Marcionite agreements with Matthew against Luke?

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Stuart
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Re: Marcionite agreements with Matthew against Luke?

Post by Stuart »

I will come back to the skipped over verses and move on to the antithesis pairs as they appear in Matthew (six in all, 5:21-22, 5:27-28, 5:31-32, 5:33-37, 5:38-42, and 5:43-48). But first some background into what the antithesis pairs looked like, drawing mostly from Dialogue Adamantius. We'll let the Marcionite champions state it in their own words:

Megethius on the
I maintain that the Demiurge framed one set of laws, and that Christ made another set oppose to him. (DA 1.9)
... No one ever contradicted or opposed himself in the way that the Gospel opposes the Law. (DA 1.9)
The God of the Jews is a unity. (DA 1.9)
The God of the Jews and the Demiurge are one and the same, but our God is not His son. (DA 1.10)
Christ destroyed the works of the Demiurge, and I will prove the He destroyed them. (DA 1.10)

Tertullian confirms this [1]
For it is certain that the whole aim at which he has strenuously labored even in the drawing up of his Antitheses, centers in this, that he may establish a diversity between the Old and the New Testaments, so that his own Christ may be separate from the Creator, as belonging to this other god, and as alien from the law and the prophets. (AM 4.6.1)

now some of the pairs (still Megethius, DA 1.10)
The Creator God (ὁ θεὸς τῆς γενεσεως – note that Megethius always says, ‘the God of the Genesis’) commanded Moses when he was leaving the land of Egypt, “Be ready; gird your loins; put shoes on your feet; have your staffs in your hands and your knapsacks on you; carry away gold, silver and all the other things from the Egyptians.” (Paraphrased LXX Exodus 12:11, 3:22, 11:2, 12:35)

But our good Lord, when He was sending His disciples into the world, said, “Neither shoes on your feet, nor knapsack, nor two tunics, nor gold in your belts.” (Matthew 10:9, Luke 9:3, 10:4)

See how clearly the good Lord is opposed to the teachings of the Creator God!

2nd pair (DA 1.11):
The prophet of the God of Creation, when war came upon the people, went up to the top of the mountain and stretched out his hands to God so that he might destroy many in battle. (Exodus 17:8ff)
But our Lord, because He is good, stretched out his hands, not to destroy, but to save men.

3rd pair (DA 1.12):
The Lord brought to view in the Law say, ‘You shall love him who loves you and you shall hate your enemy.” (Leviticus 19:18 LXX with τὸν ἀγαπῶντα σε for τὸν πλησίον σου[2])
But our Lord, because He is good, says “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.”
(Matthew 5:44; see also Luke 6:27-28; Matthew 8:12, 22:13, 25:30, 41)

4th pair (DA 1.13):
Megethius: The prophet of the God of Creation, so that he might destroy more of the enemy, stopped the sun from setting until he should finish slaying those who were fighting against his people. (Joshua 10:12-14)
But the Lord, because He is good, says, “Let not the sun go upon you in anger.” (Ephesians 4:26)

5th pair (DA 1.15):
It says in the Law, ‘Eye for Eye and tooth for tooth,’ (Exodus 21:24, Leviticus 24:20, Deuteronomy 19:21 LXX, Matthew 5:38)
but the Lord, because He is good, says in the Gospel, "If anyone should slap you on the cheek, turn the other one to him." (Matthew 5:39, Luke 6:29)

6th pair (DA 1.16):
The prophet of the God of Creation told a bear to come out of a thicket and devour the children who met him (see LXX 4 kings 2:24),
but the good Lord says, "Let the children come to me, for such is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 19:14, Mark 10:14, Luke 18:16)

7th pair (DA 1.17):
The Creator God did not know where Adam was, when he asks, "Where are you?" (Genesis 3:9)
Christ, however, knew even men's thoughts. (compare Luke 6:8, 9:17)

8th pair (DA 1.18):
What then does it mean in the Law when it says, "cloak for a cloak" (Admanatius replies that this is similar to "tooth for a tooth" found in Exodus 21:24, Leviticus 24:20, Pretty guesses Leviticus 6:11; 16:23-24),
while the good Lord says, "If anyone should take your cloak, give him your tunic also?" (Luke 6:29, c.f. Matthew 5:40)

9th pair (DA 1.19):
The prophet of the god of Creation records, "My bow is bent, and my arrows are sharpened." (Isaiah 5:28 combined with Deuteronomy 32:23 LXX)
But the Apostle says, "Put on the armor of God, that you may be able to extinguish the fiery darts of the wicked one." (Ephesians 6:13, 16)

10th pair (DA 1.20):
After Isaac became partially blind, (ὐποχυθέντα but otherwise refers to Genesis 27:1) the God of Creation did not restore his sight,
but our Lord, because he is good, opened the eyes of many blind.

11th pair (DA 1.23):
I will prove from the Scriptures that there is one God who is the father of Christ, and another who is the Demiurge.

The Demiurge was known to Adam and his contemporaries – this is made clear from the Scriptures.
But the Father of Christ is unknown, just as Christ himself declared when he said of him, “No one knows the Father, except the Son, neither does anyone know the son, except the Father.” (Matthew 11:27, Luke 10:22 note ἔγνω instead of ἐπιγινώσκει)

****** Main takeaway from the above !!!
The list of antithesis comparisons from chapter one of DA is certainly incomplete. But there are a couple clear takeaways about the form of the document these pairs were taken from. The key one (for the Matthew examination) is the presentation by formula:
"The God of Creation" (ὁ θεὸς τῆς γενέσεως) ... or "the prophet of the God of Creation" (ὁ προφήτης τοῦ θεοῦ τῆς γενέσεως)
"But our Lord, because He is good" (ὁ δὲ κύριος ἡμῶν ὁ ἀγαπός) ...

While the formula is no more consistent than the Pauline letters, we can see that a basic form is present. This strongly suggests that DA chapter one was working from a document, and not the free association of the writer, which would not provide any structure.
******* End of main takeaway

Dialogue Adamantius is a rather artificial debate. Essentially the Marcionite champions announce a particular point in of their argument in brevity then fall silent to an extended response, and move on to the next one, refuted in turn while they remain silent. It's pretty obvious what is going on: the Marcionite champion Megethius is a straw man, gives the minimum conversation to present bullet points from the antithesis more or less verbatim, then because he is straw sits back and allows an extended retort to go without more than a cursory response.

Curiously Tertullian's approach was very different. Rather than actually quote the pairs, he instead takes up many of the same OT verses and stories used by the Marcionites and attempts to show they are consistent with the NT text and concepts. He is thus not a very useful source for the antithesis overall, merely a supporting element here and there. He does however introduce one Marcionite pair in AM 1.2.1-3, which Harnack proposed was the opening salvo used by the Marcionites to start the antithesis:

(Marcion by way of) the simple passage of our Lord's saying, "the good tree brings not forth corrupt fruit, neither the corrupt tree good fruit." (Luke vi.43 sq)
... he found the Creator declaring, "I am He that createth evil," [Isaiah xlv.7]

he had already concluded from other arguments, which are satisfactory to every perverted mind, that God is the author of evil, so he now applied to the Creator the figure of the corrupt tree bringing forth evil fruit, that is, moral evil, and then presumed that there ought to be another god, after the analogy of the good tree producing its good fruit. Accordingly, finding in Christ a different disposition, as it were--one of a simple and pure benevolence --differing from the Creator, he readily argued that in his Christ had been revealed a new and strange divinity; ...

Note, the unsound tree parable is also mentioned in Dialogue Adamantius 1.28, but in conjunction with serving two masters parable (Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13) to claim there are two different deities, one of creation who made evil (unsound tree) and one who is all good to whom Christ belongs. But this seems to be part of a different section of the antithesis, which concerns the nature of the two gods, that runs from DA 1.23 to the end of the chapter, and is taken up also in chapter two of DA.

Tertullian doesn't use a dialogue form, nor does he choose to refute the antithesis, one by one. So the evidence he provides is more of the theological counter points. Tertullian takes on a different part of the antithesis than the pairs, rather the second part of it we find in DA. I have no idea which part headed the document.

Next up the pairs in Matthew ...

Notes:
[1] see also Hippolytus Refutation of All Heresies 7.25, Irenaeus Against All Heresies 1.27
[2] this is the same wording of Matthew 5:43, which will become important later
[3] Compare to the pseudo-Clementine Recognitions Book 2, Chapter XLVIII and Homilies Book 17, chapter IV which also read ἔγνω
also A.M. 2.27.4 "No man knows the Father, except the Son." Nemo cognovit patrem nisi filius = οὐδεὶς ἔγνω τὸν πατέρα εἰ μὴ ὁ υἱὸς
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Re: Marcionite agreements with Matthew against Luke?

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But these are not the Antitheses that Tertullian is referencing in Against Marcion. Whether or not Matthew chapter 5 is what is originally being referenced is of course up for debate. We could debate that. The difficulty IMHO is that so many 'Marcionophiles' ignore what is said at the beginning of Against Marcion - namely that we have thrice rewritten treatise. I would contend that the most consistent anomaly of the text is the author's habit of citing Matthew 5:17-18 against Marcion (as if Marcion 'cut' this from the Antitheses). The only way this argument makes sense is if Matthew 5 = the Antitheses.
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Re: Marcionite agreements with Matthew against Luke?

Post by Stuart »

There are four OT vs NT pairs in Matthew chapter five, plus two "pairing" of sayings which has no identifiable NT verse, but instead are Decalogue drawn creations. I outline their format here:

Matthew 5:21-22 (no NT pair)
"You have heard that it was said to the men of old, 'You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.' (Exodus 20:13, Deuteronomy 5:17, 16:18 [1])
But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults (Ῥακά) his brother shall be liable to the council (τῷ συνεδρίῳ), and whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be liable to the hell of fire.

-- Matthew 5:23-26 looks secondary, not that closely related to the pair, about making offerings to the alter (unfamiliar for modern Christian ears) and reconciliation. These verses are important IMO to deciphering the term Raka (or rather it's meaning among early Christian clergy) and why it's use would call one before the Sanhedrin. An interesting topic, but beyond the scope of this exercise

Matthew 5:27-28 (no NT pair)
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' (Exodus 20:14, Deuteronomy 5:18)
But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

-- Matthew 5:29-30 looks secondary, not that closely related to the pair, about offending parts sinning

Matthew 5:31-32
"It was also said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' (Deuteronomy 24:1-4)
But I say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. (Matthew 19:9, adjustment of Luke 16:18/Mark 10:11),

Matthew 5:33-37
"Again you have heard that it was said to the men of old, 'You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.' (Leviticus 19:12)
But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.

And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.
Let what you say be simply 'Yes' or 'No'; anything more than this comes from evil. (compare James 5:12)[2]

-- Matthew 5:36-37 is related, though secondary

Matthew 5:38-42
"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth (exodus 21:24, Leviticus 24:20, Deuteronomy 19:21)
But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil.

But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you.

-- Matthew 5:39(b)-42 is related, though secondary addition to the pair

Matthew 5:43-47
You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' (Leviticus 19:18) [3]
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (Luke 6:27-28)

so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?

-- Matthew 5:45-47 is secondary but includes important antithesis material (I will examine that later)


The key points to focus on here are these:

1. Juxtaposing OT saying and new sayings from Jesus (Matthew's Jesus)
2. A common formula is used (small variance):
"You have heard that it was said" (Ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη) to frame an old testament verse
"But I (Jesus) say to you" (ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν) to frame new saying or new testament verse
these are followed by some generally related sayings which act as explanatory to the pairing
3. sayings and verses are often paraphrased

The sayings have been moved to the first person, as Jesus is framed as speaking these in Matthew. But a formula very similar to those of the antithesis used by Megethius in Dialogue Adamantius is used. We will pay attention to that, as again it suggests a document source.

The last two find parallel with the Antithesis (DA 1.15 = Matthew 5:38-39, DA 1.12 = Matthew 5.43-44), which we will examine in a subsequent post. The first two sets in Matthew are drawn from the Decalogue (You shall not Kill, You shall not commit adultery) and are not presented as far as we know in this format in the antithesis (mind you what we have is incomplete). These first two I believe are artificial, although crucial to Matthew's presentation.The third is related on divorce, and while not having a known antithesis parallel, does examine a crucial Marcionite teaching, but with a caveat to allow divorce under the one circumstances Matthew allowed (see also Matthew 19:9), infidelity (παρεκτὸς λόγου πορνείας).

Next up an examination of the anti-Marcionite objectives of these sayings.

Notes:
[1] "and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment (ἔνοχος ἔσται τῇ κρίσει)" (ἔνοχος ἔσται τῇ κρίσει) is possibly derived
from Deuteronomy 16:18. However it's use in 5:22 as well suggests a more general statement.
Modern English we'd probably render this phrase "will face justice"
[2] James is rather 5:12 is likely derived from Matthew 5:34-37, and is possibly even a late addition to James
[3] "hate your enemy" is not found in any reading Leviticus 19:18, the actual text reads "you shall love your neighbor as yourself"
this reading only occurs up in the Marcionite Antithesis (DA 1.12)
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Re: Marcionite agreements with Matthew against Luke?

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Secret Alias wrote: Sat Feb 27, 2021 3:20 pm But these are not the Antitheses that Tertullian is referencing in Against Marcion. Whether or not Matthew chapter 5 is what is originally being referenced is of course up for debate. We could debate that. The difficulty IMHO is that so many 'Marcionophiles' ignore what is said at the beginning of Against Marcion - namely that we have thrice rewritten treatise. I would contend that the most consistent anomaly of the text is the author's habit of citing Matthew 5:17-18 against Marcion (as if Marcion 'cut' this from the Antitheses). The only way this argument makes sense is if Matthew 5 = the Antitheses.
No, I am arguing the Antithesis is much better laid out in Dialogue Adamantius than by Tertullian.

Tertullian gives a confused presentation and does not cit the antithesis document in long enough contextual passages, unlike his presentation of the Paul and the Gospel in AM 4 and AM 5. He instead attacks one element of an antithesis pair separately from it's partner. So it is very difficult to reconstruct what document he was examining.

More accurate would be to state that I am arguing Matthew chapter 5 includes elements that make it an additional witness to the a part of the Antithesis. But like Tertullian, Matthew attempts to turn the points of the Antithesis he addresses to show they are not opposites but in fact the same theological points, in harmony with the OT with maybe a shift in emphasis that is if anything more strict than before.
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Re: Marcionite agreements with Matthew against Luke?

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But Adamantius doesn't mention the existence of "Antitheses" per se. Do you see how they crazy your argument is? You are saying the concept that is the focus of Against Marcion is really found in Adamantius. That's a Giuseppe argument. Why not cite Harry Potter to define the Antitheses? Or a Victoria Secret catalog.
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Re: Marcionite agreements with Matthew against Luke?

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You're saying Tertullian declares "I am going to show you the Antitheses" and then doesn't but Adamantius does. A weak argument at best.
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Re: Marcionite agreements with Matthew against Luke?

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Secret Alias wrote: Sun Feb 28, 2021 4:11 pm You're saying Tertullian declares "I am going to show you the Antitheses" and then doesn't but Adamantius does. A weak argument at best.
Tertullian cuts apart the pairs into independent components and then presents his length counter argument. n fact he blends response with the antithesis. So it is near impossible to decipher what the antithesis document looked like. You must admit it, you yourself who have looked at Tertullian for years are unable to reproduce anything like a compact and organized document that succinctly lays out the key Marcionite comparisons.

Conversely, it is clear that Adamantius separates the response from the elements of the Antithesis, by placing those elements in the mouth of the Marcionite champion, who then compliantly goes silent or gives one to three word response to questions (he is hardly a debater). He gives the pairs in a form that looks like one would find in a small pamphlet, "the god of genesis ... but our lord because he is good". This to me is compelling, because the antithesis would be worthless if it was not essentially bullet form, and if it too large to be easily lugged around by itinerant preachers -- the gospels even tell us they traveled light, and such is implied in 3 John.

I don't think your view of the document is very realistic, nor of practical use (if it's not practical it would not have been reproduced). And you have presented your ideas in many threads. What you seem to describe is a voluminous work of the sort that might sit in a monastery or the dusty library of a cathedral, not something easily accessible. Such a document would be of no value to a Marcionite evangelist. You have to think about how a a document would be used. It must have been short enough to be easily and cheaply (money is important) copied and passed on. The Manicheans even had it in some form, so there must have been a lot of copies. What you have described doesn't make any sense, and has no life outside of Tertullian as a possible witness. I think in fact you are too hung up on Tertullian as the one and only source.
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Re: Marcionite agreements with Matthew against Luke?

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But what evidence is there that Adamantius knows that a thing called the Antitheses was associated with Marcion's gospel? Zero. No evidence. The only evidence for Marcion's Antitheses comes from Tertullian and Tertullian repeats Matthean passages identified as or related to "the Antitheses" by modern scholars many of whom say explicitly that Marcion's Antitheses are a version of Matthew's Antitheses.

Sorry but the arguments from things said by Adamantius are of a lower, much lower value than arguments which come from things said by Tertullian because one of the things Tertullian says is Marcion's Antitheses. Case closed.
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Re: Marcionite agreements with Matthew against Luke?

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Hegemonius cites Manichaean arguments which sound "antithetical." Similar to the statements in Adamantius. By your standard of argumentation Hegemonius should also be used as a source for Marcion's Antitheses. The Clementine literature too. Not everyone who made antinomian arguments used Marcion's Antitheses or knew about them. While Tertullian does not come out and say that the Marcionite Antitheses = Matthew 5:17 - 44. It is at least a reasonable inference from Tertullian especially given his consistent and puzzling accusations of Marcionite erasure from Matthew
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Re: Marcionite agreements with Matthew against Luke?

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The strongest argument for the Antitheses = Matthew 5:

I come next to those customary judgements (ad ordinarias sententias eius) by which he builds up his own special doctrine (per quas proprietatem doctrinae suae inducit), what I may call the magisterial edict of Christ (but which the Marcionites apparently called the Antitheses). (4.15)
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