Dating Paul's letters

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Stuart
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Re: Dating Paul's letters

Post by Stuart »

The problem for people who claim Marcion is not early than the Canonical Paul or Gospel (of Luke) is they have to explain the missing vocabulary.

I have never seen that done.
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Dating Paul's letters

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GakuseiDon wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 5:03 pm
neilgodfrey wrote: Mon May 31, 2021 4:14 amHistorical inquiry begins with testing the reliability of sources.

If Marcion did not have that key passage in his version of Galatians then we would expect Tertullian -- who elsewhere seems never to fail to castigate Marcion for chopping out passages he does not like -- to make hay of that omission.
Actually, no we wouldn't. I think you misunderstand Tertullian's approach to Marcion there. For example, as Tertullian explains in Book 4 of "Against Marcion" about the Gospel of Luke, both parties believe that the other's had been changed:
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/t ... an124.html

We must follow, then, the clue of our discussion, meeting every effort of our opponents with reciprocal vigor. I say that my Gospel is the true one; Marcion, that his is. I affirm that Marcion's Gospel is adulterated; Marcion, that mine is.

Even though nicely highlighted in yellow the words you cite do not represent Tertullian's approach to Marcion. You need to do more than cherry-pick in a James Patrick Holding style to understand Tertullian's approach.
GakuseiDon wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 5:03 pm As Tertullian notes in Book 5 while examining Marcion's use of Galatians:
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/t ... an125.html

Fie on Marcion's sponge! But indeed it is superfluous to dwell on what he has erased, when he may be more effectually confuted from that which he has retained.

And Tertullian is right! It is superfluous to dwell on what Marcion had erased, since the Marcionite response would be to claim that they had the true originals and it was Tertullian's group that had just added stuff.
If you also highlighted the rest of that same sentence in yellow you could more easily see the condition he sets down for not "dwelling on" a certain omission. If you took in Tertullian's discussion on Galatians as a whole you would also have seen that he does indeed love to "dwell on what Marcion has erased" -- as he does, ironically, even in the passage you cite (Fie on Marcion's sponge!).

Tertullian knows very well that Marcion does not accept Acts, and he says as much, but he also justifies turning to Acts to refute Marcion -- see III.2.

Paul meeting James and James having instructed Paul in the very point Tertullian is making about circumcision would have surely been irresistible to Tertullian, given what he does say where he sees Acts meeting points in the letter.

Tertullian also offers no awareness of any second trip to Jerusalem.

GakuseiDon wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 5:03 pm
* If the reference to James in Galatians as a "brother of the Lord" was removed by Marcion from a proto-Christian original, then it suggests that Marcion considered the natural reading to indicate a biological brother.

* If the reference was added by a proto-Christian interpolator to a Marcion original, it also suggests that it was put in there as a reference to indicate a biological brother.

Either way, "James the brother of the Lord" would seem to have meant an actual brother rather than a spiritual brother, since I'd guess Marcion wouldn't have had any problems with a spiritual brother. That means a Paul who was writing close to the time of Jesus, or interpolators who assumed that Paul was writing at a time close to Jesus.
omg, what does your obsession with bashing mythicism have to do with any of this? Fwiw, I fully accept that the phrase means "biological brother" and have pretty much always done so, but that is entirely irrelevant to the point raised here.
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Dating Paul's letters

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GakuseiDon wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 5:03 pm
neilgodfrey wrote: Mon May 31, 2021 4:14 amHistorical inquiry begins with testing the reliability of sources.

If Marcion did not have that key passage in his version of Galatians then we would expect Tertullian -- who elsewhere seems never to fail to castigate Marcion for chopping out passages he does not like -- to make hay of that omission.
Actually, no we wouldn't. I think you misunderstand Tertullian's approach to Marcion there. For example, as Tertullian explains in Book 4 of "Against Marcion" about the Gospel of Luke, both parties believe that the other's had been changed:
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/t ... an124.html

We must follow, then, the clue of our discussion, meeting every effort of our opponents with reciprocal vigor. I say that my Gospel is the true one; Marcion, that his is. I affirm that Marcion's Gospel is adulterated; Marcion, that mine is.

Even though nicely highlighted in yellow the words you cite do not represent Tertullian's approach to Marcion. You need to do more than cherry-pick in a James Patrick Holding style to understand Tertullian's approach.
GakuseiDon wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 5:03 pm As Tertullian notes in Book 5 while examining Marcion's use of Galatians:
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/t ... an125.html

Fie on Marcion's sponge! But indeed it is superfluous to dwell on what he has erased, when he may be more effectually confuted from that which he has retained.

And Tertullian is right! It is superfluous to dwell on what Marcion had erased, since the Marcionite response would be to claim that they had the true originals and it was Tertullian's group that had just added stuff.
If you also highlighted the rest of that same sentence in yellow you could more easily see the condition he sets down for not "dwelling on" a certain omission. If you took in Tertullian's discussion on Galatians as a whole you would also have seen that he does indeed love to "dwell on what Marcion has erased" -- as he does, ironically, even in the passage you cite (Fie on Marcion's sponge!).

Tertullian knows very well that Marcion does not accept Acts, and he says as much, but he also justifies turning to Acts to refute Marcion -- see III.2.
III. 2 --- Now, since the Acts of the Apostles thus agree with Paul, it becomes apparent why you reject them. It is because they declare no other God than the Creator, and prove Christ to belong to no other God than the Creator; while the promise of the Holy Ghost is shown to have been fulfilled in no other document than the Acts of the Apostles. -- that's T's approach: my yellow highlight against yours!
Paul meeting James and James having instructed Paul in the very point Tertullian is making about circumcision would have surely been irresistible to Tertullian, given what he does say where he sees Acts meeting points in the letter.

Tertullian also offers no awareness of any second trip to Jerusalem.

GakuseiDon wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 5:03 pm
* If the reference to James in Galatians as a "brother of the Lord" was removed by Marcion from a proto-Christian original, then it suggests that Marcion considered the natural reading to indicate a biological brother.

* If the reference was added by a proto-Christian interpolator to a Marcion original, it also suggests that it was put in there as a reference to indicate a biological brother.

Either way, "James the brother of the Lord" would seem to have meant an actual brother rather than a spiritual brother, since I'd guess Marcion wouldn't have had any problems with a spiritual brother. That means a Paul who was writing close to the time of Jesus, or interpolators who assumed that Paul was writing at a time close to Jesus.
omg, what does your obsession with bashing mythicism have to do with any of this? Fwiw, I fully accept that the phrase means "biological brother" and have pretty much always done so, but that is entirely irrelevant to the point raised here.
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Dating Paul's letters

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Giuseppe wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:11 am There is no trace of Jews hating YHWH as an evil deity. It was probably a gentile thing.
On the other hand, there are openings in the Jewish Scriptures for YHWH having a lower status than the "Most High" (Deut 32) or "Ancient of Days" (Dan 7). Judaism was part of the Hellenistic world. I don't think all "gnostic" type models posited an "evil" or hate-worthy YHWH. Not even Marcion went that far, did he?
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Dating Paul's letters

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Stuart wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 9:41 am
Neil,

There is an interesting theory John Knox put out (Marcion and the New Testament: An Essay in the Early History of the Canon, 1942, University of Chicago Press), which Dr. Robert Price supports (e.g., The Colossal Apostle, chapter 12), that the first two chapters (Marcionite form) were written by Marcion or a Marcionite author, and that the original Galatians began at chapter 3.

This is similar to John Clabeaux's opinion that the Marcionite collection is not the earliest form of the Pauline letters but rather the collection at the stage of the ten letter collection; that there is a pre-Marcionite Pauline text. . . .

. . . .
I need to catch up with Clabeaux. Meanwhile, does Gal.1:18-20 appear in the purported Marcionite addition?
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Giuseppe
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Re: Dating Paul's letters

Post by Giuseppe »

neilgodfrey wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 11:34 pm
Giuseppe wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:11 am There is no trace of Jews hating YHWH as an evil deity. It was probably a gentile thing.
On the other hand, there are openings in the Jewish Scriptures for YHWH having a lower status than the "Most High" (Deut 32) or "Ancient of Days" (Dan 7). Judaism was part of the Hellenistic world. I don't think all "gnostic" type models posited an "evil" or hate-worthy YHWH. Not even Marcion went that far, did he?
it is not persuasive, Neill.

April DeConick seems to point out the great difference between mere (Jewish) ditheism and (Gnostic) anti-demiurgism:

Although the identification of YHWH with the angel of YHWH would have raised some eyebrows and garnered argument within Jewish circles in Alexandria, it wasn't until the biblical Gnostics viewed YHWH in adversarial terms that they crossed the line and found themselves cut away from the synagogues. They were Gnostics on their own.
(p.92-93)

(The Gnostic New Age, p. 92, my bold)

That difference is so abyssal that it is sufficient alone to see with sound suspicion any theorist/speculation about presumed "Jewish origins" of Gnostic anti-demiurgism (and accordingly, of marcionism).
I refer to anti-demiurgism as the only factor having in itself the potential sufficient to provoke, as reaction, the birth of an entire literature (=the Gospels?) in defense of the creator. Obviously, in a scenario where all the epistles are fake.
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Dating Paul's letters

Post by neilgodfrey »

Stuart wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 9:41 am
I still see most of these fragments as 2nd century, but certainly one could argue that some of the tracts could be 1st century.
What has been registering more with me in the past year or so are the indications that so much in the epistles appear to be based on Old Testament passages. As such, they are stylized and not spontaneous expressions of an oft-wayward yet zealous mind at all. The figure of Paul emerges as a midrash on Jeremiah at one time, on Isaiah at another, on Moses in yet another, and so on.
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Dating Paul's letters

Post by neilgodfrey »

Giuseppe wrote: Wed Jun 02, 2021 1:00 am
neilgodfrey wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 11:34 pm
Giuseppe wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:11 am There is no trace of Jews hating YHWH as an evil deity. It was probably a gentile thing.
On the other hand, there are openings in the Jewish Scriptures for YHWH having a lower status than the "Most High" (Deut 32) or "Ancient of Days" (Dan 7). Judaism was part of the Hellenistic world. I don't think all "gnostic" type models posited an "evil" or hate-worthy YHWH. Not even Marcion went that far, did he?
it is not persuasive, Neill.

April DeConick seems to point out the great difference between mere (Jewish) ditheism and (Gnostic) anti-demiurgism:

Although the identification of YHWH with the angel of YHWH would have raised some eyebrows and garnered argument within Jewish circles in Alexandria, it wasn't until the biblical Gnostics viewed YHWH in adversarial terms that they crossed the line and found themselves cut away from the synagogues. They were Gnostics on their own.
(p.92-93)

I'm simply saying that there was not a black and white move from one to the other, that the evidence allows room for a gradual or mutated emergence of the full-blown "evil" demiurge. Again, I don't think even Marcion viewed the demiurge as an "evil" Satanic type of figure, did he?
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GakuseiDon
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Re: Dating Paul's letters

Post by GakuseiDon »

neilgodfrey wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 11:24 pmomg, what does your obsession with bashing mythicism have to do with any of this? Fwiw, I fully accept that the phrase means "biological brother" and have pretty much always done so, but that is entirely irrelevant to the point raised here.
I'm happy to agree to disagree on Tertullian. I'm still wondering about your comment on Irenaeus. If you can back that up, I'd appreciate it. With regards to 'biological' brother: a 'spiritual brother' can be born anytime, but a biological brother limits the time range. If it is original to Paul, it dates his letters. If it is the work of an interpolator, it gives us an idea of when the interpolator thought the letters were written.
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Giuseppe
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Re: Dating Paul's letters

Post by Giuseppe »

neilgodfrey wrote: Wed Jun 02, 2021 1:10 amAgain, I don't think even Marcion viewed the demiurge as an "evil" Satanic type of figure, did he?
the Gospel parable of the two trees leaves no doubt about what for Marcion was the evil tree recognizable from evil fruits: the creator.

At contrary, only late marcionism left some value to the creator.
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