Marcionite agreements with Matthew against Luke?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Posts: 706
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:24 am
Location: Sunnyvale, CA

Re: Marcionite agreements with Matthew against Luke?

Post by Stuart »

Hakeem, you (for once) actually bring up an important point, which is the state of the text in Epiphanius and Adamantius compared to that of Tertullian. How much has the text been corrupted over time?

There are five factors to consider when examining the text of each passage
1) is the author actually quoting from the Marcionite books or from the Catholic text as it stood in his particular library?
// for Dialogue Adamantius it is my view that only when the heretical champions are speaking can we be sure the text is actually Marcionite
// Tertullian can be unreliable at time because he switches back and forth between the Catholic and Marcionite texts. he often uses the Catholic text to make a counter argument.
2) was the source of the passage quoted from the actual Marcionite bible (Paul and the Gospel) or was it from the Antithesis?
// For Dialogue Adamantius this is critical, as part 1 and part 2 seem to only have the Marcionite champions quote from the antithesis
3) is the author paraphrasing the text to fit his point, either altering the text to fit his voice or to show a point of emphasis?
// Tertullian has especially been demonstrated to do that
4) is a particular reading the result of a local text, with a variant that may merely reflect a copyist error, or has it been adjusted to conform to the Catholic reading by a later editor
// Epiphanius and Adamantius both show signs of Catholic adjustments by copyists at points
// local variants are an important clue pointing toward the Marcionites having been part of the main church and breaking away at some point taking the text with them as it stood at the point of the split.
5) Additionally for Tertullian, does the Latin accurately reflect the Greek, or has it suffered some loss in translation?
// Rufinus' Latin in DA appears to be more reliable than the Greek text for the most part
// Tertullian's passages sometimes reflects Latinisms due to direct translation.

It should be noted that Tertullian wrote before the Decian persecution, when some manuscripts were destroyed, and of course before the Diocletian persecution when there was a a wholesale burning of Christian works. (Note, I think this is why we have distinct text types). Epiphanius was written after the Diocletian persecution and appears to us in a edited form from probably the early 5th century. This almost certainly means that Epiphanius was working from some prior work(s).

Analysis of the text has to work within those known parameters. This is why one has to work at an atomic level with the sources.
Posts: 706
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:24 am
Location: Sunnyvale, CA

Re: Marcionite agreements with Matthew against Luke?

Post by Stuart »

Now back to the OP of the thread, Marcionite agreements with Matthew against Luke. Perhaps none is more famous than Matthew 9:17 and 9:16 (always seems to be in reverse in all the anti-Marcionite quotations) against Luke 5:36-38. I wont go into that passage just yet, but keep it in mind.

The big issue seems to be with the gospel order and gospel composition models, and where the Marcionite gospel would fit. It is very difficult for anyone who adheres to the concept of first century gospel composition to accept a Marcionite gospel. It is equally difficult for anyone strongly of the opinion that gospels were written in basically one sitting. [1] If you hold one of these the Tertullian solution, that the Marcionites took the Catholic Paul and Gospel and chopped out parts they didn't like is attractive. [2] To accept a Marcionite version of Paul and the Gospel overturns the concepts of early composition (i.e., 1st century compositions) and of singular authorship. Additionally Quelle theory is essentially thrown into turmoil by the Marcionite version of Luke, if it's composition is earlier, and also it throws into question the first century communities associated especially with Q study, as vaporous as they are anyway. Essentially a Marcionite version of Luke, being in essence a proto-Luke, requires a complete rethinking of the entire gospel composition order and the gospel composition process.

At this instance I am not proving anything, rather laying out the consequences of the Marcionite gospel being prior to Luke, Matthew and even a first rendition of John. [3] Mark seems to have developed outside the core political and theological disputes that unsnarled to the other three, which however does make it useful in that it allows Mark to act as something of an additional independent ]textual witness. [4]

This means is we should expect the Marcionite version of Luke should be much closer to the prototype synoptic text upon which it is based than Luke is. Agreements between the Marcionite text and Matthew's text against Luke would suggest that Luke not only added to the Marcionite gospel, but also freely adjusted the text of the Marcionite gospel as fit his needs and preferences. [5] This would hold true whether Matthew knew the Marcionite gospel or not. Editorial changes are almost always away from the base text and not in repeating it.

[1] Such positions often allow for a small late additions and adjustments. And by no means should the usual textual variance that occurs in manuscripts be held against such positions. These positions of single sitting authorship arise out of the concept of the simplest explanation is generally to be preferred.
[2] This is where the vocabulary problem undermines this position. I'll demonstrate how Luke used παραχρῆμα in place of εὐθὺς is much like kingdom of heaven in Matthew against kingdom of God in the other synoptic gospels; how this form of the word "immediately", missing in Marcion but extensive in Luke, is but one vocabulary example of post Marcionite redaction of the gospel, including the fatigue effect.
[3] The gospel of John is held by many to be a multi-layered composition, with anywhere from two to five major redactions. For the record I'm a "three redaction camp"; initial heretical, second harmonizing and catholic, third Thomas to support a corporal resurrection. The first version in my view corrects the Marcionite gospel and Matthew, betrays secondary development upon synoptic gospel concepts, and thus dependence.
[4] taken with a grain of salt. Mark has it's own agenda, and it's own special adjustments, and is not primitive nor the original source.
[5] Tertullian (AM 5.18.1) reports as much, the changes are both small and large to Luke, from a single syllable in a word all the way up to entire passages
As our heretic is so fond of his pruning-knife, I do not wonder when syllables are expunged by his hand, seeing that entire pages are usually the matter on which he practices his effacing process.

Post Reply