[XTalk] Re: Proto-Marcionite Paul?
- Hermann Detering - answer to Mike Grondin (I hobe the family name is
correct) and Steve Black
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?
Indeed I don not believe that III. Cor had ever been an integral part of the
TESTUZ (Papyrus Bodmer X-XII, 1959) has come to a similar result (against W.
Schneemelcher). Testuz has shown that III Cor (which also had been come to
us as single piece ("Einzelstück"): FBodm, M,L,P, B and syrian canon) is
connected with AP only in a very loose manner (by means of few sentences).
The Corinthian correspondence as a whole seems to me an alien element inside
AP and a pure catholic antignostic/Marcionitic product. Note the following
point in M.R. James translation (linked with Kirby`s website):
2 There have come unto Corinth two men, Simon and Cleobius, which
are overthrowing the faith of many with evil (CORRUPT) words, 3 which do
thou prove AND EXAMINE: 4 for we have never heard such words from thee nor
from the other apostles: 5 but all that we have received from thee or from
them, that do we hold fast.
10 They say that
we must not use the prophets,
11 and that God is not Almighty,
12 and that there shall be no resurrection of the flesh,
13 and that man was not made by God,
14 and that Christ came not down (is not come, Copt.) in the flesh,
neither was born of Mary, 15 and that the world is not of God, but of the
This is apparently our wellknown list of Gnostic/Marcionitc "errors".
Thereagainst the theology of AP seems to have similarity with ideas of
Encratism (so Erik Peterson, Bemerkungen zum Hamburger Papyrus-Fragment der
Acta Pauli Frühkirche, Judentum und Gnosis, 1982, 183-208) - let me add:
with Marcionite/ascetic ideas (note eg the frequent occurrence of the
Marcionitic keyword word "stranger"/"strange" - peregrinus! - for the
apostle - in actual and non-actual sence, resp. in "eigentlichem" und
Anyhow, AP (and other Apostle-Acta) had been read by Mani and his successors
The author of the III Cor then uses the authority (and the language) of Paul
(resp. some other letters of Paul, eg Gal) to refute the Marcionite/gnostic
errors. This example can give once again insight into the importance of
pseudepigraphic letters in dogmatic struggles of 2. CE.
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!
Possible but not probable: where do you find such figuratively speaking of
theriomachein in CP or anywhere which gives evidence to your thesis? The
resurrection-context + kata anthropon makes it more evident that the author
of I Cor is actually relating to the wellknown legend-tradition, which has
been literary described by the author of AP.
Dr. Hermann Detering
Wilmersdorfer Str. 78
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
>Reconstructing what Paul may have been referring to may well be as
> 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!
>Possible but not probable: where do you find such figuratively speaking of
>theriomachein in CP or anywhere which gives evidence to your thesis? The
>resurrection-context + kata anthropon makes it more evident that the author
>of I Cor is actually relating to the wellknown legend-tradition, which has
>been literary described by the author of AP.
difficult and tentative as trying to understand what he meant by
baptizing for the dead. I take it as possible that there may be a
kernel of history in Luke's Ephesian riot (Acts 19). A kernel of
history inasmuch as there may have been a riot, and Paul may have
been at the center of it. This would reveal the use of the word
"beast" as quite an accurate description of human's in "riot mode".
Perhaps there was real danger to Paul, which would make a great deal
of sense given the possible context, so that his life really was in
question. This, in this context, could be a rather clever word play
by Paul tying together the actual games (with "real" beasts) and
people in riot mode ("figurative" beasts). This in a plausible
reconstruction, I pretend no more.
As to evidence that theriomachein can be used figuratively, Ignatius
1 Romans 5:1, "...from Syria to Rome I am fighting with wild animals
(theriomachein), bound to ten leopards, that is a detachment of
Thanks for an interesting debate.
Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question