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Re: Naming of the synoptics

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  • Yuri Kuchinsky
    ... Ulrich, So are you saying here that the gospels were not named before they were collected together? Or that the gospels were not attributed to apostles
    Message 1 of 17 , Apr 7, 1998
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      On Sun, 5 Apr 1998, U. Schmid wrote:

      > Below I am dealing with issues addressed by Yuri Kuchinski.

      ...

      > The individual gospels had no attributions at all prior to the
      > collection(s).

      Ulrich,

      So are you saying here that the gospels were not named before they were
      collected together? Or that the gospels were not attributed to apostles
      before they were collected together?

      This is not clear to me.

      > 2. Concerning Papias and chronology:
      >
      > If we assume that Papias did not invent the presbyter tradition,

      This already seems like an assumption that needs to be justified.

      > we have to
      > conclude that the tradition on Mark and Matthew is older than Papias.

      It seems quite possible to me that Papias may have been a part of a
      "proto-orthodox" party that was trying to counter Marcion. They may well
      have created or embellished the presbyter tradition. They may also have
      created the first "proto-orthodox" canon.

      > 3. Concerning Justin Martyr:
      >
      > (a) He usually calls the gospels Apomnemoneumata, once glossing this term
      > with Euangelia (1 Apol 66.3). Thus he knows more than one gospel called
      > "Euaggelion" _and_ related to apostolic traditions.
      >
      > (b) Once Justin refers to Peter's Apomnemoneumata (Dial. 106.2-3) giving
      > evidence that he knows the Presbyter tradition related to the Gospel of
      > Mark (c.f. Papias).
      >
      > (c) Once Justin refers to the Apomnemoneumata of the Apostles and of their
      > followers (Dial. 103.8) giving evidence that he knows two different groups
      > of written Gospels. One group was written by apostles (e.g., Matthew and
      > John) and another group was written by followers of the apostles (e.g.,
      > Mark and Luke).
      >
      > To me this fits well with the assumption that Justin knew the canonical
      > gospels (he knew certainly the synoptics) under the names they are
      > associated with.

      This may well be. But Justin was of course writing later than Marcion. So
      the canon was there by his time.

      > Besides, why should he quote one or all of them by name?

      That he didn't indicates that the tradition was still fluid even in his
      time.

      > 4. Concerning Marcion:
      >
      > (a) From the time of Irenaeus onward we not only find that Marcion was
      > charged of having corrupted the gospel, but that he and his followers
      > must have levelled this charge vigorously against the other side. It is
      > very likely that Marcion himself started with these charges; see (b).

      Agreed.

      > (b) There was an elaborate Marcionite theory, certainly in some form
      > going back to Marcion himself and extrapolated from Gal 2, concerning
      > the sharp contrast between Paul and the followers of Jesus.

      But it may be meaningful that he didn't seem to _name_ these "false
      apostles". He was reticent about naming them. So he was quite careful and
      diplomatic about what he said.

      > In this view, the followers of Jesus not only fell off the true teaching
      > of the Saviour, but they also confounded this teaching with all sorts of
      > judaizing elements. This theory was especially directed against the
      > written forms of the Saviours words

      I don't know if this is really so.

      > and practically applied to the
      > Gospel of Luke (or to a proto version of Luke) in order to regain the
      > "original" gospel.

      Yes, he had a short version of Lk. But the question still remains, To what
      extent he was cutting things out rather than simply preserving an older
      short Lk?

      It is also quite possible that he was tampering with the gospel he
      received from his father the bishop, or from Cerdo. But the orthodox were
      also tampering with their gospels. Marcion may well have tampered less
      than the orthodox did. At least this is the view of Alfred Loisy in his
      BIRTH OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION, 1948, p. 314ff. (Loisy is sure that the
      Nativity prologue of Lk was added later, probably ca. the time of
      Marcion.)

      > In Marcion's time and from his viewpoint there was no
      > unaltered version of the "original" gospel available to him.

      This is not completely clear to me in the case of Lk. With other gospels,
      yes, possibly.

      > Moreover, all the gospels available to him must have been firmly
      > connected to apostolic traditions.

      "Firmly"? Perhaps not. The canon was just firming up _because of him_. At
      least this is my view.

      > (c) Why did Marcion choose Luke (or proto-Luke) for regaining the
      > "original" gospel? Luke was definitely not the only gospel Marcion knew,
      > for there is evidence that he knew at least Matthew too. A strong case
      > can be made that Luke was selected because it is the only gospel that
      > has no apostolic tradition pointing to the followers of Jesus, but to
      > Paul, Marcion's champion.

      This is plausible.

      Loisy thinks Marcion may have chosen Lk because Lk was the main gospel
      that was accepted by the community of Rome. And Marcion had the hopes of
      becoming the Pope. He may have come close.

      > Yet, even Luke was corrupted just as Paul's
      > letters from which interpolations had to be removed as well.

      Well, we are still not sure what he "corrupted" and what he may have
      actually _preserved_ over against the "orthodox corruptions".

      > To sum up: Marcion (Luke [Matthew]), Justin (Mark [Matthew, Luke,
      > John]), and the presbyter tradition in Papias (Mark, Matthew) display
      > only traditions directly or indirectly related to the known attributions
      > of the gospels. The attribution of the synoptics at least is very likely
      > to have happened before the time of Marcion.

      Attributions, yes, we basically agree here. But what about the naming of
      gospels? Here you have not stated your position clearly as yet.

      > To infer that the published
      > versions of the synoptics by that time already carried the titles known
      > from the manuscript tradition ("Euaggelion kata...") is only a small and
      > not very risky step.

      Are you saying now that they were named before being assembled in the
      canon? But this seems inconsistent with what you said in the beginning of
      your post.

      Regards,

      Yuri.

      Yuri Kuchinsky || Toronto || Webpage for those who think
      they have heard of every biblical heresy:

      http://www.trends.net/~yuku/bbl/bbl.htm

      The goal proposed by Cynic philosophy is apathy, which is
      equivalent to becoming God -=O=- Julian
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