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

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 7266
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

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.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ

User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 11467
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

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.
“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

User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 11467
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

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
“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

User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 11467
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

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?
“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

Post Reply