The Seed in Romans 1:3 and Elsewhere

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Chris Hansen
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Re: The Seed in Romans 1:3 and Elsewhere

Post by Chris Hansen »

I see no reason to suppose it is an interpolation.

O'Neill's supposition was only based on the highly defective Codex Boernerianus and the related Augiensis. Both of these were evidently from the same exemplar and the exemplar itself was defective or damaged. I don't know anyone who credibly thinks they can be used as justification for arguing interpolations occurred. They very regularly feature lacunae that cannot possibly all be from interpolation, and I see no reason to see this as an interpolation either.

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, which is why the introduction and the prose sections are all in standard Biblical Hebrew. The author just shifted his styles. I personally think Paul does this (for instance, I think the 1 Cor. 15 creedal "tradition" is like Paul's own invention).

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.

I'd add that if it was added to combat docetism it is really strange. Especially since... if we suppose 1:3 was an interpolation, we also have to recognize that they then interpolated the interpolation later to use gennao... so why wouldn't they just write it with gennao in the first place? Imo, hypothesizing interpolation should always be a last resort.
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Giuseppe
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Re: The Seed in Romans 1:3 and Elsewhere

Post by Giuseppe »

If Romans 1:3 or Galatians 4:4 "born by woman, born under the law" are not anti-marcionite interpolations, then what of grace would be anti-marcionite interpolations?
Chris Hansen
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Re: The Seed in Romans 1:3 and Elsewhere

Post by Chris Hansen »

Giuseppe wrote: Sat Jun 18, 2022 3:36 am If Romans 1:3 or Galatians 4:4 "born by woman, born under the law" are not anti-marcionite interpolations, then what of grace would be anti-marcionite interpolations?
Gonna be honest, I don't think we have any good basis on which to claim anything as an "anti-Marcionite interpolation."

I think "anti-Marcionite interpolations" are just convenient ways of trying to make the completely defective reconstructions of his text seem authoritative or as convenient ways to get rid of inconvenient passages in Paul's epistles (usually by mythicists who find said passages inconvenient, though also with some historicists like Howell and Loisy who found no easy explanation for them), and I have yet to see a single methodologically viable reason for reading a passage as "anti-Marcionite", except by appeal to "well this wouldn't be very good for Marcion's position" or "it is absent in our completely defective reconstructions based on unreliable quotations from Church Fathers!"

Finding "anti-Marcionite" and "anti-Gnostic" or "anti-Docetist" interpolations is one of the most subjective and unscientific processes I've seen in this entire field, and I frankly find it also one of the least credible exercises.

Like what are the clear and precise methodological criteria for identifying and demonstrating an "anti-Marcionite interpolation" is present in a text?
ABuddhist
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Re: The Seed in Romans 1:3 and Elsewhere

Post by ABuddhist »

Chris Hansen wrote: Sat Jun 18, 2022 7:31 am Finding "anti-Marcionite" and "anti-Gnostic" or "anti-Docetist" interpolations is one of the most subjective and unscientific processes I've seen in this entire field, and I frankly find it also one of the least credible exercises.

Like what are the clear and precise methodological criteria for identifying and demonstrating an "anti-Marcionite interpolation" is present in a text?
Do you therefore take seriously the claim that Marcion mutilated his canon in order to support his doctrines?
Chris Hansen
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Re: The Seed in Romans 1:3 and Elsewhere

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Yes. If we think the Church Fathers and non-Marcionite Christians did, then we can assume he did too. To deny that he may have mutilated his texts is just to deny him agency.
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Giuseppe
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Re: The Seed in Romans 1:3 and Elsewhere

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My problem with this view is that for me the scenario of a Marcion who removed the "born by woman" bit and the seed of Romans 1:3 sounds less conspirative than the scenario of Catholics adding those anti-docetist bits.

The reason is simple: Marcion was historically accused of having mutilated Luke, never the epistles.

So we have in the record the presence of a false accusation (the consensus is now that really, Marcion didn't mutilate Luke) and the absence of the other accusation (that Marcion would have mutilated Paul).

If not even the Fathers of the Church accused Marcion of having mutilated Paul, then why should we accuse him of having done so?
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GakuseiDon
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Re: The Seed in Romans 1:3 and Elsewhere

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Giuseppe wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 8:22 pmIf not even the Fathers of the Church accused Marcion of having mutilated Paul, then why should we accuse him of having done so?
Tertulian accused Marcion of mutilating Paul: Book 5 of "Contra Marcion":
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/t ... an125.html

... we shall draw our evidence from the epistles of St. Paul himself. Now, the garbled form in which we have found the heretic's Gospel will have already prepared us to expect to find the epistles also mutilated by him with like perverseness--and that even as respects their number...
...
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.

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

Post by Giuseppe »

GakuseiDon wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 2:45 am Tertulian accused Marcion of mutilating Paul:
That is Tertullian: too late. I mean: the accusation about the mutilation of Luke is already in Irenaeus. The accusation about the mutilation of Paul is not found before Tertullian.
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Giuseppe
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Re: The Seed in Romans 1:3 and Elsewhere

Post by Giuseppe »

David Oliver Smith has the same doubts about the authenticity of Galatians 4:4 "born by woman, born under the law".

However, assuming for sake of discussion the authenticity of those verses, he writes:

But assuming Paul did write Gal 4:4b, where did he get his information, from Peter or James or John? There was no need for that. He could have got it from Isaiah.
Isaiah 9 6
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 11 1
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

Both of these passages of Isaiah are prophecies of the Messiah, whom Isaiah envisioned as a temporal king restoring the throne of David. Paul’s information about Christ came from the OT, not Goulder’s PJJ or any other form of oral transmission.

2. Paul’s Jesus Was “Born Under the Law”—Gal 4:4b; Isa 11:1, 16:5 We have seen Gal 4:4 and Isa 11:1 above under Fact 1 of Paul’s Jesus. Isaiah says again that the Messiah will be Jewish, i.e., born under the law, meaning Mosaic Law.
Isaiah 16 5 In love a throne will be established; in faithfulness a man will sit on it—one from the house of David—one who in judging seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness.

This passage of Isaiah reiterates Isa 11:1 in saying that the Messiah will be a descendant of David, that obviously means that he would be Jewish and “born under the law.”

3. Paul’s Jesus Was a Descendant of David —Rom 1:1–3; Isa 11:1, 16:5

Not only was Paul’s Jesus Jewish as we have shown, but more specifically he was a descendant of David.

Romans 1
1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, 3 the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh.

In this passage of Rom Paul states what he has learned from Isaiah. Once again Paul learned from Isaiah that the Messiah was a descendant of David. Paul thought that God had revealed to him that the Messianic prophecies in the OT were not about an earthly king of Israel predicted to arise, but were actually about the spiritual savior of mankind. I agree with Doherty that Paul’s theology is that God revealed his gospel through the OT.

(Smith, David Oliver. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Paul: The Influence of the Epistles on the Synoptic Gospels, pp.29-30).

It seems to me that the difference between the marcionite Paul and the our current Paul is that the former was prideful of his revelations, while the second was prideful of his revelations + his midrash from scriptures.

In both the cases, not a real progress pro historicity.
Chris Hansen
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Re: The Seed in Romans 1:3 and Elsewhere

Post by Chris Hansen »

Lots to go through here, but let me just address this.

Firstly, it says a lot about the bias against the Church Fathers that you have that you consider it more less conspiratorial to suppose that "orthodox" Christians managed to alter every single surviving manuscript of Romans chap. 1 to contain v.3 and Gal. chap. 4 to include v.4b, but it is somehow more conspiratorial to suppose that one guy mangled his own manuscripts to serve his own ends, which our copies did not descend from, which would then explain all the difficulties and only require a singular person to do this. Occam's Razor. Which is the far less conspiratorial view. The one that says all of Christendom conspired to insert Gal. 4:4 and Rom. 1:3 into their manuscript lineages, or the one that says that one guy omitted passages he didn't like and which didn't help his theological outlooks, which is why those passages are present in every other tradition?

Occam's Razor says your theory, Giuseppe, is by far the more conspiratorial with a far greater number of assumptions. It is one thing when you have texts like Josephus, where all of our surviving manuscripts come from only a tiny handful of lineages. But to suppose this with the NT is just absurd. Like this is the similar absurd logic that Richard Carrier has. He criticizes Alice Whealey for promoting a conspiracy to alter all the Eusebian texts of Josephus, but those are in a tiny handful of manuscript lineages. Meanwhile, he has no problem arguing that 1 Thess. 2:14-16 is an interpolation, even though every single manuscript tradition (including Marcion's surviving quoted remnants!) has it, which means there must have been a conspiracy infinitely larger than that of what went into altering Eusebius in Whealey's theory. 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.

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Your statement that Tertullian is too late is weird. Irenaeus and Tertullian were contemporaries born around 25ish years apart and were writing in intervals at the same time. It isn't too late at all. That Irenaeus didn't mention Marcion mutilating his letters from Paul is just an argument from silence. 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.

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David Oliver Smith misses that the prophecy in Rom. 1:3 is from 2 Samuel 7, not from Isaiah.

The references to the offspring of Jesse in Romans are in 15.9-12, which is what Isa. 11.1 describes. This is one of the few times that Carrier has the proper interpretation of the passage as utilizing the prophecy of 2 Sam. That being said, this still indicates Jesus was a historical person, since the common interpretation (both in Pesher and beyond, contra Carrier) was that this prophecy was to be adorned to a human man. Thus, it indicates that Paul interpreted Jesus as a person who actually lived on earth. Not a space messiah (see Whitsett, Christopher. “Son of God, Seed of David: Paul’s Messianic Exegesis in Romans 2:3–4.” JBL 119 (2000) 661–81). Couple this with his usage of ginomai, which as I have already established indicates a human birth, and we have no reason to interpret this on a mythicist paradigm. Sure it doesn't tell us anything about him, only what later Christians like Paul thought of him, but it tells us they probably thought he was a living, breathing, human being on earth. Which puts a damper in the whole "cosmic sperm bank" or "cosmic manufacture" or "space Jesus" ideas.

Of course, Marcion also may have had Rom. 1:3 I might add, as BeDuhn's reconstruction offers.

I just see no reason to accept much of what is argued here. Anti-Marcionite interpolations cannot be verified to any convincing degree, imo, and I just don't see mythicist interpretations working that well.
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