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Re: [XTalk] Proto-Marcionite Paul?

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  • Hermann Detering
    Answer to Jan Sammer JAN SAMMER 1) Marc IV 3 You seem to be suggesting that Marcion was the first to find Galatians and therefore is the source or even the
    Message 1 of 12 , Sep 1, 2001
      Answer to Jan Sammer

      JAN SAMMER

      1) Marc IV 3

      You seem to be suggesting that Marcion was the first to "find" Galatians and
      therefore is the source or even the author of it.

      HERMANN DETERING

      That`s indeed the case. I can`t see that there are any other references to
      Pauline Letters *before* Marcion (besides 1Clem and Ign and other documents
      discussed with PETER KIRBY some days ago - but these so-called "Apostolic
      fathers" are certainly no authentic documents).
      But I agree with JAN SAMMER : the word "nactus" also could be understood in
      *his* sence - yet he can`t deny that it could also be explained in my sence
      - so let`s finish this match with 1:1.

      PS Thanks for your correction (IV 3 insted of IV 13)

      JAN SAMMER

      If we accept the standard view that Marcion used Paul as a springboard for
      his own theological constructions, it is only to be expected that Paul's
      epistles contained the germs of theological concepts that Marcion
      subsequently developed into a full-blown theological system.


      HERMANN DETERING

      Two passages (which had been cited in my last posting) can demonstrate
      clearly that we have to see things different resp. the other way around.

      Röm 8:3 o qeoj ton eautou uion pemyaj !en omoiwmati! sarkoj amartaj
      Phil 2:6 !en omoiwmati! anqrwpwn genomenoj

      Why does Paul not simply say that God sent his Son in the flesh? Why did the
      Son not become man, but only *like* man? Why was he found "in appearance as
      a man" and not simply "as man"? I do not know a better explanation for this
      than: the author of the cited text was most probably not at all Paul, but
      rather a docetic Marcionite/Marcion himself, writing in the name of the
      apostle. Did not Marcion say that "our Lord [was found]... as a man in form
      and appearance and likeness, but without our body"? (Harnack 362* unknown
      Syrian)

      Cp Tert V 20 who cites Marcionites: Plane de substantia Christi putant et
      hic Marcionitas suffragari sibi apostolum ..., cum dicit, quod in effigie
      dei ... accepta effigie servi (non veritate) et in similitudine hominis (non
      in homine) et figura inventus homo (non substantia, id est non carne)

      There are some other examples in my book, which can show the Marcionite
      background of so called Pauline Letters (135-144). Let me add 2 Cor 12:2,
      "Paul`s" 3 heaven:

      2Cor 12:2 I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I
      know not; or whether out of the body, I know not; God knoweth), such a one
      caught up even to the third heaven.

      The expressed idea of 3 heavens you will hardly find in the contemporary
      Judaism (which knows 7 heavens). But where do you find it then? In
      Marcionitism:
      Cp.: S. Ephraim's Prose Refutations of Mani, Marcion, and Bardaisan VOLUME
      II by C.W. Mitchell. Completed by A.A. Bevan and F.C. Burkitt (Williams &
      Norgate, 1921), pp.cxvii-cxxii:
      "Marcion, we know, had a clumsy presentation of the Universe as consisting
      of three Regions, one 'above' the other. In the highest dwelt the Kind
      Stranger; in the lowest, on the earth, was the domain of Matter; between
      them, above the earth, was the domain of the Creator or Maker, the God of
      Justice and Law, who had made Man out of Matter in his own image..."

      I think one can not deny that Marcionite interpratation of Paul has often
      greater plausibility than the catholic (Tertullian `s). And if Marcionites
      are right with their interpretation of Paul, we have to ask: Who was this
      Paul? You can say, he was a heretic & Docetic & Dualist-thinker as Marcion
      himself. But such a Paul has nothing in common with our traditional picture
      of the apostle (Acta) - and so I prefer to say, the Pauline letters had
      been fabricated for the usage of the Marcionite church.
      There is an other important point which should be considerated and which
      maintains my position.

      In Acts and in the so called Pauline Letters Paul is portrayed as a Jew (eg.
      Gal 1:13ff; Ph 3:4-6; Rom 9:3). But the author of the Epistles is not a Jew
      at all. Why does he the Jew Paul speak of Greeks and Barbarians (Rom 1:14)
      if according to Greek understanding of the concept the latter term can only
      refer to himself?
      I want to add a passage from my book (in Darrell Doughty`s translation)

      "1 Cor 11:4 is also very remarkable, where Paul instructs the men not to
      pray with their heads covered, since this is a disgrace:
      11:4 Any man who prays or prophecies with his head covered dishonors his
      head.
      If one recalls that even until today Jewish men are obligated wear a
      head-covering in their worship service, one can perceive this instruction
      only as an indication that the author of this letter certainly could not
      have been raised in the Jewish tradition. If he had really been Paul the
      Jew, he would have at least paused for a moment here and attempted to
      justify his regulation (which would have been outrageous for Jewish ears).
      Instead, he connects here with Greek practice: "The free Greek man does not
      cover his head; he only covers his head in circumstances of great sorrow."
      (Bousset, Erster Korintherbrief 128)."

      There are some other arguments which give evidence to my opinion that the
      author of the Pauline Letter wasn`t a Jew at all. I think this all fits to
      the position of some sensitive Jewish scholars who always had been
      suspicious of "Paul the Jew", because they missed authentic Jewish
      knowlegde.

      JAN SAMMER

      In Jewish thought the sending of the Messiah was the decisive act whereby
      God would intervene to
      restore his direct rule as the shepherd of his human flock. These ideas are
      not Marcionite but at best proto-Marcionite.

      HERMANN DETERING

      We always have to differ between the Marcionite version of the letters and
      the catholiced (judaized) version. I do not know on which passages you are
      relating on. There are indeed a lot of Jewish (and Anti-Jewish) ideas in the
      Pauline Letter.

      JAN SAMMER

      Paul = "herefore inknown individual"

      HERMANN DETERING

      Paul had not been a "herefore inknown individual". We do not know the
      reasons but we have to state (with Harnack et alii) that Paul was considered
      and adored as a kind of Saint in Marcionite congregations and that there
      existed a lot of legend about him. Acta is one witness. Acta Pauli et
      Theclae an other.

      JAN SAMMER

      Do you date the hagiographical romance known as Acts of Paul and Thecla,
      whose authenticity Tertullian rejects and whose authorship he ascribes to a
      specific individual, before Galatians? Even if it is not impossible, as you
      say, it is indeed most improbable.

      Why?

      JAN SAMMER

      Fighting the wild beasts (eqhriomaxhsa) in Ephesus is a turn of phrase
      evidently inspired by gladiatorial contests, just as today we use phrases
      derived from baseball or football. In the Paul and Thecla romance it is
      Thecla and not Paul who is exposed to wild beasts in an arena. Neither Paul
      nor Thecla fight any wild beasts and Ephesus is not even mentioned. I
      therefore do not see the how one "apparently relates" to the other.

      HERMANN DETERING

      May I know what edition you are using? The text of the German Hennecke
      Schneemelcher-translation/edition which is based on PHeid says clearly
      1: that Paul as well as Thecla are sentenced "ad bestias" (my words) in the
      arena (Hippolyt also knows about it as a passage in his Danielcommentary
      shows)
      2. of Ephesus (HS 254f).

      Let me cite once again - last and at least - a passage from Darrel Doughtys
      translation of my book:

      What Paul says in 1 Cor 15:32-"If in a human way I fought with wild beasts
      in Ephesus, what gain do I have?"-has been puzzling for exegetes, first of
      all because as a citizen of Rome Paul could not be condemned to fight wild
      beats (ad bestias) in the arena, and secondly because the prospect of
      surviving such a fight was extremely small. Also remarkable is the unusual
      emphasis on the kata anthropon, concerning whose meaning-"according to the
      will of man" or "in a human way"-exegetes differ, as well as the word "in
      Ephesus," which one would not expect under the usual assumption that Paul
      authored his letter to the Corinthians in Ephesus. One finds the solution
      for these problems when one again understands what is said in 1 Corinthians
      against the background of the Acts of Paul, in this instance as a reference
      by the writer to the legendary portrayal found there of a fight with wild
      beasts that Paul endures under wondrous circumstances. It is reported in the
      Acts of Paul that in Ephesus Paul was forced to fight with beasts in the
      stadium. When a wild lion, who had been captured just shortly before, was
      set upon the apostle, Paul recognized it to be that lion for whom he had
      only shortly before administered the holy sacrament of baptism. A
      conversation takes place between Paul and the lion ...

      As the specators in view of the friendly relationship between the two, begin
      to become impatient and let still more animals loose against Paul, there
      takes place-as already in the theater in Iconium at the burning of [166] the
      beautiful Thecla direct intervention of heavenly divine power, who obviously
      no longer wants to be an idle observer. Like a bolt from heaven, a powerful
      and violent hail-storm forms over the stadium and pouring forth from heaven
      assures that most of the spectators are struck down and die or take flight,
      while Paul and the lion remain undisturbed. Finally, Paul takes leave of his
      animal companion; he exits the stadium and sails off to Macedonia. "But the
      lion went away into the mountains"-for further missionary work?- "as was
      customary for it."
      Once one is clear about the fact that the pseudepigraphic author of 1
      Corinthians makes reference here to the legendary tradition presupposed by
      the Acts of Paul, which in contrast to the canonical Acts knows nothing
      about Paul's rights as a Roman citizen, it also becomes understandable why
      it expressly speaks of a fight with beasts "in a human way." The author
      clearly wants to say that in the fight Paul did not battle in a human way,
      but that-entirely in accord with the presentation in the Acts of Paul, which
      at this place has the apostle rescued by a divine miracle (the talking lion,
      the hail-storm)-he has only the help of God to thank for his deliverance. If
      on the contrary, Paul had fought in Ephesus only in a human way, i.e.,
      without divine help, only with his own human power, he would certainly have
      died. For this reason the author of 1 Corinthians can rightly ask what Paul
      would have gained from this without hope in the resurrection. Even in
      individual details it becomes clear here that the author of 1 Corinthians
      connected with the Pauline legend and its wonderful portrayal of the fight
      with beasts in Ephesus and obviously completely identified with his hero.

      JAN SAMMER

      What worries me is the leap of logic from the known fact that Marcion
      appealed to the letters in support of his own interpretations, to what
      appears to be an unfounded speculation that
      he actually authored them.

      HERMANN DETERING

      Don`t worry. The "fabricaton-theory" fulfills all needs of logic and
      intellectual consequence.

      Thanks
      Hermann Detering

      _____________________
      Dr. Hermann Detering www.radikalkritik.de
      Wilmersdorfer Str. 78
      10629 Berlin




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • mgrondin@tir.com
      ... That s fine as far as it goes, but you present your own theory with a difficulty, for if the author of this portion of 1 Cor is a Marcionite, and if he
      Message 2 of 12 , Sep 1, 2001
        --- Hermann Detering wrote:
        > Even in individual details it becomes clear here that the author
        > of 1 Corinthians connected with the Pauline legend and its ...
        > portrayal of the fight with beasts in Ephesus and obviously
        > completely identified with his hero.

        That's fine as far as it goes, but you present your own theory with
        a difficulty, for if the author of this portion of 1 Cor is a
        Marcionite, and if he identifies with the Acts of Paul, then by
        implication he must also have approved of what appear to be
        anti-Marcionite sentiments in AP:

        "They are thus not children of righteousness, but children of wrath,
        who reject the providence of God, saying <far from faith> that
        heaven and earth and all that (are) in them are not works of the
        Father." (3 Cor, in section 8, "Paul in Philippi", Schneemelcher)

        Reductio ad absurdum? Or do you posit also a Catholic redaction
        of the Acts of Paul?

        Mike
      • Hermann Detering
        STEVE BLACK wrote According to the Anchor Bible Dictionary it was Thekla who had this above experience with the wild beasts , and not Paul. HERMANN DETERING
        Message 3 of 12 , Sep 1, 2001
          STEVE BLACK wrote

          According to the Anchor Bible Dictionary it was Thekla who
          had this above experience with the "wild beasts", and not Paul.

          HERMANN DETERING

          Unfortunately I can only cite the German Version of PH (Hamburger Papyrus):
          "Und fortgeführt wurde er (Paulus) sogleich in das Stadion geworden...Paul
          was thrown into the stadion ...er (Hieronymus) befahl einen sehr wilden
          Löwen .. auf ihn loszulassen ... etc.
          Hennecke Schneemelcher II 1964, p 256ff.

          STEVE BLACK

          ... Am I wrong to suggest that Marcion leaned towards
          celibacy? If this document was a source for the writer of 1
          Cor. 7,
          it conflicts rather distinctly on this issue.This would make

          authorship by Marcion of 1 Cor less likely.

          HERMANN DETERING

          I do not claim that the author of Gal knows Acta Pauli etTheclae but make
          the suggestion that he used (earlier) traditions, which had been worked up
          than in this romance.

          Best
          Hermann Detering




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Steve Black
          ... According to the Anchor Bible Dictionary it was Thekla who had this above experience with the wild beasts , and not Paul. (Alas, I don t have a copy of
          Message 4 of 12 , Sep 1, 2001
            JAN SAMMER wrote:
            > In the Paul and Thecla romance it is
            >Thecla and not Paul who is exposed to wild beasts in an arena. Neither Paul
            >nor Thecla fight any wild beasts and Ephesus is not even mentioned. I
            >therefore do not see the how one "apparently relates" to the other.
            >
            >HERMANN DETERING
            >
            >May I know what edition you are using? The text of the German Hennecke
            >Schneemelcher-translation/edition which is based on PHeid says clearly
            >1: that Paul as well as Thecla are sentenced "ad bestias" (my words) in the
            >>arena (Hippolyt also knows about it as a passage in his Danielcommentary
            >>shows)



            According to the Anchor Bible Dictionary it was Thekla who had this
            above experience with the "wild beasts", and not Paul. (Alas, I
            don't have a copy of the Acts of Paul in my library)

            The Acts of Paul also strongly advocates complete celibacy (even when
            married?!?). Am I wrong to suggest that Marcion leaned towards
            celibacy? If this document was a source for the writer of 1 Cor. 7,
            it conflicts rather distinctly on this issue.This would make
            authorship by Marcion of 1 Cor less likely.
            (Of course we can excise the offending passage as a later "catholic"
            addition, which can turn into a rather convenient way out of
            difficulties if used too often...)

            --

            Steve Black
            Vancouver, BC

            Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question
            ee cummings
          • mgrondin@tir.com
            ... Hermann is right, according to the AoP in Hennecke-Schneemelcher s New Testament Apocrypha . Both Thecla and Paul have experiences with lions and other
            Message 5 of 12 , Sep 1, 2001
              --- Steve Black wrote:
              > According to the Anchor Bible Dictionary it was Thekla who had this
              > above experience with the "wild beasts", and not Paul. (Alas, I
              > don't have a copy of the Acts of Paul in my library)

              Hermann is right, according to the AoP in Hennecke-Schneemelcher's
              "New Testament Apocrypha". Both Thecla and Paul have experiences
              with lions and other wild beasts in the arena - Thecla in Antioch,
              Paul in Ephesus. But your other point is completely in accord with
              mine, namely that there is anti-Marcionite stuff in AoP that needs
              to be explained if the author of 1 Cor is a Marcionite who embraces
              the AoP. (As well it needs to be explained by more conventional
              theorists what this reference to fighting with lions is doing in
              a genuine Pauline letter!)

              Mike
            • Steve Black
              ... A fairly straight forward suggestion might is that Paul was speaking figuratively when using the word beast . This is a typical Pauline use of rhetoric.
              Message 6 of 12 , Sep 1, 2001
                >--- Mike wrote:
                >... needs to be explained by more conventional
                >theorists what this reference to fighting with lions is doing in
                >a genuine Pauline letter!)
                >

                A fairly straight forward suggestion might is that Paul was speaking
                figuratively when using the word "beast". This is a typical Pauline
                use of rhetoric. Acts of Paul might have misunderstood this as
                literal (not unlike ourselves???), and constructed a whole story
                around it.
                No way to prove any of this, but this seems very reasonable to me!
                --

                Steve Black
                Vancouver, BC

                Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question
                ee cummings
              • mgrondin@tir.com
                ... Me too (and I apologize for using the word lion , which is not in the text), but now two possible avenues for supporting this: (1) if Paul had in mind
                Message 7 of 12 , Sep 1, 2001
                  --- Steve Black wrote:
                  > A fairly straight forward suggestion (re: 1Cor15:32) ... is that
                  > Paul was speaking figuratively when using the word "beast". This
                  > is a typical Pauline use of rhetoric. Acts of Paul might have
                  > misunderstood this as literal (not unlike ourselves???), and
                  > constructed a whole story around it. No way to prove any of this,
                  > but this seems very reasonable to me!

                  Me too (and I apologize for using the word 'lion', which is not in
                  the text), but now two possible avenues for supporting this: (1) if
                  Paul had in mind some personal conflict in which he had been involved
                  in Ephesus, it should be possible to point to a specific incident,
                  or (2) if he had in mind that Ephesus was generally known for its
                  arena "games" involving "beasts" (so that he was arguing via the
                  counter-factual "If I were one of those who fight with beasts in
                  Ephesus, what do I gain if there's no resurrection?"), again it
                  ought to be possible to find something in the historical record.

                  Regards,
                  Mike
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