Slowly but Surely: Engaging Marcion in the Synoptic Problem   Leave a comment


The new issues of JTS and NTS feature two contributions to the continuing debate over Marcion’s Gospel and its possible impact on the synoptic problem.

Matthias Klinghardt, whose 2-volume work on Marcion’s Evangelion was published last year, provides us with a more assertive article on the priority of the Evangelion in comparison with Luke.

Matthias, Klinghardt “Marcion’s Gospel and the New Testament: Catalyst or Consequence?.” New Testament Studies 63.2 (2017): 318-323.

It is a short paper delivered in the ‘Quaestiones disputatae’ session at the 71st General Meeting of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas, held at McGill University, Montreal, on 3 August 2016. The session was chaired by Professor Carl Holladay, President of the Society.

The fact that Luke is almost always shorter than Marcion, which should direct the redaction process from the latter to the former remains one of the most important principles on which his theory hinges. Prima facie this is true, but the reality as it appears in the complex textual variations of Luke itself should always be remembered before comparing two “final” texts.

The second point is his rather complicated construction of how all the Gospels were originated from the Evangelion in order to show that the later is indeed Das älteste Evangelium (which is the title of his work).

The second publication is Markus Vinzent’s review of Judith Lieu’s book:

Vinzent, Markus. “Marcion and the Making of a Heretic: God and Scripture in the Second Century. By Judith M. Lieu.” JTS (2017): 345-348.

You will notice that the review starts from where mine ends in page 345 🙂

Vinzent concludes his comment with the important question that seems to be still open: “Lieu seems to reckon with a historical Marcion who had made use of information (oral or written?) and named a written text ‘Gospel’, and it would be interesting to know what she means by his having been ‘familiar’ with—with what, one may ask: did Marcion only use this text, did he redact it, did he write it?”

We have no solid evidence on the authorship of the gospel Marcion considered to be pure and original. The fact that the Evangelion itself is not quite Marcionite made Tertullian perplexed, giving in to conspiracy theories behind that!

But Vinzent is apparently pushing the debate towards this important question which will have serious consequences on dating several texts and on the composition history of Luke.





Posted June 29, 2017 by Mina Monier in Uncategorized

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