Marcion's incipit and Luke 3:3 are saying the same thing about John the Baptist

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Marcion's incipit and Luke 3:3 are saying the same thing about John the Baptist

Post by Giuseppe » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:17 am


In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,
Jesus came down to Capernaum, a city in Galilee

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene— 2 during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness.

If John is already dead, then the two incipits are not so different between them: at contrary, they are saying the same thing.

per Heracleon,

Capernaum, means these farthest-out parts of the world, the material realm into which he descended.

If John was already dead, then he had to be by need in the Sheol. But Sheol = Capernaum.

Hence, according to both Marcion and Luke, Jesus («the word of God» in Luke) descended in the Sheol to meet there the soul of John the Baptist.

But was John dead really, according to Marcion, at least?

It seems that the answer is yes:

When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”
4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

(Matthew 11:2-6)

The «prison» is the euhemerized Sheol where the soul of John was found by Jesus, the first time he met him.

Note the contradiction:

for the John in prison, Jesus may be «the one who is to come», but this deludes the readers of the incipit of the our synoptical gospels, where Jesus is the one who is already came after John.

Hence this episode is misplaced in Matthew. It occurred probably during the first meeting among Jesus and John, in the Sheol.

We can imagine easily the tenor of that meeting from not only the reference to a «scandalized» John, but thanks to Irenaeus, too:

In addition to his blasphemy against God Himself, he advanced this also, truly speaking as with the mouth of the devil, and saying all things in direct opposition to the truth,--that Cain, and those like him, and the Sodomites, and the Egyptians, and others like them, and, in fine, all the nations who walked in all sorts of abomination, were saved by the Lord, on His descending into Hades, and on their running unto Him, and that they welcomed Him into their kingdom. But the serpent(3) which was in Marcion declared that Abel, and Enoch, and Noah, and those other righteous men who sprang(4) from the patriarch Abraham, with all the prophets, and those who were pleasing to God, did not partake in salvation. For since these men, he says, knew that their God was constantly tempting them, so now they suspected that He was tempting them, and did not run to Jesus, or believe His announcement: and for this reason he declared that their souls remained in Hades.


I can conclude that there is evidence that the connection between John and the Wilderness was made against Marcion, to euhemerize the Sheol where John was in the gospel of Marcion.

My case is proved.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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