Sunday, August 18, 2013

Marcionite Philippians Interlinear and Notes

Chester Beatty p46 Philippians & Galatians
In the Marcionite Apostolikon Paul's Epistle to the Philippians is a rather minor book, less than half the size of the Catholic version in our bibles today. My reconstruction of Marcionite form, or rather Marcionite plus indeterminate verses, results in a mere 46 verses, and could have been much smaller, as 36 of these verses are not attested. I erred on the side of caution leaving in some questionable phrases and verse. The small size of Philippians suggests the the Marcionite Epistles were arraigned from largest to smallest, excepting Galatians which was the heralding letter giving the stamp of authority on the collection, much like the Catholic collection. But to arrive at that order, the Thessalonians have to be considered one letter, probably also the Corinthians.

Philippians is now the fifth book I have completed a reconstruction in Marcionite form. Although I have a much better handle on the specifics of the targets of the content and a better eye for the Catholic editor's themes and words, there were still several unique challenges faced in the reconstruction this book in Marcionite form. Unlike other books in Marcion's collection I have reviewed, Philippians has no additional attestation beyond Tertullian, and it is the last book that Tertullian looked at and may have skipped over more material than usual. Below I go over a  few interesting points.

Hard Time in Mamertine Prison:
The best evidence we have of the opening of this letter is probably the Latin Marcionite prologue from the 6th century codex Fuldensis.
Philippenses sunt Machedones. hi accepto verbo veritatis persteterunt in fide, nec receperunt falsos apostolos. hos apostolus conlaudat scribens eis a Roma de carcere per Epaphroditum.
The Philippians are Macedonians. They persisted in the faith after the word of truth was accepted, nor did they receive false apostles. The apostle praises them, writing to them from Rome, from prison, through Epaphroditus.
There are several interesting aspects to this prologue. The first is not too surprising, Timothy is missing. In the Catholic version Timothy is an important addition in the introduction, which includes an address to the Bishops and Elders, because the Epistles addressed to him concern ecclesiastical discipline. Tertullian Adversus Marcionem 5.21.1 addresses this very point of controversy, saying of Marcion
quod ad Timotheum duas et unam ad Titum de ecclesiastico statu compositas recusaverit
his party rejected the two epistles to Timothy and the one to Titus, which all treat of ecclesiastical discipline.
Timothy thus represents the obedience the orthodoxy demands. Hence 1:1 states καὶ Τιμόθεος δοῦλοι instead of the typical Marcionite ἀπόστολος to emphasize that obedience. So it is no surprise that Timothy also appears in verses 2:19-24, where he is so elevated that it is said that he is the only equal soul to Paul (οὐδένα γὰρ ἔχω ἰσόψυχον), and even more that all other teachers are out for themselves and not Christ (οἱ πάντες γὰρ τὰ ἑαυτῶν ζητοῦσιν, οὐ τὰ Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ). Further, in a concept that admits an authority that determines what is and isn't acceptable teaching, that Timothy's teaching is approved (τὴν δὲ δοκιμὴν αὐτοῦ γινώσκετε). It is very clear then that the purpose of 2:19-24 and 1:1 is to encourage the reading of the pastoral epistles.

Timothy appears, along with some Catholic language, to have replaced Epaphroditus in verse 1:1, as the myth which is continued in the 2:25-30 (which implies his demise after a afflicting disease, like say the small pox epidemic known as the Antonine plague) and 4:18. In the Marcionite Latin prologue it seems Epaphroditus is simply a "brother" and not the apostle/bishop status he is given in 2:25, and is the conduit of the letter.

Carcare Mamertine (remnant)
But Epaphroditus' role of courier is where the Latin prologue goes wrong. Because Paul, the apostle apostolus, is said to be writing from prison scribens eis a Roma de carcere per Epaphroditum. But this is just not any prison, it is the infamous Carcere Mamertine, known simply in those days as de carcere. Paul however is not speaking of his incarceration in jail here, rather he is speaking of his imprisonment metaphorically in the body, wanting to depart life to be with Christ in heaven (τὴν ἐπιθυμίαν ἔχων εἰς τὸ ἀναλῦσαι καὶ σὺν Χριστῷ εἶναι) as is clear in verses 1:23-24. The tendency then to literally read the text appears to have been there from the beginning, not only in the Catholic camp, but as we see in this prologue even in the Marcionite and other heretical camps. This literal reading, and the myth of placing Paul in an actual prison, dates early from the mid-2nd century. Later the Catholic editor drew upon the myth that placed Paul in this Roman prison to claim even influential officials might be Christians. We see this with the improbable phrase "in all the praetorian guard" (ἐν ὅλῳ τῷ πραιτωρίῳ) in verse 1:13 tying impossibly to the Flavius Clemens legend (which could be even a 3rd century addition) in verses 4:2-3 and 4:22. Of course this Clement lived after the Paul of Acts is said to have perished, but who lets facts get in the way of a good story?

Half a Creed is Good Enough:
In my blog entry concerning the post-Marcionite "pre-Pauline" creeds I gave a cursory look at the creed(s) of Philippians 2:6-11 and came to the conclusion that Tertullian reported all he knew, and that the creed was in fact two creeds, one Marcionite in verses 2:6-8, and a second appended Catholic one in verses 2:9-11.

Tertullian argues by silence, with AM 5.20.5 finishing the first half of the creed on verse 2:8: Sic et deus inventus est per virtutem, sicut homo per carnem, quia nec morti subditum pronuntiasset non in substantia mortali constitutum. Plus est autem quod adiecit, Et mortem crucis. But there is no hint of any material between 2:6-8 and 3:4-7, as he summarizes verse 2:6-8 as the passion implying Marcion docetic view (imaginariam phantasmate) misses the point of the power of death, and then without pause jumps into verse 3:4 about counting loss. Tertullian almost always gives us an indication he is skipping material, saying something like “then” or “in another verse” or something to indicate a break. This immediately flags us to examine further.

A curious parallel is found in Augustine's Disputation with Fortunatus, chapter 7 (Acta seu disputatio contra Fortunatum Manichaeum), where Augustine's Manichean opponent uses the same front half of Philippians creed, quoting in full 2:5-8
Fortunatus dixit: Hoc sentimus, quod nos instruit beatus apostolus Paulus, qui dixit: Hoc sentite in vobis, quod et in Christo Iesu; qui cum in forma Dei esset constitutus, non rapinam arbitratus est esse se aequalem Deo; sed semet ipsum exinanivit, formam servi accipiens, in similitudine hominum factus, et habitu inventus ut homo: humiliavit semetipsum, et factus est subditus usque ad mortem.
The Manichean's appear to have used only the Marcionite text in Paul and Luke (and the Gospel of John), but here as in other accounts the text maps to the Catholic, adding constitutus in verse 2:6, which implies Jesus was appointed in the form of God, and in similitudine hominum factus which corresponds to γενόμενος (factus) being in the text. Both of these indicate a later Catholic scribal adjustments. My take is the text was Marcionite, but Augustine here as elsewhere in his work, quoted the Vulgate instead.

Now when we examine the creed in 2:9-11 we again find the Lukan concept of Jesus being adopted, much like the Roman Emperors, who when they adopted an heir to the throne would exalt them with new titles. This is exactly what we see with 2:9 διὸ καὶ θεὸς αὐτὸν ὑπερύψωσεν, καὶ ἐχαρίσατο αὐτῷ τὸ ὄνομα τὸ ὑπὲρ πᾶν ὄνομα. The point, which is clear in 2:11 that by confessing the name of the Lord Jesus Christ is to the glory of God the father (εἰς δόξαν θεοῦ πατρός), is that God the father is the one who appoints Jesus. The opponents in mind again would be those who reject the notion that Christ required the father, whether to rise from the dead or be adopted by him. This adoption statement is very much related to other passages, such as Galatians 1:1 (θεοῦ πατρὸς) and 1 Corinthians 6:14 (θεὸς καὶ) where the Catholic editor added God to clarify that Christ was raised by the father and required him for being raised. The concern is again long after the Marcionites, directed at not only their Christology but the emerging Modalist of the late second century. 

Hebrew of Hebrews:
In 3:5 Paul says that he was
circumcised the eighth day, by race of Israel, tribe Benjamin, Hebrew of Hebrews,
according to law a Pharisee,   
περιτομῇ ὀκταήμερος, ἐκ γένους Ἰσραήλ, φυλῆς Βενιαμείν, Ἐβραῖος ἐξ Ἐβραίων 
κατὰ νόμον Φαρισαῖος,
This flies in the face of everything else you can find about Paul from Marcion's Apostolikon. In 1 Corinthians 9:20 when Paul says "I became to the Jews as a Jew" (ἐγενόμην τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις ὡς Ἰουδαῖος). He does say Cephas is a Jew in Galatians 2:14, "If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?" (εἰ σὺ ἰουδαῖος ὑπάρχων ἐθνικῶς καὶ οὐχὶ ἰουδαϊκῶς ζῇς, πῶς τὰ ἔθνη ἀναγκάζεις ἰουδαΐζειν). The only other clue comes from Galatians 5:3 where Paul gives his complete repudiation of physical circumcision, and 5:12-13 where he refers to circumcision by saying they should castrate themselves. And in Galatians 6:12-13 he denounces the circumcision in much the same mold as castigates Cephas in verse 2:14. But Tertullian is very clear in AM 5.20.6

But what gain he had was taken as loss, and which (things) he counts in above (in the prior verse), the glory of the flesh, the mark of circumcision, by race Hebrew of Hebrews by census (tax), by title the tribe of Benjamin, in bright honors a Pharisee, these things are a loss to him, attributed not to the God of the Jews, but  their stupidity.
Quae autem retro lucri duxerat, quae et supra numerat, gloriam carnis, notam circumcisionis, generis Hebraei ex Hebraeo censum, titulum tribus Beniamin, pharisaeae candidae dignitatem, haec modo detrimento sibi deputat, non deum, sed stuporem, Iudaeorum.
Reluctantly, inexplicably, I have to accept it the verse as present. But there are two variants possible from reading Tertullian which should be considered, although I can find no evidence of any variants for this verse in easily available sources (Swanson unfortunately only completed the Gospels, Acts, the Corinthians, Romans, and Galatians). 

So how can it be that Paul is physically circumcised, as this verse implies? A closer reading of Tertullian reveals that may not be the case. Tertullian says that Paul counts himself as having the he has "the mark of circumcision" notam circumcisionis not "circumcised on the eighth day" (Vulgate reads circumcisus octava die) περιτομῇ ὀκταήμερος. This suggests a reading like Romans 4:11 σημεῖον περιτομῆς (see also 2 Thessalonians 3:17). But this is not a certainty, even though Tertullian similarly writes in 5.4.10 "mark of slavery" servitutis notam, he more often uses notam to mean "made known" (γνωρισθῇ or ἐγνωρίσθη). But the usage strongly suggests the former, and Tertullian has no reason to change to something the removes the smoking gun of Paul's circumcision, as the "mark" can be taken allegorically. The wording also conforms to Romans 4:12 which is no doubt a pastiche possibly of this verse. So I accept the reading σημεῖον περιτομῆς. It's just enough to keep Paul's ethnicity in question.

Mystery Cult?
I don't have any information on the initiation rites of particular Roman mystery religions like those of Bacchus, or Mythras, or even the Antonius cult started by Hadrian But verse the section 4:10-13 seems to be concerned with an initiation rite to one of the mystery cults - which I do not know-, centered on verses 4:12
I know both to be humbled,
and I know to be prosperous;
in every and all I have learned the mystery of
both filled and hungry,
both having abundance and wanting;
οἶδα καὶ ταπεινοῦσθαι,
οἶδα καὶ περισσεύειν·
ἐν παντὶ καὶ ἐν πᾶσιν μεμύημαι,
καὶ χορτάζεσθαι καὶ πεινᾷν
καὶ περισσεύειν καὶ ὑστερεῖσθαι·
Like Titus 1:12 commentary from Epimenides about Cretans, we have the entrance of civic cults in the picture as rivals to the writers. This is a call out to my readers. If anyone knows the cult from which this verse came from please comment and point me to it.

My notes and the interlinear are under "My Papers" or you can read them here:
    Notes on Catholic Additions to Philippians
    Marcionite Philippians Interlinear

Marcionite Romans Updated
I have also updated my Romans Interlinear in Marcionite form (link). Essentially almost all of chapter 14 vanished, because I now know the material deals with the Valentinian controversy of eating food for idols. The church is also very diversified, such that different sects have different foods they eat, and fasts and other differences. Clearly its much later that the start-up church Marcion's Paul was dealing with. At some point I will write up my notes on this letter, as it has maybe the most decisions of any on the Marcionite writer and Catholic editorial additions. I am not looking forward to that (I estimate 50 hours of work); so I'll probably start chipping away in the background, force myself to do at least one verse per night ... Christmas 2014?

What's Next?
I think the Thessalonians are most likely going to be up next. 2 Thessalonians is pretty far along, and I think I can wrap it and it's brother 1 Thessalonians up in September. Laodiceans will probably be in October; its a larger and more complex letter. The end is in sight for completing the Marcionite Apostolikon reproduction.

But I don't want to commit to completing either. I am becoming very interested in understanding the Gospel of Mark and the Marcionite Gospel. I will probably attack these like I did Matthew 5, chapter by chapter, probably starting with Mark 13 and Luke/Marcion 21 which I have already done, and from that reproduce the Ür-Gospels "L" and "M"; I also have a fair amount of work done on Luke/Marcion 4:31-44 (Mark 1:21-39) done as part of a smaller project to explain why late "Radical" dating of the NT is better. And then there is the Anti-thesis, and number of lesser projects, such as whether Irenaeus AH 1.23 is in fact entirely an interpolation from the mid-3rd or even 4th century to lend support to the pseudo-Clementines.

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to go through this with much interest. So far I can say the one thing I know I agree with you on is that Philippians 2:13 is an interpolation. The suggestion that Epaphroditus was mentioned in verse 1 rather than Timothy is an amazing one. I was reading Philippians in a KJV the other day that still has the translations of comments found at the end of Pauline epistles in the Textus Receptus (see for example the Stephanus 1550 Greek text): "To the Philippians, written from Rome, by Ephaphroditus." I feel pretty stupid that this didn't clue me in to it being somewhat odd that Timothy is mentioned in verse 1 rather than Ephaphroditus.