Thursday, November 20, 2014

49. Scholars misuse and misrepresent the purpose Epiphanius's treatise against the Marcionites

Epiphanius was above all else not attempting to create a definitive list of 'Marcionite scriptural corruptions.'  If you actually look at what he says in the introduction to his lengthy discussion of the Marcionite scriptures one can see immediately that he has taken haphazard notes about the subject of the Marcionite gospel rather than a definitive list of things altered in the text.  He writes "for some of them (the alleged scriptural emendations) had been falsely entered by himself, in an altered form and unlike the authentic copy of the Gospel and the meaning of the apostolic canon.  But others were exactly like both the Gospel and Apostle, unchanged by Marcion but capable of completely demolishing him." (Pan 32.10.1)

As such it would seem that Epiphanius had before him a treatise written against the Marcionite interpretation of scripture where a mix of scriptural references were present.  This explains why much of the cited material in Panarion does not contradict the received text of Luke.  Nevertheless it is extremely puzzling why Epiphanius would have developed such an usual compilation (some alterations mixed with 'correct' readings but which on their own 'destroy' the Marcionite system).  It is puzzling only until we remember that scholars have the same difficulties with Tertullian's Adversus Marcionem. 

As we have already noted, the original critic of Marcion had a habit of working from his own 'harmonized gospel' to attack the heretic.  The reason of course for this, as we have already noted, is that they shared a very similar 'Diatessaronic gospel.'  Nevertheless this original 'harmony' based critique of Marcion was adapted by Irenaeus to filter out all but the explicit citations of Luke in Marcion's gospel.  Nevertheless as has been noted many times before us, passages where the original author accuses or intimates that Marcion 'deleted' things which now only appear in Matthew stayed.  All that Epiphanius has done is further refined the list of Lukan passages from Irenaean adaption of early material, removing the references to 'things Marcion cut which now appear only in Matthew.  Epiphanius also likely had more than the original parent text for Adversus Marcionem 4 & 5 at his disposal.

So whereas Tertullian only intimates that Marcion began his gospel with his descent to a synagogue at Capernaum:
Marcion premises that in the fifteenth year of the principate of Tiberius he came down into Capernaum, a city of Galilee—from the Creator's heaven, of course, into which he had first come down out of his own.
Epiphanius says that Marcion cut the first chapters of Luke:
At the very beginning he excised everything Luke had originally composed—his 'inasmuch as many have taken in hand,' and so forth, and the material about Elizabeth and the angel's announcement to Mary the Virgin; about John and Zacharias and the birth at Bethlehem; the genealogy and the story of the baptism. All this he cut out and turned his back on, and made this the beginning of the Gospel, 'In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar,' and so on. (32.11.4,5)
The first 'Lukan corruption' that Marcion made is the same in both narratives - "that it may be to you for a testimony." (Pan 32.11.6, Tert. Adv. Marc. 4.9.9-10). Epiphanius goes on to cite a number of passages which are not alterations at all but the second category of citations Epiphanius mentions at the beginning viz "were exactly like both the Gospel and Apostle, unchanged by Marcion but capable of completely demolishing him."

It cannot be doubted that the 'alteration' -'He came down among them (κατέβη ἐν αὐτοῖς).' (Luke 6:16-17) instead of 'He came down with them' (κατέβη μετ' αὐτῶν)- isn't present in Tertullian but it is a minor variant, something which Epiphanius might have seen in an anti-Marcionite treatise.Most of the explicit references to alterations in the Panarion can be traceable to the common source shared with Tertullian.

So Epiphanius's allusion to 'Blessed is he who shall not be offended in me,'(Luke 7:27) being altered as though it refers to John is present in almost all the major sources (cf. Adam. 2.18; Tert. Adv. Marc. 4.18.7 and Ephrem Against Marcion). His reference to an interest in Luke 8:19-20 is picked up numerous times in Tertullian. The explicit reference to a substitution in Luke 9:40-41 has a shared interest in Tert. Adv. Marc. 4.23.1. Epiphanius's notice about an alteration in Luke 10:21 is paralleled in Tert. Adv. Marc. 4.25.1. So too Luke 11:42 with Tert. Adv. Marc. 4.27.4 and Luke 12:8 with Tert. Adv. Marc. 4.28.4.

When Epiphanius says after quoting 'I say unto my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body. Fear him which, after he hath killed, hath authority to cast into hell.' that Marcion did not have, 'Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?' this can certainly be explained by Tertullian's curtailing of the expression at the very same point (Adv Marc 27.5). Furthermore Epiphanius's statement that "instead of He shall confess before the angels of God,' Marcion says, 'before God' is also reflected in Tertullian's citation in Tert. Adv. Marc. 4.28.4.

Similarly the statement in the Panarion that Marcion does not have, 'God doth clothe the grass' is reflective of the citation Luke 12 in Adv Marc 29 where Tertullian along with Bezae do not mention grass or lilies 'toiling.'  Further the snide remark:
"'And your Father knoweth ye have need of these things,' physical things, of course.
is certainly lifted from Tertullian's commentary in the parallel section in Adv Marc 29.  So too the statement which immediately follows in the Panarion.  The substitution of 'the Father' for 'your Father' in Luke 12:32 is minor and happens countless times in any commentary on the section.  So too the next statement with respect to a substitution of 'evening watch' in Marcion's gospel for 'in the second or third watch' (Luke 12:38) it found in a number of existing MSS.

The large excision from chapter 13 in Luke mentioned by Epiphanius next is not referenced by Tertullian but is found neither in Mark or Matthew either and reflects knowledge of Josephus.  It would seem to be a clear example of Epiphanius deriving his information from another source other than Tertullian's.  But the reference to the excision in Luke 13:28. is reflective of Tert. Adv. Marc. 4.30.5 and paralleled in the citations in De Recta in Deum Fide.  The next reference which follows in Epiphanius:
Again, he falsified, 'They shall come from the east and from the west, and shall sit down in the kingdom,' 'The last shall be first,' and 'The Pharisees came saying, Get thee out and depart, for Herod will kill thee'; also, 'He said, Go ye, and tell that fox,' until the words, 'It cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem,' and, 'Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets and stonest them that are sent, Often would I have gathered, as a hen, thy children,' 'Your house is left unto you desolate,' and, 'Ye shall not see me until ye shall say, Blessed.'
seems to be derived from the same source as the larger excision mentioned earlier as well as the statement which follows "Again, he falsified the entire parable of the two sons, the one who took his share of the property and spent it in dissipation, and the other."

It is worth noting that Tertullian and Epiphanius cite appear to cite the next reference in the Panarion Luke 16:16 differently at first:
The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached. (Tertullian)

The law and the prophets were until John, and every man presseth into it. (Epiphanius)
But this may be explained as Epiphanius noting the missing clause 'every man presses into it' in Tertullian.  His next mention of excision - he falsified, 'Say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.' - does not derive from Tertullian and the statement that follows that Marcion excised a great deal' actually contradicts Adv Marc.  As such it demonstrates that Epiphanius was again using another source.

Epiphanius reference to Luke 18:18-20 follows indicating several differences in the Marcionite manuscripts:
One said unto him, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?  He replied, “Call not thou me good. One is good, God.” Marcion added, “the Father,” and instead of, “Thou knowest the commandments,” says “I know the commandments.” (Scholion 50) 
While Tertullian does not mention these changes Hippolytus the presumed source for much of the Philosophumena does as he notes:
For if He is a Mediator, He has been, he says, liberated from the entire nature of the Evil Deity. Now, as he affirms, the Demiurge is evil, and his works. For this reason, he affirms, Jesus came down unbegotten, in order that He might be liberated from all (admixture of) evil. And He has, he says, been liberated from the nature of the Good One likewise, in order that He may be a Mediator, as Paul states and as Himself acknowledges: “Why do you call me good? There is one good.” 
Tertullian either refers to or quotes from all these verses. He agrees with Epiphanius regarding the beginning of v. 18:18, reading “a certain man” (or just “one”) instead of “a certain ruler,” although neither recognizes this as a difference.  This matches the parallels in Mt and Mk.

Throughout this exercise I will use 'Diatessaron' and 'Diatessaronic' even though I am well aware that it is assumed to reinforce the pre-existence of four gospels.  The only other term I could find to denote the 'single, long gospel' which I assume to behind the canonical gospels is 'super gospel' which I will use infrequently.

Here are the top one hundred reasons for thinking the Marcionite gospel contained references to (what is from our point of view) - Matthew, Mark and John.

Yet as we shall demonstrate later in this discussion, Tertullian is clearly not citing from Luke but a Diatessaronic text which uses what we would identify as 'Matthew' in much of this section.  In v. 18:20b Tertullian gives the order of commandments as: "Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother." This is not the order found in either v. 18:20 or the parallel in Mk 10:19, but that found only in Mt 19:18.  To this end, we may argue that wherever Epiphanius recognized that Tertullian's source was quoting from Matthew or using a Diatessaron he either ignored the material or found another source - most likely Hippolytus's Syntagma.

Indeed for the last remaining alterations, which happen to correspond with the closing chapters of the gospel, Epiphanius's seems to have abandoned the material common with Tertullian and chosen his other source.  This source tells Epiphanius that a number of major 'cuts' were taken from the equivalent passages in Luke.  For instance we hear:
52. Marcion falsified, '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 falsified the whole of this.
53. He falsified the passage about the ass and Bethphage, and the one about the city and the temple, because of the scripture, 'My house shall be called an house of prayer, but ye make it a den of thieves.'
54. 'And they sought to lay hands on him and they were afraid.'
55. Again, he excised the material about the vineyard which was let out to husbandmen, and the verse, 'What is this, then, The stone which the builders rejected?'
56. He excised, 'Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, in calling the Lord the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. But he is a God of the living, not of the dead.'
57. He did not have the following: 'Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, saying that the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob is God of the living.'
58. Again he falsified, 'There shall not an hair of your head perish.'
59. Again, he falsified the following: 'Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains,' and so on, because of the words subjoined in the text, 'until all things that are written be fulfilled.'
60. 'He communed with the captains how he might deliver him unto them.'
61. 'And he said unto Peter and the rest, Go and prepare that we may eat the passover.'
62. 'And he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him, and he said, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer.'
63. He falsified, 'I will not any more eat thereof until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.'
64. He falsified 'When I sent you, lacked ye anything,' and so on, because of the words, 'This also that is written must be accomplished, And he was numbered among the transgressors.'
This long series of erasures in the Panarion is completely unprecedented when compared to the rest of the treatise.  Clearly the difference is attributable to a different source who happens to have given detailed information about the differences between Luke chapters 18 - 22 and the Marcionite gospel.  All that breaks up the references to excisions is Epiphanius's typical interest in passages which demonstrate that Jesus could be touched (and thus contradicting the claim he was a phantom).

In addition to the sections already mentioned in Scholion 53, here Epiphanius makes several references to Marcion concealing information about the journey and/or the road between Jericho and Jerusalem via the Mount of Olives. These comments are odd, because although Luke mentions the Mount of Olives, he does not provide any details of the earlier part of the ascent from Jericho.  This may indicate that this source was originally comparing the Marcionite gospel to something else - perhaps a 'Diatessaronic' text.

Based on what Epiphanius states was omitted from Marcionite gospel it is likely that the equivalent to entirety of chapter 19 of Luke was simply:
And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. (19:28) And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him, (19:47)  And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him. (19:48) 
Tertullian's lack of mention of this material may well support this assumption. that this is also what he saw in his copy of Lk.  Furthermore at Elenchus 53 Epiphanius tells us that "but for his refutation out of his own mouth, Marcion says,
It came to pass on one of those days, as he taught in the temple, they sought to lay hands on him and they were afraid,” as we read in next paragraph, 54.
Indeed Epiphanius confirms this reading in Scholion 54, where he writes:
And they sought to lay hands on him and they were afraid.
This appears to be a combination of what we see as verses 20:1a and 19b:
And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, [20:1a] … [they] sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: [20:19b] 
It has been noted that in a number of mss (G, S, V, Y, Γ, Δ, Ω, 047, 565, 700, 1342, and 1424) “τον αον” (the people) is omitted from v. 20:19, changing the reading from “they feared the people” to “they were afraid.” He concludes that this is “probably an accidental omission,” which is a reasonable opinion if the only evidence is a number of late (mainly 9th century) mss.

To this end Epiphanius, through his second source, may have preserved the introduction to the events which lead to Jesus's arrest.  Tertullian doesn't seem as interested in this material.  He has a specific theological purpose (i.e. to demonstrate that Jesus was not against the god of the Jews).  So it is that next few references also seem to come exclusively from Tertullian's second source:
69. After, 'We found this fellow perverting the nation,' Marcion added, 'and destroying the Law and the prophets.'
70. The addition after 'forbidding to give tribute' is 'and turning away the wives and children.'
71. 'And when they were come unto a place called Place of a Skull they crucified him and parted his garments, and the sun was darkened.'
The pattern continued down through the end of Epiphanius's discussion of changes in the Marcionite gospel.  It should be clear that given the parallels and the differences, Epiphanius only pretended to have the Marcionite gospel and rather compiled at least two sources - and probably more - in order to have something definitive to say about Marcion 'cutting' the gospel according to Luke.  However none of these statements were intended to be the 'final word' on these cuts.

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