What was Marcion's Gospel?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.

What was Marcion's Gospel?

Poll ended at Tue Jun 15, 2021 1:05 am

Post-Luke, Similar to Luke
4
25%
Pre-Luke, Similar to Luke
6
38%
Pre-Mark, Similar to Luke
4
25%
Proto-Mark or Similar to Mark
2
13%
Proto-Matthew or Similar to Matthew
0
No votes
Proto-Diatessaron, Similar to a Gospel Harmony
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 16

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mlinssen
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Re: What was Marcion's Gospel?

Post by mlinssen »

davidmartin wrote: Wed May 19, 2021 3:58 pm first it makes sense to me Marcion has the crucifixion and resurrection - if he promotes Paul he surely must have?
You're arguing the wrong way. First there is textual evidence, then one can draw conclusions.
So my question is: why do you think that Marcion came after Paul? What textual evidence is there that brings you to that conclusion?
i see it the other way round. instead of Marcion not teaching it, it's about recognising the crucifixion (done by the power of the enemy) nullified the Marcionite's claim Jesus couldn't have been tempted (ie if he can be crucified he can be tempted) - it seems more likely to me Marcion didn't have the temptation
I am absolutely positive that Marcion didn't have that

Tertullian AM 5.6.7

But it is no longer open to me even to interpret the princes and powers of this world as the Creator's, since the apostle imputes ignorance to them, whereas even the devil according to our Gospel recognised Jesus in the temptation, and, according to the record which is common to both (Marcionites and ourselves) the evil spirit knew that Jesus was the Holy One of God, and that Jesus was His name, and that He was come to destroy them

There is a clear difference here between our gospel and that which is common to both, hence the conclusion must be drawn that Marcion didn't have the temptation. And why would he? That is only there because it fulfils scripture, so it is none of Marcion's business
anything that made Jesus appear more guilty might have been Marcion's bag
Why would Jesus have to be made look guilty? Of what?
re: the stuff Marcion leaves in with resurrection/physical body
Ah.. again Marcion has to agree with Paul whose letters he promotes and I believe that its true, he's a radical Pauline. So he must have the cross and the resurrection... or he can't have Paul
Do you see how this is the epitome of circular reasoning? Can I at least have an argument or two of
1) how Marcion would be a "radical Pauline" and what that would mean?
2) why Marcion can't be that all by himself of himself?
I recon Marcion maybe taught Jesus already had the 'glorified body' of Paul, which appears fleshly. Possibly nothing of his body changed after the cross he means. So he's not the pure spirit of the gnostics but does have the new body Paul speaks of
So in other words Jesus 'appeared' to be normal but he really had the glorified body we find in Paul, which presumably is not 'born' right?!
I find nothing in Marcion about flesh, body, soul and spirit parts at all, let alone those of Jesus. I'm currently reading Harnack in original form, and he also presumes that Marcion came after Paul and thus removes flesh and such.
But that is an assumption and I have yet to find in Harnack what his arguments are

The Church fathers were really intent on bending the Pauline image of a celestial Christ at some point, and added all the flesh stuff. With their strategy of making it appear as if Marcion copied Luke instead of vice versa, this is the logical outcome of their argumentation.
But Thomas doesn't give a damn about the make up of IS, and I think that Marcion didn't either. You really shouldn't take Churchianity as the centre of the universe and reason back and forth from that, because you'll end up there again

Have I ever addressed your physical make up? Are you sure that you're made of flesh, and not just a spirit? Can I just talk to you without making a statement on that?
If I can do so, why can't Marcion?
I can see how the Paul based Christians could more easily split over Jesus's birth and body more than they could over the God issue. I bet you that there were Paul types who didn't have a gospel at all and rejected a physical Jesus body. Out of this group Marcion came, with a gospel and well against Jewish religion, its worth mentioning that for all Paul's quotes of scripture most are moralising and justification types, he doesn't use the same proofs the fathers or matthew uses. i'm not sure Paul even says Jesus is the messiah explicitly. so its not as crazy as it first appears Marcion uses Paul i think its possible to make sense of it.
Have you noticed that I am arguing for the complete opposite?

i guess Marcion got his gospel from Mark and other sources available at the time, and someone 'corrected' it pretty early on to make Luke in parallel circulation for a while then chooom the fathers say he messed with Luke
That is also possible, but it would mean that he really did remove an awful lot of stuff.
In my scenario, each just adds to the previous "good message"

Marcion adds the story / narrative to Thomas and has him die and resurrect;
Paul refutes the anti-Judean elements by arguing at enormous length about them;
Mark adds the Tanakh footing and makes sure that Jesus is a human being;
Luke makes it all his own by copying Marcion in its entirety while creating his own Thomasine parables
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Re: What was Marcion's Gospel?

Post by davidmartin »

ah great thanks i get your position a bit better now

the 'pagan' text. Pass the spliff? haha

Right, it's not Rufinus after all it's Philip of Side. I don't know if he wrote in Latin or Greek here's the link
https://www.tertullian.org/fathers/phil ... gments.htm
There's some interesting shit in this page if you ask me

It never occured to me this text might relate to the Gnostics
But for a thought experiment, what if this were a preserved text which was pretty ancient?
I can imagine an early Christianity that was able to syncretically preach the son of God through the existing religious systems. I'm not sure that possibility has been explored much but i can see it. there's not much evidence but there is some one could argue for
why do you think that Marcion came after Paul?
ahha right. whichever solves the most problems but that is a big switch from the usual chronology!
if Marcion came before Paul well things would be very different for sure
the thought has crossed my mind. in the end i just didn't need to do that to feel comfortable
Why would Jesus have to be made look guilty? Of what?
Marcion didn't like Judaism so Jesus running foul of the authorities would be what the Marcionite Jesus would do. The more they didn't like Jesus the better, it proves Marcion correct? I'm not reading too much into the specific accusations they are fairly normal and expected ones
The Church fathers were really intent on bending the Pauline image of a celestial Christ at some point, and added all the flesh stuff. With their strategy of making it appear as if Marcion copied Luke instead of vice versa, this is the logical outcome of their argumentation.
But Thomas doesn't give a damn about the make up of IS, and I think that Marcion didn't either. You really shouldn't take Churchianity as the centre of the universe and reason back and forth from that, because you'll end up there again
I think what you are seeing in Marcion existed prior to Marcion and wasn't him and Marcion is further along in time than that and he was involved in the controversies we are talking about
I think Marcion was a rock star faith preacher type like Benny Hinn with a roadshow and was a big draw. The sentiments of the people were probably not favourable to Judaism around the time of the 2nd revolt which was in fact a big war that spilled over into various places. It's suspicious to me he might be humping some of those sentiments. I don't think he give us much of a window into the 1st century. Thomas came from there and I think the Odes does too and 75% chance Paul does, unless Paul = Marcion!
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Re: What was Marcion's Gospel?

Post by mlinssen »

davidmartin wrote: Thu May 20, 2021 1:53 am
why do you think that Marcion came after Paul?
ahha right. whichever solves the most problems but that is a big switch from the usual chronology!
if Marcion came before Paul well things would be very different for sure
the thought has crossed my mind. in the end i just didn't need to do that to feel comfortable
Why would Jesus have to be made look guilty? Of what?
Marcion didn't like Judaism so Jesus running foul of the authorities would be what the Marcionite Jesus would do. The more they didn't like Jesus the better, it proves Marcion correct? I'm not reading too much into the specific accusations they are fairly normal and expected ones
Thomas detested Judaism. The Pharisee and scribe stuff is in his text as well, and of course I would argue that he is the source to that
The Church fathers were really intent on bending the Pauline image of a celestial Christ at some point, and added all the flesh stuff. With their strategy of making it appear as if Marcion copied Luke instead of vice versa, this is the logical outcome of their argumentation.
But Thomas doesn't give a damn about the make up of IS, and I think that Marcion didn't either. You really shouldn't take Churchianity as the centre of the universe and reason back and forth from that, because you'll end up there again
I think what you are seeing in Marcion existed prior to Marcion and wasn't him and Marcion is further along in time than that and he was involved in the controversies we are talking about
What I'm seeing is Marcion is pure Thomas, plus the scenic tour - there is nothing more to it than that
I think Marcion was a rock star faith preacher type like Benny Hinn with a roadshow and was a big draw. The sentiments of the people were probably not favourable to Judaism around the time of the 2nd revolt which was in fact a big war that spilled over into various places. It's suspicious to me he might be humping some of those sentiments. I don't think he give us much of a window into the 1st century. Thomas came from there and I think the Odes does too and 75% chance Paul does, unless Paul = Marcion!
What if... bear with me

- Let's say Thomas did his thing in the 1st CE, meaning that his text caught on and created some movement.
- Marcion comes along and for whatever reason build a story out of it. Perhaps there even was some story going on already but he just wrote it down, whatever. It became big, but nobody gave a shit because the Judeans were all swell with Judaism and new religons get born every single week and only some survive, of which a rare few really make the charts
- Whatever happened around 70 CE impacted none, unsure what of "Thomarcion" was in which stage anyway
- Then Bar Kokhba, the triple whammy happened, and Judaism gets outlawed. Of course the Judeans crave for religion,so they need a new one.
And there is Marcion - problem just is, it is really anti-Judean and anti-Judaism.
Then Paul, the pre-sales guy who would feed his mother-in-law to the dogs like most people would YET he would make a ton of money out of it - and his job is to sell the very Gentile and anti-Judaism religon to the Judeans. He's in, and it is his biggest bunch of lies ever. He makes up everything with him fairly at the top of the food chain, and he talks everyone into confusion - and Marcionism, which of course he pretends is not from or by Marcion. But he manages to turn people to it

Thomas was already very anti-Judaic because he highly likely was Samaritan, and they hate eachother like the plague.
It is impossible to copy Thomas and leave that out, and we all do love a bit of crapping on the status quo so people probably liked it anyway. Nothing make group better and stronger than a common enemy

It is all a bunch of rubbish that the 2nd revolt fueled anti-Judaic / anti-Judean sentiments, that would be like WWII feeding anti-Jewish sentiments - outside of Germany and its allies, of course
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Re: What was Marcion's Gospel?

Post by davidmartin »

there's always certain types of religious people
some see divinity one way and some another
what you're saying is really that people who originally saw it one way got taken over by some who saw it another way
in other words the movement got taken over by a different type of person
what we're able to see then in Thomas and in the gospels and even in Paul is the way divinity was seen originally after being changed and all those changes are later and stand out, they're obvious changes
the exact process might be impossible to recreate but we can be sure of the pattern
i think Christianity did start out as a reformist movement of some kind and they wanted something better than what was on offer, because it sucked
beyond that we need a time machine to know what happened!
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Re: What was Marcion's Gospel?

Post by mlinssen »

Stories are stories, and we all know story telling.
You tell me a story and I tell it to someone else, and I will most definitely leave some out and add some - that is just how it goes, and that's not even intentional, we all do that. Sit in a circle of 10 and "spread the word" by whispering it in the ear of the person to your left and you will end up receiving an entirely different story than that which you "sent forth"; you know how it works
what we're able to see then in Thomas and in the gospels and even in Paul is the way divinity was seen originally after being changed and all those changes are later and stand out, they're obvious changes
Yes, most certainly
i think Christianity did start out as a reformist movement of some kind
No, most certainly not.
  • When you look at Mark you see a new religion heavily footed in Judaism yet squarely opposed to it - indeed a reform of a system.
  • Yet when you look at Thomas - and when you have an open mind and understand that it is to be interpreted, in stead of taking the first best translation - you also see a reform yet one that is opposed to a line of thinking in general: a truly new way of liberating oneself, yet this time via the self and from the self. Very Advaita, very Tao, very, very far away from an institutionalised religion of any kind: the kingdom is in your eye, and that's basically it. And yes, he has to lash out at Judeans/Judaics every other logion. But he didn't want to reform those, he just wanted to kill them all, I think.
  • When you look at Marcion, he adds a storyline to Thomas as a guy who really did heal the sick (although they're physically sick instead of dualised) and even cured demon-possessed people, he basically turns Thomas into an epos and very little more. Why he has him die and resurrect is a mystery to me.
  • When you look at Mark you see that the story gets its heavy footing in the Tanakh, fulfilling prophecies and elevating the hero of the epos to a true Messiah, and then and there is where the first point of reformation is, although Mark likely didn't want it to be the case - but he received the inheritance of (Thomas &) Marcion and he had little choice other than to continue the hostile attitude towards Pharisees and Judaic customs: you can leave stuff out of a story but not when it's essential, at its core.
  • Paul most certainly was after a reform, but this time of Mark (yes, I've changed my mind now) and he had to erase and mitigate all the hostile stuff because his audience was Judean and Judaic: Paul starts the process of continuous and perpetual refutation, denial and lying that has marked Churchianity for over 1,500 years. It is Paul who is the first reformer in this rather natural and organic process of co-creation, and it is Paul who first uses the words "I'm not lying" and we all know what that implies; precisely the very opposite
Religion always and never sucks, its entire goal is to de exactly what the birds do in the parable of the sower of Thomas: they come, and they gather. And it always does that, it collects its flock and milks it dry, in exchange for vague promises without guarantees.
It is a system, and it's craved for by still a majority of people, and it works. And it's not bad in a sense, we beautifully have churches and cathedrals, which are also testimony not only to the naivety and stupidity of people, but also to the real goal and horizon of religion: power, splendour and control, image, prowess
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Re: What was Marcion's Gospel?

Post by davidmartin »

all of the stuff you're saying is found in the Odes
"Let their designs become hardened, so that whatever they have conspired shall return upon their own heads.
For they have devised a plan, but it was not for them.
They prepared themselves maliciously, but they were found to be impotent"

"They devised a plan" the usurpation is clearly mapped out from the perspective of the Odes
These radical Odes are universally ignored but I say they contain the whole story
Let me be clearer: The origins of Christianity are held to be Jewish but there are scarcely any Jewish Christian texts, in fact I would say the Odes are the purest example. Revelation get's studied but the Odes do not. A Jewish Christian writing is found and it is ignored, logically this is insane, it's bizarro world. That moment where the otherwise intelligent person dismisses them is the same moment they will never understand the truth
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Re: What was Marcion's Gospel?

Post by rgprice »

I'm a late comer to this game, but I'm pretty confident that the Gospel Marcion used was derived from the Gospel of Mark and that the Gospels of Luke, Matthew and John are all ultimately derived from the Gospel used by Marcion.

A key feature for me is that in Mark, Jesus is not a teacher, but in Marcion/Luke Jesus has become a full-blown teacher.

I see this as central to Marcionism, which required that Jesus be a teacher who could announce himself, because it was impossible to learn about Jesus from the scriptures.

So in Mark, Jesus is mysterious and in order to understand Jesus you need to understand the scriptures. You have to understand mark's references to the Jewish scriptures to understand the meaning of the story and of the parables.

But in Marcion/Luke Jesus has been converted into a teacher who can be understood without needing to know the Jewish scriptures. I also see this as being related to Colossians & Ephesians/Laodiceans. Because the same thing happens there. Colossians & Laodiceans are far more instructional than Paul's original letters.

Thus, I believe that Colossians & Laodiceans were written within a Pauline community in Ephesus and that they reflect sermons given in Ephesus. I also think that the Gospel used by Marcion was written in the same community that write Colossians & Laodiceans and that the teachings in Marcion/Luke are derived from sermons given in the Ephesian community, which we see reflected in the Gospel of Marcion/Luke.

The whole lineage I have worked out starts with Paul and a story about Paul's ministry. From this is derived the Gospel of Mark, in which Paul is replaced with Jesus. So the first story is about Paul's ministry and his travel to Jerusalem were he goes on trial and is then rescued by the Gentile Romans. The writer of Mark converts this into a story about Jesus going to Jerusalem to go on trial and be killed by the Gentile Romans. That story is consumed by a Pauline community in Ephesus. Someone from that community takes Mark and puts the sermons from the Pauline community into the mouth of Jesus, thus creating the Sermon on the Plain and other such "Q" material. That becomes Marcion's Gospel. From Marcion's Gospel, however, anti-Marcionite Gospels are created by harmonizing back to the Gospel of Mark. Matthew is a re-write of Marcion's Gospel, with major harmonization back to Mark. Luke is really just a wrapper around Marcion's Gospel, adding the birth narrative and some ending material, along with harmonization back to Matthew and the Gospel of Apelles. The Gospel of John is a revision of the Gospel of Apelles. All of the Gospels except Luke (and Acts) received a further revision when they were put into the first edition of the NT. This points to the writer of Luke/Acts being the person who created the first edition of the NT (who is also likely the author of the Pastorals and 2 Peter).
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Re: What was Marcion's Gospel?

Post by mlinssen »

That's an incredibly complicated trajectory, and it assumes that Paul was real - which is very incredible, given not only what he says but in particular how he says it.
Paul couldn't have created or led any community, that doesn't go with his character of a pre-sales guy. A lot of breath he has indeed, but it's all spent in a very short time span. He wasn't a priest or monk, but which I'm referring to the type of role that is required to actually establish and maintain something

Pointing to a non existent Appelles is a very easy way out of this labyrinth of twists and turns that you just describe, and stands in stark contrast with it; it would seem that you have little to say about John - which would be perfectly in line with your argument-free opinion on Thomas being 3rd CE or something.
John is closest to the source to all of the NT than anything else - why on earth do you think that such a completely different gospel got selected into the canon, especially given its obstinate nature regarding the baptism and Judas?
Last edited by mlinssen on Mon May 24, 2021 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What was Marcion's Gospel?

Post by andrewcriddle »

davidmartin wrote: Thu May 20, 2021 1:53 am ah great thanks i get your position a bit better now

the 'pagan' text. Pass the spliff? haha

Right, it's not Rufinus after all it's Philip of Side. I don't know if he wrote in Latin or Greek here's the link
https://www.tertullian.org/fathers/phil ... gments.htm
Philip of Side was a Greek writer.

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Marcion didn't add (hardly) anything?!

Post by mlinssen »

Harnack, A von, DAS EVANGELIUM VOM FREMDEN GOTT - page 61:

Die Zahl der von M. gemachten Zusätze ist so verschwin-
dend gering, daß man skeptisch gegenüber den wenigen Fällen
wird, in denen solche angenommen werden müssen; doch sind
sie gut bezeugt 2 • M. hat also in der Regel nicht angenommen,
daß die judaistischen Pseudoapostel Streichungen in den echten
Texten vorgenommen haben, oder er hielt es nicht für möglich, diese
Streichungen zu ermitteln. Das macht seiner Kritik Ehre, ebenso
die Beobachtung, daß er Apokryphes nicht herangezogen hat.

Has anyone ever commented on this very simple fact?
How on earth is it possible that entire legions of "scholars" take this fable for granted, that Marcion falsified Paul by only deleting passages, without adding anything? Any-thing?!

Rule number one of plagiarism / copycatting / falsifying / turning&twisting a story: you ADD YOUR OWN, and lots of it

Of course that doesn't befit Synoptics->Thomas nor Paul->Marcion, where the scenario is exactly the other way around.
Where and when, in the entire history of mankind, has anyone ever hijacked someone's story by ONLY LEAVING OUT stuff?

Stories get created on top of others, they evolve, extend, prolong, mature - they never ever get smaller, never.
The very least that Marcion would have done is add tons of anti-Judaisms in order to show that Jesus indeed was very anti-Judean and couldn't possibly have been rooted in Judaism

You try it yourself: take a few chapters of the NT and pretend to be Marcion. Yes you would leave out stuff, yes you would slightly change stuff - but would you really not add anything?

Go on, try it. Just look at any thread in here, any post, any reply, or in any other forum where ever: they always ignore large parts of the previous one that they're replies to, and add (ADD!!!) relatively enormous amounts of their own.
That's how life is, that's how we function. And even if we reject half of what was before us, in order to do so we also ADD large amounts of refutstions against them

We add, add, and add. We always add
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