Thursday, November 20, 2014

101. the Marcionite canon had a gospel 'according to Mark' (with mystical additions from the heretic) and the epistles of Paul

When, therefore, Marcion or some one of his hounds barks against the Demiurge, and adduces reasons from a comparison of what is good and bad, we ought to say to them, that neither Paul the apostle nor Mark, he of the maimed finger, announced such (tenets). For none of these (doctrines) has been written in the Gospel according to Mark. But (the real author of the system) is Empedocles, son of Meto, a native of Agrigentum. And (Marcion) despoiled this (philosopher), and imagined that up to the present would pass undetected his transference, under the same expressions, of the arrangement of his entire heresy from Sicily into the evangelical narratives. [Philosophumena 7:18] 
Dieter Roth in his dissertation notes the implications of the statement - regarding "Hippolytus’s comment apparently calling Marcion’s Gospel “Mark” in Haer. 7.30.1." Raschke developed a thesis that this passage makes clear Marcion's gospel was really 'according to Mark.' More to follow about that but for now:
Videtur autem Hippolytus hac appellatione [6 KoA.o/?o8aKxv\os] ideo usus esse, ut simul alluderet ad mutilatum quo Marcion uteretur evangelium, quod, cum Lucae esset, Hippolytus prave Marco adscribebat. Idem, cum Paulum Marco consociet, Marcioneum Novi Foederis canonem complectitur universum [Duncker] But even so, it does not seem to have occurred to Duncker, to whom we owe the note, to question the literal meaning of the epithet altogether ; he simply treats the metaphorical allusion to the ' curtailed ', or more exactly ' curt-fingered' character of Mark's Gospel, as secondary (ut simul alluderet). Yet surely, when we reflect on it for a moment, Hippolytus cannot have meant in such a solemn argumentative context to introduce suddenly and without explanation a reference to 'a personal peculiarity which had impressed itself on the memory of the Roman Church ' (Swete, op. cit. p. xxii). The very persistence of such a detail in the local tradition down to Hippolytus' day is not very likely ; nor would it in any case be introduced in this passing way into a treatise meant also for circulation beyond Rome. Surely the term is meant in a self-explanatory sense, obvious to all who knew Mark's Gospel, transferring to the Evangelist himself an epithet proper to his work, which seemed but a ' curtailed ' account of Christ's ministry, when compared with the fuller Matthew and Luke — curtailed especially at the extremities, the beginning and the end. That this is the true view is further shewn by the divergent stories found in different prefaces to the Vulgate, as to the exact sense in which Mark was literally 'curt-fingered'. Such divergence betrays their nature as glosses upon the simple epithet, the ultimate origin of which may well be the passage in Hippolytus. Thus I think we may bid good-bye to these stories as to Mark's physical peculiarity, while we gain instead fresh evidence as to how hard a fight Mark's Gospel had to wage with religious praejudicia."[Journal of Theological Studies vol 6] 

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