New wine into fresh wineskins

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Ken Olson
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Re: New wine into fresh wineskins

Post by Ken Olson »

perseusomega9 wrote: Tue Apr 20, 2021 8:07 am I side with Ben and Klinghardt, Matt and Luke's changes are too obvious to be anything but an anti-marcionite reaction
Changes to the Parable of the Wineskins? What changes specifically show that and how? And how do the changes Matthew and Luke make to Mark undermine the reading of Mark that I proposed in the OP?

Thanks,

Ken
Last edited by Ken Olson on Thu Apr 29, 2021 8:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: New wine into fresh wineskins

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Stuart wrote: Wed Apr 21, 2021 12:05 amThe church has become established and regular part of the local community, and so is worried about it's image with "unbelievers". Issues like mixed faith marriages are not something a very early evangelical movement makes great pronouncements about, as they are trying to convert everyone. But a more established movement does worry about such things, which is reflected in 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 pronouncements on how to handle mixed marriages of a Christian and an "unbeliever." including whether their children are considered clean (i.e., Christian) in 7:14. We see in 6:1-8 concerns about lawsuits among members, admonishing them to keep such matters "in house, " keeping the community out of the legal system. Again this is not a fledgling movement just started, rather an established on with significant standing in the community. And not just one place, as these statements require encyclical publication via a Pauline instruction. I judge all these to be a couple generations after the establishment of a network of churches.
Where do you get your ideas about how fledgling evangelical movements work? What is the research and sociology behind these statements?
Ken Olson
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Re: New wine into fresh wineskins

Post by Ken Olson »

Giuseppe wrote: Tue Apr 20, 2021 7:53 am Only think about this curious anomaly in your scenario:
  • "Luke" (editor) felt someway that the parable of wineskins supported Marcion, hence he changed radically the sense of the parable, by making it sure that (5:39) No one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, ‘The old is good enough.’”
  • "Mark" (author and adorer of YHWH) invented a parable who supported so strongly Marcion without knowing it in advance.
Giuseppe,

There is no anomaly in my scenario, or at least you haven’t shown that there is one. What you’ve pointed out is that what I’m saying conflicts with what you believe to be the case. You have not justified your claim that Luke 5.39 radically changes the sense of (Mark’s) parable, at least not the sense in which I have taken Mark’s parable (which is what you are criticizing when you say ‘your scenario’). Nor have you shown that Mark 2.21-22 supports specifically Marcionite beliefs more than it supports the general Christian belief that Christianity supersedes Judaism found in Paul, the Evangelists, and much of the the New Testament (I would hesitate to say all; I am not sure that Philemon, for example, is addressing the issue of supersessionism).

You are guilty of the sort of thinking described in Maslow’s Law of the Instrument: “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” (originally: “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail”). This is the problem with dialectic modes of analysis. If your method of analysis is to analyze something in terms of opposing forces, “X” and “not X”, it will necessarily result in analysis of that thing in terms of X and not X. When what you have is Marcion (or, perhaps, Klinghardt and Vinzent), everything looks like Marcionism or anti-Marcionism.

There are two problems (actually a lot more, but I’m just going to go into two here) in this sort of thinking:

1) One of the difficulties in analyzing figurative language (e.g., symbol, metaphor, parable, allegory) is that the interpreter can always interpret the figures used in light of his own beliefs rather than trying to figure out how the author he is supposed to be interpreting intended them. Origen and his predecessors are (in)famous for their allegorical method of analyzing Old Testament texts. They took various things mentioned in the Old Testament as figures of other things they wanted to talk about, effectively nullifying the meaning intended by the Old Testament authors and replacing it with their own.

The point is that while the figures used in the Parable of the (Cloak and) Wineskin certainly can be interpreted in a Marcionite fashion, you haven’t shown that the parable must have been written to support that interpretation.

2) The second problem, related to the first, is that you do not seem to be distinguishing between supersessionism, the belief that there is something new in Christianity that makes it superior to Judaism, which is implicit or explicit in the New Testament from Paul on, and the specifically Marcionite form of supersessionism (as best we can gather it from our patristic witnesses) that Christianity is not only better than Judaism, but that the God of Jesus is not the God of Israel, and is not the being that communicated with and made promises to the Patriarchs and Prophets of Israel, and is not the God described in the scriptures of Israel.

It would seem that for you, any text that addresses Christianity’s relationship to Jews, Judaism, or the God of or Scriptures of Israel must necessarily be either Marcionite or anti-Marcionite, because there is no third option. But this is to make the theory that Marcion is an early text preceding the Gospels (and Paul, or at least canonical Paul?) a fundamental article of faith, not a falsifiable theory that can be supported or undermined by examination of evidence.

Mark 2.21-22 is a supercessionistic text, but does not show evidence of being a specfically Marcionite supercessionistic text. Mark and Marcion, I would argue, are both dependent on the earlier idea that Christianity supersedes Judaism for whom Paul is our earliest witness (though of course he does not say it in those terms).

Luke 5:39: First, this is one of the Western Non-Interpolations (not found in D and several other traditions), so we don’t know if it was written by the author Luke or not. Second, analyzed from within its context in Luke, it is unnecessary to suppose that it radically alter the sense of Mark. I take Mark to be referring to the holy spirit indwelling in people (that we Christians, though the word is rare in the NT and is a word outsiders use to describe Jesus’ followers) and Luke 5.39 is stating that some people are so used to the old wine (which I would take to be Judaism), that they will not try the new wine (Christianity). I think it may well be referring to the failure of the Christian mission to the Jews. It is not contradicting or radically altering what Mark says about the new wine.

Best,

Ken

N.B. I realize that the word supersessionism has become a charged word in recent years. I am not advocating it, but I am claiming it is there in the New Testament texts, and that those who deny it and find a “two-track system” (dual covenant theology) in the New Testament are guilty of anachronistic reading in the service of contemporary social goals (i.e., I’m fine with the goals, but not with the reading of the NT).
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Re: New wine into fresh wineskins

Post by Giuseppe »

Ken Olson wrote: Wed Apr 21, 2021 7:43 am You have not justified your claim that Luke 5.39 radically changes the sense of (Mark’s) parable
I have not talked about Luke 5.39 as written in opposition to Mark. I have talked about Luke 5.39 as a Lukan interpolation in the Marcion's Evangelion. Hence, given what is for me a FACT (= that a protocatholic named 'Luke' corrupted Marcion's Evangelion by adding 5:39), I wonder how, in the your scenario, "Mark" (author probably assumed to be the original inventor of the parable of wineskins) had written completely unknowingly (sic) a parable who would have supported Marcion (i.e. an enemy of YHWH) by provoking at least the KNOWN reaction of a protocatholic ('Luke') against Marcion.

The anomaly is that "Luke" (editor and corruptor of Marcion's Evangelion) saw in a parable what "Mark" (the presumed inventor of it) didn't see.

In the rest of your comment you may be correct about my irrational approach to see all as Marcion versus anti-Marcion.

At any case, if a marcionite interpretation was connected with a text (call it proto-Luke), it was sufficient the only connection of that text with that interpretation, to provoke (and justify) a reaction formed by well 4 Gospels against that text.

In the history there are many occurrences of texts or symbols that are automatically connected with intepretations (not originally connected with these texts or symbols) and execrated or accepted for that only reason.
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Re: New wine into fresh wineskins

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Ben C. Smith wrote: Wed Apr 21, 2021 7:17 am
Stuart wrote: Wed Apr 21, 2021 12:05 amThe church has become established and regular part of the local community, and so is worried about it's image with "unbelievers". Issues like mixed faith marriages are not something a very early evangelical movement makes great pronouncements about, as they are trying to convert everyone. But a more established movement does worry about such things, which is reflected in 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 pronouncements on how to handle mixed marriages of a Christian and an "unbeliever." including whether their children are considered clean (i.e., Christian) in 7:14. We see in 6:1-8 concerns about lawsuits among members, admonishing them to keep such matters "in house, " keeping the community out of the legal system. Again this is not a fledgling movement just started, rather an established on with significant standing in the community. And not just one place, as these statements require encyclical publication via a Pauline instruction. I judge all these to be a couple generations after the establishment of a network of churches.
Where do you get your ideas about how fledgling evangelical movements work? What is the research and sociology behind these statements?
LOL just common sense reasoning about organizational development. I have been with a few start up companies, and I watched how it takes more than a few years to build up the rules and regulations. Everything is done on an as needed basis. It starts with an idea. You only worry about structure when ad hoc doesn't work. We call the early years (which can run decades even today) heroes work, as there are few formal titles and a you wear many hats. The timescale for these things is way sped up these days, as we think in terms of weeks not years.

You do not make rules unless you need them. You do not formalize structure unless you need to. If it's a house church with fewer than a dozen worshipers coming over, you don't need a rector (what properties? what accounts?), you don't need all these titles. Why would what looks like an originally cenobitic movement be worried about offspring? This suggest already a split between those with ecclesiastical positions and expectations and those more common -- in house churches? That just doesn't add up.

Neither does an operation where you have enough cases of members suing each other in the courts, as it already implies somewhat wealthier and more established members of society within the fledgling church in sufficient numbers to have more than one or two cases popping up, such that there is a need for a proclamation, and not just any, but one that has to be placed in scripture.

The structure imposed in these passages implies either (a) many years of building up to require the posts and many practical questions and problems built up or (b) a preexisting structure is imported. If you are arguing the latter you need to find the structure (that is the organization which had that similar structure) which it came from.

The other point that stands out is the term unbelievers (ἄπιστος) in these passages. This is a different category, something new. I would argue post Pauline here. It's also a different take than the loose fragment found in 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1, which essentially calls for separation from them. It's not found elsewhere in Paul, except one comparison each with bad behavior in 1 Timothy and Titus of the Pastorals.

These passages all suggest a larger congregation and a network of churches, with in place hierarchy that would have taken years to set up, complete with buildings of its own, not somebody's house for meeting. It's hard to see any of this as the "early years."
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Re: New wine into fresh wineskins

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Stuart wrote: Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:25 am
Ben C. Smith wrote: Wed Apr 21, 2021 7:17 am
Stuart wrote: Wed Apr 21, 2021 12:05 amThe church has become established and regular part of the local community, and so is worried about it's image with "unbelievers". Issues like mixed faith marriages are not something a very early evangelical movement makes great pronouncements about, as they are trying to convert everyone. But a more established movement does worry about such things, which is reflected in 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 pronouncements on how to handle mixed marriages of a Christian and an "unbeliever." including whether their children are considered clean (i.e., Christian) in 7:14. We see in 6:1-8 concerns about lawsuits among members, admonishing them to keep such matters "in house, " keeping the community out of the legal system. Again this is not a fledgling movement just started, rather an established on with significant standing in the community. And not just one place, as these statements require encyclical publication via a Pauline instruction. I judge all these to be a couple generations after the establishment of a network of churches.
Where do you get your ideas about how fledgling evangelical movements work? What is the research and sociology behind these statements?
LOL just common sense reasoning about organizational development. I have been with a few start up companies, and I watched how it takes more than a few years to build up the rules and regulations. Everything is done on an as needed basis. It starts with an idea. You only worry about structure when ad hoc doesn't work. We call the early years (which can run decades even today) heroes work, as there are few formal titles and a you wear many hats. The timescale for these things is way sped up these days, as we think in terms of weeks not years.
I have participated in a startup company, as well, and I am not sure that qualifies me to make pronouncements on the kinds of matters we are discussing.

I know you have made similar common sense statements about evangelical missions and crossing cultural boundaries which I considered (and still consider) to be flat false, based partly on my own personal experiences with exactly those things (in a modern context, of course, just like my experience with a startup). So I am not going to be easy to persuade just from common sense arguments unless the sense is "common" in the most literal sense. And that holds true even when the common sense is my own. For example, a couple of the things you wrote about 1 Corinthians 7 make sense to me in a common sense fashion. But I do not trust my judgment in those matters, partly because I have never been personally involved in a nascent evangelical movement, and a quick mental survey of my own studies of such movements does not produce anything squarely on point.

What I am saying is that I need at least a bit of research for these points, not just "Stuart says" or even "Ben says."
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Re: New wine into fresh wineskins

Post by Ben C. Smith »

A good example of what I am talking about is that I am personally very predisposed to consider the "bishops/overseers and deacons" of Philippians 1.1 to be a sign of a later era. That is what my common sense tells me. But I am not sure, because I do not (yet) have enough information about the origins of Christian ecclesiastical structure overall to pull the trigger on it. And, if I do not trust my own common sense on such things, I sure as heck am not going to be trusting someone else's.
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Re: New wine into fresh wineskins

Post by Ken Olson »

Stuart wrote: Wed Apr 21, 2021 12:05 am What strikes me however, as the passage 1 Corinthians 14:23-25 is not attested in Marcion, is that we have arrived at a much later date in the churches formation that the early evangelizing days symbolized by Paul and other legendary apostles.
Stuart,

The passages you cite would seem to support the opposite conclusion from the one you draw.

1 Corinthians 14:23-25

20 Brothers and sisters, do not be children in your thinking; rather, be infants in evil, but in thinking be adults. 21 In the law it is written,
“By people of strange tongues
    and by the lips of foreigners
I will speak to this people;
    yet even then they will not listen to me,”
says the Lord. 
22 Tongues, then, are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is not for unbelievers but for believers. 23 If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24 But if all prophesy, an unbeliever or outsider who enters is reproved by all and called to account by all. 25 After the secrets of the unbeliever’s heart are disclosed, that person will bow down before God and worship him, declaring, “God is really among you.”

The scenario pictured here would seem to be a likely one in an early, expanding, evangelical church. Where do you suppose converts to Christianity came from, if not from unbelievers? The scenario described seems to envision an unbeliever visiting a church service (perhaps at the invitation of an already converted friend). Paul is arguing that if everyone is speaking in tongues (i.e., incomprehensibly) the unbeliever is likely to think they’re crazy. But if the prophets disclose (comprehensibly) the secrets of the unbelievers heart, he or she will acknowledge that God is among them (this would seem tantamount to becoming a believer).

1 Corinthians 7:12-16 pronouncements on how to handle mixed marriages of a Christian and an "unbeliever." including whether their children are considered clean (i.e., Christian) in 7:14

12 To the rest I say—I and not the Lord—that if any believer[a] has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 13 And if any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy through her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15 But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so; in such a case the brother or sister is not bound. It is to peace that God has called you. 16 Wife, for all you know, you might save your husband. Husband, for all you know, you might save your wife. (1 Cor. 7.12-16).

This would seem to be a very early issue the members of the church might have to face. If a woman was a recent convert to Christianity, perhaps converted by Paul himself, would she not be concerned about her as yet unbelieving husband and her unbaptized children? I would suggest that this applied to women more often than men because a man of the householder class could probably have his whole household baptized if he saw fit (as appears to be the case with Stephanus in 1Cor. 1.16), as might a woman who is a widow with underage children who is herself head of household (as I think Chloe in 1 Cor. 1.11 may have been).

6:1-8 concerns about lawsuits among members

6 When any of you has a grievance against another, do you dare to take it to court before the unrighteous, instead of taking it before the saints? 2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels—to say nothing of ordinary matters? 4 If you have ordinary cases, then, do you appoint as judges those who have no standing in the church? 5 I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to decide between one believer[a] and another, 6 but a believer goes to court against a believer—and before unbelievers at that?
7 In fact, to have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? 8 But you yourselves wrong and defraud—and believers[d] at that. (1 Cor. 6.1-8).

Again, this would seem to be a new issue that arose and that Paul has to deal with. There are not Christian courts already in place, and Paul is suggesting an ad hoc solution. The church in Corinth might be small, maybe only a very few of the householder class (like Stephanus and Chloe) who converted their entire households – spouses, children, slaves, and possibly freedmen or hirelings, and maybe several more who joined as individuals. If just two of those householders got involved in a lawsuit with each other, that could cause a major rift in the church that Paul had to rule on.

1 Corinthians 12:28 κυβερνήσεις

27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

The word, which literally means “helmsman”, could be applied to any person who governed or gave guidance. You do not know what the responsibilities of that person were. It might have been something as simple as making sure everyone knew where and when the church would be meeting. It appears from the context of the letter that the helmsman did not have the authority to decide the issues that the church needed to have Paul rule on. (This is one of the things that scholars use to separate the Pastoral Epistles from the seven generally accepted letters of Paul; the Pastorals seem to picture a single bishop with authority in each church). Also, Paul is not referring to titles fromally bestowed by the church, but to gifts that people claim to have had bestowed on them by the holy spirit.
Verses 14:21-25 share the term unbelievers with 7:12-16, 6:1-8 and 10:27.
1 Cor. 10.27 envisions an unbeliever inviting a Christian to dine at his house, and whether it is acceptable for a Christian to attend. If Paul is writing to recent converts from paganism (Polytheism? Hellenism?), and the vast majority of that person’s friends and associates are still pagans, this is quite plausible. (Paul rules in the affirmative, within limits)
You do not make rules unless you need them. You do not formalize structure unless you need to. If it's a house church with fewer than a dozen worshipers coming over, you don't need a rector (what properties? what accounts?), you don't need all these titles. Why would what looks like an originally cenobitic movement be worried about offspring?
You have not shown that Paul in 1 Corinthians is doing anything other than making ad hoc rules as he needs them. The scenario depicted by the letter, that one of Chloe’s people brought Paul a letter describing some problems that had arisen in the church at Corinth while he is away (1 Cor. 1.11) is entirely plausible.

Best,

Ken

PS - I am assuming that the Corinthian church consists primarily Gentiles converted by Paul and his missionary associates. Gentile Christianity is an idea Paul has in his head, which is why he needs to rule on so many issues. There are Jewish-Christian churches that have been in existence for longer and not face the same issues (there were already rules on marriage to unbelievers, eating with pagans, and attending pagan worship in Judaism).
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Re: New wine into fresh wineskins

Post by Stuart »

Ken,

The issue is an order of hierarchy and defined positions. Why do you need a hierarchy in house church of say 10 people? Why are we concerned with apostles and teachers ranks. These imply many churches, and significant management duties.

Lawsuits, that is taking your business outside the community suggests a few things; namely you have several moneyed people in the community who have stakes to sue each other over business contracts. What kind of new converts are these who within a couple years of adopting this new religion, one that is not fashionable so makes no sense as a virtue display, immediately turn on each other for money? This doesn't seem like something you'd expect in a young evangelical community. Would anyone make such a broad pronouncement in scripture if it's just one incident?

Tongues did go out of fashion, but we don't know exactly when. It has been suggested this occurred during the rise of ecclesiasticism, when the church was trying to control the product. Are we pushing that event all the way back to the earliest generation or two of the Pauline writings? Or do we acknowledge that it seems to have continued into the 3rd century as the Montanist and Tertullian attest. Not every change happened at once in the Pastoral composition, these gradually worked in over time. Apparently speaking in tongues and interpreting them was in fashion long enough to ranked in the hierarchy of a more defined church.

We have to ask questions about the size of the church when these passages were written, how far along was it? I always come back to vocabulary when looking at the Marcionite versions, and words missing. One in particular stands out "elders." I know it's been proposed that Marcion as an early Catholic introduced the position, and it does seem natural enough, but the word is missing from the attested Marcionite text. (Keeping in mind that absence of evidence is not always evidence of absence, but here it's a probability case as this includes a few gospel verses where it is present in Canonical Luke).

Now as to Ben. I may not convince you, and granted more study is needed, but I think you should hold with a grain of salt the assumption that the hierarchical order and commandments were early. 1 Corinthians 7 is a collection of similar material on sexual relations, but it's been picked apart by critics who do not see it as from a single author, rather many with slightly different views. I am probably assuming too much to think that Christian as a distinct group of people is in view in 7:12-16 when speaking of the offspring between one in the faith and one outside, as they may still see themselves as evangelical Jews, but still being Jews doesn't seem to mesh with the Pauline message.

There is another implied assumption I admit here. In my view early on there is an interchangeability between the term apostle and bishop. I mean this at the level of a Paul or other leaders (e.g., Cephas, Apollos) whom are associated with doctrines (e.g., Apollos "watering"). So when apostles are in the hierarchical order, and set first, you can interchange that with bishop, that is more explicitly spelled out in the Pastoral letters. This is my interpretation of Acts 1:20 (from Psalms 109:8), as actual bishopric office complete with the process of election (the casting of lots is symbolic, to make it divinely inspired). I admit that colors my view.
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Re: New wine into fresh wineskins

Post by Ken Olson »

Stuart wrote: Wed Apr 21, 2021 2:47 pm The issue is an order of hierarchy and defined positions.
Why do you need a hierarchy in house church of say 10 people? Why are we concerned with apostles and teachers ranks. These imply many churches, and significant management duties.
(1) I think there are probably more people than that in the Corinthian church. And any time you have three people (maybe only two), there is hierarchy. People of the householder class, of whom we can name two, likely wielded some power as the heads of their own households who were also probably members of the church. But that's a product of the social hierarchy in Corinth, not the institutional hierarchy of the church.

(2) What you are supposed to be showing is that there was a formal or institutional church hierarchy and your only evidence for that is Paul's enumeration in 1 Cor. 12.28, which for all you know Paul just made up for the occasion. He puts apostles (in which Paul would include himself and very possibly no one else who had been to Corinth) first, prophets second, teachers third, and people who speak in tongues last. This would be consistent with the evidence we have elsewhere in the epistle that (1) Paul claimed unique authority over the Corinthian church and (2) people speaking in tongues interrupted or talked over the prophets (and perhaps the teachers too).
Lawsuits, that is taking your business outside the community suggests a few things; namely you have several moneyed people in the community who have stakes to sue each other over business contracts. What kind of new converts are these who within a couple years of adopting this new religion,
Ones that are human beings.
one that is not fashionable so makes no sense as a virtue display, immediately turn on each other for money? This doesn't seem like something you'd expect in a young evangelical community.
You might not expect that, but that that sort of thing doesn't happen is sheer speculation on your part
Would anyone make such a broad pronouncement in scripture if it's just one incident?
Paul wrote a letter to the Corinthian church addressing problems they wrote him about. It only became scripture (to Christians) later.
Apparently speaking in tongues and interpreting them was in fashion long enough to ranked in the hierarchy of a more defined church.
You are pressing Paul's enumeration in 1 Cor. 12.28 too far in suggesting that it constitutes a formal church hierarchy of a later church. It seems more likely that Paul has been informed the Corinthians are having a problem with people spontaneously speaking in tongues and talking over the prophets and teachers during services and he's come up with a solution on the spot.
We have to ask questions about the size of the church when these passages were written, how far along was it?
I don't know. Nor do you. Not more than a hundred people, i'd guess. I'd say half that is not improbable, a quarter of that is at the low end of plausible.
I always come back to vocabulary when looking at the Marcionite versions, and words missing. One in particular stands out "elders." I know it's been proposed that Marcion as an early Catholic introduced the position, and it does seem natural enough, but the word is missing from the attested Marcionite text. (Keeping in mind that absence of evidence is not always evidence of absence, but here it's a probability case as this includes a few gospel verses where it is present in Canonical Luke).
πρεσβύτεροι is unattested in Marcion? Well, it's attested only in the Pastoral Epistles in the canonical Pauline corpus. It's not found in the seven generally accepted letters of Paul, including 1 Corinthians. (Well, Hebrews has it too if you count that in the Pauline corpus).
There is another implied assumption I admit here. In my view early on there is an interchangeability between the term apostle and bishop. I mean this at the level of a Paul or other leaders (e.g., Cephas, Apollos) whom are associated with doctrines (e.g., Apollos "watering"). So when apostles are in the hierarchical order, and set first, you can interchange that with bishop, that is more explicitly spelled out in the Pastoral letters. This is my interpretation of Acts 1:20 (from Psalms 109:8), as actual bishopric office complete with the process of election (the casting of lots is symbolic, to make it divinely inspired). I admit that colors my view.
I disagree. An apostle, or messenger, one who is sent out, is an itinerant missionary. A bishop is a resident overseer of the flock in a closely defined area (normally a city).

Best,

Ken
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