Thursday, November 20, 2014

98. the gospel of Marcion had John 14:16 - 17

The apostle Paul warns against inordinate and irrational love when he says of himself, "I fear that someone might have an opinion of me above what he sees or hears from me, and that the greatness of the revelations might exalt me," and so on. (2 Cor 12:6-7) Paul feared that even he might fall into this error. So he was unwilling to state everything about himself that he knew. He wanted no one to think more of him than he saw or, going beyond the limits of honor, to say what had been said about john, that "he was the Christ." Some people said this even about Dositheus, the heresiarch of the Samaritans; others said it also about judas the Galilean. Finally, some people burst forth into such great audacity of love that they invented new and unheard of exaggerations about Paul. For, some say this, that the passage in Scripture that speaks of "sitting at the Savior's right and left" (Mk 10:38) applies to Paul and Marcion: Paul sits at his right hand and Marcion at his left. Others read the passage, "I shall send you an advocate, the Spirit of Truth," (Jn 14:16) and are unwilling to understand a third person besides the Father and the Son, a divine and exalted nature. They take it to mean the apostle Paul. Do not all of these seem to you to have loved more than is fitting and, while they admired the virtue of each, to have lost moderation in love?" [Origen, Homilies on Luke 23]

The 'others' are clearly 'other Marcionites,' other than the 'official' claim that they only used Luke which is confirmed by the Acts of Archelaus where the bishop of Harran, Archelaus (the man who serves 'Marcion' viz Marcellus) repeatedly declares:
for our Lord Jesus Christ says of this Paraclete, He shall receive of mine. Him therefore He selected as an acceptable vessel; and He sent this Paul to us [AA 34] 
the Paraclete, could not come into any other, but could only come upon ... the sainted Paul. For he is a chosen vessel, He says, unto me, to bear my name before kings and the Gentiles. The apostle himself, too, states the same thing in his first epistle, where he says: According to the grace that is given to me of God, that I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the Gospel of God. I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost. And again: For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not wrought by me by word and deed. I am the last of all the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle. But by the grace of God I am what I am. And it, is his wish to have to deal with those who sought the proof of that Christ who spoke in him, for this reason, that the Paraclete was in him: and as having obtained His gift of grace, and as being enriched with magnificent, honour, he says: For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for you; for strength is made perfect in weakness. Again, that it was the Paraclete Himself who was in Paul, is indicated by our Lord Jesus Christ in the Gospel, when He says: If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray my Father, and He shall give you another Comforter. In these words He points to the Paraclete Himself, for He speaks of another Comforter. And hence we have given credit to Paul, and have hearkened to him when he says, Or do you seek a proof of Christ speaking in me? and when he expresses himself in similar terms, of which we have already spoken above. [AA 35] 
So then Christ, our most patient Lord, has through all these years borne with a perversion of the preaching about himself, until, if you please, Marcion should come to his rescue. [Tertullian Adv Marc 1.20] As corrector apparently of a gospel which from the times of Tiberius to those of Antoninus had suffered subversion, Marcion comes to light, first and alone, after Christ had waited for him all that time, repenting of having been in a hurry to send forth apostles without Marcion to protect them. [Adv Marc 4.4] "the type of the Paraclete, Paul became the Apostle of the Resurrection" (ho Paulos anastaseōs Apostolos gegonen) [Theodotos 23]

Mani clearly grew out of the Marcionite interpretation (for he claims he is the Paraclete in the text. So too Muhammad for they all used the same 'Diatessaronic' gospel text which identified the Paraclete as a person rather than the Holy Spirit. One must also suspect that pre-canonical Montanists similarly used a Diatessaronic gospel with this understanding.

"Certain followers of Marcion identified the 'other Paraclete' of Jo. 14,16 with St. Paul; cf. H.B. Swete, The Holy Spirit in the Ancient Church (London, 1912), 65-66 Certain followers of Marcion identified the 'other Paraclete' of Jo. 14,16 with St. Paul; cf. H.B. Swete, The Holy Spirit in the Ancient Church (London, 1912), 65-66 In his Homilies on Luke 25,5, after discussing the Marcionite exaltation of Paul, Origen says that "Others read the passage, 'I shall send you an advocate, the Spirit of Truth' [Jn 14,16-17] and... they take it to mean the apostle Paul" (trans. J. Lienhard, Origen) [Rosenstiel the Apocalypse of Paul p. 151]

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