Thursday, November 20, 2014

88. the gospel of Marcion 'betrays assimilation' to Matthew 24:34

[Mt] 5.18 itself rests upon Mt. 24.34f or the source in which this originally stood. The close of 5.18, 4 till all things be accomplished,' does not amalgamate easily with the beginning of the verse, "Till heaven and earth pass away (one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away). Moreover it is difficult to see why the Law should cease to have validity the moment it is fulfilled in its entirety. But the closing sentence in [Mt] 24.34 is perfectly intelligible : "This generation shall not pass away till all these things be accomplished. 'All these things' means here the premonitory signs of the end. 'Heaven and earth shall pass away but my words shall not pass away.' Marcion has the same thought in his redaction of Luke 16.17: 'It is easier that heaven and earth shall pass away than one tittle should fall away from my words." For this canonical Luke has 'than for one tittle of the Law should fall.' But this can hardly have been what Lk. intended to say, for this verse stands between two verses which accentuate with the greatest possible emphasis the abolition of the law. [Encylopedia Biblica p. 1860]

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