Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Trouble with Sources - Never Salute a Marcionite

The Church Fathers, an 11th-century
Kievan miniature from Svyatoslav's 
There are three primary sources for the specific content and text of the Marcionite New Testament, Tertullian's Adversus Marcionem, Epiphanius' Panarion book 42, and the first two parts of Dialogue Adamantius. Each has their own problems. Tertullian's use of paraphrase and reference to the Catholic text at times with out notice. Epiphanius is writing much later than the others, and his source text shows signs of having been adjusted here and there toward the Catholic text in the interim.

Yet it is Dialogue Adamantius which is the most difficult. John Clabeaux states (page 12, A Lost Edition of the Letters of Paul),
'The Dial. Adam. is clearly artificial (Adamantius Dialogue xv). There are two claims by the title character (1.5 and 5.22) that he used a Marcionite Apostolikon. These claims, in light of the research of this study, are untenable. The author's claims, even if they are taken seriously, contain two major limitations: They do not speak for every Pauline citation in Dial. Adam.; and (2) when Adamantius says "ἐκ τοῦ αὐτῶν ἀποστολικοῦ" (5.22), he may merely be referring to those letters of Paul which the Marcionites accepted, without implying a reference to the text that is in fact used (catholic or Marcionite).'

Clabeaux's observation is both astute and accurate, but he applies it only to book 5, failing to understand the actual depth of the issue. This gets back to the sources for Dialogue Adamantius. It has been observed that the Dialogue was constructed by drawing from prior works. The fourth chapter includes an extensive verbatim, with variance, of the work of Methodius of Olympus, yet  attributing this to Valentinus. What this demonstrates is that the Dialogue was likely constructed from fragments of various works, the first two chapters derived from at least one, and more probably two long lost anti-Marcionite works.

Just as we see with the debate against the Valentinian champion in chapter four the debate in the first two chapters with the Marcionite champions Megethius and Markus is entirely artificial. There is absolutely no reason to assume that the author of Adamantius, when he was composing the dialogue had access to any actual Marcionite texts. His references are entirely from prior anti-Marcionite works.

These works, much like Methodius', were almost certainly not in dialogue form. More likely they were similar in style to Adversus Marcionem, giving fragments of Marcionite text, not only from the Gospel and Apostle, but in some cases from the Antithesis. No doubt the author chose a sampling of the readings from his source in order to counter them with by the time of his writing well developed and sufficiently effective catholic arguments. The Marcionites text he took from his sources was placed in the mouths of Megethius and Markus for the debate with Admantius. We can tell this because of the brief statements they make concerning the text, while Adamantius gives long winded responses. Its not a true debate, rather a selective review and refutation of key Marcionite positions.

Adamantius on the other hand it is very likely used only Catholic texts, including Paul, in responding to the Marcionite positions. Even if they are positions drawn from the anti-Marcionite source, it is likely the source itself did not counter Marcionite positions strictly from the Marcionite text, and not even Tertullian did that. And this is where Clabeaux failed to follow his own observation above, that
when Adamantius says "ἐκ τοῦ αὐτῶν ἀποστολικοῦ" (5.22), he may merely be referring to those letters of Paul which the Marcionites accepted, without implying a reference to the text that is in fact used (catholic or Marcionite)
The Issue of Salutations: Colossians 4:10-14

It is a point most easily demonstrated in the passage of Dialogue Adamantius 1.5-6, where the Catholic champion Adamantius quotes Colossians 4:10-11, 14 immediately after he asks Megethius
Produce your Apostolikon - even though it may be mutilated - and I will prove Mark and Luke worked with Paul. 
Προένεγκε τὸ ἀποστολικόν σου, εὶ καὶ τὰ μάλιστα περικεκομμένον ἐστι, καὶ δείκνυμι ὅτι Μᾶρκοςκαὶ Λουκᾶς συνήγησαν Παύλῳ. 
Profer tuum apostoli eodicem; licit sit undique circumrosus, inde tamen ostende quia Marcus et Lucas socii et adiutores erant Pauli.
Megethius simply replies, "Show it." (Δεῖξον.  Ostende.)

Adamantius now gives us his quote from Colossians, saying:
I read at the end of Paul's letter to the Colossians: "Greetings to you," he says, "from Aristarchus, my fellow prisoners, and Mark, cousin of Barnabas, concerning whom you have received instructions that he may come to you; therefore receive him; and Jesus who is called Justus. These are from the circumcision. They alone are my coworkers for the Kingdom of God - men who have been a comfort to me." And following this, "greetings from Luke and Demas." I have offered proof from the letters. You see that even the apostle is a witness o them. 
Ἀναγινώσκω ἐν τοῖς τελευταίοις τῆς πρὸς Κολοσσαεῖς Παύλου· <Ἀσπάζεται ὑμᾶς>, φησίν, <Ἀρίσταρχος, ὁ συναιχμάλωτός μου, καὶ Μᾶρκος, ὁ ἀνεψιὸς Βαρναβᾶ, περὶ οὗ ἐλάβετε ἐντολάς ἵνα ἔλθῃ πρὸς ὑμᾶς· δέξασθε οὗν αὐτόν· καὶ Ἰησοῦς ο λεγόμενος Ἰοῦστος, οἱ ὄντες ἐκ περιτομῆς. οὗτοι μόνοι μού εἰσι συνεργοὶ εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ, οἵτινες ἐγενήθησάν μοι παρηγορία>, καὶ τὰ ἑξῆς. <ἀσπάζεται ὑμᾶσ Λουκᾶς καὶ Δημᾶς>. παρέσχον τὰς ἀποδείξεις τῆς ἐπιστολῆς. ὁρᾶς ὅτι καὶ αὐτὸς ὁ ἀπόστολος μαρτυρεῖ αὐτοῖς. 
Lego in ultimis partibus epistolae Pauli ad Colossenses: Salutat uos, inquit, Aristarchus, concaptiuus meus, et Marcus, comsobrinus Barnabae, de quo accepistis mandata, ut si uenerit ad uos, suscipiatis eum, et Iesus, qui dicitur Iustus, qui sut ex circumcisione. Isti enim soli sunt adiutores mei in regno dei qui mihi solatio fuetunt. Et reliqua. Et iterum: Salutat uos Lucas et Demas. Ex his igitur scriptis manifestum est quia ipse apostolus Paulus eis testimonium praebet.
Eutropius, the moderator, unsurprisingly immediately declares Adamantius's point proven.
This is clear from these statements 
Δήλη ἡ περὶ τούτων ἀπόδειξις. 
Euidens est de hic probatio.
and yet Megethius next words are oblivious to the blow he has been dealt.
I will demonstrate elsewhere that the gospels are spurious. For the apostle says their is one gospel, but you (plural) say there are four
Ἐγὼ ἐλέγχω ἑτέρωθεν ὅτι φάλσα ἐστὶ τὰ εὐαγγέλια. λέγει γὰρ ὁ ἀπόστολος ἔν εὐαγγέλιον, ὑμεῖς δὲ τέσσαρα λέγετε. 
Ego ostendo quia falsa sunt eungelia. Dict enim apostolus quia unum est euangelium, uos autem quantuor dicitis.
What just happened here is startling example of a disjointed one way conversation. Megethius actually answered the question before Adamantius even spoke the above when he laid out his case from the Marcionite texts.
Christ did not have Mark and Luke as disciples. So you and your party are convicted of producing spurious writings. Why is it that the disciples whose names are not recorded in the Gospel did not write, while men who were not disciples did? Who is Luke? Who is Mark? You are therefore convicted of bringing forward names not recorded in the Scriptures
Μᾶρκον καὶ Λουκᾶν οὐκ ἔσχε μαθητὰς ὁ Χριστός· ἐντεῦθεν ἐλέγχεσθε φάλσα ποιοῦντες. διὰ τί γὰρ οἱ μανηταί, ὧν γέγραπται τὰ ὀνόματα ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ, οὐκ ἔγραψαν, ἀλλ᾿ οἱ μὴ ὄντες μανθηταί; τίς οὖν ἐστι Λουκᾶς ἢ Μᾶρκος; ἠλέγχθητε ἐπὶ τούτῳ ὀνόματα <οὐ> γεγραμμένα ἐν τῇ γραφῇ προφέροντες.
Marcum et Lucam nec habuit discipulos Christus, et ex hoc ipso falsa sunt approbantur. Cur enim illi discipuli, quorum nomina in euangelio scripta sunt, euangelia non scripserunt, sed alii, nescio qui, <qui> nec fuerunt discipuli? Quis est Lucas, aut quis est Marcus? Et ideo de ipsis nominibus manifesto iudicio falsa esse vestra euangelia convincuntur.
And then Megethius wants us to look at the source, saying,
Let the Gospel be read, and you will find their names are not recorded.
Ποίησον ἀναγνωσθηῆναι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον καὶ εὑρήσεις ὅτι οὐ γέγραπται τὰ ὀνόματα ταῦτα.
Fac legi euangelium et inuenies quia nomina ista inter discipulos Christi Scripta non sunt.
And he also refers to their absence in the Marcionite Apostolikon when he next states,
It is impossible that these men ever saw Paul. 
Ἀδύνατον ὅτι ποτ᾿ εἶδον οὗτοι Παῦλον. 
Impossibile est. Nemo probat quod isti viderint Paulum.
So how does Megethius explain how the names can  be found in Colossians? Because its not the Marcionite Paul rather the Catholic Paul.
I do not accept your spurious Apostoliko 
Tῷ σῷ φαλσῳ οὐ πιστεύω ἀποστολικῷ. 
Tuo falso codici non credo.
So Megethius is telling us that Adamantius must be reading from the Catholic text. His statement, were it part of a real debate would have been after Adamantius' quotation not before.

There is stronger evidence Adamantius is quoting the Catholic text and not the Marcionite when we examine the content of Colossians 4:10-15 in respect to the vocabulary and content patterns we already established concerning the Marcionite letters of Paul.

Beware the Scribes!

The place to start is chapter 16 of Romans. It is well established that chapters 15 and 16 of Romans were not known to Marcion. And the closing doxology of Romans 16:25-27 is placed variously after chapters 14, 15 and/or 16 in various manuscripts, revealing significant instability. The doxology itself seems to have arisen to answer the abrupt and unsatisfactory close at verse 14:23. How and when chapters 15 and 16 came to be added to the book, and it appears separately from each other, is not clear, except that it was after the version known to Marcion.

Romans 16, oft referred to as the letter to Phoebe (verse 16:1), displays a peculiar signature, not from Paul as you might expect but someone named Tertius who states quite clearly in verse 16:22, "I Tertius who wrote this letter, greet you in the lord." [1] It is not only slip by the writer admitting he is not Paul which catches my attention, but rather the term salutation or greeting (ἀσπάζομαι ὑμᾶς). This is a word not attested in Marcion, And in one form or another occurs twenty-one times throughout this chapter, (16:3, 5-16, 21-23). These greeting are mostly from a host of characters drawn from Christian legend, such as Timothy, some from Acts of the Apostles, such as Prisca and Aquila (Acts 18:2). Many verses in Chapter 16 seem to be pastiches drawn from other Pauline letters in their Catholic form. [2]

One of the Pastiches is Romans 16:16 "Greet one another with a holy kiss," (ἀσπάσασθε ἀλλήλους ἐν φιλήματι ἁγίῳ). This is exactly what is found in 1 Corinthians 16:20, 2 Corinthians 13:12, and also in a variant form in 1 Thessalonians 5:26. This is an institutional formality of church brethren that indicates the writers were focused pastoral concerns and hierarchical organization, their focus well past the era of early ad hoc evangelism we find in the early strata of Paul.

Another form of the salutation is a supposed declaration by Paul of the authenticity of the letter. IN Galatians 16:11 the writer declares
See what large letters I make with my own hand! 
Ἴδετε πηλίκοις ὑμῖν γράμμασιν ἔγραψα τῇ ἐμῇ χειρί. 
This is a statement for the authenticity of Galatians, which in a backhanded way makes it clear there are other letters in circulation bearing the name Paul which are not authentic in the eyes of the author. This line was written almost certainly by the Marcionite writer of Galatians. The latter Catholic redactor responded in kind in 1 Corinthians 16:21
The greeting is in my own hand --Paul. 
ὁ ἀσπασμὸς τῇ ἐμῇ χειρὶ Παύλου.
This is expanded most strikingly in 2 Thessalonians 3:17 to bring emphasize the claim of authenticity of the greetings in the Catholic editions, stating
This greeting is in my own hand -- Paul; this is a sign in every letter; it is how I write. 
ὅ ἀσπασμὸς τῇ ἐμῇ χειρὶ Παύλου, ὅ ἐστιν σημεῖον ἐν πάσῃ ἐπιστολῇ· οὕτως γράφω. 
This claim for the greetings is not just for this letter but for the entire collection, undoubtedly including the Pastorals (see 2 Timothy 4:19, 21, Titus 3:15). It is universal claim, and polemic against attacks against these salutations by the Marcionites.

For it seems Marcion did not approve of salutations, almost certainly because of the connotation of rank and privilege. There are two references in Marcion's Gospel which show an antipathy with formal greetings. Luke 20:46 (= Mark 12:38) from the earliest strata, "Beware of the scribes (γραμματέων), who like to walk around in long robes and love respectful greetings (φιλούντων ἀσπασμοὺς) in the market places." This position is diametrically opposed to Romans 16:12 where Tertius describes himself as (ὁ γράψας τὴν ἐπιστολὴν) who gives us his greetings (ἀσπάζομαι ὑμᾶς).

There is little doubt that the scribes in the Marcionite view are the writers of "Jewish" Christian fictions, or Catholic letters. In Luke 11:43, which is part of the Marcionite layer of sayings (there is no "Q" in Marcionite priority theory) is derived from the scribal admonition in Luke 20:46, but now directed at Pharisees, who in the Macrionite gospel, and also John's gospel, represent the clergy of the proto-Orthodox or "Jewish" Christians camp whom it says "love the chief seats in the synagogues and salutations in the market places." They synagogues are the physical buildings were one meets, and symbolically are the physical churches, even though we see ecclesia "the assembly" as the church in our translations - the gathering of Christians is the church, but the meaning shifted with settlement.

All the greetings in the letters are of this sort of respectful greeting, acknowledgment of status and order. Things Marcion appears to have hated, and his Paul even rails against. So we see in Luke 10:4, when Jesus sends out the seventy, he tells them to "salute no one on the way" (καὶ μηδένα κατὰ τὴν ὁδὸν ἀσπάσησθε). This is not an admonition against dilly dallying, as we often read, but instruction to give deference to no man. This is consistent with the Marcionite presentation of Paul who accepts no authority but his own, and delegates to no one. Paul makes clear his rejection of rank, and the underpinning for that rejection in Galatians 2:6, given here in a literal if awkward English translation,
But from those reputed to be something, of what they were makes no difference to me;
partiality (literally "face") from God man does not receive - 
ἀπὸ δὲ τῶν δοκούντων εἶναί τι ὁποῖοί ποτε ἦσαν οὐδὲν μοι διαφέρει·
πρόσωπον [ὁ] θεὸς ἀνθρώπου οὐ λαμβάνει 
The first clause, Paul reiterates that that whatever office or title a person has no value to him. He then follows up with the reasoning that man does not receive an audience with God, rank, privilege, and reputation among men mean nothing. And this is what a salute or greeting is about, showing the deference for rank and reputation. Marcion rejects this in Paul and in the Gospel. It is impossible that his Apostolikon would contain any such salutations or greetings of the form ἀσπάζομαι. Within this context the admonition in Luke 10:4 is clear, the seventy are to give no man deference for regardless of rank. And this is consistent with the complaint by the church fathers that the heretics refused to recognize the elders they appointed, some sects even rotating which members spoke and presided over ceremony.

So it is in Marcion that Paul is consistent; he never salutes in his openings, saying instead, "Grace to you and peace from God our father and lord Jesus Christ;" [3] And in closings, "Grace be with you." [4] There is in general there is a strong element of egalitarianism in the early heretical movement. The concept of elders (πρεσβύτεροι) is missing from Marcion, and it is known some sects, especially Valentinians, would rotate members who would preside over services without any rank. This concept of equality is taken even further in the gospel of John, when in verse 15:5 Jesus declares that his followers are not his servants, but his friends, "for the servant does not know what his master is doing." The author is debunking the notion of a hierarchy, beyond bishops or teachers, saying that all should know the affairs of the church.

This egalitarianism underlies the calling of fellow Christians "brothers" and "sisters" and in some respects has carried over to today. This lack of salutation in greeting is something akin of early Communists dropping all of rank in greeting, calling each other 'comrade' instead, or American revolutionaries calling all by the title "sir" and "lady," before reserved only for nobility or other ranked persons. These are clear signs of an early evangelic movement, and ring authentic to me.

The Orthodox Reply

The greetings strewn in the Catholic layers of Paul and the other epistles show that the proto-orthodox had exactly the attitude and hierarchy the Marcionites objected to. Further we see Matthew turns both of these last verses from Luke I mentioned, so that they reflect condemnation of greetings for hypocrisy and not the act of salutation itself. This is stated clearly in Matthew 5:47, which in effect approves greetings not just of "brothers" as we see in the Catholic additions to Paul, but all men - you cannot deny respect to any. This is also reflected in 10:12 when the disciples are told for their mission to "As you enter the house, salute it" (see Romans 16:5, 10, 11, 1 Corinthians 16:19, Philippians 4:22, Colossians 4:15, 2 Timothy 4:19, and 2 John 2:10 with respect to Matthew 10:13). Finally in Matthew 23:7 the hypocritical salutation is specifically targeted at actual Jewish Rabbis, by adding to the description specific items only they would have in verse 23:5 (γὰρ τὰ φυλακτήρια αὐτῶν καὶ μεγαλύνουσιν τὰ κράσπεδα) as well as adding in Matthew 23:7 that they want to be called Rabbi (καὶ καλεῖσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων, Ῥαββεί).

The intention was not to be anti-Jewish, these are after all proto-Orthodox Christians who accept the Jewish Scripture of the Law and Prophets -what we today call the Old Testament-, but rather deflect the criticism of the Heretical opponents concerning their organizational practices. The tactic was to downplay and deflect, to give remove the absolute admonition and instead target hypocrisy.

The Catholic Text

Megethius' outright statement that Mark and Luke could not have been known by Marcion's  Paul is confirmed by the Marcionite objection to salutations. The text of Colossians 4:10-15, as well as the 4:18 excepting ἡ χάρις μεθ' ὑμῶν,  could not have been in Marcion. The entire purpose of the greetings in these verses, much like those in Romans 16, and 1 Corinthians 16:19-21 is to bring legitimacy to legendary individuals by association with Paul. So it is with Mark and Luke in verses 4:10 and 4:14 repsectively, as also in 2 Timothy 4:11; the same for Demas (4:14) also in  2 Timothy 4:10; while Aristarchus (4:10-11) was drawn from Act 19:29, and Epaphras (4:12) from Philemon 23. The association of Mark with Barnabas (4:10) is likely drawn from Act 12:25 or another legend.

The catholic editor left his mark in other ways. We see that "fellow-worker" συνεργοί and "fellow-prisoner" συναιχμα compound word forms with συν that fall into the pastoral strata. The passage also implies acceptance and validity of a parallel Jewish Christians (οἱ ὄντες ἐκ περιτομῆς) as coworkers with Paul - simply impossible for Marcion.

My conclusion, Adamantius presents the Catholic text, definitely not the Marcionite. We cannot say that Mark and Luke appear in Marcion's text. Their reference, as with all uses of ἀσπάζομαι in Paul is to convey ecclesiastical approval upon the names associated with it, often drawn from Acts (e.g., Romans 16:3) and other Christian legends. It is more probable that Mark and Luke found their way into this passage of Colossians after κατὰ Μαρκον and κατὰ Λουκαν were prefixed to the gospels.

Delivering to Satan: 1 Corinthians 5:3-5

image of Satan from middle ages
Codex Gigas 13th century
DA parts 1 and 2 appear to have been constructed from some earlier anti-Marcionite sources, and put in Dialogue form, allowing the Catholic champion to reply in detail. The evidence seems to point to the author of DA not having an actual copy of the Marcionite NT. There are correction to conform to the Catholic and textual variants which are derived from the Catholic text. That makes it a problematic text. This is especially true when Adamantius is speaking, as this character, is very likely reading the Catholic text.

A prime example is DA 8.24a-b/2.5 when Adamantius quote 1 Corinthians 5:3-5 in Catholic form but purportedly Marcionite text, saying
For I am indeed absent in body, but present in spirit, have already judged as though I were present, he who has done so, in the name of our lord Jesus Christ. When you are gathered together with my spirit, with the power of our lord Jesus, you are to deliver up such a one to Satan for destruction
Ἐγὼ μὲν γάρ ὡς ἀπὼν τῷ σώματι, παρὼν δὲ τῷ πνεύματι, ἤδη κέκρικα ὡς παρὼν τὸν οὕτως τοῦτο κατεργασάμενον ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, συναχθέντων ὑμῶν καὶ τοῦ ἐμοῦ πνεύματος, σὺν τῇ δυνάμει τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ, παραδοῦναι τὸν τοιοῦτον τῷ Σατανᾷ εἰς ὄλεθρον. 
Ego quidem uelut absens corpore, praesens autem spiritu, iam iudicaui tanquam praesens eum, qui talia operatus <est>, in nomine domini nostri Iesu Christi conuenientibus uobis et meo spiritu eum uirtute domini nostri Iesu Christi, tradere  huiusmodi hominem satanae in interitum carnis.
While Clabeaux accepts the passage quoted by Adamantius as from the Marcionite, we have several technical reasons to think other, in addition to the problem of an inconsistent presentation of Paul with respect to what we know from the attested Marcionite text.

The first issue are the inclusion of two late variants + ὡς after γάρ in 5:3, and + Χριστοῦ before συναχθέντων in 5:4. Clabeaux was misled by his recognition of the relationship between the Marcionite text and Old Latin I-Type of Italy and the companionship of Western manuscripts D-corrector E F G plus support P46 and א for Χριστοῦ. But in fact the readings merely reflect the later Catholic text, which was adjusted for stylistic reasons, Adamantius used for his source. These readings are not support by the best manuscripts of their types, B D* 1739 and so on. Only by presuming the readings to be Marcionite does Clabeaux arrive at the conclusion some of the readings are correct against the UBS. This is an unfortunate and rare error by Clabeaux due to his failure to recognize that the character of Adamantius does not have the Marcionite text.

Another problem with the text is the compound word συναχθέντων of the pastoral strata (see Winsome Munro) of a type (συν prefix) all but not found in Marcion, putting in doubt verse 5:4. Another stronger objection is the passivity of Paul in the passage from Adamantius, where he asks followers to make judicial decisions of importance, a characteristic inconsistent with the Marcion's presentation of Paul never delegating. In addition there is an implication of Paul being gone from the scene, in the distant past, shown by his "absent in body, but present in spirit." This implies strongly that Paul is already dead, the readers of the text are looking back in time. It should be remembered also that the whole concept of acting in the spirit is Lukan and not Marcionite.

For comparison the Marcionite champion Markus (Dialogue Admantius 2:8 gives us a loose paraphrases of the same passage, but these are convincingly Marcionite:
I have delivered such a one over [to Satan] the destruction of the flesh,
in order that the spirit might be saved
παρέδωκα τὸν τοιοῦτον εἰς ὄλεθρον τῆς σαρκός, ἵνα τὸ πνεῦμα σωθῇ
Traditi eiusmodi hominem satanae in interitum carnis, ut spiritus saluus fiat.
This is repeated by Adamantius in his summary(Dialogue Admantius 2:21)
I have delivered up such a one to Satan for destruction
παρέδωκα τὸν τοιοῦτον τῷ Σατανᾷ εἰς ὄλεθρον
Traditi eiusmodi hominem satanae in interitum
The correct text is probably the two Greek texts combined, and given by Rufinus in 2.8, decisively with παρέδωκα (Traditi) for παραδοῦναι (tradere) found the Catholic text. Paul says straight up "I delivered up such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved." There is no delegation. Tertullian agrees that it is Paul who tunr him over to Satan, saying in AM 5.7.2,
Sed cum eum damnat dedendum satanae.
This is the Marcionite Paul, giving no deference of authority. He is a commanding leader. 1 Corinthians 5:3-4 were certainly not in Marcion. Unlike the entire rest of the Marcionite collection, including the rest of 1 Corinthians itself, Paul is front and center, not missing "in body." The Marcionite text is more direct, as presented by Tertullian, going from the report of a man having taken (married?) his (presumably deceased) father's wife in 5:1 directly to the Paul stating he handed over this man to Satan. There is no delegation. παρέδωκα is not a mistake or paraphrase, it is a position the Marcionite champion stands by and both Tertullian and Adamantius call out Paul for saying.


My reconstruction of 1 Corinthians is in error, verses 5:3-4 must be removed, and verses 5:2 and 5:6 reevaluated - likely out as well. Even though Adamantius claims to be reading the Marcionite text in DA 2.4 he clearly is not, nor is he almost everywhere else. Adamantius' quotations of Romans 2:16, Galatians 5:10, 6:7, residing as they do with 1 Corinthians 5:3-5 passage above, must be considered highly suspect, almost certainly not from the Marcionite text. The Marcionite Markus is oblivious to the statements by Adamantius underscoring the bi-polar nature of the artificial dialogue. It is the same situation with respect to Colossians 4:11-12, 14 when Megethius seems oblivious, but actually states outright he does not accept the Catholic Apostolikon.

The Dialogue Adamantius is a work using many sources. If one reads the statements of Megethius alone, it seems very much as if it comes from a pro-Marcionite work that quotes the Antithesis and attacks at times the Orthodox positions. Adamantius responds with the Catholic text, placing just enough bridge words to form pseudo dialogue. The position of Markus is drawn from another work, most likely anti-Marcionite. The lesson learned is one must be extremely cautious evaluating the readings from such a dialogue. Even Clabeaux despite great discipline missed this point.

The surprise for me was discovering the Marcionite rejection of salutations. It was most gratifying to trip over that in the process of evaluating Colossians.

Next Up: Marcionite Colossians Interlinear and a corrected Marcionite 1 Corinthians Interlinear

[1] Galatians 6:11 seems to be a direct rebuff of ἐγὼ Tέρτιος ὁ γράψας τὴν ἐπιστολὴν claim by the writer of Romans 16:23, as well as other "we" passages in the Catholic revision of the Paul, by taking the direct claim that Paul himself is not only the authority but even the writer, declaring Ἴδετε πηλίκοις ὑμῖν γράμμασιν ἔγραψα τῇ ἐμῇ χειρί.
[2] Romans 16:5 from 1 Corinthians 16:19, 16:16 from 2 Corinthians 13:12; 16:20 from 1 Corinthians
[3 χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ θεοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν καὶκυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ in Galatians 1:3, 1 Corinthians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 1:2, Romans 1:7b, 2 Thessalonians 1:2, Laodiceans 1:2,Colossians 1:2, Philippians 1:2, Philemon 3. Colossians reads only "Grace to you and peace from God the father", while 1 Thessalonians merely reads "Grace to you and Peace." The variance is likely to avoid repetition with "God the father and Lord Jesus Christ", possibly resulting from introduction adjustments by the Catholic editor.
[4] There is considerable pious expansion in our received text, but the consistent phrase embedded in all the letters is  χάρις μεθ' ὑμῶν.


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  2. Hi Stuart,

    when you says:

    These are clear signs of an early evangelic movement, and ring authentic to me.

    you mean that the marcionites were real equalitarian preachers without (still) complex hierarchy, very similar to the description I listen often about the ''historical'' apostles/preachers behind the hypothetical source Q ?

    Or the portrait of itinerant preachers was only a literary (more than historical) model?

    A curios question: where was precisely the main field of action of these marcionite preachers of the first hour? Syria, Galatia, Pontus, Bithynia, Cappadocia? Or Egypt? O Jerusalem? Or Rome?



    1. PART ONE

      The Marcionites, at the time of their NT publishing had a command-driven or leader directive structure, which is to say very few layers in the organization.

      The United States is something of a ground zero for start ups, both in business and religion. When a new organization is formed, its usually just an idea, a few true believer dedicated individuals striving toward some beyond reach goal, and a strong focused leader - probably the most articulate and naturally charismatic person in the start up group. If there are multiple strong minded leaders you often see them break away and start their own organization (in Europe thin Puma and Adidas founded by two brothers who didn't get along). Rules tend to be simple, clear, and nearly absolute. The rule are often products of dogmatic principles.

      Dogmatic principles, which are simple, can gain mass appeal. In the American colonies, as the Revolutionary War got going, the concept of egalitarianism was a strong recruiting tool. The Cromwellian concept of "No King but God" was a powerful one with the colonist who thought the English system of rank and privilege placed them at the bottom of the pecking order. The American concept of "every man a King" and all men are "gentlemen" and all women are "ladies" stripped the distinction of birth rank. Similarly early Communist movements dropped titles and called everyone "comrade" whether a street sweeper or a party boss. Of course the leader became the "first among equals" as the Chinese like to say to this day, something similar to the Pope being the first among peers in the Catholic church.

      So elements like a rejection of titles indicate a revolutionary movement, and probably a very small and tight knit one. This didn't scale well and led to friction later when the church grew requiring local leaders (elders) in place of the strong man (see Titus 5:5) and the church acquired property requiring managers (rectors = κυβερνήσεις , see 1 Corinthians 12:3). The early movement clashed with the later formal organization, and many admonishments against questioning the official authorities and failing to follow the elders, and this became an organizational feature of the heretical opposition.

      Note, one term that did take from the early movement was to call all ecclesiastical members, regardless of rank, "brother" which lasts to this day. This is very different than the Jewish "Church" in the 2nd century. The proto-Orthodox introduction of rank was one of the targets of the heretical writers.

    2. PART TWO

      The notion of an itinerant preacher is a fiction from Acts. It depicts a second stage in the development of Christianity, fictionalized into an idyllic legend of the first century. Instead I think something more like the Coca Cola vs Pepsi story is going on here, where two very close rivals living virtually next door to each other send out missionaries to expand their empires and defeat the guy across the street. What we know, from the locations of the Marcionite letter addresses, and also Revelation, that Asia (Turkey today) seems to have been the most successful place of early expansion, with Greece the next biggest. Of course this might merely represent where the competition between the sects was fiercest, rather than the actual largest concentration of Christians.

      The origins of Christianity are forever shrouded in mystery, and we can only go back to the Marcionite text. It tells us there were two camps already, and some dividing lines. It tells us the movement was small at that time (organizational clues). It tells us a few other things, but we can only push it so far. We have no idea where it started, and whether it came directly from Judaism, or whether it came from left field (I suspect this is the case, but its just my opinion) a small group that had almost no contact with real Jewish life. The Marcionite texts are the event horizon, before that is a black hole. Many people have attempted to use material from other groups, especially Jewish ones, to claim a connection. These are dubious at best, and I refuse to speculate on the inner workings of a black hole. If the physicists say they don't know because of a lack of information, then I think I can take the same stand here.

  3. How is your eBook progressing Stuart?

    1. I am back at it. I am going through Colossians now, and should finish up in a week or two, How to interpret Tertullian for verses 2:23-3:10 with his statement in AM 5.19.11

      AM 5.19.11 Cetera praeceptorum, ut eadem, satis sit iam alibi docuisse... vetera praedicaret transitura ... exponere veterem hominem et novum induere. "For the rest of his precepts, to repeat the same, it is sufficiently discussed already elsewhere … when he preached the old things will pass away … to put off the old man and put on the new."

      Does that mean all (well most) of the verses to 3:10 were there, and that is where Colossians ends in Marcion? Or is Tertullian summing up the material to the end of chapter 2? I have to work that out. At least it's clear 3:18-4:18 excepting the usual closing ἡ χάρις μεθ᾽ ὑμῶν were not in Marcion (this maps well to Winsome Munro's Pastoral stratum).

      The book is probably a year away. I have to redo 1 Corinthians and Romans. The rest of the collection is good. I also have to write the companion commentary, and standardize my reasoning to conform to the four categories Peter Kirby gives for attestation, plus a 5th one of my own. I want to do it right the first time. (I also need to hire an editor to review and correct my work -- I already have two PhDs lined up to review the work critically)

    2. Great, glad to hear things are progressing.

  4. Are you aware of how you can review your current writing and also paraphrase your articles? Throughout academic writing, outlining and also paraphrasing are crucial skills. With most higher education writing works aimed at indicating a point. See more automatic paraphraser