Top Ten Early Christian Questions

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Secret Alias
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Re: Top Ten Early Christian Questions

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:27 pm

There are other examples of Paul writing a gospel that contained parts of Matthew (WITHOUT REFERENCING MARCION) in Tertullian. It's in a non-anti-Marcionite treatise. He takes for granted Paul knew a saying from Matthew. Have to re-remember it one of these days.

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Re: Top Ten Early Christian Questions

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:38 pm

But getting back to the OP. How aren't you fascinated by the identity of Irenaeus?! He says in one paragraph in Book 3:
John, however, does himself put this matter beyond all controversy on our part, when he says, "He was in this world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own [things], and His own [people] received Him not."(8) But according to Marcion, and those like him, neither was the world made by Him; nor did He come to His own things, but to those of another.
Implying that he knew the prologue to John and then a few lines later says:
For the Ebionites, who use Matthew's Gospel only, [Ebionaei etenim, eo evangelio quod est secundum Matthaeum solo utentes], are confuted out of this very same making false suppositions with regard to the Lord. But Marcion, mutilating that according to Luke, is proved to be a blasphemer of the only existing God, from those [passages] which he still retains. Those, again, who separate Jesus from Christ, alleging that Christ remained impassible, but that it was Jesus who suffered, preferring the Gospel by Mark, if they read it with a love of truth, may have their errors rectified. Those, moreover, who follow Valentinus, making copious use [plenissime utentes] of that according to John, to illustrate their conjunctions, shall be proved to be totally in error by means of this very Gospel, as I have shown in the first book. Since, then, our opponents do bear testimony to us, and make use of these [documents], our proof derived from them is firm and true.
There is no such 'only' in the reference to Marcion's use of Luke. Indeed many have noted that Tertullian (Irenaeus) in Book 4 says clearly that Marcion had all four gospels in front of him but chose to falsify Luke. There is always this 'door open' to other gospels. The idea is:

1. the Ebionites ONLY used Matthew
2. Marcion falsified Luke but knew other gospels (the textual criticism of Luke helps 'expose' Marcion's falsification but Marcion is not a one gospel heretic like the Ebionites)
3. this unknown group uses Mark in a 'wrong way' but no specific mention of falsifications is referenced. There is some implicit sense of exclusiveness (otherwise why must they be shown their errors with respect to Mark).
4. the Valentinians plenissime utentes again not exclusive and it is only to prove these aeons so the Prologue.

The truth is that there is nothing Valentinian about John other than the Prologue. A lot of the misunderstanding of Irenaeus is developed from laziness. The reason why the Ebionites have this exclusivity again has more to with propaganda. If Matthew is the first gospel it is at least theoretically possible that a Jewish Christian group would only know the earliest gospel because - supposedly - the Jews were first. Not worth taking seriously otherwise other than to figure out Irenaeus's lies and myths.

The unnamed communities exclusive use of Mark is far more intriguing. But the bottom line is again:

1. the Ebionites were first and used (what Irenaeus calls or assumes is) the first gospel = Matthew
2. the Marcionites may have been exclusive to their gospel but it is not exclusively Luke. Studying Luke helps expose their master Marcion's fraud apparently. But they never framed their gospel in terms of being 'Marcion's gospel.' It was a gospel of Paul and the many references in Paul to 'my gospel' and the like are used to support their understanding.
3. there is an unnamed 'Mark' community that implicitly uses Mark quite exclusively. Irenaeus says if you teach them to read Mark correctly their errors will be corrected.
4. the Valentinians were only interested in the Prologue and specifically for their aeons. Not married to any one text.

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Re: Top Ten Early Christian Questions

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:47 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:38 pm
But getting back to the OP. How aren't you fascinated by the identity of Irenaeus?! He says in one paragraph in Book 3:
John, however, does himself put this matter beyond all controversy on our part, when he says, "He was in this world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own [things], and His own [people] received Him not."(8) But according to Marcion, and those like him, neither was the world made by Him; nor did He come to His own things, but to those of another.
Implying that he knew the prologue to John....
I do not agree that Irenaeus is implying that Marcion knew the Johannine prologue here. I read the paragraph as stating that John and Marcion are in disagreement on this point, and that is not the same thing. (A gun nut from West Virginia and a vegan pacifist from Connecticut may never have met, but they probably disagree with each other on gun control.) Also, note well that I am not saying that Marcion did not know the Johannine prologue; I am saying that this is not what the paragraph is saying.
...and then a few lines later says:
For the Ebionites, who use Matthew's Gospel only, [Ebionaei etenim, eo evangelio quod est secundum Matthaeum solo utentes], are confuted out of this very same making false suppositions with regard to the Lord. But Marcion, mutilating that according to Luke, is proved to be a blasphemer of the only existing God, from those [passages] which he still retains. Those, again, who separate Jesus from Christ, alleging that Christ remained impassible, but that it was Jesus who suffered, preferring the Gospel by Mark, if they read it with a love of truth, may have their errors rectified. Those, moreover, who follow Valentinus, making copious use [plenissime utentes] of that according to John, to illustrate their conjunctions, shall be proved to be totally in error by means of this very Gospel, as I have shown in the first book. Since, then, our opponents do bear testimony to us, and make use of these [documents], our proof derived from them is firm and true.
There is no such 'only' in the reference to Marcion's use of Luke. Indeed many have noted that Tertullian (Irenaeus) in Book 4 says clearly that Marcion had all four gospels in front of him but chose to falsify Luke. There is always this 'door open' to other gospels.
Well, yes, quite. That is (part of) what I meant when I suggested that Marcion was using materials (for the Antitheses) that he knew his opponents would accept.
Secret Alias wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:27 pm
There are other examples of Paul writing a gospel that contained parts of Matthew (WITHOUT REFERENCING MARCION) in Tertullian. It's in a non-anti-Marcionite treatise. He takes for granted Paul knew a saying from Matthew. Have to re-remember it one of these days.
I do not buy that Paul either wrote a gospel or possessed a written gospel, whether or not the Marcionites attributed one to him. But there are certainly plenty of church fathers who thought he had one.

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Re: Top Ten Early Christian Questions

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:51 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:18 pm
You believe in many Judeo-Christian traditions/myths.
Maybe, but all I am suggesting here is that the Didache is independent of Marcion and (probably) vice versa.

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Re: Top Ten Early Christian Questions

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:51 pm

I do not agree that Irenaeus is implying that Marcion knew the Johannine prologue here
Tell that to von Harnack. Many ways to read the passage.

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Re: Top Ten Early Christian Questions

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:52 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:51 pm
I do not agree that Irenaeus is implying that Marcion knew the Johannine prologue here
Tell that to von Harnack. Many ways to read the passage.
I disagree with Harnack on so many other points, sure, why not add this one to the pile?

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Re: Top Ten Early Christian Questions

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:58 pm

Irenaeus's "reporting" (lies) are our building blocks. You either accept Irenaeus or into the outer circle of darkness you go. I believe the "primitive" church with the Ebionites is a myth. You buy into it and so Irenaeus is tacitly acceptable. I think something like secret Mark is lurking BEHIND the will to create a primitive Church. In other words high Christianity was original. Irenaeus had to explain away the Antitheses. That's why it's so central to Against Marcion. Matthew and the Ebionites were invented so as to explain away the Antitheses. The original Christians didn't need the Law, reasoned Irenaeus, because of their simplicity. Bullshit. The heart. Be like a child. Simple like a dove. Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit.

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Re: Top Ten Early Christian Questions

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:04 pm

When I move from computer to phone my posting (necessarily) becomes more cursive.

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Re: Top Ten Early Christian Questions

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:09 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:58 pm
Irenaeus's "reporting" (lies) are our building blocks. You either accept Irenaeus or into the outer circle of darkness you go. I believe the "primitive" church with the Ebionites is a myth. You buy into it and so Irenaeus is tacitly acceptable. I think something like secret Mark is lurking BEHIND the will to create a primitive Church. In other words high Christianity was original. Irenaeus had to explain away the Antitheses. That's why it's so central to Against Marcion. Matthew and the Ebionites were invented so as to explain away the Antitheses. The original Christians didn't need the Law, reasoned Irenaeus, because of their simplicity. Bullshit. The heart. Be like a child. Simple like a dove. Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit.
Okay, then. Glad that got settled.
Secret Alias wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:04 pm
When I move from computer to phone my posting (necessarily) becomes more cursive.
Apparently. :lol:

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Re: Top Ten Early Christian Questions

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:15 pm

But the point still stands. The Antitheses juxtaposed gospel and ten commandments. Irenaeus denied there were two gods. But Samaritan and Qumran Exodus show two gods at Sinai. The original implication was - the higher God (heard in heaven) would improve what was given by the lower god ( seen with Moses). That's what the gospel was narrating. That was its essence. The lower god only said Don't lust. How do you do that? How do you stop sinning? Christianity solved that.

Above all else Marcion was condemned for his rejection of monarchianism. The primitive Church, the Ebionites, "Jewish Christianity, " the gospel of Matthew with the Antitheses tucked away in chapter 5 on a lonely mountain rather than a center of Jewish worship took the j'accuse out of Jesus speech. Now an origin out of Jewish simpletons was invented. But have there ever been a gang of Jewish simpletons other than the Three Stooges?

As Nietzsche said, be suspicious of those promoting an innocent Jew ...

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