Thursday, November 20, 2014

59. the gospel of Marcion had a harmonized variant of Matthew 5:17

(twice mentioned by the Marcionite Marcus in Adamantius) De recta in deum fide XV: "This is what the Judaists wrote the (version): 'I have not come to abolish the law but to fulfill (it).' But Christ did not speak in this way; he said rather: 'I have not come to fulfill the law but to abolish (it). Also Isidore of Pelusium:
Take the gospel [or the evangelicon] of Marcion, and you will presently see at the very beginning a proof of their impudence. For they have left out our Lord's genealogy from and Abraham. And if you proceed a little farther, you will see another instance of their wickedness, in altering our Lord's words. "I came not," says he, "to destroy the law or the prophets." But they have ' made it thus: " Think ye, that I came to fulfil the law or the prophets? I am come to destroy, ' not to fulfil.'" [Isidore of Pelusium (Ep., 1, 371] 
For Marcion, Matthew 5:17 was proof that the Torah ['Law'] had been done away with the coming of [Jesus] and replaced it with grace. According to Marcion's interpretation of Matthew 5:17, Jesus said: “Think not that I have come to fulfill the Law but to abolish it." Today, most theologians agree that Marcion was a Heretic, who changed the original meaning of Scripture. The British scholar E. C. Blackman tells us that Marcion changed the meaning of Matthew 5:17 by “inverting the order of the clauses so as to give exactly an opposite sense." [Richard Rhoades, Faith of Ages p. 3] 
Schaff says that Marcion rewrote Matthew 5:17 to say, “I am come not to fulfill the law and the prophets, but to destroy them. [Randy Colver Heroes and Heretics in the Early Church p. 32] 
A well-attested verbal difference between the Gospel of Marcion and canonical Luke is in Gos. Mar. 16:17. Marcion's gospel apparently read: "But it is easier for heaven and earth to go away than for one of my words to fall.""2 In canonical Luke at this point we have: "It is easier for heaven and earth to go away, than for one stroke of the Torah to fall" (Luke 16:17). Later, however, canonical Luke and Marcion seem to agree on wording that supports Marcion's reading: "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my word remains forever" (Gos. Mar. 21:33 = Luke 21:33: "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away"). For Marcion it is Jesus' words that are eternal; canonical Luke has two sayings, one supporting the eternality of Torah and one in agreement with Marcion." [Joseph Tyson, Marcion. p.45]

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