Thursday, November 20, 2014

145. the 'second addition' to Mark in Clement's Letter to Theodore corresponds to an insertion of Lukan material in the Diatessaron

Here is the end of Clement's witness of his 'authorized' copy of the Gospel of Mark (not 'Secret' Mark but where mystic is just an adjective like we find ascribed the true text in Quis Dives Salvetur viz Jesus 'teaches all things to His own with divine and mystic wisdom' i.e. the gospel):

And he comes into Jericho, and the sister of the youth whom Jesus loved and his mother and Salome were there, and Jesus did not receive them ...

The Diatessaron 'inserts' the story of Zacchaeus in the exact same place:

And when Jesus entered and passed through Jericho, there was a man named Zacchaeus, rich, and chief of the publicans. And he desired to see Jesus who he was; and he was not able for the pressure of the crowd, because Zacchaeus was little of stature. Arabic, And he hastened, and went before Jesus, and went up into an unripe fig tree to see Jesus: for he was to pass thus. And when Jesus came to that place, he saw him, and said unto him, Make haste, and come down, Zacchaeus: to-day I must be in thy house. And he hastened, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they all saw, they murmured, and said, He hath gone in and lodged with a man that is a sinner. So Zacchaeus stood, and said unto Jesus, My Lord, now half of my possessions I give to the poor, and what I have unjustly taken from every man I give him fourfold. Jesus said unto him, To-day is salva- tion come to this house, because this man also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man came to seek and save the thing that was lost. And when Jesus went out of Jericho, he and his disciples[Diatesaron 31:15 - 25]

I think that there is more than enough evidence to intimate that this must have been the case. Already the Letter to Theodore intimates that 'additional things' were added to 'the gospel according to Mark.' Clement only cites the material which represents a radical departure from the familiar canonical narratives however:

the second of these references (so-called 'LGM 2') makes its insertion at the very point the Diatessaron adds the Zacchaeus narrative. Clement's Quis Dives Salvetur only makes sense if Clement knew that the Zacchaeus narrative followed in his gospel after Mark 10:17 - 31 This is only the 'tip of the iceberg' so to speak with regards to a Clementine interest in what we have called 'the Phillips Gospel Chronology.' Let us also make note of the fact that the same arguments made against an unnamed heretical group in Quis Dives Salvetur are developed in Stromata 3.1 - 11 albeit with more emphasis on the material which precedes the Zacchaeus narrative. In Strom 3.55 we see Mark 10.20-21 immediately followed by Luke 12.16-20.

Yet I just uncovered a new nexus of material in Paed. Book 2 where Clement develops an extended interest in the material in Luke 12 but in relation to the Rich Man and Lazarus narrative. Let's now follow the chain of references to the narratives of the so-called Phillips Gospel:

(a) near the end of Paed 2.10 Clement cites a string of references from a variant gospel which most closely resembles Luke 12:22 - 30

(b) the Rich Man and Lazarus narrative is then brought forward with explicit connection to certain verses from the previous section - viz. "But hay figuratively designates the vulgar rabble, attached to ephemeral pleasure, flourishing for a little, loving ornament, loving praise, and being everything but truth-loving, good for nothing but to be burned with fire (Lk 12.28). “There was a certain man,” said the Lord, narrating, “very rich, who was clothed in purple and scarlet, enjoying himself splendidly every day.” This was the hay. “And a certain poor man named Lazarus was laid at the rich man’s gate, full of sores, desiring to be filled with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table.” This is the grass. Well, the rich man was punished in Hades, being made partaker of the fire (Luke 12.28); while the other flourished again in the Father’s bosom."

Clement's point here is that the two parts of Luke 12.28 correspond to the (a) rich man and (b) Lazarus - "If that is how God clothes (a) the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, (b) how much more will he clothe you. Of course, the only place that Lazarus can be understood to be 'clothed' in this section is with the addition of LGM 1 in Secret Mark in the chain of narratives listed above.

After a slight digression Clement goes back to Luke 12.30 in Paed. 2.13 now making it explicit that he has been citing the material against a heretical group (clearly the gay over-sexed, over-eating and over-drinking heretics of Paed. 2:10:

(c) But you also oppose Scripture, seeing it expressly cries “Seek first the kingdom of heaven, and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Luke 12.30) But if all things have been conferred on you, and all things allowed you, and “if all things are lawful, yet all things are not expedient,”(1 Cor 10:23) says the apostle. God brought our race into communion by first imparting what was His own, when He gave His own Word, common to all, and made all things for all. All things therefore are common, and not for the rich to appropriate an undue share. That expression, therefore, “I possess, and possess in abundance: why then should I not enjoy?” is suitable neither to the man, nor to society. But more worthy of love is that: “I have: why should I not give to those who need?” For such an one—one who fulfils the command, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”—is perfect. (Mark 10:21 Quis Dives Salvetur) For this is the true luxury—the treasured wealth. But that which is squandered on foolish lusts is to be reckoned waste, not expenditure. For God has given to us, I know well, the liberty of use, but only so far as necessary; and He has determined that the use should be common. And it is monstrous for one to live in luxury, while many are in want. How much more glorious is it to do good to many, than to live sumptuously! How much wiser to spend money on human being, than on jewels and gold! If the reader looks carefully at the passage he can begin to see how Clement is clearly weaving an interpretation developed from (1) the Rich Fool (Luke 12), (2) the Raising of Lazarus and (3) the Question of the Rich Youth (Mark 10) - all passages which follow one another in every Diatessaronic gospel.

This might become a little clearer when we cite Origen's reference to the Gospel of Hebrews which ultimately gave Phillips the insight to understand that such a highly integrated Alexandrian gospel text existed in antiquity. After citing the story of the Rich Fool (Luke 12), Origen moves on to an account of:

the second of the rich men (it saith) said unto him: Master, what good thing can I do and live? He said unto him: O man, fulfil (do) the law and the prophets. He answered him: I have kept them. He said unto him: Go, sell al that thou ownest, and distribute it unto the poor, and come, follow me. But the rich man began to scratch his head, and it pleased him not. And the Lord said unto him: How sayest though: I have kept the law and the prophets? For it is written in the law: Though shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, and lo, many of thy brethren, sons of Abraham, are clad in filth, dying for hunger, and thine house is full of many good things, and nought at all goeth out of it unto them (Commentary on Matthew 15)

While the specific reference to 'perfection' is lacking in this gospel narrative, Clement's connection between 'love thy neighbor as thyself' and Mark 10:22 is clearly present here as is the anticipation of the Rich Man and Lazarus narrative which immediately follows in the Diatessaronic gospels.

Not surprisingly then Clement - who clearly knew of yet another Diatessaronic gospel in addition to Origen's 'Gospel according to the Hebews' - ends up going back to the Rich Fool narrative (which begins the section in Origen) in what follows:

(d) O foolish trouble! O silly craze for display! They squander meretriciously wealth on what is disgraceful; and in their love for ostentation disfigure God’s gifts, emulating the art of the evil one. The rich man hoarding up in his barns, and saying to himself, “Thou hast much goods laid up for many years; eat, drink, be merry,” the Lord in the Gospel plainly called “fool.” “For this night they shall take of thee thy soul; whose then shall those things which thou hast prepared be?” (Luke 12.19, 20) Apelles, the painter, seeing one of his pupils painting a figure loaded with gold colour to represent Helen, said to him, “Boy, being incapable of painting her beautiful, you have made her rich.” Such Helens are the ladies of the present day, not truly beautiful, but richly got up. To these the Spirit prophesies by Zephaniah: “And their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s anger.” ( Zeph. 1.18) But for those women who have been trained under Christ, it is suitable to adorn themselves not with gold, but with the Word, through whom alone the gold comes to light The point of our discussion here once again isn't just that Clement preferred an Alexandrian Diatessaronic gospel to the canonical gospels but that this gospl clearly concluded with a reference to someone being 'dressed' in Christ. There can be no other explanation to the structure of the text.

In both Clement and Origen, the Phillips Gospel Narrative is used to illustrate the fate of two different rich people. The 'rich fool' does not give up his wealth - and so is doomed to a terrible fate in the afterlife. But his companion 'the rich youth' of the narrative that follows enters Hades and sees 'Lazarus' and learns the truth - riches condemn one to eternal damnation. It only makes sense that if we follow the implications of this highly integrated gospel tradition that Lazarus was sent into the body of the rich youth in the world above in the section of text highlighted in the Letter to Theodore. This is the reason that LGM 1 resembles the Gospel of John's Raising of Lazarus narrative. The name 'Lazarus' is a carry over from the Phillips Gospel Narrative, which in turn is really 'the secret Gospel of Mark' mentioned in the Letter to Theodore.

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