Jul 26, 1996 11:07 AM
http://ccel.wheaton.edu;fathers file ECF03.TXT we can find some
elucidations about adulterations of Marcion and his canon. Dr.
Lardner is recogniced by HPB at Unveiled Isis as a competent scholar.
AGAINST MARCION of Tertulian
Dr. Holmes appends the following as a note to the Fourth Book. (See cap. vi.
p 351.) The following statement, abridged from Dr. Lardner (The History of
Heretics, chap. x. sees. 35-40), may be useful to the reader, in reference
to the subject of the preceding Book:--Marcion received but eleven books of
the New Testament, and these strangely curtailed and altered. He divided
them into two parts, which he called <greek>to</greek> E<greek>uaggelion</greek>
(the Gospel) and <greek>to</greek> A<greek>postolikon</greek>
(1.) The former contained nothing more than a mutilated, and sometimes
interpolated, edition of ST. LUKE; the name of that evangelist, however,
he expunged from the beginning of his copy. Chaps. i. and ii. he rejected
entirely, and began at iii. 1, reading the opening verse thus: "In the xv.
year of Tiberius Caesar, God descended into Capernaum, a city of Galilee."
(2.) According to Irenaeus, Epiphanius, and Theodoret, he rejected the
genealogy and baptism of Christ; whilst from Tertullian's statement (chap. vii.)
it seems likely that he connected what part of chap. iii.--vers. 1, 2--he
chose to retain, with chap. iv. 31, at a leap.
(3). He further eliminated the history of the tempation. That part of chap.iv.
which narrates Christ's going into the synagogue at Nazareth and reading
out of Isaiah he also rejected, and all afterwards to the end of yet. 30.
(4.) Epiphanius mentions sundry slight alterations in capp. v. 14, 24, vi. 5, 17.
In chap. viii. 19 he expunged <greek>h</greek> <greek>mhthr</greek> <greek>autos</greek>,
<greek>kai</greek> <greek>adelfoi</greek> <greek>autou</greek>. From
Tertullian's remarks (chap. xix.), it would seem at first as if Marcion had
added to his Gospel that answer of our Saviour which we find related by St.
Matthew, chap. xii. 48: "Who is my mother, and who are my brethren?" For he
represents Marcion (as in De came Christ, vii., he represents other heretics,
who deny the nativity) as making use of these words for his favourite
argument. But, after all, Marcion might use these words against those who
allowed the authenticity of Matthew's Gospel, without inserting them in his
own Gospel; or else Tertullian might quote from memory, and think that to be
in Luke which was only in Matthew--as he has done at least in three instances.
(Lardner refers two of these instances to passages in chap. vii. of this
Book iv., where Tertullian mentions, as erasures from Luke, what really are
found in Matthew v. 17 and xv. 24. The third instance referred to by Lardner
probably occurs at the end of chap. ix. of this same Book iv., where
Tertullian again mistakes Matt. v. 17 for a passage of Luke, and charges
Marcion with expunging it; curiously enough, the mistake recurs in chap. xii.
of the same Book.) In Luke x. 21 Marcion omitted the first <greek>pater</greek>
and the words <greek>kai</greek> <greek>ths</greek> <greek>ghs</greek>, that
he might not allow Christ to call His Father the Lord of earth, or of this
world. The second <greek>pathr</greek> in this verse, not open to any inconvenience,
he retained. In chap. xi. 29 he omitted the last words concerning the sign
of the prophet Jonah; he also omitted all the 30th, 31st, and 32d verses;
in ver. 42 he read <greek>kghsin</greek>, 'calling,' instead of <greek>emprosqen</greek>
<greek>twn</greek> <greek>aggegmn</greek> <greek>tou</greek> <greek>Qeou</greek>
'judgment.' He rejected verses 49, 50, 51, because the passage related to
the prophets. He entirely omitted chap. xii. 6; whilst in ver. 8 he read
<greek>emprosqen</greek> <greek>tou</greek> <greek>Qeou</greek> instead of
<greek>emprosqen</greek> <greek>twn</greek> <greek>aggelwn</greek>
<greek>tou</greek> <greek>Qeou</greek>. He seems to have left out all the
28th verse, and expunged <greek>umwn</greek> from verses 30 and 32, reading
only <greek>o</greek> <greek>pathr</greek>.
In ver. 38, instead of the words <greek>en</greek> <greek>th</greek>
<greek>deutera</greek> <greek>Fugakh</greek>, <greek>kai</greek>
<greek>eh</greek> <greek>trith</greek> <greek>Fulakh</greek>, he read
<greek>en</greek> <greek>th</greek> <greek>esperinh</greek> <greek>Fulakh</greek>.
In chap. xiii. he omitted the first five verses, whilst in the 28th verse
of the same chapter, where we read, "When ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac,
and Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and ye yourselves
thrust out," he read (by altering, adding, and transposing), "When ye shall
see all the just in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves cast out, and
bound without, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." He likewise
excluded all the remaining verses of this chapter. All chap. xv. after the
10th verse, in which is contained the parable of the prodigal son, he
eliminated from his Gospel. In xvii. 10 he left out all the words after
<greek>legete</greek>. He made many alterations in the story of the ten
lepers; he left out part of ver. 12, all yet. 13, and altered vet. 14,
reading thus: "There met Him ten lepers; and He sent them away, saying,
Show yourselves to the priest;" after which he inserted a clause from
chap. iv. 27: "There were many lepers in the days of Eliseus the prophet,
but none of them were cleansed, but Naaman the Syrian." In chap. xviii. 19
he added the words <greek>o</greek> <greek>pathr</greek>, and in ver. 20
altered <greek>oidas</greek>, thou knowest, into the first person. He
entirely omitted verses 31-33, in which our blessed Saviour declares that
the things foretold by the prophets concerning His sufferings, and death,
and resurrection, should all be fulfilled. He expunged nineteen verses out
of chap. xix., from the end of yet. 27 to the beginning of ver. 47. In
chap. xx. he omitted ten verses, from the end of ver. 8 to the end of ver. 18.
He rejected also verses 37 and 38, in which there is a reference to Moses.
Marcion also erased of chap. xxi. the first eighteen verses, as well as
verses 21 and 22, on account of this clause, "that all things which are
written may be fulfilled;" xx. 16 was left out by him, so also verses 35-37,
50, and 51 (and, adds Lardner, conjecturally, not herein following his
authority Epiphanius, also vers. 38 and 49). In chap. xxiii. 2, after the
words "perverting the nation," Marcion added, "and destroying the law and
the prophets;" and again, after "forbidding to give tribute unto Caesar,"
he added, "and perverting women and children." He also erased ver. 43. In
chap. xxiv. he omitted that part of the conference between our Saviour and
the two disciples going to Emmaus, which related to the prediction of His
sufferings, and which is contained in verses 26 and 27. These two verses he
omitted, and changed the words at the end of ver. 25, <greek>egaghsan</greek>
<greek>oi</greek> <greek>proQhtai</greek>, into <greek>egaghsa</greek>
<greek>uhin</greek>. Such are the alterations, according to Epiphanius,
which Marcion made in his Gospel from St. Luke. Tertullian says (in the 4th
chapter of the preceding Book) that Marcion erased the passage which gives
an account of the parting of the raiment of our Saviour among the soldiers.
But the reason he assigns for the erasure--'respiciens Psalmi prophetiam'--
shows that in this, as well as in the few other instances which we have
already named, where Tertullian has charged Marcion with so altering
passages, his memory deceived him into mistaking Matthew for Luke, for the
reference to the passage in the Psalm is only given by St. Matthew xxvii.35.
(5.) On an impartial review of these alterations, some seem to be but slight;
others might be nothing but various readings; but others, again, are
undoubtedly designed perversions. There were, however, passages enough left
unaltered and unexpunged by the Marcionites, to establish the reality of
the flesh and blood of Christ, and to prove that the God of the Jews was the
Father of Christ, and of perfect goodness as well as justice. Tertullian,
indeed, observes (chap. xliii.) that "Marcion purposely avoided erasing all
the passages which made against him, that he might with the greater
confidence deny having erased any at all, or at least that what he had
omitted was for very good reasons."
(6.) To show the unauthorized and unwarrantable character of these
alterations, omissions, additions, and corruptions, the Catholic Christians
asserted that their copies of St. Luke's Gospel were more ancient than
Marcion's (so Tertullian in chap. iii. and iv. of this Book iv.); and they
maintained also the genuineness and integrity of the unadulterated Gospel,
in opposition to that which had been curtailed and altered by him (chap. v.).
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