Origen, Comm. in Matth. 15:3: Marcion's distance from the enigmatic obscurity of Mark (and of Thomas)

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Giuseppe
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Origen, Comm. in Matth. 15:3: Marcion's distance from the enigmatic obscurity of Mark (and of Thomas)

Post by Giuseppe » Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:06 am

Couchoud makes an interesting observation about Marcion:

On sait ce qu'il disait d'un des rares passages de Matthieu qui eussent pu obtenir son suffrage, celui où Jésus énumère parmi les eunuques "ceux qui se sont faits eunuques pour le Royaume des Cieux" (Matth. 19:12). Il réprouvait une telle façon de désigner la continence volontaire. Selon lui les préceptes de Jésus étaient toujours simples et nus, sans obscurité énigmatique ni double sens. [Origen, Comm. in Matth. 15:3]

(Paul-Louis Couchoud, Histoire de Jésus, p. 298, Presses Universitaires de France)

Translation:

We know what he [Marcion] said of one of the rare passages of Matthew which could have obtained his vote, the one where Jesus lists among the eunuchs "those who made themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew 19:12) . He disapproved such a way of designating voluntary continence. According to him, the precepts of Jesus were always simple and bare, without enigmatic obscurity or double meaning. [Origen, Comm. in Matth. 15: 3]



Reading the relative passage in Origen:


For if the hand which seizes the testicles of a man is cut off, how will it not also be so for the person who on account of ignorance of the way which leads to moderation has given himself to such a dubious state?
Therefore, let the one who is about [K356] to dare to do such a thing take account, what he will endure from those who cast reproaches and avail themselves of this text, “A eunuch and one who is mutilated will not enter into the Church of the Lord” (Deut 23.2), so numbering the man himself among those who have been mutilated. Nor have I yet mentioned what
things he may suffer out of season [παρὰ καιρὸν] from the seed being hindered (as the students of physicians say) from descending from the head [M1261] to the male parts, which, while descending through certain vessels near the cheeks, causes hair to grow for men around the chin by the natural heat of the [seed] that is descending. Those who consider it
necessary to make themselves eunuchs in a somatic sense on account of the kingdom of heavens are indeed lacking such hair. Should they experience such things as a heaviness in the head and dizziness which sometimes comes upon the principal part [of the soul]18 and agitates the imagistic faculty so that it imagines unnatural things, from something so
material [as literal castration]? Before I come to the explanation of this passage, it must be said that if Marcion had really kept consistent with himself, when saying it is not necessary to allegorize the Scripture, he also would have rejected these passages as not having been said by the Savior, deeming it necessary [K357] either 1) to admit (along with affirming that the Savior had said these things) that one who has become a believer is persuaded to give himself over to dare to do such things, or 2) that, as it is not reasonable to dare to do such things as will bring slander against the word, one is not to believe these words to be from the Savior unless they might be allegorized.


...it seems rather clear that Marcion would have disapproved Mark also for his excessive allegorism, or at most enigmatic obscurity, his double meaning.

Who has read the best commentaries on Mark knows very well, I think, that Mark is the gospel of the double meaning par excellence.

So I am inclined to think that this "enigmatic obscurity" could well work as an anti-marcionite weapon.

A way to say, again and again:

you Marcion argued for a Jesus who preaches simple and clear that the Law of the evil demiurge YHWH has to be abandoned. Period. We, against your Jesus, we argue that Jesus preached in a cryptic and obscure way, to eclipse the fact that your Jesus preached the pure and simple desertion of the Law of the Creator.

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Re: Origen, Comm. in Matth. 15:3: Marcion's distance from the enigmatic obscurity of Mark (and of Thomas)

Post by Giuseppe » Mon Oct 12, 2020 11:17 am

Prof Vinzent answered so to my question about the allegorical nature of Mark and its relation in the Marcionite question:

He [Mark] had less issue with Marcion’s criticism of history, on the contrary, Mark even emphasises the hidden and mysterious character of Jesus – therefore, he even pushes Marcion’s message more into this direction, something you call allegorical.

http://markusvinzent.blogspot.com/2014/ ... l.html?m=1


I think that prof Vinzent is strongly indebted by Couchoud when he talks about "Marcion’s criticism of history": the fact that an alien comes on earth and reveals bluntly that all we have lived in the darkness of the Law of the evil demiurge YHWH, until now.

Matthew and our Luke don't matter to me: they are clearly anti-marcionite to a such high degree that who thinks otherwise is only a mere crazy fool conservative person.

Again prof Vinzent alludes to Mark in comparison to Marcion, and writes:

I would rather think that we don’t see a straight move, but that a history critical historical biography (Mcn) created different responses, more allegorical ones (to save the mysterious – Mark, to save Jesus as heir of Israel – Matthew), and a more historical one (Luke with added Acts to also accomodate and position Marcion’s collection of Paul’s letters).


Surely the Mark's strategy is very subtle: an obfuscation of the Marcion's original gospel.

.Obfuscation is the obscuring of the intended meaning of communication by making the message difficult to understand, usually with confusing and ambiguous language The obfuscation might be either unintentional or intentional (although intent usually is connoted), and is accomplished with circumlocution (talking around the subject), the use of jargon (technical language of a profession), and the use of an argot (ingroup language) of limited communicative value to outsiders

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obfuscation

That is what Mark did apply on the Marcion's Evangelion: he obfuscated the fact that Jesus came to destroy in a clear and explicit way the Torah of the evil demiurge YHWH.

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Re: Origen, Comm. in Matth. 15:3: Marcion's distance from the enigmatic obscurity of Mark (and of Thomas)

Post by Giuseppe » Mon Oct 12, 2020 11:39 am

The maximum example of obfuscation of the Marcion's Evangelion by Mark:

The god of the Jews said, Aure audietis et non audietis (Is. vi. 9). Jesus, on the other hand, wishes all ears to be opened (Tertullian iv. 19). All should listen, since there is no longer anything hidden; everything is made clear.

(P.-L. Couchoud, Creation of Christ, p. 399)[/list]

So Tertullian, 4:19:

I am, moreover, astonished when he says that a candle is not usually hidden, (Luke 8:16) who had hidden himself — a greater and more needful light — during so long a time; and when he promises that everything shall be brought out of its secrecy and made manifest, (Luke 8:17) who hitherto has kept his god in obscurity, waiting (I suppose) until Marcion be born.

  • Marcion says: yersterday there was darkness, now (with Jesus) there is anti-YHWH light.
  • Mark reacts: yersterday there was enough light, now (with Jesus) there is deliberate darkness.
The great irony in all this: Richard Carrier exalts Mark 4:11-12 as evidence of mythicist secrecy, when really it is in absolute the more judaizing verses against Marcion in all the NT.!!!

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Re: Origen, Comm. in Matth. 15:3: Marcion's distance from the enigmatic obscurity of Mark (and of Thomas)

Post by Giuseppe » Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:01 pm

This is in my view true, real evidence that Mark was written in reaction against Marcion:

But there is that direct mode of His speaking to the people — You shall hear with the ear, but you shall not understand (Isaiah 6:9) — which now claims notice as having furnished to Christ that frequent form of His earnest instruction: He that has ears to hear, let him hear (Luke 8:8). Not as if Christ, actuated with a diverse spirit, permitted a hearing which the Creator had refused; but because the exhortation followed the threatening.

https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/03124.htm
  • In Marcion, "Christ, actuated with a diverse spirit, permitted a hearing which the Creator had refused"
  • In Mark, the risk, for who didn't hear, was to be a potential victim of the vendicative Justice of YHWH. (Mark knows in advance that the Jews would have not heard: they were punished by YHWH).

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Re: Origen, Comm. in Matth. 15:3: Marcion's distance from the enigmatic obscurity of Mark (and of Thomas)

Post by Irish1975 » Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:07 pm

Giuseppe wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:06 am
Who has read the best commentaries on Mark knows very well, I think, that Mark is the gospel of the double meaning par excellence.
Which commentaries are you thinking of? Thanks

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Re: Origen, Comm. in Matth. 15:3: Marcion's distance from the enigmatic obscurity of Mark (and of Thomas)

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:21 pm

Context is everything. When Origen says that Marcion's interpretation is 'simple' he only means that Marcion took the passage literally - i.e. cut off your balls. Origen was castrated undoubtedly because of Matt 15:3. So his interpretation was at its core just as simple but the 'complexity' was developed for outsiders. Alexandria always thought Jesus wanted people to cut off their balls.

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Re: Origen, Comm. in Matth. 15:3: Marcion's distance from the enigmatic obscurity of Mark (and of Thomas)

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:24 pm

And this sort of literalism associated with the Marcionites is found elsewhere. For instance the Marcionites took the Jewish writings in a straightforward manner = i.e. they understood that the prophesies were directed toward a messiah who would liberate the Jews from foreign rule. That's the Jewish understanding of the scriptures. As such Marcion is accused of 'Jewishness.' But it's also the natural reading of the material. Over time the orthodox started to develop 'spiritual' - i.e. non-literal - interpretations of the scriptures as a way of inventing pure nonsense that would distract people from the obvious meaning of troublesome passages.

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Re: Origen, Comm. in Matth. 15:3: Marcion's distance from the enigmatic obscurity of Mark (and of Thomas)

Post by Giuseppe » Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:25 pm

Irish1975 wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:07 pm
Giuseppe wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:06 am
Who has read the best commentaries on Mark knows very well, I think, that Mark is the gospel of the double meaning par excellence.
Which commentaries are you thinking of? Thanks
Adamczewski, Dykstra, Tarazi, Hermann Raschke R.G. Price on Mark.

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Re: Origen, Comm. in Matth. 15:3: Marcion's distance from the enigmatic obscurity of Mark (and of Thomas)

Post by Giuseppe » Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:29 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:21 pm
Context is everything. When Origen says that Marcion's interpretation is 'simple' he only means that Marcion took the passage literally - i.e. cut off your balls.
no, no, the things are more complex than you say. The point of Couchoud is that Marcion would have liked the point encratite of the cutting off your balls, but despite of this he rejected at any case the Matthean logion since his (of Marcion) Christ didn't talk by allegories or metaphores. He would have said clear and round: don't marry and hate your mother and father. Period.

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Re: Origen, Comm. in Matth. 15:3: Marcion's distance from the enigmatic obscurity of Mark (and of Thomas)

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:31 pm

Another example is the Samaritans. You meet a Samaritan the first thing they tell you - we have no halakhah. What does that mean? They say 'all our interpretations are taken directly from the Torah.' Sounds promising. The same things are said about the Sadducees. What that really means is that the oldest most original traditions resist the impulse to 'make up shit.' But then when you dig closer in Samaritanism - i.e. to the writings of Mark (Marqe) - the exegesis is the furthest thing from what we like to imagine as 'literalism.' In other words, he uses mysticism, gematria etc. Take the two powers thing. While the writings of Marqe have been subsequently edited there is a strong sense he literally understood God to have appeared on the mountain as a Man with Moses. Of course there are the requisite denials now inserted by later editors. The same thing appears in the earliest Jewish exegesis of Exodus. They looked at the Man on the mountain and the voice in heaven and said 'there are two powers.' Neither Exodus or Deuteronomy make explicit that there are two powers. But the earliest (and destroyed) texts of Exodus found at Qumran and among the Samaritans make this IMPICIT. But once again literalism often leads to heresy.

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