Gospel "according to" ___

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Irish1975
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Re: Gospel "according to" ___

Post by Irish1975 »

Giuseppe wrote: Sat Sep 18, 2021 1:20 am
Irish1975 wrote: Sun Sep 12, 2021 7:41 am The editor is contradicting not only Paul but also Marcion, who published a solitary Gospel with no attributed source.
this would prove true also in the opposed direction: "Paul"/Marcion in Galatians claims that his gospel is not "according to men" hence betraying awareness that the Marcion's enemies had already assigned names to Gospel authors. Is not this the Robert Price's and Stuart's view (= that Galatians is a reaction against Matthew)?

Hence, this would explain the Pauline silence about Jesus as deliberate Marcionite silence about the catholic gospels.
Detering, as you probably know, reads Galatians more as a polemic against the whole portrait of Paul in Acts. That seems like a much more likely target for the wrath of Galatians than just some silly titles (that hardly carry conviction anyhow since they have no basis in the text). Besides, it is too much of a stretch to suppose that the 4-Gospel book was circulating before Galatians was even written.
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Irish1975
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Re: Gospel "according to" ___

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neilgodfrey wrote: Sat Sep 18, 2021 5:22 am does Paul really diminish the idea of a gospel being derived from men anywhere? He does insist that his preaching should be recognized as being directly commissioned by a deity, but that only makes him the equal of other apostles and gives him the right to act independently of those others. Paul is not implying that other apostles just made up their gospel out of their "human imaginations", though in other passages he does suggest the other apostles had a poor grasp of what they should have known, or that they are commissioned to preach to a different audience. But I don't recall Paul ever saying that others preached a gospel that originated with humans.

Or am I overlooking some fundamental text here that says otherwise?
Like I said, my OP was about the NT publishers, not Paul. But FWIW here are my thoughts on this question.

We should at least consider Galatians 2:6, even though it is fragmentary and inconclusive. Here Paul declares that the "seeming ones"/"those of repute" meant nothing to him and contributed nothing to him. Strangely, in 2:2, it is to these very same "seeming ones" that Paul set forth his gospel (and, presumably, his apostolic credentials), implying that they did matter to him after all. He claims to have been instructed in a revelation to go see them "lest he had run in vain."

None of 2:6-9a is given in the Marcionite Galatians. The whole context of Galatians 2 makes very little sense. But I don't quite see how Paul could deride other apostles in such strong terms if he considered them his equal. I don't see to whom else he could be referring, since the whole polemic is directed at Cephas and James, the apostles who wanted to preserve Jewish observances.

2:7b-8 is catholic bullshit, as Barnikol and Walker have shown conclusively. This whole chapter reads like some bad compromise hashed out between the gnostics/Marcionites and a catholic group.
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neilgodfrey
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The Title of Marcion's Gospel - was there one?

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Irish1975 wrote: Sat Sep 18, 2021 7:36 am
neilgodfrey wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 5:25 pm It's been a while since I studied Marcion so maybe you can remind me of the evidence that the catholic editors were copying Marcion re the "gospel" part of the "title".
BeDuhn cites the investigations of von Harnack and Koester in support of the thesis that Marcion was the first to use Evangelion as "the title of a specific textual account of Jesus' life" (p. 65).
BeDuhn as you point out writes on page 65:
Marcion used the term evangelion to describe the narrative of Jesus included in his canon. Evangelion1 was a term used in both political and religious contexts to refer to a proclamation or manifesto of the actions of an individual of power, whether divine or human, that brought benefit to those hearing it. It was a term that had been adopted by the earliest Greek-speaking Christians, such as Paul and Mark, to refer to the overall message connected to the mission of Jesus. Adolf von Harnack suggested that Marcion may have been the first to transfer this abstract use of the term to the title of a specific textual account of Jesus' life,2 and the more systematic investigation of Helmut Koester strongly supports this hypothesis.3

1. Tertullian, Marc. 4.2; Epiphanius, Pan. 42.10; Adam 1.8.
2. Harnack, Marcion, E24,149 n. 3.
3. Koester, "From Kerygma to Written Gospels"; cf. Ancient Christian Gospels, 37. Cf. Kelber, The Oral and the Written Gospel, 144-48.
But that's where I am reminded I ran into a dead-end some years back and do so again re the assertion that Marcion used the term "evangelion" for what we take to be his version of the "Gospel kata Luke". Maybe Marcion did use the term as a title for his narrative of Jesus but the sources are not explicit.

Tertullian, Marc. 4.2
Marcion, on the other hand, you must know, ascribes no author to his Gospel, as if it could not be allowed him to affix a title to that from which it was no crime (in his eyes) to subvert the very body.
Let's add Marc. 4.3.2 (cited by Hoffmann when he writes "The Marcionites of Tertullian's day maintained that canonical Luke was "falsified in respect of its title" and that their own gospel "was not to be attributed to Luke", p. 140)
Or else, again, if that which Marcion uses is not to be attributed to Luke simply because it does agree with ours (which, of course, is, also adulterated in its title), then it is the work of apostles. Our Gospel, therefore, which is in agreement with it, is equally the work of apostles, but also adulterated in its title.
Epiphanius Pan 42:10
Some years ago, to find what falsehood this Marcion had invented and what his silly teaching was, I took up his very books which he had mutilated, his so-called Gospel and Apostolic Canon.
Adam 1:8
MEG (the Marcionite). I will prove that the Gospel is one.
AD. Who is the writer of this Gospel which you said is one? MEG. Christ.
AD. Did the Lord Himself write that He was crucified, and rose on the third day? Docs He write in this way?
MEG. The Apostle Paul added that.
In all the sources cited it sounds as if the Catholic author is imputing his own assumption that the word "gospel" is applicable to the supposed counterpart to the Gospel of Luke.

Then when we check the Harnack citation, we read
Marcion did not allow himself to be frightened off; over against the old books, the law and the prophets, he placed the new books, the book of the gospel,3 and the letters of Paul.

3. Marcion was, to our knowledge, the first to call a book “the Gospel" and to identify a book with the gospel. Before Marcion, the gospel was seen as a message, which, along with other things, was recorded in books.
But again I am left wondering. No source is given for this claim in the English translation, at least not that I have seen. Have I missed it?

So on to Koester:

From Kerygma to Written Gospels, p. 376
There is no evidence that anyone before Marcion called a gospel writing εΰαγγέλνον.2 But all reports about Marcion agree that he called his revised edition of Luke 'εΰαγγέλιον’.3 This is the first instance in which a Christian used the term as a title of a written document.

2 The evidence assembled by Hengel (Evangelienuberschriften) to demonstrate the early use of this title for the canonical gospels consists exclusively of materials from the second half, or even the very last decades, of the second century. Hengel simply projects these data back into the beginning of the second century and assumes that no changes took place in the course of the century. For a critique of Hengel's thesis, see Bovon, 'The Synoptic Gospels', especially p. 23.

3 Adolf von Harnack, Marcion: Das Evangelium vom fremden Gott (reprint: Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1960) 184*.
So with the Harnack reference it looks like we are getting somewhere at last. 184* turns out to be 165* and 166* in the 1921 edition available in archive.org:
harnack-titel.jpg
harnack-titel.jpg (41.11 KiB) Viewed 248 times
And that's all there is! Harnack simply asserts that the title was "most likely" εΰαγγέλιον even though every text I've ever read that addresses the subject of titles in this sort of literature tells me assigning a title to a work was the exception rather than the rule. Why assume any title at all in Marcion's original text? All the discussions about titles of gospels in early Christian literature that I read lead me to believe that the ones we have began with the "orthodox" church's attempts to impose some sort of bibliographical control over the texts.

To translate,

It probably read as simple as that [i.e. Gospel]. This follows from the fact that

(1) Tertullian (IV, 2) expressly says that Marcion did not give his Gospel an author's name, not even that of Paul,
(2) The Marcionite Megethius, when asked who the author of the Gospel was, replied, "Christ", but cornered, claimed Paul to be the author (See Adam Dial 1.8 above)
(3) the Marcionite Mark names Christ as author ....
(4) Epiphanius (Haer 42, 10....) remarks that he had the two books of Marcion in his hand.

I don't see how it logically follows that the word "Gospel" should be used as a title from any of those 4 facts. (The Megethius quote is, of course, Origen's script, not the Marcionite's.)

But who is that "Marcionite Mark" in point 3? That may lead to me having to do a backflip.


To complete the citation check, here is Koester's Ancient Christian Gospels, p. 37
A positive effect of Marcion’s challenge in the writings of Justin Martyr is the adoption of the concept of a written gospel and the departure from the oral tradition. Justin agrees with Marcion: reliable traditions of the church must be preserved in written records.
and Kelber, 144-148, does not discuss Marcion at all but is entirely devoted to the meaning of the word gospel in the Pauline lit.
Irish1975 wrote: Sat Sep 18, 2021 7:36 am The catholic NT was published in reaction to Marcion. The NT titles are editorial additions to works that did not originally bear them (Justin, etc.). Given the unusual character of these titles, and their almost unvarying form and arrangement in the manuscripts, it seems safe to infer that the Catholic editors were correcting Marcion by imitation.
I don't feel as safe as you do. Everything points to the catholic usage of the word gospel being applied retrospectively to Marcion's text both as to descriptive meaning and (unusual for works generally prior to the later second century catholic church labelling of different texts) as a title. It's a hypothesis, not a fact, -- a "probably" (wahrscheinlich) in Harnack's words that does not appear to logically follow from the facts he cites and that would appear to go against the general literary custom.


This is not the main point of your initial query, I know, but I am wanting to take this opportunity to refresh my own sense of what's what.
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Re: Gospel "according to" ___

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Irish1975 wrote: Sat Sep 18, 2021 8:31 am
Claims about anonymous authorship should be carefully distinguished from claims about how these texts were published.
What do you mean by "published"?
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Re: Gospel "according to" ___

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Irish1975 wrote: Sat Sep 18, 2021 9:17 am But I don't quite see how Paul could deride other apostles in such strong terms if he considered them his equal.
I did not mean to suggest that Paul thought of other apostles as his "qualitative" equals. Certainly not. I take that as a given. I was attempting to address what was meant by a gospel being of "human origin" contra Paul's spirit-sourced gospel.

Paul certainly stresses the non-human source of his gospel but I don't know that we can be so certain that the implication is that there were other apostles who did not also claim a revelation from Jesus. Would not we have expected Paul to have made some more explicit point about that supposed superior source of his gospel when he said that the "so-called pillars" had nothing to add to his teaching, except that they were directed to the Jews and he to the gentiles?
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Re: Gospel "according to" ___

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To try to clarify what I wrote above, including on Johannes Munck's article:

Using the incipit (the beginning words) of a Nag Hammadi manuscript, now called the Gospel of Truth, is misleading because the text is not a gospel.

If one accepts that it (the Nag Hammadi one) is not a gospel (in genre), then that may be an additional reason to doubt that it is the same gospel that Irenaeus (Against heresies 3.11.9) referred to--unless, arguably, it also had received that (potentially misleading) title also very early on.
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Irish1975
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Re: Gospel "according to" ___

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neilgodfrey wrote: Sun Sep 19, 2021 12:44 am
Irish1975 wrote: Sat Sep 18, 2021 8:31 am
Claims about anonymous authorship should be carefully distinguished from claims about how these texts were published.
What do you mean by "published"?
Just what is normally meant. The editing, standardization, and marketing of a text for sale and purchase among booksellers.
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Irish1975
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Re: The Title of Marcion's Gospel - was there one?

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neilgodfrey wrote: Sun Sep 19, 2021 12:36 am Harnack simply asserts that the title was "most likely" εΰαγγέλιον even though every text I've ever read that addresses the subject of titles in this sort of literature tells me assigning a title to a work was the exception rather than the rule. Why assume any title at all in Marcion's original text? All the discussions about titles of gospels in early Christian literature that I read lead me to believe that the ones we have began with the "orthodox" church's attempts to impose some sort of bibliographical control over the texts.
1. I am surprised by the suggestion that ancient books would have been published without titles. Seems very impractical for the booksellers. Or are you suggesting that Marcion didn't actually publish a collection of scriptures at all?

2. "Most likely" is the language of probability. I don't see anyone asserting that it "logically follows" that Marcion's title was Evangelion. It is generally acknowledged that our evidence for Marcion is uncertain and comes from suspicious sources.

3. It seems unlikely that the catholics would have invented the honorific title "The Gospel" for a text that they regarded as a mutilated forgery, if that title had not already attached to Marcion's text.

4. What arouses my own skepticism is more the idea that Marcion titled his collection "New Testament," i.e. as in BeDuhn's title The First New Testament. Besides there being significantly less evidence that what you cite in favor of the Evangelion title--little or none, in fact--this notion seems to miss the point of both Marcionism and Catholicism. The Marcionites believed in a new and different God; not in an updated covenant or dispensation or inheritance from the Jewish God. Marcion recognized the Jewish scriptures on their own terms, but not as a revelation of the God that he worshipped. A New Testament implies an Old Testament. Trobisch discusses what limited evidence we have (not from manuscripts, but from indirect sources in Eusebius, Melito of Sardis, Tertullian, Clement) that "New Testament" as anthology title was a catholic innovation and was imposed by the publishers of the "first edition."
Irish1975 wrote: Sat Sep 18, 2021 7:36 am The catholic NT was published in reaction to Marcion. The NT titles are editorial additions to works that did not originally bear them (Justin, etc.). Given the unusual character of these titles, and their almost unvarying form and arrangement in the manuscripts, it seems safe to infer that the Catholic editors were correcting Marcion by imitation.
I don't feel as safe as you do. Everything points to the catholic usage of the word gospel being applied retrospectively to Marcion's text both as to descriptive meaning and (unusual for works generally prior to the later second century catholic church labelling of different texts) as a title. It's a hypothesis, not a fact, -- a "probably" (wahrscheinlich) in Harnack's words that does not appear to logically follow from the facts he cites and that would appear to go against the general literary custom.
If the conclusion reached by Harnack, Koester, BeDuhn is indeed a "probably," then it is not true that "everything points" to the opposite conclusion. Even if the evidence that you examined (which was interesting and helpful since I don't have many of those sources) is by some estimation weak or inconclusive, it still counts for something.
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Irish1975
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Re: Gospel "according to" ___

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neilgodfrey wrote: Sun Sep 19, 2021 1:53 am I was attempting to address what was meant by a gospel being of "human origin" contra Paul's spirit-sourced gospel.
To clarify, it was not meant by me that the other apostles (about whom we know nothing, really) did or didn't receive a gospel of human origin.
Paul certainly stresses the non-human source of his gospel but I don't know that we can be so certain that the implication is that there were other apostles who did not also claim a revelation from Jesus.
Nothing to that effect was an implication of my hypothesis about what inspired the 4-Gospel titles composed by the (much later) NT editors/publishers.
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Re: Gospel "according to" ___

Post by neilgodfrey »

Irish1975 wrote: Sun Sep 19, 2021 6:19 am
neilgodfrey wrote: Sun Sep 19, 2021 12:44 am
Irish1975 wrote: Sat Sep 18, 2021 8:31 am
Claims about anonymous authorship should be carefully distinguished from claims about how these texts were published.
What do you mean by "published"?
Just what is normally meant. The editing, standardization, and marketing of a text for sale and purchase among booksellers.
I ask because I don't think it is so easy to make comparisons with the modern processes. Were books "edited" for "publication"? By whom? What "marketing" was involved? "Standardization" -- who could be responsible? What sort of market was there for the Christian texts? Paul's letters? Gospels? --- Few of the modern processes we are familiar with apply as we understand them in these cases.
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