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Marcion and Acts (for Andrew Criddle).

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 2:31 pm
by Ben C. Smith
Subject: How late might the gospels be?
andrewcriddle wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:20 am
The idea that Acts is post-Marcion raises problems in terms of the knowledge shown of 1st century Mediterranean life. The implications of this knowledge have probably been exaggerated by conservatives, but do IMO make a post-Trajan date for Acts unlikely.
I am interested in the data implied by this statement. What knowledge does Acts show of Mediterranean life from century I which makes a date after Trajan unlikely? Also, I myself do not assume that Acts is a seamless garment, as it were; it is composed from probably as many sources as (at least) the later gospels are. So is it possible that such knowledge of the state of affairs from century I could be embedded in the source materials, or are there indications that they must belong to the latest layer(s) of redaction?

Re: Marcion and Acts (for Andrew Criddle).

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 10:17 am
by andrewcriddle
There are several specific bits of information like knowing that Gallio had served as proconsul of Achaia and approximately when.

There is also an awareness of social and legal issues in the 1st century which had changed in the 2nd century.

In Acts Roman citizenship outside Italy is rare, is a yes no issue (you either are one or not) and gives protection against being whipped by the authorities. In the time of Hadrian Roman citizenship is more common and we have the beginnings of the division between honestiores (citizens 1st class) and humiliorte.es (citizens 2nd class). Only the top grade of citizenship protected you from harsh treatment by the authorities.

There are more examples of Acts familiarity with the 1st century but I would need to look them up.

Andrew Criddle

Edited to Add

Acts has clearly undergone editing as shown by the differences between the Alexandrian and Western texts. This editing may well be mid 2nd century and might in principle have been influenced by anti-Marcionite concerns. However we are talking here about editing an already existing narrative, not putting together different sources.

Specific verses in Acts might well be Anti-Marcionite. What I reject is the idea that the basic narrative of Acts, in which Paul Peter and the Jerusalem leaders are all very much on the same side, was produced in response to Marcion.

Re: Marcion and Acts (for Andrew Criddle).

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 10:45 am
by Bernard Muller
Specific verses in Acts might well be Anti-Marcionite.
What specific verses in Acts would be Anti-Marcionite?

Cordially, Bernard

Re: Marcion and Acts (for Andrew Criddle).

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 11:21 am
by andrewcriddle
Bernard Muller wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 10:45 am
Specific verses in Acts might well be Anti-Marcionite.
What specific verses in Acts would be Anti-Marcionite?

Cordially, Bernard
I'm not saying any are I'm saying they might be. As a possible example, Paul's speech to the Areopagus in Acts 17 could be argued to be Anti-Marcionite in its present form.

Andrew Criddle

Re: Marcion and Acts (for Andrew Criddle).

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 11:24 am
by Secret Alias
Any passage which shows Paul embracing Judaism COULD be taken to be anti-Marcionite.

Re: Marcion and Acts (for Andrew Criddle).

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 9:12 pm
by Giuseppe
Another evidence of anti-marcionism in Acts:
Paul and Barnabas being taken for two Pagan deities in a Pagan town.

This returns the favour to what Marcion did in the his Gospel:

The Son of an Alien God being taken for the Jewish Christ in Judaea.

Re: Marcion and Acts (for Andrew Criddle).

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 9:13 pm
by Giuseppe
Another evidence:
The serpent dies in the end of Acts.

Against a positive (ie Gnostic) view of the Serpent.

Re: Marcion and Acts (for Andrew Criddle).

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 11:45 pm
by Giuseppe
Also here Paul is taken for a Pagan god by gentiles
6 The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.

Acts 28:6


...just as in Mcn Jesus is taken for the Jewish Messiah by the his followers.

Re: Marcion and Acts (for Andrew Criddle).

Posted: Fri May 10, 2019 7:38 am
by perseusomega9
andrewcriddle wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 10:17 am
There are several specific bits of information like knowing that Gallio had served as proconsul of Achaia and approximately when.
Wasn't that public knowledge, as in there was a very public monument to that effect?
There is also an awareness of social and legal issues in the 1st century which had changed in the 2nd century.

In Acts Roman citizenship outside Italy is rare, is a yes no issue (you either are one or not) and gives protection against being whipped by the authorities. In the time of Hadrian Roman citizenship is more common and we have the beginnings of the division between honestiores (citizens 1st class) and humiliorte.es (citizens 2nd class). Only the top grade of citizenship protected you from harsh treatment by the authorities.
"We have the beginnings", sounds like a period in transition and the inference of the data is not as conclusive as you present

Re: Marcion and Acts (for Andrew Criddle).

Posted: Fri May 10, 2019 10:25 am
by John2
Because it appears to use Josephus' Antiquities and Irenaeus is the first to mention it, I used to date Acts as late as c. 150 CE, well into the time of Marcion (c. 85 to c. 160 CE according to Wikipedia). But now I think Acts could have been written by the imperial secretary Epaphroditus who died during the time Domitian was persecuting Christians c. 95 CE (who I think could also be Josephus' patron and Paul's companion of the same name). Long story short, I now see Acts being written c. 95 CE, which would explain all the first century knowledge and be too early for Marcion.

But at the same time I'm on board with what Andrew mentions above:
Acts has clearly undergone editing as shown by the differences between the Alexandrian and Western texts. This editing may well be mid 2nd century and might in principle have been influenced by anti-Marcionite concerns. However we are talking here about editing an already existing narrative, not putting together different sources.
The way I would incorporate this into the Epaphroditus idea is that maybe Epaphroditus didn't have enough time to finish Acts before he was killed by Domitian, that it was a rough draft of the sources he had assembled (including the "we" passages, which all pertain to places Epaphroditus is known to have been, assuming he was also Paul's companion and Josephus' patron). The imperial secretary lived during the time in question (c. 20 to c. 95 CE), and Josephus' description of him sounds like what Paul says about his companion, plus Josephus calls him, "a lover of all kind of learning, but is principally delighted with the knowledge of history," and it would explain why Acts appears to know and emulate Josephus.

Anyway, I'm thinking that if he wasn't able to finish Acts because of Domitian's persecution, perhaps it had circulated in a rough draft form and had later undergone editing and "might in principle have been influenced by anti-Marcionite concerns," as per Andrew.