Why I Think Marcion Wrote Luke

The prologues of Luke and Acts were addressed to Theophilus.  It’s been an historical mystery to many Christian scholars regarding who Theophilus was.  But plenty of people believe this is a reference to Theophilus of Antioch (Syria).

For many Christians though, this simply won’t do.  Theophilus was active in the late 2nd century, and much of the Christian narrative relies on these texts being written much earlier than that (at least 60 years earlier).

I’m firmly in the Theophilus-was-Theophilus-of-Antioch camp, and I think the writer of these prologues that addressed Theophilus was a Johannine in Western Turkey – it just makes more sense than any other plausible alternative.  Consider Luke 1:1-2.

Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the WORD.

The writer refers to Jesus as “the word” (the Logos), and also claims that these stories were “handed down” by eyewitnesses.  That’s exactly how a Johannine would put it.  Their demiurge was the Logos (“In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God”).

Additionally, the narrative that seemed to be invented by Irenaeus, writing at the same time as when Theophilus of Antioch was active, was that the author of the Gospel of John was John the apostle, son of Zebedee.  This covers the “first were eyewitnesses” portion of the sentence, as does the Gospel’s Syrian counterpart, the Gospel of Thomas.

There was a rift building between the Johannines in Western Turkey and the Syrian community sometime before the Gospel of John was created, and the rift had to do with how mystical visions should be interpreted, and how much emphasis should be placed on them.

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The Johannines were more conservative in this matter of mystical visions, and the Syrians were more liberal.  As April Deconick notes:

“The Gospel of Thomas contains logia that reflect a knowledge of Jewish mystical traditions…the presence of these sayings suggests that the community…advocated a mystical experience of God.”

Deconick goes on to note the author of John “…argues that faith replaces vision as the vehicle of transformation” (John 20:29), and the author of John “writes of a pre-existent Logos figure who cohabited with God and was given the sole visionary experience of that God”.

Simultaneously, there was another rift:  the rift between the Johannines/Syrians and the Valentinians.  Valentinus claimed to be a student of Theudas (Paul’s disciple), and also claimed to have mystical visionary experiences of Jesus; the Valentinians also appear to have used the Gospel of John, so we do see a plausible link between the Johannines and the Valentinians in this complex matrix.

Could this emerging visionary construct have exacerbated the rift between the Johannines and those who were aligned with them – specifically the Ignatius sect in Syria and the Valentinus sect in Alexandria?  Were the Valentinians the instigators of the rift between the Johannine and the Syrian communities?  Was a battle being waged between the Johannines and the Valentinians to win over the Syrians?  Perhaps this detail was what compelled the Johannines to write these “letters” to Theophilus, the Syrian.  Moreover, perhaps an urgency related to increasing Valentinian influence over the Syrians is what contributed to Irenaeus’ decision to write “Against Heresies” a decade or two later.

Clearly this rift was in full swing by the 1st quarter of the second century (roughly 125CE).  Incidentally, this is the same time when Marcion was accumulating power in the church; therefore, if you are of the opinion that Simon Magus was invented in response to Marcion and his hero, Paul, it would have been sometime between 125 and the 160s when the narrative of Simon Magus was crafted and included in Acts of the Apostles.

If the prologues of Luke and Acts were addressed to the Syrian community, sent by the Johannines, that might indeed imply a cooling of tensions by the latter half of the 2nd century; the Johannine/Syrian rift was replaced by the Johannine/Valentinian rift, or perhaps, the Johannine vs. everyone else rift, if you presume that Irenaeus was a Johannine.

Considering that the Syrian and Western Turkey communities were not too far apart on theology in the first place, this cooling is an easy situation to imagine.  But the Johannines’ core texts were included in the canon, and the Syrians’ were not; this adds weight to the notion that Irenaeus was more closely aligned with the Johannines.

In the geographic and theological space between the Johannines and the Syrians was Marcion.  As I’ve suggested before, I think it was Marcion’s teacher who was called both Cerdo and Cerinthus.  Tradition gives Marcion’s teacher’s name as Cerdo, but that tradition was concocted by people who were writing polemical treatises against Marcion.  This is my own speculation, but if Marcion’s teacher was Cerinthus, and you are of the opinion that Cerinthus wrote the Book of Revelation, then the relationship between Marcion and the Johannines begins to have a lot of explanatory power, in terms of how Marcion’s hero, Paul, managed to work his way into the orthodoxy.

Tertullian says this of Marcion:

He Derives His Proofs from St. Luke’s Gospel; That Being the Only Historical Portion of the New Testament Partially Accepted by Marcion

This is an odd detail for Tertullian to note, even moreso because Marcion was already dead by the time Tertullian was writing; however, consider this paradox I’ve just created in my assumption that the prologues of Luke and Acts were written to Theophilus:  if Marcion was gaining power in the 120s and 130s, how could he have used a text that was composed for a Syrian church member in the 160s (or later)?

To be fair, there are ways around this paradox.  For instance, maybe it was Marcion’s later disciples who used some version of Luke (Lucan perhaps?).  Or, it could be that the bulk of the Gospel of Luke existed for a long time before it was written to Theophilus in the 160s.

Consider this detail:  some people think Marcion wrote part of the Gospel of Mark.  Could the “Partially Accepted” piece of Tertullian’s claim actually be a reference to the Gospel of Mark, the more condensed synoptic gospel, a nuance which may not have been recognized by Tertullian?

It’s an amazing detail how many name duplicates there seem to be in early Christianity: John, Mary, James, Mark.  I think the trick that the church tried to play on its members in the 2nd century was to say that there was a Mark the Evangelist who wrote the Gospel of Mark, and we do indeed see a fingerprint of this “Mark the Evangelist” in Alexandria, where he supposedly formed the Christian church of Alexandria in the mid-1st century.  40 years later (so goes the tradition), the pope of Alexandria was named Cerdo.  Hmmm…

If Marcion did craft part of the synoptic narrative, that would provide a number of explanations.  It would also imply that there is no Q-document, which many scholars suggest supplemented Luke and Matthew’s fictions.  Marcion is Q.

So who wrote the prologues to Acts and Luke?  It might very well have been Irenaeus prior to his declaration of the official 4-gospel canon.  If the Syrians were still using the Gospel of Thomas, sending them Acts and Luke might very well have been with the intention of getting them to replace their core document and replacing them with a Johannine-approved gospel and wisdom.

As to who wrote the core synoptic narrative, I think Marcion, or someone in his circle, played a role in its construction.

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Author: Tim...Stepping Out

Tim Stepping Out

21 thoughts on “Why I Think Marcion Wrote Luke”

  1. I can’t tell if this is serious or not. The Gospel of Luke was written between 58-65 AD. Theophilus of Antioch has nothing to do with the Theophilus that Luke was writing to. Theophilus even quotes the Gospel of Luke as scripture in Tu Autolycus Book 2 Chapter 13. I’m not aware of a single Scholar who actually thinks this.

    Marcion wrote Luke? BAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAH. Marcion, although this was the only text he partially used, radically distorted Luke’s Gospel in order to make it fit his agenda. Please see what the actual Scholars are saying on this issue. You should also probably read Tertullian’s work a little more, especially since Tertullian himself attributed Luke’s Gospel to the actual, historical Luke mentioned by Paul in Colossians 4:14, 2 Timothy 4:11, and Philemon 1:24 from the first century.

    Some people think Marcion wrote Mark? This guy needs to get off his cocaine. The Gospel of Mark was getting quoted as early as 70 AD by Clement of Rome, and was attributed to the actual Mark as early as 95-110 AD by Papias.

    “Marcion was Q”

    Oh my…. Oh my… Please talk to a Scholar.

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    1. At the time I wrote this, Marcion’s Gospel as Q made more sense than it does now (in my mind). I don’t believe that anymore, as I think Q is unnecessary.

      You are mistaken about Luke’s timeline. Serious scholars put the earliest Synoptic Gospel, Mark, at around 70…I propose it could not have been earlier than 75, as it seems familiar with both the destruction of the temple, as well as making references to Josephus’ Wars of the Jews.

      “Marcion, although this was the only text he partially used, radically distorted Luke’s Gospel in order to make it fit his agenda”
      That’s what Irenaeus (and Tertullian, et al) said…of course that raises the question – why do you believe that? Some scholars, including Robert M Price, don’t believe Marcion even used a Gospel. My speculation is that a Cerinthian community, wrote Mark, and there were later redactions which inserted an anti-Cephas polemic based on Marcion’s Galatians…that’s what it seems like to me, anyway.

      I have indeed consulted scholarly work. The reason I’m so interested in this topic is because scholarly consensus is often either lacking, widely varying, and in many cases, ridiculously fallacious (ie the notion that any of the Synoptics were written before the temple’s destruction).

      By the way – you’re too early on Clement of Rome. I don’t see any serious scholars putting him in the 70s (although I’m sure Christian theologians gleefully put him early to reinforce their own faith). Some scholars (Larry Welborn – “On the Date of First Clement” 1984) put him as late as the 130s to 140.

      Also, Colossians is generally considered inauthentic, and all 3 pastorals are almost entirely rejected as authentic.

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      1. Quoting Robert Price? You might as well quote Richard Carrier of D.M. Murdock if you’re trying to reference the least credible person in the field.

        Luke is not familiar with either the work of Josephus, nor destruction of the temple. The destruction was miraculously prophesied in the Old Testament, so Luke would only need familiarity with the OT to record this.

        As for the date of Clement, this is a serious Scholarly dating which has more evidence for it than any other possible contender. http://www.churchinhistory.org/s3-gospels/dating-clement.htm

        As for the supposed “non-authentic Oauline letters”, Michael Licona has already responded to Bart Ehrman’s book, Forged.http://www.risenjesus.com/review-of-bart-ehrmans-book-forged-writing-in-the-name-of-god

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      2. You realize you told me my sources are not credible, then you quoted a guy whose website is “risenjesus.com”? Serious scholars put the Synoptics between 70 and 95, and a growing number of scholars are putting them later than that. Mark is certainly aware of Josephus’ Wars, and Luke came after Mark. This is almost universally accepted in serious scholarly circles. Mark is also aware of the temple’s destruction, and makes references to the story Josephus told of Jesus ben Ananias.

        You’re wrong about Clement. The inclination to put him early is dogma-based. Scholars who aren’t apologists don’t date him that early. The link you gave regarding dating of Clement also appears to advocate a Matthew priority…that position has long since been debunked, and for good reason.

        BTW – about halfway through Licona’s review, and it’s ridiculous – filled with logical fallacies and ridiculous, frankly embarrassing assertions. No serious scholar believes the pastorals are authentic, so his statement “there is evidence of varying weight in support of the traditional authorship of each of the 27 books and letters in the New Testament” is patently absurd, and transparently motivated by a desire to defend biblical inerrancy…nothing more.

        I’m sorry, but you need to find better scholars to quote

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      3. Michael Licona, whom is the author of risenjesus.com, is a VERY credible and respected Scholar. Conspiracy theorists like Robert Price aren’t.

        “a growing number of Scholars are putting them later”

        Citation definitely needed.

        The majority definitely put them between 70-96 AD, however that is because of the temple destruction thing, however many of these people do not know about is the miraculous prophecy of this from the Old Testament, which was written hundreds of years before the destruction actually happened. So they could easily simply be quoting that prophecy.

        There are no Gospel references to the work of Josephus. You clearly contradict yourself, you first try to cite the Scholarly opinion on Scholarly dating, which would put Mark without question at 65-75 AD (according to Bart Ehrman), but then fallaciously claim it references the work of Josephus, which was written decades after Mark based on this Scholarly dating.

        Matthew priority? Not only do I have any idea what that means, nor do I care, because it does no such thing. The link, with overwhelming evidence dates Clement, and also tries to date the Shepard of Hermas work (albeit with not as good of an argument). It’s hilarious you claim a 70 AD dating is dogma dating, when of course this is nothing more than an ad hominem, ignoring the overwhelming evidence. Even that Atheist hard@$$ Richard Carrier thinks its from 70 AD, because the evidence simply factually proves this.

        You go on to say a lot of nonsense about Licona, which is just a bare assertion fallacy because none of it is backed up. Do all Scholars reject the Pauline epistles? No. Many Scholars accept them, including Michael Licona, whom refuted Ehrman’s book, as he showed that those epistles could have been written by a secretary, and thus by Ehrman’s own admission, virtually all his objections to the authenticity of the passage fail.

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      4. I’m sure Licona is credible among Christian apologists.

        As far as dating, see Hermann Detering. Mark 13:14-18 seems to refer to events under Hadrian in 135. Also, all the references to the Pharisees suggests later than 70, as it was the Sadduccees were in control of the local government prior to the 1st war. If Mark wanted to condemn Jewish leadership, why does he target Pharisees and not Sadduccees? Frankly, Mark’s unfamiliarity with Judean culture and geography contributes to its ambiguity.

        “There are no Gospel references to the work of Josephus”
        Mark and Revelation are both aware of Josephus’ Wars…it’s my suspicion that Theudas was the real historical person underlying John the Baptist, and that the John the Baptist blurb (in Antiquities, I think…) is a Eusebius interpolation, just like the Flavium Testimonium. Of course, Acts references (and misquotes) Josephus, creating the Theudas problem, which puts Theudas chronologically earlier than Judas of Galilee, despite Josephus’ clear assertion that Judas of Galilee was decades earlier.

        “Matthew priority?”
        Matthew priority is the notion that Matthew preceded Mark. It didn’t. Of course, the next question becomes why the hell Matthew would need to rely on Mark so much.

        The Shepard of Hermas is probably mid-2nd century – the 11th mandate appears to make reference to Marcion.

        There is really no debate among real scholars about the inauthenticity of the Pastorals. It’s overwhelmingly assumed, given textual analysis. Walter Bujard in “Stilanalytische Untersuchungen zum Kolosserbrief als Beitrag zur Methodik von Sprachvergleichen” demolished the notion that Colossians is authentic, as well.

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      5. You might need to re-check that polldaddy link, it’s not working at all (unless by working, you mean sending me to a page filled with random jumbles of letters)

        I searched Mark 13:14-18, and upon seeing it, I figured out exactly the ridiculous conspiracy theory you’re talking about. No, it does not refer to that guy (forgot his name) who led some revolt. You’re also going to have to give me a citation to;

        1. Saudacees being in complete control, not Pharisees in any way
        2. Mark referencing Pharisees so much (even though I’m VERY sure he also talks about Saudacees)

        Mark’s lack of speaking about Jewish culture is utterly irrelevant. I can show you that Matthew is DEEEEPLY knowledged to an extreme degree in regards to this (as he was a former Jew who could speak Hebrew, to say the least).

        “Mark and Revelation are both aware of Josephus’ Wars…”

        Not true.

        “Matthew priority is the notion that Matthew preceded Mark. It didn’t. Of course, the next question becomes why the hell Matthew would need to rely on Mark so much.”

        Clearly a nonsense argument. Matthew likely predates Mark, I have a lot of evidence for this that I can share in my next reply. You say Matthew relied on Mark, however it could easily be Mark relying on Matthew. Presupposing that it goes one way for no reason is simply biased. The Shepard of Hermas, from what I’ve seen of the Scholars, is likely 120-160 AD, however there’s a small possibility for an 80 AD dating (which I personally do not accept at all, but no Scholar can deny it’s out there). I would agree with you that it is mid second century.

        As for the “textual evidence”, which was what I, as well as Licona, were talking about. If Paul used a secretary for use of the debated epistles, then as even Bart Ehrman admits “Virtually all of the problems with what I’ve been calling forgeries can be solved if secretaries were heavily involved in the composition of the early Christian writings.”. The problem for Ehrman is, he also admits that there is no doubt among Scholars that Paul did in fact use secretaries to produce his writings. Let me show you one prime example that shuts down any idea of a counter-argument against this from Paul’s accepted letter, Romans.

        I, Tertius, who write this letter greet you in the Lord. (Rom 16:22)

        Tertius was a secretary that Paul used to write Romans. Do you not see? There is of course debate, as Licona shows. This is an obvious, Scholarly response. Licona writes further about secretaries, but you would have known this if you read the full thing.

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      6. “I can show you that Matthew is DEEEEPLY knowledged”
        Yes – Matthew is an Ebionite text – the Ebionites had similar views to Cerinthus, in that they saw the Christ and Jesus as separate entities. The Ebionites rewrote Mark because they differed with the Docetists on who the high God was (Ir AH 1.26.1 and 1.26.2) – in other words, Mark’s original author did not see Jesus’ God as the God of Abraham, and Matthew wrote to advocate Yahweh and to inject an anti-Paul sentiment (ex. Mark 9:38-40 vs Matthew 7:21-23, Matthew 12:30, Matthew 5:19)

        Matthew does not predate Mark. Sorry. Theologians and apologists have always been desperate to put Matthew before Mark, but it just isn’t so, and round after round of analysis demonstrates the Matthew is clearly copying Mark. Mark was written in Greek relying on the Septuagint to quote scripture, and Matthew was originally written in Hebrew. Matthew’s references to the Old Testament are translations back to Hebrew from Mark’s Greek use of the Septuagint; in other words, Matthew is not quoting the Hebrew version of the Old Testament, he’s quoting Mark’s Septuagint. See Dale Allison, Sermon on the Mount

        As far as the Pastorals, aside from textual style and different Christology, another clue is that Marcion didn’t use them in his canon, which is a devastating indictment of their authenticity. Nor did the Valentinians. Why would Paul’s biggest fans omit those letters?

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      7. Matthew is an Ebionite? Sorry buddy, absurd conspiracy theories don’t qualify as an argument. I shall now point out a MAJOR PROBLEM in the entirety of your view, that shall force you to re-think the entirety of your conspiracies.

        When it suits you, you LOVE APPEALING to majority opinion in the Scholarly field, such as in regards to the authenticity of certain Pauline epistles. However, ALMOST EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOUR CLAIMS is 95-99% rejected by the academic community. Thus, you must now take this into account.

        Matthew definitely dates to the first century, and Ebionism is a second century gnostic view. Matthew is quoted by Clement of Rome, whom wrote as 70 AD, and at the latest by any reasonable view, 96 AD based on the evidence (no other view bears evidence, 70 AD is overwhelmingly favored by the evidence). Thus, Matthew predates Ebionism. No question.

        “rewrote Mark”

        Conspiracy theory, exactly no evidence to substantiate whatsoever, entirely dismissed, as it is dismissed by 100% of credible Scholars.

        Matthew predates Mark. There are a few lines of evidence to substantiate this fact.

        For one, Origen makes the following statement, writing from 185-254 AD;

        ““In his first book on Matthew’s Gospel, maintaining the Canon of the Church, he testifies that he knows only four Gospels, writing as follows: Among the four Gospels, which are the only indisputable ones in the Church of God under heaven, I have learned by tradition that the first was written by Matthew, who was once a publican, but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, and it was prepared for the converts from Judaism, and published in the Hebrew language. The second is by Mark, who composed it according to the instructions of Peter, who in his Catholic epistle acknowledges him as a son, saying, ‘The church that is at Babylon elected together with you, salutes you, and so does Marcus, my son.’ 1 Peter 5:13 And the third by Luke, the Gospel commended by Paul, and composed for Gentile converts. Last of all that by John.””

        He clearly says Matthew is first and Mark is second. It can also be debated whether the lost portion of the Muratorian Canon (170 AD) also said Mark is second from Scholarly reconstructions of the text. Origen is reasonably early.

        Secondly, the ordering of the New Testament. The New Testament was not randomly ordered when it first got printed, the New Testament had been ordered, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, etc, from at least 200 AD as far as we have manuscripts. The ancient and earliest Christians put Matthew before Mark, likely in accordance with it being earlier.

        Matthew was not originally in Hebrew. This was an early Christian misconception. There are some texts in Matthew in the Greek that do not have a Hebrew equivalent, so Scholars reject such a hypothesis.

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      8. “ALMOST EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOUR CLAIMS is 95-99% rejected by the academic community. ”
        Source? Demonstrate to me that 95-99% of the academic community rejects Marcan authority.

        “Matthew definitely dates to the first century, and Ebionism is a second century gnostic view. ”

        Matthew might indeed date to the tail end of the 1st century, but it’s not the first. You are in a stark minority by presuming Matthew precedes Mark. I’m certain early Christian fathers believed (and advocated) Matthew’s priority, but they were incorrect, and textual analysis confirms that.

        The Ebionites were not Gnostic, and do not seem to have had a complex cosmology the way the Sethians or Valentinians (etc) did – the Naasseenes were Gnostic, and were likely an offshoot of the Ebionites, as were the Nazarenes, who seem to have invented the virgin birth, probably sometime before 150. The major deviation the Ebionites had from the pre-Orthodoxy is that they did not believe in the virgin birth or bodily resurrection. It seems to me the Ebionites were much earlier – and are found in the Galatians as Paul’s “men from James,” “remember the poor” [Ebion=poor in Hebrew], and the men who tried to make them “slaves” (to the law). See Irenaeus AH 1.26.2 – they used Matthew, they hated Paul, and they were adherent to the Jewish law.

        “For one, Origen makes the following statement…”
        The Orthodox narrative had emerged by Origen’s time – from what I can tell, the pre-Orthodoxy underwent its most significant evolution between the time of Justin Martyr and Irenaeus. The trouble for the Orthodoxy was that they hijacked a religion that was not founded in Judea, yet whose character was based in Judea – this becomes evident upon analysis of Mark, along with clear correlations between the so-called heretical sects and the gospels they used (for instance, the Docetics used Mark, the Ebionites used Matthew, the Marcionites used Luke, and the Valentinians used John). Of course, the real reason why an apologist ought to be compelled to argue for Matthew’s priority is because Mark’s priority throws into question the whole story that was assembled by an emerging Orthodoxy – for instance, notice the anti-apostolic sentiment within Mark. Why should Mark’s author treat the apostles (specifically Peter) so unkindly? It’s because Mark’s author was in a sect which revered Paul, and they had read Galatians.

        Why was it a dove that descended on Jesus after his baptism? Because that was indicative of the Christ descending on Jesus, just like what Cerinthus held (AH 1.26.1). Why does the Gospel of John adjust Mark’s theology by introducing the Logos, and it becoming flesh? Because that’s what the Valentinians believed. Of course, the Logos as a concept predated Christianity by several hundred years….

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      9. Sorry bud, but the cold hard fact is virtually none of your conspiracy views have more than 3% of the academic community. I’m only aware of two Scholars, absolute maximum (Price and Carrier) who support such utter and clear nonsense.

        Search up “define ebionites” on Google. It’s really that simple. Ebioinism is a gnostic, second century view.

        In my last comment, I presented good, historical evidence in support of Matthew predating Mark. As we have seen, you have no evidence that Mark predates Matthew, you just make up yet another conspiracy to try to evade it. I read your comment, and find virtually every sentence has not a scratch of evidence to support it.

        Mark is anti-Peter? Since when? LOL. I’ve read the entirety of Mark’s Gospel, and have never seen such a thing. I keep hearing of it on the internet, but I’ve never seen it substantiated.

        100% of credible Scholars reject Marcion authoring any of the four Gospels, precisely because:

        1. It’s impossible for VAST NUMBERS OF REASONS.

        2. The authors of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Not Marcion.

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      10. I don’t think you understand what Gnostic means. The Valentinians and Sethians were Gnostic. The Ebionites were not, nor were the Marcionites. The term Gnostic is often clumsily used, but the Ebionites were absolutely not Gnostic; in fact, the Ebionites probably emerged in response to a movement towards Gnosticism, which shunned the material world. The Ebionites’ anti-Cerinthus response (AH 1.26.2) sought to reintegrate Yahweh into Christianity after Cerinthus took it out, which would imply a re-valuation of material – the reason Cerinthus, Marcion, Valentinus, et al posited a fall from the Godhead is because of their presumptions that the material realm was inferior to the highest God’s pleroma/Platonic land of forms.

        You can present all the evidence you want to support Matthew priority, but you’re still in the stark minority, and it would seem your faith is inhibiting you from the healthy skepticism that a person with “Scientific” as an adjective in their name ought to have.

        Mark is very anti-Peter – “get behind me Satan”, “you will deny me 3 times”…it’s anti-Peter. It really couldn’t be more obvious. Mark treats the apostles very unkindly throughout the Gospel.

        “The authors of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Not Marcion.”
        Bahaha. I suppose you’re going to say it was John the Apostle who wrote John’s gospel!?! The reason Matthew priority is so important to apologists is because an apostle (Matthew/Levi) would have never needed to copy the work of an interpreter (Mark). The truth is these texts are anonymous via their invocation of the Greek word Kata – they admitted anonymous authorship via use of that term!

        I’m gonna call it here, because the positions you’re advocating aren’t even majority opinions of Christian scholars anymore. What you’re doing is nothing more than apologetics.

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      11. You keep telling me that the Ebionites weren’t Gnostic, but anyone who searches “define Ebionite” on Google will get this:
        one of a Judaistic Christian Gnostic sect of the 2d century a.d. that observed the Jewish law in part, rejected St. Paul, accepted only the Gospel of Matthew, and held an adoptionist Christology

        Gnostic…. Certainly you do not think only Valentinians and Sethians were the only Gnostics, correct? Anyways, I’m well aware I’m in the minority on the issue of Matthew predating Mark, but you’re in the minority for pretty much all of your views, and so clearly you must realize that this is a complete non-argument.

        I’ve given good evidence for my position. What else can someone who is interested in science and academia do? Correct, ‘Scientific’ is in my name, that’s why I substantiated my views with evidence, rather than asserted it without any.

        You go on to say Mark is anti-Peter, by citing “get behind me Satan”. I searched this in Google, and found it in not only Mark, but Matthew as well. Matthew hates Peter? The “you will deny me three times” not only appears in Mark, but also in Matthew and Luke. Clearly, this is a non-argument, Mark is just writing the history as it went.

        Anyways, what is this “Kata” Greek word, where does it appear, and how do they “admit anonymity”? This sounds to me like another one of your conspiracies, and so I’ll give you a chance to back it up before calling you a conspiracy theorist again..

        “is nothing more than apologetics”

        I seriously hate this joker nonsense, especially when it’s said by someone who thinks Marcion wrote Luke. Anyways, this is obviously a dishonest ad hominem attack, and I shall now destroy you by showing you do not even know what the word means, by giving you its dictionary definition.

        apologetics: reasoned arguments or writings in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine

        Search it up. Reasoned arguments? Sounds like a Freudian Slip on your part.

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    2. I find your entire argument to be based on childish and juvenile attempts at evasion and your knowledge of academia to be wholly wanting. The best course to take with the available evidence is Marcion priority, as almost every Christian in the second century is aware of him, yet no one — not even Theophilus of Antioch — quotes or mentions Luke until Irenaeus.

      You then argue consensus, yet there isn’t a consensus as to the proper method of dating these texts, with very credible scholars proposing date ranges from 60-145ad for the emergence of all books in the New Testament.

      All of our Gospels, and even Paul, make numerous allusions to events that only occurred during Hadrian’s rule. This places them at 135ad at the earliest. Absolutely no canonical Gospel in their current form existed before this date.

      Your dates are all messed up, infected by apologetics. 1 Clement is 140’s ad, Papias, anywhere from 140-160ad. This also puts Justin as an early witness to Mark. Yet with all of them, they are very ambiguous as to what this text was or what was written in it.

      So you should stick to Christianity, and let the thinking be done by adults.

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      1. You are enormously pompous, I can’t believe I actually read something like your comment and the fact that I have to come to terms that it was written by someone who isn’t an actual monkey. Indeed, your comment ends in a richly bombastic way, saying that I should “stick to Christianity and let the thinking be done by adults.” As I’ll demonstrate in a second, you’ve done a terrible job at thinking like an adult.

        Let’s begin with academia, of course. You say my “knowledge of academia to be wholly wanting”, when your of the opinion that Marcion wrote Luke, something that has not a single defendant in all of academia today. In fact, in the entire last half millennium, only one historian has ever argued that Marcion wrote Luke, and this occurred in the 19th century by a rather marginal academic. As F.F. Bruce notes, one of the worlds top biblical scholars of the entire 20th century, this represent a serious divergence from scholarship.

        However, you continue demonstrating your lack of familiarity with scholarship. You date 1 Clement to 140 AD, even though the current consensus ever since J.B. Lightfoot was that it was written in and around the 90’s AD, you date Papias to 140-160 AD even though that view died off a few decades ago (the current consensus is c. 130 AD, scholarship in recent years has been moving to about 95-110 AD, see http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/26/26-2/26-2-pp181-191_JETS.pdf), and you claim credible scholars put Luke as far as 145 AD in its composition, which is flat-out false. There are a few scholars here and there today that would push Luke as far as 100 AD, but those are few in number and Luke is mostly thought to have been written in the 80’s AD.

        You continue elaborating on your misunderstanding of academia when you say this;

        “You then argue consensus, yet there isn’t a consensus as to the proper method of dating these texts, with very credible scholars proposing date ranges from 60-145ad for the emergence of all books in the New Testament.”

        Of course, this is an OBVIOUS misunderstanding from whatever you’ve read. Whoever you’ve read is saying that the first books of the NT appeared in 60 AD and the very final (not Luke) appeared in 145 AD (they’re probably hypothesizing about 2 Peter and Jude there). So, it appears that it is your understanding of academia that is wanting.

        It’s well known that Marcion didn’t write Luke, Marcion took the Gospel which had already been written and then edited everything he didn’t like in it so that it fit with his worldview (hence why so many early Christians accused him of being a heretic).

        So, not only have you literally zero knowledge of the dates of key church history letters, you know nothing about the consensus of the academy whatsoever. You claim that the Gospels and Paul make note and allude to events that only occurred under Hadrian’s rule, which is of course flat out fictitious and we literally have a fragment of the Gospel of John that dates to about c. 125 AD (P52). Clement and Papias were both making use of the New Testament works (many many of them) in 95 and 95-110 AD, and Ignatius, a Christian writer of 105 AD also makes use of them. You’ve apparently never heard of Ignatius — neither have you heard of Polycarp, another early Christian writer who made extensive use of the NT works in 125 AD. Hegesippus does the same in 135 AD, and that’s not to mention the many early apocryphal works that exaggerate the Gospel accounts. Goodness, there are almost innumerable early documents using the Christian accounts. Thus, your entire position shatters under its own weight.

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    3. Unlike Tim I have neither the the wherewithal or the patients to pick through your abortive attempts ar scholasticism. Rather, I will simply go on a point by point basis and ignore any reply you give in future.

      First point, no one has ever claimed that Marcion wrote Luke. Not Knox, Tyson, Detering or Vinzent. What has been argued is that Marcion’s text served as a basis for Luke. This comes about from 1) the close similarities between Luke and what appears in Tertullian, Adamantius, and Epiphanius, and 2) the fact that no one knows of Luke — the Gospel or the Evangelist — until AFTER Marcion. Not Papias, Polycarp, Clement, Ignatius, or Justin.

      I have my own ideas, theories, speculations and beliefs as to what Marcion’s text was, because it’s clear that Tertullian can’t be trusted with his information (he claims on five different occasions that I am aware of that Marcion removed material from Luke that was not even in Luke, but Matthew), and Epiphanius’s claim of possessing Marcion’s text is made suspicious when one compares the information contained in it to Marcion’s Apostolikon. Indeed, Tertullian argued that Marcion left in material that would shrink the light of suspicion on him as a redactor. Does that argument make any sense? Especially when compared to Irenaeus’s statement that Luke was used by the Carporcratians, or the aside in Origen where it seems the Basilideans used Luke as well. With so many Gnostic groups claiming these texts as their own, what possible advantage would Marcion have at truncating their texts?

      Second point, the date for Clement remains firmly within the period of the forties of the first century. What’s more is that he never — NEVER — quotes any New Testament text and says directly “from the Gospel of ___________.” The fact that he utilizes pagan beliefs about the Phoenix to argue resurrection, instead of, you know? The bloody Gospels! shows that even in his day, early or not, the Gospels had not yet achieved the height of authority that they did with Irenaeus, who is the absolute earliest witness to a tetra-Evangelium, a fourfold Gospel. (Nope, not even Tatian, who only appended the Memoirs of his teacher, and the Syrian Gospel of John). Hegesippus only knew of two Gospels: one in Hebrew and the other in Syriac; and Papias only knew of two Gospels, neither of which appears to be our Mark and Matthew.

      Given the political and religious milieu of post-Hadrian Judaism, the Gospels clearly had a better advantage with being written, when Judaism was outlawed and Torah banned from the empire. Not even the Jewish-Roman war resulted with such treatment. This is why arguments for a 70-90ad period for the Gospels being written is simply redundant. There was not a need for either them or Christianity. After Hadrian and bar Kochba, you better believe there would need to be a reason for them both.

      As for P52: modern dating actually pushes it to the late second to early third century. Just shows how skewed your assessment is when studying actual modern scholarship. Bruce? Lightfoot? Hegesippus at 140ad? You need to get with the times if you want to use academia as an argument. You need to use modern academia.

      And, no, when I said they date these texts anywhere from 60-145ad, I meant that the place these texts from within this period. Some argue for a date range of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John from about 60-90ad. Others have argued for 70-100ad. Still others have argued for 80-110ad. And still others have argued for a date range of 100-145ad. But ultimately there is not a unified or consensus verdict on the matter, because people come their dates based, not on methodology or evidence, but of their own beliefs and preconceptions. It’s why Markan priority has hindered so much of academia for so long. Instead of realizing what the actual original Evangelium was, they hold fast to their Mark text because it proves what they want to believe, and not what actually was.

      But that’s not relevant here.

      I have no interest in communicating with you further. Any future responses will be ignored.

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      1. “I have no interest in communicating with you further.”

        A quick, easy admission of defeat. It’s quickly clear even to you that your entire position is on the brink of self-collapse, and so defending your thesis further is … impossible. Nevertheless, in case you’re ever interested in proper history, my response can be found below.

        To begin with, since you’re so interested in “what scholars think”, I’ll quickly name a number of your positions that have not a single defendant in the world in the modern academy (as in academics working in their field in colleges/universities), here’s a list:

        -Marcion priority
        -Marcion was used as a basis for Luke
        -Clement written in the 40’s (?????)
        -Gospel dates after 100 AD for any Gospel besides John

        This is because, of course, these positions seem to be literally your own confection. Clement, ever since Lightfoot, is dated by virtually all academics to the 90’s AD. According to Bart Ehrman, he can tell you “for 20 minutes straight” why 1 Clement dates to the 90’s. The only people who disagree with him are the scholars who date it to the 70’s (strangely including the mythicist hero, Richard Carrier). To date, you continue pretending as if your positions have any relevance to academics, yet you disastrously fail to quote any modern historian to support your claims.

        “What’s more is that he never — NEVER — quotes any New Testament text and says directly “from the Gospel of ___________.””

        This is simply disingenuous, since Clement outright quoted the Gospels. If you’d actually read Clement’s letters, you’d know better then to say something as unbelievable as that. Here’s an example of Clement flat out quoting the Gospels, the fact that Clement doesn’t mention the word “Gospel” is irrelevant since he never names the sources he quotes even though he goes through half the OT and half the NT;

        Remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, how He said, “Woe to that man! It were better for him that he had never been born, than that he should cast a stumbling-block before one of my elect. Yea, it were better for him that a millstone should be hung about [his neck], and he should be sunk in the depths of the sea, than that he should cast a stumbling-block before one of my little ones.”

        That’s a flat out quotation of either Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:42, or Luke 17:2. Simply read through 1 Clement and you’ll find numerous quotations of Paul’s letters, Gospels, and some from Acts. Whoever wrote Luke, we also know wrote Acts, and so since Luke-Acts is quoted by Clement is necessarily dates before Clement. This is why no scholar in the world to my knowledge dates Luke after Clement today, or any other Gospel (except possibly John) for that matter. You also claim the modern consensus of P52, a manuscript published by C.H. Roberts, is the end of the second century to the third century, however that’s flat-out false, the consensus is still 125 AD — there have been, of course, a few scholars that have argued for a later date, however papyrological scholars have now settled on about 125 AD. See;

        Roberts concluded that the fragment is to be dated to the first half of the second century. Almost immediately after Robert’s publication, several other scholars attempted to refine the dates, such as the reign of Hardian (117-138), and more particularly, 117-20; and possibly to the reign of Trajan (98-117 AD). Recent discussions by papyrologists and New Testament textual critics has settled on the date of ca. 125 AD, give or take twenty-five years.

        *Porter, Stanley E. John, His Gospel, and Jesus: In Pursuit of the Johannine Voice. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2015. pg. 21

        I think that settles it. P52 was found in Egypt, meaning that by ca. 125 AD, John’s Gospel was around long enough to have reached Egypt, which makes sense understanding the consensus dating of about 90-100 AD, and of course, John being the latest Gospel, the others all predate 90 AD (again, in line with the consensus you’re unfamiliar with). You appear to presume you know something all other academics in the world do not so that you come to these wildly different conclusions from professionals. So what exactly do you, an internet mythicist know, that the academy doesn’t? I think I’ve made the evidence absolute here.

        You go on to tell me that the Gospels were “needed” in Hadrian’s time but not earlier — no evidence is given here, and there’s no evidence to suggest that the Gospels were only written when their existence was absolutely critical. All our records on Marcion tell us he just edited Luke to fit his biases and ignored the Gospels he didn’t like.

        By the way, I searched up the very first chapter of Ignatius and found he quotes Ephesians right almost right away. He quotes 1 Corinthians 1:10 in the second chapter, 1 Corinthians 11:1 in the third chapter, etc, etc, etc. But the important thing is that he also quotes John 8:29 in the third chapter, and since we know Ignatius wrote ca. 105 AD, your case implodes yet again. I didn’t look much further than the third chapter (by the way, I’m talking about his Ignatius’ letters to the Ephesians).

        I could go on and on… There’s a reason why the academy agrees with me (as I’ve repeatedly quoted from them above) and Marcion priority is not even a thing in modern scholarship.

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  2. I recommend: Klinghardt, M.: Das älteste Evangelium und die Entstehung der kanonischen Evangelien (TANZ 60), Tübingen 2015. Peeters will publish the English translation in 2017.

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