has both words, as you show above. The rest of Justin, though, adheres more to Paul than to the LXX.

I don't follow your point 2. above, though. The twelve curses are enumerated in Deut. 27, so obviously there they are on the authority of Moses. Justin does go into the "Abraham was already righteous before circumcision" argument back in 92, which had appeared in Galatians back at 3:6-9. So on that point, too, it looks as though Justin may be following along in Galatians and expanding quite a lot. Paul, though, does not state any authority for the curse verses; he just introduces them (in modified form from the LXX) as γέγραπται. And from the references to Abraham in Galatians and in John, it doesn't follow that Galatians is later than John. So I don't see the basis for taking Galatians to be a revision of what Justin wrote.

Paul's audience is purportedly gentiles who are being pressured by judaizers, no? Justin's interlocutor is a Jew. The dialogical situation in Justin calls for emphasis on Moses, but Abraham figures largely, too. A conclusion that Paul substitutes Abraham as an authority in the place of Justin's Moses seems to me to lack support.

I haven't gone to check Justin's adherence to Paul over the LXX in Romans, which Werline says Skarsune has demonstrated.

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Re: Did Justin Martyr use Pauline epistles?

Post by bcedaifu » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:06 am

Hi ficino,

I am honestly at a loss to explain why half a dozen prominent members of this forum have thus far failed to jump in, on this most interesting topic!!!
ficino wrote:The rest of Justin, though, adheres more to Paul than to the LXX.
I do not seek an argument, here, I simply don't know which text of Justin you find adherent more to Paul than to LXX. In my view, both authors adhere to LXX, not to the Hebrew version of Deuteronomy 27:26. I don't see a difference. Please teach me how Justin and Paul differ with respect to LXX.
ficino wrote:I only have access to Goodspeed's Greek text of Justin's Dialogue, accessed via the TLG. There, the "all" is absent! The text at 95.1 reads as follows:
Ἐπικατάρατος γὰρ εἴρηται πᾶς ὃς οὐκ ἐμμένει ἐν τοῖς γεγραμμένοις ἐν τῷ βιβλίῳ τοῦ νόμου τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτά.
In other words, where Paul has πᾱσιν, Justin has ἐν.
and, that may be the answer to my question above.

I was insufficiently observant of the text of Justin's Dialogue chapter 95, so I did not recall noticing παϲιν, in the remarkably illegible (French) publication of the Greek text which I consulted. I skipped it, and went straight to the English version by Donaldson. This was undoubtedly a mistake on my part.

ficino wrote:I don't follow your point 2. above, though.
If you will consult the text from both Paul and Justin Martyr, just before the sentence drawn from Deuteronomy 27:26 in LXX, you will find two different sources as authorities for the 12 "torah", i.e. laws, one for each of the 12 tribes or 12 members of the zodiac, take your pick. Justin cites Moses. Paul cites Abraham. Abraham is correct in my view, because it was from his grandson, Isaac, that the 12 tribes originated, in accord with the "covenant", or pledge, made by God to Abraham, not a pledge made to Moses.

Crucial to this argument, it seems to me, is the evidence from John, quoted above, which explicitly confirms Abraham, not Moses, as the guy before whom, Jesus existed. Obviously, Jesus would have also existed before Moses. The point of John's statement is to emphasize just how very ancient Jesus is, i.e. much older than Moses, older even than Abraham.

I conclude from that disparity between the respective texts of both Paul and Justin Martyr, that Justin's "Dialogue with Trypho", existed before Paul's scribbles, and that Paul changed Justin Martyr's text to conform to John's Gospel, sometime after mid second century when Justin had written Dialogue with Trypho.
The twelve curses are enumerated in Deut. 27
In my opinion, these are not "curses", but rather, "torah", laws, to be obeyed, with penalty defined in the event of violation.
ficino wrote: So I don't see the basis for taking Galatians to be a revision of what Justin wrote.
That's because I did a piss poor job of explaining myself.
Look, please at the verse, just preceding Galatians 3:10--
Galatians 3:9 wrote: ὥστε οἱ ἐκ πίστεως εὐλογοῦνται σὺν τῷ πιστῷ Ἀβραάμ.
Paul, but not Justin, cites as authority, Abraham, not Moses.

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Re: Did Justin Martyr use Pauline epistles?

Post by ficino » Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:45 am

Hello bcedaifu,

Here are the passages as printed in the TLG. At Deut. 27:26, Justin and Paul agree against the LXX in numerous details. Their only disagreements in these quotations are: 1. what I noted above, i.e. the LXX has ἐν πᾶσιν, while Paul has πᾶσιν alone and Justin has ἐν alone; 2. Justin inserts the explanatory γὰρ εἴρηται.

LXX Deut. 27:26 Ἐπικατάρατος πᾶς ἄνθρωπος, ὃς οὐκ ἐμμενεῖ ἐν πᾶσιν τοῖς
λόγοις τοῦ νόμου τούτου τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτούς·

Gal. 3:9-10 Ἐπικατάρατος πᾶς ὃς οὐκ ἐμμένει
πᾶσιν τοῖς γεγραμμένοις ἐν τῷ βιβλίῳ τοῦ νόμου τοῦ
ποιῆσαι αὐτά.

Justin DT 95.1 ... Ἐπικατάρατος γὰρ εἴ-
ρηται πᾶς ὃς οὐκ ἐμμένει ἐν τοῖς γεγραμμένοις ἐν τῷ βιβλίῳ
τοῦ νόμου τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτά.


At Deut. 21:23, Paul and Justin agree against the LXX:

LXX Deut. 21:23 ... κεκατηραμένος ὑπὸ θεοῦ πᾶς κρεμάμενος ἐπὶ ξύλου

Gal. 3:13-14 Ἐπικατάρατος πᾶς ὁ κρεμάμενος ἐπὶ ξύλου

Justin, DT 96.1 Ἐπικατάρατος πᾶς ὁ κρεμάμενος ἐπὶ ξύλου

There's no point in my comparing with the Hebrew because I've forgotten most of what I learned in but two years of Hebrew in college (sigh).

I agree that Paul contrasts the faith-based promise to, and blessing of, Abraham, and after him, the nations, to the curse that comes from failure to obey "all" the things written in the book of the law. I don't see Paul citing Abraham as an authority for the content of the verses from Deuteronomy, though. As you say, Gal. 3:9 says that those who are of faith are blessed/praised along with faithful Abraham. Then Paul begins an argument to explain this, starting with a contrast to those who are of the law of works. They are under a curse: for it has been written that ... etc. After the quotation, Paul continues, "And that no one is justified before God in [lit.] the law is clear..." Eventually in v. 14 he reverts to the blessing, eulogia, of Abraham going to the nations in Christ. There's nothing in the text to base Deut. 27:26 on Abraham's authority; it's simply quoted as something in the Law. Gal. 3:9 doesn't cite Abraham as an authority but as the recipient of the promise that the Galatians now are to receive as well, if they imitate him as exemplar of the faithful believer. The authority is scripture, which Paul quotes/modifies.

So it still looks to me as though Justin and Paul are in substantial agreement on content and that one seems to be following the order of thought and the very Greek text --against the LXX-- also found in the other. For various reasons, it seems more likely to me that Justin works off Paul than the reverse.

Anyway, I had started out thinking that Justin showed no knowledge of Paul and that this fact argued against an early date of the Pauline corpus, or of some of it. Now I don't think such an argument can stand. I'm ready to be shown wrong, though.

Stephan, I'm sorry that I don't have the background to do justice to what you posted.

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