Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Putting It All Together - Clement's Shorter Gospel of Mark is the Gospel of Marcion

I am seriously considering reevaluating my understanding of the whole Secret Mark thing.  It all started with an idea that just popped in my head the other day.  Why not take a second look at how Clement introduces whole sections of text from the New Testament?  The underlying point is that all the attention has been focused on 'Secret Mark' (i.e. the longer version of the gospel).  But I can't help but think that Clement's 'short' gospel of Mark has to be the gospel of Marcion.  After all the Philosophumena identifies the Marcionites as having 'developed' a longer gospel of Mark with mystical additions.  In other words, the 'longer' gospel of Mark must necessarily have been the source of the 'short' gospel associated with Marcion. Hilgenfeld even argues that Marcion means 'lesser Mark' thus the gospel of Marcion is undoubtedly 'the shorter gospel of Mark.'

Of course as we have demonstrated over the last few days, Irenaeus is behind both accounts of the Marcionite gospel (i.e. Tertullian and Epiphanius).  It was Irenaeus who can be pinpointed as the originator of the 'Marcion corrupted the gospel of Luke' myth.  But underneath that tradition there is a clear sense that 'the gospel of Marcion' - the gospel everyone seemed to have condemned him for 'cutting' things out of - is related to a longer text that is not Luke or at least this is how it was in the beginning, before Irenaeus got a hold of the tradition and manipulated it.

The point then is that on some level Clement's formula in the Letter to Theodore is the Marcionite formula - unhinged from Irenaeus's manipulation efforts.  The Marcionites had a longer gospel of Mark that was hidden from view and a 'lesser Mark' - 'lesser Mark' being the source of the name Marcion.  When Irenaeus tells us (trickled through Epiphanius) that:

Marcion amputated, 'He took unto him the twelve, and said, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written in the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered and killed, and the third day he shall rise again.'  He wholly amputated this.  

When we read statements like this I would argue that we have to break it down like this.  Irenaeus (and then Epiphanius) has recast a missing 'whole' in the gospel of Marcion in terms of 'something missing from Luke' when in reality it was conceived in terms of a 'shorter'/'longer' gospel of Mark paradigm much like what is in Clement's Letter to Theodore.

Now let's jump back over to that document.  At first glance what Clement says about the 'shorter'/'longer' gospel of Mark in this exact section does not seem to match what Irenaeus (Epiphanius) just told us.  Clement says:

To you, therefore, I shall not hesitate to answer the questions you have asked, refuting the falsifications by the very words of the Gospel. For example, after "And they were in the road going up to Jerusalem" and what follows, until (καὶ τὰ ἑξῆς ἕως) "After three days he shall arise", the secret Gospel brings the following material word for word:

"And they come into Bethany. And a certain woman whose brother had died was there. And, coming, she prostrated herself before Jesus and says to him, 'Son of David, have mercy on me.' But the disciples rebuked her. And Jesus, being angered, went off with her into the garden where the tomb was, and straightway a great cry was heard from the tomb. And going near, Jesus rolled away the stone from the door of the tomb. And straightaway, going in where the youth was, he stretched forth his hand and raised him, seizing his hand. But the youth, looking upon him, loved him and began to beseech him that he might be with him. And going out of the tomb, they came into the house of the youth, for he was rich. And after six days Jesus told him what to do, and in the evening the youth comes to him, wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. And he remained with him that night, for Jesus taught him the mystery of the Kingdom of God. And thence, arising, he returned to the other side of the Jordan." 

After these things, (Ἐπὶ μὲν τούτοις) "And James and John come to him", and all that section (καὶ πᾶσα ἡ περι). But "naked man with naked man," and the other things about which you wrote, are not found. After (Μετὰ) "And he comes into Jericho," only, (μόνον) "And the sister of the youth whom Jesus loved and his mother and Salome were there, and Jesus did not receive them." But the many other things about which you wrote both seem to be, and are, falsifications.

The natural assumption of everyone who has ever looked at this commentary from Morton Smith on downward is that Clement is telling Theodore that the initiation of the youth follows the section Mark 10:32 - 34.  "And they were in the road going up to Jerusalem" and what follows, until "After three days he will arise" is Clement referencing the section that appears in our gospel as And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him, Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again."

But if we just stop for a moment and look at the other two references to sections of text cited by Clement in the letter, he never uses a formula where he cites the beginning and end of a section of text.  In what immediately follows Clement speaks of 'And James and John come to him' and all that follows' - making clear that that Theodore must have originally supposed that the naked man and naked man reference came here.  Immediately following this reference he again cites only a single line "and he comes into Jericho" and then what apparently seems to be the natural end of a section in 'shorter' Mark (otherwise it is hard to understand why he feels compelled to give information about an 'extra addition' to the secret gospel).

My point here is to take note of the fact that if we are to do a second look at the whole section - there really is no reason why Clement would need to cite the whole section Mark 10:32 - 34 if he is just trying to provide a marker for the start of 'additional text' in the longer 'secret gospel' of Mark.  He could have just referenced 'after three days he will arise' or - since the 'naked man and naked man' reference is attached to Mark 10:35f (i.e. the section starting with 'And James and John ...') he could have inverted the two statements as they now stand in our letter - i.e. 'the thing you wrote about 'naked man and naked man' does not appear in the section that beginning with 'And James and John ...').  Here is what is there.  After 'and after three days ...'

The facts are however that Clement not only begins with "after three days he shall arise" but "And they were in the road going up to Jerusalem.'  He is clearly very eager to dispel homosexual rumors by letting Theodore see exactly what appeared in the longer gospel of Mark.  Theodore himself was already acquainted with the shorter gospel - 'lesser Mark' - otherwise Clement's navigation efforts don't make any sense.  My emerging sense now is that Clement is citing the last line of the previous section of the shorter gospel of Mark - the original text that was 'the gospel of Marcion.'   In other words, the previous section ended with the line "And they were on the road to Jerusalem. And after three days he would rise again" and the 'and what follows, until (καὶ τὰ ἑξῆς ἕως)' which now appears in our letter between the two statements was a scribal addition which we have already shows was added to the Clementine corpus as a whole.  

As we have repeatedly noted at this blog, there are some incredible textual variants in the writings of Clement.  Clement is always dropping words, lines and critical pieces of our received text.  After examining the Stromata we came to the conclusion that whenever Clement's original readings dropped large amounts of text from our received text, a scribe corrected the manuscript by adding a phrase built around  the word ἕως (= until).   The clearest example of a scribe adding the word ἕως is at Stromata which reads:

"And that Scripture calls every secular science or art by the one name wisdom (there are other arts and sciences invented over and above by human reason), and that artistic and skilful invention is from God, will be clear if we adduce the follow ing statement: "And the Lord spake to Moses, See, I have called Bezaleel, the son of Uri, the son of Or, of the tribe of Judah; and I have filled him with the divine spirit of wisdom, and understanding, and knowledge, to devise and to execute in all manner of work, to work gold, and silver, and brass, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and in working stone work, and in the art of working wood," and even to "all works.""

Clement is citing Exodus 31:1 - 5 but his citation is slightly 'off' from our existing LXX so the scribe apparently added the word 'until' where it was completely unnecessary (highlighted in red):

Clement's citation of Ex 31:1 - 5: καὶ ἐλάλησεν κύριος πρὸς Μωυσῆν λέγων· ἰδοὺ ἀνακέκληκα τὸν Βεσελεὴλ τὸν τοῦ Οὐρί, τὸν Ὤρ, τῆς φυλῆς Ἰούδα, καὶ ἐνέπλησᾳ αὐτὸν πνεῦμα θεῖον σοφίας καὶ συνέσεως καὶ ἐπιστήμης ἐν παντὶ ἔργῳ, διανοεῖσθαι καὶ ἀρχιτεκτονῆσαι. ἐργάζεσθαι τὸ χρυσίον καὶ τὸ ἀργύριον καὶ τὸν χαλκόν, καὶ τὴν ὑάκινθον καὶ τὴν πορφύραν καὶ τὸ κόκκινον, καὶ τὰ λιθουργικὰ καὶ τεκτονικὴν τῶν ξύλων, ἐργάζεσθαι ἕως κατὰ πάντα τὰ ἔργα.

LXX Ex 31:1 - 5 καὶ ἐλάλησεν κύριος πρὸς Μωυσῆν λέγων ἰδοὺ ἀνακέκλημαι ἐξ ὀνόματος τὸν Βεσελεηλ τὸν τοῦ Ουριου τὸν Ωρ τῆς φυλῆς Ιουδα καὶ ἐνέπλησα αὐτὸν πνεῦμα θεῖον σοφίας καὶ συνέσεως καὶ ἐπιστήμης ἐν παντὶ ἔργῳ διανοεῖσθαι καὶ ἀρχιτεκτονῆσαι ἐργάζεσθαι τὸ χρυσίον καὶ τὸ ἀργύριον καὶ τὸν χαλκὸν καὶ τὴν ὑάκινθον καὶ τὴν πορφύραν καὶ τὸ κόκκινον τὸ νηστὸν καὶ τὴν βύσσον τὴν κεκλωσμένην καὶ τὰ λιθουργικὰ καὶ εἰς τὰ ἔργα τὰ τεκτονικὰ τῶν ξύλων ἐργάζεσθαι κατὰ πάντα τὰ ἔργα

The point here is that Clement couldn't have added the 'until.'  He has in fact written out the whole citation.  The word ἕως was added by a second - and later - hand.

When we went through the various other places that 'until' is used in the writings of Clement (and especially the first three books of the Stromata) it was demonstrated that the most likely scenario in each case was that the same scribe who tossed in that unnecessary ἕως in the previous section added the same term whenever large sections of text where 'cut out' (i.e. in a Marcionite fashion) from Clement's citation of the New Testament.  Some examples:

Stromata 3.3.4 "Such men are false apostles, crooked workers (ἕως) whose doom shall match their acts." (οἱ γὰρ τοιοῦτοι ψευδαπόστολοι, ἐργάται δόλιοι, ἕως ὧν τὸ τέλος ἔσται κατὰ τὰ ἔργα αὐτῶν) (2 Corinthians 11:13 - 15 two lines 'amputated')

Stromata - 4 "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made of things which appear. By faith Abel offered to God a fuller sacrifice than Cain, by which he received testimony that he was righteous, God giving testimony to him respecting his gifts; and by it he, being dead, yet speaketh, (καὶ τὰ ἑξῆς ἕως) rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season" (Hebrews 11:5 - 25 eighteen lines 'amputated')

Stromata "Let your love be without dissimulation, and abhorring what is evil, let us become attached to what is good, to brotherly love (καὶ τὰ ἑξῆς ἕως) If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, living peaceably with all men." Then "be not overcome of evil," it is said, "but overcome evil with good"(Romans 12:9 - 21 eight lines amputated)

Stromata - 3 "We," then, according to the noble apostle, "wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by love. And we desire that every one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope (ἕως) being made an high priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek."

Stromata "So too with these people caught up in their dreams who do not set upon the truth with their eyes fully open (ἕως) pompous phrases pour from their mouth (Jude 8 - 16 six lines 'amputated')

Stromata - 5 Accordingly, Plato in the Phaedo does not hesitate to write as follows: "These men who established our mysteries (ἕως) "he will live with the Gods" (Phaedo 69 C, 66 B Ferguson notes the section doesn't make sense and one can't use 'until' to connect two passages in reverse order).

Stromata - 3 Their doctrine was derived from an apocryphal work. In fact I will quote the passage which is the mother of their impropriety. Whether the actual authors of the book are responsible (see their senselessness if in their licentiousness they falsely impugn God), or whether they encountered some others, they heard sound doctrine and held distorted ideas about it. This is how the passage runs: "All things were one. Since this Unity thought it right not to be left alone, a Spirit of Inspiration emerged from it. It had intercourse with this and produced the Beloved. From the Beloved emerged its own Spirit of Inspiration, with which it had intercourse, producing Powers, invisible and inaudible" (ἕως) "each by her own name" (The scribe has curtailed a lengthy citation of an unknown heretical text; Clement couldn't have original used the 'until' as he admits at the very beginning that he wants the reader to be familiar with the doctrines of these heretics).

Stromata Similarly, in his Epistle to the Romans, Paul writes [of the Scripture text]: We are dead to sin: how can we continue to live in it? Our old humanity was crucified with him, so as to destroy the very body of sin (ἕως) Do not present the parts of your body to sin to be instruments of vice (Rom 6:2 - 13 nine lines of text 'amputated' two separate omissions, only one marked by ἕως).

Stromata - 4 This is why the Apostle makes the lofty statement, "I wrote in my letter that you should have nothing to do with profligate living (ἕως) The body is not for sexual promiscuity but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body." To make sure that he is not identifying marriage with fornication he adds, "Or do you not realize that anyone who attaches himself to a prostitute becomes physically one with her?" (1 Corinthians 5:9 - 6:16 over twenty lines of text 'amputated'; also note that the Panarion commentary 'jumps' almost in lockstep here - i.e. 1 Cor 5:7 (cf. Adam. 2.18; Tert. Adv. Marc. 5.7.3. 42.137) and then 1 Cor 6:16)

It is important to note that the above list only represent examples where ἕως appears in a manner which suggests that a scribe is 'filling in a gap' left in Clement's citation of the natural flow of his New Testament.  There are also many examples were similar 'Marcionitisms' were not filled in or where Clement's citations resemble the Marcionite reading known in either Tertullian or Epiphanius.

The point then when we go back to the Letter to Theodore, if we accept this scribal activity occurred in the Stromata, then it is very likely that it also could have occurred in other Clementine texts.  The obvious culprit is Eusebius of Caesarea of whom it is known - from Jerome's testimony - systematically went through the writings of the Alexandrian Church Fathers and correct them of any 'heresy.'  To this end, if the original collection of letters of Clement had this scribe attempt to fill various literary 'potholes' in order to distinguish Alexandrianism from Marcionitism, the original relationship between lesser Mark and greater Mark in the Letter to Theodore originally looked like this:

ἦσαν δὲ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ ἀναβαίνοντες εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα.  Καὶ μετὰ τρεῖς ἡμέρας ἀναστήσεται.
Καὶ ἔρχονται εἰς Βηθανίαν καὶ ἦν ἐκεῖ μία γυνὴ ἧς ὁ ἀδελφὸς αὐτῆς ἀπέθανεν.
Καὶ ἐλθοῦσα προσεκύνησε τὸν Ἰησοῦν καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ, «Υἱὲ Δαβὶδ ἐλέησόν με». Οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ ἐπετίμησαν αὐτῇ.
Καὶ ὀργισθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἀπῆλθεν μετ᾽ αὐτῆς εἰς τὸν κῆπον ὅπου ἦν τὸ μνημεῖον, καὶ εὐθὺς ἠκούσθη ἐκ τοῦ μνημείου φωνὴ μεγάλη, καὶ προσελθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἀπἐκύλισε τὸν λίθον ἀπὸ τῆς θύρας τοῦ μνημείου, καὶ εἰσελθὼν εὐθὺς ὅπου ἦν ὁ νεανίσκος ἐξέτεινεν τὴν χεῖρα καὶ ἤγειρεν αὐτὸν κρατήσας τῆς χειρός, ὁ δὲ νεανίσκος ἐμβλέψας αὐτῷ ἠγάπησεν αὐτὸν καὶ ἤρξατο παρακαλεῖν αὐτὸν ἵνα μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ ᾖ.
Καὶ ἐξελθόντες ἐκ τοῦ μνημείου ἦλθον εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν τοῦ νεανίσκου, ἦν γὰρ πλούσιος.Καὶ μεθ᾽ ἡμέρας ἓξ ἐπέταξεν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς, καὶ ὀψίας γενομένης ἔρχεται ὁ νεανίσκος πρὸς αὐτὸν περιβεβλημένος σινδόνα ἐπὶ γυμνῷ, καὶ ἔμεινε σὺν αὐτῷ τὴν νύκτα ἐκείνην.
Ἐδίδασκε γὰρ αὐτὸν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τὸ μυστήριον τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ Θεοῦ.
Ἐκεῖθεν δὲ ἀναστὰς ἐπέστρεψεν εἰς τὸ πέραν τοῦ Ἰορδάνου.
καὶ προσεπορεύοντο αὐτῷ Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάννης

The 'and after three days he will rise' now is not clearly linked with either the Old Testament prophesy of the coming of the messiah or for that matter Jesus suffering on Passover.  'After three days' originally referenced the disciple who was about to be resurrected in Bethany and who - presumably - had just died in the previous narrative.  It is worth noting that John 11 comes up with the same number of days of Lazarus being in the tomb (four days = after three days).

At the very least now it is clear that under this scenario the gospel of Marcion = Clement's lesser gospel of Mark.  After all, from the perspective of Irenaeus or any Catholic looking at the material the equivalent of Mark 10:32 - 34 has been 'amputated.'  It no longer makes the 'after three days' resurrection to have anything explicitly connected with the prophesy about the messiah.  Nevertheless one can still argue that the existing resurrection narrative does have an obvious parallel from the Pentateuch - i.e. Joseph foretelling that the chief cup bearer will be raised again 'after three days' and that if this happens he too should be raised from his station.

The point however is that the gospel of Marcion and the shorter gospel of Mark referenced by Clement are now made to agree with one another once we suppose that the same systematic ἕως correction of Marcionite passages in Clement's other writings happened in the collection of letters from which the Letter to Theodore survives.  The only logical question which remains is where is the account of the death of the disciple who is eventually resurrected in the 'Secret Mark' fragment?  The answer here goes back to the longer gospel of Marcion (the text which was 'shortened' to make the gospel of Marcion) and its resemblance to the Diatessarion (i.e the gospel harmony).  In that tradition the section - as Petersen and others have long noted - a rich man 'dies' after being told he must give up all his possessions (Mark 10:17 - 31).  Origen even cites a parallel text to Secret Mark (the Gospel According to the Hebrews) where this framework helps 'set up' the resurrection in the fragment just cited.

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