Friday, November 21, 2014

Marcion 'cut' Matthew 9:27 - 29

Thus even though they delete also the testimony of the devils who cry out to Jesus 'son of David', yet they will not be able to delete the testimony of the apostles, if the devils' testimony is beneath their notice. [Tertullian De carne Christi 22.1 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 2 (1954), (p.912, l.1 - P) BP1]
What is interesting of course about this is that Tertullian cites the Lukan version of the story in Adv Marc 4 against the Marcionites. It is yet another example of the influence of the Diatessaron in shaping the 'Marcion cut things from the gospel' argument.

First of all it should be noted that Kroymann has apparently misidentified the story as Matthew 8:29. The reference is to Matthew 9:27f and Matthew 20:30f:

As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out, "Have mercy on us, Son of David!" When He entered the house, the blind men came up to Him, and Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" They said to Him, "Yes, Lord." Then He touched their eyes, saying, "It shall be done to you according to your faith." [Matthew 9:27 - 29]
Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!" The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!" And Jesus stopped and called them, and said, "What do you want Me to do for you?" They said to Him, "Lord, we want our eyes to be opened." Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him. [Matthew 20:30 - 32]
The fact that Matthew adds the same story twice basically and the story itself is a variant of Mark 10:46 - 52/Luke 18:35 - 43 is extremely unusual. However the fact that Tertullian should extensively reference the Marcionite treatment of the latter story but accuse the same sect of excising the 'Matthean parallel' is very odd. The bottom line is that the author of Adv Marc can't simply be using a version of Luke with Matthean elements. His must clearly have been a Diatessaronic text both the 'Matthean' and 'Markan/Lukan' version of the story appear in the Arabic Diatessaron:
And when Jesus crossed over from there, there joined him two blind men, crying out, and saying, Have mercy on us, thou son of David. And when he came to the house, those two blind men came to him: and Jesus said unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, our Lord.Then he touched their eyes, and said, As ye have believed, it shall be unto you. And immediately their eyes were opened. And Jesus forbade them, and said, See that no man know. But they went out and published the news in all that land.[Arabic Diatessaron 12:33 - 40]
And when Jesus entered and passed through Jericho, there was a man named Zac- chaeus, 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. 25 And when Jesus went out of Jericho, he and his disciples, there came after him a great multitude. And there was a blind man sitting by the way side begging. And his name was Timaeus, the son of Timaeus. And he heard the sound of the multitude passing, and asked, Who is this? They said unto him, Jesus the Naza-rene passeth by. And when he heard that it was Jesus, he called out with a loud voice, and said, Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me. And those that went before Jesus were rebuking him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more, and said, Son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus stood, and commanded that they should call him. And they called the blind man, and said unto him, Be of good courage, and rise; for, behold, he calleth thee. And the blind 33 man threw away his garment, and rose, and came to Jesus. Jesus said unto him, What dost thou wish that I should do unto thee? And that blind man said unto him, My Lord and Master, that my eyes may be opened, so that I may see thee. Arabic, And Jesus had compassion on him, and touched his eyes, and said unto him, See; for thy faith hath saved thee. And immediately he received his sight, and came after him, and praised God; and all the people that saw praised God. [Arabic Diatessaron 33:25 - 35]
Clearly then the original author of De Carne Christi did not use the gospel of Matthew. Instead he used a Diatessaronic text which assumed that the story of the two blind men shouting 'son of David' was a distinct story from the Legion narrative in Mark and Luke. Indeed he saw the Marcionites as using a Diatessonic text much like his own but with frequent 'excisions' of material which just happen to correspond to sections of text now preserved exclusively in Matthew.

It also interesting that the place 'Luke 18:35 - 45' is inserted into the middle of the Luke 19 narrative in the Diatessaron is the very place where Secret Mark inserts its second addition (as said by Clement of Alexandria).

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