The Seed in Romans 1:3 and Elsewhere

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Giuseppe
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Re: The Seed in Romans 1:3 and Elsewhere

Post by Giuseppe »

Chris Hansen wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 6:33 am It just seems like there is this strange and illogical bias where Christendom is concerned. Heretics are saints, mainstream Christians are these conniving conspiracists who are out to fool the whole world.
Two facts seem to defend Marcion, at any case:
1) he didn't edit Luke, as an increasing consensus agrees.
2) for me it is really hard to believe that Marcion read 'born by woman' and removed it: a such action would be equivalent to believe that Marcion found in Paul the more radical "NO" of all the times to his entire theology. And this NO he didn't find in the gospels, about which we are said that he realized that someone had interpolated them. He found a such NO just in his loved Paul. Too much divine coincidence: isn't it?

This divine coincidence says us also that, while we have Marcion's accusation against the Judaizers having corrupted the Gospels, we don't have analogous claims by Marcion about the epistles having been corrupted by the catholics: someway, he didn't live enough to see the Catholics corrupt the epistles, also.

Really, if I remember well, 'heretics' accusing catholics of having corrupted the epistles were really not the marcionites, but the Paulicians.
Chris Hansen wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 6:33 am Doesn't mean that Marcion did not do so, just means that maybe Irenaeus was less attentive to Paul's letters than to the Gospel of Luke.
as above: there is no evidence of Marcion accusing the catholics of interpolating the epistles, which would have given him a valid reason to 'purify' them from Catholic interpolations. Whereas we have good evidence of Marcion accusing the Judaizers of judaizing the Evangelion and only the Evangelion.

Really, the fact that Paul enters in the historical record the first time with Marcion, is a powerful argument for Paul being totally invented by Marcion, contra his being 'corrected' or interpolated. Something as: this is Paul, totally pure (since it is a recent my fabrication).

Chris Hansen wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 6:33 amit tells us they probably thought he was a living, breathing, human being on earth.
the fact that Paul himself visited the third heaven (with the body or without the body, he didn't know, god knew) is not evidence that Paul was not "a living, breathing, human".
Chris Hansen
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Re: The Seed in Romans 1:3 and Elsewhere

Post by Chris Hansen »

1) I still have doubts on the whole "he didn't edit Luke" bit. Sorry, but I've read a lot of the current works by Vinzent and others and they have not persuaded me as of yet. Besides, we cannot make stern guarantees based on a reconstructed text, unreliably transmitted by the Church Fathers partial and excised quotations.

2) Not really... again this is all based on the assumption of reliability about Marcion and unreliability of those arguing against him. This being said, Marcion (it is claimed) declared that Jesus was not born, but came to earth fully realized. Hence, he had every reason to excise any verse like 4.4, 1.19, or 1.3 which declare Jesus had earthly relatives and was born.

Also you are just making more arguments from silence. Like, we have none of Marcion's actual writings. We don't know what he claimed, what he said, and we have no reliable access to his theology. So making an argument from silence that "Marcion never says anything about corruption of the epistles" is entirely irrelevant. When you can show me a reliable source of information on Marcion to begin with, then we can talk.

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There is no evidence of Marcion accusing the Catholics of any number of things. That doesn't mean he didn't find problems and alter his texts accordingly... again, a great number of Christians did that. They altered Rom. 1:3 to read gennao instead of ginomai at times (same as Gal. 4:4), but never said why, and others didn't go around declaring some massive alteration had occurred. The argument from silence is completely useless and irrelevant when we have no reliable data to go off of.

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Paul was in the record with 1 Clement which is late first century. Unless you have just done what several mythicists done, and just stringed together a whole list of convenient interpolation, forgery, and chronological reinterpretation theories (which only make your position less likely via Occam's), I see no reason to take this position.

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I have no idea what you are trying to get at with your comment on Paul and the third heaven... living humans made claims of visiting the afterlife and divine realms all the time. Pythagoras claimed to have visited Hades, for instance. Undergoing a katabasis, or apotheosis was just standard trope and indicative of very little with regards to historicity, imo.
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Re: The Seed in Romans 1:3 and Elsewhere

Post by schillingklaus »

Occamism is yet another foolish superstition, as already known by Polanyi. It is completely useless for critial reading.

Critical reraders know that 1 Clement is inauthentic, only apologist sheeple believe in 1 Clemet as a testimony of 1 century christianity.
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Re: The Seed in Romans 1:3 and Elsewhere

Post by Chris Hansen »

^Again, convenience. Anything we don't like, regard irrelevant, etc. is dismissed as "foolish superstition" or the work of "apologist sheeple." Such attitude and thinking seems... unconducive to "critical reading" but the more I've been involved with Biblical studies (on all ends of the spectrum) the more I'm convinced that "critical reader" just means "only those who agree with me" no matter who says it.

This is what I was saying above and why I rarely find interpolation theories very convincing... it just seems like they happen to always be so awfully convenient for the author arguing them. Mythicist argues that Paul's epistles were inauthentic or heavily interpolated, and all passages that are most easily read with regard to a historical Jesus were inauthentic... huh, who could have guessed why they argue that, it will forever be a mystery. And when someone rebuts them on these points, just scream apologetics or "foolish superstition" and say that "critical readers" will agree with you.

Maybe it is just me, but I'm skeptical of any position that requires swathes of interpolations or forgeries to work. Probably why I like Thomas L. Brodie's work so much.
Last edited by Chris Hansen on Mon Jun 20, 2022 12:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Giuseppe
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Re: The Seed in Romans 1:3 and Elsewhere

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  • 1) Vinzent has to be read with Klinghardt, not without Klinghardt. It is the latter who is doing technical arguments until now, not the former.
  • 2) Galatians 4:4 doesn't say that Jesus was born. It says that Jesus was "born by woman". Usually the expression "born by woman" is used in opposition to spiritual emanation/generation. See for example the expression applied to John the Baptist: "among the born by woman none is greater than John the Baptist, but the least in the kingdom of god is greater than him". Hence against who was Galatians 4:4 directed? Against who claimed that Jesus was directly son of God. Against docetists. From the second century CE.
  • 3) Without evidence of Marcion accusing the Catholics of tampering the epistles, it is hard to give him an impulse to "correct" the pauline text inherited by him. How can Marcionite evidence be not reliable if it has been sufficient for scholars as Klinghardt and Vinzent to declare the Evangelion older than even Mark?
  • 4) 1 Clement has Paul and Peter on the same page. I doubt that after Antiochia the two were friends.
  • 5) I see that you are conceding that a human being can be conceived as walking in heaven. If he can walk in heaven, he can also be crucified in heaven.
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Re: The Seed in Romans 1:3 and Elsewhere

Post by Chris Hansen »

Giuseppe wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 12:11 pm
  • 1) Vinzent has to be read with Klinghardt, not without Klinghardt. It is the latter who is doing technical arguments until now, not the former.
  • 2) Galatians 4:4 doesn't say that Jesus was born. It says that Jesus was "born by woman". Usually the expression "born by woman" is used in opposition to spiritual emanation/generation. See for example the expression applied to John the Baptist: "among the born by woman none is greater than John the Baptist, but the least in the kingdom of god is greater than him". Hence against who was Galatians 4:4 directed? Against who claimed that Jesus was directly son of God. Against docetists. From the second century CE.
  • 3) Without evidence of Marcion accusing the Catholics of tampering the epistles, it is hard to give him an impulse to "correct" the pauline text inherited by him. How can Marcionite evidence be not reliable if it has been sufficient for scholars as Klinghardt and Vinzent to declare the Evangelion older than even Mark?
  • 4) 1 Clement has Paul and Peter on the same page. I doubt that after Antiochia the two were friends.
  • 5) I see that you are conceding that a human being can be conceived as walking in heaven. If he can walk in heaven, he can also be crucified in heaven.
I've read Klinghardt too. Didn't do anything for me.

And also, your reading of Matt. 11:11 in comparison to Gal. 4:4 is not based in the Greek. Firstly, it is not the same language used. Matt. 11:11 uses gennétos (specifically γεννητοῖς γυναικῶν) and Gal. 4:4 uses ginomai. This said the passage never compares this to people who are "spiritually emanated" but those who reside in the kingdom of Heaven (δὲ μικρότερος ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν). So, no it is not a comparison of those who are born on earth vs. those born of spirit. This passage is to do with residence.

Also "born of a woman" (using gennao, gennetos, or ginomai) is not always used in oppositions. Particularly in the Septuagint. The similar phrase in LXX Job 11:12 where we have "But man vainly buoys himself up with words; a mortal born of woman (γεννητὸς γυναικός) like an ass in the desert." Here there is no opposition but likening. LXX Job 14:1, 15:4, and others. Which means we have no reason to read this as oppositional in Gal. 4:4.

And I don't think Vinzent or Klinghardt are justified in their conclusions... just gonna be real. Their conclusions are based on very little reliable info, and I don't think they have made a good case justifying it actually being reliable or good.

And sure he "can" be "crucified in heaven." Doesn't mean he was, or that he was conceived of as being so. Just because something is possible, doesn't make it probable... or even tenable.
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Re: The Seed in Romans 1:3 and Elsewhere

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Chris Hansen wrote: Fri Jun 17, 2022 11:15 pm
The arguments for it being "non-Pauline" language I think are inherently defective. Authors are able to change their styles, or take influences from elsewhere which leave imprints that make us think them different. For instance, C. L. Seow recently argued that the Book of Job deliberately has the dialogue written in an obscure and archaized form to fit the literary motifs of it . . .

The only other argument I've seen is that it wasn't found in Marcion's text... which... is a defective argument from silence through and through, since we have no complete or reliable text of Marcion's epistle to the Romans, and I don't think any argument can be made for interpolation based on hypothetical reconstructions of his text, based on the unreliable transmission of the Church Fathers. Not to mention, even if reliable, Marcion did not think that Jesus was born, so he'd have every reason to excise it. So, it really tells us nothing, imo.

. . . . Imo, hypothesizing interpolation should always be a last resort.
Glad you are here to keep us honest, Chris.

I think in the interests of sharper arguments the following can be said:

Yes, authors can change their styles, but when they do veer into something that is untypical of their work then we can usually identify reasons for them doing so. Your example of Seow's explanation of the style in the Book of Job is an example. When a passage in a tract stands out as different in style from the rest questions are rightly raised: why is this style different? what is the author trying to achieve in this passage? Sometimes the simplest answer is that another author with a different ideological agenda was involved.

I have not kept up to date with Marcionite studies so I am still left wondering if we know enough about Marcionism per se to make strong statements about what he would or would not say about any particular doctrine. But I do know that different kinds of births were associated with the messiah that did allow for heterodox views of the nature of the messiah. The birth of the Beloved in the Ascension of Isaiah is arguably a birth that is not a birth -- the infant just appears all of a sudden from outside Mary's womb. There is no "carnal birth" though the passage through Mary made him "flesh" at least in appearance and by Davidic descent. Similarly in Revelation the messiah infant is immediately snatched up to heaven -- a messiah who is born of a woman on earth but is immediately snatched to heaven, presumably to mature to a time when he is ready to return again and conquer the nations.

So when one argues that Marcion "would have every reason to excise" a passage, are we not arguing the same way as others who say the orthodox would have every reason to excise a Marcionite passage?

Interpolation arguments should not by rule be kept as a last resort since we know interpolations were par for the course in all forms of literature at the time for multiple reasons.
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Re: The Seed in Romans 1:3 and Elsewhere

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Chris Hansen wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 12:08 pm This is what I was saying above and why I rarely find interpolation theories very convincing... it just seems like they happen to always be so awfully convenient for the author arguing them. Mythicist argues that Paul's epistles were inauthentic or heavily interpolated, and all passages that are most easily read with regard to a historical Jesus were inauthentic... huh, who could have guessed why they argue that, it will forever be a mystery. And when someone rebuts them on these points, just scream apologetics or "foolish superstition" and say that "critical readers" will agree with you.
One reason I respect Doherty's work so much is that he does not argue for interpolations nearly as often as I think he could, even should. And those that he does cite are well known in mainstream scholarship and argued on multiple grounds -- quite independently from any thought of "mythicism".

Further, when you write, "all passages that are most easily read with regard to a historical Jesus", I wonder if we are defaulting to reading Paul through the gospels in place of an argued position. Paul, I think, should only be approached for study after we have analysed the external evidence for the time of his letters, a study of the Jewish and Greco-Roman "philosophical" and "religious" thought of the era, the reception and influence and first interpreters of the letters.

It may be that after such an approach we do find that some passages do imply a Jesus of the flesh. But as I intimated in my previous comment, that is still some way from a presumption of a historical figure. Though whatever "history" meant to Paul (and other "religious" thinkers of the time) is itself a question that needs to be addressed.

I don't want these comments to be treated as an argument for a Christ myth view, I must add. No. I am only setting them out on the table as questions that I think should be considered and assessed in some research depth before conclusions are made either way about that question.
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Re: The Seed in Romans 1:3 and Elsewhere

Post by Chris Hansen »

I'll touch on the last part first, because I basically agree with everything you said there (and by no means am I taking it as an argument in favorite of the Christ Myth). I actually completely agree that Paul's letters should be read first in their Jewish and Greco-Roman literary/religious context, and then we can deal with the reception history and interpreters later on.

I personally don't think we should ever read Paul's letters through the Gospels (to the opposite, I think it is the other way around). I also think that any supposition that X passage is a reference to a historical Jesus requires detailed argumentation, and it is one of my biggest criticisms of historicists that they just say "this passage attests to a historical Jesus" but have no argumentation to actually back it up, and if they do it is generally weak and just copy-pasted from Tim O'Neill or Ehrman. I think historicists have been... lazy to say the least in how they treat Paul and extrabiblical sources for Jesus. I think the lazy argument for mythicists has tended to be "X is forgery" or "X is interpolation." It is also why I have a lot more respect for Doherty, though my greatest respect is still for Thomas L. Brodie.

Now from what we have, again, from unreliable narrators, is that Marcion claimed Jesus was never born at all, not even in semblance. The AoI is a strange bit, because Mary becomes physically pregnant, and then her "birthing" is just this alien "Jesus is here now". Essentially, an attempt to explain a physical birth but also have her virginity remain intact (i.e., unbroken hymen). Anyways, this is different from (what remains, again, not entirely reliably) what is said of Marcion, who has Jesus come down from heaven fully adult. His Evangelion begins with him descending from the heavens in the fifteenth year of Tiberius, while Pilate was governor. So, to have Jesus "born" (which ginomai very easily means and is used, as I found in my investigation) would be fairly contrary to his ideas... again if what we have can be trusted. Specifically, having Jesus "born of a woman, born under the law" would be doubly problematic, if Marcion's antisemitism is also accurate.

But, again, I don't think most of what we have of Marcion is reliable. I was merely pointing out that, if we are to say what is "preserved" of Marcion is reliable to the extent that we can trust reconstructions of his texts, then we should also be able to trust claims that he despised the birth of Jesus narrative, and was also anti-Judaism, which means we can think of two good motivations for him to start omitting various items. IMO, if we can trust the Church Fathers enough to reconstruct Marcion's text, but then turn around and say we cannot trust their other claims about Marcion, it seems like a "have my cake and eat it too" situation, based largely in an anti-Christian bias.

"So when one argues that Marcion "would have every reason to excise" a passage, are we not arguing the same way as others who say the orthodox would have every reason to excise a Marcionite passage?"

Definitely agree, I should have worded my retorts a bit better in this regard. Where I'm at is that interpolations are a subjective issue at best, and too often based in defective evidence, i.e., like Marcion or Church Father preservation of other sects. This is not to say there are not anti-Marcionite interpolations at all, or that interpolations do not happen. They do, but I think in these cases the evidence is just unreliable at best, which should instead make us look at different methods of interpreting the passages.
Last edited by Chris Hansen on Mon Jun 20, 2022 5:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Seed in Romans 1:3 and Elsewhere

Post by ABuddhist »

Chris Hansen wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 5:37 pm IMO, we cannot trust the Church Fathers enough to reconstruct Marcion's text, but then turn around and say we cannot trust their other claims about Marcion. It seems like a "have my cake and eat it too" situation, based largely in an anti-Christian bias.
For what it is worth, my anti-Christian bias is towards the claim that neither side in the disputes about Marcion was fully honest. Have you or other studiers of Paul's letters ever considred the possibility that we can never know for certain what Paul wrote because of the following factors?

1. The large numbers of pseudo-Pauline letters.

2. The fact that Marcion, even as he presented the Pauline letters in a collection (the first, if I recall correctly) made no claim that he was presenting the original Pauline letters; rather, if I understand it correctly, he claimed that he was presenting his reconstructions of them stripped of later interpolations.

3. The fact that proto-Orthodox Christians, even as they adopted Marcion's practise of collecting Pauline letters, asserted that Marcion had mutilated the letters - and would later "multilate" the letters themselves as they argued with each other.

4. The fact that even mainstream scholarship admits that there has been interpolation within the authentic letters, only disagreeing about the precise extent.
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