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RE: [Synoptic-L] Is Epiphanius a credible witness to the text of Marcion's gospel?

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  • David @ Comcast
    Tertullian s commentary could (in my opinion) be at least 50% shorter, and would have more impact as a result. As it stands, anyone reading Adv Marcion has to
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 11, 2009
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      Tertullian's commentary could (in my opinion) be at least 50% shorter, and
      would have more impact as a result. As it stands, anyone reading Adv Marcion
      has to wade through text that rambles all over the place. Of course, it
      could be that I simply don't appreciate Tertullian's brilliant arguments.

      However, for specifics where Epiphanius appears to depend on Tertullian, I
      would use Luke 4:27 (And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus
      the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian) as an
      example. Regarding Marcion's version of Luke 17:11-19, Epiphanius states
      that: "Marcion excised a great deal and wrote, "He sent them away, saying,
      Show yourselves unto the priests;" and yet he made a substitution and said,
      "Many lepers were in the days of Elisha the prophet, and none was cleansed,
      saving Naaman the Syrian."

      In contrast, Tertullian specifically states that this text: (many lepers .
      Naaman the Syrian) was included in a previous chapter, not that it was
      inserted into chapter 17. If (as Tertullian states), 4:27 was not inserted,
      then anyone reading Marcion's text directly would have no reason to even
      refer to 4:27 (because it would be unremarkable). So, if Epiphanius referred
      to it, then it follows that he read or saw 'special' to do with 4:27:

      1. Tertullian was wrong, and 4:27 WAS inserted into chapter 17; or

      2. Epiphanius read Tertullian (or something else based on Tertullian)
      and was misled into thinking that 4:27 was inserted into chapter 17; or

      3. Tertullian and Epiphanius had different versions of Marcion's
      gospel, with 4:27 in chapter 17 only in Epiphanius' copy.

      Of the three possibilities, I would have to go with Tertullian being correct
      and Epiphanius being wrong (or misled).

      David Inglis

      Lafayette, CA, 94549


      From: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Synoptic@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
      Of Peter M. Head
      Sent: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 2:42 AM
      To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Is Epiphanius a credible witness to the text of
      Marcion's gospel?

      I think it is rather strange to say that Tertullian is long-winded in
      comparison with Epiphanius. That has never been my impression. The
      actual problem is that Tertullian responds to Marcion in a running
      commentary style (in Latin), whereas Epiphanius gives substantial
      block quotes (78, in Greek) with comments after each. So Epiphanius
      is more obviously quoting from a document, so I would certainly start
      with the assumption that Epiphanius is quoting from something he
      thought was Marcion's text (albeit obviously a Marcionite text from
      two hundred years later). The difference in genre (and content)
      precludes the idea that Epiphanius is only dependent on Tertullian -
      so I wouldn't attribute differences (not sure which ones you are
      thinking of here?) to Epiphanius misinterpreting Tertullian (I'm not
      even sure off hand whether Epiphanius read Tertullian, remember that
      loads of other works, now lost, were written against Marcion). I
      would say that Epiphanius is a very credible witness to a later copy
      of the Marcionite Gospel.

      At 02:13 10/08/2009, you wrote:
      >Marcion wrote his gospel around 140 AD, and our two major sources for his
      >text are Tertullian: 'Against Marcion' (207-208 AD), and Epiphanius:
      >'Panarion, section 42' (c. 375 AD). Purely given the elapsed time periods,
      >we should expect that Tertullian (65-70 years after Marcion) would be a
      >better witness than Epiphanius (around 235 years after Marcion). However,
      >because Tertullian is very long-winded and Epiphanius is short and to the
      >point, it seems that most commentators rely more on Epiphanius than
      >Tertullian when determining Marcion's text.
      >Now, Tertullian and Epiphanius do not always agree, and some of the places
      >where they disagree look like Epiphanius is misinterpreting Tertullian. So,
      >how much trust should we put in Epiphanius? Should we treat Tertullian as
      >the primary source and Epiphanius only secondary, or can we treat
      >and Tertullian as equals? Do we even know whether Epiphanius read Marcion's
      >gospel rather than Tertullian's comments on Marcion?
      >David Inglis
      >Lafayette, CA, 94549
      >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >Synoptic-L homepage: http://NTGateway.
      <http://NTGateway.com/synoptic-lYahoo> com/synoptic-lYahoo! Groups Links
      Peter M. Head, PhD
      Sir Kirby Laing Senior Lecturer in New Testament
      Tyndale House
      36 Selwyn Gardens
      Cambridge CB3 9BA
      01223 566601

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