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

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:12 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:47 pm
Yes. But if this were Morton Smith for example citing a text which no one has ever seen for an EXPLICIT confirmation of a point you want confirmed against an opponent is 'too good to be true' in many respects.
Not sure what you mean exactly, but Jerome's second quotation ("even the prophets, after they were anointed with the holy spirit, were guilty of sinful words") in the citation you gave is backed up by marginal notes at Matthew 18.22 in minuscules 566 and 899: Τὸ Ἰουδαϊκὸν ἑξῆς ἔχει μετὰ τὸ ἑβδομηκοντάκις ἑπτά· «καὶ γὰρ ἐν τοῖς προφήταις μετὰ τὸ χρισθῆναι αὐτοὺς ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ, εὑρίσκεται ἐν αὐτοῖς λόγος ἁμαρτίας». / The Judaic has after the seventy times seven: "for even in the prophets, after their anointing in the holy spirit, the word of sin in them is found."

This family of marginal notes offers many readings which are not found in Jerome, too, so they are not merely transporting Jerome's work into the text. There is no shame in maintaining that Jerome is at least referencing a real manuscript variant here.
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Re: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:27 am

I don't know why if you of all people use your 'gut' to determine that Mar Saba 65 is a forgery perpetrated by Morton Smith can have any issues when I use my 'gut' to say that I agree with Theodore's assessment of Jerome's purported discovery of a manuscript of the Gospel of the Hebrews in Eusebius's library. Morton Smith at least produced a manuscript which was examined by one of his fiercest critics who couldn't come up with any publishable arguments for forgery. No one saw Jerome's manuscript. No one doubts apparently that Secret Mark sounds like Mark, reads like something Mark would have written and the letter something like Clement has written. I don't deny that Jerome might have been privy to certain readings of the Gospel of the Hebrews and included them in his fiction. But have you read all the other purported readings of the Gospel of the Hebrews in later literature? https://books.google.com/books?id=TDW0P ... falseSeems very fishy. But it's ridiculous. We have a manuscript of the Letter to Theodore. Jerome just makes up random references to bits and pieces of a gospel but never produces a manuscript. Jerome was human garbage - a wretched dishonest human being. No evidence Morton Smith was a bald swindler or any of the other nonsense raised in two generations of 'research.' Not even close.
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Re: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:40 pm

So getting back to my conversation with John2, the 'Jewish Christian' proponent now clearly prefers Epiphanius's citation of a 'Jewish Christian' gospel over Irenaeus's blanket statements regarding their use of Matthew:
WE have learned from none others the plan of our salvation, than from those through whom the Gospel has come down to us, which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith.(2) For it is unlawful to assert that they preached before they possessed "perfect knowledge," as some do even venture to say, boasting themselves as improvers of the apostles. For, after our Lord rose from the dead, [the apostles] were invested with power from on high when the Holy Spirit came down [upon them], were filled from all [His gifts], and had perfect knowledge: they departed to the ends of the earth, preaching the glad tidings of the good things [sent] from God to us, and proclaiming the peace of heaven to men, who indeed do all equally and individually possess the Gospel of God. Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter. Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him. Afterwards, John, the disciple of the Lord, who also had leaned upon His breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia.
Matthew isn't given much in the way of identification here. But the context is clearly the idea which reappears in chapter 11 of a gospel which is connected to the fourfoldness of the universe.

The fourfold gospel is the very 'plan (σχήμα?) of our salvation.' We mustn't forget here that σχήμα also means 'shape' or 'form' - a clear allusion to the fourfoldness. The next sentence:
they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures,
This is clearly a variation of the gnostic concept of 'private' and 'secret' gospels. The idea is present in Prescription Against the Heresies and moreover in Clement's Letter to Theodore:
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.
Irenaeus strangely juxtaposes 'preaching' with 'writing.' But the presence of the ideas of Clement are found throughout. Irenaeus says his opponents cite 1 Cor 2.6 but the very next line has Paul announce that he speaks of "the mysterious and secret wisdom of God." Furthermore in the next section Irenaeus criticizes Clement's understanding of a secret teaching in the following manner " those who neither taught nor knew of anything like what these [heretics] rave about. For if the apostles had known hidden mysteries, which they were in the habit of imparting to "the perfect" apart and privily from the rest."

Thus there is a curious mix of Papias and Clement in the heretical understanding:
When, however, they are confuted from the Scriptures, they turn round and accuse these same Scriptures, as if they were not correct, nor of authority, and [assert] that they are ambiguous, and that the truth cannot be extracted from them by those who are ignorant of tradition. For [they allege] that the truth was not delivered by means of written documents, but viva voce
Papias is also Irenaeus's source for information about Matthew which is very curious. Irenaeus acknowledges some things his predecessors say but not others or at least he testifies that the heretics were inspired by the same sources as he was. All of which leads us to the statement in 1.26:
They (the Ebionites) use the Gospel according to Matthew only, and repudiate the Apostle Paul, maintaining that he was an apostate from the law
This is very curious because we'd have to suppose that Matthew:

1. was created by the nascent 'Jewish' Christian community close after the Pentecost miracle in Acts 1
2. Clement seems to share a basic time frame with Irenaeus (viz. Peter and Paul being present in Rome 'preaching')
3. for Clement Peter preaching coincides with Mark writing a gospel
4. for Irenaeus it coincides with Matthew writing a gospel
5. Irenaeus creates a scenario where Mark, Luke and John come after Matthew
6. Clement doesn't make any connection between Peter's preaching and Matthew only Mark

Matthew seems to be a deliberate imposition onto Clement's Mark-centered history making the case that a Jewish Christianity existed 'a priori' to Mark and the rest. He also emphasizes that this gospel was created by a community who opposed Paul and presumably (contextually) the concept of 'secret gospels' and 'mysteries.' Clement's Mark agrees with Paul about core mystery concepts. The reason the Ebionites are so-called is because - Origen says - they are 'poor in spirit.' The primitiveness is present in Irenaeus's description. But the sense seems to be that originally - that is before the 'mystery' or 'secret' gospels - there was a primitive church that was 'single-minded' in its simplicity.

But if John2 throws all of that out as a lie, isn't it also exposed as a deliberate hoax formulated by Irenaeus to deny that mysteries were originally a part of earliest Christianity? They were something added later. Even the fourfoldness of the gospel seems to be 'stripped down' from something that originally had Pythagorean affinities to now something which Irenaeus simply says was ordained by God (i.e. the fourfoldness) as part of a scheme of salvation but
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Re: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:23 am

Papias and the heresies.

Irenaeus says:
When, however, they are confuted from the Scriptures, they turn round and accuse these same Scriptures, as if they were not correct, nor of authority, and [assert] that they are ambiguous, and that the truth cannot be extracted from them by those who are ignorant of tradition. For [they allege] that the truth was not delivered by means of written documents, but viva voce.
On first appearance however Papias however has a position closer to the heresies it would seem:
Appreciation for the living voice of eyewitnesses was the common understanding of the phrase in the second century. Quintilian, Pliny, Polybius, and Seneca speak of the preference for an identifiable witness to a tradition as being superior to a book about the tradition.63 Church father Jerome, who lived in the late fourth century and early fifth century, interpreted Papias' preference for the “living and surviving voice” in this way, too. He writes, “For books to be read are not so profitable for me as the living voice that even until the present day resounds on the lips of their authors." (Vir Ill 18). https://books.google.com/books?id=XmMNB ... me&f=false
Irenaeus seems to argue that instead of those who heard the living voice(s) of the witnesses the bishops of the Church represent the true tradition. This can't have been Papias's position. Where did this position originate?

Papias certainly mentions a collection of 'oracles' in the name of Matthew which has the right 'arrangement' when compared with Mark. This statement has clearly influenced Irenaeus. As Watson notes:
Irenaeus is here dependent on Papias. Papias speaks of the Elder John along with Aristion as “disciples of the Lord,” and Irenaeus identifies this “disciple of the Lord” with the “disciple whom Jesus loved,” the putative author of the fourth gospel (cf. Jn. 13.23; 21.24). Papias, however shows no knowledge of this text.31 Irenaeus's claim that Matthew was written “among the Hebrews in their own language” echoes Papias's claim that Matthew “set the sayings in order in the Hebrew language.” The only difference is that Irenaeus uses the term “gospel” to refer to a written text whereas Papias does not. For Irenaeus, Mark is “the disciple and translator of Peter.” The second term derives directly from Papias; the first echoes his reference to Mark as “following” Peter. Irenaeus not only takes over Papias's view of Mark as based on Peter's preaching, he also asserts a similar relationship between Luke and Paul.

In view of Irenaeus's dependence on Papias, the differences between them are striking. According to Papias, Mark wrote first and Matthew wrote to remedy his defects. According to Irenaeus, Matthew wrote first. His gospel may be dated during the ministry of Peter and Paul in Rome, about which Papias has nothing to say, and it was only “after their departure” that gospels were written by followers of Peter and Paul who recollected their preaching.
I struggle to understand Watson's interpretation of Papias. Can what he is saying be used to understand Matthew arranging something like Ammonius's Diatessaron?
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Re: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by John2 » Tue Mar 03, 2020 1:11 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:29 pm
Serious doubts about Jerome's ability to read and translate Hebrew in antiquity - https://books.google.com/books?id=aWkyA ... us&f=false Wrapped in this account is Theodore of Mopsuestia's accusation that Jerome fabricated the Hebrew Gospel. “[Jerome] ascribed an additional fifth gospel, he [Theodore] says, feigning to have found it in the library of Eusebius of Palestine” I think Jerome made up the gospel too. The question - for me - is why he made it up. I don't know.

Graves discusses Jerome's competence in understanding and translating Hebrew in Jerome's Hebrew Philology (https://www.google.com/books/edition/Je ... =en&gbpv=1), noting (for example) on pages 87-94:

From 391 until his death in 419, Jerome devoted most of his literary energies to Hebrew scholarship, completing his biblical translations from the Hebrew in 405, and producing commentaries filled with Hebrew information on all of the prophets. In sum, Jerome's initiation into Hebrew took place sometime between 375 and 377, but is serious development as a student of he Hebrew language did not start until the Roman period (382-85), and he no doubt continued to improve his Hebrew all the way up to the completion of his iuxta Hebraeos translation (405) and beyond.

Jerome's own remarks about his Hebrew study demonstrate that he did indeed expose himself to the tools and resources for learning that were available to him. Hebrew teachers, general exposure to the Hebrew culture of the fourth century, and translations of the Hebrew bible into Greek were the main components of Jerome's Hebrew education ... Jerome made frequent reference throughout his career to [his] first teacher, in addition to the numerous other teachers he identifies ...

In addition to his personal teachers and exposure to Jewish culture, the other major resources of which Jerome availed himself in learning Hebrew were the three main hexaplaric versions, Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion ...

One should not overestimate how much Hebrew Jerome could have learned by use of the recentiores alone, but together with the periodic help of a teacher and exposure to Hebrew culture, the hexaplaric versions would have gone a long way to compensate for the lack of any written grammars of dictionaries for Biblical Hebrew.

And as Graves notes in his introduction:

Perhaps the most telling sign of [Jerome's] commitment to Hebrew learning was his choice to dedicate the vast majority of his exegetical works to Old Testament books. The foundation of this Hebrew learning was Jerome's study of the Hebrew language, and he rightly publicized the importance of this skill for the interpretation of the Old Testament.

And regarding the existence and Jerome's translation of the Hebrew Matthew, Edwards writes on pages 30-31 in the book I linked to upthread:

It is worth asking how Jerome could successfully perpetrate a lie for no fewer than thirty years about a document that was available at the library of Caesarea and known to Pamphilus, the Nazarenes, and many others. A document in the library of Caesarea would appear to be as public as an ancient document could have been. It is difficult to imagine why Jerome would champion a document about which he was massively ignorant and that was never considered canonical. Jerome's various testimonies to the Hebrew Gospel are not entirely consistent, but they should not be attributed to fabrications and deceptions.

It seems more plausible that "Jerome knew the [Hebrew] Gospel from personal experience," and that his various testimonies reflect different impressions of the text over a long period of time.

And regarding Theodore's (and Julian the Pelagian's) estimation of Jerome, Edwards concludes on page 36-37 that, "it seems apparent that in an era where the fourfold Gospel tradition needed to be defended against a plethora of Gnostic and heterodox Gospels, Jerome's high estimation of the Hebrew Gospel left him open to the criticism of at least two contemporaries."

Both of these scholars thoroughly discuss Jerome with respect to his knowledge of Hebrew and the existence of the Hebrew Matthew and satisfy me on both counts.
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Re: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by Secret Alias » Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:48 pm

But that's a convenient reading of the situation. Irenaeus was the stalwart of orthodoxy. He came up with the "Hebrew gospel primacy" argument (unless it was already present in Papias). Jerome's understanding is merely an extension of what was in Irenaeus. That's why Matthew is first. The other three are merely extensions built out from the first gospel (at least according to earliest Christianity).
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Re: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by John2 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:20 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:48 pm
But that's a convenient reading of the situation. Irenaeus was the stalwart of orthodoxy. He came up with the "Hebrew gospel primacy" argument (unless it was already present in Papias). Jerome's understanding is merely an extension of what was in Irenaeus. That's why Matthew is first. The other three are merely extensions built out from the first gospel (at least according to earliest Christianity).

I do think "Hebrew gospel primacy" was already present in Papias, and I think Edwards makes a great case for it in his discussion of Papias. Regarding the term logia, he writes on pages 3-5:

... the term almost certainly refers to an organic whole, a volume, rather than a selection of sayings. The use of the term in early Christian literature confirms this sense. It occurs four times in the NT, twice in the sense of summarizing the OT revelation of God (Acts 7:38; Rom. 3:2), once in the sense of the gifts of divine proclamation (i.e., prophecy, teaching, admonition, 1 Pet. 4:11), and once summarizing the essentials of the Christian proclamation of salvation (Heb. 5:12). In 1 and 2 Clement [it] appears with reference to the revealed word of God (1 Clem. 13:6) or in the sense of "Gospel" (2 Clem. 13:3) or of the holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments (1 Clem. 53:1). In his Preface to Against Heresies and again in Against Heresies 1.8.1, Irenaeus employs [it] as a designation for the revelation of God in the canonical Gospels. In his Commentary on Matthew 5:13 and 9:13, Origen uses [it] likewise, and in his Homilies on Jeremiah 10:1 he uses it in reference to the entire OT. The most illuminating use of [it] is found in Polycarp. a contemporary of Papias, who uses the term for a complete Gospel containing the cross, resurrection, and last judgement. All of these texts employ [the term] with a more or less body of revelation as opposed to a specialized collection of sayings.

Papias himself provides the most important evidence for understanding [the term] in the sense of "Gospel." Immediately before his testimony to Matthew's Hebrew Gospel, Papias speaks of "ordering the material" of Mark. This material is specifically identified as both the words and deeds of Jesus. The words he uses for the ordering of the material are ... the exact words he uses immediately following in describing Mathew's Gospel. The terms refer to Mark's producing a Gospel and should be understood likewise with respect to Matthew in the same context.

Evidence elsewhere in Eusebius lends further support to this conclusion. Eusebius speaks of "the words of the Lord given by Aristion." Eusebius uses a different word for the "words"... of Aristion than he does in referring to Matthew's works ... as described by Papias ... Throughout his discussion of Matthew's literary achievements in Ecclesiastical History 3.24.5-13 and 6.14.5-7, Eusebius speaks only of a Gospel, not a collection of sayings.

So I think the idea that Matthew wrote a gospel in Hebrew goes back to Papias and not Irenaeus. In other words, Irenaeus is an extension of what was in Papias.
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Re: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Mar 04, 2020 4:57 pm

Could be. But Irenaeus misrepresented what Papias says about the oracles of the Lord put down by Matthew. That's the problem with Irenaeus
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Re: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Mar 04, 2020 4:58 pm

Edwards knowledge (ignorance) of Hebrew compromises the value of his thesis
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Re: The Gospel of Marcion Cannot Have Been Derived from the Gospel of Mark

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Mar 04, 2020 5:01 pm

Another example of Irenaeus misrepresenting Papias https://books.google.com/books?id=zj02A ... as&f=false
“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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