Friday, February 17, 2017

Philemon: My Reading

{\mathfrak {P}} 87: Papyrus 87, recto, Philemon 24-25, c 250 CE
In my reconstruction of the Marcionite version of Philemon I discovered that Tertullian's comment on [1] is not quite the case, at least with respect to the received text. More accurate is his comments about Laodiceans/Ephesians noting, "The heretics hands cut so swiftly, I do not wonder when syllables are lacking, as often whole pages are felled." That is to say, the Marcionite text differs not only in entire paragraphs of material, but a few words here and there, and even a syllable or single character. So it is in Philemon.
the epistle, "To this epistle alone did its brevity avail itself against the falsifying hands of Marcion," [2] And so I have found in this letter, like all the others, a layer of material, albeit smaller in this brief one, with a distinct Catholic flavor. To be fair the Catholic text as Tertullian knew it may not have included some of the material we have today. Only small scraps survived from before the Decian [3] persecution, so we can only guess the content of the text before the mid 3rd century.

Philemon is no different than any other Pauline text. Even in it's brief form it possesses openings, closings, and formulas from additional hands. The Marcionite construction could not assume the content. But a lack of Patristic commentary meant that my efforts had to rely upon the vocabulary,

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Colossians: The Image of the Invisible God

Colossians, Codex Harleianus 5557 (Minuscule 321)
In the Marcionite Apostolikon Colossians presents an interesting challenge to reconstruct. There is only one relatively brief chapter in Adversus Marcionem (5.19) which addresses the epistle, and that cuts off after chapter 2 of the letter. Beyond that there is little evidence of direct value; Epiphanius gives us only a single reading, and Dialogue Adamantius two extremely dubious passages from chapter 4 (addressed below). [1] However this is not the first reproduction I have undertaken. So I will use what I have learned from those others to gain a better approximation of the Marcionite text, and minimize the free hand eclectic.

The Ephesians Parallel

One of the features of our received text are the parallels between Colossians and Ephesians. But a funny thing happened in working through the reconstruction of Marcionite Laodiceans; all the parallel passages with Colossians vanished - excepting the common Marcionite opening and closings of all the letters in the collection. This should perhaps not be a great surprise, as Winsome Munro, Authority in Paul and Peter, had long identified Ephesians 5;15-18a, 5:21-6:9 and the parallel passages of  Colossians 3:18-4:1, 4:5 as part of the pastoral stratum.