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Porphyry and Macarius Magnes

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  • james_snapp_jr
    Wieland, Thanks; it s nice to have these resources together. I noticed with interest that on p. 105, in Harnack s index of Scripture-passages used by Porphyry,
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 1, 2011

      Thanks; it's nice to have these resources together.

      I noticed with interest that on p. 105, in Harnack's index of Scripture-passages used by Porphyry, three passages are from 16:9-20 -- 16:9, 16:16 (twice), and 16:17f. Rather important evidence, it would seem -- though apparently not important enough to merit being mentioned in the UBS or NA apparatus or in Metzger's discussion of 16:9-20. (Come to think of it, the testimony of Macarius Magnes itself is by no means trivial.)

      Then I noticed, in Magny's JECS article, that in a new arrangement of Porphyry's "Against the Christians," the references cited by the anti-Christianity writer to whom Macarius Magnes responded are removed -- even though Macarius Magnes reproduces very closely the same objection that Jerome mentions when describing something claimed by Porphyry (in a footnote on p. 552 of the essay). In III:21, Macarius Magnes mentions the pagan writer's claim that Peter put Ananias and Sapphira to death -- which Jerome says, in Ep. 130 (To Demetrius) was an accusation made by Porphyry.

      Granting that more than one person can make the same charge, how likely is it that two anti-Christian authors would make the same charge, and also use very similar verbiage? To me, the probability that two entirely unrelated authors would do those two things seems lower than the probability that Macarius Magnes was indeed using some form of Porphyry's writings -- possibly after they had been edited by Hierocles, but nevertheless originating with Porphyry.

      Harnack's identification -- on p. 85, in selection #64 -- of a statement by Porphyry as a use of Mk. 16:9 should be looked into; is it more naturally understood as a use of Mk. 16:9 or was Porphyry so well-versed in the Gospels that Lk. 8:3 would spring to mind? The other two places where Harnack's notes refer to Mk. 16:16 seem less secure, on first examination, although the sentence on p. 98 (selection #88) that says MONON PISTEUCAC KAI BAPTISAMENOS KAI SUNGNWMHS TUCEIN, etc. (from Macarius's Apocrit. IV:19), merits a closer look.

      Yours in Christ,

      James Snapp, Jr.
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