4440RE: [Synoptic-L] Poirier & length of Luke (and Acts)
- Aug 3, 2012David Mealand wrote:
> ..... If Luke 1 & 2 are additions, and if David I's attempts to recover the Luke known to Marcion provide evidence forthis, then what is the status, on this view, of the Lukan preface?
*** David I: I repeat here some text from my website on Marcion's gospel [Mcg]:
In Adv. Marcion, Book IV, Chapter 7, Tertullian reports that Mcg begins:
"In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius [3.1a] (for such is Marcion's proposition) he "came down to the Galilean
city of Capernaum," [4:31a]"
Epiphanius agrees with Tertullian, stating that:
"At the very beginning he [Marcion] excised all of Luke's original discussion - his "inasmuch as many have taken in
hand" and so forth, and the material about Elizabeth and the angel's annunciation to the Virgin Mary, John and Zacharias
and the birth at Bethlehem; the genealogy and the subject of the baptism. All this he took out and turned his back on
and made this the beginning of the Gospel, "In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar," [3:1a] and so on.
*** So, both major sources agree that Mcg omitted Lk 1 and 2. However, it is (in my opinion) significant that while
Epiphanius comments on these omissions, Tertullian does not. As both delight in noting even minor differences between
Mcg and Lk, the fact that Tertullian does not mention Marcion's omission suggests to me that his (probably Old Latin)
copy of Lk did not contain these chapters either. Continuing:
It has been noted by many (including Brown, Fitzmeyer, Streeter, and Tyson) that v. 3:1 would have been a very good
beginning for a gospel, lending weight to the view that this was the case at some point in the development of Lk, with
the material in chapters 1 and 2 being added later. On this point Volume III of The Encyclopedia Biblica notes:
Finally, as in the case of Mt. so also in that of Lk. we must conjecture that the gospel once was without the first two
chapters (1:5-2:52). Lk.'s proem (1:1-4) speaks in favour of this presumption . as also do the facts that the Baptist is
in 3:2 introduced like a person who has never yet been mentioned, and that Jesus at Nazareth (4:16-30) appeals in his
own vindication simply to his possessing the gift of the Holy Spirit; so also the further fact that the Baptist (7:18 f)
allows the question to be raised whether Jesus be the Messiah or not, without knowing anything of the complete
information which, according to 1:41-45, his mother possessed."
*** Despite points such as this, the general opinion is that Marcion is the guilty party here (i.e. that he removed text
from Lk). For example:
On this point both Tyson and Gregory comment that Knox wrote:
"Marcion would surely not have tolerated this highly 'Jewish' section; but how wonderfully adapted it is to show the
nature of Christianity as the true Judaism and thus to answer one of the major contentions of the Marcionites! And one
cannot overlook the difficulty involved in the common supposition that Marcion deliberately selected a Gospel which
began in so false and obnoxious a way."
*** There is actually no evidence (that I have seen) to say that Marcion truncated Lk. There is, however, a great deal
of adverse opinion based on the fact that Mcg WAS shorter than what we see as Lk, in particular omitting Lk 1 and 2.
Marcion did become labeled the "arch heretic," but it appears to me that this could easily be a reaction to Marcion
presenting to the church an 'alpha' (with apologies to Bruce) version of Christianity based on an earlier, shorter,
version of Lk that omitted Lk 1 and 2, appears to have Capernaum and Nazareth swapped, omits some parables (including
the prodigal son), and is generally western, in particular having a shorter version of Lk 24.
David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA
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