Dating Paul's letters

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Stuart
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Re: Dating Paul's letters

Post by Stuart »

neilgodfrey wrote: Wed Jun 02, 2021 12:30 am
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?
Galatians 1:18-24 are not present in any good reconstruction of the Marcionite text. I completely concur, and would actually extend the missing text to include the mention of Damascus in verse 1:17.

Personally I have doubts about verse 1:17, especially the phrase πρὸς τοὺς πρὸ ἐμοῦ ἀποστόλους, as Paul nowhere in the attested passages of Marcionite Apostolikon acknowledges any other apostles being prior to him. The Marcionite view was this. Christ revealed himself to Paul. Christ wrote the Gospel (much like Moses was said by Jews to have written the Pentateuch), except the parts when he died, which were added by Paul (much like Joshua was said by the Jews to have written about Moses' death in Deuteronomy). There was no place for Apostles before Paul. I also have trouble with the last phrase "and again I returned to Damascus" as ὑποστρέφω occurs nowhere else in Paul but is a favorite Lukan word, occurring 23 times in Luke and 12 times in Acts and nowhere else except one verse each in Hebrews and 2 Peter. At a minimum I would delete καὶ πάλιν ὑπέστρεψα εἰς Δαμασκόν from verse 1:17 as part of the Lukan/Catholic revision of Galatians. The trip to Damascus is also a harmony to Acts, which is a telltale sign of a likely post-Marcionite addition. The harmony is to the blinding of Paul on the road to Damascus, which the Marcionites rejected. (note πάλιν might be considered a Lukan favorite word, or rather one that occurs with greater frequency -- not sure where you draw the line on such a designation.)

The Marcionite version of the first two chapters is more or less as follows (Detering's is a good starting point):

1:1-3 (- καὶ θεοῦ πατρὸς in 1:1, read αὑτόν for αὐτὸν), 1:6-9, 1:11-12, 1:15-17a (read εἰς ἕτερον for τὸ in 1:15), (read - καὶ πάλιν ὑπέστρεψα εἰς Δαμασκόν in 1:17)
2:1-6 (- πάλιν and - μετὰ βαρναβᾶ in 2:1, - κατ᾿ ἰδίαν δὲ τοῖς δοκοῦσιν, μή πως εῖς κενὸν τρέχω ἣ ἔδραμον in 2:2; - οἷς in 2:5)
2:7a (read only ἀλλὰ τοὐναντίον ἰδόντες ὅτι πεπίστευμαι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον), 2:9a ( read up to ἵνα ἡμεῖς εἰς τὰ ἔθνη)
2:10-21 (- εἰς Ἀντιόχειαν in 2:11, [-τινας ἀπὸ Ἰακώβου in 2:12], -ὥστε καὶ βαρναβᾶς συναπήχθη αὐτῶν τῇ ὑποκρίσει in 2:15

My differences with most reconstructions explained:

* I'm of the opinion reproductions of Marcionite Galatians should bracket [πρὸς τοὺς πρὸ ἐμοῦ ἀποστόλους] in verse 1:17

* I'm uncertain on the presence of Ἰάκωβος καὶ Κηφᾶς καὶ Ἰωάνης in 2:9, as it's possible even probably the pillars were not named. However, the use of Cephas, and the naming of John as an opponent of Paul definitely fits Marcionite world view, so maybe added by a Marcionite scribe. IMO the words should be in brackets, if not removed, in any reproduction.

* I suggest reading - τινας ἀπὸ Ἰακώβου in 2:12, making the condemnation of Cephas more direct. Also not certain James is even named in the original Marcionite text, as again I'm uncertain the pillars were named, and the phrase is dependent upon them being named.

* I would at least bracket Ἡμεῖς φύσει Ἰουδαῖοι καὶ οὐκ ἐξ ἐθνῶν ἁμαρτωλοί· εἰδοτές [δὲ] ὅτι in 2:15-16, as the Marcionites did not accept Paul as Jewish, or at least made the distinction between those of Israel, such as tribe of Benjamin, and those of Judea.

The above should give you a good working version of Marcionite Galatians Chapters 1-2.
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Stuart
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Re: Dating Paul's letters

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neilgodfrey wrote: Wed Jun 02, 2021 1:06 am
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.
Which Paul, Catholic or Marcionite text? Or perhaps pre-Marcionite text?

What I noticed is that early layer Paul is a character that accepts no equals, and gives out direct commands with no hesitation and zero self doubt. Catholic Paul is begging all over the place, and talks about how little he is compared to others. The other thing I notice is that the organization of the church and it's hierarchy have much greater complexity with many more boundaries in the passages clearly from the Catholic version of Paul than in the attested Marcionite Paul. The former tells me the Catholics wanted to diminish Paul, make others his equal or more. And the latter tells me there is a generation or two time gap between the formation of the two Canons.
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Re: Dating Paul's letters

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Stuart wrote: Wed Jun 02, 2021 2:12 am Which Paul, Catholic or Marcionite text? Or perhaps pre-Marcionite text?
Dunno.... I'm just looking at how sections of letters appear to be midrashic rewritings of passages in the OT. Example, https://vridar.org/2020/12/23/pauls-let ... scripture/ including links in there.
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Re: Dating Paul's letters

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GakuseiDon wrote: Wed Jun 02, 2021 1:16 am 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.
You exclude all the possibilities and instead limit yourself to a choice that will give you a date you want either way. That's not now source documents are assessed in non-biblical history departments.
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Re: Dating Paul's letters

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Giuseppe wrote: Wed Jun 02, 2021 1:42 am
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.
I still have echoes of Hoffmann's analysis in my head. In Marcion, On the Restitution of Christianity, he proposes that the idea of the Creator being a malicious god came from Apelles who broke away from Marcion. (Whether it was Apelles' original idea or whether he was influenced by other gnostics is another question.) Marcion, on the other hand, appears never to go so far, and sees "nothing more" than "ignorance and petulance" in the Creator in the Garden of Eden story. I think the reference he uses is Tertullian's AM 2.25.1.

Marcion apparently did not reject the historical content of the Old Testament though he did dismiss its relevance. Apelles went further and treated the OT as entirely myth -- with diabolical evil opposing the good god. Marcion, it is argued, saw the difference primarily in that the demiurge lacked gnosis.
According to Marcion the world made by the Creator reveals nothing
of the goodness of the unknown God. But unlike the cosmic hyperbole
employed in the gnostic systems to indicate the demonic nature of the gulf
between the supreme God and the demiurge, the 'infinite space' between the
God of this world and the unknown God is neutral: it expresses a difference
of function in the separation between creating and judging, on the one side,
and loving and saving on the other. (p 209)
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Giuseppe
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Re: Dating Paul's letters

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The reversal process should be considered as equally probable, too: that the anti-demiurgism was original to Gnostics, and only later the rehabilitation of the demiurge happened gradually. This process is visible in the myth of Sabaoth and Yaldabaoth: the former is converted, undergoes a kenosis of himself, and is exalted as superior to his evil father.

At any case, that Pauline epistles can't be evidence of an anti-demiurgical view (at most, Marcion would be evidence only of a their interpretation along the view), may be a solid argument against the pauline epistles being a total forgery.

As the argument goes:
if the Gnostics + Marcion had invented entirely Paul, then why didn't they invent him as more explicit in his anti-demiurgism?
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Re: Dating Paul's letters

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neilgodfrey wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 10:40 pm
mlinssen wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 8:51 pm 1) I have always found Isaiah 53 to be very weak, and cheap at that. There is almost as little of it in the canonicals as there is in Paul, although I'll grant that there is nothing of it in Paul. I don't see any rising, by the way. . . .
I would add to Irish1975's list of indicators that Paul infused Mark:

[*]preaching faith apart from the law (faith alone heals)
[*]preaching the obsolescence of the law (e.g. foods)

As for Isaiah 53, Kee's list of Isa 53 echoes in Mark: https://vridar.org/2008/08/30/jewish-sc ... arratives/

In Paul: https://www.academia.edu/9929626/Isaiah ... l_and_John
Thanks, I'll check Evans later today. Regarding:

[*]preaching faith apart from the law (faith alone heals)
[*]preaching the obsolescence of the law (e.g. foods)

I would say that Paul elaborates - very elaborately indeed - at these two points only briefly mentioned by Mark. The first being implicitly present, the second being present only in

Mark 7:17 When he had entered into a house away from the multitude, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 He said to them, "Are you also without understanding? Don't you perceive that whatever goes into the man from outside can't defile him, 19 because it doesn't go into his heart, but into his stomach, then into the latrine, making all foods clean?"

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Re: Dating Paul's letters

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neilgodfrey wrote: Thu Jun 03, 2021 2:53 am
Stuart wrote: Wed Jun 02, 2021 2:12 am Which Paul, Catholic or Marcionite text? Or perhaps pre-Marcionite text?
Dunno.... I'm just looking at how sections of letters appear to be midrashic rewritings of passages in the OT. Example, https://vridar.org/2020/12/23/pauls-let ... scripture/ including links in there.
This is a fascinating passage, and a difficult one. But it is also one of the best examples of the difference in the depiction of Paul, where the Catholic Paul defers to local authority and pleads for his judgement, while the Marcionite Paul declares the judgement he has carried out full stop period without any deference to others.

I think it says a lot also about the development of the church between the two versions where the decision boundaries are defined by the time the Catholic redactor has made his changes, with local jurisdiction over disciplinary measures, and the Marcionite text where a traveling strong leader over a number of disorganized local churches pops in or by correspondence declares the judgements to be taken. This is one of the strong detectable differences throughout Paul one finds when examining the attested Marcionite Paul and the Catholic Paul we received. It strikes me as far more an indication of a passage of time and growth in the size and complexity of the church and it's organization than theological. It speaks to a significant time gap between the two versions.

This doesn't answer your midrashic question, as in this case at least some form of it, if not much of it was present in the Marcionite text; the attestation of this segment is incomplete, so one is left to their eclectic reading of it to determine the original and the later added bits. Instead I'm going to focus on 5:1 and 5:5 below to show the difference in Paul's character.

First καὶ τοιαύτη πορνεία ἥτις οὐδὲ ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν (verse 5:1) is not commented on by Tertullian or Epiphanius, so we have to examine it within the lens of the attested text of the Marcionites and whether it represents something Catholic. In my view this digression does look like it's Catholic. The phrase "even such fornication not heard among the gentiles" suggests a priority of Jew over gentile which is a theme of the Catholic redactor, as being a gentile is implied as being morally worse. Compare this to Romans 2:14 which sets gentiles up as having a law to themselves and doing what is required by nature. We can immediately see the tension between the concepts, and the standing of gentiles. At a minimum I'd bracket it.

What is attested is ὥστε γυναῖκά τινα τοῦ πατρὸς ἔχειν (AM 5.7.2, Non defendo secundum legem creatoris displicuisse illum qui mulierem patris sui habuit), suggesting the opening phrase of 5:1 is present.

Now while verse 5:3-5 is quoted in DA 2.5 intact, Clabeaux incorrectly attributes it to the Marcionite text. But it's not, as it is spoken by Adamantius the Catholic champion, and not by Markus the Marcionite, who will contradict his version. Without going into great detail it appears that DA part 2 was built on scriptural sayings from a Marcionite source placed in the mouth of a Marcionite by DA's author, but that he has no primary Marcionite source, so instead has his Catholic champion responds using the received text he knows. Such is the construction of DA.

Instead we have three clear attestations, plus secondary scriptural evidence that the original version for these three verses actually read:
παρέδωκα τὸν τοιοῦτον τῷ Σατανᾷ εἰς ὄλεθρον τῆς σαρκός, ἵνα τὸ πνεῦμα σωθῇ
"I delivered up this one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit be saved"

The reading ⌐ παρέδωκα for παραδοῦναι is attested by Tertullian and twice in DA by Markus the Marcionite champion:
AM 5.7.2 Sed cum eum damnat dedendum Satanae, damnatoris dei praeco est. Viderit et quomodo dixerit, In interitum carnis ut spiritus salvus sit in die domini
DA 2.8 παρέδωκα τὸν τοιοῦτον εἰς ὄλεθρον τῆς σαρκός, ἵνα τὸ πνεῦμα σωθῇ
Rufinus: Tradidi eiusmodi homiem Satanae in interitum carnis, ut spiritus saluus fiat.
DA 2.21 παρέδωκα τὸν τοιοῦτον τῷ Σατανᾷ εἰς ὄλεθρον
Rufinus: Diende et apostolus boni dei quomodo tradit satanae homines? Dicit enim: Tradidi eiusmodi hominem Satanae in interitum

Further 1 Timothy 1:20 is a pastiche of this verse *in Marcionite form* (οὓς παρέδωκα τῷ Σατανᾷ).

The Catholic editor changed this direct action of Paul into one that required a deliberative process carried out locally. And one where Paul is giving up his authority to make the final judgement. This is the deferential and unsure Catholic Paul, not the self assured and unassailable Paul with no equal of the Marcionite text.:

For I am indeed absent in body, but present in spirit, have already judged as though I were present, he who has done so, in the name of our lord Jesus Christ. When you are gathered together with my spirit, with the power of our lord Jesus, you are to deliver up such a one to Satan for destruction of the flesh ...

There are other clues that 5:3-4 is a redaction. Paul is no longer present in body. This implies he is dead, a figure of the past. This deliberative group is meeting in his spirit, and invoking the power of Jesus in Paul's absence, in order to perform the task which Paul simply executes in the Marcionite.

None of this touches on the midrashic rewrite point you make, but it strongly suggests it is pre-Catholic. It is Paul who has changed (died it seems). Interesting passage.

Final note: I think the man having sex with his father's wife, is most likely a situation where the man's father had remarried some younger woman (always younger of course), possibly even the same age or even younger than the man in question. The father dies and to appease both families, and not have a sticky inheritance dispute the son takes his father's widow, whom he is not related too at all, as his wife. The Marcionites frowned down on marriage and prohibited divorce and remarriage. Anyway the point is, it's almost certainly not a case of a guys sleeping with his birth mother.
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Re: Dating Paul's letters

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mlinssen wrote: Thu Jun 03, 2021 7:39 am
neilgodfrey wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 10:40 pm
mlinssen wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 8:51 pm 1) I have always found Isaiah 53 to be very weak, and cheap at that. There is almost as little of it in the canonicals as there is in Paul, although I'll grant that there is nothing of it in Paul. I don't see any rising, by the way. . . .
I would add to Irish1975's list of indicators that Paul infused Mark:

[*]preaching faith apart from the law (faith alone heals)
[*]preaching the obsolescence of the law (e.g. foods)

As for Isaiah 53, Kee's list of Isa 53 echoes in Mark: https://vridar.org/2008/08/30/jewish-sc ... arratives/

In Paul: https://www.academia.edu/9929626/Isaiah ... l_and_John
Thanks, I'll check Evans later today. Regarding:

[*]preaching faith apart from the law (faith alone heals)
[*]preaching the obsolescence of the law (e.g. foods)

I would say that Paul elaborates - very elaborately indeed - at these two points only briefly mentioned by Mark. The first being implicitly present, the second being present only in

Mark 7:17 When he had entered into a house away from the multitude, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 He said to them, "Are you also without understanding? Don't you perceive that whatever goes into the man from outside can't defile him, 19 because it doesn't go into his heart, but into his stomach, then into the latrine, making all foods clean?"

I see the theme more deeply embedded in Mark, especially with his emphasis on "your faith has made you whole" type references. Mark's Jesus is very free-wheeling compared with the one in Matthew and Luke.
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Re: Dating Paul's letters

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Giuseppe wrote: Thu Jun 03, 2021 5:28 am The reversal process should be considered as equally probable, too: that the anti-demiurgism was original to Gnostics, and only later the rehabilitation of the demiurge happened gradually. This process is visible in the myth of Sabaoth and Yaldabaoth: the former is converted, undergoes a kenosis of himself, and is exalted as superior to his evil father.

At any case, that Pauline epistles can't be evidence of an anti-demiurgical view (at most, Marcion would be evidence only of a their interpretation along the view), may be a solid argument against the pauline epistles being a total forgery.

As the argument goes:
if the Gnostics + Marcion had invented entirely Paul, then why didn't they invent him as more explicit in his anti-demiurgism?
I wonder if Paul was constructed by a third party that was also producing the earliest gospels. Marcion, anti-Marcionites, gnostics, whoever -- all the ones left in the record -- picked up these original Paul and gospel constructions and took them in directions quite different from their original intentions. But that's nothing more than a "sense" that keeps filtering through my mind. I think people like Charbonnel are on to something when they see Paul and Jesus originating as midrashic efforts to write a newly relevant scripture in the wake of the loss of something (whether 70 or 135) and that this original function was too soon lost from view -- by Marcionites, "gnostics", and those "proto-orthodox".
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