Summary Highlights of the Newly Reconstructed Third Gospel (GMarc, 80s CE)

Again, as a courtesy to readers, I distill down the highlights from my findings about the Gospel of Marcion (GMarc), the third major Gospel compilation created and popularized in the Jesus tradition. Building on the initial 135 page elaboration of my ten Socratic assumptions and five theses about the Gospel of Marcion, followed by 225 pages of proofs of my five scientifically testable hypotheses, I am continuing to reconstruct the text of GMarc and Qn (the First Gospel) carefully each day.

  1. GMarc had two and only two sources: Qn (50-65 CE) and Mark (70s CE). Dozens of signal transmissions of diverse types confirm this, even when using only minimalist reconstructions / critical editions.
  2. GMarc was not a later text influenced by Matthew; instead, GMarc was an earlier source consistently used by Matthew. Again, dozens of signal transmissions of diverse types confirm this, both for materials sourced in Qn and Mark.
  3. GMarc was more of an inspirational source than a verbatim textual source for the Gospel of John. Only a few clear signal transmissions appear, but broader narrative frames and themes (e.g., the miraculous catch of fish, post-resurrection appearance tied to eating fish, Dionysian images for Jesus) are clear.
  4. GMarc was not based on Late/Canonical Late; instead, GMarc was the base text and a distinct, earlier source for Luke, which itself postdated Matthew and John. Dozens of diverse signal transmissions confirm this, as do the next several points.
  5. Almost all of the most artistically powerful and thematically distinctive stories, episodes, teachings, and elements in Luke were not just randomly missing or later excised from GMarc; they were never a part of it: prologue, birth of John foretold, annunciation, visitation, birth of John the Baptist, nativity, adoration of the infant Jesus, John preaching repentance, John preaching to tax collectors, genealogy of Jesus, the baptism of Jesus, temptation of Jesus, decision to go to Jerusalem, woes against Galilean towns, Good Samaritan, visit to Mary and Martha, warning against Herod, Prodigal Son, weeping over Jerusalem, widow’s mite, Pilate declaring Jesus innocent, lamenting women, the divergent criminals, two of the last sayings of Jesus, and the ascension.
  6. GMarc is missing almost every trace of an array of major, distinctive, skillful and learned editorial tendencies in Luke-Acts: hospitality protocols, complaints against Jesus, deference to authority, awareness of legal procedure, internal dialogue, female disciple piety, genealogical details, expressions of temple piety, LXX devotion/quotations/use, Matthean motifs (e.g., virgin birth, scripture fulfillment, “kingdom of heaven”), additional characters, oracular-poetic speeches, salvation-history fulfillment, stories within stories, and ethical character contrasts of male/female and piety/impiety (not just wealth/poverty), etc. Other Lukan redactional/rhetorical tendencies are mostly missing from GMarc: dramatization, collective speech, expanded storytelling, geographical place names, historiographical notices, a focus on travel, etc.
  7. The editor of GMarc (LkR1) tended to stick close to his two sources in content, though he did take liberty to reword source material, create transitions between source materials, and abridge Markan wordiness. These minor edits tend to play up themes of amazement at Jesus’ teaching and miracles and Jesus’ piety in seeking solitude and prayer.
  8. The editor of GMarc (LkR1) tended to stay close to the order of materials within his sources, never reordering them, occasionally leaving out whole episodes, and attempting to reconcile his sources by moving strategically between them. The Markan healing of Peter’s mother-in-law is excluded early on because it interfered with the transition to the Nazareth opening of Qn. Most of Mark is excluded not because specific episodes are skipped but instead because the GMarc editor followed Qn as his main source.
  9. The editor of GMarc (LkR1) rarely added new episodes or created new material, but when he did, it tended to be focused on fish, the revelation of Jesus through tokens, partnership among the apostles, Peter’s self-deprecation, and the portrayal of Jesus as a new Dionysus. The miraculous catch of fish (5.1-11) is the epitome of the creativity of LkR1 (the editor of GMarc), but the two supplemental resurrection appearance stories in GMarc—not originally a part of Qn—also recall these themes.
  10. When Critical Edition of Q (CEQ) passages are attested in GMarc, Luke tends to follow GMarc much more closely than Matthew. When CEQ passages are not attested in GMarc, Luke very closely follows Matthew. The obvious explanation for this is that GMarc contains the original/real Q (Qn), that Matthew reorders and significantly expands Qn materials, and that Luke uses Qn directly and indirectly through GMarc and Matthew, including Matthean expansions.
  11. The text of GMarc is often best attested when its materials are absent from Mark and Matthew. E.g.: woes, rich man and Lazarus, rich Fool, warning against avarice, etc. Note the first two points above. Later hostile witnesses to GMarc tended to focus on its unique content, not its content that overlapped significantly with Mark (as a GMarc source) and Matthew (as a GMarc receptor).