This was the standard practice in ancient times. The opening words would be taken as the "titles" of works in libraries. As per the previous comment, I am not sure what you are thinking of, exactly, when you speak of "publishing" in this case. I glossed over your word "published" in the OP by interpreting it as nothing more than "composing" or "redacting.Irish1975 wrote: ↑Sun Sep 19, 2021 7:55 am1. 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?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.
I do agree that the names being attributed to the four gospels served well as a counter to Marcion and his Paul crutch. I think it would be harder to justify this function on the basis that the catholic sponsored names were human producers of the gospel. Yes, knowing Jesus as a human was surely a plus, but the evangelists all directly or indirectly were reputed to have learned their details from those who had met the risen Jesus (and they threw in Paul's assistnt Luke as one of them!).
Harnack does say "it follows from the fact/s that..." I assumed he saw the inference as "logically" following the facts.
Is it not also hardly likely that the catholics would have embraced with modifications a text that they thought originated with Marcion? We simply don't know when or where "the gospel" began to be used as a title for a narrative.
But whoever did first apply the term "Gospel" to the Jesus narratives did make a break from Paul's usage and meaning of the word. (That's another point that might be considered in favour of the word not being original with Marcion.)
If the catholics were rebutting Paul's claim about human sources then it appears they made sure that the human sources they selected could also qualify as having received revelation from the resurrected Jesus, too. They countered Paul with "divine revelation plus", you might say.Irish1975 wrote: ↑Sun Sep 19, 2021 7:55 am4. 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."
The evidence I listed was all taken from the sources ultimately cited by those scholars and they all indeed are instances of "catholic usage of the word gospel being applied retrospectively to Marcion's text" so I think my statement is justified. The "probablies" of the scholars all go back to the same handful of sources that do not exactly support their claims. That the title was or included "gospel" is a hypothesis and can never be anything more than that. Probability can apply to a hypothesis, certainly.Irish1975 wrote: ↑Sat Sep 18, 2021 7:36 am 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.