Justin's "which are called Gospels": interpolation?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
gmx
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:35 am

Justin's "which are called Gospels": interpolation?

Post by gmx » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:23 pm

Justin Martyr directly equated his "memoirs of the apostles" with the Gospels, however some critics believe that clause to be an interpolation. I assume most would accept that the gospel of Mark existed in its final form by the time Justin wrote, and Justin certainly quotes Mark's gospel in Dialogue 106.3 (Mark 3:16-17). Does it lend credence to the case for genuineness of the disputed clause that Mark's gospel identifies itself as a gospel in 1:1? This would be supported via the reasoning that Justin knew gMark, gMark is self-described as a gospel, therefore Justin knew gMark as a "gospel" at the time of his writing...

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 3695
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Justin's "which are called Gospels": interpolation?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:44 pm

gmx wrote:Justin Martyr directly equated his "memoirs of the apostles" with the Gospels, however some critics believe that clause to be an interpolation. I assume most would accept that the gospel of Mark existed in its final form by the time Justin wrote, and Justin certainly quotes Mark's gospel in Dialogue 106.3 (Mark 3:16-17). Does it lend credence to the case for genuineness of the disputed clause that Mark's gospel identifies itself as a gospel in 1:1? This would be supported via the reasoning that Justin knew gMark, gMark is self-described as a gospel, therefore Justin knew gMark as a "gospel" at the time of his writing...
Good question. Refer also to this thread: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1817. (I do not think it answers your question, but it is related.)
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΕΘΕΙΑ

oleg
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:59 am

Re: Justin's "which are called Gospels": interpolation?

Post by oleg » Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:42 am

gmx wrote:Justin Martyr directly equated his "memoirs of the apostles" with the Gospels, however some critics believe that clause to be an interpolation. I assume most would accept that the gospel of Mark existed in its final form by the time Justin wrote, and Justin certainly quotes Mark's gospel in Dialogue 106.3 (Mark 3:16-17). Does it lend credence to the case for genuineness of the disputed clause that Mark's gospel identifies itself as a gospel in 1:1? This would be supported via the reasoning that Justin knew gMark, gMark is self-described as a gospel, therefore Justin knew gMark as a "gospel" at the time of his writing...
Thanks gmx.
I have no idea when gMark existed in its "final form". Do you? Justin Martyr may have quoted from Mark's memoirs, but not his "gospel".

Kata Markon, means, According to Mark, or Toward Mark, or Down From Mark, not "Mark's good news".
http://digi.vatlib.it/view/MSS_Vat.gr.1 ... 3598f61dfb

ευαγγελίου (good news) in Mark 1:1 is improperly translated by the English word "Gospel", as becomes painfully obvious, looking at Mark 8:35
οϲ δ αν απολεϲει την ψυχην αυτου ενεκεν εμου και του ευαγγελιου ϲω ϲει αυτην
Why would Jesus need to invoke "the Gospel"? Do you interpret this passage from gMark as interpolation, or perhaps reference to a text from the Tanakh?

What is your opinion of the provenance of the manuscript evidence that we have today, representing, one supposes, the original text of Justin Martyr?
http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.asp ... 2951_f039r

gmx
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:35 am

Re: Justin's "which are called Gospels": interpolation?

Post by gmx » Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:43 am

oleg wrote:
gmx wrote:Justin Martyr directly equated his "memoirs of the apostles" with the Gospels, however some critics believe that clause to be an interpolation. I assume most would accept that the gospel of Mark existed in its final form by the time Justin wrote, and Justin certainly quotes Mark's gospel in Dialogue 106.3 (Mark 3:16-17). Does it lend credence to the case for genuineness of the disputed clause that Mark's gospel identifies itself as a gospel in 1:1? This would be supported via the reasoning that Justin knew gMark, gMark is self-described as a gospel, therefore Justin knew gMark as a "gospel" at the time of his writing...
Thanks gmx.
I have no idea when gMark existed in its "final form". Do you? Justin Martyr may have quoted from Mark's memoirs, but not his "gospel".
I wouldn't say I have no idea. Justin wrote in ~155 CE. Mark is widely held to be a first-century text, and widely held to be the textual and structural basis for much of Matthew and Luke, with Matthew's gospel also widely held to be a first-century text. Assuming that's the case, I find it hard to conceive of significant alteration of gMark in or after Justin's time. The first chapter of gMark, particularly, seems central to the structure of the text, and I don't see much motivation for "the good news / gospel about Jesus Christ" being an interpolation.

I also wanted to acknowledge your suggestion that Justin could be quoting a proto-Mark of some description. Without saying anything about the merits of a proto-Gospel / ur-Marcus, I work from the assumption that by 155 CE the "Markan literary effort" has resolved itself into a single stable text, whether named Mark by that juncture or not.
oleg wrote: Kata Markon, means, According to Mark, or Toward Mark, or Down From Mark, not "Mark's good news".
http://digi.vatlib.it/view/MSS_Vat.gr.1 ... 3598f61dfb
I don't believe that's relevant? Kata Markon is present in our earliest manuscripts, 4th century, by which time there is absolutely no doubt they are known as gospels. My point was more about gMark being self-identified as a gospel.
oleg wrote: ευαγγελίου (good news) in Mark 1:1 is improperly translated by the English word "Gospel", as becomes painfully obvious, looking at Mark 8:35
οϲ δ αν απολεϲει την ψυχην αυτου ενεκεν εμου και του ευαγγελιου ϲω ϲει αυτην
Why would Jesus need to invoke "the Gospel"? Do you interpret this passage from gMark as interpolation, or perhaps reference to a text from the Tanakh?
I'm far from convinced that it's a mistranslation. Mark 8:35 doesn't make much sense whichever reading of ευαγγελίου you apply (the sake of the gospel / the sake of the good news). I'd have to defer to experts in biblical Greek to argue the merits of that particular problem.
oleg wrote: What is your opinion of the provenance of the manuscript evidence that we have today, representing, one supposes, the original text of Justin Martyr?
http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.asp ... 2951_f039r
Haven't given it much thought, so won't speculate on that.

Ulan
Posts: 969
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:58 am

Re: Justin's "which are called Gospels": interpolation?

Post by Ulan » Wed Mar 16, 2016 3:07 am

gmx wrote:I wouldn't say I have no idea. Justin wrote in ~155 CE. Mark is widely held to be a first-century text, and widely held to be the textual and structural basis for much of Matthew and Luke, with Matthew's gospel also widely held to be a first-century text. Assuming that's the case, I find it hard to conceive of significant alteration of gMark in or after Justin's time. The first chapter of gMark, particularly, seems central to the structure of the text, and I don't see much motivation for "the good news / gospel about Jesus Christ" being an interpolation.
Not sure what kind of motivation you need here? The usual idea how this could be an "interpolation" of sorts assumes that Mark1:1 was, at its core, a headline that someone added and got later incorporated into the main text when the gospel got the new title, kata Markon, which became necessary when the gospel was incorporated into a collection. That's motivation enough I think.
gmx wrote: I'm far from convinced that it's a mistranslation. Mark 8:35 doesn't make much sense whichever reading of ευαγγελίου you apply (the sake of the gospel / the sake of the good news). I'd have to defer to experts in biblical Greek to argue the merits of that particular problem.
I don't think there's a need to assume a written text as long as that's not specified, at least before Irenaeus. I think Justin only identifies a gospel as "written" once, and that may as well have been Marcion's.

gmx
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:35 am

Re: Justin's "which are called Gospels": interpolation?

Post by gmx » Wed Mar 16, 2016 3:30 am

Ulan wrote:
gmx wrote:I wouldn't say I have no idea. Justin wrote in ~155 CE. Mark is widely held to be a first-century text, and widely held to be the textual and structural basis for much of Matthew and Luke, with Matthew's gospel also widely held to be a first-century text. Assuming that's the case, I find it hard to conceive of significant alteration of gMark in or after Justin's time. The first chapter of gMark, particularly, seems central to the structure of the text, and I don't see much motivation for "the good news / gospel about Jesus Christ" being an interpolation.
Not sure what kind of motivation you need here? The usual idea how this could be an "interpolation" of sorts assumes that Mark1:1 was, at its core, a headline that someone added and got later incorporated into the main text when the gospel got the new title, kata Markon, which became necessary when the gospel was incorporated into a collection. That's motivation enough I think.
My problem with this idea is that by ~155 CE Mark's gospel has been widely disseminated. Adding an introductory sentence to the document at the 11th hour (acknowledging that some manuscripts are missing the "Son of God") seems problematic. Maybe I overestimate how many copies of Mark were in existence in 155 CE. Would anyone hazard a guess?

gmx
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:35 am

Re: Justin's "which are called Gospels": interpolation?

Post by gmx » Wed Mar 16, 2016 3:34 am

Ulan wrote:
gmx wrote: I'm far from convinced that it's a mistranslation. Mark 8:35 doesn't make much sense whichever reading of ευαγγελίου you apply (the sake of the gospel / the sake of the good news). I'd have to defer to experts in biblical Greek to argue the merits of that particular problem.
I don't think there's a need to assume a written text as long as that's not specified, at least before Irenaeus. I think Justin only identifies a gospel as "written" once, and that may as well have been Marcion's.
Without meaning to be rude, I have no idea what you're talking about here.

oleg
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:59 am

Re: Justin's "which are called Gospels": interpolation?

Post by oleg » Wed Mar 16, 2016 5:42 am

gmx wrote:Without meaning to be rude, I have no idea what you're talking about here.
I too, wish not to appear rude.
I wonder if perhaps you are not following Ulan's prescient comment, because you are looking at the English word, "gospel", instead of looking at the Greek text, which could indicate in Mark 8, that ευαγγελίου represents verbal communication, rather than written, good news.

Perhaps I am wrong, there are dozens of folks on this forum with far better grasp of the text than I possess.

Regarding this issue of "gospel", however, it is worth noting that the reference you gave, to Justin Martyr's Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, 106, confirms the absence of the word, ευαγγελίου, instead presenting "memoirs of the apostles", as is customary. Can you indicate where in Apology or Dialogue, the word ευαγγελίου appears, in the context of describing Kata Markon?

καὶ μετ' αὐτῶν διάγων ὕμνησε τὸν θεόν, ὡς καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἀπομνημονεύμασι τῶν ἀποστόλων δηλοῦται γεγενημένον,
and when living with them sang praises to God, as is made evident in the memoirs of the apostles.
http://khazarzar.skeptik.net/books/just ... yphong.htm
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/01287.htm

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 3695
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Justin's "which are called Gospels": interpolation?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:14 am

oleg wrote:Regarding this issue of "gospel", however, it is worth noting that the reference you gave, to Justin Martyr's Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, 106, confirms the absence of the word, ευαγγελίου, instead presenting "memoirs of the apostles", as is customary. Can you indicate where in Apology or Dialogue, the word ευαγγελίου appears, in the context of describing Kata Markon?
It is not that the noun for "gospel" appears specifically with reference to Mark; it is that the noun for "gospel" appears specifically as a synonym for "memoirs" in 1 Apology 66.3:

Greek
English
Οἱ γὰρ ἀπόστολοι ἐν τοῖς γενομένοις ὑπ' αὐτῶν ἀπομνημονεύμασιν, ἃ καλεῖται εὐαγγέλια, οὕτως παρέδωκαν ἐντετάλθαι αὐτοῖς· τὸν Ἰησοῦν λαβόντα ἄρτον εὐχαριστήσαντα εἰπεῖν· Τοῦτο ποιεῖτε εἰς τὴν ἀνάμνησίν μου, τοῦτ' ἐστι τὸ σῶμά μου· καὶ τὸ ποτή- ριον ὁμοίως λαβόντα καὶ εὐχαριστήσαντα εἰπεῖν· Τοῦτό ἐστι τὸ αἷμά μου· καὶ μόνοις αὐτοῖς μεταδοῦναι.For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, "This do ye in remembrance of Me, this is My body;" and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, "This is My blood;" and gave it to them alone.

That is the phrase that gmx is asking about.

This is the only time Justin uses the term gospel in the plural. However, he uses it in the singular in Dialogue 10.2 and 100.2, and there is one instance of the verb, instead of the noun, in 12.2, which is from Isaiah 61.1 (Matthew 11.5 = Luke 7.22); he by far prefers the other term, memoirs, which he uses both above and at 1 Apology 67.3 in this present work, and elsewhere at Dialogue 100.4; 101.3b; 102.5; 103.6a, 8; 104.1b-2; 105.1, 5b, 6; 106.1, 3, 4; 107.1 (thirteen times over the course of these 8 chapter; the use of the verb instead of the noun also appears at 1 Apology 33.5).

I assembled a diglot (Greek and English) presentation of Justin Martyr's writings here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1874, if it should help.

Ben.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΕΘΕΙΑ

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 3695
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Justin's "which are called Gospels": interpolation?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:30 am

oleg wrote:
gmx wrote:Without meaning to be rude, I have no idea what you're talking about here.
I wonder if perhaps you are not following Ulan's prescient comment, because you are looking at the English word, "gospel", instead of looking at the Greek text, which could indicate in Mark 8, that ευαγγελίου represents verbal communication, rather than written, good news.
The noun can indeed indicate verbal communication. Justin does, however, use it of written communication in Dialogue 100.1:

ὅτι γὰρ καὶ Ἰακὼβ καὶ Ἰσραὴλ καλεῖται ὁ Χριστός, ἀπέδειξα· καὶ οὐ μόνον ἐν τῇ εὐλογίᾳ καὶ Ἰωσὴφ καὶ Ἰούδα τὰ περὶ αὐτοῦ κεκηρύχθαι ἐν μυστηρίῳ ἀπέδειξα, καὶ ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ δὲ γέγραπται εἰπών· Πάντα μοι παραδέδοται ὑπὸ τοῦ πατρός, καὶ οὐδεὶς γινώσκει τὸν πατέρα εἰ μὴ ὁ υἱός, οὐδὲ τὸν υἱὸν εἰ μὴ ὁ πατὴρ καὶ οἷς ἂν ὁ υἱὸς ἀποκαλύψῃ.

I have showed already that Christ is called both Jacob and Israel; and I have proved that it is not in the blessing of Joseph and Judah alone that what relates to Him was proclaimed mysteriously, but also in the Gospel it is written that He said: 'All things are delivered unto me by My Father;' and, 'No man knoweth the Father but the Son; nor the Son but the Father, and they to whom the Son will reveal Him.'

This is an apparent reference to the so-called "Johannine thunderbolt" (Matthew 11.25-27 = Luke 10.21-22).

Ben.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΕΘΕΙΑ

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], Ben C. Smith, Bernard Muller, Bing [Bot], Google [Bot], hakeem, james_C, John2, lsayre, MrMacSon, outhouse, Peter Kirby, Yahoo [Bot] and 34 guests