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[«] Posts by the Author "Stephan Huller"(#348)

September 4 2017, 9AM

What evidence is there that Clement and Origen knew one another?  Very little direct evidence in fact.  As Morton Smith noted over forty years ago: Apparently he [Origen] never mentioned Clement, since Eusebius, attempting to prove that Clement was Ori...

August 28, 12 PM

Quentin Quesnell’s Secret Mark Secret A Report on Quentin Quesnell’s 1983 trip to Jerusalem and his inspection of the Mar Saba DocumentAuthors: Stephan Hüller and Daniel N. GullottaSource: Vigiliae Christianae, Volume 71, Issue 4, pages 353 – 378 ...

August 3, 8AM

Gundelfinger, Gaston wohnhaft seit, Ort: Paris

7AM

MORITZ GUNDELFINGER Date of Birth: 29 Sep 1877 Place of Birth: Ichenhausen Occupation: Viehhändler Image Number: Foto CD-ROM 1276 Notes: Moritz Gundelfinger, Viehhändler, Geboren am 29.9.1877 in Ichenhausen, Kr. Günzburg, Deportiert am 20.11.1941 nach...

August 2, 8PM

Max Gundelfinger wurde im ersten Transportzug mit Münchner Juden deportiert und am 25. November 1941 bei den Massenerschießungen in Kaunas umgebracht. Max Gundelfinger was deported on the first transport train with Munich Jews and on November 25, 1941,...
Gundelfinger, Gaston, geb. am 10. 11. 1912 in Saarbrücken

July 12, 10AM

A little bit of a change here at the blog.  My mother passed away earlier this year and we had a memorial for her.  I always knew that she was writing a journal which among other things would have details of her fascinating and yet ultimately melancholi...

May 19, 11AM

We've all heard - or felt - that Epiphanius was a bad reference source.  It's a charge that's been floating in scholarly literature for some time.  But no one until now I think has actually assembled all (or at least most) of the major knocks against Ep...

May 16, 2PM

When citing from Irenaeus's Prescriptions Against Heresies he specifically references 'the Cataphrygians.' As Ferguson notes: The name Cataphrygians for the Montanists is first attested in Pseudo-Tertullian, Haereses. Its introduction here may be due t...
It is generally acknowledged that Cyril derived almost all his knowledge of the early heresies from Irenaeus.  He mentions one work in particular that he used - Irenaeus's Prescriptions Against the Heresies.  Here are some examples of Cyril - in referen...

12 PM

Many lists of Irenaean fragments have been compiled over the years.  Cerrato gives the list of "[l]ost works of the Irenaean corpus perhaps influenced the anti-gnostic apocalyptic theology of the commentaries.  The majority are now known only by ti...

11AM

Matthew and Luke are forgeries of Mark's gospel.  No one lays the situation out like that but given the way 'textual recycling' follows among the earliest Patristic sources I am not entirely sure it is not warranted.  The relationship between Justin and...

May 4, 8AM

February 25, 3PM

The priests (הכהנים) stood watch (שומרים) in three places in the Temple: in the Chamber of Avtinas [name of a family], in the Chamber of Nitsots [spark] , and in the Chamber of Fire. The Avtinas and Nitsots chambers were elevated and the youth...

January 5, 12 PM

I thought this was a particularly useful summary of Epiphanius, the two Syrian monks and his composition of various treatises: Epiphanius must have started composing, or at least mapping out the Panarion*, or “Medicine Chest [against Heresies],” whil...

January 1, 3PM

1. Epiphanius has a pattern of not acknowledging he is using earlier sources.  Of course he admits to drawing upon Irenaeus for his information about the Valentinians - 'blessed Irenaeus' he calls him.  But this was a well known source.  He couldn't ge...

12 PM

So let's recount the principle reasons why Epiphanius shouldn't be believed when he repeatedly claims in the Panarion that he has assembled all of the variants in the Bible of Marcion.  He begins by making it crystal clear that: [s]ome years ago, to fin...

9AM

I have spent thirty years reading and thinking about Tertullian's testimony in Adversus Marcionem.  At first the influence of 'great scholarship' convinced me to read the material in standard way.  But now I am certain they have it all wrong.  I think ...

December 31 2016, 12 PM

It's been happy times at the Huller house.  I've been toying with the idea of finally writing a paper on Marcion for quite some time.  I think that our collective assumptions about Marcion demonstrate exactly what is wrong with Biblical scholarship.  I...

November 10, 8AM

My wife can't get over the election loss of Hillary Clinton.  As a female executive she saw in Hillary a reflection of the ideal that she sought to attain.  I think this 'dream' was very real and was as real as what voters of all colors saw in Obama, bu...

October 24, 10AM

The alpha, delta, epsilon and theta are, for instance, quite similar. But the beta and the gamma are not that similar. Other differences are for instance the vertical line on mu, having a turn in the opposite direction.

October 23, 8PM

October 11, 9AM

I haven't blogged in a while because well ... life is pretty busy when you're a parent.  But that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about things related to the origin of Judaism and Christianity.  In fact, I think I have made a lot of headway in some...

May 15, 3PM

April 1, 9AM

It is one of the most problematic passages in the gospels.  The man in the synagogue sees Jesus and the demons within him declare "what have we to do with you, Jesus?"  The narrative is problematic on a number of grounds most notably with resp...

March 31, 3PM

I have taken off time from blogging - mostly because life is quite busy at the moment.  When you are in the habit of always writing down your thoughts in a public way it doesn't seem at all strange.  It's just as natural as - well - biting your fingerna...

January 30, 10AM

January 27, 9AM

December 17 2015, 8AM

It is an age old problem, one that still haunts the Islamic anti-Christian polemic to this very day.  Where did the Christian 'second God' Jesus come from?  It would be easy to say that the first Christian writers were 'seduced by paganism' when they im...

December 16, 11PM

For some reason, I am not entirely sure why, I think I should write another book.  Of course I am not very good at writing books.  That might be a small problem.  Nevertheless, as I have little common sense, I might try it again. Of course, the first...

October 24, 9AM

Origen Commentary on John (preserved in the Philocalia): [the ancients] must have regarded the whole of Scripture as one book ... I will add to demonstrate this to you an apostolic utterance (ῥητὸν ἀποστολικὸν) not understood by the f...

October 18, 9PM

Yes most of us who follow the debate about the authenticity of 'Secret Mark' already know the various explanations that have been put forward by scholars.  Those who deny the authenticity of the discovery say that it only reflects the discoverer Morton S...

September 13, 11PM

It is noteworthy that Irenaeus never says that the apostles gave their writings to the Church or that the Church preserved their writings.  It is often supposed to be in his writings, but it isn't there.  Instead what is repeated over again are three di...

11AM

Indeed let's stop for a moment and wonder why Celsus thinks he has 'all knowledge' when it comes to Christianity. One could argue - as some have - that the pagan was just a blowhard boasting beyond measure about his familiarity with Christianity.  Yet th...

September 12, 11PM

[N]o differentiating features of early Christianity require us to think that the publication and circulation of early Christian texts proceeded along unique or idiosyncratic lines. Without evidence to the contrary, it ought to be supposed that Christian w...

9AM

How did the Christian writings become 'canonized'?  This is a question that at least a few scholars have taken a crack at.  Many have looked to the codex as providing the impetus for a 'closed collection.'  After all, there are only so many books that ...

May 26, 1PM

And he was obviously deceived in the same way regarding the earth and heaven and man; for he supposes that there are "ideas" of these. For as Moses wrote thus, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth," and then subjoins ...

May 25, 4PM

There is this curiously persistent story which makes it all the way to Wikipedia that says that Benedict, the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem at the time Morton Smith discovered the Letter to Theodore, was a 'mason' who belonged to an order called 'Ade...

3PM

Byzantium: Fictive Kinship and Human Relationships Byzantium is the name given to both the state and the culture of the Eastern Roman Empire in the Middle Ages. Until the seventh century, it preserved the basic structures of Late Roman Mediterranean civi...

May 21, 7AM

The problem with claiming that the gospel narrative is 'historical' is that religious symbolism take over the portrait of Jesus.  There isn't a single identifiable 'truth' which escapes being dunked in the well of Biblical imagery.  This doesn't mean of...

May 20, 6AM

By the first century CE, the scapegoat ritual had become more elaborate than its counterpart in Leviticus 16. This signifies its growing importance in the cult. Perhaps the most noteworthy change is that the ceremony ended with the execution of the goat f...

May 19, 9PM

Life is so wonderful.  It's beautiful to see the world come back to life.  The green, the blue, the colors all brought to life by the brilliant sunshine.  The only thing better of course would be to find oneself twenty years old again speaking romantic...

May 16, 7AM

I won't hide the fact that I think every organized religion is basically a wildly successful art project.  I don't mean that disparagingly of course.  How could I?  But the reality is that I don't believe Israel really saw a fiery god on mount Sinai. ...

May 12, 9AM

It is amazing how the gospel narrative has developed into something of a 'white myth' owing to the fact that the people who took over the story had little interest or understanding of Judaism.  It is true that most of the people who advocate a 'Jewish-ce...

May 11, 1PM

I have taken something of a hiatus from publishing at my blog.  There are a number of factors that have figured into this decision.  What can be said is that I have now come forward out of a period of relative obscurity to say that I am pretty certain I...

April 13, 12 PM

April 9, 10AM

An article which confirms previous lines of research conducted here on this blog regarding the epithet 'theorimos' for the apostle/evangelist Mark in the Coptic tradition.

March 15, 5PM

It is rarely discussed outside the small circle of authorities on the Qumran text that - following the pattern in the Samaritan Pentateuch - material from Deuteronomy 5 and Exodus 20 were 'integrated' into a single narrative. The assumption of most schol...

1PM

That the memorial 'Ten Commandment' plaques that were in the synagogues at the beginning of the Common Era contained the 'short form' known to Philo of Alexandria. This is the answer to everything - and is inevitably missed in any discussion of those...

March 14, 5PM

Book 1 - 2.3, 11.3, 19.1, 20.4, 21.6, 22.3 = 6 times Book 3 - 1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 6.10, 8.1, 15.7, 16.6, 16.7, 22.2, 22.5, 23.5, 23.5, 24.6 = 14 times Book 4 - 6.1, 6.4, 7.8, 7.10, 9.11, 11.6, 12.1, 22.6, 25.12, 25.12, 30.3, 33.4, 33.5, 35.12, 36.2, 39.9,...

11AM

I am aware of what scholars SAY about the Marcionites - that Jesus was for them 'the Stranger.'  Nevertheless the evidence for this assessment is surprisingly weak.  I went through the most important chapter (chapter 4) in Tertullian's most important wo...

March 13, 10AM

Jesus is described (Adv Marc 4.11) as "homo a deo Marcionis." The section puzzles both Holmes and Evans who struggle to make sense of it but the subject is clearly Jesus as 'physician' and how it is that Jesus can come to the leper when "a...

12 AM

Perhaps the most pitiful consequence of the two thousand (give or take a few centuries) rule of white people over the world is the fact that even some Jewish people feel compelled to believe or confess that the Pentateuch is a monotheistic text.  I am so...

March 10, 11PM

Further, the Lord shows very clearly of Himself, when, describing figuratively His manifold and in many ways serviceable culture,--He says, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman." Then He adds, "Every branch in me that bearet...

7PM

This, then, may be enough to say on these subjects; but it is necessary now to connect with these things what I am about to say, namely, that it was the Father of the universe who delivered these ten maxims, or oracles, or laws and enactments, as they tru...

10AM

"These and other such sayings are recorded by the lawgiver and by the prophets; and I suppose that I have stated sufficiently, that wherever God says, 'God went up from Abraham,' or, 'The Lord spake to Moses,' and 'The Lord came down to behold the to...
I have consulted with Benny Tsedaka and asked him what the Samaritan interpretation of Exodus 20 is - i.e. how do they reconcile the implications of two divine voices, one speaking from the fire on Sinai and the other 'coming from heaven' in the original ...

March 9, 5PM

It is of great importance therefore that in Exodus 20 (Samaritan Pentateuch) we find three textual expansions ... All three expansions in Exodus 20 (Samaritan Pentateuch) are complex and not all elements are specifically Samaritan.  The Gerizim verses ...

11AM

I know we are supposed to venerate professors - especially when they are dead - but I have been scouring through his Two Powers and notice that though he tentatively identifies the group as Samaritans (or at least toys with the idea) he NEVER ONCE demonst...

9AM

I think I have found the 'smoking gun' as it were with respect to the so-called 'two powers' debate.  When Alan Segal wrote his Two Powers in Heaven he noticed that various mekhilata used Exodus to correct the views of heretics who used what now appears ...

8AM

How gradually, and how naturally, the advancing thoughts and changed circumstances of Israel affected the Decalogue may be seen most clearly in the differences between its form as originally given, and as it is set forth in Exodus and in Deuteronomy. ...

March 8, 11PM

the ancients were divided on the question of 'who wrote what' in the Bible.  The Samaritans probably represent the original understanding that only the Ten Commandments came from heaven.  In other words, the Pentateuch itself was less than divine having...

9PM

'I have gotten (an) eesh with the help of the Lord' [Genesis 4:1]  It is odd the way the Pentateuch identifies a baby as an eesh. The implication seems to be that Eve is declaring that an angel or god has been born from her from another God - Yahweh. I...
Isaac M Wise, an American reform rabbi living in the last century, wrote a compendium of responses to Christian interpretations of the Bible.  Perhaps his most interesting statements is the following, making reference to the Jewish understanding of the a...
If I had the time and the energy, I would write a paper on Eeshu the second god of Israel.  The truth is that I haven't worked out all the details.  I don't pretend to know everything right now.  I unfortunately see 'writing something' as part of the p...

12 PM

When Joseph arrived at Shechem, Eesh found him wandering around in the fields and asked him, “What are you looking for?” [Genesis 37:15 - 16] He went, but he would just as soon not find his brothers. The Torah says an eesh found him wandering around. ...

January 31, 12 PM

To continue my last post.  When you really think about it any belief in God demands that we ignore the reality which can be touched in favor of a 'second reality' which is non-existential.  That's the bottom line.  Now in all fairness to the other side...

January 30, 11PM

I finally have a few moments to myself so let me share something with you.  My son had a trying week.  He wants to be a professional soccer player so badly - and he just missed being picked by the elite 'A team' at the soccer academy where we live.  Hi...

January 10, 4PM

We all know the familiar story.  But what is the evidence about the contents of the Marcionite gospel?  Irenaeus and Tertullian may well say things like 'how was a phantom crucified?'  But where is the direct evidence for what the Marcionites believed ...

January 9, 12 PM

According to the two powers tradition there were two powers in the Deuteronomy narrative's account of the Sinai theophany - the god whose voice was heard from heaven and Eeshu, 'his fire.'  I've taken the incredibly audacious step of identifying the b...

11AM

From heaven he made you hear his voice to discipline you. On earth he showed you Ishu (his fire) great, and you heard his words from out of the fire. [Deut 4:36]   Has anyone ever argued that Deuteronomy is older than Exodus? It's not just the retellin...

January 4, 11AM

We have been examining the statement of the anonymous Marcionites in Tertullian's Against Marcion Book One Chapter 17: one work is sufficient for our god ; he has delivered man by his supreme and most excellent goodness, which is preferable to [the creat...

January 3, 11PM

Continuing with our discussion of the Exodus as a manifestation of the two powers which regulated the affairs of Israel - i.e. one a 'just god' and the other a 'kind god' - it is worth citing Alan Segal's study of the Mekhilta (מכילתא, a collection ...

10PM

At the heart of my entire approach to the development of early Christianity is the understanding that monotheism in the Israelite religious tradition is indistinguishable from monarchianism.  It did not come about in any meaningful sense until the mid to...

4PM

Let's accept for argument's sake that the Exodus was an historical event.  This is certainly how the ancients (Jews, Samaritans and Christians) saw it.  It is easy to see why the Jews and Samaritans celebrated the redemption of Israel.  After all, the ...

January 2, 10PM

I was away for a few weeks and actually ran into a regular reader of this blog (or perhaps better yet, someone who regularly read this blog when I was actively posting content).  He told me, he loved the observations but reminded me that he had difficult...

December 8 2014, 4AM

I was reading this article by Petros Karatsareas and he notes that in Marcion's alleged hometown there is a strange habit of locals to add ίων rather than ών. Some examples brought forward by Karatsareas. In Greek the nominative singular for ‘co...
I spend the weekend emailing every possibly person I could think of to help finance this project and came away with some interesting information and ideas.  The first and most important perhaps is that the text is no longer at the British Museum but is h...

December 7, 8PM

It is very strange.  I have gone through EVERY example in the big three compilers of information about early Christian treatises in antiquity - Eusebius of Caesarea, Epiphanius of Salamis and Photius of Constantinople and there is absolute uniformity in ...

December 6, 2PM

Charles Wand Mitchell: a living palimpsest by Rev. Fr. Dale A. Johnson  "One see here another palimpsest: and ancient features in town and countryside are disappearing beyond all the subtleties of chemistry to restore."  This state...

10AM

There was a lot of media interest when Michael B. Toth, president of R.B. Toth Associates, went to St Catherine's monastery in 2012 to uncover the 'texts that lay beneath the existing texts' in their library.  But there was a palimpsest at the British Mu...

9AM

It is worth considering the central overriding point in Wolfram Kinzig's recent biography of Adolf von Harnack (Marcion und das Judentum: Nebst einer kommentierten Edition des Briefwechsels Adolf von Harnacks mit Houston Stewart Chamberlain. Leipzig: Evan...

December 5, 10PM

I am credited in one of Tjitze Baarda's recent articles on the Diatessaron.  I asked him to take a careful look at the Transfiguration narrative in the Arabic text and give his opinion as to whether it was a reminiscence of an older placement of the even...

10AM

There is a lot of interesting stuff in there including Origen's reference to the Jewish authorities of his day have 'secret traditions' of the Bible (Book 17.1 - 3). With all the boring stuff from the fourth and fifth centuries finding translators why is...
Moreover, by His not replying to those who said to Him, "By what power doest Thou this?" but by a question on His own side, put them to utter confusion; by His thus not replying, according to their interpretation, He showed the unutterable natur...

December 4, 11PM

The proper starting point for this discussion is Baarda's grounding breaking article the Flying Jesus - mostly ignored.  The question of course is what was the Marcionite understanding?  If we accept that the original anti-Marcionite treatise now preser...

3PM

"Marcion ... said that our Lord was not born of woman, but stole the place of the Creator and came down and appeared first between Jerusalem and Jericho, like a Son of Man in form and in image and in likeness, yet without our body. And he in no wise ...
Against the claims of Tertullian (and thus with Irenaeus strangely cf. Adv Haer 1.27.1 where we read "But Jesus being derived from that father who is above the God that made the world, and coming into Judaea in the times of Pontius Pilate the governo...

December 1, 11PM

I hope that at least some people are aware that Marcion understood the apostle to have had a written gospel.  That would be good.  What's worse however is that those who do 'know' this fact often present the understanding with loaded terminology like - ...

November 22, 10PM

It is still the same sentiment which he follows up in the passage in which [Paul] puts the recompense above the sufferings: "for we know" he says, "that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a house not made wit...

8PM

Thus even though they delete also the testimony of the devils who cry out to Jesus 'son of David', yet they will not be able to delete the testimony of the apostles, if the devils' testimony is beneath their notice. [Tertullian De carne Christi 22.1 KROYM...

7AM

As if indeed, under the prompting of that licence which is ever the same in all heresy, he too might not very well have either denied the nativity, although admitting the flesh,----like Apelles, who was first a disciple of his, and afterwards an apostate,...
As if indeed, under the prompting of that licence which is ever the same in all heresy, he too might not very well have either denied the nativity, although admitting the flesh,----like Apelles, who was first a disciple of his, and afterwards an apostate,...
Clearly enough is the nativity announced by Gabriel. But what has he to do with the Creator's angel? The conception in the virgin's womb is also set plainly before us. But what concern has he with the Creator's prophet, Isaiah? He will not brook delay, si...
It is, in short, too bad that Romulus should have had in Proculus an avoucher of his ascent to heaven, when the Christ of (this) god could not find any one to announce his descent from heaven; just as if the ascent of the one and the descent of the other ...
He thus shows that the ancient covenant is temporary only, when He indicates its change; also when He promises that it shall be followed by an eternal one. For by Isaiah He says: "Hear me, and ye shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant wi...
It is necessary for me to lay claim to those Scriptures which the Jews endeavour to deprive us of, and to show that they sustain my view. Now they say that this Psalm was a chant in honour of Hezekiah, because "he went up to the house of the Lord,&qu...
Not that this indeed is of the nature of a sign, nor is His "refusing the evil; "for this, too, is only a characteristic of infancy. But His destined capture of the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria before the king of Assyria is no dou...
The Christ of the Creator had to be called a Nazarene according to prophecy; whence the Jews also designate us, on that very account, Nazerenes after Him. For we are they of whom it is written, "Her Nazarites were whiter than snow; " even they w...
Therefore the Creator, in foretelling matters for laughter and tears, was the first who said that those who mourned should laugh. Accordingly, He who began (His course) with consolation for the poor, and the humble, and the hungry, and the weeping, was at...
It is still the same sentiment which he follows up in the passage in which he puts the recompense above the sufferings: "for we know; "he says, "that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a house not made with hand...
Now, inasmuch as from the first he had no regard for man, a stranger to him from the first, he settled beforehand, by this neglect of his, that he had nothing to do with an alien creature. Besides, the rule of loving a stranger or enemy is preceded by the...

12 AM

For you are bidden to love your enemy and the stranger, in order that you may love your neighbour the better. [5] The requirement of the undue is an augmentation of the due benevolence. But the due precedes the undue, as the principal quality, and more wo...
Since, however, He has made the law obsolete by His own precepts, even by Himself fulfilling the law (for superfluous is, "Thou shalt not commit adultery," when He says, "Thou shalt not look on a woman to lust after her; "superfluous a...
Indeed they would have found it impossible either to convert Jews or to bring in Gentiles, unless they "set forth in order" that which they would have them believe. Much less, when churches were advanced in the faith, would they have withdrawn f...

November 21, 11PM

Now, inasmuch as from the first he had no regard for man, a stranger to him from the first, he settled beforehand, by this neglect of his, that he had nothing to do with an alien creature. Besides, the rule of loving a stranger or enemy is preceded by the...
These considerations show that the entire order of God as Judge is an operative one, and (that I may express myself in worthier words) protective of His Catholic and supreme goodness, which, removed as it is from judiciary emotions, and pure in its own co...

10PM

But as God is eternal and rational, so, I think, He is perfect in all things. "Be ye perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Prove, then, that the goodness of your god also is a perfect one. That it is indeed imperfect has b...
Besides which, it must have followed, that, for the man to whom he committed the ministration of the gospel, he would add the injunction that it be not ministered in all places, and without respect to persons, in accordance with the Lord's saying, "N...
The Lord teaches us that many "ravening wolves shall come in sheep's clothing." Now, what are these sheep's clothing's, but the external surface of the Christian profession? Who are the ravening wolves but those deceitful senses and spirits whi...
It is well, therefore, that he premised the attribute of the most good God as most patient over the wicked, and most abundant in mercy and kindness over such as acknowledged and bewailed their sins, as the Ninevites were then doing. For if He who has this...
Persons are still living who remember them,—their own actual disciples and successors,—who cannot therefore deny the lateness of their date. But, in fact, by their own works they are convicted, even as the Lord said. For since Marcion separated the N...
Listen, ye sinners; and ye who have not yet come to this, hear, that you may attain to such a pass! A better god has been discovered, who never takes offence, is never angry, never inflicts punishment, who has prepared no fire in hell, no gnashing of teet...

7PM

Thus even though they delete also the testimony of the devils who cry out to Jesus 'son of David', yet they will not be able to delete the testimony of the apostles, if the devils' testimony is beneath their notice. [Tertullian De carne Christi 22.1 KROYM...
Therefore it was to Israel that he spake when He said, "I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Not yet had He "cast to the dogs the children's bread; " not yet did He charge them to "go into the way of the Ge...
Now, if even parables obscure not the light of the gospel, how unlikely it is that plain sentences and declarations, which have an unmistakeable meaning, should signify any other thing than their literal sense! But it is by such declarations and sentences...
But He also teaches us, that "He is rather to be feared, who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell," that is, the Lord alone; "not those which kill the body, but are not able to hurt the soul," (Matthew 10:28) that is to say, a...

5PM

Compassion also does He teach: "Be ye merciful," says He, "as your Father also that had mercy upon you." This injunction will be of a piece with, "Deal thy bread to the hungry; and if he be houseless, bring him into thine house; a...
The wolf or the paltry thief escapes not the notice of the keeper of your vineyard or your garden! And God, I suppose, with His keener vision, from on high was unable to miss the sight of aught which lay beneath Him! Foolish heretic, who treat with scorn ...
Let me return, however, from this digression to discuss the priority of truth, and the comparative lateness of falsehood, deriving support for my argument even from that parable which puts in the first place the sowing by the Lord of the good seed of the ...

1PM

Look upon the close junctions of the nerves as propagations of roots, and the branching courses of the veins as winding rivulets, and the down (which covers us) as moss, and the hair as grass, and the very treasures of marrow within our bones as ores of f...
The remarks I have advanced on this case will be also of use to me in illustrating the subsequent parable of the rich man tormented in hell, and the poor man resting in Abraham's bosom. For this passage, so far as its letter goes, comes before us abruptly...
Now, although He has in a certain place expressed an aversion of Sabbaths, by calling them your Sabbaths, reckoning them as men's Sabbaths, not His own, because they were celebrated without the fear of God by a people full of iniquities, and loving God &q...
"The Lord (beholdeth and) knoweth them that are His; " and "the plant which (my heavenly Father) hath not planted, He rooteth up; " and "the first shall," as He shows, "be last; " and He carries "His fan in His...

12 PM

Now, the Gentiles knew nothing either of Him, or of any of His promises. Therefore it was to Israel that he spake when He said, "I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Matthew 15:24) Not yet had He "cast to the dogs t...
I come now to the point which (is urged both by our own brethren and by the heretics). Our brethren adduce it as a pretext for entering on curious inquiries, and the heretics insist on it for importing the scrupulosity (of their unbelief). It is written, ...

11AM

Now if he caught at the name Christ, just as the pickpocket clutches the dole-basket, why did he wish to be called Jesus too, by a name which was not so much looked for by the Jews? For although we, who have by God's grace attained to the understanding of...
What man, then, of sound mind can possibly suppose that they were ignorant of anything, whom the Lord ordained to be masters keeping them, as He did, inseparable (from Himself) in their attendance, in their discipleship, in their society, to whom, "w...

10AM

I always suspect that people who slugged their way through a doctoral program in religious studies and then turn their eyes to studying the differences between the heretics and the orthodox end up siding with 'the man' (= the great Church) not because of ...
I am credited in an article of Baarda's somewhere as getting him to look at the Transfiguration in the Arabic text. There are two interesting variants. The first was the one he spent most time on - the strange editorial reference to the existence of ano...

8AM

Is it possible that De Recta in Deum Fide preceded Tertullian Adv Marc? Was the fictitious Dialogue between Adamantius, Marcus (not Megethius) and Eutropius written at the time of Irenaeus and this is where we get the name 'Marcion'?
Now who would not thus have rebutted the unfairness of the rebuke, if he had supposed its author to belong to him who had had no right as yet to complain? Except that not even He would have inveighed against them, if He had not dwelt among them of old in ...

7AM

For who can refuse to believe that these words often revolved in the thought of those women between the sorrow of that desertion with which at present they seemed to themselves to have been smitten by the Lord, and the hope of the resurrection itself, by ...
But Christ prohibits divorce, saying, "Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery; and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband, also committeth adultery." In order to forbid divorce, He makes it u...
We have also in the Scriptures robes mentioned as allegorizing the hope of the flesh. Thus in the Revelation of John it is said: "These are they which have not defiled their clothes with women," -indicating, of course, virgins, and such as have ...
Integrity, whether the result of preservation or restoration, will be able to lose nothing more, after the time that it has given back to it whatever it had lost. Now, when you contend that the flesh will still have to undergo the same sufferings, if the ...
Do we prove the faith by the persons, or the persons by the faith? No one is wise, no one is faithful, no one excels in dignity, but the Christian; and no one is a Christian but he who perseveres even to the end. You, as a man, know any other man from th...
"That of all which the Father hath given to me, I should lose none," -not even a hair, as also not an eye nor a tooth. And yet whence shall come that "weeping and gnashing of teeth,"236 if not from eyes and teeth?-even at that time whe...

12 AM

We have also in the Scriptures robes mentioned as allegorizing the hope of the flesh. Thus in the Revelation of John it is said: "These are they which have not defiled their clothes with women," -indicating, of course, virgins, and such as have ...
For since the Sadducees indeed denied the resurrection, whilst the Lord affirmed it; since, too, (in affirming it, ) He reproached them as being both ignorant of the Scriptures-those, of course which had declared the resurrection-as well as incredulous of...

November 20, 11PM

But the resurrection is one thing, and the kingdom is another. The resurrection is first, and afterwards the kingdom. We say, therefore, that the flesh rises again, but that when changed it obtains the kingdom. "For the dead shall be raised incorrupt...
Let us now see whether (the Lord) has not imparted greater strength to our doctrine in breaking down the subtle cavil of the Sadducees. Their great object, I take it, was to do away altogether with the resurrection, for the Sadducees in fact did not admit...
The Scripture says nothing of this, although it is not in other instances silent when anything was done against Him by way of temptation. "Behold," it says, "a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted Him." And in another passage: "Th...
The Scripture says nothing of this, although it is not in other instances silent when anything was done against Him by way of temptation. "Behold," it says, "a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted Him." And in another passage: "Th...
The Scripture says nothing of this, although it is not in other instances silent when anything was done against Him by way of temptation. "Behold," it says, "a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted Him." And in another passage: "Th...
Furthermore, since both circumcision and uncircumcision were attributed to the same Deity, both lost their power in Christ, by reason of the excellency of faith----of that faith concerning which it had been written, "And in His name shall the Gentile...

10PM

He also inveighs against the doctors of the law themselves, because they were "lading men with burdens grievous to be borne, which they did not venture to touch with even a finger of their own;" but not as if He made a mock of the burdens of the...
They say that which is commonly supposed to be death is not really so,-namely, the separation of body and soul: it is rather the ignorance of God, by reason of which man is dead to God, and is not less buried in error than he would be in the grave. Wheref...

9PM

But when "they shall by and by come and say, I am Christ," they will be received by you, who have already received one altogether like them. Christ, however, comes in His own name. What will you do, then, when He Himself comes who is the very Pr...
A procedure of this kind, you say, was not necessary, because He was forthwith to prove Himself the Son and the Sent One, and the Christ of God in very deed, by means of the evidence of His wonderful works. On my side, however, I have to deny that eviden...
Now, forasmuch as the seasons of our entire hope have been fixed in the Holy Scripture, and since we are not permitted to place the accomplishment thereof, as I apprehend, previous to Christ's coming, our prayers are directed towards130 the end of this wo...
Besides which, it must have followed, that, for the man to whom he committed the ministration of the gospel, he would add the injunction that it be not ministered in all places, and without respect to persons, in accordance with the Lord's saying, "N...
He accordingly, in this passage, either presents to us the Lord as a Judge, and instructs us in His character,1200 or else as the simply good god; if the latter, he now also affirms his judicial attribute, although the heretic refuses to admit it. For an ...
Listen, ye sinners; and ye who have not yet come to this, hear, that you may attain to such a pass! A better god has been discovered, who never takes offence, is never angry, never inflicts punishment, who has prepared no fire in hell, no gnashing of teet...

8PM

He said, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again."(John 2:19) For He showed to what belongs (the incidents of) being destroyed, thrown down, and kept down-even to that to which it also appertains to be lifted and raised ...
He might also have been betrayed by any stranger, did I not find that even here too He fulfilled a Psalm: "He who did eat bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me." And without a price might He have been betrayed. For what need of a trai...
He might also have been betrayed by any stranger, did I not find that even here too He fulfilled a Psalm: "He who did eat bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me." And without a price might He have been betrayed. For what need of a trai...
If, however, you accept the gospel of truth, you will discover on whom recoils the sentence of the Judge, when requiting on sons the sins of their fathers, even on those who had been (hardened enough) to imprecate spontaneously on themselves this condemna...
If you require still further prediction of the Lord's cross, the twenty-first Psalm is sufficiently able to afford it to you, containing as it does the entire passion of Christ, who was even then prophetically declaring His glory. "They pierced,"...

4PM

But all this would be unmeaning enough, if they suffered this retribution not on account of Him, who had in prophecy assigned their suffering to His own cause, but for the sake of the Christ of the other god. Well, then, although you affirm that it is the...

2PM

Adamantius: Now it says in the Gospel writing, "Depart from me you who work lawlessness into the outer darkness! There will be weeping and the gnashing of teeth" [Matt 7:23] So you see that the Gospel agrees with the Law. Megethius In what respe...
the previous example ends abruptly in the surviving Dialogue. At this point Megethius is cut off and Markus introduced. But a compelling argument can be made (and has been made) that the argument continues on page 59 so: Adamantius: It was just in such a...
Adamantius However, I am going to show from the Gospel that Christ is speaking of men possessing free will, and not of principles! He says this, "They come to you in the sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you sha...
Adamantius (immediately after a citation from the Marcionite gospel by the Marcionite representative) I will give you the Saviour's own words, as (110) recorded in the Gospel: "Would any of you, if his son should ask for bread, give him a stone? f [I...
Adamantius (citing from Marcion's NT cf. 824a and immediately after saying) "I have your Apostolikon here) If, however, judgement comes from the Good God the Good God is revealed as judge. Where, then, do we place the Scripture that says, "For w...
"But for his refutation out of his own mouth, Marcion says, “It came to pass on one of those days, as he taught in the temple, they sought to lay hands on him and they were afraid,” as we read in the next paragraph [Scholion], 54. (e) How he got ...
or rather the authority of Christ, which made the apostles teachers. [Adv Marc 4.2.1 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 1 (1954(p.547, l.8) BP1]  Even to the last He taught us (the same truth of His mission), when He sent forth His apostles to preach His gospel "a...
David Inglis, In Elenchus 68 he then confirms what he saw, and comments: That “they that held,” “mocked,” “smite,” “strike,” and “Prophesy, who is it that smote thee,” was not appearance, but indicative of tangibility and physical rea...

1PM

… if he had not been born.
In Luke 5:30 and 19:9b he may have considered two tax collectors, Levi and Zacchaeus, as Gentiles, for at the first text Tertullian speaks of "Gentiles and tax collectors" rather than "tax collectors and sinners," perhaps thinking of L...
Tertullian says his teaching to be “like” infants - "But, behold, Christ takes905 infants, and teaches how all ought to be like them, if they ever wish to be greater" (Adv Marc 4.23) [Ray Embry, the Enigma p. 103]
David Inglis, “Out of the cloud, a voice, This is my beloved son” [9:35] (Scholion 18) In neither case does Epiphanius state that he found a difference in Mcg. Instead, he is using these verses to show that by leaving these words Marcion shows that hi...
but also obtained the testimony of possessing knowledge which was given to him by the Father.
the blind man leads the blind down into the ditch. [Adv Marc 4.17] from David Inglis, Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. [Mt 15:14] This parallel suggests that here Tertulli...
Ye shall hear with the ear, but ye shall not understand.
David Inglis, "at the beginning of Adv. Haer. IV.29, Irenaeus appears to indicate that vv. 8:9-10 was not present in the Gospel used by the Marcionites: But, say they, God hardened the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants [Ex 9:35]. Those, then, who ...
Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?
David Inglis, And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven. [12:10] Epiphanius does not mention this verse, but Tertullian quotes it in his...
Tertullian, according to David Inglis "mentions that the disciples had been hungry, as we see in Mt 12:1 but not Lk, but does not refer to them eating, agreeing with Mk 2:23. Despite these differences Tertullian does not indicate that he saw any vari...
whosoever preferred father or mother or brethren to the Word of God, was not a disciple worthy of Him.
It is conceivable that Tertullian did not see vv. 10:2, 3 and 9 in Mcg, and perhaps the prohibition on carrying purse and scrip in v. 10:4a. He does state that “Christ commanded His disciples not to carry even a staff for their journey,” which could b...
for the workman is worthy of his meat.
David Inglis, “I besought thy disciples.” But in addition to, “And they could not cast it out,” [9:40] he had “And he said unto them, ‘O faithless generation, how long shall I suffer you’?” [9:41] (Scholion 19) As has been previously repor...
sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust, and maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good;
from David Inglis, "After commenting on vv. 6:27-28 Tertullian quotes v. 6:29, although the text given is not exactly as we see it, mainly resulting from Tertullian preceding it with “and bids us, on the contrary:” "to him who smites us on t...
Interestingly Clement cites as the gospel passage which shows this process one which Clement elsewhere identifies as referencing the resurrection of one of Jesus's disciples - Philip. Clement immediately references a significant variant Luke 9:60: "...
Here is the end of Clement's witness of his 'authorized' copy of the Gospel of Mark (not 'Secret' Mark but where mystic is just an adjective like we find ascribed the true text in Quis Dives Salvetur viz Jesus 'teaches all things to His own with divine an...
It is important is that we recognize that all 'Diatessaron gospels' were related. We see this most clearly when - for instance - Origen (Commentary on Matthew Book 15), Ephrem and a diverse assortment of authors all acknowledge that the 'Question of the ...
When we read that Clement says that they guard a mystic gospel and even deny its association with St. Mark, it becomes difficult to avoid seeing that this must have been the beloved Marcionite gospel. Tertullian and Adamantius make clear that the Marcion...

12 PM

from De Recta in Deum Fide. The Catholic representative (Adamantius) uses the resurrection of Lazarus as an example demonstrating Jesus's ignorance. The text has the Marcionite (Megethius) declare this particular statement - i.e. 'where have you laid hi...
the very formula developed in the Letter to Theodore of Mark taking 'notes' or a rough outline of a gospel from Peter and then turning into a secret mystical text is also referenced over and over again in the writings of Tertullian. A little later in the...
The words “likewise those of the Pharisees” may be an editorial addition (they were omitted in Marcion's text of Lk.; cf. also on Mk. 2:18). [Emil Gottlieb Heinrich Kraeling The Clarified New Testament p. 212]
When, therefore, Marcion or some one of his hounds barks against the Demiurge, and adduces reasons from a comparison of what is good and bad, we ought to say to them, that neither Paul the apostle nor Mark, he of the maimed finger, announced such (tenets)...
So Tertullian, Marc. 4.2.4. 53. Taken together, the Gospel of John would have been more congruent with Marcion's theological mindset. See further, Raisanen, “Marcion,” pp. 112-13. 54 [Michael Bird, Paul and the Second Century p. 100]

11AM

Marcus the Marcionite He does not call the world nor its creatures good. He says "If you were of this world the world would love its own." (Jn 15:19) [Pretty p. 106]
The apostle Paul warns against inordinate and irrational love when he says of himself, "I fear that someone might have an opinion of me above what he sees or hears from me, and that the greatness of the revelations might exalt me," and so on. (2...
Marcus. The Saviour clearly says, "A new commandment I give to you"(Jn 13:34 Petty's note Intriguingly Marcus again quotes from a gospel outside of Marcion's Luke as he does further on cf. the next note) [Pretty p. 95]
Harnack suggested that the Irenaean passage (Adv. haer. 3.11.2) may indicate Marcion's opposition to the Fourth Gospel [Tuomas Rasimus the Legacy of John p. 154] John, however, does himself put this matter beyond all controversy on our part, when he says...
Papias, The Elder and Irenaeus’s Literary Borrowings in Adversus Haereses By Stephan Huller Irenaeus’s Adversus Haereses is properly defined as a synthetic text – that is, it was made through the combining of a number of constituent elements, sepa...
except that this opinion too will have had other inventors, those so to speak premature and abortive Marcionites whom the apostle John pronounced antichrists, who denied that Christ was come in the flesh [Adv Marc 3.8] 
We have also churches which are nurselings of John's: for although Marcion disallows his Apocalypse, yet the succession of their bishops, when traced back to its origin, will be found to rest in John as originator. [Adv Marc 4.5]  For out of those autho...
claimed that the verse is "obviously an addition to the narrative, but in our opinion a redactor's addition, not a later scribe's." He goes on to say "Much of the language of Luke xxiv 12 is non-Lucan in style, and the redactor may have bor...
"The Gospel of John was revealed and given to the Churches by John whilst he was still alive in his body, as Papias, called the Hierapolitan, the beloved disciple of John, has reported in his five books of “Exegetics". (he who) wrote down the ...
Accordingly, if Marcion consecrated the sacrament of baptism with the words of the gospel, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," [Matt 28:19] the sacrament was complete, although his faith expressed under the same w...
"Clement and Marcion (with the Old Latin) will then confirm each other, as showing that even at this early date the two passages, Matt. xxvi. 24 and Matt, xviii. 6 (Luke xvii. 2), had already begun to be combined. [Sanday, Gospels in the Second Centu...
[Mt] 5.18 itself rests upon Mt. 24.34f or the source in which this originally stood. The close of 5.18, 4 till all things be accomplished,' does not amalgamate easily with the beginning of the verse, "Till heaven and earth pass away (one jot or one t...
David Inglis, Again he falsified. “There shall not an hair of your head perish.” (Scholion 58) According to Roth, “Volkmar … considered ...12:6–7 and 21:18 possibly to be later additions,” and Baring-Gould wrote: "There shall not an hair ...
It is not clear that Marcion and his followers fully rejected all other New Testament writings; Ephraem the Syrian (Song 24. 1) claimed that the followers of Marcion had not rejected Matthew 23:8, and both John 13:34 and 15:19 are quoted by a Marcionite i...
It is to the credit of Marcion that he claimed no finality for his work, and his later followers not only revised his theology, but also extended his Canon. Later Marcionites accepted the Pastoral Epistles, presumably interpreting the heresies against whi...
This must have been poor, for Marcion, following the counsel of Jesus given in Matthew 19:21, sold his goods and donated the proceeds to the Roman church. At first he won the hearts of the people. [Eduardo Hoornaert the Memory of the Christian People p....
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul (anima), and with all thy strength " (Anti-Mar., iv. 25). Tertullian pronounced Marcion's text as “heretical” and “mutilated.” If Tertullian would have checked, ...
Megethius The prophet of the God of Creation told a bear to come out of the thicket and devour the children who met him but the good Lord says "let the children come to me for of such is the kingdom of heaven." [Pretty p. 58]
"But before I come to the interpretation of this verse (Matt 19:12), it has yet to be said that Marcion, if he had acted with a little consistency, when he prohibited allegorical interpretations of the scripture, would have rejected these verses too ...
Origen argues (princ. 2.5) for the goodness of justice, citing Paul, 'The law then is good and the commandment holy and just and good' (Rom. 7: 12). The Marcionites had claimed that Matt. 19: 10 refers to the father of Christ who is not the creator; but i...
'As regards Tertullian, Adv. Marc. IV, 34,' it seems 'very probable that Marcion, when dealing with Lk. 16:18, also considered and rejected Matt. 19:3- 8.' Here Harnack calls on the support of Zahn, op. cit. I, p. 670. [Formation of the Christian Canon p...
" Clement and Marcion (with the Old Latin) will then confirm each other, as showing that even at this early date the two passages, Matt. xxvi. 24 and Matt, xviii. 6 (Luke xvii. 2), had already begun to be combined. [Sanday, Gospels in the Second Cen...
The case of Peter escaped his (Marcion's) memory, who, although he was a man of the law, was not only chosen by the Lord, but also obtained the testimony of possessing knowledge which was given to him by the Father. (Matthew 16:17) [Tertullian Against M...

7AM

Cerdon lived under Antoninus I and claimed that God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and unknown to the prophets, was different from the creator of all and giver of Moses' law. And that the one was righteous, whilst the other one good. He says that [t...
(twice mentioned by the Marcionite Marcus in Adamantius) De recta in deum fide XV: "This is what the Judaists wrote the (version): 'I have not come to abolish the law but to fulfill (it).' But Christ did not speak in this way; he said rather: 'I hav...
Ephraim quotes ' Blessed are the meek in their spirit ' : this is an inaccurate combination of Matt, v 5 and Matt, v 3, but neither element of the quotation is represented in the Lucan Beatitudes, accepted by Marcion. [Charles W Mitchell, S. Ephraim's ...
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus does not commence his preaching until after he takes up his residence in Capernaum. ~Matthew 4:13-17. Mark and Luke confirm this, but Matthew and Marcion were most likely from a common manuscript, as in the Gospel of John, ...
For this Marcion relied upon the antitheses of Matt. 5:21-49, indicating that this book was probably issued (or revised) in Rome.[Richard Pervo, the Making of Paul p. 351]   Some scholars have viewed the Antitheses (in Matthew) as attacks on the law o...
Cerdon lived under Antoninus I and claimed that God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and unknown to the prophets, was different from the creator of all and giverof Moses' law. And that the one was righteous, whilst the other one good. He says that [th...
Adamantius: It is evident then that Marcus wants things to exist that are opposed to what has been commanded. [MK:] But to commit adultery is opposed to the command, "You shall not commit adultery" murder opposes "You shall not murder"...
Megethius: What then does it mean in the Law when it says, "Cloak for cloak", while the good Lord says, "If anyone should take your cloak, give him your tunic also [Petty p. 60]
Megethius: It says in the Law, "Eye for eye and tooth for tooth', but the Lord, because He is good, says in the Gospel, "If anyone should slap you on the cheek, turn the other one as well." [Pretty p. 57]
For if they who are our enemies, and hate us, and speak evil of us, and calumniate us, are to be called our brethren, surely He did in effect bid us bless them that hate us, and pray for them who calumniate us, when He instructed us to reckon them as bret...
Irenaeus while saying that Marcion 'circumcized' the gospel of Luke also implies Marcion used or knew Matthew And that the Lord did not abrogate the natural [precepts] of the law, by which man is justified, which also those who were justified by faith, a...
Epiphanius was above all else not attempting to create a definitive list of 'Marcionite scriptural corruptions.'  If you actually look at what he says in the introduction to his lengthy discussion of the Marcionite scriptures one can see immediately that...
As Williams notes in his translation Epiphanius's source material is clearly distinguishable.  Making reference to the entire section which precedes his lengthy discussion of Marcionite corruption of scripture he says: this Section follows the outline o...
 [Legge Forerunners and Rivals of Christianity p. 151]. Plooj has perhaps the best line on the subject of the bishop's dishonesty I think Epiphanius ought to be the last witness we should trust uncontrolled, especially in his testimonies on heretics ...
Theodor Zahn pointed out that Tertullian's Latin work Scorpiace (Σκορπιακή) has a Greek title. Oehler says that J. Pamelius, in his epistle dedicatory to Philip II. of Spain, makes mention of a Greek copy of Tertullian in the library of that king...
Since Tertullian charged that Marcion removed passages which "were never in Luke, but belonged to Mark or Matthew [he] could not have used Luke's Gospel for comparison while writing'' Adv Marc .4 According to Ward, while Tertullian should have used L...
It is not only Matt 5:45 and Luke 6:35 which betray the original Diatessaron of the author of Adversus Marcionem.  It would seem that Luke 11:27 'blessed is the womb that bore you' and the material around Matthew 12:49 originally formed a unit in the Dia...
Tertullian 'says' that Marcion erased things from his gospel which do not appear in Luke but only Matthew because Justin wrote the original treatise working from his 'gospel harmony' and these references were left intact ignored by subsequent reworking of...
Dunn notes Adversus Iudaeos "is a work that relies heavily upon Justin's Dialogus cum Tryphone."  This pattern also holds true for large parts of Adv Marc 4's 'sister text' Adv Marc 5.  This hypothesis would agree with the assumption that the ...

6AM

The best way to explain these shared readings is that Tertullian translated and remodeled original treatises written by Irenaeus.  Examples of Tertullian copying out original treatises of Irenaeus necessarily include his Against the Valentinians (Irenaeu...
Marcion, a very mouthpiece of ungodliness ; for one who teaches different Gods, one good, the other just, contradicts the Son, who says Rigtheous Father [John 17.25]. Again, one who says that the Father is different from the Maker of the world, is at vari...
J. Schafers, Eine altsyrische antimarkionitische Erkldrung von Parabeln des Herrn und zwei andere altsyrische Abhandlungen zu Texten der Evangelien. Mil Beitrdgen zu Tatians Diatessaron und Markions Neuem Testament, NTA 4.1.2 finds a number of references ...
Epiphanius records this variation in Mcg’s version of v. 5:24 (emphasis added): But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power to forgive sins upon earth. (Scholion 2) In the KJV the parallels at Mk 2:10a and Mt 9:6a both read: But that ye may know...
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'-sho...
As regards Tertullian, Adv. Marc. IV, 34,' it seems 'very probable that Marcion, when dealing with Lk. 16:18, also considered and rejected Matt. 19:3- 8.' Here Harnack calls on the support of Zahn, op. cit. I, p. 670. [Hans von Campenhausen Formation of ...

November 19, 10PM

Scholion One  from Marcion’s Own Version of the Gospel "Go shew thyself unto the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded – that this may be a testimony unto you,” instead of the Saviour’s, “for a testimony unto th...
"Because," says He, "He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil." [Luke 6:35] Well done, Marcion! How cleverly have you withdrawn from Him the showers and the sunshine. – Tertullian expected to see Mt 5:45 in the Marcionite gospe...
Take the gospel [or the evangelicon] of Marcion, and you will presently see at the very beginning a proof of their impudence. For they have left out our Lord's genealogy from and Abraham. And if you proceed a little farther, you will see another instance ...
This argument was developed by David Inglis. “But since both the place and the work of illumination according to the prophecy are compatible with Christ, we begin to discern that He is the subject of the prophecy, which shows that at the very outset of ...
“It behoved Marcion’s Christ to have forborne all connection whatever with the domestic localities of the Creator's Christ.” [18:37, 24:19] - “Nazareth” not mentioned by either Tertullian or Epiphanius. Ephrem makes a similar statement that 'Naz...
Justin used a so-called 'harmonized gospel' (Hengel 2000, p 20) and his Against Marcion was reflective of the original POV of the Latin Adversus Marcionem associated with Tertullian.
We can similarly assume that all treatises written 'Against Marcion' in the East (Theophilus, Rhodo the student of Tatian etc) were written from a similar perspective as the aforementioned (i.e. Marcion corrupted a 'Diatessaronic' text rather than 'Luke.'...
De Recta in Deum Fide the text attributed to a certain 'Adamantius' and written undoubtedly in Edessa at a time when the Marcionite gospel was ascendant and subsequently preserved in a corrupt form does not know Irenaeus's 'myth' about Marcion 'corrupt...
Ephrem's Commentary and Against Marcion assumes that the Marcionite gospel resembled the shape and form of his own 'Diatessaron.'  He assumes that Marcion possessed a compatible text which was 'tweaked' for doctrinal reasons.
Casey concludes from his analysis of Eznik's Against the Sects (Casey, R. “The Armenian Marcionites and the Diatessaron,” JBL 57 (1938), 185–194) that the Marcionites had a Diatessaron: The result of this investigation has been to discover in Eznik...
Can we distinguish between the proposed 'original text' of Against Marcion developed as it was from a Diatessaron-based community from the later stages of corruption which introduce the 'Marcion falsified Luke' argument?  I think so.  If you take a care...
Tertullian is universally acknowledged to be our 'best source' for information about the Marcionite canon.  The reason is simple.  He seems to go through line by line at times important sections of the Marcionite interpretation of the gospel which was ...
This is a point first noted by Hermann Raschke.  Raschke (p 37) notes that Tertullian's endorsement of the Marcion's = Luke is rather weak. It is only a presumption for Tertullian for he begins "It seems Marcion chose Luke as the one to mutilate&quo...

9PM

After acknowledging Irenaeus used earlier source material in his Against Marcion Stephanie Binder adds that "it is widely recognised that Tertullian was influenced by Irenaeus. [Tertullian, On Idolatry and Mishnah Avodah Zarah p. 72] Anthony Gregory ...
that Irenaeus testimony is "often quite untrustworthy" [Skinner, International Critical Commentary p. 141] is a vast understatement.  Sense describes him as a 'dishonest' writer [A Critical and Historical Enquiry Into the Origin of the Third Go...
there can be no doubt that we have been collectively 'baptized into' the assumptions at the heart of the fourfold gospel.  We now take them granted.  This position won out in history because of the ascendance of the Roman Empire and the orthodox Church ...
That ur-gospel of Cerdo is identified by later Church Fathers as containing references to Matthew: Cerdo was one who took his system from the followers of Simon, and came to live at Rome in the time of Hyginus, who held the ninth place in the episcopal s...
Look merely at one passage: 'Marcion Lucam videtur elegisse quem caederet' (' Marcion seems to have chosen Luke as the one he would cut'). From this, and from the whole method of proof in this chapter, it appears plainly that Marcion knew our four gospels...
In this regard, most recently, Matthias Klinghardt of Dresden University has presented astounding evidence that the Marcionite text of the Gospel of Luke more than likely preceded the canonical Gospel of Luke. It would then follow that the composers of th...
As Souter notes: There was certainly some kinship between the text used by Ephraim and that used by the heretic Marcion. This need not surprise us. Tatian and Marcion were in Rome about the same time. Just as Tatian used a Western text of the Gospels as ...
Megethius the Marcionite in De Recta in Deum Fide identifies the texts as pseudepigraphal forgeries written in the name of disciples but were actually composed long after Paul. We read in the first section of the text Megethius (= MEG) bring up to Adama...
those who have argued that Marcion's gospel was ur-Luke include Paul-Louis Couchoud, Joseph Tyson among others.  Markus Vinzent and Matthias Klinghardt (in a two volume edition go one step further and argue that this Gospel is the oldest of its kind and ...
Moreover, taking up Paul's references to "my gospel" in Galatians, Marcion concluded that he used one written gospel" [Steven Wilson, Related Strangers p. 171] "What of his insistence that there was only one true Gospel, the book whic...
those Semites who accepted the single, long gospel necessarily associated it with a political solution to their oppression - the appearance of the Christ heralded by Jesus.  Marcion was in a long line of people who used the single long gospel and whose '...
Those of the movement of Simon made for themselves a gospel in four parts and they called it the Book of the Quarters (of the world). They are all sorcerers. A thread of scarlet and of the rose (color) they bind at the neck like the priests (of Rome). The...

8PM

It isn't just that Epiphanius preserves a report that the Diatessaron was the Gospel of the Hebrews (and thus 'ur-Matthew in some sense). (Panarion 46.1.9) It is extremely curious that Tatian is so well-known by our earliest sources (Irenaeus, Clement) an...
T. Heckel (1999, 327-29) argues that Justin (ca. 100-ca. 165) already knew a fourfold Gospel collection, and von Hamack (1960, 79, 84-85, 211, 249) argued that Marcion (who broke with the Roman church in the summer of 144 C.E.) already knew a fourfold gos...
After this he [Celsus] says, that certain of the Christian believers, like persons who in a fit of drunkenness lay violent hands upon themselves, have corrupted the original text of the Gospel (τῆς πρώτης γραφῆς τὸ εὐαγγέλιο...
Throughout this exercise I will use 'Diatessaron' and 'Diatessaronic' even though I am well aware that it is assumed to reinforce the pre-existence of four gospels.  The only other term I could find to denote the 'single, long gospel' which I assume to b...

November 17, 7PM

Throughout this exercise I will use 'Diatessaron' and 'Diatessaronic' even though I am well aware that it is assumed to reinforce the pre-existence of four gospels.  The only other term I could find to denote the 'single, long gospel' which I assume to b...

November 16, 5PM

Throughout this exercise I will use 'Diatessaron' and 'Diatessaronic' even though I am well aware that it is assumed to reinforce the pre-existence of four gospels.  The only other term I could find to denote the 'single, long gospel' which I assume to b...

12 AM

Throughout this exercise I will use 'Diatessaron' and 'Diatessaronic' even though I am well aware that it is assumed to reinforce the pre-existence of four gospels.  The only other term I could find to denote the 'single, long gospel' which I assume to b...

November 15, 10AM

As many of you know I am have long been convinced that the Marcionite gospel was more than merely a 'circumcised' gospel according to Luke.  The reason for this obvious - I am very familiar with the sources and I go where they lead me.  Indeed no one be...

November 14, 9AM

As many of you know I am have long been convinced that the Marcionite gospel was more than merely a 'circumcised' gospel according to Luke.  The reason for this obvious - I am very familiar with the sources and I go where they lead me.  Indeed no one be...

November 13, 10AM

As many of you know I am have long been convinced that the Marcionite gospel was more than merely a 'circumcised' gospel according to Luke.  The reason for this obvious - I am very familiar with the sources and I go where they lead me.  Indeed no one be...

12 AM

As many of you know I am have long been convinced that the Marcionite gospel was more than merely a 'circumcised' gospel according to Luke.  The reason for this obvious - I am very familiar with the sources and I go where they lead me.  Indeed no one be...

October 16, 3PM

October 6, 11PM

    for if he is giving thanks for benefits conferred upon him, he must take care not to behave like an ungrateful man, becoming wicked, for the benefits are conferred on a virtuous man; or if his object be to secure the permanence of his present pros...

October 3, 10AM

I see great affinities with Colossians chapter 1.  More on that later.  First the reference.  I had hitherto only been aware of the Passing of Peregrinus, a portrait I have previously argued is a pagan attestation of the life (and martyrdom) of Polycar...

September 7, 9AM

The problem of course is that scholarship claims it doesn't know how the Torah was written.  'The Pentateuch describes Moses going up to receive the Ten Commandments but how was the Book itself written?'  'The Torah describes Moses's death, so Moses cou...

September 1, 7PM

Is it possible the gospel isn't what many of us suppose it to be?  Is it really a historical document?  Is it really about a man named Jesus the son of Mary or Joseph?  Certainly that is the easy answer, the answer which comes down to us from a selecti...

August 27, 2PM

I haven't done attempted to demonstrate that 'secret Mark' was one and the same with the Marcionite gospel in some time but consider this strange tidbit from De Recta in Deum Fide.  The Catholic representative (Adamantius) uses the resurrection of Lazaru...

8AM

Most people are clueless not only about the Jewish religion but traditional religion as such.  We have as a whole been brought up by something of the British 'practical mind set' so we imagine the practitioners of ancient religion as sharing our faith in...

August 21, 10AM

The world has become convinced that 'the fifteenth of Tiberius' - that is 29 CE - was the year that Jesus, the supposed founder of Christianity, was crucified in Jerusalem. This 'fact' is taken for granted even though it stands on incredibly weak philolo...

August 19, 9AM

The fact that we know that: 'the fifteenth of Tybi' is a recognized variant of 'the fifteenth of Tiberius' and Marcion is explicitly associated with the Egyptian calendar of twelve months (which includes 'Tybi') by Tertullian (Adv Marc 1.19) It suppor...

August 18, 10PM

The physical stones of the temple were never destroyed or knocked over during the Roman capture of Jerusalem c 70 CE.  Josephus makes this explicit.  All he says is that a fire destroyed and profaned the holy place within the temple.  As such these wor...

August 4, 8PM

I have always argued on behalf of a 21 CE crucifixion.  I will take a government document (Acta Pilati) over Josephus any day of the week.  It was Robert Eisler who got the ball rolling on this one many generations ago.  But Danny Schwartz did the hard...

August 3, 10PM

"In the light of this quotation (Adv Haer 5.26.2), it is impossible to maintain with Osborn (Irenaeus p.5) that Irenaeus was as peace-loving as his name indicates and that power play was not important for him. Osborn writes: “His irenic approach sh...

July 28, 10PM

Irenaeus admired Justin Martyr and borrowed from his writings (AH 4.6.2, 5.26.2) but he could hardly deny to the heretics the right to distinguish between two gods and then approve of Justin's saying that there are two gods. [Denis Minns, Irenaeus: An Int...

July 26, 9PM

Schmid has proven convincingly that Epiphanius used Marcion's texts (Marcion, 173), in contrast to Clabeaux, who thought that Epiphanius did not but rather used previous anti-Marcionite works (Lost Edition, 14). I am not sure I remember this comprehensi...

July 24, 9PM

Why should anyone care when the heretic 'Marcion' lived?  I seem to care a lot about this problem.  Why am I so interested in Marcion?  I suppose the answer has something to with a fascination with ontology 'the study of the nature of being.'  Ever si...

8PM

No one wants to appear to be stupid - or at least, no one but me it seems.  One of the things I hate about academics is that - the fear of looking foolish tends to make them avoid certain opinions.  I don't know if the Marcionite understanding of Marci...

July 17, 4PM

The son of Zurvan's desire is Ohrmazd, warm and moist, the god of goodness, light, and life. The son of his doubt is Ahri- man, cold and dry, lord of darkness and evil. To Ahriman Zurvan had planned to give nothing, for his intent was to bestow the rule o...

2PM

I happened to have stumbled across an incredibly detailed study of the Iranian myth of Zurvan at the Encyclopaedia Iranica.  I had a vague recollection about the figure of Zurvan or 'Time' in Zoroastrianism.  I think I was first introduced to the concep...

July 7, 9PM

In my previous posts I noted that the Marcionite recension of 1 Corinthians 15:48 - 49 was known to Celsus.  The emphasis was clearly on taking on the 'super-celestial' rather than mere 'heavenly' image as our surviving Catholic texts render.  This was ...

7PM

In my previous post I suggested that Celsus was citing from the Marcionite version of 1 Corinthians 15:48 - 49 when he is reported by Origen as saying: Celsus in the next place alleges, that "certain Christians, having misunderstood the words o...

1PM

Just a thought.  Celsus complains that Christians 'misrepresent Plato' when they connect the world of ideas to a super-celestial realm above that of the Demiurge.  That may well be true but what if Jews and Christians recognized that Plato was dependen...

11AM

There is an extremely important testimony in the writings of Celsus (c. 177 CE) where it is clear from Origen's response that the Marcionite concept of the 'third heaven' is connected with the Hebrew concept of 'the heaven of heavens' (as we just saw in E...

July 6, 10PM

The Marcionites held fast to the idea that there were three heavens.   Eznik clearly identifies this as the abode of the Father.  But far more significantly he makes clear that the Marcionites developed their understanding from the Hebrew text of the Pe...

1PM

We began with an understanding that a Samaritan sect identified themselves with the Persian word 'friends' or dustan. We since moved on to the recognition that the same source - Hegesippus's Memoirs - identified another Samaritan group to venerate the Pe...

12 PM

We have been developing an appreciation for something that is 'old news' in the study of Samaritanism, namely that the Patristic reports identifying a certain 'Dositheus' as the founder of the 'Dosithians' is utterly contrived and wrong.  The Greek term...

9AM

We have begun to show in our first two posts in this series a most remarkable situation with respect to an obscure Samaritan sect which has far reaching implications for the study of early Christianity.  For reasons that aren't exactly clear yet a sect...

12 AM

The Kitab al-Tarikh (Annales) is the great chronicle written by Abu'l-Fath in the fourteenth century. An annotated translation was made by P. Stenhouse in 1986.  The text provides a great deal of information about the Dustan (דסתאן) but the infor...

July 3, 10AM

I haven't been blogging a lot lately.  It has been a busy six week period.  I went to Toronto for a television documentary and a wedding among other things.  Then my laptop had problems with its hard drive.  In any event, taking time off from blogging...

May 19, 10AM

Russian (late 13th century) Russian (early 15th century) Russian (late 15th century)          

May 11, 11PM

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8PM

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12 AM

May 10, 11PM

April 18, 5PM

Harry Tzalas is one of my favorite people in the world. Since 1998 Harry has led 24 underwater archaeological campaigns in Alexandria. A variety of ancient remains was traced, adding important information to the topography and history of the ancient and ...

April 17, 10PM

In the April number of 1871, of La Revue Critique published in Montreal, we find a paper upon the laws of Louisiana and their sources, read by Judge Merrick before the New Orleans Academy of Science, January, 23, 1871. Among the most striking features ...

3PM

Wouldn't an Egyptian cataloging clerk at Tulane, a man who was so skilled at ancient Egyptian that he was accepted by the prestigious university to teach a course on ancient Egyptian writing, who happened to work at Brown-Tilton Memorial Library for ...

2PM

Demotic (from Greek: δημοτικός dēmotikós, "popular") is the ancient Egyptian script derived from northern forms of hieratic used in the Nile Delta, and the stage of the Egyptian language written in this script, following Late Egyptian...

12 PM

April 16, 7PM

Unless I am mistaken, almost the entire case for the forgery of the Demotic Gospel of Thomas is summed up here in Robin Lane Fox's May 25, 1991: In November, friend Batson sent his text to an Egyptological journal in Oxford, enclosing a photocopy of wha...

1PM

11AM

From the Teaching and History of Mathematics in the United States (1890) a book that began as a paper read before the New Orleans Academy of Sciences: The New Orleans Academy of Sciences holds its meetings at the Tulane University. The professors of th...
Claudius W Spears was a general in the Confederate Army and later taught mathematics at the University of Mississippi.  From Wikipedia: Sears resigned his commission from the U.S. Army on October, 10, 1842. Following a short stint teaching at St. Thoma...

9AM

Karlem Reiss (Physics and Physical Sciences in New Orleans) notes in his discussion of various members of the Academy that a number of papers from that period have since disappeared "(Claudius W) Sears was elected to membership in the New Orleans Aca...

April 15, 11PM

The Academy always had a recording secretary in its charter Sec. 4, — The Recording Secretary shall keep the minutes of the Scientific proceedings of the Academy, and shall issue notices for special Scientific meetings. He shall also keep a registe...

9PM

"Five children were born to the Doctor (J R Walker) and his wife (Jeanie Mort): Lizzie A., Dr. W. E., Flora C. (deceased), Katie R. and J. Mort." Source

6PM

William Ernest (W E) Walker a prominent dentist who was born in New Orleans and eventually moved to Bay St Louis, Mississippi.  Citation 1.  Citation 2.  Citation 3 Dean of New Orleans College of Medicine. William E. Walker, class of 1889, New Orlean...

9AM

It would seem that I have an inkling of what happened to the organization after 1865. I found a list of officers in 1869 and the reader can see that it represents a completely different list of individuals. When the Depuydt article from 1875 would clear...
From the archivist at Tulane University: Stephan, Thank you for contacting the Louisiana Research Collection. I conducted a preliminary search of our holdings – consulting our online catalog, manuscripts card catalog, online and paper manuscripts ...

8AM

In order to track down the existence of the alleged 'Demotic Gospel of Thomas' we have to figure out who was 'President' of the organization at the time of the publication of the article which makes reference to the fragment.  It would seem that the orga...

April 14, 7PM

I have been posting comments at Evangelical Textual Criticism for the last 24 hours trying to get to the bottom of whether this article is a fake.  It might well be.  Anything is possible.  But I was surprised to learn how rich of a heritage the New Or...

April 10, 7AM

I don't say this because I dislike scholars per se.  I think it has more to do with my mistrust of humanity in general.  The reality is that we are all bad judges of character and the 'truth' in general.  No matter what the debate is, we get it wrong....

April 7, 11PM

The Arabic Infancy Gospel [1] tells a story about an aggressive, demon possessed child who bit himself and others, and then struck Jesus [2]. The description of the child's biting behavior and aggression is characteristic of Lesch-Nyhan syndrome [3] [4]...

March 22, 8PM

Most scholars have never investigated the possibility that the Marcionite textual variants may go back to their use of the original Hebrew proto-gospel because their presuppositions 'tell' them that Marcion was 'anti-Jewish.' But who established this und...

March 20, 12 AM

Yes, I don't think that the original gospel was written in Aramaic.  The Church Fathers actually never say anything of the sort. When you go through the actual evidence of the Patristic sources it is impossible to mistake their clear attestation that the...

March 19, 11AM

It is perhaps the most interesting - and most important - parable in the entire gospel.  It was certainly thought to be so by the early traditions that became 'heresies' to the early Church - i.e. the Marcionite and the Manichaeans traditions.  Yet some...

March 18, 2PM

There is this consistent theme in the writings of the Church Fathers regarding the 'cutting' of Marcion.  The usual explanation is that Marcion 'cut' the Christian scriptures.  However the reality is that when we take into account ALL of the sources aga...

March 17, 11AM

From a Russian etymological dictionary: скопец I скопе́ц I "вид ястреба", см. скопа́. II скопе́ц II, род. п. -пца́ "евнух", укр. скопе́ць "валушок", д...

March 16, 12 PM

This is related to my last post. Τhe word chop (to cut) apparently comes from the old French coper (to cut, cut off), which, most probably, is derived from the Greek verb copto (to cut; Gr: κόπτω). In modern Greek (Romeika): a) copto or covo: to cu...

11AM

I have already explained my friend and mega-scholar Tjitze Baarda's suggestion about a misreading by Braun perpetuated by subsequent generations of scholars. The Syriac text which was vocalized 'saka' might have read 'seke' - the Aramaic plural of sekta ...

10AM

I have stopped blogging for the last while while I await for the editing of the manuscript for my new book.  I also happened to have stumbled upon a most interesting statement in a mostly ignored Syriac text about 'the Marcionite equivalent' of the Acts ...

March 15, 4PM

First the evidence for 'coins' being important in the gospel: The Saviour answered and said unto Mary: "I have said unto you aforetime: 'Be ye as skilful money-changers. Take the good, throw the bad away.' [Pistis Sophia 134] When then the Saviou...

February 17, 11AM

Chapter 10 The Myth of Jesus  1   In the end it shall hopefully become obvious that our starting assumptions about Jesus determine how view the gospel.  If we begin by assuming that the gospel 'had to have developed' from the life of a histori...

February 14, 12 PM

Chapter Nine A Lord and his Man   1   We have now arrived at the ultimate revelation - the understanding that Jesus had to have originally been conceived as a pre-existent divine being named Man or His Man.  Most New Testament scholars who take an in...

February 13, 3PM

Chapter 8 The Church Fathers, Jesus and the איש I was asked to edit a book on the parallels between the Joseph and Aseneth story and early Christianity after a trip to Israel.  I will never forget the ride home.  I had this massive manuscript taken...

February 12, 3PM

Chapter 7 A Man of Action The earliest Jewish sources identify Abraham as the first to recognize God.  But what does that really mean?   Scholars have struggled over this question for millennia because the answer is not made explicit in the text.  Y...

February 10, 12 PM

Chapter 6 When Men Were Gods 1 A curious fact that has been oft noted about the Pentateuch.  Genesis and Exodus begin in a very similar manner.  While Genesis tells the story of the creation of the world, Exodus makes reference to creation of the per...

February 7, 3PM

Chapter 5 Before the Beginning   1 One of the most puzzling things about Biblical scholars is that they will fawn over an extinct Jewish culture like that associated with the Qumran community but ignore a marginalized but still living tradition lik...

February 2, 11AM

Chapter Four Fire and Water 1 If the Imperial government encouraged all religious traditions - not just the ones associated with Israel - to venerate the sole 'ruler of the world,' how confident can anyone be that the faiths which survived the Roman...

January 31, 11AM

Worth a read regardless of your conclusions about the text.  The PDF is here.  My own take is this.  I can accept any argument which follows from the evidence.  As such this is an interesting read.  Nevertheless I don't get how any reasonable person ...

January 29, 3PM

 Chapter Three Against the World and its Demons 1 Before I get too deeply immersed in the understanding that the original name of Jesus equaled 'threescore six,' there's another, more personal story I'd like to share with you.  I can't tell you fo...

January 28, 2PM

 Chapter Two Jesus and the Number of the Beast 1 For most of my adult life I never doubted for a minute that there was a real Jesus a man of flesh and blood who somehow became associated with an exaggerated historical record which was used to found th...

January 26, 7PM

Many people including most recently Agamenon Tselikas have attempted to use the argument that the fact that the book Morton Smith found in the Mar Saba library was not listed in various catalogs dating back to 19th century this somehow throws suspicion on...

3PM

Chapter One Jesus and the Crypto-Jewish tradition of Mark 1 I have a crazy story to tell you, one which will completely turn everything you thought you knew about God, religion and history upside down.  All things your parents told you about Jesus is...

January 24, 1PM

To this end we have to take a second look at the actual names which appear in the earliest manuscripts which are read as reflecting the presence of our familiar Jewish man named 'Jesus' (Ἰησοῦς).  As noted above, the manuscripts of early Christia...

January 22, 12 PM

Whenever anyone comes along and tries to reconstruct the origins of Christianity the ultimate test comes down to whether or not an idea is compatible with contemporary Judaism.  There are many so-called 'mythicists' who develop essentially stupid ideas a...

January 21, 11PM

So the question before me was - how do you reconcile the idea of Jews developing the idea of a god coming down to visit people on earth?  The truth is that this subject has a very tangled history in Judaism.  Most of the sages since the destruction of t...

8PM

I began my investigation with the age old problem of reconciling man and God in the person of Jesus.  Liberal Protestant scholars have long attempted to strip away the 'fantastic' elements of the gospel in order to uncover the 'historical Jesus.'  They ...

12 PM

So I got off my call with Rory musing to myself that I would spend the next year of my life trying to demonstrate a seemingly impossible premise.  Above and beyond anything proposed by other so-called 'mythicists' - i.e. those who argue that the gospel w...

12 AM

Before setting out to write this crazy book, I gave a call to my best friend in this world, Professor Iain 'Rory' Boid formerly of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.  I remember the day as vividly as yesterday.  It was Martin Luther King Jr Day....

January 2, 1AM

Let's look at the original reference from the Acta Archelai that started me taking seriously this phenomenon.  It appears as follows (English first and then barbarous Latin second):  Thus, too, on the authority of an apostle, he endeavoured to esta...

January 1, 12 PM

Those whose design it is so to disturb the faith of the resurrection as to deny that that hope extends even to the flesh--a faith which, until the emergence of these kinsmen of the Sadducces,1 had remained exempt from controversy--with good reason tear...

8AM

The soul is enclosed in the body, and yet itself holdeth the body together; so Christians are kept in the world as in a prison-house, and yet they themselves hold the world together. The soul though itself immortal dwelleth in a mortal tabernacle; so Chr...
“And as we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall bear also the image of the heavenly,” (Ὡς δὲ ἐφορέσαμεν τὴν εἰκόνα τοῦ χοϊκοῦ, φορέσωμεν καὶ τὴν εἰκόνα τοῦ ἐπουραν...

1AM

Here are the texts we are going to examine in some detail over the next few months because they allude to 1 Corinthians 15:38 - 53 being associated or attached to material from 2 Corinthians 3:1 - 5:8: Acts of Archelaus chapters 40 - 43 De Recta in Deum ...

12 AM

It's been a long time - reading, studying, thinking.  And for what?  What exactly was the reason that the son of atheist parents started taking an interest in religion.  Honestly?  It was because the field is dominated by weak, inferior minds.  I am ...

December 29 2013, 11PM

This is what bothers me about Christian scholarship generally.  These people want to be taken seriously as 'experts' on the Biblical heritage related to the New Testament but time and time again they demonstrate that they haven't an inkling beyond the mo...

December 25, 10PM

You know how scholars often work in 'academic sound bytes' - i.e. they fail to look at the 'big picture' when they develop their pronouncements.  Bart Ehrman made it explicit in his 2005 book Lost Christianities when he claimed 'Marcion was a literalist....

December 21, 11PM

Larry Hurtado at a recent blog post noted that "Jesus-devotion erupted rapidly and originated in circles of Jewish Jesus-followers in Judea."  No one doubts that the authentic Pauline letters use what is called 'high Christology' (= Jesus b...

December 20, 7AM

Hint, hint, hint.  If only I could have organized something similar for Mar Saba 65.

December 19, 10AM

I was thinking about this morning after reading Loren Rosson's drivel dredging up the same tired old claims about the alleged forgery.  I notice that Francis Watson, Mark Goodacre, Larry Hurtado are 'convinced' that both Secret Mark and the Jesus Wife Fr...

December 15, 1AM

The idea has always been floating around in the back of my head whenever I read an important part of Against Heresies Book Two.  It is not enough to read just bits and pieces of ancient writers.  You have to try - at least once to deal with the totality...

December 13, 11PM

I must clarify for the moment that I do not consider myself a 'mythicist' per se.  I don't believe we can ever be certain about whether or not Jesus existed.  My own personal inclination is to suppose that the Marcionites were mostly right about everyth...

December 6, 12 AM

Even if "the letter killeth, yet the Spirit giveth life" and both belong to Him who says: "I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal." We have already made good the Creator's claim to this twofold character of judgment and goodness...

December 5, 12 PM

Let me start out by saying that I don't know for a fact that the fragment is authentic.  However I know more than Larry Hurtado does about where we stand with respect to scientific testing of the document.  I can't say how I know this and readers are en...

December 4, 11AM

Bloomberg Defends NYPD’s Controversial Stop And Kiss Program

December 2, 2AM

life is hard.  It is difficult to live with an expansive consciousness.  I mean that sincerely.  I may not be the richest man in the world but since I am extremely hard working by nature it shouldn't be controversial to suggest that I worked hard for o...

November 26, 12 PM

The 11th International Congress of Coptic Studies is being planned for Claremont California on July 24-30, 2016!   Will post more info when I get it.

November 24, 1PM

Irenaeus in Book Three makes clear that the Apostle Paul opposed 'separation' with respect to the godhead: And the Apostle Paul also, saying, "For though ye have served them which are no gods; ye now know God, or rather, are known of God," has...

12 PM

The importance of 'unity' and the evil of 'separation' is a fundamental concept in Irenaeus.  If we turn to the Apostolic Preaching we read of a core 'antithesis' in his theology addressed to a certain 'Marcian': We send you as it were a manual of esse...
The argument against 'separating' wasn't just leveled against the Marcionites.  We should notice that Tertullian borrows from an original interpretation of Irenaeus (see previous post) that Peter was 'condemned' by Paul for 'separating' with the Judaizer...
We have already demonstrated that Cyril of Jerusalem understood Irenaeus to have been the author of the Praescriptionem, another text that now passes in a Latin translation under Tertullian's name.  There is a reference to Marcion here and the concept of...

11AM

In the main body of Against Marcion Book Two we see Theophilus make actual opposition that was present in Marcionitism - i.e. the traditional Alexandrian Jewish notion of theos and kurios in Philo: goodness and justice are in such close association and ...

10AM

In our continuing investigation of the nature of the original Marcionite antitheses it cannot be ignored any longer that by far the greatest concentration of information about the 'antitheses' appears in Book Four of the five volume series: Separatio l...

November 23, 11PM

It seems so straightforward.  Tertullian mentions on a number of occasions 'the antitheses' of Marcion. As such Harnack and many others postulated the existence of a series of antitheses demonstrating the superiority of Christ over the god of the Je...

November 20, 12 PM

Think about the kindness of God who prepares us for the sheer terror of death by making us go to sleep each night and habitually blacking out.

November 17, 1PM

Of course the source of his knowledge of the Marcionites develops from Origen's lost Commentary.  Origen was particularly close to at least one Marcionite - his patron Ambrose.  Marcion is introduced right at the beginning of the introduction in the Co...
That impious man Porphyry from Batanea did not comprehend any of this (i.e. the 'correct' interpretation of Galatians). In the first book of his treatise against us [Christians], he alleged that Peter had been rebuked by Paul because he did not walk uprig...

12 AM

1 Corinthians 15 develops antithetically.  We've demonstrated that already.  We've been toying with the idea that 1 Corinthians rather than Galatians might have been the first text in the Marcionite canon.  We've noted that the idea that the Marcioni...
This Eric Scherbenske guy is brilliant.  Here is his dissertation Canonizing Paul: Ancient Editorial Practice and the Corpus Paulinum.  I don't agree with all of his conclusions.  But he's very, very well informed and thoughtful. 

November 16, 11AM

So let's get back to the 'Corinthians first' canon of the Marcionites.  The only person who ever attests to its existence is Epiphanius and Epiphanius is not only an 'unreliable' witness, Bart Ehrman has demonstrated in his recent book that he lies about...

12 AM

Why am I so interested in these obscure heretics like Marcion?  I think it is a very good question to ask.  I hope what I am about to write will speak for other people too.  There are many of us who aren't actively engaged in the Realpolitik of modern...

November 14, 11PM

As we have already noted, the only source for the claim that the Marcionites had a Galatians first canon is the fourth century Church Father Epiphanius of Salamis - and Epiphanius is the worst possible witness for anything.  He is unreliable and makes up...

10PM

I am very interested in the origins of Christianity.  When I meet someone new, I scour their personality for some sign that they are 'interesting.'  I find the exotic attractive.  For instance the consistent American mispronunciation of foreign words e...

1AM

I have to go to bed right now but if you look at our previous post, Westcott and many others have noted that Tertullian's De Resurrectione Carnis divides the canon into instrumenta.  Yes this is true.  But the author misses the greater significance of t...

12 AM

In two of his treatises Tertullian appears to give a general summary of the contents of the Latin New Testament of his time.1  In one (De Resurrect. 33, 38, 39, 40) after quoting passages from the Old Testament he continues: "This is enough fro...
In the age of Tertullian and Hippolytus the Instrumentum-Johanneum was a unit. For the Church at large all five of the disputed books stood or fell together. Hence if testimony from Papias were lacking in behalf of the Gospel (and we have seen that none i...
Unger and Dillon p. 189 write "Epiph. has pragmateian kai ten oikonomian. The Latin is instrumentum et dispositionem. Normally the Latin translator used dispositio for oikonomia. Though sometimes he used dispositio for pragmateia, in this case we thi...

November 13, 10PM

The Antitheses' concern for an intended initiate audience provides the linchpin for the argument that Marcion composed the Antitheses to function as an introductory text. Tertullian, our primary source for the Antitheses, explicitly indicates that he unde...

7PM

In his analysis of the Antitheses, Tertullian concludes: 'Marcion's Antitheses, or contradictory propositions ... aim at committing the gospel to a variance with the law, in order that from the diversity of the two documents (utriusque instrumenti) which ...

2AM

I have discussed the background to this discussion in a previous post.  For some reason Moll opposes Evans translation of instrumentum in Adv Marc 1.19.4 to imply that Marcion's 'Antitheses' stood at the head of a codex of scripture.  Moll cites a great...

November 12, 11AM

So back to the real interest in my life - the Marcionite canon.  Is there any convincing evidence that the Marcionite Apostolikon (= the collection of Pauline letters) was Galatians first?  Surprisingly no.  The only person who says this is Epiphanius ...

1AM

We know that God isn't a thing.  Everyone agrees on that.  Your not going to run over God when you back out of your driveway.  You aren't going to find God on sale at the supermarket.  In that sense, he doesn't exist, that's true.  But I don't think ...

November 11, 12 PM

It may be instructive to note how many parallels there are between the situation sketched in 1 timothy and that found in 1 Corinthians. In each case, Paul uses his delegate timothy as his representative to remind the community of his teaching and his “w...

11AM

As, then, philosophy has been brought into evil repute by pride and self-conceit, so also ghosts by false ghosts called by the same name; of which the apostle writing says, "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding the profane a...

1AM

Here is the critical passage from Tertullian Against Marcion Book One: Separatio legis et evangelii proprium et principale opus est Marcionis, nec poterunt negare discipuli eius quod in summo instrumento habent, quo denique initiantur et indurantur in ...

November 8, 12 AM

A nice girl brings home her fiance to meet her parents.After dinner, her mother tells her father to find out about the young man. He invites the fiance to his study for a chat."So, what are your plans?" the father asks the fiance."I am a Bi...

November 7, 12 AM

The Biblioblog community - and Robert Cargill in particular - seems to be making reference to as many links as possible to promote the (his) new 'controversial' Bible series on the History Channel.  He seems to have made a strong personal effort to e...

November 3, 12 AM

I know why I want to do TV - I find the obstacles in participating in 'real scholarship' to be insurmountable.  I mean, if an idea came to me that could be synthesized into a 10 page article, I might take the time to work on a paper and submit it to an...

November 2, 9AM

1. TO POLYCARP (SYRIAC) Ignatius, who is Theophorus, to Polycarp, bishop of [1] Smyrna, or rather, who has as his own bishop God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ: abundance of happiness. Because thy mind is acceptable to me, inasmuch as it is esta...

November 1, 2PM

People have never been able to figure out 'where I am coming from.'  Most of that has to do with the fact that I don't know where I am coming from.  I have always avoided 'having an agenda' and it has certainly cost me having what one might call 'an acc...

9AM

I have taken a few days off from blogging.  It was a lot of work writing and rewriting my latest book and I just needed a few days perspective.  In the meantime the latest 'heretical boogeyman' - Joe Atwill - has come along much to the delight of Biblio...

October 21, 11PM

The Character of God   It is impossible now to deny any longer that the Christian religion not only developed from the original Gospel of Mark but moreover from the liturgy and baptismal practices of the evangelist too. The ‘second baptism’ rite w...

October 20, 8AM

Bearing the Marks of Christ According to Irenaeus’s account of Markan gnosis Jesus was the heavenly portion of the stigma or the sixth letter of the alphabet which 'fled' from the heavenly assembly. This letter, sometimes identified as ‘the lost she...

October 18, 12 PM

Branded with an F Throughout his True Account, Celsus affirms that Christianity worshipped the same god as the Jews. Whenever he does this he makes clear that he is saying this in opposition to the Christians outside the ‘great Church’ who learned f...

1AM

Mastering a Slave Religion It is difficult to maintain a straight face sometimes when prominent scholars question the authenticity of the Letter to Theodore. Their presupposition it would seem is that it is unbecoming of a Church Father to practice decep...

October 17, 1PM

Jesus the Fugitivus Of course, now that we have identified the purpose of the ‘second baptism’ as brother-making rite we have an even more difficult task before – that is, come to terms with why this mystery religion was so dangerous to the Empire....

October 16, 4PM

Of Fathers and Sons It is clear now that not only did Irenaeus know about the addition to ‘secret Mark’ but that he lived in a world where it was routine to define the concept of ‘redemption’ by its broader context in the gospel of Mark. Indeed ...

9AM

Irenaeus’s Fingerprints on the Gospel The pagan critic Celsus just testified to the existence of a ‘sealing’ and heavenly ascent rite in earliest Christianity connected with Mark 10:25. In a previous part of our investigation we saw the heretics ...

October 15, 11PM

The Secret Sons and Daughters of Mark It was the great nineteenth century New Testament scholar Adolf Hilgenfeld who correctly identified the name Marcion as a Greek nebenform – or, a variant - of the Latin praenomen, or personal name Mark. Neverthele...

October 14, 11AM

Communion With Mark Once we establish the link between the Markan tradition in Egypt and the Markan tradition in Gaul we have something we can work with to reconstruct the original Christian faith before Irenaeus. The identification of Mark with Alexand...

October 12, 10PM

Hail to the Chief Capponi has done a very good job recognizing that the persecutions in Gaul must have been related to the revolt of Avidius Cassius.  She does this interestingly without identifying 'Mark' as the connecting tissue behind both events. ...

October 11, 1AM

Why Mark was Kept Secret  There is absolutely no reason to believe that large numbers of Christians sought out martyrdom as a means to salvation before the writings of Irenaeus. To be certain, it should be expected that under the right circumstances a ...

October 9, 10PM

Who Were the Martyrs of 177 CE?  We all happen to live in a wonderful, free society which unfortunately has the effect of unconsciously prejudicing our interpretation of ancient history. We are confronted by two models of Christianity. On the one hand...

1AM

Looking for Luke in All the Wrong Places If we accept the idea that Mark was a historical person who wrote the gospel ascribed to him, it only stands to reason that a tradition or a school would have developed around the evangelist. The Catholic traditi...

October 8, 11AM

On Mark the Magician The idea that Mark might have been behind the person of Paul is an absolutely significant paradigm shift. In the Fifth Book of Tertullian’s Against Marcion the Church Father makes clear that while the heretics surely rejected the ...

October 7, 8PM

Was Mark Originally Called ‘Paul’? David Trobisch has put forward an important theory about the origin of the New Testament which will serve as the launching pad for our own theory of Markan origins. Trobisch studied the earliest surviving manuscrip...

12 AM

Mark as First Evangelist At its very core of his testimony, Clement puts forward that Mark’s wrote independently of Peter. Watson, however, turn Clement’s understanding on its head and says that because Clement treasured Peter, he must have held the...

October 6, 8PM

Chapter Three  Who was Mark the Evangelist? If, as most contend, Mark’s was the first gospel, then we immediately face a difficulty that was readily recognized in antiquity. Mark was not classified among the disciples – i.e. the Twelve. There i...

October 4, 1PM

What Happened to Christian Redemption? There are few things in more daunting than trying to making sense of someone or something that is inherently unreasonable. When this situation manifests itself between two people it is termed ‘a bad relationshi...

October 3, 1PM

The Biggest Lie  At the very foundation of religion is an assumption of truthfulness. How do we know there is a God? Tradition makes it so. In Judaism there is a belief among the faithful that their ancestors partook in the redemption at the time of ...

October 2, 10PM

An Alexandrian Brother-Making Rite As we wind down our preliminary investigation into the beginning of Christianity it becomes plain that the question of all questions comes down to whether Irenaeus corrupted the Gospel of Mark.  Do we necessarily have ...

October 1, 11AM

On Mark the Fugitive In the end, the complete absence of a tradition of Mark in the West has to be explain if we assume that the gospel was first written in Rome.  The claim that Mark was a tireless worker for Peter is nice sounding - full of Christian...

September 30, 12 AM

Why the Persecution of 177 CE Failed Christian baptism develops from the idea of Christ's image 'engraved' or 'sealed' on the initiate.  Its function is to direct the soul to become a sharer in the priesthood of Jesus Christ, and therefore of making pos...

September 29, 12 AM

Branded With an F Anything preserved in the name of Irenaeus is bound to be very confusing.  To say that the Church Father had 'very strong opinions' on matters of doctrine is a gross understatement.  There are also serious concerns about how faithfull...

September 28, 10AM

On Being a Slave of Christ It is difficult not to read Irenaeus's surviving writings as a confusing mess because they have been preserved, by an large, as entangled confusing messes.  Nevertheless once we start to take a look at the account of the follo...

12 AM

Lost in the Woods It would be nice if all of our knowledge of early Christianity has developed from 'firmest of certainties,' yet the actual situation is far different from this.  The reality is that there is surprisingly little in the way of 'good evid...

September 27, 12 AM

 Who Were the Martyrs of 177 CE? Many books have been written about the heresies. Most of them focus on the one aspect of the bad guys the Church Fathers will let us see - their corruption of scripture. Yet there is a much bigger story that inevitably...

September 25, 12 AM

Looking for Luke If we accept for the moment that Mark was a historical person who really did compose at least a single gospel if not two, it also becomes necessary for us to search out a tradition associated with the evangelist.  Of course, the fact th...

September 24, 11AM

The article is linked here.  The reporter references the existence of two living popes in Rome and writes: It’s a melding of papacies past and present that has no precedent and signals that the popes – while very different in style, personality an...

September 23, 1PM

On Mark the Magician Few people recognize how well testified the two gospel tradition is in early Christianity and especially its specific association with the apostles Peter and Paul.  In fact, the only thing one of the only original ideas in Clem...

September 22, 7PM

The article giving an overview of the importance of the recent discovery of Origen's Homilies on the Psalms is available here.  I have always thought that this passage in the Second Homily on Psalm 77 is particularly significant: We know this by expe...

4PM

Mark as Secret Teacher The most unusual thing about Clement's testimony about the origin of the Gospel of Mark is the effect it has on modern scholarship.  Indeed it is difficult to explain a scholar of the caliber of Francis Watson’s demonstrating s...

September 15, 9PM

Chapter Three Mark His Words There are few things in more daunting in life than trying to making sense of an unreasonable tradition. Wherever people have tried to piece together the ‘who,’ ‘what,’ ‘where’ and ‘how’ of the story of Jesu...

11AM

In the end, the truth about the Catholic Church is already known to us.  No one who has ever sat and stood through one of its services can doubt its original from Roman values.  Is there anyone, anywhere at anytime in history who was struck by the Jewis...

September 13, 1PM

Chapter One The Biggest Lie Almost two thousand years separate us from the events of the gospel and most people have difficulty time remembering what happened to them last week. Who should we trust to determine who the real Jesus was and why should we ...

September 12, 3PM

Making Peace With the Peacemaker Brent's study of the influence of monarchianism in the early Church is a landmark achievement in Patristic scholarship.  Using the examination of the apologists as a foundation he builds on this study to ultimately demo...

September 8, 9PM

How the West was Won Marcus Aurelius was a Stoic philosopher who became the living example of the "philosopher-king" for Western political theorists and philosophers.  It may be certainly argued that Marcus gained this reputation during his l...

September 7, 2PM

 How Mark Became a 'Magician' In his great chronicle of world history, Jerome lists 28 BCE as the year of the expulsion from Rome and Italy by Augustus of the Pythagorean and magus, Anaxilaus of Larissa. How long Anaxilaus had been in Rome before he ...

1AM

Marking the End of Mark In the end it all comes down to proving - or at least demonstrating - that Irenaeus went back and transformed the Marcosian pseudo-martyrs whom he thought were justly slaughtered in his near contemporary Against the Marcites into...

September 5, 1PM

 How the Church Accepted 'Natural Sin' At last we come to the ultimate question about Christianity as it has come down to us.  Why did a religion that is such a downer survive and thrive to such a degree?  When you really think about it, if you walked...

10AM

"This is the third time we've closed since the early 1960s before the Israeli occupation. And even during the occupation, we remained open," Father Paolos, a member of the monastery's Holy Council who's been serving in St. Catherine's since ...
Tragic news about the Christian partially Aramaic-speaking village of Maaloula north of Damascus: Syrian government troops battled al-Qaida-linked rebels over a regime-held Christian village in western Syria for the second day Thursday, as world leaders...

September 4, 2PM

Branded With an 'F' It will be our assumption that the Church Fathers have deliberately understated the degree to which Christianity was at bottom - a slave religion.  This is hardly surprising and scholars have done their part to play along.  As much ...

September 3, 12 AM

Punished or Martyred: the Persecution of 177 CE Re-Examined We have now come full circle to our original historical investigation.  We have now returned to the questions surrounding the persecution of Christians toward the end of the reign of Marcus Aur...

August 31, 9PM

I have uncovered an important proof that Irenaeus wrote De praescriptione haereticorum. It hasn't been noticed before by scholars. Cyril of Jerusalem cites: For the heretics, who are most profane in all things, have sharpened their tongue against the...

August 30, 5PM

Chapter Five 'Of Mark' or 'Of Marcion'? No one doubts that there was a conflict between the Marcionite and Catholic traditions in second century Rome.  The famous German scholar Adolf Harnack's characterization of the struggle understands that it was b...

August 27, 11AM

Chapter Four Toward a Redefinition of What 'Catholic' Means We have a fairly intriguing circumstantial case that a specific legal action was employed by the Catholic Church of Rome to take away property from the more ancient Christian collegia in the c...

August 25, 11AM

Chapter Three Seizing the House that Mark Built If the reader reads any book on the history of the early Church he will certainly not find any reference to the things we have introduced here.  There will be no reference to Irenaeus employing a praes...

August 23, 1PM

Chapter Two A Praescriptio Against the Heresies  (dated approx. 190 CE) The origin of the term "prescription" is interesting. It arose from the way of pleading in a Roman lawsuit the acquisition or extinction of a right by lapse of time:...

August 20, 10PM

The Secret Life of Jesus   Introduction So many have attempted to tell the story of Jesus that it’s difficult now to know what the truth is any longer. Almost two thousand years separate us from the events described in the gospel. Most people ha...

August 17, 7AM

22 In the end there is one more piece of evidence which brings all the points we have raised during this investigation together – the throne of St Peter. Most people are not aware that this most sacred of objects from Roman Christian antiquity fea...

August 16, 11AM

21 It cannot be stressed enough that the suffering Jesus was regarded in early antiquity as a specifically Catholic invention. This is perhaps the most surprising development of our examination of the early Roman Jesus. At every turn, in just about eve...

August 15, 3PM

20 We have already seen Irenaeus’s development of a cento poem in the name of Hercules. It should also be mentioned that there are also infrequent references to Hercules metaphors at other places in Against Heresies. The clearest example here is the ...

August 14, 10AM

19 There are many other signs pointing to a ‘second development’ of Christianity at Rome in the late second century. The so-called ‘Latinized Greek’ of the earliest canonical gospel for instance – i.e. a well-known situation where the earliest...

7AM

18 There are almost two millennia that separate us from the Imperial court of Commodus. It is not surprising then that we have such a difficult time making sense of what happened in that age. Contemporary historians were not kind to Commodus. Neverth...

August 13, 8AM

17 The hidden implication of Irenaeus's interpretation of history is that the Church was an evolving institution.  Of course, on the surface we hear repeated claims of an organization in 'complete agreement' from the beginning, of individual members '...

August 12, 6PM

We have come upon another interesting historical controversy.  The question is did the Catholics rob Jesus of his 'originality'?  The Marcionites accused the Catholics of making him conform to outdated ideas.  Irenaeus will respond by saying that Jesus...

12 PM

15 The point of all of this is that Irenaeus clearly saw himself as an heir to the Jewish Christian tradition, but one in which Ebionitism is forced to acknowledge that Jesus was one and the same with God the Father. In a curious manner then, Irenaeus r...

August 11, 11PM

14 We began this journey from the lost Jewish Christian Book of Acts. In that text Jesus was a man who was raised from the dead to signal the general resurrection in the flesh at the end of the age. According to this understanding God sent Jesus as a ...

August 10, 3PM

13 Robert Grant calls Irenaeus 'the most important Christian controversialist and theologian between the apostles and the third-century genius Origen.’ Yet we should take it that this is the understatement of the year. The difference between Irenaeus...

August 9, 6PM

12 There are plenty of other examples of Irenaeus’s corruption of the Book of Isaiah and their projection into the past. Indeed the existing canon of writings associated with Irenaeus also betrays a systematic revisionist effort. The same passage oft...

1AM

11 It goes without saying that modern believers take offense at the comparison between Jesus’s birth narrative and those of Greek myths. Yet it is interesting to point out that Christians in the second century had a completely different take on matter...

August 8, 11AM

10 The simple reality is that most people just aren’t aware of how ideas develop. Our culture has developed the Protestant idea of Jesus into a reality. This notion of ‘Jesus the ordinary man’ – even ‘Jesus the Jew’ – was not shared by th...

August 7, 11AM

9 Our assumption will be then that both Irenaeus and Florinus learned from Polycarp the art of using and abusing typology in order to dazzle the eyes of the ignorant. A powerful case can be made that Lucian of Samosata’s bitterly satirical Passing of...

August 6, 6AM

8 In a strange way our conversation has now come back full circle to the silliest part of our previous discussion. We have to now ask ourselves why we must assume that Polycarp was a good guy after all?   Why does everything come down to the question...

August 5, 9PM

7 Here are the facts: we simply don’t have any reliable information about Polycarp of Smyrna. Moreover most of what we do know about the original teacher of Florinus and Irenaeus is highly suspect. Irenaeus needs to show that he is a more faithful st...

7AM

6 We should finally begin to accept the idea that Jesus was never originally conceived as the ‘ruler of the world.’ Neither the Ebionites nor the Marcionites held fast to this late Catholic belief. It is only when we come to terms with how much of...

August 4, 11PM

5 As we have already noted, there existed a Jewish Christian understanding that the future resurrection of the dead was contingent upon Christ's Resurrection occurring first. At the heart of this understanding was the idea that Jesus was of the typology...

8AM

4 Once again we have to reinforce the idea that our existing approach to the assumed ‘Jesus of history’ was not shared by the first Christians. It wasn’t that the Jewish Christian tradition that preceded Irenaeus denied that Jesus existed in real ...

August 3, 10PM

3 The obvious question which stands before us is – why would Irenaeus bothered to fuse together the Jewish Christian and Pauline traditions?  This must have seemed to be a Herculean task given their shared animosity against one another. Why not jus...

August 2, 11PM

2 Let us start with the argument for ‘Jesus the man.’ This is the guy we all think appears in the pages of our existing gospels. We think to ourselves – let’s ignore the Virgin Birth and the even stranger sounding idea that Mary was ‘god bear...

12 PM

Chapter Two  Jesus as Roman Demi-God  1  Once upon a time there was a belief in a historical Jesus, a Jesus who was the messiah of the Jews. This is a story we all know well and assume to be true in spite of the fact that there is no actual textu...

August 1, 8AM

10 The point of all of this is that it raises questions about the Church that we were left with after the fifty years of Commodian-Severan influence. Is the ‘counter-culture’ interpretation of Brent the best way to explain the borrowing from Imperia...

July 31, 10PM

9 Up until now we have avoided the core issue to our investigation which is – did the Commodian government actively ‘encourage’ the transformation of contemporary religious culture in the direction of monarchianism? Or, perhaps more pointedly - di...

11AM

8 The point of course here is that there is a fundamental difference between the heretics and the Catholic tradition. Everything we know about the heretical traditions points in the direction of a confrontation with the Emperor Commodus. It isn’t jus...

July 30, 6PM

7 It is also interesting to note that Brent completely missed the Irenaeus reference to God and Adam assuming the title ‘the lord of the world’ – perhaps because the work only survives in Armenian. Whatever the case may be it is a critical citatio...

8AM

6 It is difficult to take anything away from the brilliance of Brent’s work. His insight is penetrating, and the book successfully manages to demonstrate an overall pattern of Imperial influence over the shape of religion of the Roman state. Yet it ...

July 29, 3PM

Chapter 1   Flattery and Lies 1  There are few challenges in life more daunting than trying to making sense of an unreasonable belief. For the most part at least, unreasonable beliefs originate with unreasonable people and their appeal tends to b...

July 28, 1AM

11 The great scholar of Judaism, Jacob Neusner, explains Numbers 15:18 – 21 in a very straight forward manner. Bread is a baked food produce made of flour that, upon being moistened and kneaded and fermented, rises. The rabbinic tradition starts fr...

July 27, 11PM

10 As we are beginning to see early Christians developed a path to communion with God in relation to the Jewish rules governing bread-making – viz. Num 15:18 – 21 and "misheret," (משארת) or mixed dough. This understanding died out ver...

12 AM

9  The point here is that the entire reconstruction of history in Christianity is developed in a hopelessly dishonest manner. The underlying assumption is that there ‘must have been’ a ‘Jewish Jesus’ beneath the ‘corruptions’ of the Roman C...

July 26, 12 AM

8 Since the orthodox are either or unwilling to explain whether Jesus is a heavenly or earthly man, it might be useful now to draw attention to the original beliefs of the heretics. For, despite all the bad press that they receive, there is at least a s...

July 25, 8PM

7 Our purpose here is to confront what is perhaps the strangest thing about Christianity to the outsider – the idea that Jesus is present in the host at the feast of communion. This understanding was universal in the early Christ. The fact that many ...

July 24, 3PM

The story is here. Recently, President Obama appointed a gay man as an ambassador to the Dominican Republic, a largely conservative Roman Catholic country on the island of Hispaniola. James “Wally” Brewster is the gay ambassador appointed to the co...

2PM

5 It has long been noticed by scholars that the Old Latin text of the New Testament seems to echo phrases and terms found in the heretical canon. In other words, the Roman Church with its strange emphasis on celibacy and its unleavened host might well ha...

3AM

4 The same problem arises when we consider the claim of Irenaeus and his part to represent ‘the true Church.’ Irenaeus only uses the term ‘Christian’ a handful of times in his writings. Never invokes the term ‘Christianity’ but obsesses ins...

July 23, 1PM

3 Before we venture into the realm of the unknown, the mysterious tradition that Jesus was an angelic power associated with cosmic redemption, it is important to prepare for our journey by explaining how our tradition – the Catholic tradition – manag...

July 22, 3PM

2 So we return to our original problem of making sense of an unreasonable faith. This shouldn’t be understood at all in a derogatory way. I know a Catholic priest says exactly this about his tradition – it can’t be made sensible. It requires not...

12 PM

The Secret Life of Jesus  Introduction  The work that stands before you is a most remarkable achievement for it is unlike all the academic studies that have been written and will be written from now until the end of time. It begins with a premise ...

July 21, 6PM

5 It has always been taken for granted that that the gospels attributed to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were actually written by men of the same names. According to the Church tradition that has come down to us, the gospels Matthew and John were penned...

July 20, 6AM

4 Little by little we are edging toward the ultimate question - should we assume the existence of a real individual named 'Jesus' behind the gospel narrative merely because it is convenient?  In other words, there is nothing exceptional about the li...

July 19, 9PM

6PM

2 Irenaeus makes clear he was not going to be made to feel bad about taking the gold of Caesar.  This especially if these handouts helped secure the establishment of an ever greater number of 'tabernacles of God' in the world.  In the language of t...

July 18, 11AM

There are few challenges in life more daunting than trying to making an unreasonable belief sound reasonable.  Sure, some people are very good at doing just that.  Many famous lawyers have made a career transforming guilty people into victims, turning ...

July 16, 10AM

It is a wonderful thing when someone as knowledgeable about the evidence for earliest Christianity has decided to enter the blogosphere.  As such we are all better off that we have direct access to a towering figure in scholarship like Larry Hurtado, a ...

July 15, 10PM

Africanus, Cesti, 5 (from book 18); Les Cestes de Julius Africanus (ed. J.-R. Vieillefond Florence: sansoni, 1970), 290. 53 - 54. Of some interest here is Africanus's claim to have found copies ofa variant text of the Odyssey in the libraries of Nysa ...
If the handwriting of the scribe who wrote the Letter to Theodore is going to be found anywhere - given the uncooperative nature of the scholars, priests and monks at the Jerusalem Patriarchate - this might be as good a place as any to do some sniffing ar...

1AM

I am still reading Alin Suciu's thesis and will be examining and re-examining it over and over again over the course of the next week (as I will have little else to do on my plane ride to Tel Aviv).  But what caught my eye today was the tradition that t...

July 14, 3PM

As I mentioned in my last post, I am reading Alin Suciu's PhD thesis 'with great interest' (these are the kind of things that academic professionals like to say). I stumbled across this statement in one of the citations: In a sermon on the Archangel ...

2PM

I am thoroughly enjoying Alin's reading PhD thesis - available here.  I think he may be surprised to see how I might turn around some of the information contained therein for a purpose he might not approve.  Oh well.  On the positive side for him, I ca...

July 13, 11PM

There is an expression in Biblical Hebrew which is worth considering for our purposes.  When Hebrew feminine nouns represent inanimate objects, such as curtains, loops, tenons, wings etc., (see Exodus, 26:3, 5, 17, Ezekiel, 1:9, 23; 3, 13) a literal tra...

July 11, 10AM

Therefore, the all wise Moses attributes to the just man a knowledge of the husbandry of the soul, as an act consistent with his character, and thoroughly suited to him, saying, "Noah began to be a husbandman." But to the unjust man he attribute...

July 10, 9PM

ἀλλὰ ξύλον ὃ ἐπίστασαι ὅτι οὐ καρπόβρωτόν ἐστιν τοῦτο ἐξολεθρεύσεις καὶ ἐκκόψεις Every tree which bringeth not forth fruit good to eat thou shalt cut down; and thou ...

1PM

I was standing in a Half Price Book store yesterday with my wife after grabbing a quick lunch at Chipotle when I saw a scholarly book on the LXX for $24.  Of course, being a cheap bastard, I didn't want to pay even this much money for a book whose value ...

7AM

I mean I just assuming this from what I can recall from twenty years of reading Philo. Perhaps there is a reference somewhere I have overlooked but this would seem a striking feature of Philo's thought which separates him - on the one hand from the Qumra...

12 AM

As I go through the exegesis of Philo - having already read the Bahir and various Samaritan sources - I can't help but see that the very name איש was understood to be an acronym: איש אלהים יהוה שטן The question immediately becom...

July 9, 11PM

Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male (אִ֣ישׁ) and his female (וְאִשְׁתּ֑וֹ), and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male (אִ֣ישׁ) and his female (וְאִשְׁתּ֑וֹ) [Genesis 7:2] At all e...

10PM

"For these," says he, "are the generations of Noah; Noah was a just man, perfect in his generation, and one who pleased God." (Gen 6:9) But we must not be ignorant that when he says man here, he does not mean merely to use the common...

8AM

"And there were giants on the earth in those Days." [Gen 6:4.]  Perhaps some one may here think, that the lawgiver is speaking enigmatically and alluding to the fables handed down by the poets about giants, though he is a man as far removed as...

12 AM

And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten an איש from the Lord. [Genesis 4:1] It is a curious passage.  Yes, it is true, it is said that Adam 'knew' (יָדַע) his wife but Eve's crediting 'the Lord' for t...

July 8, 10PM

In my previous post, I listed every single איש passage in Genesis.  At first glance it seemed to me at least that most of them could not have been used to support the idea that איש - or  for that matter - was being used in some mystical sense, i....

9PM

I don't know why I did this other than to take another perspective on our problem.  Are there other appearances of the heavenly איש which weren't reported, were forgotten or fell into disuse?  Here are over one hundred references in the Book of Gene...

11AM

It is common knowledge that Philo understands there to be two men described in Genesis - a heavenly and an earthly man - corresponding to the two creations described in chapter 1 and chapter 2 of the narrative.  It is worth noting that the 'man' in eithe...

9AM

Irenaeus says in Book Two of Adv. Haer. that Jesus was 'almost fifty' when crucified having reached the age of a magister (the original Greek is wanting). I have always thought this should be taken to mean forty-nine years of age and I think this stateme...

8AM

We have already seen the Samaritans identify the איש as an angel of this name.  Now the Alexandrian tradition goes one step further.  I wish I had a better text to work with than Yonge's pathetic translation.  Nevertheless here goes: But some say ...

12 AM

"Do you think that God appeared to Abraham under the oak in Mature, as the Scripture asserts?" He said, "Assuredly." "Was He one of those three," I said, "whom Abraham saw, and whom the Holy Spirit of prophecy describe...
God speaks to Abraham and there assures him that Sara shall give birth. Later, while he is seated, three men appear before him. He adores one and confesses that He is the Lord, and this same one whom he adores and confesses assures him that He will return...

July 7, 10PM

I have so much evidence in favor of my thesis that I wondering whether I should just stop now and write the damn paper.  Seriously.  I was just flipping through my favorite anti-Marcionite treatise - De Recta in Deum Fide (commonly known as the Dialogue...

7PM

I don't know whether I am embarrassed or proud of my familiarity with the writings of the early Church Fathers.  I must have read all the surviving material from the second and third centuries at least a dozen times.  After a while you actually start to...

12 PM

Over the course of my life I have a number of books on the 'secret Man' theology - most notably Simon Pétrement's A Separate God. I remember thinking when I read Pétrement's book - 'I like the attention to the existence of a secret doctrine regarding t...

7AM

About the Jews - "nec hominem ejus ut alienum judicaverunt" (Against Marcion 3.6).  This has to be taken in the context of consistent references to the Marcionites borrowing from Jewish tradition to establish the existence of the angelic איש...
It surprised me to learn that there a great number of 'His man' references concentrated in the Fifth Book of Irenaeus's Against Heresies.  We read J N D Kelly write in his Early Christian Doctrines: A rather different Christology has been suspected to...

July 6, 10PM

I have already demonstrated that Tertullian demonstrates the Marcionite acceptance of the ΙΣ = איש formula we have been working to establish.  The lost original source has been re-used in two treatises of Tertullian - Adv. Marc. 3 and De Carne Chris...

9PM

this flesh, in fact, suffused with blood, scaffolded of bones, threaded through with sinews, intertwined with veins, competent to be born and to die, human unquestionably, as born of a human mother? And in Christ this flesh will be mortal precisely bec...

4PM

This is the chapter which nails our hypothesis (it is important to note that the same material is reused in Tertullian's De Carne Christi chapter 3).  Tertullian confirms that the Marcionites 'borrowed from the Jews' with respect to their understanding...
But seeing that you yourselves have already stated your belief that a god has dwelt in human shape and in all the rest of what belongs to man's estate, you will assuredly not demand any further persuasion that God has in fact made himself conformable ...

3PM

We believe that God has sojourned even on earth, and that for the purpose of man's salvation he has taken upon him the lowliness of human form: we are far removed from the sentiments of those who allege that a god takes no interest in anything. It is f...
"God can never keep himself hidden, can never be unattainable: he must at all times be understood, be heard, even be seen, in such manner as he will. God has his evidences, all this that we are, and in which we are. Such is the proof that he is Go...
"[Marcionites] will suppose that at every point things human can be compared with things divine. Now if admission be granted to this supposition, what is to prevent the introduction, I say not of a third god and a fourth, but of as many gods as th...

9AM

Although Abraham saw him, yet he saw him in the form of a human body, by which, of course, it was shown that He would come for mankind at the latest times. He appeared to Jacob also, in one place as an angel, in another also as a human being. And He revea...

8AM

That would help solidify that this figure - a being wholly separate from the 'Jewish God' - was at once also, the Marcionite god.
He sent his son to go redeem them, and "to take on the likeness of a slave and to come into being in the form of man" (Phil 2:7) in the midst of the sons of the God of the Law. [Eznik, On the Sects, Eznik (Koghbatsʻi, Bishop of Bagrewand), Moni...

12 AM

I don't know if I am getting through to anyone out there. The question of whether the Greek nomen sacrum ΙΣ was a transliteration of איש is only one part of the ultimate puzzle.  There is this story about a guy named Jesus which we associate with th...

July 5, 3PM

Listen carefully to the argument of Tertullian in Against Praxeas - Jesus is the ish in Genesis 32: Once more, we have the support, in our vindication of the duality of the Father and the Son, of that rule which has defined God as invisible. For when ...

8AM

2 Samuel 4:5 איש בשת = Ις-βοσθε LXX I don't know I missed this but I did. So the issue is settled once and for all. The theory does work. The only question now is whether anyone read the nomen sacrum as איש

12 AM

In Samaritan Aramaic: The righteous one, who was from Isaac, he taught in the valley of the Yabbok when he stood with His man, and he touched the hollow of his thigh (Gen. xxxii. 25). (MacDonald p. 79) If the original passage were in Hebrew: The righ...
There is a translation of Jerome’s Hebrew Questions on Genesis done by C.T.R. Hayward and published by Clarendon Press at Oxford. The text of the “Questions” is not very long, and probably not valuable on the whole to most readers. There are no...
Jewish Studies Quarterly Vol. 6, No. 4 (1999) "... and by the name of Jesus ..." An Unpublished Magic Bowl in Jewish Aramaic Dan Levene pp. 283-308. Available on line here.

July 4, 8PM

To all these things, moreover, is added this, that in like manner as the divine Scripture has frequently declared Him both Angel and God, so the same divine Scripture declares Him also both man and God, expressing thereby what He should be, and depicting ...

6PM

In the Prayer of Joseph, frg. A, the patriarch Jacob utters these arresting words: “I, Jacob, who speak with you, am also Israel, an angel of God and a ruling spirit. Abraham and Isaac were created before any work. But I, Jacob, whom men call Jacob but ...

5PM

"I wish, sirs," I said, "to learn from you what is the force of the name Israel." And as they were silent, I continued: "I shall tell you what I know: for I do not think it fight, when I know, not to speak; or, suspecting that you...

4PM

But it has also happened that Jacob had his name changed to Israel; and this, too, was a felicitous alteration. Why so? Because the name Jacob means "a supplanter," but the name Israel signifies "the man who sees God." Now it is the em...

3PM

"Moreover, in the book of Exodus we have also perceived that the name of God Himself which, He says, was not revealed to Abraham or to Jacob, was Jesus, and was declared mysteriously through Moses.  Thus it is written: 'And the Lord spake to Moses, ...

July 3, 11AM

This is pretty good so far, right?  I have already argued - I think fairly successfully - that the belief in a wholly divine figure floating down from heaven, 'tabernacling' with humanity and 'appearing' crucified on the Cross, was just as old as the bel...

12 AM

The business of writing blog posts is pretty straightforward.  I sit here at the end of the day with the few minutes or hours I have at my disposal and try to 'make something' it.  I usually start by asking a question and then I go where the evidence le...

July 2, 11AM

It has long been suggested that that much of the material that now survives in Latin and is associated with Tertullian of Carthage, existed in another language and perhaps even originally with another author.[1]  In the case of the Marcionite material sp...

7AM

Just noticed this as I was comparing two texts of Tertullian.  There is a footnote in Evans's translation of Tertullian's Against Marcion Book Three: For the Orient for the most part held the Magi for kings, and Damascus was formerly reckoned to Arabia...

1AM

It is an incredible feeling when conducting research on behalf of a theory and more than line of proof emerges.  I was in the middle of writing the second part to my investigation into the Marcionite interest in the 'man (אִישׁ) of war' conce...

July 1, 3PM

It's very hard to speak of 'the Christian god' without thinking of Jesus.  It is almost a given because the ancient bearded hippie is such an integral part of our cultural heritage.  No one can possibly hate Jesus.  He's the guy that we all want to hav...

11AM

We have been examining the question of whether the nomen sacrum ΙΣ - the name for the Christian god in the oldest manuscripts - was actually interpreted originally as a reference to a divinity named Ἰησοῦς (i.e. where people 'knew' to take th...

12 AM

The second century heretic Tatian explicitly said that Christianity forbade salvation to Adam.  It would seem very curious then if Tatian and his Encratite tradition would have understood Jesus's reference to messianic 'Son of Man' to be a ben Adam (בן...
I have always struggled with the Marcosian adoption of Catholic concepts like the Virgin Birth, Jesus's baptism, the dove coming down from heaven etc.  If the group was really related to the Marcionites as I claim - how is it possible they embraced thes...

June 30, 10PM

And this (= the single tittle of the iota) is what has been declared: "It pleased (God) that all fulness should dwell in the Son of man bodily." For such compositions of numbers out of the simple and uncompounded one tittle of the iota become, h...

7AM

Esther J Hamori of Union Theological Seminary recently published her 2004 dissertation from New York University.  It's title “When Gods Were Men,” is from the start of a Mesopotamian classic mythic poem. Esther Hamori plays on that line's purport...

June 29, 4PM

Plead with your mother, plead. For she is not My wife, neither am I her husband (איש) and let her put away her harlotries from her face, and her adulteries from between her breasts ... And she shall run after her lovers, but she shall not overtake the...

1PM

One of the most important discoveries in the history of the study of Jewish mysticism was Gershom Scholem uncovering of an earlier, variant text to the Bahir, a sacred, mystical text which is still very influential in Kabbalistic thought.  What concerns ...

8AM

Read it here.  I also found a fascinating discussion about the Hebrew words ish איש and isha אשה and the question of their linguistic relationship here.

1AM

We start with the first example: Ἰώβ = איוב The problem here is that the while the אי is transformed into Ἰ the modern Greek pronunciation of Ἰώβ isn't quite right, akin to our English word 'of.'   The next example is: ήτα =  ...

June 28, 10PM

I am reconsidering my efforts to reconstruct Irenaeus's discussion of the two 'two and a half letter' sacred names in Hebrew.  As the text reads now the two words are ישו and ברוך.  But this can't possibly be right because ברוך has four let...

1PM

From Neil by way of Facebook just now: Joel Watts is not publicly claiming he sent me take-down warnings. I can assure everyone that I received absolutely no warning or take-down notice from either Joel Watts or Wordpress prior to Wordpress deactivating...
Stephan Please consider adding this to your post: Some of the Vridar Blog is recoverable here : Best regards David

11AM

It is with great sadness that I report that the mythicist blog Vridar has been taken down to day.  I consider Neil to be a personal friend.  We were both relegated to the 'conspiracy theorist' category at the Biblioblog Top 50.  Neil of course had a mu...

June 27, 11PM

1 c. BCE-1 c. CE - Plain limestone ossuary, reconstructed; gabled lid too short for box, perhaps intended for a different ossuary. Greek inscription (a) incised to medium depth on one short side (rough-finished), 5 cm from the top rim and slanting down t...

12 PM

I think I have taken sufficient time here to demonstrate that the evidence suggests it is quite possible - and indeed quite likely - that the earliest Christians pronounced the name of their god as 'Eeesu' or 'Eesous.' Why does this matter?  I think thi...

12 AM

Itacism, that is, the pronunciation of the Greek eta and of the various diphthongs with iota uniformly as i, and the trimming down of endings in -ius or -ios to -is, are quite general phenomena and recur, for example, in Pompeii. [Hermann Vogelstein, Rome...

June 26, 11PM

25. easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. A hyperbolic comparison sums up the matter; again Jesus uses a grotesque figure. See 6:41–42; cf. Matt 23:24. The largest of Palestinian animals is compared with the tiniest of commonly known o...

10PM

THE USE OF THE GREEK 'H' (ETA). Another usage points exactly in the same direction: that of the Greek letter 'H' (η) to denote the Egyptian long /e/. We know that the pronunciation of this letter as /I/ (thus falling together with the original long "...

7PM

(4) 'Aννία 'Pήγιλλα 'Hρώδοv γvνή, τὸ φως της οἰkίας τίνος τα υτα τά Xωρία γέγοναν Annia Regilla Hirodis uxor lumen domus cuius haec praedia fuerunt. Annia Regilla, wife of Herodes, light of the hou...

1PM

It is also possible that, as in other Gnostic contexts, the name "Christ" is rendered exclusively with χρηστός in Treat. Res. (43.37; 48.19; 50.1) in order to avoid any association of the true Savior with the Creator God or with a fleshl...
(c) THE CHANGES WITH η. The changes between η and α, η and ε have already been discussed. η and ι. As already stated, originally H was merely the rough breathing, but the Ionic psilosis left a symbol useless, and heta was called eta.2 Thus the new...

12 PM

The full spelling has caused the reading χρηστοῦ in O through itacism; both 247 and 376 inconsistently use the orthography with eta and iota as well as the nomen sacrum: 1 Sam 2:10 χριστου 247, χρηστου 376; 2:35 χρηστου O; 12:...

11AM

The error of 'itacism' resulted in Greek because, as of the fourth century, the vowels eta, iota, and upsilon, and the diphtongs ei, oi, and ui, were all pronounced like long e in English. [The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Studies p. 142]
Papyrus 46 - The significance of P46 from the Chester Beatty collection can hardly be overestimated. Dated with confidence about a.d. 200, it provides what is by far the earliest nearly complete text of Galatians ... The total number of variations comes t...
Luke xi 42 - κρίσιν = κλῆσιν Marcion according to Epiph. i 313, 332 and Ten. Marc, iv 27. Perhaps only due to an itacism and an easy interchange of liquids [Hort Westcott on Luke 11:42]

10AM

Our earliest reference to the singing of Christians as they shared the eucharistic meal identifies their song as Psalm 34. Could it even be that, as they sang "Taste and see that χρηστός (is) the Lord", it sounded to them very like, "...
The word for gracious is chrestos, which, by a peculiarity of pronunciation called itacism, was pronounced exactly the same as Christos. There seems to have been in St. Peter's mind a play on words which would instantly suggest itself to his hearers; they...
The Greek name (Chrestos), however, would have been pronounced Christos (by itacism) in Suetonius's day. [Joseph A. Fitzmyer, First Corinthians: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary p. 37] Suetonius lived 70 - 130 CE which would imply to me ...
Now that I am focusing on this problem of the eta in the name of the Christian god, I am remembering a conversation I had with David Trobisch a while back. It is common knowledge that the Marcionites referenced their god as χρηστός rather than χ...

8AM

Only in Hippolytus and Epiphanius, the name "Elchasai"/"Elxai" begins with eta. In the other patristic Greek texts, the opening vowel is epsilon. The name of the sect is always (also in Epiphanius, see below) spelled with epsilon. Thi...
This is a surprisingly significant inquiry because there is just so much bad information about the pronunciation of Ἰησοῦς.  It also allows, most significantly, for our identification of the Christian god 'Jesus' to be a disguise for the Enochian...
Iotacism is the process by which a number of vowels and diphthongs in Ancient Greek converged in pronunciation so that they all sound like iota (= ee) in Modern Greek. In the case of the letter eta specifically, this process is known as itacism (from the ...
It has been the fate of this letter (iota = ι), as writers have remarked, to be the subject of as much controversy as any in the whole alphabet. Erasmus and his followers contended, that the ancients pronounced it like what they called long E in Latin; b...

12 AM

I love that article by Nicoletta Isar so much I have decided to publish it piece by piece so as to gain the insight as to why the Cross was so holy in early Christianity.  Of course the article has little or nothing to do with the Cross.  But that makes...

June 25, 10PM

I have found perhaps the most brilliant article I have ever read - and it has very little to do with the study of early Christianity. I am talking about Nicoletta Isar's Undoing Forgetfulness: Chiasmus of Poetical Mind – a Cultural Paradigm of Archetyp...

9PM

While I was in Las Vegas I started - rather unconsciously - referring to just about everything I encountered as 'une banalité.' Yes there are amazing resorts, amazing places to dine, amazing shows to see - but in the context of the whole, it all seems s...

10AM

My latest observations all go together. They represent what I think is an incredibly important breakthrough, which theoretically at least, might form the basis to a new book. Just who exactly would be the audience for this stuff is up for grabs.  The a...

June 24, 10PM

I have found the most amazing book fully in digital format available on line.  I am talking about Recueil des inscriptions grecques-chrétiennes d'Asie mineure.  I was looking for what I believe is a Marcionite inscription in Laodicia.  But this is onl...

8AM

I was aware of course that Christians took an interest in the figure of 6000 AM (anno mundi = 'year of the world') however I was not aware that so many believed that it already took place.  I cited the Marcionite belief from De Recta in Deum Fide in a ...

1AM

Being able to gaze upon youth as a stranger and admiring its beauty unmoved.  In short - indifference. 
I don't mean to digress from my usual discussions here.  I did go on a holiday for a week in Las Vegas.  I found all the scantily clad female staff at the hotel quite distracting.  In all fairness, there really is something to this covering-up women th...

12 AM

It has long been known that at the twilight of pagan Rome, the Emperor Maximinus Daia prescribed a group of documents known as 'the Acts of Pilate' as compulsory reading in schools (Eusebius,. H.E. ix. 5. 2, 7. 1) in order to discredit Christianity.  It ...

June 22, 10AM

AD: When did he descend to save humankind? MK. As it says in the Gospel: in the reign of Tiberius Caesar, at the time of Pilate. AD. He descended in the six thousandth year after the Creator God had fashioned man, How could He be good, when he had not...

June 15, 9PM

According to Father Tadros El-Bakhoumi, the name of the Christian God is pronounced Eesos the same as it is in modern Greek. In modern Syriac it is either Eesho or Eesho'.  What puzzles me is how are we so certain what the pronunciation of Greek speaki...

10AM

If we check the effort of strangification by the Nestorians in China, as to linguistic strangification, the Nestorians had not well appropriated Chinese language, the earlier translations were either misleading or coarse that would not invite Chinese reli...

9AM

It was he who taught: “If husband and wife are deserving, God’s Presence dwells in their midst. If they are not deserving, fire devours them.” “For,” said Rabbi Akiba, “the Hebrew word for man is ish, spelled aleph, yod, shin. Remove the yod...
LatinGreek nominativeIesusἸησοῦς genitiveIēsūἸησοῦ dative accusativeIēsumἸησοῦν vocativeIēsūἸησοῦ ablative–
It is not unusual to find Arabic using an initial ayin in words borrowed from Aramaic and the dropping of final ayin is evidenced by the form Yisho of the Manichaean “köktürkish” fragments from Turfan (footnote 'so sometimes in the Iranian and Soghd...
Regular readers of this blog will recall our periodic reference to 'trial by fire' in early Christian sources.  I have always thought it went back to an ancient 'baptism by fire' recorded in many sources and associated with heretics.  Polycarp is perhap...

12 AM

For the past 400 years it was a Buddhist work of art; before that, for at least 100 years, it was a Christian icon; and even before that, for ca. 300 years, it was a Manichaean work of art. Tthe iconography of this image is Manichaean from southern China ...
I've long argued for this and now I see it appears in the latest Oxford Dictionary of Judaism: Although the etymology of minim is unknown, it may derive from Mani (founder of Manichaeism) or by way of abbreviation from ma'amin Yeshu notseri (believer in...

June 14, 7PM

2PM

First the seemingly 'jarring' belief of the Samaritans that not only was Moses 'divine,' the Man of God but also that he was greater than his God. We read in their prayers: God says That I may consume [my anger] (Ex. 32.10), but Moses, his Man, prays a...

12 AM

I haven't posted anything on D'Antraigues claims to have seen Clement's Hypotyposeis at the monastery of St Macarius in a while.  I just finished reading the first hundred and twenty pages of the well written, well researched book.  I am still not convi...

June 13, 12 PM

I have to admit that it is all the fault of David Blocker that I have fallen back into a familiar interest - Roman involvement in the development of Christianity.  Of course I published a book a while back which made a series of arguments for the identif...

June 12, 9AM

It was David Blocker who encouraged me just yesterday to look a second time at the account of the creation of the Gospel of Mark in Clement's Hypotyposeis.  It appears as follows in Clifton Black's recent book: Mark, Peter's follower [sectator] while P...

7AM

When Stephen Carlson changed a lot of people's mind about Mar Saba 65 - the Letter to Theodore (= Secret Mark) he did so principally because he argued that he found a smoking gun, a 'forger's tremor' in the handwriting. The fact that Carlson was a patent ...

June 11, 6AM

Therefore he is exhibited as the Lord of the foolish, holding over them the terrors appropriate to him as Ruler. But of those who are making progress he is described as God in the Scriptures, as in the present passage, 'I am thy God', or 'I am thy God, in...

June 10, 9PM

God couldn't have been named 'Jesus.'  I am deliberately avoiding the question of whether Jesus was God or could have been God.  The problem - as always - is that at the time of the gospel, divine beings and human beings didn't share the same name.  Ye...

June 9, 8PM

My friend Benny Tsedaka has confirmed that אישו is specifically used as a title in the Hebrew prayers from the middle period of the Samaritan liturgy. The understanding that Moses was 'His (= God's) Man' appears throughout the Aramaic writings of Mar...

12 PM

In ch. 17 of the Acts of Peter, a writing from the latter half of the second century C. E., it is related that Simon once lodged with a certain woman by the name of Eubula and, upon leaving, stole all her money. Eubula, however, suspected her household: B...

9AM

The most striking new fact about Marcionite usage brought out by these treatises is that the Syriac-speaking Marcionites used a different transliteration of the name 'Jesus' from the orthodox. The ordinary Syriac for Jesus is [E-WAH-SHEM-YUD] pronounc...

4AM

Christians on the Incantations Bowls: Although the usual differentiation between Jewish and Christian incantation bowls is the languages (Jewish incantation bowls are composed in the Jewish script; Christian incantation bowls are composed in the Syriac...

June 7, 12 AM

Why do I care so much about Christianity when I am not a Christian?  That is a very good question and one for which I have a not so good answer.  If you would have stopped me on the street and asked me the question a few years ago, I probably would have...

June 6, 12 AM

In 1983, a colleague, Colin Duckworth, drew my attention to a private letter of the Comte d'Antraigues which he found in the municipal archives of Dijon. [Eric Osborn, Clement of Alexandria p. 5] I can't say this enough - this claim is an out and out lie...

June 5, 4PM

I have been talking about Eric Osborn and Colin Duckworth's 'discovery' of D'Antraigues claims to have seen a number of Greek manuscripts in the Coptic monastery St Macarius in Egypt.  Some people see a parallel between Morton Smith and D'Antraigues.  T...

11AM

Le voyage de d'Entraigues (1779). — Quelques mois après le départ de Sonnini, arrivait à Alexandrie un voyageur de marque, le comte d'Entraigues, neveu de M. de Saint-Priest, ambassadeur à Constanti- nople. Ce jeune gentilhomme avait accompagné son...

5AM

June 4, 11PM

At the lowest rung of the debate over the Mar Saba letter is the unbelievably silly claim that the discovery at the monastery was developed from the pages of a 1940 Canadian pulp fiction novel - the Mystery of Mar Saba by James Hunter.  Craig Evans has b...

6PM

5PM

12 AM

June 3, 9PM

The Journal of Theological Studies, NS, Vol. 61, Pt 1, April 2010 article is available here.
His 1982 The Harvard Theological Review, Vol. 75, No. 4 (Oct., 1982), pp. 449-461 article where he responds to Quesnell's accusation of forgery is now available for free online here.
Dimitri Gutas of Yale is the American doyen for Graeco-Arabic textual transmission who continued the work of Franz Rosenthal in the same area.  I asked him the following questions: Has an Arabic text of Livy ever been recovered?  NO. No Latin text wa...

June 2, 8AM

Dimitry Morozov, a colleague in Russia, just provided me with many references to the alleged translation of Livy into Arabic. I am not sure they are accurate, nevertheless they may be of some help: Antoine de la Faye. 1540-1615. [Preface to his translati...

June 1, 11PM

Erpenius affirma que les Arabes en possédaient une version complète. D'autres annoncèrent qu'il exis- tait des exemplaires de cette traduction à Scio, à la Goo- lette, et même à la bibliothèque de l'Escurial : jamais il n'en a été produit la...
Note sur une lettre relative au Tite-Live arabe de M.Vella, sur Nicolas Clénard, Thomas Erpenius, etc. N” 58, pp. 210 - 216. Ajoutez une note sur l'ouvrage d'Erpenius. Ajouter ici une note sur la page 8 pour la bibliothèque de Salle dont j'ai cité l...

10PM

Erpenius assure que les Arabes ont une Traduction en leur langue de l'Histoire entière de Tite-Live. (Erpen. Orat. 1 , de Linguâ Arab) and Hinkelman dans la Préface de son Edition de l'Alcoran prétend que cette Traduction se trouvoit a Fez: utinam e f...

6PM

All I can get is the first paragraph for free.  It's $3.95 for the rest which is here: WANTS $5,000,000 FOR LIVY TREASURE Discoverer Said to Have Shown Manuscripts to German and Asserted He Owned Them. Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES. Septembe...

5PM

The total number of MSS. which are contained in this library, is 1,294, mostly Arabic, either original or translated from the Turkish and Persian. — The subjects are theology, jurisprudence, logic, philosophy, physics, grammar, history, philology, and t...

May 31, 3PM

Just a quick note. In our last post we followed the trail of the complete Livy in Arabic story to the sixteenth century. François Pithou references Nicolas Lefèvre. But who was Lefevre's source? I think it was Claude Dupuy.

7AM

The original comment goes back to the beginning of the seventeenth century. The French lawyer François Pithou (1543–1621) makes reference to Nicolas Lefèvre (b. 1544), tutor to King Louis XIII who while commenting on the Tactics of the Emperor Leo VI...

May 30, 4PM

2PM

Here is the announcement made in the Journal Général de France 1787 about the discovery of the text in 'Girgente in Sicily.'  The Journal de Paris reported that the discoverer was Vella. 

1PM

The story behind the source of this story is almost more interesting than the reference. In an otherwise unrelated discussion of books ending with -ana we are told: The earliest printed of the innumerable French ana, is the 'Scaligerana ' of 1668. If,...

12 PM

In his discussion of the various translations of Livy, Charles-Louis-Fleury Panckoucke notes that: On s'est flatté long-temps de l'espérance de retrouver un manuscrit de Tite-Live complet. Thomas Erpemius assura le premier que les Arabes possédaien...
The problem which I keep coming back to in my investigation of D'Antraigues is how Osborn could have been led to write not one but two papers on the subject of the Hypotyposeis claims. It is easy to attribute Osborn's zeal to find the manuscript (he visi...
I am just trying to be fair.  If strict Islamists could have carried out this in modern times: Isn't it possible that the inscription witnessed by D'Antraigues and many others could have been taken to similarly 'offensive'?  I don't have a ready im...

10AM

Let's count the problems with this story that Osborn picks up about a visit to the Coptic monastery of St Macarius by a French noble and his witness of several rare manuscripts including Clement's Hypotyposeis: 1. It is unusual to say the least, that yo...
D'un autre côté, comment concevoir que des passants appartenant à une race dont la civilisation était probablement peu avancée, les moyens graphiques fort limités, aient pu tracer sur le porphyre le plus dur et le plus brut des caractères de SIX PI...

9AM

Sublime Porte, dont la relation de très peu d'importance très peu d'importance demeure manuscrite à la bibliothèque de Dijon. Hissé à l'intérieur du monastère à l'aide de la poulie, d'Antraigues visita avec peu de curiosité et encore moins de d...

6AM

Avant la fin de l'année, noire voyageur, ayant rassasié sa curiosité à Constantinople, la porta en Egypte. D'Alexandrie au Caire, du Caire à Suez et au Sinaï, il la dispersa sans l'épuiser, auprès des pachas qui gouvernaient le pays et dont il eu...

May 29, 4PM

I read about this reference in Osborn's Clement of Alexandria book but couldn't find the original Greek.  A shout out has to go to Andrew Criddle for tracking down the location of the reference and Jeffrey Gibson for providing the text for me to post her...

12 AM

I remember reading the Apostolic Tradition (commonly attributed to Hippolytus) and posted a question at FRDB what was up about this 'white stone.' Yet if there is any other thing that ought to be told [to converts], let the bishop impart it to them pr...

May 26, 7AM

Nearly 70 years after the discovery of the world's oldest biblical manuscripts, the Palestinian family who originally sold them to scholars and institutions is now quietly marketing the leftovers -- fragments the family says it has kept in a Swiss safe...

May 25, 9PM

May 24, 10PM

Il est six heures et demie du soir, écrivait-il, du soir, écrivait-il, à peine ai-je resté un quart d'heure pour diaer et depuis 6 heures du matin je ne suis pas sorti de la bibliothèque [du couvent]. Ainsi j'ai cherché, recherché, secoué de vieux...

7PM

He [D'Antraigues] was asked to see that nobody presented himself at their door, and to allow the Pacha's flag to be flown from the mast. D'Antraigues agreed, and expressed his hope that in return for good conduct the ship's company would receive the Pacha...

4PM

A curious fact is mentioned by Mr Forster with reference to these inscriptions. An artist in the train of Le Comte d'Antraigues, in 1779, made a fac simile of an inscription on Djebel Mokatteb. This was printed in the posthumous letters of the histor...

May 23, 10PM

MONASTÈRE DE SAINT-MACAIRE Un manuscrit de Dijon nous a conservé le récit des voyages (1719) d'un certain comte d'Antraigues, qui raconte avoir vu à Saint-Macaire un Polybe du ine siècle, un Diodore complet, un Hérodien du VII sans parler des Hypoty...

9PM

Le 2 février 1779 arrivait en Egypte le comte d'Entraigues, neveu de M. de St. Priest, ambassadeur de France à Constantinople. Son oncle l'avait envoyé en Egypte sous prétexte de lui faire examiner les résultats de la mission confiée à M. de Tott, ...

1PM

Despite the brevity of the Comte's stay, d'Entraigues' itinerary provides a list of at least some of the locations within Egypt at which Adanson was also certainly present. D'Entraigues' first excursion was to cross the desert from Alexandria to the mona...
“Of all the Sinaitic records, the most extraordinary are the one last mentioned and another close to it, both described by the Comte d’Antraigues, a French nobleman who travelled in the peninsula with his suite in the year 1779. His account of them ...

May 22, 11PM

Did I tell you that after my recent trip to Dallas I decided what I should put on my tombstone (assuming I have one)? "He was a silly man." I don't think that would be at all pretentious.  I mean, it really says it like it is.  I spent my ...

May 20, 6AM

May 19, 7AM

I am increasingly convinced that the writings of Methodius date back somehow to Irenaeus.  The idea has come to me rather gradually but it obviously starts with the common use of Maximus, Methodius and Adamantius of a core text which is connection with M...

May 18, 12 AM

I have been spending much of my time making sense of Bonwetsch's German translation of the third century Church Father Methodius.  It is more difficult that it may seem.  Yes I can read German but this book was written over a hundred years ago (1892) a...

May 14, 12 PM

Yes, my horse has finally come in.  I have gone through the entire De Recta in Deum Fide (= Adamantius's Dialogue) and figured out how to argue that the original work was directed only against Megethius the Marcionite (as per Anastasius of Sinai's testim...

12 AM

Methodius Maximus Adamantius As I was walking yesterday evening, my friend, along the shore of the sea (πόντος), and was gazing on it somewhat intently, I saw an extraordinary instance of divine power, and a work of art produced by wise science, i...

May 11, 12 AM

While Harvest shows that Valentinus's attitude toward the present world was positive, it says little about his theory as to how this world emerged. From the other fragments of his works, we know that he considered the present world to be a copy of the ete...

May 10, 10AM

I haven't received the actual book of De Recta in Deum Fide from Amazon yet and I have reached the limit of my Google Books preview but I thought I would demonstrate to my readers a rough idea of how the three sources which I - and Harris - argue employed...

8AM

840a 1 DROSERIUS2 I have listened to Marinus and his friends for a long time, and condemned their ignorance. Let me now match my strength against my son, Adamantius, for a little. ADAMANTIUS. You must first of all define your terms, and explain what teac...

May 9, 9PM

It is a notorious fact that a passage of more than two hundred lines appears, in identical or largely identical form, in three different works ascribed to three different authors: (1) in Eusebius' Praeparatio Evangelica (vii. 22), where it is quoted as ...

8PM

Andrew Carriker's the Library of Eusebius which is available here as a free PDF. He writes p. 226: Maximus, Methodius, and HE V.27–28 Eusebius concludes PE VII with a series of four extracts all devoted to the defense of God’s creation of matter.[1...

4PM

THE EUSEBIAN EXTRACT. Chapter xxiv. of the Philocalia has the following heading pre-fixed to it: Περὶ ὕλη, ὅτι οὐκ ἀγένητο οὐδὲ κακῶν αἰτία. ἐκ τῆ Εὐσεβίου τοῦ Παλαι τινα...

10AM

By far the worst characteristic of scholars - and I mean a very widespread, awful trait that pervades scholarship in Christian antiquity - is the need to systematize.  Perhaps I am guilty of reading too much Nietzsche growing up.  No, let me restate tha...

9AM

The strongest argument for thinking that the original text of De Recta in Deum Fide only involved a single heretic - Megethius the Marcionite - is because this is what our earlier sources tells us.  From Pretty in the introduction to his translation: P...
I've just ordered Pretty's 1997 translation of De Recta in Deum Fide. I resisted purchasing it because up until now I have been using Danny Mahar's private translation of the 'Marcionite portions' of the text.   Mahar sent me his original material at th...

May 8, 11PM

Ulrich Schmidt didn't know what to do with De Recta in Deum Fide - commonly known as 'the Dialogues of Adamantius - a lengthy text where an orthodox figure (= 'Adamantius') debates various heretics starting with a Marcionite named 'Megethius.'  Schmid re...

May 4, 9PM

I am in the great state of Texas and have been for the last week.  I really love it down here.  I find the people incredibly friendly and always have time to stop and chat.  I am the kind of person who starts up a conversation with anyone almost to see...

April 30, 1PM

Most people think that writing a blog which focuses on early Christianity means either that the author is trying to prove or disprove the existence of God.  The reality is of course that nothing could be further from truth with regards to this site.  I ...

9AM

April 29, 4PM

I have been very busy with work but I just wanted to alert readers that I have been working out important details for the article just the same. If we are interested in providing a context for the redemption ritual of the Alexandrian tradition (and Marci...

April 25, 6PM

He called himself Lord of the sabbath (dominum sabbati circumferret Christus), because he was protecting the sabbath as belonging to himself.[Adv Marc 4.12] If that is so, whom shall we take to have asked, Why callest thou me Lord, Lord? (Si ita est, q...

1PM

The question of how and why Tertullian references Luke 18:18 as praeceptor optime. (Adv Marc 4.36) Wherever praeceptor is cited in the Vulgate it is a translation of the Greek epistata (always in the vocative and, except in 17.13, only used by the disci...

7AM

In order to finish my essay on the redemption rite of the Alexandrian tradition I have to come to terms with Mark 10:17.  My research is leading me to challenge many of the traditionally views about the gospel.  In Mark and Luke the readings are all ba...

April 24, 9PM

8PM

I had never noticed this before, but there is a conscious effort to add the title 'magister' to the Catholic texts.  The Catholic argument from the time of Irenaeus's Against Heresies Book Two (when he claims Jesus was almost fifty years old when crucifi...

4AM

What makes the use of 'good teacher' (Mark 10:17) so odd is that there are no attestations in Second Temple Judaism of referring to a teacher in this fashion.  Of course I think something more is at work here.  But first the evidence for magister in the...

April 22, 10PM

In a subsequent paper we can tentatively demonstrate an underlying association this ἀπολύτρωσις tradition with the Dosithean sect of Samaritanism.[1]  For the moment however it is enough to close our present investigation by strengthening...

April 21, 11PM

While Clement does not directly tie the specific term ἀπολύτρωσις with the Secret Mark narrative it is important to note that λύτρον is connected with the scene that immediately precedes it - the Question of the Rich Man (Mark 10:17 -...

8AM

In summer of 1958 a most interesting man made an incredible discovery. The man was Morton Smith, a first year Associate Professor of Ancient History at Columbia University. The discovery was the Letter to Theodore, a letter from Clement of Alexandria, the...