The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

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Secret Alias
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Re: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Mar 08, 2020 12:19 pm

Question: What leads you to make this "guess"?
Answer: Your wanting certain outcomes to be true. That's not the way scholarship SHOULD work.

I get that you have the right to believe that (a) there was a Hebrew gospel and that (b) the Hebrew gospel was the original gospel and that (c) all the other gospels came into being because of the Hebrew gospel. But that's what Irenaeus says. That's not what Papias says.
“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: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Mar 09, 2020 6:40 am

So once we stop rigging the game between Papias and Irenaeus to make it seem that (a) Papias is taking about the gospel of Matthew when he is talking about the 'oracles of the Lord' and (b) ignoring the fact that Irenaeus's system assumes Matthean primacy where Papias's does not we are left with a few other references to the 'oracles' of the Lord in Irenaeus which should also be reconsidered.
1. the introduction to Against Heresies: inasmuch as certain men have set the truth aside, and bring in lying words and vain genealogies, which, as the apostle says, "minister questions rather than godly edifying which is in faith," and by means of their craftily-constructed plausibilities draw away the minds of the inexperienced and take them captive, [I have felt constrained, my dear friend, to compose the following treatise in order to expose and counteract their machinations.] These men falsify the oracles of God, and prove themselves evil interpreters of the good word of revelation.

2. By transferring passages, and dressing them up anew, and making one thing out of another, they succeed in deluding many through their wicked art in adapting the oracles of the Lord to their opinions. Their manner of acting is just as if one, when a beautiful image of a king has been constructed by some skilful artist out of precious jewels, should then take this likeness of the man all to pieces, should rearrange the gems, and so fit them together as to make them into the form of a dog or of a fox, and even that but poorly executed; and should then maintain and declare that this was the beautiful image of the king which the skilful artist constructed, pointing to the jewels which had been admirably fitted together by the first artist to form the image of the king, but have been with bad effect transferred by the latter one to the shape of a dog, and by thus exhibiting the jewels, should deceive the ignorant who had no conception what a king's form was like, and persuade them that that miserable likeness of the fox was, in fact, the beautiful image of the king. In like manner do these persons patch together old wives' fables, and then endeavour, by violently drawing away from their proper connection, words, expressions, and parables whenever found, to adapt the oracles of God to their baseless fictions.

3. If, then, Mark, or any one else, does command,--as these are accustomed continually at their feasts to play at drawing lots, and to command one another to prophesy, giving forth as oracles what is in harmony with their own desires,--it will follow that he who commands is greater and of higher authority than the prophetic spirit, though he is but a man, which is impossible. But such spirits as are commanded by these men, and speak when they desire it, are earthly and weak, audacious and impudent, sent forth by Satan for the seduction and perdition of those who do not hold fast that well- compacted faith which they received at first through the Church.
I think when taken together we have to consider the possibility that there is an underlying consistency here which may suggest that Mark the gnostic's development of false oracles of the Lord in AH 1.13.4 may have more to do with Papias than previously acknowledged. Of course up until now the introduction (1) and the reference to gnostics rearranging passages in the wrong order (2) have been taken to be references to Valentinians. After all a large portion of the book deals with Valentinians and the segue in the introduction:
I intend, then, to the best of my ability, with brevity and clearness to set forth the opinions of those who are now promulgating heresy. I refer especially to the disciples of Ptolemaeus, whose school may be described as a bud from that of Valentinus. I shall also endeavour, according to my moderate ability, to furnish the means of overthrowing them, by showing how absurd and inconsistent with the truth are their statements.
Nevertheless it has to be considered that (a) Papias makes specific reference to Mark the disciple of Peter having passages 'in the wrong order' (which seems to echo the charge in 2) and moreover the explicit reference to the name 'Mark' as associated with those who developing false oracles of the Lord which suit their own needs, wants and desired. It should also be noted that Secret Mark was not discovered until 1958 so the traditional reading of the material in Irenaeus does not take into account that the evangelist Mark was identified as a gnostic by Alexandrians. It is also worth noting that a large section of material against 'gnostic Mark' in Irenaeus 1.13 - 20 finds explicit and verbatim confirmation as 'true doctrine' in Clement (cf. Stromata 6). Also the Philosophumena's retelling of the material regarding 'gnostic Mark' makes mention that his followers were necessarily part of the 'great Church' who read Irenaeus's account of their Mark and 'denied' (they 'always' deny') the reporting an echo of Clement's advice to his fellows to deny that the 'secret' gnostic gospel of Mark was by Mark.

The idea that Against Marcion was primarily written against Mark - i.e. the Mark originally referenced by Papias - is an intriguing possibility which has to be considered given that even the gospel of Mark was heretical - even gnostic - followers in Book Three.
“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: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by John2 » Mon Mar 09, 2020 10:31 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 12:19 pm
Question: What leads you to make this "guess"?
Answer: Your wanting certain outcomes to be true. That's not the way scholarship SHOULD work.

I get that you have the right to believe that (a) there was a Hebrew gospel and that (b) the Hebrew gospel was the original gospel and that (c) all the other gospels came into being because of the Hebrew gospel. But that's what Irenaeus says. That's not what Papias says.

There's no "wanting" here (or anywhere in this field) on my part. There is only "seeing" and what I make of it. I couldn't care less how the chips may fall. And in this case the idea that Papias is referring to a Hebrew Matthew makes the most sense to me, for all the reasons I have given here and elsewhere.

And I don't think that "all the other gospels came into being because of the Hebrew gospel." Not even Papias says this. I think Mark (as per Papias and others after him) was written by a follower of Peter and reflects Peter's teaching style and was thus independent of the Hebrew Matthew. And I don't see John as being influenced by or aware of the Hebrew Matthew.

Luke and the NT Matthew are another matter though. I think Edwards is on to something with respect to the material in "Special Luke" being dependent on a translation of the Hebrew Matthew, and while he is inconclusive on the question of whether or not the "double tradition" material shared by Luke and the NT Matthew was derived from a translation of the Hebrew Matthew, it seems plausible to me. So to that extent (Special Luke and the double tradition), I think Luke and the NT Matthew could have been derived from a translation(s) of the Hebrew Matthew. But both of them also use Mark, so they could just as equally (if not more so) be said to be derived from Mark.

As far as your line of thinking goes, I think it all boils down to what Irenaeus means by the "departure" of Peter and Paul in AH 3.1.1 regarding the composition of Mark. If it means to leave a place (as it normally does and which would be in keeping with 1 Clem. 5:6, EH 2.22.2, the Muratorian Canon and possibly Acts 28:30, according to Parry), then what Irenaeus says about the composition of Mark is in keeping with what Clement says (i.e., that Peter was alive), which in turn, according to Eusebius, was in keeping with what Papias said ("Clement in the eighth book of his Hypotyposes gives this account, and with him agrees the bishop of Hierapolis named Papias").

To me it makes more sense to think that Papias, Irenaeus and Clement are in agreement because the latter two got their information from Papias and reflect it truthfully than to think that Irenaeus is out of sync with Papias and Clement for the sake of supporting the idea that the first gospel was a harmony.
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Re: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Mar 09, 2020 11:52 am

I couldn't care less how the chips may fall.
Really? You are the Giuseppe of Jewish Christianity. You certainly 'care' about the existence of 'Jewish Christianity.' You are even dishonest in this.
“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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Re: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Mar 09, 2020 12:34 pm

And I don't think that "all the other gospels came into being because of the Hebrew gospel." Not even Papias says this.
The sentence in question is:
Matthew put together the oracles [of the Lord] in the Hebrew language, and each one interpreted them as best he could.
Whatever we decide Matthew wrote in Hebrew, it clearly implies a seminal influence of this text over everyone and everything else - except Mark which seems to have been written earlier, where Matthew was a response to what Mark wrote. Clearly Ehrman hits the nail on the head when he writes:
what he [Papias] actually says about Matthew and Mark are not true of our Matthew and Mark, and so either he is talking about *other* Gospels that he knows about (or has heard about) called Matthew and Mark, that do not correspond to our Matthew and Mark, or he simply is wrong.
“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: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Mar 09, 2020 12:43 pm

To this end I am intrigued by the possibility that if Papias's Mark is not our canonical gospel of Mark (for obvious reasons) why it isn't possible that Papias was referencing the 'secret' gospel of Mark, the gnostic gospel of Mark and that Irenaeus knows this and his reference to 'men who':
falsify the oracles of God, and prove themselves evil interpreters of the good word of revelation
through their wicked art in adapting the oracles of the Lord to their opinions
endeavour, by violently drawing away from their proper connection, words, expressions, and parables whenever found, to adapt the oracles of God to their baseless fiction
Mark, or any one else, [who] does command .. and to command one another to prophesy, giving forth as oracles what is in harmony with their own desire
Is the last reference to 'oracles' out of step with the previous 3? Could Mark have written a gospel which falsified the oracles of God, 'adapted' the oracles according to his heretical opinions by removing words, expressions and parables from the connection [Irenaeus] presumed they had in the Matthew-anchored gospel of four?

At first glance certainly 'oracles' are the proper domain of 'prophets.' To this end the last reference to Mark 'commanding' prophesy to give forth false oracles of God is a natural extension and contextualization of the 'oracles' that Papias mentions too. In fact when I look at what Clement says in the Letter to Theodore it makes even more sense:
As for Mark, then, during Peter's stay in Rome he wrote an account of the Lord's doings, not, however, declaring all of them, nor yet hinting at the secret ones, but selecting what he thought most useful for increasing the faith of those who were being instructed. But when Peter died a martyr, Mark came over to Alexandria, bringing both his own notes and those of Peter, from which he transferred to his former book the things suitable to whatever makes for progress toward knowledge. Thus he composed a more spiritual Gospel for the use of those who were being perfected. Nevertheless, he yet did not divulge the things not to be uttered, nor did he write down the hierophantic teaching of the Lord, but to the stories already written he added yet others and, moreover, brought in certain sayings of which he knew the interpretation would, as a mystagogue, lead the hearers into the innermost sanctuary of that truth hidden by seven veils. Thus, in sum, he prepared matters, neither grudgingly nor incautiously, in my opinion, and, dying, he left his composition to the church in Alexandria where it even yet is most carefully guarded, being read only to those who are being initiated into the great mysteries.
The first question obviously is whether a 'mystagogue' is compatible with prophethood or being a prophet? Max Weber, considered to be one of the founders of the modern study of sociology, described the mystagogue as part magician and part prophet, and as one who dispensed "magical actions that contain the boons of salvation." Philo, who clearly had an immense influence over Clement describes both Moses and Jeremiah as prophet and mystagogue. Philo understands prophets to issue oracles - “I heard one of the companions of Moses declare this oracle."
“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: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:28 pm

What I am thinking about is the following TWO bits of data:
A1. Papias's notion that the gospel of Matthew corrects the order of the gospel of Mark does not reflect the relationship between our canonical Matthew and Mark. As such it must be either (a) another Matthew and our Mark (b) another Mark and our Matthew or (c) another Mark and another Matthew that Papias is referencing
A2. Secret Mark is another Mark attested in antiquity by Clement of Alexandria
and
B1. Irenaeus uses Papias's criticism of Mark's gospel and on the one hand (a) creates a world where Mark and Matthew don't contradict one another in terms of order and (b) makes reference to heretics who do the things Papias's criticize the evangelist Mark for doing and in particular a heretic named Mark.
B2. Secret Mark is understood to have been composed by the evangelist Mark in a manner which is reflective of Irenaeus's criticism of heretics and one in particular named Mark.
Is it too much to suggest that:
A3. The reason why Papias says Mark mishandled the logia of the Lord is because Papias knew Secret Mark as Mark's gospel
and
B3. That when Irenaeus created a gospel harmony from Matthew to counter Papias's statements about Mark he (a) knew about Secret Mark and (b) constructed canonical Mark as a neutered faux-proto text to bypass Papias's original objections.
Consider the parallels. In Clement's To Theodore Mark the evangelist is described as " But when Peter died a martyr, Mark came over to Alexandria, bringing both his own notes and those of Peter, from which he transferred to his former book the things suitable to whatever makes for progress toward knowledge." Irenaeus speaks of the heretical gospel writing in the following terms - "through their wicked art in adapting the oracles of the Lord to their opinions" and a Mark in particular who is involved with "prophesy, giving forth as oracles what is in harmony with their own desires" and "they adduce an unspeakable number of apocryphal and spurious writings, which they themselves have forged, to bewilder the minds of foolish men, and of such as are ignorant of the Scriptures of truth." The question for me is to what degree did 'prophesy' lead to the creation of 'false oracles of the Lord' which made their way into the 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: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:49 pm

At least part of the relationship between 'prophesy' and 'divine writings' might be clarified by a consultation with Philo was a tremendous influence on Clement:
In Vit. Mos. 2.264-65, Philo pinpoints precisely how Moses exercised his prophetic function by predicting the sabbath:
Moses, when he heard of this [the manna] and also actually saw it, was awestruck and, guided by what was not so much surmise as God-sent inspiration, made announcement of the sabbath. I need hardly say that conjectures of this kind are closely akin to prophecies. For the mind could not have made so straight an aim if there was not also the divine spirit guiding it to the truth itself
This narrative explanation is part of a lengthy apologetic analysis of the various roles in which Moses functioned. Philo dedicates the first three-quarters of his De vita Mosis to demonstrating that "Moses was the best of kings, of lawgivers and of high priests . . ." (H/. Mos. 2.187). In Vit. Mos. 2.188, he directs his efforts to demonstrating that Moses was also "a prophet of the highest quality." To accomplish this, Philo distinguishes three types of oracles in the production of which Moses the prophet participates.

Three Sorts of Inspired Oracles

The first two sorts of Moses' oracles Philo presents with exceptional clarity. The first group of oracles are given by God through Moses as an interpreter. These comprise the laws which expand the Deca­logue. The second sort of oracles Moses receives through question and answer with God: "the prophet asks questions of God about matters on which he has been seeking knowledge, and God replies and instructs him" {Vit. Mos. 2.190). Of a very different character is the third sort of oracles, which "are spoken by Moses in his own person, when possessed by God and carried away out of himself"'' This description of Moses contains two not wholly compatible parts. One is Moses' speaking in his own person, and the other is Moses' being carried out of himself by inspired possession. What exactly these parts mean is explained in the following two descriptions of Moses as prophet par excellence.

On the one hand, explains Philo, Moses received God's own knowl­edge: "God has given to him of his own power of foreknowledge and by this he will reveal future events" (2.190). What Philo means by this statement can be comprehended by Philo's earlier contention that Moses spoke "in his own person." When Philo introduced the first sort of oracles, he employed the words, "in His own person" to describe God's condition while delivering the Decalogue. In the same sentence, while introducing the third sort of oracles, Philo reproduces these exact words to describe Moses' condition while he delivered other oracles to Israel: "Of the divine utterances, some are spoken by God in His own Person . . . and others are spoken by Moses in his own person. . . ."^ This parallel between God and Moses suggests that Moses, like God, possessed the capacity to produce oracles out of his own self With respect to God, Philo need not explain how this is possible. With respect to Moses, Philo explains laconically that Moses could speak out of himself because "God has given to him of his own power of foreknowledge."'° How very different Moses is from Balaam and the race of prophets, whose minds are temporarily sup­planted by the spirit in order to utter oracles; in direct contrast, Moses spoke out of himself because he possessed the power of God's own foreknowledge.

On the other hand—and here Philo's abihty to confiise becomes consummate—these oracles, spoken out of Moses himself, are the sort "in which the speaker appears under that divine possession in virtue of which he is chiefly and in the strict sense considered a prophet."" This statement concurs with what Philo eariier said immediately after contending that Moses spoke out of himself: "others are spoken by Moses [in his own person], when possessed by God and carried away out of himself" This is the language of ecstasy of the most extra­-ordinary sort. Moses, who was of course always a prophet, or better the prophet, experienced a form of possession that is akin to the experience of the entire race of prophets, as Philo understands their experience.
The key here obviously would be that Clement or his community inherited this notion of Moses as prophet and adapted it to Mark's composition of Secret Mark which was in turn known to Irenaeus and the description of 'gnostic Mark' in AH 1.13 - 21 is a further development (albeit entirely negative) of that understanding.
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Re: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by John2 » Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:01 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 11:52 am
I couldn't care less how the chips may fall.
Really? You are the Giuseppe of Jewish Christianity. You certainly 'care' about the existence of 'Jewish Christianity.' You are even dishonest in this.

That's how the chips appear to fall to me. If they appeared to fall some other way then I would argue for that.
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Re: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by Secret Alias » Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:39 am

But WHY do they appear that way to you? You never seem to ask that question.

Papias presents a threefold development of literary material associated with 'the gospel'
(1) oracles of the Lord
(2) Mark's arrangement of the oracles of the Lord
(3) Matthew's subsequent correction of Mark's arrangement which was followed by everyone.
Irenaeus by contrast:
a. makes (1) and (3) indistinguishable
b. ignores step (2) and implicitly makes Mark one of the gospels which followed Matthew (implicitly)
c. contradicts the original (1) then (2) then (3) chronology of Papias to claim that Mark wrote after Matthew
d. seems to add the bit about Matthew being written in Hebrew when Matthew was clearly written in Greek and made up of Greek source material

but furthermore (and most telling):

e. by positing (a) - viz. that 'the oracles' and Matthew are one and the same - Irenaeus goes on to say that the heretics rearranging 'the oracles of the Lord'/Matthew he is using Papias to make the case for his fourfold gospel DIRECTLY - i.e. any gospel which contradicts Matthew's order is heretical.
This is fucking crazy and it's even crazier given all the other inconsistencies, lies, deception which appear in Irenaeus on other subjects that you can't see that Irenaeus contradicts Papias and misrepresented what he says.

But clearly - as I am attempting to show - the introduction of a gnostic named 'Mark' he seems to be attempting to get around Papias's statement that Mark contradicts the order of Matthew by laying the blame of the existence of a gnostic gospel of Mark on 'another Mark.'
Last edited by Secret Alias on Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
“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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