Anti-Marcionite function of: "From the days of John the Baptist until now..."

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Giuseppe
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Anti-Marcionite function of: "From the days of John the Baptist until now..."

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Sep 11, 2020 3:44 am

Matthew 11:12:
From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it.

Luke 16:16:
Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing their way into it.

These two views are clearly rival views.


Matthew 11:12 doesn't like what is happening in the time after John the Baptist: the Christ of the Marcionite heresy is giving a bad name to the Christian Gospel.

Luke 16:16 does like what is happening after John the Baptist, but with a warning: even if the end of the Law and prophets is hailed positively, between who wants to enter in the kingdom not always there are good people. A possibility is that also this absence of moral distinction among the new entries in the kingdom is hailed positively: even the Sodomites and Pharaon and Amalek were accepted by the Good God according to Marcion.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Giuseppe
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Re: Anti-Marcionite function of: "From the days of John the Baptist until now..."

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Sep 11, 2020 3:54 am

So these two passages can be explained only considering this view of Marcion about the true identity of "everyone who is forcing their way into it":

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.

No other view is rationally allowed.

"everyone who is forcing their way into it"

gives perfectly the sense of who enters in a place where he is not expected to be.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Anti-Marcionite function of: "From the days of John the Baptist until now..."

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Sep 11, 2020 7:31 am

Hence the same passage of Irenaeus allows to decipher the true sense of the parable of the Mustard Seed

30 Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.

The theologians have already noted that the "birds" are allegory of evil beings.

But they are unable to explain why evil people have to join the "largest of all garden plants" (==The Kingdom of God).

Now I know the answer:

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.

It is wonderful how that Irenaeus's passage is a great hermeneutical key of the Parable of the Mustard Seed.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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