To Strain Anti-Marcionite Credulity No More

or, Socratic-Scientific Questions for Those Still Under the Foolish, Biased, Fideistic Assumption that Gospel of Marcion was Based on Early-Orthodox/Canonical Luke

1. How do you explains dozens of Lukan passages, including many of the best known and elegant Lukan stories and parables, being completely missing from GMarc? Do you really buy the claims of the proto-orthodox heresiologists that Marcion’s heretical views actually led him to remove many of the following passages from his gospel entirely, and that all the rest are explained by random lacunae?

From the extended introduction (Luke 1-4): the Prologue, Birth of John foretold, Annunciation, Visitation, Birth of John the Baptist, Nativity, Adoration of the Infant Jesus, introduction of John the Baptist, John preaching repentance, John preaching to tax collectors, John preaching Jesus as the messiah, the genealogy of Jesus, the baptism of Jesus, the temptation of Jesus.

From the middle of Luke (5-21): reason for speaking in parables, interpretation of parable of the sower, strange exorcist, decision to go to Jerusalem, woes against Galilean towns, Good Samaritan, visit to Mary and Martha, return of the unclean spirit, the simple eye, treasures in heaven, repentance or destruction, warning against Herod, lament over Jerusalem, conditions of discipleship, insipid salt, Prodigal Son, faith like a mustard seed, unprofitable servants, Jesus weeps over Jerusalem, cleansing of the temple, parable of the wicked tenants, widow’s mite.

From the passion and resurrection of Luke (22-24): precedence among disciples, Pilate declaring Jesus innocent, road to Golgotha, the two bandits, two of the three last sayings of Jesus on the cross, the ascension.

2. Why are numerous, frequently recurring, characteristic features of the redactor of Luke almost entirely absent from GMarc? Just how skillful an editor do you imagine Marcion was if he could pull off the erasure of almost every trace of all of the following frequently occurring Lukan rhetorical devices?

Cities, crowds, honorific titles for Jesus, hospitality protocols, complaints against Jesus, deference to authority/procedure, dramatization, ethical/philosophical discourse, expanded storytelling, female disciple piety, historiographical/genealogical details, expressions of Jewish ritual/temple piety, LXX devotion/quotations/use, Matthean motifs (e.g., virgin birth, scripture fulfillment, “kingdom of heaven”), additional characters, narrative journeys and geographical names, oracular-poetic speeches, salvation-history fulfillment, stories within stories, and synkrisis (not just on wealth and poverty, but also male/female, piety/impiety, etc.).


Funny, if I didn’t know better, I’d say that all of the above represents a massive redactional program undertaken for the second major edition of Luke jointly with Acts, a redaction that relies at numerous points on Matthew and even John!

A couple Socratic questions for those finding themselves more and more persuaded about my hypotheses to reconstruct GMarc and Qn and about Mark and Qn being the only two sources used by GMarc.

1. Why when GMarc texts represent traditions absent from Mark or Matthew, they happen to be some of our most densely and faithfully attested traditions in GMarc and consistently focused on the ethics of wealth and poverty? E.g., Woes, Rich Man and Lazarus, Rich Fool, Warning against Avarice, etc.

2. Why when traditional Q passages don’t happen to appear in GMarc does the text of Late Luke happen to follow Matthew so densely and closely? Starting a list: 6.41-42;