The Pre-Existent Marcionite Interest in Timothy

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: The Pre-Existent Marcionite Interest in Timothy

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu May 14, 2020 1:07 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 9:55 am
I am wondering whether 2 Timothy and the Acts of Paul might have been written first and 1 Timothy later almost as a reframing of 2 Tim.
The language and ideas of this epistle are notably different from the other two Pastoral letters yet similar to the later Pauline letters, especially the ones he wrote in captivity. This has led some scholars to conclude that the author of 2 Timothy is a different person from 1 Timothy and Titus. Raymond E. Brown proposed that this letter was written by a follower of Paul who had knowledge of Paul's last days.
I wonder how we would KNOW that 2 Timothy might have been written before 1 Timothy.
Schleiermacher argued that 1 Timothy is a combination (by a different author) of 2 Timothy and Titus. There are good arguments for the position.

ETA: Schleiermacher thought that 2 Timothy and Titus were genuinely Pauline, but we are not obliged to agree with him.
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Re: The Pre-Existent Marcionite Interest in Timothy

Post by Secret Alias » Thu May 14, 2020 1:36 pm

It is a fascinating subject. I confess I've never read the Pastorals with much interest because I assumed they were false. Big mistake. I am also surprised by den Dulk's discoveries regarding the Acts of Peter. I can't quite reconcile why Timothy doesn't appear in the Acts given his prominence in the actual epistles. So many questions. Thanks for your recommendation. The next thing to read after going through den Dulk.
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Re: The Pre-Existent Marcionite Interest in Timothy

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu May 14, 2020 1:41 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 1:36 pm
It is a fascinating subject. I confess I've never read the Pastorals with much interest because I assumed they were false. Big mistake. I am also surprised by den Dulk's discoveries regarding the Acts of Peter. I can't quite reconcile why Timothy doesn't appear in the Acts given his prominence in the actual epistles. So many questions. Thanks for your recommendation. The next thing to read after going through den Dulk.
Easy peasy introduction to it online: https://depts.drew.edu/jhc///PriceSchleiermacher.pdf.
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Re: The Pre-Existent Marcionite Interest in Timothy

Post by Secret Alias » Thu May 14, 2020 1:47 pm

More from the article:
First however we turn to 1 Tim 5:3 - 16 where the author gives instructions regarding widows. A "real widow" (5:5) is a woman older than sixty without children who can take care of her (5:4, 9). She must moreover be "well attested for her good deeds, as one who has brought up children shown hospitality washed the feet of the saints relieved the afflicted and devoted herself to doing good in every way' (5:10). It is interesting to note that the one widow who appears in the API, Tryphaena conforms to 1 Tim's requirements; her daughter has died and she has no one else who can take care of her (API 4:5) and she shows hospitality to the much afflicted saint Thecla (API 4:2). One striking difference of course is that the church does not support Tryphaena. She is an independent individual unreliant on the help of others.

Later in chapter 5, the author of 1 Tim exhorts his audience to make sure that younger widows "marry" and "bear children" (5:14) and gives instructions concerning "the elders" (5.17). As previously noted both the strong recommendation of procreation and the notion of church hierarchy are foreign to the world of the API. We can be less certain about the Presbyter's stance with respect to 1 Tim 5:23 where Timothy is told "No longer drink only water but use a little wine." In the API neither wine nor any other alcoholic drink is ever mentioned. As in many of the other apocryphal Acts the Eucharist seems to have been celebrated with bread and water (cf API 3:5, 25). In light of this it seems quite plausible that the author of the API would have taken issue with Paul's suggestion to Timothy - the "real" Paul would never have advocated the use of wine!
As the discerning reader can begin to piece together, the emerging portrait of Paul in the Acts of Paul has a strong resemblance - or at least stronger resemblance to Marcionism - than what we see in 1 Timothy.
“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 Pre-Existent Marcionite Interest in Timothy

Post by Secret Alias » Thu May 14, 2020 1:47 pm

Easy peasy introduction to it online:
Thanks!
“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 Pre-Existent Marcionite Interest in Timothy

Post by Secret Alias » Thu May 14, 2020 1:54 pm

More:
The situation is similar in 1 Tim 6:17 - 19 where the author adopts a rather pragmatic position concerning weath. The rich are not to "set their hopes on uncertain riches" but on God and they are to use their money to "do good, to be rich in good deeds, to be liberal and generous." In other words the rich may keep their money at least to some extent as long as they use it wisely. The API advocates what is perhaps a more radical position. Thecla who gives up on her marriage to the rich Thamyris (cf API 3:13) trades her bracelets and silver mirror to bribe the guards so that she may listen to Paul in prison (API 3:18). Even more telling is that Onesiphorus is said to have "left the things of the world and followed Paul with all his house" (API 3:23) which in this case quite literally meant that Onesiphorus left behind his possessions in Iconium. Additionally when Tryphaena comes to faith, she immediately gives her possessions to Thecla (API 4:14). Compared to 1 Tim, the API seems to raise the bar for serious followers of Paul with regard to wealth.
“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 Pre-Existent Marcionite Interest in Timothy

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu May 14, 2020 2:06 pm

More links from my notes on this topic:

"I Permit No Woman to Teach Except for Thecla," by Matthijs den Dulk, https://www.academia.edu/1059104/I_Perm ... ecla_NovT_. (This appears to be the same article you are reading, just hosted at Academia instead of on JSTOR.)

"Schleiermacher's Dormant Discovery," by Robert M. Price, https://depts.drew.edu/jhc/PriceSchleiermacher.pdf. (Already gave this one.)

"Acts of Paul and the Pastoral Epistles," http://vridar.info/xorigins/actsofpaul_pastorals.htm. (Derived from The Legend and the Apostle: The Battle for Paul in Story and Canon, by Dennis R. Macdonald.)

The Acts of Paul and the Pauline Legacy in the Second Century, by Peter Wallace Dunn, https://actapauli.files.wordpress.com/2 ... nn1996.pdf.

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Re: The Pre-Existent Marcionite Interest in Timothy

Post by Secret Alias » Thu May 14, 2020 2:25 pm

Now on the differences between 1 Tim, 2 Tim and the Acts of Paul:
As has often been noted there are significant differences between 1 Tim and 2 Tim. It has generally been overlooked however that many of these ideological differences overlap with the differences between 1 Tim and the API. Virtually all the issues of 1 Tim which the Presbyter would have found problematic are absent from 2 Tim: 2 Tim does not give instruction for church offices. It does not reccommend let alone require marriage and procreation. It does not recommend the use of wine. It does not suggest that one should strive for a quiet and peaceful life. It does not tell women to be submissive and to remain silent and it does not suggest that the rich can maintain their wealth. On the other hand, most of what we do find in 2 Tim is in agreement with the API. For example 2 Tim mentions five place names in such a way as to suggest that Paul visited these places (Rome [1:17], Ephesus [1:18], Antioch, Iconium [3:11], Corinth [4:20] these same places are also on Paul's itinerary in the API. Furthermore both documents agree on what happened in these various locales: persecution in Antioch and Iconium (2 Tim 3:11; API 3:15 - 21; 4:1) and imprisonment in Rome (2 Tim 1:8, 17; API 14). Both documents also agree that Luke was in Rome with Paul at some point (2 Tim 4:11; API 14) and that Titus was working in Dalmatia (2 Tim 4:10; API 14). In addition eight personal names are shared by 2 Tim and the API two of which (Hermogenes and Onesiphorus) do not appear elsewhere in Christian literature from this period and information is given about three others (Demas, Titus and Luke) which is not found elsewhere. The similarities between 2 Tim and the API are not however restricted to such matters of detail; much of the letter's content must also have seemed congenial to the Presbyter.

The first verses of the epistle contain a positive reference to women (2 Tim 1:5). The author praises "the faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice. Significantly Timothy's father and grandfather are not mentioned. Assuming their absence stems from the fact that they were not believers (cf Acts 16:3) the situation is reminiscent of some of the stories in the API where the women gladly accept the gospel, while the men reject Paul's message (eg API 3:9, 9:16, 18). If we read this verse in the context of the other PE, we are bound to understand these women to have precisely the kind of circumscribed role and submissive attitude that 1 Tim praises, but if we look at 2 Tim in isolation there is no reason to asume this. On the contrary in the context of 2 Tim alone, women appear as independent actors who play an important role in the paradosis of faith.

Following this section 2 Tim 1:6 claims that "the gift of God" is placed within Timothy "through the laying on of my hands." Here Paul is depicted as the one who gave the spiritual blessing to Timothy. This conflicts with 1 Tim 4:14 where this "gift" comes by way of the council of elders: "Do not neglect the gift you have which was given you by prophetic utterance when the council of elders laid their hands upon you." The situation in 2 Tim is certainly much closer to that found in the API where Paul commissions followers on his own (eg API 4:16) and a "council of elders" is wholly absent.
“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 Pre-Existent Marcionite Interest in Timothy

Post by Secret Alias » Thu May 14, 2020 2:26 pm

I happen to also notice that Clement of Alexandria's strange interpretation of Mark 10 in Can the Rich Man be Saved seems to have been influenced by Timothy's teaching on wealth. Clement arguing against a group who seem to be the Carpocratians makes the case that Jesus DOES NOT teach that one must sell all one's material possessions - that the rich man CAN be saved even if he keeps his wealth. Timothy also seems to have been influenced by many of Celsus's criticisms of Christianity and its attitude toward childbirth, wealth, serving the king etc.
“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 Pre-Existent Marcionite Interest in Timothy

Post by Secret Alias » Thu May 14, 2020 2:31 pm

Another book on this subject
The Legend and the Apostle: The Battle for Paul in Story and Canon. Dennis Ronald MacDonald. Westminster John Knox Press, Jan 1, 1983 https://books.google.com/books/about/Th ... xZCW6hxoIC
This page in particular is quite significant - https://books.google.com/books?id=LUxZC ... hy&f=false MacDonald fails to distinguish the differences between 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy with respect to the Acts of Paul speaking here of 'the Pastorals' as if they were all written by the same author. The points are relevant only to 2 Timothy.
“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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