Monday, March 25, 2013

The Post-Marcionite Creeds (aka “the pre-Pauline creeds”)

No fallacy is more glaring than the 'consensus of most scholars'[1] that pre-Pauline creedal material is present the New Testament. And by being pre-Pauline, which assumes Paul is more than a literary character, and in fact is a contemporary of Jesus, his blinding conversion separated by less than a decade from his mission, these creeds therefore appear to be incorruptible evidence, coming within only months (a few years at most) of the crucifixion, and so demonstrate first beliefs of Christianity, and arguably the surety of its historical roots. This evidence seems to have been enough that Bart Erhman declared Adoptionism was likely the first form of Christianity, a conclusion that derives directly from the very nature of these creeds.

There are so many problems with this position that it’s can be confusing which weak point to attack first.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Notes on 1 Corinthians and the Catholic editor

The Catholic Editor and other rambling thoughts

The time and circumstances under which the Catholic editor appended 1 Corinthians differs markedly from those that the original Marcionite author wrote the book. This fact is more pronounced than any theological difference, although there are plenty of those. The concerns and adjustments the Catholic editor made reveal a much changed, larger, more diverse, and more mature church assembly he is addressing than the one the original author knew.

These differences are not those of a handful of years but generational. The church has become more formal, no longer ruled by a single strong leader; there are hints of a reconciliation with a substantial Marcionite like group and the one of the Catholic editor represents; the very membership of the congregation has changed in size, diversity, and nature; issues such as the marriage and divorce and interaction with non-Christians, even interfaith marriage and children resulting, has entered the picture.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Good Ideas for Criticism - #1 Fatigue

There have been several brilliant ideas which have come forth from various categories of New Testament, and really all literary forensic studies which should be more widely accepted, and more importantly used as measuring sticks to validate and invalidate - or at the least be used as tools to investigate - theories. Today I will throw out one of them.

The first idea I found brilliant is that of redactor fatigue. Mark Goodacre has used it extensively in his

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

F.C. Bukett on Marcion

In my effort to give readers of this blog more content I am adding links to useful sites. This one influenced my thinking a great deal, and made me look at the heretics of the 2nd and 3rd century as part of the Church and not truly outside, part and parcel with its development.

Here is a link I found with the excerpt from: F.C. Burkett, The Gospel History and its Transmission 

Burkett gave me a healthier view, which allowed me to realize that the model I was using to understand the Heretics and the Orthodox views on God were wrong. The first time I read the article was a bit of an eureka moment, when I realized that the ditheism of Marcion only differed in terminology from the orthodox, and the assignment of the properties of Justice as not belonging to the high God. The two sides really did come from a single place. But a small difference quickly grew into a massive fissure - but I digress. Anyway enjoy Burkett, hopefully you'll get as much out of reading him as I did some years ago.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Apostles and Bishops

Continuing on the issue of vocabulary, and focusing on the structure of the Church we see the relationship between Apostle and Bishop is a fundamental one in the organization of the early Church. It is a position that evolved from with the growth of the Church. This is important in understanding who Marcion was, and how the character Paul relates to his position, and how it was reinterpreted by later Catholic editors.  

Below is the excerpt from an article I wrote about the relationship of Paul and Marcion, which I am dealing with the offices of Bishop and Minister (Deacon).

Apostle and Bishop and Minister

When considering the issue of Marcion’s parallel relationship with the literary Paul, you have to begin with the terms used. We learn not unsurprisingly in Dialogue Adamantius 1.9 that Marcion was a bishop, when Megethius states “Marcion is my bishop” (ἐπισκοπός μου / episcopus meus). Not only is this acknowledged by the Catholic champion Adamantius in his reply, but also that a succession of Bishops after Marcion,

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Vocabulary - Part 1 Church Membership

In the course of parsing 1 Corinthians to separate the material most likely added by the Orthodox editor(s), I became very aware of the usage of certain words which seemed to only occur in the Orthodox additions. Beyond that I started to recognize the double meanings of certain words used by the "original" Heterodox author(s).

There are different categories of members of the assembly (ἐκκλησίᾳ which is usually called church in our NT translations, except that the physical building is usually referred to as a συναγωγὴ 'Synagogue'), a few of which the early church that the heterodox authors were not concerned with include:

   - elders
   - non believers
   - "idiot" or "initiate" refers to a new or potential members, somebody who does not know church customs
   - rectors (literally ship pilot) who administer the daily affairs of church property
   - helpers or partakers

None of these roles are part of the church spoken of by Marcion's Paul. They are products of a later time,

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Marcionite 1 Corinthians Interliner

This is a slightly updated version of the 1 Corinthians Interliner I gave to Dr. Detering for his site. Since that one was released I found it impossible to keep any reference to church attendees who were ἄπιστος or ἰδιῶται. These simply were not accepted in Marcion's time. But when the redactor wrote a generation or so later (25 years minimum I think), the congregation was larger and more complex, requiring new rules.

Here is the Interliner  for 1 Corinthians

and here are my notes on the Catholic Additions to 1 Corinthians

Interliner Color Key:
   Green = words attested in Marcion (by Tertullian, Adamantius, Epiphanius, et al)
   Blue = words that are different in Marcion than we see in the UBS
   Red = LXX quotes (the english only is highlighted red)

In the footnotes Red denotes Latin, and Blue denotes Greek

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Marcionite Openings: Romans

Last year I challenged Herman Detering on his reconstruction of Marcion's Romans, specifically his leaving in tact verses 1:1 and 1:7. My belief is the original simply read:

1:1 Παῦλος πόστολος Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ, [1]      1:7 πσιν τοῖς οσιν [ἐν Ῥώμ] τοῖς ἁγοις, [2] 
     Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus                       to all   those saints ~ [in Rome]

     χάρις μῖν καὶ ερνη πὸ θεοῦ πατρὸς μῶν καὶ κυρου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. [3]
     Grace to you and peace from God our father and Lord Jesus Christ

Monday, March 4, 2013

Matthew and the Antithesis

I have not been very good in updating this blog sight, but today I promise to be better.

One of the most puzzling features of Marcion's antithesis is its seeming use of Matthew. We can see this in Dialogue Adamantius as in these two cases where verses in Matthew's Sermon on the Mount appear to show up in the Antithesis arguments of Megathius, the Marcionite champion:

// The third antithesis found in Dialogue Adamantius 1.12 / 8.12d
Megethius: The Lord brought to view in the Law say, ‘You shall love him who loves you and you shall hate your enemy.” (Leviticus 19:18 LXX with τὸν ἀγαπῶντά σε for τὸν πλησον σου, Matthew 5:43) But our Lord, because He is good, says “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44; see also Luke 6:27-28)

Ὁ ἐν τῷ νόμῷ κύριος λέγει·  
ἀγαπήσεὶς σεις τὸν ἀγαπῶντά σε, καὶ μισήσεις τὸν ἐχθρόν σου·
ὁ δὲ κύριος ἡμῶν, ἀγαθὸς ὤν, λέγει·  
ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν καὶ εὔχεσθε ὑπὲρ τῶν διωχόντων ὑμᾶς.
In lege deus dicit: Diliges diligentem te, et odio habebis inimicum tuum. Noster autem bonus dominis dicit: Diligite inimicos uestros, et orate pro eis qui persecuntur uos.