Valentinians Among the Congregation
In the process of analyzing 8:1-3 and 8:7-13 one thing I discovered was the editors apparent acknowledgement of heretics of a Gnostic sect as not only being present in the congregation, but accepted as fellow Christians and brothers. Below is my analysis, which shows the text hints strongly who the group which was reconciled was.
The false start into the concerns about idolatrous sacrifices, where περὶ δὲ τῶν εἰδωλοθύτων in verse 8:1 parallels περὶ τῆς βρώσεως οὗν τῶν εἰδωλοθύτων in verse 8:4, alerts us that we may be dealing with an insertion by the use of the same phrase. The author says all of us (readers) already have knowledge, but follows with the comment that knowledge “puffs up” (φυσιοῖ) but love edifies (οἰκοδομεῖ). The focus then is against gnostic readings (γνῶσις) as not edifying (οἰκοδομεῖ), a word not in Marcion, and associated specifically with the Catholic Church. The next phrase makes it clear that those claiming reputed knowledge (δοκεῖ ἐγνωκέναι), much like in 1 Timothy 6:20 (ψευδωνύμου γνώσεως), do not have the approved or required knowledge (δεῖ γνῶναι). Love of God here is associated with the right doctrine of the orthodox to the Jewish God as father of Christ, will be known by him (see Matthew 7:20-22, 25:11-12). The focus then is on gnostic heretics from an era well after Marcion’s collection was circulated.
Verses 8:7-13 seems to be a continuation of the discussion of wrong knowledge we saw in verses 8:1-3. The issue of idol sacrifices concluded in Marcion with verse 8:4 but is revisited here. There are pastoral words, as identified by Munro, in the passage such as edification (8:10 οἰκοδομηθήσεται), and weak ones (ἀσθενῶν), as well as those which are elsewhere never found in Marcion, such as accustomed (συνηθείᾳ, here and verse 11:16) meat (κρέα), the hapax legomena defiled (μολύνεται), which center on idol sacrifices and conscience.
Verse 8:7 worries about the corruption and defilement of the weak in conscience. The reference in 8:10 specifically associates those with "knowledge" freely eating idolatrous sacrificed meats, confirmed by Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses 1.6.3, who names them as Valentinians. (See also Elaine Pagels, the Gnostic Paul, p 70-71)
Wherefore also it comes to pass, that the "most perfect" among them addict themselves without fear to all those kinds of forbidden deeds of which the Scriptures assure us that "they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." For instance, they make no scruple about eating meats offered in sacrifice to idols, imagining that they can in this way contract no defilement. Then, again, at every heathen festival celebrated in honor of the idols, these men are the first to assemble;
Διὸ δὴ καὶ τὰ ἀπειρημένα πάντα ἀδεῶς οἱ τελειότατοι πράττουσιν αὐτῶν, περὶ ὦν αἱ Γραφαὶ διαβεβαιοῦνται, τοὺς ποιοῦντας αὐτὰ βασιλείαν Θεοῦ μὴ κληρονομήσειν. ὑπ' αὐτῶν ἡγούμενοι· καὶ ἐπὶ πᾶσαν ἑορτάσιμον τῶν ἐθνῶν τέψιν εἰς τιμὴν τῶν εἰδώλwν γινομένην προῶτοι συνίασι.
Qua propter et in timorate omnia quae vetantur, hi, qui sunt ipsorum perfecti, operantur, de quibus Scripturae confirmant, quoniam qui faciunt ea, regnum Dei non hereditabunt. Etenim idolothyta indifferenter manducant, nihil inquinari ab his putantes, et in omnem diem festum ethnicorum, pro voluptate in honorem deorum factum, primi conveniunt;
Links to the new versions:
1 Corinthians Interlinear (Rev 3)
Notes on Catholic additions to 1 Corinthians
Galatians is on its way, I am cleaning up the presentation of the reconstruction I did a few years ago, then, I'll post. I have decided to push out my reconstruction of Marcionite Philippians next, since it is the easiest one to complete quickly. Philemon hopefully will also be easy, since it should mostly be intact - if Tertullian is correct; I will probably spend my time giving a Marcionite exegesis; its fascinating, and the letter actually makes sense, unlike Catholic exegesis. Laodiceans will require much more work, and the Thessalonians may be almost impossible with the lack of coverage by the heresiarchs. Colossians is so intertwined with Laodiceans in a back and forth redaction process that it may prove extremely challenging.